The Thinker Mentor Daily: I have a Daily NewsPaper :)


via The Thinker Mentor Daily

Want To Avoid Mediocrity? Stop Doing These 3 Things


#1 — Stop Doubting Yourself
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” ~Suzy Kassem
Doubt is like a plague, and excessively doubting yourself is deadly.

Doubting if you can do this or that. Doubting whether you can do well. Doubting whether you’re smart enough. Doubting everything under the sun! It’s like trying to win a bicycle race while repeatedly throwing a stick into your spokes. It just doesn’t work.

Photo by Brunel Johnson on Unsplash
A doubter sees a once in a lifetime opportunity — and doesn’t take it. Why? Because it’s too risky. Or maybe it won’t work. Or the weather is bad. Or people might think you’re crazy. Or it’s never worked for you in the first place so why will it now? Or your friend says it’s a bad idea. Or you’ve never tried it before . . .

OR! OR!! OR!!!

You can think of a hundred reasons why something won’t work. Anyone can if they let that voice of doubt speak.

“I don’t think you can do it,” says doubt. “Maybe you should stay the way you are.”

A tempting voice that plays on your comfort zones.

Stay a chronic doubter and you will destroy your future. It will cost you everything. So if you want to remain mediocrity’s beer koozie, fine, by all means keep doubting yourself. But you don’t have to. You can flip that coin over and choose to believe in yourself instead. No conditions. An unconditional faith in your potential.

“There’s many things to believe in. One of the majors is yourself. The understanding of self-worth is the beginning of progress.” ~Jim Rohn
To doubt yourself is to discount your own worth, to undersell, to think yourself LESS capable than you are. But when you reject that idea, when you throw off that cloud of doubt, it’s like opening a door out of a cage.

You set yourself free.

#2 — Stop Giving In To Fear
“The key to success is for you to make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear.” ~Vincent Van Gogh
Fear is like skin — we all have it. It’s a universal emotion that, in itself, is not bad. Fear is not the problem. It’s the bowing to fear, letting it control your choices, that puts holes in your boat and sinks you.

Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash
Fear keeps you from taking chances. Fear whispers in your ear, trying to discourage any boldness in your life. Fear unchecked makes you weak. It snuffs out the fire that burns inside of you — the fire of unmet potential.

“Don’t do it!” cries fear. “It’ll hurt! You’ll lose! Think of the pain!”

We’re all programmed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. But that programming is not as useful in today’s society as it was for our ancestors. Sure, fear is trying to help you, but it’s not always right. It’s good to give in to fear and run when you see a tsunami coming your way. It’s not good to give in to fear and make an excuse when presented with a unique opportunity.

To meet that special someone and tell them how you feel . . .

To stand on that podium and face that audience . . .

To start that promising venture that others say will fail . . .

To take that idea and make it into an innovative product . . .

Fear wants to keep you safe and secure, but success is beyond what’s safe, beyond your comfort zone. Fear makes you less than you can be, but only if you let it. Otherwise, fear is merely another emotion in your human tapestry — one that you can use to your advantage if you learn to conquer it.

“The fears we don’t face become our limits.” ~Robin Sharma
Declaw fear by taking control, by facing it, because only by acknowledging your fear and facing it head on can you put it behind you. Otherwise, for each time you let that fear stop you, that fear will grow taller and taller until it becomes a wall.

Bottom line: it’s how you handle fear that matters. It’s how you handle difficulty and risk. It’s how you handle failure. It’s not what happens that counts. It all comes down to what you do about it.

So be deliberate in your dealings with fear. Recognize it when you hear its whisper in your ear, its prickle down your spine, its echo in your thoughts.

Overcome it.

#3 — Stop Being Cynical
“Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” George S. Patton Jr.
One of the most common places I see this is with regards to money. All the time I hear people call the rich “crooks” or “corrupt” which, though some certainly are, is not true. It stems from bitterness, perhaps the false belief that one cannot be wealthy also — a sort of negative, fixed mindset that, in its negativity, breeds a cynical outlook on life.

