About mistakes, it’s funny. You’ve got to make your own; and not only that, if you try to keep people from making theirs, they get mad.”
“So Big” is a novel about mistakes. When Dirk, an architect turned stock broker, decides to abandon the pursuit of art in search of money, he’s warned of his mistake by his mother. Slowly, his life falls apart and he is ultimately left alone regretting his decision to pursue the superficial. In the end, he learns an important lesson — one he might never have learned without making his own mistakes.
It doesn’t seem to me that this fantastically marvelous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil…. The stage is too big for the drama. — Richard Feynman, physicist
Rose Franken was a Jewish American novelist and playwright celebrated for her work in the first half of the 20th century. On the whole, Franken’s writing was characterized by a playful sense of humor and unexpected plot twists. Her famous “Claudia” stories centered around a naive 18-year-old adjusting to married life. Franken herself outlived two husbands in her 92 years of life, giving an air of authority to her proclamation that only real lovers can be silly. To let loose with a loved one requires a vulnerability that passion doesn’t necessarily include. To see someone as they are, even as they act a fool, and to love them even more for it, is something special indeed.
George Orwell’s dystopian classic “1984” centers around the dangers of nationalism, censorship, and totalitarianism. But the author also deftly dissects what it means to be human. In a moment of clarity, the novel’s protagonist, Winston Smith, recognizes that all people, even his enemies, have an intrinsic desire for connection. With this line, he observes that even love itself can feel lacking without true understanding to give it depth.
While visiting the U.S. in 1995, Pope John Paul II gave a moving homily to the crowds gathered at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. In it, he referenced Abraham Lincoln and his dedication to freedom and equality for all people. Having grown up in Poland during the rise of the Nazi party, Pope John Paul II shared an urgent passion for human rights. During the homily, the pope asserted that a true expression of freedom is not acting on selfish impulse, but committing our lives to serving the greater good and standing up for what is right.
Einstein spoke frequently about imagination, which he believed was a crucial component of scientific progress. “Logic will get you from A to B,” he said. “Imagination will take you everywhere.” The famed physicist reminds us that it is imagination that gives wings to knowledge, by pointing the way to new possibilities.