It was two years ago this month that I started Couch to 5K, and tomorrow I run my first half marathon. Yeehaw! This week has been about catching up from all my out of town travel, tapering, and eating carbs. (Any excuse.) I’m sure I’ll check in afterwards and get all bloggy about it, but in the meantime… wish me luck!
As for link love, we have TONS of stuff this week. So I’ll just dump ’em here without too much comment. Enjoy:
Objects Make of Paper — Colossal
Made of paper. Paper:
Making Room for the Sabbath and Keeping it Holy — LGBT Weekly
A good primer, if for some reason you haven’t already gotten that from me…
How can we do this? There are a number of spiritual practices you might want to incorporate: daily devotions, weekly worship, eating right, exercise, acts of kindness, focused prayer.
There are also a number of Sabbath-day practices you might consider: going for a contemplative walk; having some friends over to play games; “unplugging” from your cell phone for a few hours; going for a drive on Sunday afternoon and showing up at somebody’s house at suppertime! OK, maybe not that last one. But you get the idea.
There’s no amount of counseling, kale, or yoga — even if these were available or affordable to everyone in the U.S. — that will alter the economic, political, and social forces that sustain poverty or war in the age of terrorism, or what we glibly call “work-family conflict.” We’re going to have to throw out the bath oil with the bath water if we’re going to tackle the social problems that actually create the stress we bemoan today.
These made me think:
If you meet a person who cares about the same obscure things you do, hold on to them for dear life.
Start brave and brash: you can always make things more conservative, but it’s hard to make things more radical.
Daring New Ideas from TED 2013 — Brene Brown
Brene’s picks for the best stuff this year. Links to three talks, including the one by Amanda Palmer that’s just stellar.
The Economy of Punishment — Harvard Business Review
Quite simply, our fear prevents us from recognizing and finding appropriate channels for the talents of our criminal population. As a result, we have institutionalized a simple formula for dealing with such individuals: capture, punish and isolate.
This formula has become a curse, resulting in an epidemic of incarceration across the United States.
So how, as a society, do we develop new instincts towards criminals and what strategies can be effectively employed to reduce the rate of incarceration and the rate of recidivism?
Many gangsters are natural born innovators with restricted economic opportunities. Nobody understands this better than Catherine (Cat) Rohr, who quit her job in private equity to become a champion for the incarcerated. As she told us, “Initially I had this attitude that people in prison were the scum of the earth, that they were a waste of tax dollars.” But in getting to know the prison population better, Cat’s position began to change. “I suddenly realized I was meeting entrepreneurs in prison. That these guys who had run drug businesses had all these entrepreneurial characteristics like scrappiness, charisma, and real skills in leadership and management.” With this realization, Cat began a life committed to honoring the talents and skills of those in prison.
As part of this journey, Cat launched a program called Defy Ventures, in New York, that provides a business incubator for ex-offenders who then have an opportunity to compete for $150,000 in seed capital for their businesses. At the core of Cat’s program is a powerful acknowledgement of the skills and talents that former drug dealers and gang leaders possess. From there it’s just a matter of pivoting these street skills into the world of formal entrepreneurship. For many ex-cons, who face discrimination from employers after getting out of prison, Cat’s program offers an MBA-like training matched with exposure to leading entrepreneurs, investors, and potential employers.
Top Secret Drum Corps — Colossal
Clare Booth Luce’s Advice to Her 18 Year Old Daughter — Brain Pickings
Includes links to other words of wisdom from authors and artists to their children.
“The main thing is to get what little happiness there is out of life in this wartorn world because ‘these are the good old days’ now.”
Living with Less. A Lot Less — New York Times
Living with less as it’s described in this article means deciding what kind of person/family you’re going to be, in some sense. If you have no camping equipment, especially if you had camping equipment and you give it away, you’ve made a decision: we are not going to be a family that camps.
Nothing particularly wise there, just something that came to me as I read the article. I guess you could borrow stuff. But I do think that these discussions about simplifying are harder when you have children. Giving kids opportunities to try things necessitates acquiring the equipment required for them to try it. And when they lose interest, how do you know whether it’s temporary or permanent?
Freelancing in the Digital Age — Andrew Sullivan
I’m now having to do a lot more negotiating and advocating for myself when it comes to money, so I found this discussion interesting:
A little while back, I was contributing a piece to a publication that I was thrilled to be writing for: high prestige, high visibility, great roster of fellow contributors. I was honored to be asked. And when the editor mentioned my fee, I was initially eager to say yes. But something told me to hold back (for once—I am usually a very poor negotiator). I thought about who else was contributing, what demands they or their agents might have made, the fact that there’s probably always wiggle room … and I typed this into an e-mail: “I’ll do it for whatever you pay Sam Lipsyte.”
Letting Go — A Deeper Story
Written by my friend Troy Bronsink, who has a great new book out about creativity and the life of faith:
“We think that its best for Neighbors Abbey that you no longer be Presbyterian” were the words she said. But what I heard was: “Just 3 years in we’re backing out of our 7 year grant commitment, and now you have 6 months to double your annual fund raising from $25k to $50K.” It reminded me of the arrows I shot in scouting camp as a kid. Hers landing dead center. Mine… well I’d pulled the string but there was no chance it was gonna go where I’d aimed. Not any more. I didn’t even have to watch to find out.
Have a great weekend, everyone. Peace be with you.