Photo by Emil Kip on Unsplash
Cynicism is a twisted sort of defense mechanism that never fails to find fertile ground. I catch those thoughts so often: to look at some misfortune or at someone else’s success and hear that little voice start to bicker in the back of my mind.

“Oh, that person’s got connections, that’s why he made it.”

“They’re all a bunch of criminals.”

Or the all-time favorite:

“This is stupid!”

Cynicism is defined as an “inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest” or “an inclination to question whether something will happen or whether it is worthwhile.”

In short, cynicism is pessimism, doubt, distrust, disbelief, skepticism and outright negativity all rolled into one. Imagine pouring that into your subconscious mind day after day. Image what damage that sort of mindset would do. It will destroy all the good things you start. It’ll sure as hell make sure you don’t give your full measure.

Cynicism, deep down, breeds on fear. It thrives in bitterness and takes root in the wounds that haven’t healed. It’s a way of defending yourself from past hurts, a sort of armor, but in the end it becomes a prison.

“Cynicism is ultimately fear. Cynicism makes contact with your skin and a thick black carapace begins to grow — like insect armor. This armor will protect your heart from disappointment — but it leaves you almost unable to walk. You cannot dance in this armor. Cynicism keeps you pinned to the spot, in the same posture, forever.” ~Caitlin Moran
Do you want to be in the same place forever? Do you want to have the same mind, the same thoughts, the same habits, the same results as you’ve always had? Of course not.

Here’s the cure: optimism. To put it a less platitudinous way, adopting an outlook that does not discount things, that does not automatically assume the worst, that is positive, enabling, energizing: to believe things are worth doing, that life is worth living, and that you are worth all the effort it takes to make your dreams come true.

That you are worthy.

Cynics make fun of that very concept, and as for why, I’ll leave it to George Edgar Vincent to explain:

“The cynic makes fun of all earnestness; he makes fun of everything and everyone who feels that something can be done. . . . But in his heart of hearts he knows that he is a defeated man and that his cynicism is merely an expression of the fact that he has lost courage and is beaten.”
Cynicism is the attitudinal expression of defeat. Are you defeated? No. You have a fighting chance. You can still win. So be brave. Being a cynic is easy. It’s being an optimist that takes bravery.

And it is the brave who become winners.

Be Vigilant
“My teacher Jim Rohn taught me a simple principle: every day, stand guard at the door of your mind, and you alone decide what thoughts and beliefs you let into your life. For they will shape whether you feel rich or poor, cursed or blessed.” ~Tony Robbins

via Want To Avoid Mediocrity? Stop Doing These 3 Things

Jay’s Quick Poetry-The Sharp And Grand Rock


Short story that inspired me to write a Quick Poem below

Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls — family, health, friends, integrity — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginnings of balance in your life.

The Sharp And Grand Rock

A Poem by Jay Parkhe

Whose rock is that? I think I know.
Its owner is quite angry though.
He was cross like a dark potato.
I watch him pace. I cry A’llo.

He gives his rock a shake,
And screams you’ve made a bad mistake.
The only other sound’s the break,
Of distant glasses and bars awake.

The Rock is sharp, Grand and deep,
But he has promises to keep,
Tormented with nightbirds he never sleeps.
Revenge is a promise a man must keep.

He rises from his flat bed,
With thoughts of violence in his head,
A flash of rage and he sees red.
Without a men-O-pause you turned and fled.

With thanks to the poet, Robert Frost, for the underlying structure

Random Phrases of the day and how days pan out.


  1. You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover
    Meaning: Don’t judge someone or something only by the outward appearance. They can be fooling. How long we allow ourselves to be fooled is up to us REALLY  
  2. A Fool and His Money are Soon Parted
    Meaning: 
    It’s easy for a fool to lose his/her money. Hmmm…
  3. Mountain Out of a Molehill
    Meaning: One who escalates small things and turns them into big problems. Quite true. We meet complaining, whining people who avoid ownership, responsibility taking and attribute failures others rather than owning up mistakes. 
  4. Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed
    Meaning: Someone who isn’t witty or sharp, but rather, they are ignorant, unintelligent, or senseless. Some people are so phony intellectuals who parrotise, write dictated mails by others, and when confronted just run away.

