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“Do all the other things, the ambitious things—travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop)—but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality—your soul, if you will—is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Theresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.”

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source: convocation speech for the graduates of Syracuse University, 2013, reprinted on The 6th Floor Blog, New York Times, July 31, 2013. Full text here.

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medium: Convocation speech

via: Rachel Hass

“A mutual plum is not a plum. I was too respectful to take the pulp and do not like a stone.”

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source: The Letters of Emily Dickinson vol 2, ed. by Thomas H. Johnson (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1958), 455.

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medium: letter

notes: letter to Mrs. J. G. Holland, late November 1866?

“It’s an old, old story: I had a friend and we shared everything, and then she died and so we shared that, too.”

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source: Let’s Take the Long Way Home (New York: Random House, 2010), 3.

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medium: memoir

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