There are few things we all have in common. We are all born, we all die, we all love and we all suffer. The rest is pretty subjective, and even though there are many commonalities among us, sweeping generalizations for the different lives of billions of people are difficult to decide on. So let’s just stick with the whole birth, death, love and suffering thing.
I really think we forget that the thing we have in common is that we are all on the same spectrum of happiness and suffering, we’re all just bouncing around from one end to the other. But because we’re all on the same ride, it’s the thing that connects us more than anything else. People forget that those they are unnecessarily and recklessly cruel to are suffering just as they are, and are as hopeful as they are, and have loved as they do, and are loved ones just as they have loved ones.
If you ever want to re-evaluate how you treat other people, consider your interactions with them in comparison to how you treat those who you most care about. If they aren’t with the same respect, gratitude and grace, you’re doing it wrong. Everybody is deserving of your love and respect, just as you are deserving of the same from them. The idea that we’re not is one of the facilitators of the hatred and violence that our world sees too routinely."
Briana West, Thought Catalog
How many hours of sleep does it take for me to feel human again?
The first language humans had was gestures. There was nothing primitive about this language that flowed from people’s hands, nothing we say now that could not be said in the endless array of movements possible with the fine bones of the fingers and wrists. The gestures were complex and subtle, involving a delicacy of motion that has since been lost completely.
During the Age of Silence, people communicated more, not less. Basic survival demanded that the hands were almost never still, and so it was only during sleep (and sometimes not even then) that people were not saying something or other. No distinction was made between the gestures of language and the gestures of life. The labor of building a house, say, or preparing a meal was no less an expression than making the sign for I love you or I feel serious. When a hand was used to shield one’s face when frightened by a loud noise something was being said, and when fingers were used to pick up what someone else had dropped something was being said; and even when the hands were at rest, that, too, was saying something. Naturally, there were misunderstandings. There were times when a finger might have been lifted to scratch a nose, and if casual eye contact was made with one’s lover just then, the lover might accidentally take it to be the gesture, not at all dissimilar, for Now I realize I was wrong to love you. These mistakes were heartbreaking. And yet, because people knew how easily they could happen, because they didn’t go round with the illusion that they understood perfectly the things other people said, they were used to interrupting each other to ask if they’d understood correctly. Sometimes these misunderstandings were even desirable, since they gave people a reason to say, Forgive me, I was only scratching my nose. Of course I know I’ve always been right to love you. Because of the frequency of these mistakes, over time the gesture for asking forgiveness evolved into the simplest form. Just to open your palm was to say: Forgive me.
If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms – if you find yourself at a loss for what to do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignness of your own body – it’s because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what’s inside and what’s outside, was so much less. It’s not that we’ve forgotten the language of gestures entirely. The habit of moving our hands while we speak is left over from it. Clapping, pointing, giving the thumbs-up, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together. And at night, when it’s too dark to see, we find it necessary to gesture on each other’s bodies to make ourselves understood."
Nicole Krauss, The History of Love
"I am by nature an optimist and by intellectual conviction a pessimist."
"Everyone of us begins life with an open mind, a driving curiosity, a sense of wonder."