Wisdom on Games, Brains and Progress: Must-Read Links

As a new week begins, check out these insightful pieces – about topics like overcoming defeat and spotting patterns – with the excerpts that moved us to highlight them here on The Wisdom Daily. You may be particularly intrigued to read about the Pixar film captivating people of all ages with its profound take on how our brains fight for emotional health. Whatever’s transpiring in your life, may you find the words of wisdom you need.


1. Inner Life of Riley

“The neurological basis of emotions turns out to be a surprisingly good subject for an animated cartoon. The brightly personified feelings [of the main character, Riley] are almost like mini-animators themselves, pulling levers and pushing buttons to retain control.”

– Tom Shone, reviewing the film ‘Inside Out’?(Intelligent Life)


2. Yearning to Be Free

“The paradoxes are obvious. America, the land of restless innovation, is shackled to its past… [yet] the people are, in important ways, powerless: a nation still ruled by its ancestors; a nation that has forgotten the wisdom of one of its greatest revolutionaries, Thomas Paine, who understood that ‘government is for the living, and not for the dead; it is the living only that has any right in it.'”

– Jonathan Freedland, in “On Guns and Race, America Is a Nation Shackled to Its Past” (The Guardian)


3. Post-Defeat Decisions

“Not winning elections did enable me to develop a lot of personal resilience. Looking back on that now – I never would have thought this at the time – I’m very glad I had lots of experiences of defeat, because that then prepares you better for victory and also teaches you never to take it for granted, that you’ve got to work, and work hard, to stay at the top of your game and retain people’s trust in you.”

– Nicola Sturgeon, in “Stirring Things Up with Scotland’s Most Powerful Woman?(More)


4. Only a Game

“Increasingly, games aren’t allegories that say something about our lives; they are our lives. As people move toward more data-driven existences [and] status is accumulated in identifiable quantities on social media, gamification becomes so total that it can sometimes mask whether what we’re doing has any inherent utility outside the game that surrounds it.”

– Andrew Thompson, in “Engineers of Addiction” (The Verge)


5. Rinse and Repeat?

“There is a substantive difference between patterns that we consider to be preordained and those that are to be discovered. If you believe that the patterns of the past determine our future, then you will cling to them dearly. On the other hand, if you believe that the most important patterns are those we have yet to uncover, then the future has no bounds.”

– Greg Satell, “The Problem with Patterns” (The Creativity Post)


6. Being Mindful of Authenticity

“Many people turn to yoga because they’re seeking something more transcendent than ordinary exercise. Part of the reason I came to love it is because it offers some of the consolations of religion without the necessity of faith… The sense of being connected to something ancient and sublime imbues the physical experience with meaning. If you know the truth about yoga, some of that might be lost. Yet it doesn’t have to be, because rituals needn’t be ancient to be meaningful.”

– Michelle Goldberg in “How Authentic Is Modern Yoga?” (PowellsBooks.Blog)


7. Language of the Spirit

“The early mental packaging of a child’s natural spirituality makes imperative – read urgent – that our children become, in essence, spiritually multilingual and multicultural from an early age if we genuinely want them to have respect and appreciation for natural spirituality in other people and cultures… Offer your child a window into the religions of other families and peoples. As ambassadors, offer the opportunity to feel transcendence in many places and ways.”

– Lisa Miller, PhD., in “How to Talk to Kids about Religion” (Salon)


Image credit: Disney/Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’


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