Points to Ponder
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.
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.”
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.
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.
writer, in Newsweek
I THINK ANIMALS are better muses than human beings—they’ll never fall out of fashion.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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