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    On Human Dignity and Shared Experiences

    I had afternoon tea yesterday. I had afternoon tea with a stranger. I met this stranger because I had afternoon tea yesterday at Patisserie Valerie, where tea is only served for two, in St. Pancras International Railway Station. Because the seating area at Patisserie Valerie is open to the rest of the station, I shared afternoon tea for two with a stranger who was asking customers for spare change. I shared tea because my heart was softened when the woman my stranger first approached shared some of her money with her and treated her with kindness; and because I am learning to listen to my intuition and to not be…

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    Process, Not Results

    Why do we focus so much on results? This morning as I painted my nails, I found myself impatient with needing to apply several coats of this particular polish for full coverage, and thinking about brands that claim to only need 1 coat… which reminded me of this post on a friend’s blog about nail polish toxicity.  I don’t have any real idea what is in this stuff that I regularly slap on my body to “enhance” it.  And I don’t have any idea what happens to a formula when it’s modified to need only one coat, or dry more quickly, or not chip, for my convenience.  How is that achieved?  What…

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    A little philosophy, courtesy of “The School of Life”

    I started reading L’étranger (The Stranger) by Albert Camus after discussing a passage from it in my French course.  Yesterday, this video on Camus popped up in my e-mail, from The School of Life’s YouTube channel, which I subscribe to and highly recommend.  Favorite takeaway this morning: enjoying the magnificence of this life instead of pining for another one (i.e., heaven). That led me to Michel de Montaigne, “Camus’ favorite philosopher,” according to The School of Life. Though some of his ideas are not unfamiliar to me, I haven’t read any of his works (yet!), and I’m very intrigued by this introduction. Some ideas that resonated: authenticity – value and pursue what is useful/appeals to you; value your own mind; recognize…

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    The Pursuit of: Intellectual Freedom

    Throughout your upbringing and education, how many concepts were “truth,” and how many authority figures were “infallible”? I don’t know how to balance the need for children to have things they can count on – how to determine how much “grey” they can handle when they’re first developing – while instilling the idea that it is good essential to ask questions and to investigate ideas from various viewpoints before forming an opinion (we don’t even need to have an opinion on everything!). I fear that critical thinking is sorely lacking in (or even condemned by) many educational systems. We all have unique challenges to our growth and psychological development; some of my mine…