Points to Pon­der

Reader's Digest International - - Contents -

IF EV­ERY­ONE fol­lowed through on their res­o­lu­tions, the con­se­quences for hu­man­ity would be dire: The fast-food in­dus­try would col­lapse, the gym would be­come un­bear­ably crowded, and life­style mag­a­zines would have noth­ing left to say.

AMANDA FOREMAN,

his­to­rian, in the Wall Street Jour­nal

MY DAUGH­TER made an amaz­ing jump in the pool the other day.

I said, “You’re so brave.” She said, “No, I was scared.” I said, “That’s why you’re brave. If you weren’t scared, you wouldn’t be brave at all. You’d just be dumb.”

MARY-LOUISE PARKER,

ac­tress, in Esquire

[E-MAIL IS] our last rem­nant of old­fash­ioned letter writ­ing, a rit­ual most of us adore. E-mail’s as mal­leable, swift, and cheap as air.

JOAN FRANK,

au­thor, on zyzzyva.org

ALLUSION to de­monology when dis­cussing men­tal ill­ness is more than just sloppy cliché; it sug­gests that our think­ing about men­tal health re­mains mired in a me­dieval out­look.

ALEXAN­DER NAZARYAN,

writer, in Newsweek

I THINK AN­I­MALS are bet­ter muses than hu­man be­ings—they’ll never fall out of fash­ion.

KARL LAGERFELD,

fash­ion de­signer, in Harper’s Bazaar

THE STO­RIES WE LOVE are filled with strug­gle, con­flict, and fail­ure, yet so of­ten the sto­ries we present to oth­ers are a high­light reel of ac­com­plish­ments, perfect meals, and sunny days.

BRIAN BAILEY,

on­line com­mu­nity founder, on un­com­mon.cc

OUR AP­PETITE for watch­ing peo­ple stum­ble from ex­haus­tion soon moves from one kind of spec­ta­cle to the next, per­haps partly be­cause we’re ashamed of hav­ing en­joyed the pre­vi­ous one.

ADAM GOPNIK,

cul­ture writer, in the New Yorker, on com­pet­i­tive walk­ing

THE ME­CHAN­ICS of good apolo­gies aren’t dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand. A bad apol­ogy is cagey and un­gen­er­ous, an at­tempt to avoid tak­ing full re­spon­si­bil­ity. Good apolo­gies are about step­ping up.

MARJORIE INGALL,

colum­nist, in Real Sim­ple

RE­ALLY SUC­CESS­FUL PEO­PLE of­ten have the abil­ity to com­pletely flip their men­tal dis­po­si­tions. In many fields, it pays to be rigid and dis­ci­plined at first but then flex­i­ble and play­ful as you get bet­ter.

DAVID BROOKS,

op-ed colum­nist, in the New York Times

The years be­tween 18 and 28 are the hard­est, psy­cho­log­i­cally. It’s then you re­al­ize this is make-or-break, you no longer have the ex­cuse of youth.

HE­LEN MIRREN, ac­tress, in her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy

Ob­ses­sive peo­ple tend not to be very good at lead­ing happy, bal­anced lives … But at the same time, ob­ses­sions are re­spon­si­ble for so much of hu­man great­ness … How many peo­ple who have changed his­tory would you de­scribe as “chill”?

AMY CHUA, law pro­fes­sor, in WSJ Magazine

The his­tory of be­ing black in Amer­ica is the his­tory of non­vi­o­lence ver­sus “fight back.” Of “wait” ver­sus “now.” Of a turned

cheek ver­sus self-de­fense.

REMBERT BROWNE, writer, on grant­land.com

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