In a battle of wits with kitchen appliances, I'm toast
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender,
be on good terms with all people.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to all, even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive people,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself to others,
you will become vain and bitter;
there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let not this blind you to the virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have the right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
— Max Ehrmann © 1952.
Although I do not subscribe all of the ideas implied above, I do not want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Scott Aaronson's post is a fair summary of some of my thinking.
As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives, and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.
We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.
Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.
— From the Preamble to the Libertarian Party Platform
"Nathaniel Branden's book is the culmination of a lifetime of clinical practice and study, already hailed in its hardcover edition as a classic and the most significant work on the topic. Immense in scope and vision and filled with insight into human motivation and behavior, The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem is essential reading for anyone with a personal or professional interest in self-esteem. The book demonstrates compellingly why self-esteem is basic to psychological health, achievement, personal happiness, and positive relationships. Branden introduces the six pillars—six action-based practices for daily living that provide the foundation for self-esteem—and explores the central importance of self-esteem in five areas: the workplace, parenting, education, psychotherapy, and the culture at large. The work provides concrete guidelines for teachers, parents, managers, and therapists who are responsible for developing the self-esteem of others. And it shows why—in today's chaotic and competitive world—self-esteem is fundamental to our personal and professional power."
"Chances are, when you were young, you were told, in effect, 'Listen, kid, here is the news: life is not about you. Life is not about what you want. What you want is not important. Life is about doing what others expect of you.' If you accepted this idea, later on you wondered what had happened to your fire. Where had your enthusiasm for living gone?"