Random Ramblings of a New Yorker

The adventures of a California girl living in New York City

Posts tagged life

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The key to your happiness is to own your slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don’t. If you keep saying your slippers aren’t yours, then you’ll die searching, you’ll die bitter, always feeling you were promised more. Not only our actions, but also our omissions, become our destiny.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

This quote got me thinking about how we need to accept even our flaws as part of what makes us who we are. Until we own up to that we can never truly be happy with ourselves and the lives we’ve led. Just something I need to think about…

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Life works in mysterious ways…

I think it’s quite interesting how you can live your whole life knowing something and not really give it much thought. Then after believing you’ve practically come to terms with how your life’s turned out, something happens that causes you to wonder about where your life has taken you. It’s not really about regretting the things that have happened, but about wanting to know more and having your questions answered. I just need to have the courage to ask for help.

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Life’s surprises…

It’s quite amazing how people can surprise you in the most unexpected ways. It just goes to show…never underestimate people. Even if you’ve known someone their entire life, they can still warm your heart and surprise you in the best ways. <3

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"I used to assume that the direction of ‘progress’ was somehow inevitable, not to be questioned…the fact that life seemed to get harder and faster with each day…"

Norberg-Hodge continues to argue not only that Western development workers should not blindly impose modern ‘improvements’ on ancient cultures, but that industrialized countries had lessons to learn from people like Ladakhis about building sustainable societies. “I have seen,” she writes, “that community and a close relationship with the land can enrich human life byond all comparison with material wealth or technological sophistication. I have learned that another way is possible.” p.112
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“Norberg-Hodge admiringly quotes the king of another Himalayan country, Bhutan, who say s the true measure of a nation’s success is not gross national product, but “gross national happiness.” On their warm, dry roof, among the fruits of their successful harvest, eating, smoking, and gossiping with the same sense of leisure as Parisians on the terrace of a sidewalk cafe, Mortenseon felt sure that, despite all that they lacked, the Balti still held the key to a kind of uncomplicated happiness that was disappearing in the developing world as fast as old-growth forests.” p.120
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"We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We’re the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills…Haji Ali taught [Greg Mortenson] to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them." p.150
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"I don’t want to teach Pakistan’s children to think like Americans," Mortenson says. "I just want them to have a balanced, nonextremist education. That idea is at the very center of what we do." p.209

These quotes come from the book Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. They really got me thinking about just how much material wealth is valued in American society. I particularly feel that “the fact that life seem[s] to get harder and faster with each day…” living in NYC, always having to be on the go. It makes me wonder if this is really how I should be living my life. I’ll probably only be here for a few more years at most. In the end, I want to settle in a place where the pace of living isn’t quite so fast so that I can contribute to a higher “gross national happiness.”

It also reminded me that in my own classroom, it’s not about teaching my students to share my own personal values or mindset, but to give them the tools and opportunities to practice making educated decisions. So when they leave the safety of my classroom, they’ll be able to acknowledge that there are multiple perspectives and make informed decisions about how they should lead their lives.

Just some thoughts…

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Patience…

It certainly pays off. I just need to remember to breathe, be patient and not expect myself to know every little thing with regards to my life, my job and the world. Things will come when they’re supposed to and I’m ready to receive them…

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A big hoopla for nothing…

It’s funny how sometimes we can try and make such a big deal about something in our minds (even if it is necessary or warranted) and in the end it can turn out to be a-okay. I’m just glad it all worked out in the end. I can finally put this behind me and move on with my life…thankfully!

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Sometimes…

life doesn’t seem fair, but we’ve got to live with the cards life has dealt us and just go from there. It might be hard in the moment to get over the unfairness, but we just have to have faith in the fact that we’re where we’re supposed to be at that moment, breathe and tackle head-on whatever obstacles life throws our way…Here it goes!

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