Wisdom Quotes

Let your dreams, not your nightmares, define who you are.
Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future. (Robert H. Schuller)
A day is either run or ruined.
Either you run the day or the day runs you. (Jim Rohn)

Via Seth Godin’s Newsletter

Understanding the automatic self

How do you act when you’re not thinking about how you act? When no one is looking and when you’re just doing what you’re doing…

That’s the automatic self. No narrative, no second-guessing.

Now, here’s the real question:

Has your automatic self changed since you were a kid?

If it has (and I hope it has) then that’s all the proof we need that the automatic self isn’t a given, it’s not hard-wired and it’s not permanent.

In fact, it changes from practice. It’s a skill.

We can learn to be the ‘authentic’ version of ourselves that we’d like to live with.

It takes habits, learning and feedback. And the commitment to become a better version of ourselves.

Motivational Story

The Little Boy

Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: “How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?”

The surgeon said, “I’m sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn’t make it.”

Sally said, “Why do little children get cancer? Doesn’t God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?”https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/ads?guci=×280&url=https%3A%2F%2Facademictips.org%2Fblogs%2Fmoral-tale-the-little-boy%2F&flash=0&fwr=0&fwrattr=true&rpe=1&resp_fmts=3&wgl=1&tt_state=W3siaXNzdWVyT3JpZ2luIjoiaHR0cHM6Ly9hZHNlcnZpY2UuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbSIsInN0YXRlIjowfSx7Imlzc3Vlck9yaWdpbiI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXR0ZXN0YXRpb24uYW5kcm9pZC5jb20iLCJzdGF0ZSI6MH1d&dt=1606834688404&bpp=25&bdt=626&idt=64&shv=r20201112&cbv=r20190131&ptt=9&saldr=aa&abxe=1&cookie=ID%3D7ee153c415eb0526-223cd6e3f5c40038%3AT%3D1606785028%3ART%3D1606785028%3AS%3DALNI_MYhOAOanvbnlP53g9W1Lu2wbY8MVQ&correlator=2905673637986&frm=20&pv=2&ga_vid=2132434154.1606785028&ga_sid=1606834688&ga_hid=273336411&ga_fc=0&iag=0&icsg=2112227&dssz=21&mdo=0&mso=0&u_tz=330&u_his=2&u_java=0&u_h=900&u_w=1440&u_ah=900&u_aw=1440&u_cd=30&u_nplug=1&u_nmime=2&adx=205&ady=478&biw=1309&bih=695&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=182982000%2C182982200%2C21068084&oid=3&pvsid=762155611203537&pem=403&ref=https%3A%2F%2Facademictips.org%2Fblogs%2Fcomment-page-2%2F&rx=0&eae=0&fc=896&brdim=0%2C23%2C0%2C23%2C1440%2C0%2C1440%2C875%2C1309%2C695&vis=1&rsz=%7C%7CEe%7C&abl=CS&pfx=0&fu=8320&bc=31&ifi=1&uci=a!1&fsb=1&xpc=dJzdNm6G0A&p=https%3A//academictips.org&dtd=78

The surgeon asked, “Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he’s transported to the university.”

Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good-bye to son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair.

“Would you like a lock of his hair?” the nurse asked.

Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy’s hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally. The mother said, “It was Jimmy’s idea to donate his body to the university for study. He said it might help somebody else. “I said no at first, but Jimmy said, ‘Mom, I won’t be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom.” She went on, “My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could.”

Sally walked out of Children’s mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy’s belongings on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy’s belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son’s room. She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:

“Dear Mom,

I know you’re going to miss me; but don’t think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just ’cause I’m not around to say I LOVE YOU. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won’t be so lonely, that’s okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn’t like the same things us boys do. You’ll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don’t be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn’t look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God’s knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That’s when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good-bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn’t allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him ‘Where was He when I needed him?’ “God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.

Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I’ve written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn’t that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I’m, sure the food will be great.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don’t hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I’m glad because I couldn’t stand that pain anymore and God couldn’t stand to see me hurt so much, either. That’s when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?

