quotes

Day 2447: Empathy, again

Yesterday, in my therapy group, I wrote the word “empathy” twice on the white board.

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I wrote “empathy” twice because I heard and experienced so much of it from the group participants. I especially noted and appreciated it because I hear and experience so little empathy, these days,  from world leaders.

Why do the participants in a therapy group seem to have so much more empathy than world leaders?

Is it because “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”?

Is it because people who have come together to cope, heal, support, and learn from each other naturally have more empathy?

What does your empathy tell you about that?

Here’s a definition of empathy, again:

em·pa·thy
/ˈempəTHē/

noun
the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
synonyms: affinity with, rapport with, sympathy with, understanding of, sensitivity toward, sensibility to, identification with, awareness of, fellowship with, fellow feeling for, like-mindedness, togetherness, closeness to
“what is really important about learning a language is learning empathy for another culture”

Here are some quotes about empathy:

Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is won and lost.  And that someone’s pain is as meaningful as your own.  — Barbara Kingsolver.

Sympathy relies on a common experience. If you’re clumsy, you might have sympathy for others who tend to bump into things. Empathy, on the other hand, is the ability to understand another person’s feelings even if you’ve never experienced them yourself. —  Joe Gebbia

A prerequisite to empathy is just paying attention to the person in pain.  — Daniel Goleman

Human nature is complex.  Even if we do have inclinations towards violence, we also have inclination to empathy, to cooperation, to self-control.  — Steven Pinker

Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality.  It’s all through our own individual prisms.  — Sterling K. Brown

Empathy is the latest code word for liberal activism, for treating the Constitution as malleable clay to be kneaded and molded in whatever form justices want. It represents an expansive view of the judiciary in which courts create policy that couldn’t pass the legislative branch or, if it did, would create voter backlash.  — Karl Rove

When you show deep empathy towards others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems. — Stephen Covey

The struggle of my life created empathy — I could relate to pain, being abandoned, having people not love me. — Oprah Winfrey

Empathy is the starting point  for creating a community and taking action. It’s the impetus for creating change. — Max Carver

Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.  — Neil Gaiman

 

Is there empathy in my other photos from yesterday?

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Which of those photos represents empathy best, to you?

For me, it’s this one:

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Or maybe this one:

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If necessity is the mother of invention, what is empathy?  Here’s “Call Any Vegetable” from Just Another Band from L.A. by the Mothers of Invention:

Here‘s another version of “Call Any Vegetable”:

Any empathy in this quote from Frank Zappa, the leader of the Mothers of Invention?

The mind is like a parachute.  It doesn’t work if it’s not open.

I look forward to the empathy in your comments, below.

Empathic thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2275: Petty

When I’m petty, I feel guilty.  When I observe other people being petty, I get scared, because I’ve observed pettiness wreaking havoc with relationships.

Here’s a definition of petty:

pet·ty
/ˈpedē/
adjective
1. of little importance; trivial.
“the petty divisions of party politics”
synonyms: trivial, trifling, minor, small, slight, unimportant, insignificant, inessential, inconsequential, inconsiderable, negligible, paltry, footling, fiddling, niggling, pettifogging, nugatory, of little account
2. of secondary or lesser importance, rank, or scale; minor.
“a petty official”

My personal goal for today is to make other people being petty of little importance, trivial, minor, small, slight, insignificant, inconsequential, and negligible to me.

Here are some “petty” quotes:

I fly because it releases my mind from petty things. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Our thoughts are broadcasts of the soul, not secrets of the brain. Kind ones bring us happiness; petty ones, untold pain. –– Ritu Ghatourey

Party loyalty lowers the greatest men to the petty level of the masses. — Jean de la Bruyère

Guilt is petty; I am above guilt. — Susan Cheever

Reproof should not exhaust its power on petty failings. — Samuel Johnson

More than jealousy or  possessiveness pettiness kills love. — Marty Rubin

Don’t be afraid of failure; be afraid of petty success. — Maude Adams

Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out — it’s the grain of sand in your shoe. — Robert Service

The art of giving orders is not to try to rectify the minor blunders and not to be swayed by petty doubts. — Sun Tzu

The constant petty behests of life permit few opportunities for major satisfactions, and when one is offered it should be seized.  — Rex Stout

Petty things don’t bother me as much as they used to  — Rebecca Lobo

Mankind accepts good fortune as his due, but when bad occurs, he thinks it was aimed at him, done to him, a hex, a curse, a punishment by his deity for some transgression, as though his god were a petty storekeeper, counting up the day’s receipts. — Sheri S. Tepper

Great necessity elevates man.  Petty necessity casts him down. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is better to lose everything you have to keep the balance of justice level, than to live a life of petty privilege devoid of true freedom. — Bryant H. McGill

Beware of those who attribute petty instructions to God. — Abdul Sattar Edhi

Petty laws breed great crimes. — Ouida

Never fear being a petty fool it means you ain’t dying.  — Timothy Spall

Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things. — George Carlin

In the Wikipedia entry about Ouida, it says she “dressed expensively but not tastefully.”  That seems rather petty, doesn’t it?

