“writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. we are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. it's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. you can't stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”
- anne lamott

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Blue Sweater

"I didn't know what to do. But I knew how to work. So I did."

"I was torn between the freedom to build exactly what I wanted on the one hand and the certainty of access to power and a real level of financial resources on the other... Though I had never made a decision based on income or title before, this was a new level of each. Though either choice was good, one was truer to myself. I thought of Aristotle's reminder to not confuse means with ends: If title and money could be conferred on me, they could also be taken away... Ultimately I thought of Goethe's invocation to 'make a commitment and the forces of the universe will conspire to make it happen' and chose the uncharted path."

"Just start. Don't wait for perfection. Just start and let the work teach you. No one expects you to get it right in the very beginning and you'll learn more from your mistakes than you will from your early successes anyway. So stop worrying so much and just look at your best bets and go."

"There are so many paths in a life. But the best ones are the ones where you are living the truth and searching for good and giving to others."

"I've learned that solutions to poverty must be driven by discipline, accountability, and market strength, not easy sentimentality. I've learned that many of the answers to poverty lie in the space between the market and charity and that what is needed most of all is moral leadership... I've learned that generosity is far easier than justice and that, in the highly distorted markets of the poor, it is all too easy to veer only toward the charitable, to have low--or no--expectations for low-income people. This does nothing but reaffirm prejudices on all sides."

"Empathy is only our starting point. It must be combined with focus and conviction, the toughness to know what needs to get done and the courage to follow through... We need individuals who know how to listen and who have real and tangible skills to share."

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