2020 Inspiration

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The Second Coming
— W. B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

–C.S. Lewis

In the end, we’ll all become stories.

Margaret Atwood

We don’t pay our heroes enough.

Robert A. Heinlein

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.

Muriel Rukeyser, 1913-1980

In every revolution, there’s one man with a vision.

James T. Kirk, “Mirror, Mirror” by Jerome Bixby, STAR TREK

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”                                                                     

Proverbs 29:1

They blaze through history – the heroes and the heroines. Those who stood alone against the great odds.  Those who endured intolerable suffering rather than betray companions. Those who ignored danger to save others.  Sudden unpremeditated acts – or a long perseverance. The world is built upon the courage of a million million unremembered souls, whose courage has outlived pestilence and war, bereavement, failure, suffering of every kind – and given life and hope to all who follow them.

Pam Brown

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Robert F. Kennedy, Sr.

Never give up! Never surrender!

Commander Peter Quincy Taggart, GALAXY QUEST

Stories are what cultures are built of. They can tear down the buildings, but they can’t silence the stories. That’s why so much has survived.

Susa Morgan Black

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

William James

We choose to go to the Moon. We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

John F. Kennedy, Sr.

We’re all made of stories. When they finally put us underground, the stories are what will go on. Not forever, perhaps, but for a time. It’s a kind of immortality, I suppose, bounded by limits, it’s true, but then so’s everything.

Charles de Lint

I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace.

Helen Keller

We are our stories. We compress years of experience, thought, and emotion into a few compact narratives that we convey to others and tell to ourselves. That has always been true. But personal narrative has become more prevalent, and perhaps more urgent, in a time of abundance, when many of us are freer to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves and our purpose.

Daniel Pink

“We are faced with a harmonized collectivity of consciousnesses to a sort of superconciousness. The Earth not only becoming covered by myriads of grains of thought, but becoming enclosed in a single thinking envelope, a single unanimous reflection.”

Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man, 1955

“When wireless is perfectly applied the whole Earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance.”

Nicolo Tesla, 1926 interview with Collier’s magazine

“Small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos have the capacity to shift the entire system to a higher order.”

Ilya Prigogine, Noble Laureate