Do you see anything petty in my photos from yesterday?

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That puppy at Pet Express was very pet-ty and here’s a quote from me:

Petty is the enemy of friendship. — Ann Koplow

Here‘s a Petty Song:

 

Here‘s  the Petty Song I was looking for:

 

It’s not petty for me express my gratitude to all who helped me create todays “Petty” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2265: Loss and Change

Because I am so aware of loss and change right now, here are some quotes about “Loss and Change.”

Loss is nothing else but change, and change is nature’s delight. — Marcus Aurelius

People lose people, we lose things in our life as we’re constantly growing and changing. That’s what life is, is change, and a lot of that is loss. It’s what you gain from that loss that is life. — Thomas Jane

When you have a tough loss, go through it and agonize. I had one loss that I still want to change, but at the same time I realize it is an important part of who I am. — Andrew Shue

There is so much inherent drama in the matter of change. Disappointment in yourself and others, coping with the fact that life is essentially a shipwreck, becoming a person you yourself could not imagine yourself to be, for good and for bad, and then ultimately there is the basic matter of loss. — Jane Hamilton

The garden is growth and change and that means loss as well as constant new treasures to make up for a few disasters. — May Sarton

Do you see loss and/or change in my photos from yesterday?

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I changed my framing of “CARE” to “CA”  above because of an upcoming change:  I’m flying to CA for a group therapy conference in three weeks.  Chances are that I’ll experience and witness change,  loss, disasters, and treasures while I’m there.

I was very aware of the loss of Bob Marley yesterday, because of this:

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Any thoughts or feelings about loss and change?

Something that doesn’t change: how I notice and share thanks with YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2194: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

If  my post title today irritates you or leads you to an understanding of yourself or others, let’s give the credit to Carl Jung.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

… is displayed on the front of the packaging for the Carl Jung action figure in my office.

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Whenever I share that quote with others, they seem to understand.

How do you understand that quote from Carl Jung, my understanding readers?

These days, several things are irritating me about others, which means I have an unprecedented opportunity to understand myself!  I’m going to celebrate that by sharing some other recent photos (which may be an irritating habit of mine, which I hope you understand).

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It’s not how old you are, it’s how you keep learning to understand yourself and others.

Here are 10 additional quotes from Carl Jung, which can lead to more understanding.

I hope you understand my gratitude for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.

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P.S. After I published this post, I realized it was irritatingly similar to this one, from August 2017. I hope you understand!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2127: I don’t know what to write about hate

Today, the day after the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh Synagogue, I don’t know what to write about hate.  Therefore, I will quote others.

Patriotism is when love for your own people comes first;  nationalism,  when hate for people other than your own comes first.  — Charles de Gaulle

This world of ours … must avoid being a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. — Dwight D. Eisenhower

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works.  All good things are difficult to achieve, and bad things are very easy to get.  — Confucius

If you hate someone, it’s like a boomerang that misses its target and comes back and hits you in the head. The one who hates is the one who hurts. — Louis Zamperini

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference — Elie Wiesel

You reclaim your power by loving what you were once taught to hate. — Bryant H. McGill

Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater. — George Washington Carver

I was taught that segregation was the will of God, and the Bible was quoted to prove it. I was taught that women were inferior to men, and the Bible was quoted to prove it.  I was taught that it was okay to hate other religions,  and especially the Jews, and the Bible was quoted to prove it. —  John Shelby Spong

Hate has no place in the House of God. — Desmond Tutu

I never learned hate at home, or shame.  I had to go to school for that.  — Dick Gregory

It is not anthrax or terrorism or AIDS that is the worst ill in our world: The most horrible disease in the world is hate. — Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.  —  James A. Baldwin

I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them,  but to understand them.  — Baruch Spinoza

I don’t know what to write about hate, so I’ll share some photos from yesterday.

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I don’t know what to write about hate, so here’s Cantor Azi Schwartz singing Jewish prayers to the fallen in 2015.

