Segibert could best be described as a series of brief intervals between drinks. -K.J. Parker, A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong
My mother worked in churches when I was little, so I grew up playing tag in sanctuaries. The concept of hallowed ground wasn’t introduced to me until I was older. Now I feel that sense of sacredness more frequently in nature than in buildings. Here is the story of one place considered hallowed ground by the natives of the region.
Kangchenjunga translates as “five treasure houses in the snow.” Tibetan mythology deems the mountain the sacred seat of the Gods and says it contains their five treasures: gold, silver, copper, corn, and divine books. Although climbers have traditionally gotten to within feet of the true top but out of respect stopped short of that holy ground, it has become increasingly trampled by climbers with little or no spiritual connection to the sacred surroundings who want to tag the true summit. For women climbers, simply avoiding the hallowed ground evidently isn’t good enough to mollify the Mountain Gods; local legend has it that the spirits don’t want women anywhere near the sanctified summit for fear they will “pollute” its purity. Many devout believe this is why women have had so little success on Kangchenjunga. -Jennifer Jordan, Savage Summit
Writing Prompt: Describe a place that will be considered hallowed ground in your story.
Journaling Prompt: Describe a place that is hallowed ground for you.
Another root cause of growing inequality is that the modern world, by so limiting our downside risk, makes extreme risk-taking all too comfortable and easy. More risk-taking will mean more inequality, sooner or later, because winners always emerge from risk-taking. Yet bankers who take bad risks (provided those risks are legal) simply do not end up with bad outcomes in any absolute sense. They still have millions in the bank, lots of human capital and plenty of social status. We’re not going to bring back torture, trial by ordeal or debtors’ prisons, nor should we. Yet the threat of impoverishment and disgrace no longer looms the way it once did, so we no longer can constrain excess financial risk-taking. It’s too soft and cushy a world. -Tyler Cowen, The Inequality that Matters
Have in your madness reason enough to guide your extravagancies; and, forget not to be excessively opinionated and obstinate. -Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary
Humans have a tendency to put a great deal of importance on success and failure as opposed to looking for the growth and learning in every experience regardless of outcome. Here is a quotation from one of the greatest players in chess about a more enlightened way to move through life.
My argument has always been that what you learn from using the skills you have—analyzing your strengths and weaknesses—is far more important. If you can program yourself to learn from your experiences by assiduously reviewing what worked and what did not, and why, success in chess can be very valuable indeed. -Garry Kasparov, The Bobby Fischer Defense
Under Saddam, police loyalty to the regime was valued much more than detective work. At the police academy, Omar’s class was ordered to skin and eat a live dog. After that, his instructors believed, no order would be too repulsive to carry out. -Daniel Voll, The Hunter Becomes the Hunted
We’ve all met leaders, some good, some excellent, some execrable. The Leader is an important archetype in writing, so leadership is an important quality for writers to study. Here we have a very simple definition of one aspect of leadership that we can use in our writing.
Leadership is not something you do to people, but something you do with people. -Kenneth Blanchard, Leading at a Higher Level
Fresh popcorn heralds Michaels’s every entrance. Whether he’s about to arrive at his seventeenth-floor office at NBC, with its breathtaking view of the Empire State Building; the eighth-floor Saturday Night studio; this ninth-floor office overlooking the studio; or his handsome Broadway Video offices a couple of blocks west in the Brill Building, a blond wicker basket of warm kernels precedes him, usually delivered by one of several blonde female assistants in their early twenties. Cast members call these high-strung women the Lornettes.
“When did you have time to make all that stuff, Mom? It’s wonderful, but how did you do it?” For years, Diana kept her mother’s answer buried in the furthest reaches of her memory. Now, it came back to her. “Love always makes time,” Iona had said. -J.A. Jance, Hour of the Hunter
There is never any reason for happiness. Yet it exists. -Kate Elliot, Spirit Gate: Book One of Crossroads
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