Surround Yourself With Good People
There are some weeks where I say–for a million and seven both good and tiring reasons–Thank God It’s Friday. To celebrate, every week I save up a few thought provoking stories to share with you on this occasion. Wishing you all a restful weekend.
Build trust. Take the time to get to know people before you spill your guts.
While its true that vulnerability early on can be a good thing, it shouldn’t be forced or without respect for other people’s boundaries. Know not every person is meant to listen to and speak into your wounds. But when you do find trustworthy relationships, practice sharing things within them. I love how in Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly, her daughter describes trustworthy friends as “the friends who ask me to sit with them, even if they’ve been asked to sit at the popular kids’ table.”
An essay entitled “The American Family Is Making a Comeback” by Michael Wear.
The popular conception of the American Dream is a spouse, two and a half kids, and your own house with a car in the garage and a picket fence around the yard. When we talk about the American Dream slipping away, we tend to focus on the possessions: the house, the car, the picket fence. At a time when the income of American families is declining, this makes some sense. Materialism can be alluring, but mere consumption alone is unsatisfying: Our possessions do not make us human. The American struggle to acquire and consume more is not new. It is a more fundamental hope that is challenged today. The people that make up the American Dream—the spouse, the children, our dearest relationships—seem out of reach for millions of Americans.
Here’s a review of Overdressed by Annie Rim:
Do I really need another cause to change the way we view our purchases? As I thought about it, I decided if I’m committed to making the world a better place, I need to continue to add lifestyle changes…Overdressed was not necessarily an a-ha book, but it does reinforce what we all know on some level. Cheap clothes come at a cost. Cline not only explores factory conditions, but the environmental impact of cheap clothes and the economic impact of small designers in the United States competing with disposable clothing.
Here’s Wyatt Mason’s interview with Marilynne Robinson, a 70 year old literature professor and prolific writer. The full text, here in the New York Times, contains some great insights into her eccentric journey and some of the things she discovered about humans along the way.
“People,” Robinson said, pausing before she defined that familiar word in original terms: “Brilliant creatures, who at a very high rate, predictably, are incomprehensible to each other. If what people want is to be formally in society, to have status, to have loving relationships, houseplants that don’t die, the failure rate is phenomenal. . . . Excellent people, well-meaning people, their lives do not yield what they hoped. You know? This doesn’t diminish, at all, the fact that their dignity is intact. But their grief . . .”
“. . . is enormous,” I said.
Outside, the Iowa summer afternoon was gathering itself into a storm. Large bursts of thunder began to detonate around us.
“It is,” she said, continuing her previous thought. “ ‘O, Absalom! Absalom! My son, my son.’ The idea that there is an intrinsic worth in a human being. Abuse or neglect of a human being is not the destruction of worth but certainly the denial of it. Worth. We’re always trying to anchor meaning in experience. But without the concept of worth, there’s no concept of meaning. I cannot make a dollar worth a dollar; I have to trust that it is worth a dollar. I can’t make a human being worthy of my respect; I have to assume that he is worthy of my respect. Which I think is so much of the importance of the Genesis narrative. We are given each other in trust. I think people are much too wonderful to be alive briefly and gone. . . .
Oh and here’s one last one from Rachel Feltman just for kicks: Londoners pay for free Wi-fi with firstborn.
A good Wi-Fi network is hard to find, but six Londoners were willing to pay the ultimate price — based on the Terms and Conditions they agreed to, anyway.
In an experiment sponsored by security firm F-Secure, an open Wi-Fi network was set up in a busy public area. When people connected, they were presented with lengthy terms and conditions.
But to see just how little attention we pay when checking that agreement box, F-Secure included a “Herod clause” — one that offered up free Wi-Fi in exchange for the company’s permanent ownership of the user’s firstborn child.
Photo source: rainy day