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

20 February 2005

The phrase "think globally, act locally", sometimes attributed to Paul McCartney, has become part of the progressive parlance.  To this I would add, 

Individual thought, concerted action.

Maintain independence of judgment.  Trust your own thinking.  But it is not necessary to agree with all the precepts of a group before you join with them to make a collective statement based on those parts of your beliefs that are held in common.

-Josh Mitteldorf

19 February 2005

Creation is too grand, complex, and mysterious to be captured in a narrow creed. That is why we cherish individual freedom of belief. At the same time our convictions lead us to other affirmations . . .

  • That the blessings of life are available to everyone, not just the Chosen or the Saved;
  • That Creation itself is Holy -- the earth and all its creatures, the stars in all their glory;
  • That the Sacred or Divine, the Precious and Profound, are made evident not in the miraculous or supernatural but in the simple and the everyday;
  • That human beings, joined in collaboration with the gifts of grace, are responsible for the planet and its future;
  • That every one of us is held in Creation's hand -- a part of the interdependent cosmic web -- and hence strangers need not be enemies;
  • That no one is saved until we All are saved, where All means the whole of Creation;
  • That the paradox of life is to love it all the more even though we ultimately lose it.

- William Schulz in Unitarian/Universalist World


18 February 2005

September 1, 1939

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

-W.H. Auden

17 February 2005

"Physicists spend a large part of their lives in a state of confusion. Itís an occupational hazard. To excel in physics is to embrace doubt while walking the winding road to clarity. The tantalizing discomfort of perplexity is what inspires otherwise ordinary men and women to extraordinary feats of ingenuity and creativity; nothing quite focuses the mind like dissonant details awaiting harmonious resolution."

- Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos p470

16 February 2005

When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake of his home, and went into the mountains. There he enjoyed his spirit and his solitude, and for ten years did not weary of it. But at last his heart changed,- and rising one morning with the rosy dawn, he went before the sun, and spake thus unto it:
Thou great star! What would be thy happiness if thou hadst not those for whom thou shinest!
For ten years hast thou climbed hither unto my cave: thou wouldst have wearied of thy light and of the journey, had it not been for me, mine eagle, and my serpent.
But we awaited thee every morning, took from thee thine overflow, and blessed thee for it.
Lo! I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that hath gathered too much honey; I need hands outstretched to take it.
I would fain bestow and distribute, until the wise have once more become joyous in their folly, and the poor happy in their riches.
Therefore must I descend into the deep: as thou doest in the evening, when thou goest behind the sea, and givest light also to the nether-world, thou exuberant star!

-Zarathustraís Prologue, by F. Nietzsche (1844-1900)

15 February 2005

"The longer I worked the more certain I felt that as improbable as it might seem, there were moments when an individual conscience was all that could keep a world from falling."

- Arthur Miller created The Crucible as an act of courage and defiance during the McCarthy era.  It was a time when prominent men of conscience had their careers taken from them.  Some lost more than their careers.  Miller was a young playwright, glowing in the light of success after Death of a Salesman, and he risked it all to publicly speak his conscience.

"The closer a man approaches tragedy the more intense is his concentration of emotion upon the fixed point of his commitment, which is to say the closer he approaches what in life we call fanaticism." 

14 February 2005

Dear love, for nothing less than thee
Would I have broke this happy dream;
    It was a theme
For reason, much too strong for phantasy:
Therefore thou waked'st me wisely; yet
My dream thou brok'st not, but continued'st it.
Thou art so truth that thoughts of thee suffice
To make dreams truths, and fables histories.
Enter these arms, for since thou thought'st it best
Not to dream all my dream, let's act the rest.

-John Donne (1572-1631)