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Angie #936594 07/09/22 08:44 AM
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Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

T.S. Eliot

In 1931, when poet T.S. Eliot wrote this line in the preface to “Transit of Venus,” a collection of poems by poet Harry Crosby, he was likely pulling from Crosby’s past as both a World War I veteran and an artist. Eliot continued the line above by reflecting that “one has to be a very great poet to justify such perilous adventures.” It suggests that the road to reach our full capability can be perilous, but if we are strong enough to continue pushing forward into new and unknown territory, we’ll be rewarded with personal greatness.

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Angie #936597 07/10/22 10:03 AM
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How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.

Florence Nightingale

Known as the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale made her mark during the Crimean War. She organized care for wounded soldiers and checked on them during the night — a practice that led to her nickname, “the Lady With the Lamp.” Nightingale became an icon of Victorian culture, and at the same time raised the reputation of nursing, previously regarded as a menial profession. But she was more than a pioneering nurse; she was also a social reformer who helped improve health care throughout British society, while at the same time expanding the “acceptable” roles of women in the workplace. Nightingale’s name is now synonymous with care and kindness — and also courage. She dedicated herself to helping others and, in doing so, forever changed the way medicine is practiced.

Angie #936600 07/11/22 05:19 PM
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The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass’ oratory skills were a powerful force, and his words carried weight whenever spoken. He escaped slavery and rose to prominence as an abolitionist and social reformer in the 19th century. Recognizing the crucial link between literacy and freedom, he taught himself to read and write, and used his words to advance the cause of liberty. This quote — from a speech Douglass gave to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the D.C. Emancipation Act, which freed enslaved people in America’s capital — references how the country was nearly torn apart during the Civil War amid the scourge of slavery, before that destructive force was abolished with the 13th Amendment in 1865. Douglass preached the wisdom in rejecting division, in order to ensure a healthier nation built upon “one country, one citizenship, and one liberty for all the people.”

Angie #936601 07/12/22 05:28 PM
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Beauty is truth, truth beauty.

John Keats

It’s almost mind-boggling to think that John Keats lived to just 25 years old. By the time of his death in 1821, he had produced poems of such beauty that he became regarded — albeit not during his lifetime — as one of the greatest of all the Romantic poets, alongside the likes of Lord Byron and Percy Shelley. His odes rank among his most popular and studied works, none more so than “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” the source of this famed insight. In five stanzas, Keats reflects upon the urn, and how it serves as a silent voice of the past — a literal vessel for time and memory. The meaning of the poem’s final two lines has had critics arguing among themselves since at least the 1950s: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." Enigmatic, certainly, and at the same time, unquestionably beautiful.

Angie #936604 07/13/22 04:16 PM
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Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.

Michelangelo

This proverb, which speaks to the importance of patience, diligence, and integrity, originated with the Renaissance master Michelangelo. According to legend, a friend paid a visit to Michelangelo’s studio, where there was a statue in progress. The renowned sculptor and painter explained that he had only made very small adjustments to the work since the last time the man visited. “But these are just trifles,” said the man. Yet to the artist, the seemingly minuscule edits were the necessary steps in achieving greatness.

Angie #936609 07/14/22 07:21 AM
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To have courage for whatever comes in life — everything lies in that.

Teresa of Ávila

To St. Teresa of Ávila, a 16th-century Spanish nun and mystic philosopher, courage was the most important virtue. When Teresa was only 11, her mother died, which left her grief-stricken and prompted her to turn to Christianity’s Virgin Mary as her spiritual mother. At age 20, she devoted herself to the Catholic Church and entered a convent, where she spent the rest of her life contemplating the profound matters of the soul. With this insight, she reminds us that life is rarely easy, but courage gets us through even the greatest obstacles.

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I think you travel to search and come back home to find yourself there.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Venturing into the world is often seen as a rite of passage, whether it’s leaving the family home or moving to a different continent. For MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, leaving her home country of Nigeria to live in the United States, and traveling around the world to promote her books, began a journey to find herself. Whether a sense of wanderlust is inherent in us or not, exploring beyond the life we know, filled with familiar people, is one path to discovering who we really are — which elements of our cultural identity fit and which we prefer to leave behind. As Adichie observed, it’s the journey that helps us find who we are, and discover where home really is.

Angie #936621 07/16/22 02:31 PM
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Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help.

Jane Goodall

In 1960, primatologist Jane Goodall went into the Tanzanian jungle to observe the chimpanzee community in Gombe Stream National Park. Day after day she sat quietly among the animals, and eventually she observed the chimpanzees using tools, a discovery that changed the way we think about primates. After reading her findings, her mentor, paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey, famously said, "We must now redefine tool, redefine man, or accept chimpanzees as human." The more Goodall learned about the chimpanzees, the more concerned she became for their survival. In 1997, she established the Jane Goodall Institute and began educating people about other primates. Now in her 80s, she travels 300 days a year speaking on behalf of chimpanzees and working tirelessly to help preserve their populations.

Angie #936627 07/17/22 01:58 PM
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Stop making excuses; you're the only one stopping you.

Issa Rae

For every great idea, there are a hundred reasons not to do it — if we let ourselves come up with them. For Issa Rae, the creator, writer, and star of the HBO series “Insecure,” finding her creative voice meant not making excuses. It’s easy to procrastinate, doubt, or find reasons to not chase our dreams, in any part of our lives. Rae’s words here remind us that success often follows once we get out of our own way, and instead of talking ourselves out of something difficult, find a reason to do it.

Angie #936634 07/19/22 02:34 PM
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The blizzard doesn't last forever; it just seems so.

Ray Bradbury

Snoopy, from the “Peanuts” comic strip, had a love-hate relationship with his typewriter. When science fiction author Ray Bradbury was asked to write an essay inspired by a Snoopy comic in 2012, he felt that conflicted relationship with the written word deep in his heart. Bradbury penned an essay about the flurries of rejections he received while trying to get his stories published, and then the breakthrough in his 40s when things started working out. He encouraged Snoopy to stay strong — though it seems like problems last forever, they will eventually subside, and we will come out the other side.

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