Shakespeare & Co. bookstore, Paris on Flickr.
I have to say that the single most important lesson I learned in 25 years talking every single day to people was that there is a common denominator in our human experience. Most of us, I tell ya, we don’t want to be divided. What we want—the common denominator that I found in every single interview—is that we want to be validated. We want to be understood.
I’ve done over 35,000 interviews in my career, and as soon as that camera shuts off everyone always turns to me and inevitably in their own way ask this question: “was that ok?”
I heard it from President Bush. I heard it from President Obama. I’ve heard it from heroes and from housewives. I’ve heard it from victims and perpetrators of crime. I even heard it from BE-YON-CÉ in all of her Beyoncé-ness. She finishes performing, hands me the microphone, and says “was that ok?” [x]
Tom Bodett (via observando)
I went through the worst panic attack of my life yesterday, and I’m 95% over it now, but I’m actively thinking about tools to better manage this. I think it’s finally sunk in for me that not every anxious moment or anxiety attack has a trigger or a logical reason and so can be avoided…sometimes, it’s just a physical fluke/thing that I carry and it will hit me randomly and I just have to learn how to manage it in the moment. Maybe I won’t be able to live an anxiety-free life, but I can try to do things to suffer less on its behalf.
As I think about managing it, I want to share whatever I find is useful with other people! Because the more I talk about it, the more I realize others are affected by this seemingly irrational mental process. Here’s my first thought, on mantras you can use to push anxiety away.
As far as I understand, a ‘mantra’ is a phrase that you repeat to yourself, that you can meditate or focus on, that you can hold as your motto, that you can ascribe importance to in any way you please…
And when you have anxiety problems or even fear having an anxiety attack, distracting your brain and making it focus on a solid mantra you have at hand can be really useful. Especially in the latter situation, where you don’t necessarily feel *anxious* yet but you are worried *about* feeling anxious or having an attack (I think most people get what I mean, you can understand the difference between these two levels of feeling).
So, when you need it, take a few deep breaths, and repeat one or two mantras to yourself..or even write it out a few times. That could be helpful if, say, you’re in class and don’t want to sit there muttering. Or it can help you feel like it’s more physical or forceful to write it or doodle it. Here are a couple that I use/made up, but you can totally write your own.
Do you have any ideas for good ones?
As head of his village, Prajob Naowa-opas battled to save his community in central Thailand from the illegal dumping of toxic waste by filing petitions and leading villagers to block trucks carrying the stuff — until a gunman in broad daylight fired four shots into him.
A year later, his three alleged killers, including a senior government official, are on trial for murder. The dumping has been halted and villagers are erecting a statue to their slain hero.
But the prosecution of Prajob’s murder is a rare exception. A survey released Tuesday — the first comprehensive one of its kind - says that only 10 killers of 908 environmental activists slain around the world over the past decade have been convicted.
The report by the London-based Global Witness, a group that seeks to shed light on the links between environmental exploitation and human rights abuses, says murders of those protecting land rights and the environment have soared dramatically. It noted that its toll of victims in 35 countries is probably far higher since field investigations in a number of African and Asian nations are difficult or impossible.
“Many of those facing threats are ordinary people opposing land grabs, mining operations and the industrial timber trade, often forced from their homes and severely threatened by environmental devastation,” the report said. Others have been killed over hydro-electric dams, pollution and wildlife conservation.
The rising deaths, along with non-lethal violence, are attributed to intensifying competition for shrinking resources in a global economy and abetted by authorities and security forces in some countries connected to powerful individuals, companies and others behind the killings.
The University of Virginia swim team rocks. Found via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Twitter.
I think I am strong now, not only because he was strong then, but because that shared quality brought us together and let us love each other in the first place.