I was very proud of my nickname throughout my life – What’s in a Name?


I was very proud of

my nickname

throughout my life,

but today-

I couldn’t be any different

to what my nickname was.

She told me she won’t use

my nickname again

It so happened,

I said Let me help you with

your baggage and bagasse’

and let’s throw this

into the Sky

with all our might.

But he was too short

to see over the fence.

A song such as this

could make or ruin

a person’s day

if one lets it get to us.

She did her best to help him.

and checked to make sure

that I was still alive and

The mysterious diary

recorded the voice.

but today-

I couldn’t be any different

to what my nickname was.

When I was little

I had a car door slammed shut

on my hand.

I still remember it

quite vividly.

but today-

I couldn’t be any different

to what my nickname was.

The shooter said goodbye to his love.

My Nick Name – WAS – JAYA 🙂

AND Now I know what’s in a Name anyway?

 

 

Mean machine or Meaning making Machine – who am I ?


Dealing with perceptions

in my mind’s eyes

hoping against hope

my presuppositions

my cognitive bias

my hyper criticism brutally

and honestly delivered

Reacted fiercely

Mean machine or Meaning making Machine – who am I ?

Interpreted differently

Forgetting all the time

There could be another way

May be it means something else

Meanings, judgements passed

Mean machine or Meaning making Machine – who am I ?

Forgetting our Being Human!

The tendencies to err

To become ruthless

Behave unnaturally with vengeance

Mean machine or Meaning making Machine – who am I ?

In the meaningless repetitive

Arguments to prove us Right

Leaving sanity, wisdom

Ignoring subtle visible facts

Getting self centred

Mean machine or Meaning making Machine – who am I ?

To prove I’m always right

No remorse, no feelings and

Emotions towards others

No empathy no sympathy

Mean machine or Meaning making Machine – who am I ?

Being mean before we know it

Mean machines we become

And wonder

Mean machine or

Meaning making Machine –

who am I ?

Is that me?

Who have I become

A Moron, a sadist

A masochist

Or just Mean machine or Meaning making Machine – who am I ?

(Writing poetry after many years! It needs a deep provocation, a shining up a mentors huge stick! And it just flowed)

Difficult Lessons: How to Learn What You Need to and Move On


Excellent article I found. Sharing. 
Difficult Lessons: How to Learn What You Need to and Move On

By Fiona Robyn



“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” ~Pema ChodronRumi says, “Until you’ve found pain, you won’t reach the cure.”


I’ve been self-employed for many years now. This is no accident. I’ve always liked to do things my own way. I like to arrange my diary in exactly the way I want to, and make my own mind up about how I do things. I like to work without having to justify anything to a manager.


I’m not always comfortable in working relationships where the other person is “higher up” than me—when they’re in authority. You could say that I’m a teensy bit of a control-freak.


I used to work for a big corporation, and my relationships with my managers weren’t always easy. I was very critical of the way they did things, and if they criticized me I sometimes got very defensive. I learned a great deal from a couple of good managers, but I also spent a lot of time resenting being “told what to do.”


Recently, I decided to embark upon training to become a Buddhist minister. This involves having a “supervisor” who is responsible for my spiritual training, and who will ultimately be responsible for deciding whether or not I “make the grade” and ordain.


Last month, my supervisor asked me a question in an email and I felt immediately attacked and defensive. I felt annoyed. I complained to my friend. I sent her a long and rambling reply, outlining all the reasons why she shouldn’t be asking the question. We exchanged a few emails, and the situation got more and more confused.


I thought I’d managed to avoid conflict with people senior to me when I became self-employed. I didn’t have a manager anymore, so what was the problem?


The problem is that, as Pema Chodron says, nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.


