I read a good book this week, A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen. According to Maria Popova at BrainPickings, this book came about because of a commencement speech from Ms. Quindlen. The really interesting thing about this particular speech is that it wasn't given. The university canceled the commencement ceremony because of protests against her political beliefs. I found that fascinating since there is very little controversial content in this book.
As a recent graduate, I found some inspiring gems in here. "Don't confuse the two, your life and your work. ... The second is only part of the first." "If you win the rat race, you're still a rat." "Each time I look at my diploma, I remember that I am still a student, still learning every day
how to be human." "Get a life in which you are generous. ... All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough."
Yet the one that stood out for me is about the value of life. I can get wrapped up with the State of the World and the Global Crises and the Always Imperfect Me. I wrote this one down to remember it often. "It's ironic that we forget so often how wonderful life really is. I don't mean in a cosmic way. I never think of my life, or my world, in any big cosmic way. ... Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful of they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won't happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live." I am grateful for this piece of sage advice at this particular moment in my life. My glittering piece of mica.
"Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement." --Anna Quindlen