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All things are transient on this Earth, be it power, glory, wealth, and even entire civilizations. All we can do is to put our full love into our lives, professions, and families, making a work of art of the few precious years that are granted to us.
- Robert Muller, Most Of All, They Taught Me Happiness
...you can see that basically our lives are, to a large extent, spent in avoiding confrontation with ourselves. And then you can begin to make sense of the enormous amount of our culture's daily activities, which attempt to distract us from ourselves, from deep reflection, from deep thinking, from existential confrontation. There's a wonderful phrase by the philosopher Kierkegaard, "tranquilization by the trivial." And I think our culture has mastered this better than any culture in history, simply because we have the wealth and means to do so.
- Roy Walsh, psychiatry professor as quoted in The Search For Meaning by Phillip L. Berman
. . . . . . .
Einstein said there are only two ways to live your live your life
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
I get into trouble in my life
When I fail to treat my time as precious.
When I succumb to tasks, crisis, disputes, social obligations
Doing things not unique, not interesting, not the product of thought.
Reacting to the ups and downs, tossed to and fro
By this and that, very little of which is significant.
Trying to get lots done
Rather than unique work of quality and beauty
Which takes focus. And re-work.
My life has a flow, my work power
When I create my life, rather than react to it
Live my own rhythm.
Work to manifest my beauty
Which starts with downtime,
Starts with building inner momentum, inner power.
Beware, I say, of
Tranquilization by the long term insignificant
By the trivial.
- Roderick MacIver