This difficult situation arose with my supervisor because I had avoided dealing with my control issues by becoming self-employed. It was only a matter of time before these issues might have appeared in a different place in my life—with a colleague, perhaps, or in a disguised form in a relationship with a friend.


After trying to sort things out by email, eventually my supervisor phoned me and we had a conversation about what had happened. I was still feeling very defensive, and quite angry. We spoke for a while. She was patient and encouraged me to be open.


Eventually, I admitted that I sometimes found it difficult to be in relationships with people who hold authority over me. This was a turning point. Once this was “out in the open,” it was more possible to look objectively at what had happened between us.


By the end of the phone call I felt a huge sense of relief. I had challenged my supervisor, and she had survived. She could see my point of view, and I could see her point of view. She did have a good point with her question!


I haven’t suddenly become the ideal employee, but I do feel that I’ve begun to make progress in how I deal with authority. I can now feel grateful for this incident, however uncomfortable it was at the time.


If you feel trapped by a difficult situation that keeps re-appearing, no matter what you do, the following suggestions might help:


Be kind to yourself.

We can often end up in similar situations with different people, after promising ourselves that we won’t. This is because we are human! It can be easy to beat ourselves up, but it isn’t helpful, and it only adds misery to an already-miserable situation.


Be honest.

Once you’ve been kind to yourself, it’s helpful to be as honest with yourself as you can. It’s natural to want to blame the other person when we’re in conflict. Begin to take some responsibility for your part in what has happened. If you can do this, then change is possible.


Be curious.

Do you recognize this pattern from your history? From elsewhere in your life? What happens? How does it start? What hooks you in? It might help to discuss this with a good friend, or to write some notes.


Be aware.

Try and catch yourself when you find yourself in a similar situation. When something starts hooking you in, notice, “Ah, here I am again!”


Be experimental.

This is where you can try behaving differently from the way you usually behave.


This might be holding your tongue, or it might be being more honest with the person you’re speaking with. It might be feeling things you’ve been avoiding, like sadness or anger. It might be taking some time away from the situation to consider what you’d like to do, rather than diving in feet first. Keep being curious, keep talking to your friends, and keep experimenting.


Be grateful.

If you can find a way to learn something from what is happening, then you will change for the better. You are also likely to feel the same relief I did when I “came clean” with my supervisor. Pause and feel grateful for what happened, and for the lesson you learned.


None of us like learning lessons about ourselves. None of us like to be wrong, or to acknowledge a part of ourselves that is flawed or frightened. This is why our lessons have to keep coming back over and over again.


Rumi says, “Until you’ve found pain, you won’t reach the cure.” When I look back over my life, I realize the most important lessons I’ve learned have often been a result of some kind of pain—whether the pain manifested as disappointment, or anger, or fear. I would never think so at the time, but I can feel grateful for that pain now.


Without this pain, I wouldn’t be the person I am now—a teensy bit less of a control freak! More humble. Hopefully, more loving. And definitely more grateful for life and all that it gives me.


Photo by zappowbang

It’s not brain surgery, It’s not Rocket Science, It’s not… It’s not…


Some Random phrases to provoke thought this morning. 🙂

It’s Not Brain Surgery

Meaning: 

A task that’s easy to accomplish, a thing lacking complexity.

it’s not rocket science
If something is not rocket science,

it is not difficult to understand.

It’s your funeral
The phrase It’s your funeral!

is used to mean that if someone has to face the consequences of his or her actions.

Diamond is merely a Lump …


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure.”

— Author Unknown

I was reading an article

From Ashes To Ashes To Diamonds: A Way To Treasure The Dead . It is very interesting ! It talks about “From Ashes To Ashes To Diamonds: A Way To Treasure The Dead””

Most of the diamonds synthesized from cremated remains come out blue, due to trace amounts of boron in the body. These diamonds, made from the ashes of animals, were created through the same process used to make diamonds from human remains.

