Notes & Quotes
“The direction of history is no longer determined by the individual but by the masses. We are shoved, rushed, swept away. We are the victims of history.”
— Franza Kafka
“For the secret of man’s being is not only to live, but to have something to live for. Without a stable conception of the object of life, man would not consent to go on living, and would rather destroy himself than remain on earth, though he had bread in abundance.”
— Ivan, in The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky
“Life has no meaning except in terms of responsibility.”
— Reinhold Niebuhr
“Men who have thus lost themselves become ideal candidates for manipulation by others.” — George Roche
“The great drive in life is not pleasure, but meaning.” — Victor Frankl
“Above all, it’s the acceleration of change, itself, which marks our moment in history.” — Alvin Toffler
This 1975 Harper’s mag, found in my garage, caught my eye. You’ll notice the feature asking if college is worth the price tag. They’d be shocked at what an education costs today, I’m sure. It shows that some stories never go out of style.
Likewise the word Narcissism leaps from the page. Narcissist became a popular insult in recent years again to make sure people with confidence don’t swagger too much.The word, or idea it conveys, brings to mind an Oscar Wilde fairy tale called The Disciple which I shared here at one time.
Varieties of thumb drives, Post It notes, my grandfathers government-issued, embossed-copper Social Security “card,” four Polaroid photos with the words, “This is where I live” scrawled on one (but who they’re from I can’t recall), back up drives, numerous pads of paper, old magazines from the 70s — The Atlantic, Harper’s National Review — greetings cards, birthday cards and thank you notes from friends and loved ones, a few fingernail clippings, a golf tee, more Post It notes, containers with junk and knick knacks from the last time I cleaned extensively.
Got sidetracked. Found myself reading a few stories on Medium. Here is a sentence by Harris Sockel that caught my eye, and someone else’s as well because they highlighted it:
A friend told me a story recently — nothing horrible, just the kind of minor tragedy that doesn’t qualify as a tragedy and probably never should.
It was found in the middle of a three minute read titled “How To Make Potatoes When The Universe Is Out Of Your Control.” Nice title.
And finally, another quote from Swiss psychologist and author Paul Tournier’s The Spirit of Adventure:
“The timidest pen-pushing clerk will disclose under psychoanalysis … a secret nostalgia for the adventure which he has sacrificed to security.”
Meantime, life goes on. May your adventures be many and your memories fond.