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Words I Needed Last Week 1/29
I despise 'nice.'
Words I saved, read, wrote down, and savored last week. From becoming more and more ourselves, to safety being the presence of connection, to creating to combat complaining, to sorrow being holy ground.
Happy Sunday, friends. —Nneka
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“We are not here to fit in, be well balanced, or provide exempla for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky, chunky selves, to the great mosaic of being. As the gods intended, we are here to become more and more ourselves.”
“I am not nice. I despise ‘nice’. Nice in our social construct is just another weapon to keep us silent. To keep us in our place. Because if we drill down into it, nice is just another form of oppression. To be nice is to be passive and in many cases dishonest. Being nice is a way of forcing someone into doing nothing, saying nothing, and standing for nothing, because it may cause someone else discomfort. And so it is used as part of the armory of civility, wielded by those who hold power and are actively engaged in not feeling discomforted, in holding onto the way that things always have been. Because those ways have always been very, very comfortable for them. They’ve been very nice. Discomfort is for the not-nice among us.”
“Safety is not a question of a lack of threat. Safety is the presence of connection.”
“He knew what we all eventually realize, if we are awake and courageous enough: that the best way — and the only effective way — to complain about the way things are is to make new and better things, untested and unexampled things, things that spring from the gravity of creative conviction and drag the status quo like a tide toward some new horizon.”
—Maria Popova on William Blake
“Smooth and smiling faces everywhere, but ruin in their eyes.”
“I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.”
“Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.
Some day you will realize what that means.
You will know nothing of life till you do.”