I once said to a mentee that you are a Raw Diamond and a good mentor can turn you into a Masterpiece.  I mentioned 3 different cuts Indian Cut vs Belgium Cut vs Russian Cut which is given to the Raw Diamond. 
  1. Where a stone is cut has no more relation to the quality of the cut. At least not in what is observable in the finished product. There definitely still is a difference in yield, but that is only of concern for the manufacturer.
  2. The difference in cut-quality depends upon the goals and the organisation of the manufacturer. The cutting might be anywhere in the world for that matter. Therefore, you can still find very nicely cut Russian-cuts, a growing percentage of high quality Indian-cuts and in bigger stones, still more than Gary thinks, mostly Belgian-cut stones.
  • Pre Glasnost Russians cut by the text book with little regard for yield. Russian was the best cut.
  • Belgium has very little cutting today – some is very good – most is pre prepared and sent to Asia for finishing.
  • A few years back all Indian and most Israel diamonds were sold thru Belgium as Belgian Cut – or the better cut stones as Russian Cut.
  • Today it does not matter much as there are terrible and beautiful diamonds cut everywhere. Buy the diamond and not the location – that is the best advice.

Same things almost apply to the Mentor who becomes the Sculptor for the Masterpiece or the Diamond cutter improving the 4C Qualities of the Diamonds and bringing out their inner FIRE and increasing the yield by cuts so that the Weight gives the desired price to the seller.

Sometimes, though it gives me the feeling that the Mentees are not finally CARBON so essential for making of a Diamond but are made of a brittle, fragile sandstone which can only be crushed to make sand and used in the plinth of a building and NOT Diamond. The death wish of the mentee, in such cases to be a masterpiece can only be fulfilled if the building architect designs and makes it the world’s best – otherwise it remains another mundane structure.

To me personally, Mentoring is both art and science.  There are thousands of approaches and there would be million mentors in the world each monopolising their own tricks of the trade and techniques and approaches.  I just focused on 11 of them and practiced them for 20 years.  It does not make me a diamond ! or even diamond material ready for the cuts.  The mentor leaves behind the legacy of mentees who when they do well – the mentor becomes PUREST FORM OF CARBON and may not require any polish – just the basic things they do to be the Blue Diamond preserved by some as their Dead.  That would be my last wish! 

Interesting Quote, Pseudo-variants and Provoking Phrases of the day


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Be who you are and say what you feel,

because those who mind don’t matter,

and those who matter don’t mind.”

— Bernard M. Baruch

Recently I read a variant / pseudo version of the above phrase and I was thinking – LOL ! 🙂

  • Poke Fun At
    Meaning: 
    Making fun of something or someone; ridicule.

    When you lose your originality, you search the web.  When your borrowed phrases exhaust and your plagiarism is exposed, one chooses to get back at people by twisting, twirling, modifying, stretching, shortening Quotes to misuse, abuse and put to disuse in order to Poke Fun At people who reveal your Truth but hold back due to professional secrecy. 

  • Elephant in the Room
    Meaning: 
    Ignoring a large, obvious problem or failing to address an issue that stands out in a major way.

    People who skirt, deflect and avoid issues while taking stances which are aggressive, abrasive and false pretenses but when they are exposed, their falsehood is open they still do not have the courage to see the Elephant in the room and behave like blind, deaf, mute people showing off their ‘Handicap'(as in Golf) to save the Facepalm moments. 

  • Beating Around the Bush
  • Meaning: 
  • Someone who is beating around the bush is someone who avoids the main point.
  • This is Self-Explnatory.

The people I am talking about have three distinct qualities.

First, they are willing to disagree ferociously, but talk civilly, (writing blasphemously with full blown profanity when challenged) about nearly every meaningful subject: religion, abortion, immigration, the nature of consciousness.

Second, in an age in which popular feelings about the way things ought to be often override facts about the way things actually are, each is determined to resist parroting what’s politically convenient using memory of convenience, logic of convenience and in the end wanting to make you see their TRUTH as your truth. Some of them are Pseudo-intellectuals and at last count someone said there are 150 of them in Delhi alone who are peddling some media house plan asking for Rs.5 Crores and finally willing to settle for as little as Rs. 5000 !

