Tuesday’s Quotes – September 18, 2018 – Wise words

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
— Albert Einstein

A timely reminder with the International Day of Peace only a few days away.

 

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Words to live by

In the run-up to the International Day of Peace next week (September 21) & this month’s #1000Speak post, I’m trying to keep my head in a more compassionate place. In that spirit, I’m re-sharing the below quote from Marcus Aurelius:

“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?”

Imagine how much more peace we would have if everyone took this advice to heart.

In honor of the anniversary of the Cassini spacecraft’s final dive into Saturn’s atmosphere, here is the final image it sent. Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute. Image found on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory website >>> https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/resources/7792/?category=images

 

Weekend Contemplation

Hurricanes, gas leaks, solar storms, politics, life. The world keeps on turning & the news, from all over the world, keeps coming at speeds too quick to properly take in. I came across this quote from Heidegger recently, one which I’ve used previously, and it struck me that we’ve pretty much reached that point, and we’ve not adequately answered, or prepared ourselves to answer, his ultimate question – “what then?”.

“When the farthest corner of the globe has been conquered technologically and can be exploited economically; when any incident you like, in any place you like, at any time you like, becomes accessible as fast as you like; when you can simultaneously “experience” an assassination attempt against a king in France and a symphony concert in Tokyo; when time is nothing but speed, instantaneity, and simultaneity, and time as history has vanished from all Being of all peoples; when a boxer counts as the great man of a people; when the tallies of millions at mass meetings are a triumph; then, yes then, there still looms like a specter over all this uproar the
question: what for? — where to? — and what then?”  — Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics

A look at an aurora from the space station – photo courtesy of nasa.gov

 

Tuesday’s Quotes -September 11, 2018 – Resilience

“We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.”  — Isabel Allende

I’d initially used this quote with my September 11, 2015 post. I’m repeating it again for this year’s anniversary.

We need a great deal of that inner strength to cope with life – between wars, natural disasters, and other man-made tragedies, it can seem overwhelming. It’s out of fashion now, & the notion is sometimes treated with derision,  but we are the “thousand points of light” that former President George H.W. Bush spoke of. We, as a nation, as local communities, as individuals, have proven – on 9/11 and on many other occasions – that  we are capable of coming together and doing awesome things. And we should nurture that capacity in ourselves.

Pax.

 

Photo courtesy of nasa.gov

Tolstoy’s Birthday

In honor of the anniversary of Leo Tolstoy’s birth in 1828, I leave you with this thought of his from his 1895 work, Christianity and Patriotism:

“The government assures the people that they are in danger from the invasion of another nation, or from foes in their midst, and that the only way to escape this danger is by the slavish obedience of the people to their government. This fact is seen most prominently during revolutions and dictatorships, but it exists always and everywhere that the power of the government exists. Every government explains its existence, and justifies its deeds of violence, by the argument that if it did not exist the condition of things would be very much worse. After assuring the people of its danger the government subordinates it to control, and when in this condition compels it to attack some other nation. And thus the assurance of the government is corroborated in the eyes of the people, as to the danger of attack from other nations.”

Pax.

The Hudson River, looking north from the Walkway Over the Hudson, circa autumn 2014.

A belated blog-iversary

 

“I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading: It vexes me to choose another guide.”  — Emily Brontë

I briefly mentioned last week that September 1st marked the anniversary of this blog, and I figured I may as well do my annual bit of soul-searching.  It’s very hard for me to believe that Time for my thoughts has passed its 4th birthday. It was September 1, 2014 when I published my first post. It wasn’t particularly interesting or profound, but there it was – written & sent out into the ether for someone to see. Of course, the initial someone was my elder daughter, who said she could hear my voice in her head while she was reading and found it disconcerting. For my part – that was great news. I’d quite literally found my voice! Which is good – it’s much easier for me to write that way. She says she still can, and it still is disconcerting, so if nothing else, I’ve managed to stay true to myself & made the blog’s chosen name more meaningful. Even if I’m keeping my voice in my daughter’s head from halfway around the globe. But really, isn’t that every mothers dream?

Although I’ve often been time-crunched over the past year, and have slacked off quite a bit, I’m continuing to learn. As usual, some things I’ve chosen to disregard, some I’ve incorporated. I’ve gained a number of new followers, and I’ve lost a few, too, but it would be strange if I didn’t. Some of the bloggers that I had been interacting with are no longer blogging, which is unfortunate, but I’ve found that it happens every year.  Although some have stopped for reasons outside their control, others are simply going where their own paths take them. I’d never sought, or expected, a huge following, my current number of followers is huge considering the fact that my blog is really all about me – Time for my thoughts pretty much spells it out – and I’m not a high-volume blogger (still too many competing priorities). I, admittedly, like to see the numbers rise, and am a bit disappointed on a day that has no views, although most days do manage to have one or two. I don’t publish every day simply because I don’t want to make the time – I have other projects, other commitments, and a need to make sure that whatever I’m writing is accurate (poorly proofread, perhaps, but accurate), and now we’ve begun getting the house ready to be sold (on hiatus due to my spouse’s broken leg), and have begun actively looking to see where we end up next. My family copes well with my assorted writing endeavors and volunteer work, but it’s nice to have some family time sometimes, too. And some downtime for me occasionally is also nice.

My current posting schedule still works for me most weeks, so I’ll stick with it for now. I’d though that I might get to 4 posts per week sometime in 2018, but it now seems unlikely. Perhaps before the 5th anniversary… Sometimes it isn’t easy to stick to a schedule  at all (and on days like this my posts are written quite late in the day), but out of all that I learned in Blogging U that first year, I think that sticking to a schedule may be the most important. Nonfiction still works best for me in a blog, so I’ll continue to trudge down that path – although reality often seems stranger than fiction. I’m a poor planner, and am not likely to change, so most things that I write will continue to be written on the fly. I do plan to continue with the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion posts each month most months – even though it has largely lost momentum. I still think it’s a wonderful idea, and pushing myself to focus on compassion once a month helps me stay balanced during the rest of the month. I’ll continue to keep those posts close to the 20th just to make sure that I really get them written (deadlines: sometimes I really need them).

I’m still wary of social networking, but less so than in the past. I’ve recently set up a separate Facebook page for this blog and other miscellany, and bravely added a link to the sidebar. One of the reasons I started the blog was to be able to expand on my views somewhere not in Facebook, but some recent changes in Facebook’s interface with 3rd party apps led me to make the jump. I’ve recently become a bit more active on Twitter – but 280 characters are hard to work with, and most of my twitter activity is retweets. I still have no clue what Google+ is for, so I use it exclusively for Time for my thoughts. I am still thinking about grabbing the timeformythoughts URL since it’s still available and I’m still blogging, but the idea of paying to blog, and of losing the WordPress Reader (where most of my new followers have come from), seems like it would not be beneficial. If anyone has any suggestions/comments/experiences to share about that, they would be much appreciated.

Thank you for reading and, especially, for  continuing to share your thoughts with me, as I continue on my journey, and I hope to never forget this wise advice from Albert Einstein:

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Photo taken August 28, 2018 – the moon was just so photogenic this month!