Living well doesn’t require a monument

“One of the greatest cultural consequences of devaluing our own lives has been our tolerance for what people do to achieve their “extraordinary” status.”-Brene Brown in I Thought it Was Just Me

“When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be loveable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.” –Brene Brown in Daring Greatly

“I see the cultural message everywhere that says that an ordinary life is a meaningless life.” –Brene Brown in Daring Greatly

“As though I had been going steadily downhill, imagining that I was going uphill. So it was in fact. In public opinion I was going uphill, and steadily as I got up it, life was ebbing away from me....And now the work's done, there's only death.” -Tolstoy in The Death of Ivan Ilych

"Nations are possessed with an insane ambition to perpetuate the memory of themselves by the amount of hammered stone they leave. What if equal pains were taken to smooth and polish their manners? One piece of good sense would be more memorable than a monument as high as the moon." -Thoreau in Walden

To live content with small means, To seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich. To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to starts and birds, babes and sages, with open heart, To bear all cheerfully, Do all bravely, Await occasions, Hurry never—In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is my symphony.” –William Ellery Channing 

"The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the 'rat race' — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing."-David Foster Wallace in

Resources

  • A blog post titled "The Disease of Being Busy" by Omid Safi speaks to the beauty of checking in with simple joys each day. How is the state of your heart today?