An uplifting news item, poem, thought or quotation each day.
Archive of past entries

7 November 2004

Action trumps depression.

Confronted with a situation in which our feelings of powerlessness are more than just feelings, we choose to fight the odds, as an existential statement. We bellow our savage war cry in the face of the Roman Legions. We swim against the tidal wave. We attack Goliath with a slingshot, and throw stones at a Sherman tank, and ravage ICBMs with our ball peen hammer. We actively reject the reality of our helplessness; and as we assert defiance, we fan the embers of humanity wherever they live within ourselves and our brothers and sisters.

-Josh Mitteldorf

6 November 2004

"A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt......If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."

 -Thomas Jefferson
From a letter to John Taylor, 1798.  Jefferson had lost the presidential election of 1796 to John Adams, and the young nation, nearly bankrupted by the Revolution, was engaged in a new and undeclared Quasi-war with France over piracy in the Caribbean.

5 November 2004

"When a breakdown occurs, new breakthroughs appear. That is what is happening in our nation and throughout the world right now. Viewed in this way, our broken political systems are a symptom of progress. Far from being defeated, we are drawing closer than ever to our primary aim of true democratic government."

Donna Zajonc

4 November 2004

This is the year that squatters evict landlords,
...that shawled refugees deport judges
...that those who swim the borderís undertow
and shiver in boxcars
are greeted with trumpets and drums
at the first railroad crossing
on the other side...
If the abolition of slave-manacles
began as a vision of hands without manacles,
then this is the year.

 -Martin Estrada
"Imagine the Angels of Bread"

3 November 2004

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."

Charlotte Bronte


2 November 2004

"Do you think you can clear your mind by sitting constantly in silent meditation? This makes your mind narrow, not clear. Integral awareness is fluid and adaptable, present in all places and at all times. That is true meditation. Who can attain clarity and simplicity by avoiding the world? The Tao is clear and simple, and it doesn't avoid the world. Why not simply honor your parents, love your children, help your brothers and sisters, be faithful to your friends, care for your mate with devotion, complete your work cooperatively and joyfully, assume responsibility for problems, practice virtue without first demanding it of others, understand the highest truths yet retain an ordinary manner? That would be true clarity, true simplicity, true mastery."

Lao Tse
Hua Hu Jing tr Brian Walker

1 November 2004

You need not do anything. Remain sitting at your table and listen, and you need not even listen, just wait, and you need not even wait, just become quiet, still and solitary, and the world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
-Franz Kafka