It takes a lot to really annoy me or really make me angry. A lot of people wonder how I let so many things slide. There's a David Foster Wallace commencement speech entitled This is Water that I'd like to discuss in conjunction with the above quotes. I truly believe that emotions are a choice--that every moment, I can choose to be happy or I can choose to be sad. I can't always pick my situations, but I can always pick how I react to them. David Foster Wallace discusses the "default setting"--that way that we react that seems natural, that is the impulse. With control, I can switch that default setting to manual. I can decide, when my coffee order is wrong, that it's a chance to try a new flavor! I can decide, when I have to drive the hour down to visit my parents, that the hour is a time for my imagination to wander into different worlds. I can decide, when I hear students cursing, that it is a chance for me to teach kind language. This all goes with the above message--I CAN choose to look at things through eyes that seek beauty and wonder. And I should, because I've got a lot of beautiful, wonderful things to look at.
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What truths can I find in art, history, and in literature?