When I graduated a few weeks ago, my aunt gave me a card and explained that for her graduation gift she wanted to give me something that had meaning for me. Painted Board with a quote on it, something to remind me of what I stand for. She then shared with me the quote that she lives by, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” This quote from Helen Keller struck me, not because I agree with it(I haven’t made up my mind there), but because it explained my aunt to me in a new way.

We become our actions, which are informed by our thoughts. Having a quote like that somewhere where we are reminded of is a way of saying, “This is what I want to be.” I have spent the last few weeks reading quotes that reflect my mind view. One of the first quotes that came to mind was the Litany_Against_Fear from dune. This has been a favorite quote for years, and I have memorized it, I repeat it when I am facing difficulty, and my moleskin often has copies I have written, for some reason writing out a mantra can keep me from ticing in the same way that focused coding, or other distraction can. The issue with the Litany, is that it is better as a Mantra than as a slogan, so I kept looking.

I greatly admire Ghandi, and began looking though lists of his quotes for something that stuck, but they all seemed to conditional, “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians, they are so unlike your Christ.” and “An Eye for and Eye makes the whole world blind.” are both very powerful calls to seek a justice that does not demand revenge, but rather fairness. I also considered P. C. Hodgell’s quote, “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.” This feels two antagonistic, and honestly doesn’t seem like something to live by, but again, a conditional.

While reading over on Less Wrong I found this gem,

“What is true is already so.
Owning up to it doesn’t make it worse.
Not being open about it doesn’t make it go away.
And because it’s true, it is what is there to be interacted with.
Anything untrue isn’t there to be lived.
People can stand what is true,
for they are already enduring it.”
– Eugene Gendlin

That paragraph says more about honesty, courage, and what it takes win in reality than almost any other quote I have ever seen. It is something that I can live by, and something I would like to be reminded of daily. Seeing reality for what it is, and knowing what I’m already enduring, is a powerful first step for maintaining control of my life and it’s direction, It’s like a good map to chart my course with.

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