If you haven’t yet visited Brain Pickings by Maria Popova, this week’s newsletter is a great place to start.
Maria Popova describes herself as “an interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large”. She gathers up all sorts of things that you didn’t know you were interested in, until you are.
Brain Pickings — “is a cross-disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces spanning art, design, science, technology, philosophy, history, politics, psychology, sociology, ecology, anthropology, and more”.
I’m sure you will find something of interest to you!
This week’s offering If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? Kurt Vonnegut’s Advice to the Young on Kindness, Computers, Community, and the Power of Great Teachers provides ideas, quotations and excerpts from speeches made by Kurt Vonnegut at college graduation ceremonies between 1978 and 2004.
Here are just a few that I found particularly interesting or appealing. Please visit Brain Pickings for a more complete synopsis.
“But I say with all my American ancestors, “If what Jesus said was good, and so much of it was absolutely beautiful, what does it matter if he was God or not?”
If Christ hadn’t delivered the Sermon on the Mount, with its message of mercy and pity, I wouldn’t want to be a human being.
I would just as soon be a rattlesnake.”
“But in our personal lives, our inner lives, at least, we can learn to live without the sick excitement, without the kick of having scores to settle with this particular person, or that bunch of people, or that particular institution or race or nation. And we can then reasonably ask forgiveness for our trespasses, since we forgive those who trespass against us. And we can teach our children and then our grandchildren to do the same — so that they, too, can never be a threat to anyone.”
“I recommend that everybody here join all sorts of organizations, no matter how ridiculous, simply to get more people in his or her life. It does not matter much if all the other members are morons. Quantities of relatives of any sort are what we need.”
“By working so hard at becoming wise and reasonable and well-informed, you have made our little planet, our precious little moist, blue-green ball, a saner place than it was before you got here.”
“When things are going sweetly and peacefully, please pause a moment, and then say out loud, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”
Which ideas of Kurt Vonnegut do you find interesting?
With which do you agree or disagree?