Quotes of the Week

Stephen Ambrose

“It would not be possible to praise nurses too highly.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2z9yyuZ May 06, 2020 at 10:42AM
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George Santayana

“The Soul is the voice of the body’s interests.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2rEwoQe May 07, 2020 at 10:49AM
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Maya Angelou

“All great achievements require time.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2PWIyN5 May 08, 2020 at 10:49AM
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Napoleon Bonaparte

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/32FPAu3 May 09, 2020 at 10:49AM
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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“The love of a mother is the veil of a softer light between the heart and the heavenly Father.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/3dxgOZw May 10, 2020 at 10:48AM
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Inspirational Quote

“I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.” – Virginia Satir


अर्थाच्या दृष्टीने अतिशय लक्षणीय असा हा शब्द !

आजकाल कोणीही नाही वापरत !

कृष्णावळ चा अर्थ कांदा !

कांद्याला असे म्हणण्याचे कारण गंमतशीर आहे.

कांदा उभा चिरला, तर तो शंखाकृती दिसतो…


आडवा चिरला, तर तो चक्राकृती दिसतो.

शंख आणि चक्र ही दोन्ही श्रीकृष्णाची आयुधे आहेत.

ही दोन्ही आयुधे एका कांद्यात पहायला मिळतात म्हणून गमतीने कांद्याला कृष्णावळ म्हणतात.

कृष्ण आणि वलय या दोन शब्दांचा संधी होऊन हा मराठी शब्द तयार झाला आहे.

पात्यांसकट उलटा धरला तर गदाकार व पाकळ्या उलगडून पद्माकारही होतो…

आहे की नै गंमत…

डोळ्यातून पाणी काढणारा कांदा किती वेगळ्या उंचीवर गेला ना कृष्णावळ या शब्दामूळे !

Random Acts of Kindness… Want to add your own…

  1. Babysit for free.

  2. Bake something and share with a group.

  3. Be a mentor for someone who needs it.

  4. Bring coloring books and crayons to a family shelter.

  5. Buy the next round of drinks at happy hour.

  6. Compliment someone.

  7. Cook a meal for a family with a new baby.

  8. Do a friend’s pile of laundry.

  9. Donate a toy.

  10. Donate your talents. Offer your photography, writing or sewing skills to a charity.

  11. Donate your work clothes to someone in need.

  12. Email an inspiring journalist or blogger to thank them for making a difference.

  13. Help someone look for a job.

  14. Help someone with groceries.

  15. Help someone with their homework.

  16. Hide a love note in someone’s purse or pocket.

  17. Hide inspirational messages on sticky notes around the office.

  18. Hold the elevator door open for someone who is running late.

  19. Illustrate pretty drawings and bring them to a children’s hospital.

  20. Introduce a co-worker to a professional contact.

  21. Invite a new co-worker to lunch.

  22. Join a kindness challenge.

  23. Leave a copy of your favorite book on a bus or train with a note in it.

  24. Leave a funny note on a random car.

  25. Leave a funny on the white board in the conference room.

  26. Leave a nice note on someone’s desk.

  27. Leave an inspirational note in a library book.

  28. Leave flowers on someone’s doorstep.

  29. Let someone go in front of you at the checkout line.

  30. Make a video to cheer someone up.

  31. Make and give care packs to the homeless.

  32. Make someone a gratitude journal they can write in.

  33. Make someone a playlist.

  34. Mow your neighbors lawn after mowing your own.

  35. Offer someone your parking spot for the day.

  36. Organize a fun family reunion.

  37. Participate in a fundraiser.

  38. Pay for someone else’s coffee.

  39. Pick up trash on the beach or park.

  40. Plant a tree.

  41. Put a quarter in an expired meter.

  42. Read a book to someone.

  43. Run an errand for someone.

  44. Run or walk for a cause.

  45. Send a care package to a soldier.

  46. Send an encouraging letter to someone who needs it.

  47. Send your boss an email about a co-worker’s hard work.

  48. Spend time with the elderly.

  49. Support local farmers and markets.

  50. Support someone’s charity or campaign.

  51. Surprise the office with donuts or cupcakes.

  52. Take someone to lunch.

  53. Take your neighbor’s dog for a walk.

  54. Talk to a manager about a great waiter/waitress.

  55. Teach someone how to cook a healthy meal.

  56. Volunteer at a local non profit.

  57. Wash someone’s dishes.

  58. Write a thank you letter to someone who has helped you out.


Wisdom Quotes

Age is not a limit for dreams and goals.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. (C. S. Lewis)