 

I don’t know what to write about hate, but I do know how to express gratitude to all who helped me write today’s post and — of course — to you.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 2104: Surrender

Yesterday, I surrendered to a therapy group member’s suggestion that people express their thoughts and feelings about “surrender.”

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What does surrender mean to you?  What’s your personal experience of surrender?  What would happen if you surrendered?  What would change in your life?

 

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Ann shall now surrender to her wish to quote others about “surrender.”

It took me a while to learn the true meaning of patience and surrender, but I have finally accepted that healing doesn’t happen on our schedule. It doesn’t have a clock or a calendar.

Yolanda Hadid

The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.

Julia Cameron

Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.

Gail Sheehy

If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Let the winds of evidence blow you about as though you are a leaf, with no direction of your own. Beware lest you fight a rearguard retreat against the evidence, grudgingly conceding each foot of ground only when forced, feeling cheated. Surrender to the truth as quickly as you can.

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is.  Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to work for you rather than against you.

Eckhart Tolle

There are also many quotes about the negative side of surrender, including this one:

Not voting is not a protest. It is a surrender.

— Keith Ellison

Please vote for your favorite photo in today’s post, including these:

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Soon I’ll be surrendering my shoulder to my physical therapist, Matt, who was devilishly happy on Wednesday when I added a chorus, just for him, to my  original song “Triggers.” Here are some of the lyrics I’ll be surrendering up to an audience tonight at an Open Mic performance of “Triggers”  in Arlington, Massachusetts:

TRIGGERS

For me it’s the cold and the dark,

For him it’s not finding a safe place to park.

For some it’s a loud noise,

For others it’s bad boys,

For many it’s news of attacks by a shark.

Everybody’s got a trigger,

Some of us have more than one.

Some are small and some are bigger.

None of them are ever fun.

© Ann Koplow 2018

Here‘s “Surrender” by Cheap Trick.

I also surrender to the musical suggestion of these socks.

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I surrender to the truth that some won’t be able to watch the videos I include in these posts.

I now surrender to your comments and to my gratitude for all who helped me create this “surrender” post and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2101: Verge of tears

These days, I’m on the verge of tears.

What can I do when I’m on the verge of tears?

Tears come from the heart and not from the brain.

Leonardo da Vinci

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, of unspeakable love.

Washington Irving

It is such a secret place, the land of tears.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.

Robert Frost

Nothing dries sooner than tears.

Samuel Richardson

Tears are the summer showers to the soul.

Alfred Austin

The tears of the world are a constant quality.  For each one who begins to weep, somewhere else another stops.  The same is true for laughter.

Samuel Beckett

More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.

Saint Teresa of Ávila

Sympathizing and selfish people are alike, both given to tears.

Leigh Hunt

Beauty of any kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.

Edgar Allan Poe

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity .. and some scarce see nature at all.  But to the eyes of the [hu]man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.

William Blake

I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation, a sunset — tears are words waiting to be written.

Paulo Coelho

In art there are tears that lie too deep for thought.

Louis Kronenberger

When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough.

Maurice Maeterlinck

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion.  I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

Kurt Vonnegut

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.

Isak Dinesen

Those quotes have me on the verge of tears and on the verge of sharing some recent photos.

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Here’s another quote about tears:

Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.

Ludwig  van Beethoven

Even though “should”s and male ideas about the differences between men and women can put me on the verge of tears, that quote is still a great introduction to today’s music.

 

Are you on the verge of commenting?

I am on the verge of ending today’s post, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2075: Et tu, Brute?

“Et tu, Brute?” is a famous Shakespearean quote in Latin (from Julius Caesar).  Et tu, do you know what that quote means?

Et tu, Wikipedia! What do you say about “Et tu, Brute?”

Et tu, Brute? (pronounced [ɛt ˈtuː ˈbruːtɛ]) is a Latin phrase meaning “even you, Brutus?” It is notable for its occurrence in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, where it is spoken by the Roman dictator Julius Caesar to his friend Marcus Junius Brutus at the moment of Caesar’s assassination….The phrase is often used apart from the plays to signify an unexpected betrayal by a friend.

Et me, I’m going to point out that the literal translation of “Et tu, Brute?” is “And you, Brutus?”   “Et” means “and” and “tu” means “you.”

Et tu, readers! Do you wonder why I’m explaining et ‘splaining about “Et tu, Brute?” today? Two reasons:

  1. President Trump seems to be saying a variant of that quote to the anonymous author of a damning insider editorial recently published in the “failing New York Times.”
  2. I noticed this yesterday:

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Et tu — if you’ve been a faithful et incredibly attentive reader of this blog — might remember that the first encounter with me et my boyfriend Michael (eight years ago in September) involved beets (described here ).

