Playlist of the Week

James Last & Gheorghe Zamfir — The Lonely Shepherd
Ólafur Arnalds ft. Atli Örvarsson & SinfoniaNord — Öldurót
Shirley Nair & The Silver Strings — You’re the Boy
Ania Dąbrowska — Sounds of Silence
Susan Christie — Echo in Your Mind
George Harrison — All Things Must Pass
Amy Winehouse — Some Unholy War
Antony and the Johnsons — Bird Girl
Dream Theater — Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On
Moddi — Where Is My Vietnam

Seclusion by Eduard Mörike

Let, oh world, ah let me be!
  Tempt me not with gifts of pleasure.
  Leave alone this heart to treasure
  All its joy, its misery.

 What my grief I can not say,
  ‘Tis a strange, a wistful sorrow;
  Yet through tears at every morrow
  I behold the light of day.

  When my weary soul finds rest
  Oft a beam of rapture brightens
  All the gloom of cloud, and lightens
  This oppression in my breast.

  Let, oh world, all, let me be!
  Tempt me not with gifts of pleasure.
  Leave alone this heart to treasure
  All its joy, its misery.

Stand Unflinching

Homer, The Iliad. Trans. E. V. Rieu, (New York: Penguin Books, 1950), XI.394-:

Left to himself without a single Argive to support him, now that all were panic-stricken, even the renowned Odysseus was perturbed and took counsel with his indomitable soul. ‘What,’ he asked himself with a groan, ‘is coming to me next? It would be infamy to take to my heels, scared by the odds against me; but even more unpleasant to be caught alone, now that Zeus has set all the rest of the Danaans on the run. But why do I discuss the point? Do I not know that cowards leave their post, whereas the man who claims to lead is on duty bound to stand unflinching and to kill or die?’

Déformation professionnelle

Professional deformation or job conditioning is a tendency to look at things from the point of view of one’s own profession or special expertise, rather than from a broader or humane perspective. It is often translated as “professional deformation”, though French deformation can also be translated as “distortion”. The implication is that professional training, and its related socialization, often result in a distortion of the way one views the world.

Useful to Neighbors

Charles Wagner, “The Healing Power of Beneficence,” Courage, (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1903), pp. 227-228:

I do not believe that youth should be crushed by the sight of sin and misery, nor that its horizon should be darkened by a too precocious revelation of the sorrows of the world. But it is equally bad to hide everything from youth. It is one thing to be overwhelmed daily with heart-rending recitals and startled by distressing scenes, and quite another to learn that there are beings who suffer, and to be initiated gently into the trials of life. A young man who has arrived at the end of his adolescence, and who has been guarded from all knowledge of suffering and death, is like a victim who has been purposely disarmed in order to be handed over to his executioners with more security. He is ignorant of one of the primordial laws of life, the law of sorrow. This is a serious lack as far as he himself is concerned, and renders him less useful to his neighbors. How can one who is ignorant of grief feel compassion for it and relieve it?

Polarized View of Human Nature

William Lutz (Editor), “Mr. Orwell, Mr.Schlesinger, and the Language,“ Beyond Nineteen Eighty-Four: Doublespeak in a Post-Orwellian Age, (Illinois: National Council of Teachers of English, 1989), p.22:

This polarized view of human nature, that there are Good people (Our side) and bad people (Out There), often leads to catastrophe. Persecutions, crusades and wars have been carried out in the past as ‘good’ people, with the best of intentions, sought to punish or eradicate the “bad.’

A more realistic attitude toward human nature is that every individual has the potential and capacity for good and evil and that all people are complicated mixture of these qualities.

Conscious Volition

Yoritomo-Tashi, “What is it?” Common Sense, (New York: Funk & Wagnalis Company, 1915), p.21:

To reason about a thing is to dissect it, to examine it from every point to view before adopting it, before deferring to it, or before rejecting it; in one word, to reason about a thing is to act with conscious volition, which is one of the phases essential to the conquest of common sense.