Wisdom is not only defined by what you know, but also be knowing what you don’t.
To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge. (Confucius)

Mentor Asks© What is your Motto?

To fight or work, we are ready.
Stand strong, stand tall.
Shield in the darkness.
None shall pass.
God brings salvation.
Lead by our history, leading our future.
Beacon in the darkness, light of hope.
Deeds not words.
None shall pass.
True and sure.


Cease the mental tension. Train your mind to pass over thoughts. Do not give countenance to them until such time that you can surrender the mind itself.

No one is doing it. When the mind is surrendered, there is no question of happiness and unhappiness.

Because of the thoughts of the past lives, sanskaras are spent away. They come and go. Pay no attention to them.

Mind is like a wound-up alarm clock. It will ring at the appointed time, but only so long as the winding is there. Let it ring and run its course, but take care to not wind it again by indulging in bad actions.


(Online Lord Meher, Pg.1576-1577) [Source- Don’t Worry Be Happy. Designed and Compiled for the Young Adult Sahavas, 2018, at Meherabad, India. Compilation:- Ganesh Aditham, Rakhi Sharma. Project Coodination:-Rakhi Sharma (Copyright © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust, 2018)]

Brainpickings.org Newsletter

This is the weekly email digest of the daily online journal Brain Pickings by Maria Popova. If you missed last week’s edition — astronaut Leland Melvin reads Neruda’s love letter to Earth’s forests, a color spectrum of sadnesses as a portal to more vibrant aliveness, and more — you can catch up right here. And if you find any value and joy in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – I spend innumerable hours and tremendous resources on it each week, as I have been for fourteen years, and every little bit of support helps enormously. If you already donate: THANK YOU.

Wander: Natascha McElhone Reads Hermann Hesse’s 100-Year-Old Love Letter to Trees in a Virtual Mental Health Walk Through Kew Gardens


In the final years of his life, the great neurologist Oliver Sacks reflected on the physiological and psychological healing power of nature, observing that in forty years of medical practice, he had found only two types of non-pharmaceutical therapy helpful to his patients: music and gardens. It was in a garden, too, that Virginia Woolf, bedeviled by lifelong mental illness, found the consciousness-electrifying epiphany that enabled her to make some of humanity’s most transcendent art despite her private suffering.

When my dear friend Natascha McElhone (who narrated Figuring) was asked to choose a piece of literature with which to narrate a tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, for an episode of Wander — a lovely series by filmmaker Beau Kerouac, benefiting Britain’s Mental Health Foundation and helping quarantined people virtually visit some of the world’s most beloved parks and cultural institutions, accompanied by some of the world’s most beloved literary and artistic voices — Natascha chose a wondrous 100-year-old love letter to trees by Hermann Hesse (July 2, 1877–August 9, 1962), which she had saved from Brain Pickings nearly a decade ago. Originally published in Hesse’s 1920 collection of fragments, Wandering: Notes and Sketches (public library), it comes newly alive in this transportive, transcendent journey through the screen and past it, into a lush wonderland of nature’s aliveness, with two uncommonly beautiful voices as the sherpas.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngFor me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts… Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.


“Perspective” by Maria Popova

For a lyrical kindred-spirited counterpart, visit one of Earth’s greatest forests with Pablo Neruda and astronaut Leland Melvin, then savor Amanda Palmer’s reading of Mary Oliver’s spare and splendid poem “When I Am Among the Trees” and this cinematic love letter to the wilderness, inspired by the great naturalist John Muir, who saw the universe as “an infinite storm of beauty.”

