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Angie #938966 01/19/24 07:55 PM
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If you look for perfection, you will never be satisfied.

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy’s landmark novel “Anna Karenina” opens with the line, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This phrase sets the scene for the sprawling story, which navigates marriage, faith, society, and, of course, familial dynamics. Excerpted here is a quip spoken by Princess Natalya Lvov as she debates parenting styles with her husband, Prince Arseny Lvov. While her husband prefers to be dutiful and involved to a fault in raising his two sons, Natalya believes children should be left somewhat alone to become who they will be. Natalya’s insistence that the search for faultlessness is a breeding ground for discontentment is a mindset we can transfer to all aspects of life, not just child-rearing. Perfection is impossible to achieve, let alone maintain, and the sooner we acknowledge that fact, the happier we allow ourselves to be.

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Angie #938971 01/20/24 06:46 PM
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hope for the older folks:

Don’t be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible.

George Saunders

Confusion can undoubtedly be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. In fact, in his 2007 essay collection “The Braindead Megaphone,” author George Saunders frames confusion as a positive state of being, one that opens up new possibilities and opportunities. It’s a classic Saunders perspective: insightful and empathetic, thoughtful and energizing, even when it’s exacting. Being confused prompts us to question, analyze, and ultimately find or create solutions. It keeps us engaged, pushing us to be creative and think outside the box. It can also expand our capacity to navigate ambiguity and uncertainty, cultivating critical thinking skills and resilience. The reward is, if not clarity, then at least some progress in our lifelong learning journey.

Angie #938981 01/24/24 06:40 PM
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Words empowered by justice can never be silenced.

Isabel Ibañez

Isabel Ibañez is a Bolivian American author of powerful historical fantasy novels such as “What the River Knows,” “Together We Burn,” and “Woven in Moonlight,” in which this quote appears. “Woven in Moonlight,” which is largely based on the recent political climate of Bolivia, follows Ximena, named after Ibañez’s mother, as she resists the oppressive regime and fights for the right to happiness, love, and revolution. This quote embodies the spirit of the novel, reminding us that when our intentions are pure and just, they are immortal. It’s a subtle call to action for all of us, emphasizing the importance of standing up for our fellow humans so that they may do the same for us.

Angie #939003 02/01/24 10:09 PM
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The meaning of life is to find your gift. To find your gift is happiness.

Terry Pratchett

We are often told that happiness, or at least its pursuit, is the most important goal in life. But many of us struggle to figure out just how to achieve this elusive joy. In his 2010 novel “I Shall Wear Midnight,” from his 41-book “Discworld” fantasy series, author and literary icon Sir Terry Pratchett offers us a hint: If we spend life’s precious days intentionally unearthing our own greatest talents, passions, and abilities, happiness will follow where they lead.

Angie #939008 02/03/24 05:07 PM
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The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.

Edward Gibbon

The process of navigating the journeys of our lives is often symbolized by sailing on a stormy sea as the wind and the waves whip around us. Just as the wind can be either an obstacle or a support based on a sailor’s skill, so can our circumstances either hinder or help us depending on how we choose to view and respond to them. The 18th-century historian and author Edward Gibbon recounts a battle determined by wind in his astounding six-volume work, “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” During the siege of Constantinople, “a squadron [of] five stout and lofty ships” sailed by “skillful pilots … long practiced at the perils of the sea” set out to rescue the city. Heavy-laden with supplies and faced with bountiful cannons and artillery, the sailors used their deftness and resilience to turn their obstacles to their advantage, which led to their success. As Gibbon points out, sometimes our greatest strength is simply our resolve to ride through the rough waters of life and just keep sailing as best we know how.

Angie #939015 02/05/24 07:15 PM
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If one has no sense of humor, one is in trouble.

Betty White

Betty White’s memoir "If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t)" was published when the beloved late comedienne was 89 years old. White, who passed away at the end of 2021, preserved her positive and jolly attitude over the course of a more than 80-year career. To her, humor and gratitude went hand in hand: As she wrote in her memoir, “Old age isn’t for sissies … but if you are still functioning and not in pain, gratitude should be the name of the game." It’s a comment that brings to mind a favorite line of White’s alter ego, Rose Nylund, the character she played on the long-running sitcom "The Golden Girls": “My mother always used to say, ‘The older you get, the better you get, unless you're a banana.’”

Angie #939021 02/06/24 09:15 PM
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Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.

Eleanor Roosevelt

In writing her autobiography, Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to show “that one can, even without any particular gifts, overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable if one is willing to face the fact that they must be overcome.” Born into the wealthy Roosevelt and Livingston families, she married her distant cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and became the longest-serving and arguably most influential First Lady of the United States in history. Despite facing profound loss and tragedy in her life, Roosevelt continued to confront heartache and adversity with unwavering determination. She utilized her influential platform to champion various humanitarian causes throughout her life, thereby establishing her legacy as “First Lady of the World.” Though she humbly believed she had no extraordinary talents, Roosevelt’s words reflect her philosophy that, in the face of life’s greatest challenges, the key is to persevere and keep moving forward.

Angie #939029 02/08/24 06:14 PM
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Eleanor Roosevelt is a heroine of mine, a truly amazing individual. Many years ago, I went with a New York friend on a river boat up the Hudson to Hyde Park. It was so sad to see her grave. I felt as though she should have had more time. We could certainly use someone of her ilk in the world now.

Angie #939030 02/08/24 09:51 PM
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Yes, she was amazing.

Angie #939031 02/08/24 09:51 PM
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“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.”

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