Wisdom on Gossip, the Future and More: Must-Read Links

Where can wisdom be found? In many voices, both familiar and those that may be new to you. Here are five of our favorite inspiring, eye-opening reads from recent publications and blogs. And The Wisdom Daily co-founders, Brad Hirschfield and Irwin Kula, will periodically weigh in with additional thoughts and reactions.?Check out the links below – may they provide wise insights to get your week off to a thought-provoking start!


1. Aeon‘s Katherine May in?“Digital Storytelling Revives the Art of Gossip”
“Even when we are quietly reading a novel, our brains react as though we are actually taking part in the story, activating neurons that mirror the triumphs and tragedies of the protagonists we encounter. This goes far beyond empathy: it appears that we live second lives alongside our fictional heroes.”


2. Fast Company‘s Adele Peters in?“Want to Reduce Stress at Work?”
“Commuters who bike or walk are 40% less likely to be tense in the hour after arriving than those who drive or take public transit. And if you’re tense the first hour, the rest of the day is probably not going to get better.”

For me, the issue is neither gossip, nor the benefits of an active commute, but the importance of actively participating in whatever we do – be it the stories we love to read and share, or the way we get ourselves to work.?We all want to feel that we are making a life, not simply that life is “happening to us.” These reads not only remind us of that, but show us how we can get/keep things moving in that direction. -?Brad Hirschfield


3. Anti-racism organizer Meta Mendel-Reyes, interviewed for?The Good Men Project
“I struggle with hopelessness, and self-doubt. It helps to recognize that these are forms of indulgence, to the extent that they provide excuses for sitting on the sideline. Yes, victory can seem impossible, and I may make mistakes, but that is when it is most important to pick myself up and reenter the struggle.”

The message of self-empowerment in the face of hopelessness and doubt is powerful. And let’s not forget that sometimes, those same emotions are part of serious problems like depression (which nobody can or should have to solve alone). Remember, hope and confidence come not only from within. Can we be more alert to building up others, and ourselves? ?-?Brad Hirschfield


4. Tomorrowland director Brad Bird in?Wired
“At one time the future was consistently presented as this bright thing where all these problems were going to be solved….that feeling of Wow, starvation will be solved and the air will be clean, weapons will be obsolete because we’ll understand that there are better places to put our energy. And gradually, that vision has just been nibbled away at, until it’s basically not there. And what’s in its place is this very dark, negative version that everyone seems to have accepted….What changed it? And is it possible to get back to it?”

I share Bird’s concern that our once Utopian – naive? – sense of the future has been replaced with a dark and dystopic one. But unlike him, I’m not interested in finding our way back to the old model. I prefer to think of the future more as Bird describes his own project: “[It will have] a little bit of this, a little bit of that, but it [won’t be] really like anything else.” -?Brad Hirschfield


5. Zenfulie‘s BD Rodriguez in?“Learning How to Say Goodbye”
“Often, we don’t understand how much someone has meant to us until they’re no longer in the picture. Even goodbyes from people you’ve only known for minutes can sometimes flip your whole world over.”

I wonder if rather than figuring out how to say “goodbye” better, and let go more readily, we might focus our attention on how to say “hello” more easily, and hold on to what we love more effectively. Loss is inevitable, but so, too, is gain. We just seem to feel the presence of one so much more acutely. And that, too, is a choice, or at least a correctable habit. – Brad Hirschfield

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