"I have come to believe that by and large the human family all has the same secrets, which are both very telling and very important to tell. They are telling in the sense that they tell what is perhaps the central paradox of our condition—that what we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are—even if we tell it only to ourselves—because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing."
— Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets (via psychotherapy)
"Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else."
— Madeleine L’Engle from A Circle of Quiet
Although the book is about homosexuality and the church on the surface, that is just the form the story takes. It is really about our identities and sense of self. The reason there is a long discussion of obituaries early on in the book is that it sets up this theme of identity as a story other people tell about us vs. identity as our subjective experience of the world. It’s not as easy as saying, “My subjective experience of myself is true and your opinion doesn’t matter.” We are who we are in relation to other people. So it is a balancing act to be authentic to your sense of self while maintaining relationships with other people.
The action takes place in a church community, but any community comes with the same types of dynamics. I may change, but there are other people who are invested in the person they believe me to be or who I have been to them.
— Interview with author Laura Lee about the novel Angel on Owl Tell You About It
"Anywhere I am is HERE. Anywhere I am not is THERE."
— Grover, Sesame Street
"What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great person is one who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (via thesearepeopleyouknow)
The more executives, entrepreneurs, and talented individuals I get to know, the more convinced I become that true happiness, a genuine sense of satisfaction, comes, as [David] Brooks suggests, not from “finding” yourself but from losing” yourself — in a company you believe in, a cause you are prepared to fight for, a commitment to solve a problem that has defied solution.
In other words, “we” is bigger than “me” — the true measure of success is not the value you create for yourself but the values that define your work and how you lead and live.
— Bill Taylor, Harvard Business Review