“The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”

Carl Sagan, “In the Valley of the Shadow,” Parade, 10 March 1996

“Doing good work and having creative thoughts means very little unless you’re able to express that work and those thoughts to others in as straightforward a way as possible.

“To edit yourself isn’t an admission of lack of talent; it’s sticking up for that talent by taking the time to make sure that everyone can understand what you’re trying to say.”

-Josh Ritter, “Seeing Red: To Write Is to Edit.” The Wall Street Journal. October 15, 2011

“Some people …are always finding fault with Nature for putting thorns on roses; I always thank her for having put roses on thorns.”

Alphonse Karr, as translated from his poem:
De leur meilleur côté tâchons de voir les choses:
Vous vous plaignez de voir les rosiers épineux;
Moi je me réjouis et rends grâces aux dieux
Que les épines aient des roses.

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Often, this quote is written as “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses,” and erroneously attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge… is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose larger than the self kind of understanding.”

Bill Bullard