Look for the Smooth Handle

Look for the Smooth Handle In 1811, a 68-year-old Thomas Jefferson sat down to try to put down some advice that he could pass along to his 12-year-old granddaughter Cornelia. His advice survives to us as “Canons of Conduct,” 12 rules for living.  Did Jefferson always live up to these rules? No, certainly not. For instance, he often spent money before he had it. He was prideful. And of course, as a slave owner, he quite hypocritically violated his rule to “never trouble another with what you can do yourself.” But still, the rules are all easy to understand and hard to disagree with… except one.  Rule #10 is “Take things always by their smooth handle.” What does that even mean?  It’s actually a sly reference to a passage from Epictetus, one that we have talked about many times here before. “Every event has two handles,” Epictetus said, “one by which it can be carried, and one by which it can’t. If your brother does you wrong, don’t grab it by his wronging, because this is the handle incapable of lifting it. Instead, use the other—that he is your brother, that you were raised together, and then you will have hold of the handle that carries.” That’s what Jefferson was getting at when he made it one of his rules of life. It’s worth thinking about today. Don’t grab things by the rough or the weak handle. Don’t grab them by the easy one. Grab them by the smooth and study one, the one that will bear weight.  Think of the good in people. Think about where you are to blame. Think about when you have committed a similar wrong yourself. Think of it as a challenge. Think of it as an opportunity to help someone. Think about how connected we all are to each other. That is the smoothest and sturdiest handle of them all. And it is the better one to grab, now and always. P.S. This was originally sent on November 30, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism. 

Look for the Smooth Handle

Chimpanzees correct cultural biases about how good mothers behave | Psyche Ideas

Native cartography: a bold mapmaking project that challenges Western notions of place | Aeon Videos

‘What does sex mean to you?’ A fly-on-the-wall view of relationship counselling | Aeon Videos

The months after I gave birth were the most creative of my life | Psyche Ideas

Stunning century-old footage of the Nile valley carries echoes from the ancient past | Aeon Videos

‘I’m just measuring myself with myself’ – ping pong as a route to Sufi spiritual practice | Aeon Videos

The public knew he was crooked in 2009. Big banks helped him stash millions until 2017. – ICIJ

All the bankers at the Top know – all the Criminals. Especially financial criminals, syndicators.

They also blatantly misuse the PEP – Politically Exposed People and enhance their own Deposits.

Banks pay Bribes and commissions and Concierge services to customers like these for keeping their laundered money in their banks.

Seth Godin’s Newsletter

Shopping is not the same as buying

Just about everyone over the age of fifteen, anywhere in the world, engages in the market in some way. We need things and we buy them.

That’s not what shopping is.

Shopping is the act of imagining what you might want. It’s the thrilling but risky exchange of money for something that you’ve never purchased before. Something that might be better than you hope, but it might not.

In some communities, shopping is so foreign and risky that it simply doesn’t happen.

Shopping is a cultural activity, with styles and approaches varying depending on who you are and where you live.

Shopping releases chemicals in our brain. In many cases, particularly with luxury goods, it’s this emotional shift that we’re actually paying for, not the thing we’re buying.

The trillion-dollar industries that are based on shopping as a sport (as distinguished from buying what we need) are relatively new, but have been around long enough that many of us take them for granted–normal activities that appear to have always been around.

Money is a story. Your story is probably different from everyone else’s. Our relationship with debt, savings and earning money is extraordinarily complex. Consumer credit has turned from a convenience and useful bridge into, for many people, a trap.

Gift cards, garage sales and self-storage units start to reveal just how many layers we’ve built up around our commitment to shopping.

In small doses, for many people, shopping can produce happiness. But it doesn’t usually scale.

More stuff might not be the substitute for the things that we truly want.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – 2 December

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – 2 December

Abolition of Slavery

This day is observed to raise awareness of ‘modern slavery’, which includes forced labor, forced marriage, and human trafficking, and aims to highlight issues of exploitation.

Content marketing ideas

  • Listicle idea: How are governments coming together to create laws to end modern slavery?
  • Infographic idea: Signs of modern slavery you can’t ignore
  • Video idea: What is the history of the first transatlantic slave trade?
  • Podcast idea: How many countries did slaves come from?

Brand campaign that worked

This video by Kent Police encourages everyone to be vigilant and look out for signs of human trafficking in our own communities.

Coming up …International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 3 December