School of Life: The Gift of a Plant

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“Plants don’t blog. They don’t post stupid comments. They don’t have follower counts and they don’t care how many followers you have.

All plants want is a little water, a little sun, and a little company. And in return they’ll grow and change and reward you occasionally with explosions of beauty.

These changes don’t happen at internet speeds. You’ll hardly know they’re happening at all. This is one of the gifts plants give me. They remind me to slow down, to take the long view, to breathe, relax, and just wait for what happens next.”

Quote via Plantgasm – I love plants too much.
Mitosis GIF via Infinity Imagined.

School of Life: Frank Oppenheimer

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“I recommend that you be willing to become deeply involved in lots and lots of things and that you let yourself, perhaps even force yourself, to do things that you think are important and that you can take seriously. I make this recommendation to you because I believe that if you do, then even in the face of considerable adversity you will feel, as I do now, grateful for having lived.”

An insistence on excellence, a knack for finding new ways of looking at things, a lack of pretentiousness, and a respect for invention and play… Frank Oppenheimer’s legacy lives on.

His colleagues at the San Francisco Exploratorium describe what is was like to work with him . He truly embodied his own advice.

School of Life: Penny Rice

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The Boys Don't Stand a Chance
[photo by Andrea Schwalm]

Embrace love in all of its forms, live with a strong connection to your higher self, laugh loudly and often … with yourself as your main source of amusement.

Eliminate manufactured fear.  Root out all messages and warnings of fear instilled within you by parents, teachers, leaders, TV, media and your imagination.  Look around you and see the ways you are safe, secure and empowered.  Regardless of your circumstances, there is good in your life.  See it, acknowledge it, enjoy it and be thankful.

Life is an adventure.  There’re opportunities every day to learn new things, meet new people, gain new perspective and explore new ideas … many only appear once.  Don’t miss them.

Tell your truth of the moment.  (It will evolve as you grow and change.)  Be authentic by your definition, not what others cast upon you.

Treat each person you meet as the unique individual they are.  Learn something from every person.  Notice their eyes; their spirit, their beauty.  Acknowledge them with a smile, nod or thought.

Become aware of your negative and judgmental thoughts.  Counter them with love.  Forgive yourself for actions that have hurt others. Vow to change the behavior. Forgive those who have hurt you because in doing so, you make room for love, laughter and joy.

Remember and honor those who have loved, cherished, protected, guided, taught, and, yes, even those who have pissed you off.

The way I see it, Love is a much better place from which to live a life.

[Words by Penny Rice from The View From 65 via The Listserve]

School of Life: John Cage

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[Photo by me]

Some Rules for Students and Teachers
By John Gage

RULE ONE:  Find a place you trust,  and then,  try trusting it for awhile.

RULE TWO: (General Duties as a Student)
Pull everything out of your teacher.
Pull everything out of your fellow students.

RULE THREE: (General Duties as a Teacher)
Pull everything out of your students.

RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.

RULE FIVE: Be Self Disciplined.
This means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them.
To be disciplined is to follow in a good way.
To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

RULE SIX: Follow the leader. Nothing is a mistake.
There is no win and no fail. There is only make.

RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something.
It is the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.
You can fool the fans–but not the players.

RULE EIGHT: Do not try to create and analyze at the same time.
The are different processes.

RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it.
Enjoy yourself. It is lighter than you think.

RULE TEN: We are breaking all the rules.
Even our own rules, and how do we do that?
By leaving plenty of room for “X” quantities.

Always Be Around.
Come or go to everything.
Always go to classes.
Read everything you can get your hands on.
Look at movies carefully and often.
SAVE EVERYTHING. It may come in handy later.

[Words by John Cage via]

School of Life: Laurie Creasy

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The ground beneath our feet is always sinking.

The person we become is never the person we wanted to be — there are compromises and scars, failures and cowardice. Always choices. Always temptations. The only thing we can do sometimes is close our eyes and go in what seems to be the best direction … but we may not know until long after we’ve passed the turning.

We have to open our hearts … and that can be excruciating.

We have to see the face of God in everyone … and that work is hard and humbling, but it burnishes our souls to beauty.

Remember this: In the end, every turning is the right turning, and life always brings us to where we need to be.

Love yourself as you are and where you are. Love others that way, too.

[Words by Laurie Creasy from "Who We Become" via Cowbird]
[Photos Photographic Memories via Twisted Sifter: Five teenagers posed for a photo at Copco Lake in 1982 that started a tradition spanning 30 years. The men plan to keep posing for the photo every five years until they die. From left to right: John Wardlaw, Mark Rumer, Dallas Burney, John Molony and John Dickson]