Two quotes to get you through chaotic times, when it feels like things are spiralling out of control:
Tend your own garden
“Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one’s garden.“
In a literal and figurative sense : look after yourself, take responsibility for your own life and choices, do what you can, with what you have where you are – and stop looking over the fence. You can’t change other people, you can change yourself.
Defend your own garden
“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.“
~ St Augustine
Pragmatism is better than blind optimism : if you don’t admit something is broken, you can’t fix it.
Pragmatism is also better than pessimism : if you don’t believe you can fix something, you won’t.
You have to face the world the way it is – however ugly that reality may be – if you are to have any hope of changing it. You also have to understand the limits of your own influence over your environment, and, especially, the actions of others – however heartbreaking they may be.
(Incidentally, that’s what we do as futurists, 1) help people understand the world and their own place in it, the things they can and cannot change (empirical rationality), 2) and help them make better decisions that will actually get them towards the sort of futures they want to arrive at (instrumental rationality) – which means understanding cause and effect, trade-offs, and those pesky unintended consequences which plague the best-laid plans as incentives eat intentions for brunch.)
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