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

24 July 2005

"Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip."
Will Rogers

Eschew secrecy.  That in ourselves which we are uncomfortable sharing with others is often a locus of shame or internal conflict as well.  A commitment to renounce secrecy compels us to be honest with ourselves, and spurs our integration and growth.

Eschew privacy.  Norms of courtesy and decorum protect us, so that our private behaviors and actions are unlikely to be challenged, even by close friends.  When we voluntarily relinquish this shield, we become vulnerable on a yet deeper level. We are on a path toward radical self-acceptance which is the foundation of inner peace.

Ask of each private action, of each thought or idea that arises in our minds, 'Is there anyone to whom I would be ashamed to divulge this part of me?'  Learn what you can from your response.

(Two caveats:

  • We need not burden others with our shame or embarrassment, or make others feel uncomfortable by speaking of topics that they wish to avoid, for whatever reason.

  • Our friends, even our loved ones must decide for themselves what they are ready to examine and what they are willing to share with us. Being honest in ourselves may inspire others to more honesty, but it does not confer upon us any right to challenge the privacy of others, or to goad them into divulging parts of themselves which they may not be ready to reveal.) 

-Josh Mitteldorf


23 July 2005

My hopes for the next generation are as follows:

  • Never allow yourselves to be drawn into the hostility or hatred toward others, toward Russians or Americans, between progressives and conservatives, between the whites and the blacks.
  • Learn to live with and not against others.
  • Honor freedom.
  • Work for peace.
  • Respect the laws and listen always to your inner sense of justice.

Dietrich Bonnhofer, letter from a Nazi prison, 1945

22 July 2005

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike."

-John Muir

21 July 2005

Ghandi touched the conscience of the British occupiers of India, and peacefully secured the liberation of his adopted homeland from colonial occupation. It was a source of profound personal grief for him that no sooner had the British left than the subcontinent found itself embroiled in a civil war between Muslims and Hindus.

When Hindu followers asked him what could they do within the scope of their personal lives to promote peace, Ghandi replied: Adopt a Muslim child, and raise him according to his native faith.

A generation ago, Russia and China were the great enemies of the United States, against which the US government spewed rhetoric of fear, while it amassed a gargantuan aresenal of targeted weapons of mass destruction. Now, Russia and China are friends and allies of the US.

How was this transformation accomplished? One element has to be the steady stream of adopted children from Russia and China that have been embraced by tens of thousands of American families.

20 July 2005

"To achieve great things we must live as though we were never going to die."

- Marquis de Vauvenargues (1715-47), French moralist.

19 July 2005

"All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you."

Rainer Maria Rilke

18 July 2005

Three of the most devastating diseases of the developing world could soon be eradicated after a breakthrough in understanding how they are programmed to be human parasites.

Scientists have decoded the genetic blueprints of the parasitic microbes responsible for African sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and Leishmaniasis, which collectively affect up to 30 million people and endanger the lives of a further 500 million.

from an article in The Independent