We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or its ability to consume, condemns itself to death.
— Chris Hedges
If a doctor tells you, “You have cancer and probably only have six months to live,” you will likely feel completely overwhelmed. The fear, the idea that “I’m going to die in six months”, can take away your peace and joy. Before the doctor told you about the cancer you could sit and enjoy your tea, eat your meal, or watch the moon, while now your fear takes away all your joy and freedom…
We are all equal as far as life and death are concerned. Everyone has to die. But before we die, can we live properly? If we live properly, the quality of our last six months can be higher than if we were to live six or sixty more years. If we’re caught in the fetters of suffering, our lives don’t have the same meaning they would if we lived in freedom. Knowing that we have to die, we can become determined to live our lives properly and deeply. If we’re not able to live with peace, joy, and freedom, then we live as if we’re already dead.
— Thich Nhat Hanh, “Awakening of the Heart
“Every day I see or hear something that
more or less kills me with delight, that
leaves me like a needle in the haystack
— Mary Oliver
Who are these strange people who devote themselves to beauty? Where do they get the nerve, the courage to live out their days outside the prevailing obsession with efficiency and success? But one might well also ask, at the same time, who are these so-called elders who preach management techniques as wisdom?
I looked to the artists and poets to educate me about what was important growing up, and I was lucky to be allowed to go in that direction. Of course it was assumed I would make money doing it and that I would quickly garner a substantial fan base. My naive parents didn’t know…