This is an intriguing challenge. A huge thank you to Isaac Gathings for nominating me!
Today, I would like to quote Joseph Brodsky. The second poet-in-residence at the University of Michigan after Robert Frost, in 1988, Brodsky gave a speech to the university graduates. It is an inspiring piece of writing, and if you have a few minutes, I highly recommend reading it. You may agree or disagree with some points, but overall, it has some fascinating bits of advice.
My quotes for today:
At all costs, try to avoid granting yourself the status of the victim.
This, in my opinion, is very important. Brodsky maintains that calling yourself a victim makes your resolve to change anything falter; you place yourself in a position that demands help and compassion, a position in which you are likely to mistake a “measly advantage” for a “major breakthrough”.
If ever you get used to placing yourself in a victim’s shoes, this means you surrender your own capacity to do something. You should never forget that humans are capable of achieving great things. People with grave diseases, instead of victimizing themselves, live or have lived a self-fulfilling life (e.g. Stephen Hawking). People have suffered through war, torture, captivity and, by not giving up and relying on their resources, both physical and spiritual, many have become heroes.
The key is in how you perceive yourself.
On the whole, try to respect life not only for its amenities but for its hardships, too.
Not much to say here except that this is great advice. When you encounter happiness, rejoice. But obstacles are useful as well. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and hardships make us realize important things that we may not have even thought about in an ideal, problem-free life.
Try not to pay attention to those who will try to make life miserable for you.
Basically, Brodsky says that it’s unproductive to dwell on those who have wronged you. Your negative emotional reaction may be what they want. Telling stories about how badly you were treated brings all the more attention to the offender. Forget or forgive them. Or better yet, do both.
So, the bloggers I nominate for the challenge are:
- Drew at TheTattooedBookGeek
- Elizabeth W. Bennefeld at Quilted Poetry
- Carol Campbell at WritersDream9
The rules are very simple:
- Thank the person that nominated you.
- Post 1-3 quotes each day for 3 consecutive days.
- Nominate 3 bloggers each day to participate in the 3-day Quote Challenge.
If you accept, don’t forget to send me a link to your posts, I’d love to see them!