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[School of Life video: “We often think that the best way to have friends is to be deeply impressive and accomplished. In fact, the route to true friendship always flows through vulnerability.”]

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“We gaze up at the same stars; the sky covers us all; the same universe encompasses us. Does it matter what practical system we adopt in our search for the Truth? The heart of so great a mystery cannot be reached by following one road only.” –Quintus Aurelius Symmachus

There are no others

“Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find — the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’ A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.

So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.”

Read the full article: The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think by Johann Hari.

“For nothing is fixed, forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.”

–James Baldwin

“I always think of empathy as this kind of sacred space,” Dr. Brené Brown says. “When someone’s in a deep hole, and they shout out from the bottom and say ‘hey, I’m stuck, it’s dark, I’m overwhelmed,’ we look and climb down, and say, ‘I know what it’s like down here, and you’re not alone.’”

 

This App Lets You Share Your Life With A Stranger For 20 Days

“Researchers at MIT have teamed up with The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values to launch an iPhone app called 20 Day Stranger, which connects two anonymous strangers for 20 days. Though the idea may sound a little stalker-ish, the makers say the intention is to inspire empathy and awareness.”

Read more.

A day of walking, shared stories, confessions of humanity – love, loss, and nonlinear time. On the way home, I whisper to a telephone pole, “Remember the earth and sky and how you once swayed in the breeze.” When we tell our truths, the world spins more easily on its axis.

I’m fascinated by Richard Rinaldi’s photography project, where he takes pictures of total strangers touching. It demonstrates the power of connection and explores the natural tension between intimacy and autonomy.

Touching Strangers

I’m amazed by the permission art gives us to try new things, to break down perceived barriers, and to temporarily suspend social rules that we may only be dimly aware of.

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