Keep traveling

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page,” advises a notecard from Fly Paper Products. I found that notecard recently while on a trip to Maine. –Joy

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Very rigorous challenges

In 1993, President Bill Clinton talked about the challenges our country faces. We are engaged, he said, in “a new race, the race to compete in a world that is getting smaller, more diverse, but very, very rigorous in its challenges.” I found that quote in a museum in Los Alamos, New Mexico. –Joy

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Why are you unhappy?

I have a tendency to be happy and optimistic a lot of the time. My mother was usually a happy person. But, I also sometimes have a tendency to be negative and depressed. My father had a tendency to be negative and discouraged. “Unhappiness is an avocation,” says Margo Jefferson, author of Negroland: A Memoir. […]

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Take the first step

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the full staircase,” Martin Luther King Junior once said.

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What life is about

“Harmony, balance, rhythm,” said George Pocock, who designed the racing shell for the University of Washington men’s crew team’s 1936 Olympic victory. “There you have it. That’s what life is all about.” We read about Pocock in Daniel James Brown’s book The Boys in the Boat.

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Joy giving

I recently saw 73 paintings and sculptures from The Phillips Collection at the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth. Duncan Phillips collected art and opened the first museum of modern art in the United States because, he said, he was motivated by beauty. Beauty, he explained, “is joy giving and life enhancing.” –Joy

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Three bumper stickers

I recently stopped at a red light and noticed three bumper stickers on the car ahead of me. They were positioned from left to right: • A camp for kids with cancer • Laugh until life makes sense. • My other car is a broom. –Joy

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Pleasing and acceptable?

“This is what most girls are taught,” writes Roxane Gay in her book Hunger, “that we should be slender and small. We should not take up space. We should be seen and not heard, and, if we are seen, we should be pleasing to men, acceptable to society. And, most women know this, that we […]

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Broken—and strong

“I am stronger than I am broken,” writes Roxane Gay in her book Hunger.

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Use what happens

I’m doing my spring cleaning a little late, and I just found my notes from April 13, 2010, when I heard Gloria Steinem speak. “You can’t control what happens,” Steinem said. “You can use what happens.” –Joy

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