Et me, do I have any other photos to share with tu, here et now?

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Et tu, do you notice that Michael et I always vote  et that Michael never cooks with beets?

Et tu, YouTube: What do you have about “Et tu, Brute?”

This

et this

et this

et this

et this

et this

et this ...

et this.

 

Et tu!  Are you going to comment on this post, below?

Thanks to Shakespeare et Michael et Julius Caesar et AGNI et the genie from Aladdin et Assassin’s Creed et Community et Community Theater et Irondale Center et Archer et beets et everyone et everything else that helped me write today’s post et — of course! — TU!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1974: Real

Here’s a real definition of “real.”

re·al
rē(ə)l
adjective
1.actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed.
“Julius Caesar was a real person”
synonyms: actual, nonfictional, factual, real-life
2. (of a substance or thing) not imitation or artificial; genuine.
“the earring was presumably real gold”
synonyms: genuine, authentic, bona fide
adverb NORTH AMERICAN informal
1. really; very.
“my head hurts real bad”

Here’s the real inspiration for today’s post:

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What’s your real reaction to that?

My head hurts real bad when people

  • deny climate change and
  • otherwise deny what’s real to me.

It’s time for some real quotes:

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing?  Did I let go of my resentment? Did I forgive?  Did I love? These are the real questions.  I must trust that the little bit of love I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.  — Henri Nouween

Character is like a tree and reputation is like a shadow.  The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.  — Abraham Lincoln

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity.  Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. — Dwight D. Eisenhower

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.  — Mahatma Gandhi

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.  — Confucius

Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit.  —  Hosea Ballou

There is no real beauty without some slight imperfection.  — James Salter

The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.  — Buddha

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.  — Albert Camus

Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.  — Wayne Dyer

Nothing ever becomes real til it is experienced.  — John Keats

The world is like a reverse  casino.  In a casino, if you gamble long enough, you’re certainly going to lose. But in the real world, where the only thing you’re gambling is, say, your time or your embarrassment, then the more stuff you do, the more you give luck a chance to find you. — Scott Adams

The truth is, as most of us know, that global warming is real and that humans are major contributors, mainly because we wastefully burn fossil fuels.  — David Suzuki

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too.  They live inside of us, and sometimes, they win. — Stephen King

People like to say that the conflict is between good and evil.  The real conflict is between truth and lies.  —  Don Miguel Ruiz

Well, real estate is always good, as far as I’m concerned.  — Donald Trump

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.  — Douglas Adams

Nothing is so strong as gentleness;  nothing so gentle as real strength.  — Saint Frances de Sales

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.  — Marcel Proust

To keep it real, I try to have new eyes every day.  Here’s what I saw with new eyes yesterday:

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Now I have a real dilemma: whether to share a real video of the Cookie Monster singing in the voice of the real Tom Waits

… or this real video of my real son Aaron and his real friend Cameron from years ago,  in which lasagna and Michael make real surprise appearances and Aaron keeps it real in the moment.

I’m looking forward to real comments about this real post.

Finally, here are some real thanks from me to all those who helped me create today’s real  post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1863: Pain

How many people reading this are in pain, physically or emotionally?

Please do not add to that pain with painful thoughts or shame about past actions or inactions.

As a friend posted on Facebook recently, pain is not a punishment.

If pain is not a punishment, then what is it?  Let’s see what wise people have said about pain.

Fear is pain arising from anticipation of evil. — Aristotle

It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.  — Julius Caesar

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. — Carl Jung

Pain is never permanent. — Saint Teresa of Avila

Illness is the doctor to whom we pay the most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promises only; pain we obey.  — Marcel Proust

The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain. — Lord Byron

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.  — James Baldwin

Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.  — Barbara Kingsolver

All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain. — Iyania Vanzant

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. — Joseph Campbell

Pain and pleasure, like light and darkness, succeed each other. — Laurence Sterne

Pain is the most private experience, but its causes, whether natural or man-made, demand public accounting. — Nancy Gibbs

To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it! — Charlie Chaplin

If my art has nothing to do with people’s pain and sorrow, what is “art” for? — Ai Weiwei

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. — Bob Marley

Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends. — Tom Waits

It pains me to leave out some of the great quotes about pain.

This Tom Waits/Cookie Monster mashup helps relieve my pain:

If that doesn’t relieve your pain, here‘s some Bob Marley:

I always take pains to thank those who help me write these posts and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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