Two Beers and a Puppy

In order to find out how you actually feel about someone, ask yourself, “Would I have two beers with this person?” And: “Would I allow this person to look after my puppy over a weekend?”

Some people are no and no. These people are to be avoided at all costs. Some people are yes and no. These people are to be cautiously trusted. Some people are no and yes. These people are no fun but they make the world a better place—for puppies, especially. And some people are yes and yes. These people are wonderful people and your life and work are better for having them in your life. Seek them out. Collaborate with them. Enjoy their company.

Ross McCammon, Works Well with Others: An Outsider’s Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You

Death

“When we look at the ocean, we see that each wave has a beginning and an end. A wave can be compared with other waves, and we can call it more or less beautiful, higher or lower, longer lasting or less long lasting. But if we look more deeply, we see that a wave is made of water. While living the life of a wave, the wave also lives the life of water. It would be sad if the wave did not know that it is water. It would think, ‘Some day, I will have to die. This period of time is my life span, and when I arrive at the shore, I will return to nonbeing.’ These notions will cause the wave fear and anguish. We have to help it remove the notions of self, person, living being, and life span if we want the wave to be free and happy.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

How to break a man’s heart

“You can break a man’s heart in many ways. It happens every day, in varying degrees, and there’s always a chance I might do it again. But we destroy men in a very specific way, in denying the idea that they ever had a heart in the first place. We silently give value to the crippling social constraints they are put in, the ones which tell them that to feel anything at all is dangerous and harmful to their masculinity.”

—Chelsea Fagan, How to Break a Man’s Heart

Avoiding difficulty

American culture does not take well to the idea of difficulty. Our penchant is for one-step, one-stop solutions to problems, and we expect and demand in all areas of life, including reading, an ease of achievement that is antithetical to thought itself. —Helen Regueiro Elam

Source: “The Difficulty of Reading” in The Idea of Difficulty in Literature.

Love and loneliness

“I can love you because I want to feel less alone, or I can love you because I want you to feel less alone. But only the latter requires me to imagine a consciousness independent of my own, and equally real.”

Garth Risk Hallberg“Why Write Novels at All?“, The New York Times

Choosing who may judge you

“It was while I was at interview that I finally noticed that subjecting myself to the judgement of an institution which I fundamentally disagreed with was bizarre.” —Elly Nowell, commenting on the rejection letter she sent the University of Oxford

Source: Magdalen Oxford gets rejection letter from student, BBC News