“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
This holiday season, consider these two TED Talks and add your name today to the Charter for Compassion.
“During my service in the United States Senate, I have often been called a Liberal, and it usually was not meant as a compliment. But I remember what my brother said about liberalism shortly before he was elected president. He said: ‘If by a Liberal, they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind… Someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions… Someone who cares about the welfare of the people—their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties…Someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and the suspicion that grips us… If that is what they mean by a Liberal… Then I am proud to say I am a Liberal.’
“As I said in Denver last summer, for me, this is a season of hope.
“Since I was a boy, I have known the joy of sailing the waters off Cape Cod. And for all my years in public life, I have believed that America must sail toward the shores of liberty and justice for all. There is no end to that journey, only the next great voyage. We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make.
“In that spirit, I thank Harvard for this great honor—and I thank Massachusetts for the privilege of serving its people and its principles.
“I have lived a blessed time. Now, with you, I look forward to a new time of aspiration and high achievement for our nation and the world.”
Words spoken by Senator Edward M. Kennedy upon receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws from Harvard University, December 1, 2008.
From Sir Tom Stoppard:
“Words are innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across the incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they’re no good anymore. I don’t think writers are sacred, but words are. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you’re dead.”
Thoughtful words shared today on Twitter by NPR’s Scott Simon (<a href="http://twitter.com/nprscottsimon
“When I was born the speed limit was two miles an hour. They’d only just repealed the law where a man had to walk in front of every motor car waving a flag.”
Henry Allingham, world’s oldest man, who died at the age of 113 on July 18, 2009.
The story in The Guardian. http://tinyurl.com/lhvhhz
“Any soldier who goes into battle against the Taliban in pink boxers and flip-flops has a special kind of courage. I can only wonder about the impact on the Taliban. Just imagine seeing that a guy in pink boxers and flip-flops has you in his crosshairs.”
Secretary of Defense Bill Gates talking about Army Specialist Zachery Boyd whose unit in Afghanistan came under attack while he was in his sleeping quarters. See the photo by clicking here.