Wanting to Belong

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“He had belonged to someone once and she had belonged to him…Someone who knew his name. Now everyone called him Get out of here! But the scrawny cat knew his name was not Get out of here!”

“The woman took the scrawny cat inside her house.”

“Skipper isn’t scrawny anymore. He is a real sailor cat now. But best of all, Skipper belongs to Emma and Emma belongs to Skipper.”

-Scrawny Cat by Alison Friend

Building, Business and Faith

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“Building a business takes skill, work, and materials . . . but those are details. More than anything else, building a business—really, building anything—is an act of faith. Because you’re creating something out of nothing, you see?”

-It’s Not About You: A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business by Bob Burg, John David Mann

Wishing, Wanting and Solitude

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Cinderella At the Grave

“I’ve been good and I’ve been kind, Mother,
Doing only what I learned from you.
Why, then, am I left behind, Mother,
Is there something more that I should do?”

“Are you certain what you wish is what you want?”

-Into The Woods, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine

Icy Macho-ism

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My water bottle was frozen solid. This seemed gratifyingly macho, and I examined it with interest, as if it were a rare mineral.”

-A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail) by Bill Bryson

Revenge Equals Extinction

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No, this man, and those who agreed with him, weren’t talking about justice for the future. They just wanted revenge for the past. [Sighs.] After all we’d been through, we still couldn’t take our heads from out of our asses or our hands from around each other’s throats.

-World War Z by Max Brooks

Labels and Injustice

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“What is completely missed in the rare public debates today about the plight of African Americans is that a huge percentage of them are not free to move up at all. It is not just that they lack opportunity, attend poor schools, or are plagued by poverty. They are barred by law from doing so. And the major institutions with which they come into contact are designed to prevent their mobility.”

Like Jim Crow (and slavery), mass incarceration operates as a tightly networked system of laws, policies, customs, and institutions that operate collectively to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined largely by race.

The system of mass incarceration is based on the prison label, not prison time.

-The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Note: See the Book Reviews here and here.

Stick Finds a Voice

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“But the poor stick had a problem – he couldn’t speak. So he couldn’t share his thoughts with any other forest creatures…who would believe a stick, anyway?”

“To his amazement, he discovered that he could draw lines to look like things.”

“He drew faster and faster. Finally he stopped. The dust cleared…and there was the most magnificent sight the forest had ever seen.”

-The Clever Stick by John Lechner

Designing Solutions

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…The job of a designer is to solve problems. And that is a big lesson. Every day when you are running a business, there is a problem to solve.

-The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand by Pamela Skaist-Levy, Gela Nash-Taylor, Booth Moore

From the first chapter: “We just wanted to create something people loved and a work environment that made us happy. That’s our version of the American Dream. That’s the glitter plan.

Someone You Don’t Know

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Anticipate

“We don’t say everything that we could
So that we can say later
Oh, you misunderstood
I hold my cards up
Close to my chest
I say what I have to
And I hold back the rest

’cause someone you don’t know
Is someone you don’t know
Get a firm grip, girl
Before you let go
For every hand extended
Another lies in wait
Keep your eye on that one
Anticipate”

-Not So Soft by Ani DiFranco

Note: The quotes are from the lyrics of songs written and performed by Ani Difranco. The book is a collection of poetry and paintings – also by Ani DiFranco. I was unable to locate the music CDs in my affiliate programs, but everything can be found at http://www.righteousbabe.com.

Life Changed

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“In those few seconds when I was in the presence of the lion, I did not say to myself, “You must change your life.” I knew, right then and there, that my life had been changed. A piece of something necessary had clicked into place inside me. I had become more aware, more intimate with my own fear and my own possibilities. I remembered what it was like to be humbled by awe. I became more compassionate. I became a better person.”

-Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food by BK Loren