FORWARD TO A FRIEND/READ/WATCH ONLINE/Like https://www.brainpickings.org/2020/05/04/natascha-mcelhone-wander-hesse-kew/ on Facebook


Every week for fourteen years, I have been pouring tremendous time, thought, love, and resources into Brain Pickings, which remains free and is made possible by patronage. If you find any joy and solace in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation. And if you already donate, from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU. (If you’ve had a change of heart or circumstance and wish to rescind your support, you can do so at this link.)

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Love Beyond Label: Lisel Mueller’s Tender Poem About the Lush, Unclassifiable Bond Between Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann


Among the handful of things I have learned about life with the calm, quiet clarity of elemental knowing is one that bears repeating: The human heart is an ancient beast that roars and purrs with the same passions, whatever labels we may give them. We are so anxious to classify and categorize, both nature and human nature. It is a beautiful impulse — to contain the infinite in the finite, to wrest order from the chaos — but it is also a limiting one: In naming things, we often come to mistake the names for the things themselves. The labels we give to the loves of which we are capable — varied and vigorously transfigured from one kind into another and back again — cannot begin to contain the richness of feeling that can flow between two hearts and the bodies that contain them. Emily Dickinson knew this intimately — the extraordinary lifelong love she shared with Susan prompted her, after decades, to exult in verse: “Title divine — is mine! The Wife — without the Sign!”

Such loves — oceanic loves, vast and deep and wholly unfathomable to any shoreline observer — are luminous private miracles undimmed by the tattling irrelevance of the public. Among those loves was that between the composer Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833–April 3, 1897) and the virtuosic pianist Clara Schumann (September 13, 1819–May 20, 1896).


Clara and Johannes first crossed orbits in 1853, when her beloved husband — the celebrated composer Robert Schumann — encountered in the twenty-year-old Brahms a talent so uncommon and promising that he immediately set about bringing the music world’s awed attention to it, writing impassioned letters to all the leading journals and auguring the young musician’s future fame.

Brahms was intensely grateful for the famed composer’s faith. But before the mentorship could fully blossom, Schumann’s already precarious mental health plummeted. Only four months after meeting Brahms, he attempted suicide by leaping into the Rhine from a bridge. He was rescued, but never recovered — he spent the remaining two years of his life in a private psychiatric institution, savaged by hallucinations and psychoses. Clara was left to raise their seven children alone. In an era when only the rarest women had artistic careers, or any careers at all, she leaned on her musical talent, performing and touring tirelessly to feed her children and secure them an education.

It was in that period of disorientation and bereavement that Clara came to correspond with Johannes directly — at first perhaps as an extension of her husband, who had seen much of himself in his young protégé, then as something… else, something sweeping and unclassifiable, beyond the reach of our bystander imaginations — a something that, over the lifetime of tender letters that followed, became an everything. “I would gladly write to you only by means of music,” Johannes would soon be telling Clara, “but I have things to say to you to-day which music could not express.” Even music — their common language, the language capable of expressing breadths and vicissitudes of emotion no words can express — was too small to hold the universe between them.

That private vastness is what Lisel Mueller (February 8, 1924–February 21, 2020) captures with stunning elegance and generosity in her poem “Romantics,” found in her altogether indispensable collected poems, Alive Together (public library).



      Johannes Brahms and
Clara Schumann

The modern biographers worry
“how far it went,” their tender friendship.
They wonder just what it means
when he writes he thinks of her constantly,
his guardian angel, beloved friend.
The modern biographers ask
the rude, irrelevant question
of our age, as if the event
of two bodies meshing together
establishes the degree of love,
forgetting how softly Eros walked
in the nineteenth-century, how a hand
held overlong or a gaze anchored
in someone’s eyes could unseat a heart,
and nuances of address not known
in our egalitarian language
could make the redolent air
tremble and shimmer with the heat
of possibility. Each time I hear
the Intermezzi, sad
and lavish in their tenderness,
I imagine the two of them
sitting in a garden
among late-blooming roses
and dark cascades of leaves,
letting the landscape speak for them,
leaving us nothing to overhear.

