BITS ‘N’ PIECES
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all. In which case you have failed by default. Failure gave me an inner security that I had never obtained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things that I could not have learned any other way. I discovered I had a strong will and more discipline than I had suspected.”
I was in a very precarious situation. For a few years, I was probably as poor as you can go without being homeless in the U.K. We were still existing partly on benefits. I couldn’t wholly support us. I had a clerical job in a church at one point. Housing benefit was keeping us homed. And at that point I was definitely clinically depressed. And that’s just characterized for me by a numbness and an inability to believe that you will feel happy again. It was just all the colour drained out of life, really. And then the miracle happened. Harry was published. But that period, that period of my life was a formative experience for me. It shaped my worldview. People lose their individuality when they are trapped in that kind of poverty. And it affects your life in ways that people who have never been there cannot begin to comprehend.
We do not need magic to transform our world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.
- J.K. Rowling
Creativity shows up in different ways for different people, but it always makes us come alive. A lot of people really struggle to give themselves permission to be creative and reasonably so. I mean, we’re all a little suspect of our own talent. And if history has taught us anything, the world is an extremely unreliable critic.
Kids are so beautifully creative [because] they don’t have any habits and they don’t care if they’re any good or not. They’re not building a sandcastle going “I think I’m going to be a really good sandcastle builder.” They just they throw themselves at whatever project you put in front of them, dancing, doing a painting, building something, any opportunity they have. They try to use it to impress upon you their individuality.
Most people [however] don’t spend a lot of time thinking about poetry. They have a life to live and they’re not really that concerned with anybody’s poems until they go to a funeral, lose a child, somebody breaks their heart. And all of a sudden they’re desperate for making sense out of this life. And has anybody ever felt this bad before? How did they come out of this cloud or the inverse? Or it’s something great. You meet somebody and your heart explodes. You love them so much you can’t even see straight. You know, you’re dizzy. Did anybody feel like this? What is happening to me?
And that’s when art’s not a luxury. It’s actually sustenance. We need it. It’s the way we heal each other in singing our song and telling our story and inviting you to say, hey, listen to me and I’ll listen to you. We’re starting a dialogue, you know. And when you do that, this healing happens and we come out of our corners and we start to witness each other’s common humanity. We start to assert it. And when we do that, really good things happen. So if you want to help your community, if you want to help your family, if you want to help your friends, you have to express yourself and to express yourself, you have to know yourself. What do you love? And if you get close to what you love, who you are is revealed to you and it expands. For me, it was really easy. I did my first professional play as 12 years old. I was in a play called St. Joan by George Bernard Shaw at the McCarter Theater. And I was in love. And that profession has never stopped giving back to me, mostly strangely through the characters that I’ve played.
You just have to follow your love and you have to be willing to play the fool. Don’t read the book that you should read; read the book you want to read. Take some time to listen to some new music, to talk to somebody that you don’t normally talk to. I guarantee if you do that, you will feel foolish. And that’s the point.
- Ethan Hawke
Strength doesn’t mean the thing that you are lifting isn’t heavy. We all have different strengths and different views on it. It can be falling and getting yourself back up. It can be one of the hardest life experiences that broke you and you have to live with it forever. It can be making a hard decision, one that your heart knows is right. It can be breaking away from sin and doing your hardest not to fall into temptation. It means it’s heavy as anything and hard and somehow you are still making it with a smile on your face. Because you are grateful.
Can I afford to part with this money?
If you have to charge it to a credit card, you can’t afford it.
Can I pay the actual cost?
Remember, the true cost of a thing stretches far beyond the price on the price tag.
Will it add value to my life?
It must serve a purpose or bring joy; otherwise, it does not add value.
What are the alternatives?
In other words, is this the best use of this money? If not, then use the money elsewhere.
Can I get by without it for a while?
If so, wait. Who knows – maybe a day of contemplation will help you realize you no longer want the thing you wanted. (it’s the 30/30 Rule.)