And third, some have paid for this commitment by being purged from institutions that have become increasingly hostile to unorthodox thought — and have found receptive audiences elsewhere – which includes Commies, pseudo-Marxists, pseudo Nihilists, Maoists and Wayfarers who wish to overthrow the government by hook or crook – they are seditionists who indoctrinate people into being brainwashed under the influence of Drugs and fake Love.

Inappropriate, Fell short. Random input phrases to Provoke Thoughts


  1. Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees
    Meaning: 
    Suggests that money is a resource that must be earned and is not one that’s easily acquired.

    Expecting Acts of Kindness? Expecting delivery on a platter without doing any Efforts?  Well. Learn to create many many sources of generating passive income. Some may actually work and then the saying can come true. 

  2. Hit Below The Belt
    Meaning: 
    A boxing term. Also often used to refer to inappropriate words, or comments that are too personal.

    Risk and Crisis Management.

  3. Close But No Cigar
    Meaning: 
    Coming close to a successful outcome only to fall short at the end.

    It is OK. It is still a development gap. We lack FINISHIATIVE in the Race that we run and prepare to run again. Not all are able to FINISH the tasks on time all the time. So don’t get disheartened. Wake up . Prepare, Rise and begin again !

Life is a Zoo :)


“Life is a zoo in a jungle.”

via Funny Quote of the Day https://ift.tt/2rozdkz

Via BrainPickings Newsletter: Theodore Roosevelt on the Cowardice of Cynicism and the Courage to Create Rather Than Criticize


I like this newsletter.  How many of us have met people who take refuge, subterfuge (deceit) of projecting they know everything as Omniscients and Demi-Gods! And their masks of Omnipotence wear out thin as the exposure hurts like Exfoliation of the soft skin exposed to the Tropical Sun. It burns like hell.

“There is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic,” Maya Angelou wrote in contemplating courage in the face of evil, “because it means the person has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.”

How to prevent that cultural tragedy, which poisons the heart of a just and democratic society, is what Theodore Roosevelt (October 27, 1858–January 6, 1919) examined when he took the podium at the Sorbonne in Paris on April 23 of 1910 to deliver one of the most powerful, rousing, and timelessly insightful speeches ever given, originally titled “Citizenship in a Republic” and later included under the title “Duties of the Citizen” in the 1920 volume Roosevelt’s Writings (public library).

Theodore Roosevelt

A century before Caitlin Moran cautioned that “cynicism scours through a culture like bleach, wiping out millions of small, seedling ideas,” Roosevelt admonishes against “that queer and cheap temptation” to be cynical, and writes:

The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twister pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement. A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticise work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life’s realities — all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affection of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from themselves in their own weakness. The rôle is easy; there is none easier, save only the rôle of the man who sneers alike at both criticism and performance.

One of the tendencies I find most troubling in contemporary culture is that of mistaking cynicism for critical thinking. This confusion seeds a pernicious strain of unconstructive and lazily destructive opprobrium. Amid this epidemic of self-appointed critics, it becomes harder and harder to remember just how right Bertrand Russell was when he asserted nearly a century ago that “construction and destruction alike satisfy the will to power, but construction is more difficult as a rule, and therefore gives more satisfaction to the person who can achieve it.”

With an eye to those lazy critics — the dead weight of society — Roosevelt offers:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat… The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be a cynic, or fop, or voluptuary. There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder.

The entire twenty-seven-page speech, found in Roosevelt’s Writings and on par with JFK’s superb speech on the artist’s role in society, is a masterpiece of thought and feeling, replete with insight into what it means to be a good citizen, a good leader, and a complete human being. Complement this particular fragment with Leonard Bernstein on the countercultural courage of resisting cynicism, Goethe on the only criticism worth voicing, and philosopher Daniel Dennett on how to criticize with kindness, then revisit Eleanor Roosevelt on how uncynical personal conviction powers social change.