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Angie #936484 06/15/22 08:29 PM
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My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.

Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox first grabbed the attention of America with his portrayal of Alex P. Keaton on the 1980s sitcom "Family Ties," and he went on to star in such popular films as "Back to the Future" and "Teen Wolf." In 1998, while working on the sitcom "Spin City," Fox publicly disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In the decades that followed, and despite worsening symptoms, he continued to act and do voice-over work while advocating for people living with Parkinson’s. The titles of his four books — “An Optimist Considers Mortality,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future,” “The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist,” and “Lucky Man” — all speak to the unique, positive predisposition that Fox brings to his life and the challenges he’s faced.

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Angie #936492 06/16/22 01:34 PM
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A novel worth reading is an education of the heart.

Susan Sontag

While interviewing Susan Sontag for "The Paris Review" in 1995, Edward Hirsch asked the writer and activist whether it was old-fashioned to think that the purpose of literature is to educate us about life. Sontag unequivocally confirmed that novels enlighten us. She went on to say, “[Novels enlarge] your sense of human possibility, of what human nature is, of what happens in the world.” When we read a story, we experience, on an intellectual and emotional level, the successes and failures of the characters — and we learn empathy and understanding from their stories.

Angie #936529 06/27/22 12:56 PM
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No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.

Alice Walker

In 1972, writer and activist Alice Walker delivered this empowering message to students at her alma mater of Sarah Lawrence College. Following the success of her novel "The Color Purple" in 1982, Walker published this speech in her collection of essays "In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens." With this statement, she encourages self-respect in the face of mistreatment by those who dismiss, limit, or neglect your value. She reinforces this advice throughout the speech by highlighting the often-overlooked contributions of Black women. In so doing, she braces women of color for the reality of their struggle, while inspiring them with the determination to overcome it. It's a credo that can resonate with anyone: A true friend is someone who supports you and encourages you to be your best, authentic self.

Angie #936539 06/29/22 05:30 PM
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All you have to do is take a close look at yourself and you will understand everyone else.

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov is considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers of the 20th century, alongside Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke. Hugely prolific, he wrote or edited some 500 books, ranging from guides to the works of Shakespeare to collections of lewd limericks. But he is best known for his hard sci-fi novels, especially the “Foundation” and “Robot” series. Asimov was a professor of biochemistry at Boston University, so he certainly knew his science. He knew people too; like his friend and fellow writer Kurt Vonnegut, he served as the president of the American Humanist Association. Indeed, societal evolution plays a key role in Asimov’s Hugo Award-winning “Foundation” series, whose central characters try to predict the outcomes of galaxy-spanning events — while also trying to understand one another on a personal level.

Angie #936549 07/01/22 11:53 AM
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Joy is not in things, it is in us.

Charles Wagner

A revered speaker whom Theodore Roosevelt once invited to the White House, Charles Wagner began as a poor French preacher shunned by the orthodox sect of his church. In his best-known book, "The Simple Life," he insisted that we control our own emotional fulfillment as much as external circumstances do. Despite the adversity he faced, he found joy by following his internal compass: He started his own church, wrote nearly 30 books, and founded organizations to support the working class. His life is a reminder that your current situation doesn’t have to control you; indeed, your outlook and mindset can change the situation, and cultivate joy even in the most difficult times.

Angie #936556 07/02/22 09:43 AM
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Let us temper our criticism with kindness. None of us comes fully equipped.

Carl Sagan

Few scientists of the past half-century are as popular as Carl Sagan. As an astronomer and planetary scientist, he’s perhaps best known for his research on extraterrestrial life. He also penned a number of popular science books, such as 1994’s “Pale Blue Dot”; co-wrote and narrated the hit television series “Cosmos”; and wrote the 1985 sci-fi novel “Contact.” Sagan was a passionate advocate of skeptical inquiry and the scientific method, but argued that critical thinking must go hand-in-hand with kindness. While we may strongly disagree with people who do not share our beliefs, we must not fall into the trap of self-righteousness, because none of us is perfect, and “none of us comes fully equipped.”

Angie #936562 07/03/22 09:40 AM
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Don’t try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you.

Beyoncé Knowles

Beyoncé Knowles is not only a powerhouse in the music scene, she’s also a stellar mentor. Her words often impart valuable life lessons, like this advice she gave R&B duo Chloe X Halle, sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey. It emphasizes the importance of staying true to yourself, even — or especially — if that makes you stand apart from the crowd. It’s a wise warning: Don’t stunt your own growth by toning down your natural talents and skills. Instead, like Queen Bey, show others what’s possible, and the world may just follow where you lead.

Angie #936567 07/04/22 08:30 AM
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Freedom lies in being bold.

Robert Frost

In the early years of his life, Robert Frost worked as a teacher, cobbler, editor, and farmer, but it is poetry for which he will always be remembered. In 1912, Frost and his wife, Elinor, moved to England, where he was inspired by the prominent English poets of the day, including Robert Graves, Edward Thomas, and Ezra Pound. By the time the couple returned to the states in 1915, Frost had published two full-length poetry collections. In the decades that followed, he received four Pulitzer Prizes as well as many other accolades and honors; in 1961 he became the first poet to speak at a presidential inauguration, reciting his patriotic poem "The Gift Outright." Frost always maintained that he preferred the company of eccentric, interesting people. In a 1952 interview with “The New Yorker,” the poet espoused his preference for “people who have as much personality as I have,” concluding that “freedom lies in being bold.”

Angie #936580 07/06/22 02:44 PM
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As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn made her Broadway debut in 1928, the same year she graduated from Bryn Mawr College. After a four-year rise to stardom on the stage, she was invited to Hollywood to work with the RKO Radio Pictures movie studio. Having been raised to value honesty, education, and physical fitness, Hepburn was considered outspoken and eccentric. While other starlets of the time strove to maintain the appearance of flawless glamour, she dressed casually in public and wore pantsuits long before it was fashionable for women to do so. Her career spanned over 60 years, during which she won four Academy Awards and countless other accolades. She died in 2003 at the age of 96, and will forever be remembered as one of the great stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Angie #936590 07/08/22 05:10 PM
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There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.

Paul Williams

For a lyric sung to the sky by a crooked-nosed puppet who’s possibly an alien, this is a striking expression of the joy of connecting. The song, “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday,” was written by composer and songwriter Paul Williams and performed by Gonzo (David Goelz) in "The Muppet Movie." In this context, Gonzo twists the emotional paradox even further, as he’s longingly awaiting a friend he’s yet to meet. Blending hope and grief, he reveals a sense of connection with a kind of presence — a kindred spirit — just beyond his reach. Years later, the presence he longed for finally emerges in the movie "Muppets From Space" — it’s his home planet, reaching out after having tracked him down. His emotional journey reflects a universal desire for connection. It assures us of old friends looking to finally meet us, serving as a reminder that ultimately, we’re never alone.

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