“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
-Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
“I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris. […]
I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”
-Roger Ebert, “Life Itself: A Memoir”
Can we sit down for a cup of coffee and talk about why you didn’t like your English teacher your Sophomore year of high school? Or maybe why you did like your Chemistry teacher?
And can you tell me about the way the crunching of leaves made you feel right before your 5th birthday? Let’s talk about the first time you ever decided that apple pie was your favorite kind of pie. Describe your favorite person without adjectives. And then tell me all of the kinds of different drinks you’ve ever ordered at Starbucks and have you ever asked for something that wasn’t on the menu? Would you rather fall asleep to the sound of rain or wake up to it? How do you talk to 3 AM, with tenderness or contempt?
I want to know everything about you— mostly the things that other people wouldn’t think to ask. Someday I will know so much about you, I don’t know if it will be nearly enough, and I don’t know if you’ll want to tell me. But I hope it is, and I hope you will.