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Angie #937074 10/25/22 05:04 PM
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Once you realize that you can do something, it would be difficult to live with yourself if you didn’t do it.

James Baldwin

James Baldwin was an essayist, novelist, and playwright born in Harlem in 1924. In 1948, he traveled to France, where he wrote his first collection of essays along with two novels, including the semi-autobiographical work “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” In an interview published in 1984 by “The Paris Review,” Baldwin spoke of returning from Paris to the United States, meeting Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and finding himself in the center of the civil rights movement. “I didn’t think of myself as a public speaker, or as a spokesman,” he said, “but I knew I could get a story past the editor’s desk.” Realizing he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he didn’t, he spent the rest of his life writing on themes of race and justice.

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Angie #937108 10/29/22 07:29 AM
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Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.

Mary Oliver

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver (1935-2019) was an avid observer: Her work often centers the natural world in all its minute, astounding details. Her meditations on everything from a bird's plumage to the color of oysters are undeniably grounded in the present, free of anxiety about the future. “Attention is the beginning of devotion,” she wrote in her essay "Teach The Children." Oliver’s contemplation of nature’s small wonders reminds us that the simplest things have the power to change us in the deepest ways. In paying attention to our surroundings, we can invite in joy and avoid letting our negative thoughts spiral. She reminds us we have a choice: We can let the world delight us, rather than let it beat us down.

Angie #937113 10/30/22 11:49 AM
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We all get where we’re going by circuitous journeys, and some of the setbacks are warranted.

Carol Burnett

Regrets? Carol Burnett has none. The trailblazing comedic actor, best known as the star of her eponymous CBS show, but whose career includes turns on Broadway and in films and television, had to face plenty of disappointment before her big break came. Like many of us, Burnett tried over and over to realize her career aspirations. Reflecting on that journey in a conversation with “Interview" magazine, she warned not to let setbacks derail the path forward, but rather to remember that your turn will come. The trick? Optimism and perseverance. “When things are a disappointment,” Burnett urged, “try not to be so discouraged.”

Angie #937122 10/31/22 02:54 PM
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Above all do not forget your duty to love yourself.

Søren Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher who also dabbled in theology and poetry, which gave his philosophical writing an even more humanistic edge: Rather than focusing on theory, Kierkegaard wrote mainly about the lived reality of humans. This line comes from a book of Kierkegaard’s letters to family and friends, in which he shares his ideas and insights. Kierkegaard wrote these words of encouragement to one of his friends who had a physical disability; he urged his friend to remember that although he may feel different from others, he should never let that dampen his sense of worth and self-love.

Angie #937126 11/01/22 03:28 PM
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The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves was catapulted to fame through his starring roles in action movie franchises such as “The Matrix” and “John Wick,” but it’s his gentle public persona that has earned him a beloved following among fans. The actor has been crowned “The Internet’s Boyfriend” after years of viral moments showing off his good manners, and for the thoughtful responses he often gives during interviews. (Reeves’ profound answer to Stephen Colbert’s question about death left the host speechless.) With his actions and words, Reeves reminds us of a simple wisdom: that by paying close attention to the world around us, we open ourselves up to little discoveries of happiness.

Angie #937134 11/02/22 03:35 PM
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Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell.

William Saroyan

Armenian American writer William Saroyan penned these words in his breakthrough article “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze,” published in 1934. The quote above is part of a longer, rousing piece of advice that reads like a rallying cry to live life to its fullest: "Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste the food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive."

Angie #937140 11/03/22 03:10 PM
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The best advice I ever got when I was starting out: Never give up. And I never did.

Rita Moreno

After Rita Moreno won an Oscar for the role of Anita in the 1961 film “West Side Story,” she waited seven years for her next film. Moreno had aspirations for herself beyond the stereotypical “island girl” box Hollywood wanted to put her into, and the roles she was offered weren’t of the caliber she felt she deserved. In 1969, she starred in "The Night of the Following Day" alongside Marlon Brando, and her star kept rising from there. The triple threat’s perseverance paid off: She became the first Latina performer to EGOT (that is, win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony), among countless other honors that make her a living legend. Even when the industry wanted to give up on Moreno, she never gave up on herself: She chose the challenging path, and in the end, it was the most gratifying one.

Angie #937148 11/04/22 01:26 PM
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Whatever you decide to look for you will find, whatever you beckon will eventually beckon you.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Amy Krouse Rosenthal decided to become an author while she was on maternity leave with her daughter. She quit her job as a copywriter and went on to publish over 30 children's books, including such beloved titles as “Little Pea,” “Uni the Unicorn,” and “Duck! Rabbit!” She also wrote memoirs and essays, but perhaps her most famous work is a piece she wrote for the “New York Times” column “Modern Love,” called "You May Want to Marry My Husband." Published just days before she died of ovarian cancer, it speaks of a life full of love and caring, a wife and mother who embraced joy and creativity until the very end.

Angie #937156 11/06/22 08:57 PM
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You were once wild. Don't let them tame you.

Isadora Duncan

From New York to London, Paris to Moscow, Isadora Duncan danced her way across the world. Never one to be restricted by the rigidity of traditional ballet or the limitations of commercial performance, Duncan developed her own unique vision of dance — one inspired by nature, athleticism, and classical Greek art. “My inspiration,” she once said, “has been drawn from trees, from waves, from clouds, from the sympathies that exist between passion and the storm, between gentleness and the soft breeze.” Duncan wanted to reconnect movement with emotion — “seeking that dance which might be the divine.” Following her own advice here, the “mother of modern dance,” as she became known, created an art form that was untamed, wild, and free.

Angie #937161 11/07/22 07:32 PM
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The image is one thing and the human being is another… it's very hard to live up to an image.

Elvis Presley

Perhaps no other musician has known the pressure of living up to an image the way Elvis Presley did. The king of rock ‘n’ roll became one of the most successful artists and cultural icons in American history during his career, dominating the 1950s music charts with such hits as “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Hound Dog,” before finding success as an actor in films like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock.” Yet Presley often expressed a feeling of deep loneliness even in the face of his fans’ feverish adoration. His words here suggest that no matter how perfect a person may seem from the outside, we’re all human, and we’re all in need of empathy and compassion.

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