Overhear a little — ever so little, but ever so beautiful — in these tender excerpts from Clara and Johannes’s surviving letters, then pair them with a lovely picture-book about love beyond label. For more of Mueller’s penetrating insight into the lives of the heart and the mind, savor her poems about how our frames of reference limit us and what gives meaning to our ephemeral lives.

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And So It Goes: A Lyrical Illustrated Meditation on the Cycle of Life


“What is it then between us? What is the count of the scores or hundreds of years between us?” asked Walt Whitman in his iconic ode to the unstoppable succession of being as he contemplated the generations who, long after he has returned his borrowed atoms to the universe, would walk the same streets and traverse the same waters and burn with the same human passions. Half a century down this generational river, Rilke insisted that “death is our friend precisely because it brings us into absolute and passionate presence with all that is here, that is natural, that is love.” But even if, long after Whitman and Rilke have gone, the physicists have come to agree with the poets that our mortality is the wellspring of our existential vitality, it remains — and perhaps it shall always remain — a towering triumph for the human animal to view its own existence from this placid cosmic vantage point. To grow up is to learn to manufacture “antidotes to fear of death” — in marriages and mortgages, in products and possessions, in the various illusions of stability and permanence that allow us to go on averting our gaze from our finitude, from the fact that we too will one day be washed into the impartial waters of time.

This, perhaps, is why the not-yet-grown are the rare few in possession of an imagination spacious and porous enough to see the cycle of existence and non-existence as the basic mechanism of life, to see its beauty as that Rilkean portal to presence and love.

That is what Chilean illustrator Paloma Valdivia celebrates with great soulfulness and sensitivity in And So It Goes (public library), translated into English by Susan Ouriou — a lovely addition to these uncommonly wonderful children’s books about making sense of death.

Reading more like a poem than a story, and feeling very much like one, this lyrical meditation paints life as a wonderland of possibility, to be visited and relished, all the more intensely for the knowledge that we are only temporary visitors.


Reminiscent of Jane Hirshfield’s spare and sublime poem “Jasmine,” the opening line is a subtle, tender reminder that we are but links in the chain of being, preceded by other links and, by inference, to be succeeded by others still: “Some have already left,” Valdivia writes, gently listing “the neighbor’s cat, Aunt Margarita,” and “the fish in yesterday’s soup” among the departed. “Others will arrive,” she adds. “Some were longed for, others come out of the blue.”


As vignettes of loss and life unfold across the pages, grief and delight take turns — a see-saw, a syncopation — and from that clam rhythm emerges the naturalness, even the loveliness of the cycle.


We are reminded, too, of how little we know, and how even littler we control — but even the passengers on Valdivia’s existential boat of uncertainty have curious, contented smiles as they bob on the ocean of life.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThose who leave don’t know where they’re going.

Their destination doesn’t depend on the wind or how old they are.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThose who arrive don’t know either.
Life’s just like that, it seems — up to chance.


2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngWe don’t know when, but those who arrive will leave one day as well.

What arises from these illustrated verses, more than the sense that we are born of a mystery and die into a mystery, is the wondrous awareness that we live a mystery — that the true wonder is the interlude between the two, the visitation, the mirthful miraculousness of existing at all.




Complement And So It Goes with Carson Ellis’s lyrical illustrated meditation on the eternal equilibrium of growth and decay and a subtle Japanese pop-up masterpiece about the cycle of life, then pair it with a grownup counterpart in Carl Sagan’s wisdom on how to live with mystery.

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Every week for fourteen years, I have been pouring tremendous time, thought, love, and resources into Brain Pickings, which remains free and is made possible by patronage. If you find any joy and solace in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation. And if you already donate, from the bottom of my heart: THANK YOU. (If you’ve had a change of heart or circumstance and wish to rescind your support, you can do so at this link.)

monthly donation

You can become a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a Brooklyn lunch.

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Or you can become a Spontaneous Supporter with a one-time donation in any amount.

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