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WILLIAM JAMES ON RESOLUTIONS 



“In the acquisition of a new habit, or the leaving off of an old one, we must take care to launch ourselves with as strong and decided an initiative as possible. Accumulate all the possible circumstances which shall reinforce the right motives; put yourself assiduously in conditions that encourage the new way; make engagements incompatible with the old; take a public pledge, if the case allows; in short, envelope your resolution with every aid you know. This will give your new beginning such a momentum that the temptation to break down will not occur as soon as it otherwise might; and every day during which a breakdown is postponed adds to the chances of its not occurring at all.”
—William James (1842-1910)

MOVE WITHIN 



Keep walking, though there's no place to get to.
Don't try to see through the distances.
That's not for human beings.
Move within, but don't move the way fear makes you move.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. 
Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

—Rumi

WHO ARE YOU? 


"I decided, if I'm going to be poor and black and all,
the least thing I'm going to do is to try and find out who I am.
I created everything about me."
—Ornette Coleman

"We've all been raised on television to believe that one day
we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars.
But we won't."
—Tyler Durden

"You come to a point in your life when you really don't care
what people think about you, you just care
what you think about yourself."
—Evel Knievel

RESOLUTION 


"A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do.
I'm still doing it."
—Miles Davis

"You may get real tired of watching me, but I'm not going to quit."
—Harrison Ford

"People think it's an obsession. A compulsion. As if there were an irresistible impulse to act. It's never been like that. I chose this life. I know what I'm doing. And on any given day, I could stop doing it. Today, however, isn't that day. And tomorrow won't be either."
—The Batman

THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE 


On this day in 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in the New York Harbor, a gift from the people of France, designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.

The statue became a symbol of hope, welcoming immigrants to the USA.

On her pedestal is inscribed "The New Colossus" by American poet Emma Lazarus:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


It's interesting to contemplate this sonnet today.

Here in Anglozona, where I make my home, immigration remains a divisive and hotly debated issue as we approach the centennial of our statehood.

The word "immigrant" carries a strong negative connotation around these parts. Apparently, we palefaces forget that we are the aliens. Our claim to this territory is quite recent, and dubious at best.

I don't know the Tohono O'odham or Apache name for the white man's arrival, but I don't believe we were "greeted as liberators."

I do know that the shameless land-grabs of northern Mexico, which our history books disguise with convenient euphemisms (treaty, purchase, Manifest Destiny), are referred to in Mexican texts as The North American Invasion.

Nevertheless, it's 2011, and here we are.

And there stands Lady Liberty, lifting her lamp, welcoming immigrants.

I'm celebrating her anniversary by seeing the movie Green Lantern, which opens today.

It seems fitting.

My favorite comic book from childhood, Green Lantern is an inspirational superhero space opera.

It tells the story of myriad aliens, coming together in teamwork and harmony, heroically using their creative imaginations, strength of will and light to overcome the evil, destructive power of fear.

THE EXPERTS AGREE 



"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment, and do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds, and shine."
~Buddha

"Happiness is not a memory but a reality. Reality is neither past nor future but only now. NOW is the greatest time there ever was."
~Nicholas Payton

"Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. So why not just be happy?"
~Snoopy

WHAT I LEARNED FROM SUPERHEROES 



Like many who grew up before the era of personal computers and video games, I spent countless hours in my youth reading the adventures of superheroes in comic books.

Here are 12 of my favorites and what I learned from each:

1. SUPERMAN — Rise to the occasion. Be courageous, respectful, honorable and selfless. Your strength comes more from your character than your talent. Remember that even the greatest of us has an achilles heel, and sometimes needs solitude. Usually, however, it's possible to hide in plain sight!

2. SPIDER-MAN — With great power comes great responsibility.

3. GREEN LANTERN — Your imagination and willpower are the only real limits to what you can create.

4. BATMAN — Childhood trauma can be a source of strength. Facing your fears can be transformative. And having the right equipment is half the battle.

5. X-MEN — Evolve! Celebrate diversity.

6. WONDER WOMAN — Strong women are sexy.

7. IRONMAN — Dress for success. Clothes make the man. There will be setbacks, but don't let your flaws define you. And innovate! A better version is always possible.

8. FANTASTIC FOUR — There is power in teamwork.

9. THE FLASH — Be the best at what you do.

10. THE HULK — Never judge a book by it's cover. You can't know what a man is capable of simply by looking at his appearance...especially what he might be capable of if he gets angry.

11. CAPTAIN AMERICA — Know your mission. Be willing to take a stand, even if it's unpopular.

12. THOR — Remember your birthright, but don't seek glory. If you do the job right, you'll get it anyway.


~DM