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Angie #935811 01/28/22 10:31 AM
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The world is like a mask dancing. If you want to see it well, you do not stand in one place.

Chinua Achebe

In the tradition of the Igbo people, an ethnic group in southern Nigeria, the mask, or masquerade, is a sacred ritual involving theater, dance, and costumes, representing spiritual and tribal elements of the culture. Nigerian author Chinua Achebe references this Igbo tradition in his 1988 book “Arrow of God,” emphasizing that if we want to experience all of the beautiful dynamics the world has to offer, we have to dance along with it.

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Angie #935813 01/29/22 11:54 AM
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The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.

Rabindranath Tagore

In India during the early 20th century, few artists exercised more influence than writer and painter Rabindranath Tagore. A persuasive advocate for Indian independence, he did not live to see the 1947 milestone achieved. Yet following the example set by his father, Maharishi Debendranath, Tagore devoted his years to benefiting future generations. On the site of his father’s meditation center in Santiniketan, India, Tagore created an experimental school with five students and five teachers. That school blossomed into Vishva-Bharati University, now a century-old public institution with an enrollment in the thousands. As his quote implies, no legacy is more worthwhile than bettering the world for others.

Angie #935819 01/30/22 11:45 AM
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Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.

Sarah Bernhardt

French actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) had boundless zest for her craft. In 1905, when her traveling production of “La Tosca” stopped in Rio de Janeiro, the 61-year-old ensured a memorable finale by spontaneously leaping from a parapet. Although she sustained a lifelong knee injury, playwrights responded by creating parts she could perform while seated, enabling Bernhardt to continue performing on international stages for more than a dozen years. In all avenues of life, she contended that passion was a reciprocal quality. Effort inspires effort, and putting yourself out there leads to better collaboration and stronger relationships.

Angie #935825 01/31/22 02:59 PM
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That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.

Willa Cather

Lying in his grandmother’s garden under the warm autumn sun, Jim Burden, the narrator of Willa Cather’s 1918 novel “My Antonia,” observes the perfection of the ladybugs crawling next to him in the grass. In the peaceful joy of the moment, he concludes that happiness is found when we acknowledge the simple beauty of nature that exists all around us, and relax into our place within it.

Angie #935835 02/01/22 10:23 AM
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We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.

W.B. Yeats

Irish poet, author, and dramatist W.B. Yeats observes here that poetry is best nurtured by our own internal conflict and contemplation. While we exercise our language and communication skills by debating with others, poetry is something deeply personal, expressing the unspoken, unresolved thoughts in our minds and feelings in our hearts.

Angie #935841 02/01/22 05:21 PM
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Art is made in hindsight.

Virgil Abloh

Making history as the first Black American artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear line, late fashion designer Virgil Abloh (1980-2021) was revered for his cutting-edge creations, which uniquely combined streetwear and high fashion. He gave this quote in an interview with "Billboard," where he explained the concept behind the logo for his streetwear line, Off-White. Abloh recalled crossing out a rejected mock-up, and later, when he glanced at the scribble, he realized the design would make the perfect logo. He recognized that a work of art is not always intentional, but also depends on how it is experienced by others.

Angie #935844 02/02/22 11:39 AM
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All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade.

Leo Tolstoy

In his classic 1878 novel “Anna Karenina,” Leo Tolstoy reminds the reader that there are always ups and downs in life, and that expecting perfection will inevitably lead to disappointment. Things are not black and white, but messy shades of gray. Once we can accept the nuance and complexity of our existence, we can come to appreciate the good while taking the difficult in stride.

Angie #935845 02/02/22 11:40 AM
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story:
Your reaction matters more than what happens to you

“Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the boiled eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. ‘Daughter, what do you see?’

‘Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,’ she hastily replied.

‘Look closer,’ he said, ‘and touch the potatoes.’ She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

‘Father, what does this mean?’ she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

‘Which are you,’ he asked his daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?’

Angie #935852 02/03/22 05:52 PM
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Nice is different than good.

Stephen Sondheim

After a terrifying brush with the big, bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood reflects on the experience through song in the musical “Into the Woods,” composed and written by late Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim. The show tells the interwoven stories of many classic fairy-tale characters, but with a darker, humanized twist. In this moment, Little Red realizes that even though the Wolf was nice to her, his genteel behavior was superficial. As many of us have experienced, her first brush with danger leaves her a little more wary and wise as she continues her journey through the woods.

Angie #935855 02/04/22 06:45 PM
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Out of the wreck I rise.

Robert Browning

With this short but poignant line, 19th-century poet Robert Browning imagined the title character of his poem “Ixion” rising out of hell after gaining insight into his wrongdoings. The poem follows the Greek myth of the same name about the wicked king of the Lapiths, who is remembered for his deceitful dalliances with the gods and his eternal punishment in the underworld. The myth is frequently referenced in classical literature, but Browning decided that rather than have his subject stay bound in suffering forever, Ixion should learn from his mistakes, repent for his actions, and ultimately find redemption. No matter how many wrong turns we take, Browning implies, we can always find hope, grace, and renewal.

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