Because: In high school I volunteered weekly at a local nursing home. Some residents had frequent visitors. With others, not one family member, friend or acquaintance ever came to see them. These were the ones who asked to be wheeled to the threshold of their room to watch and wait for the person they said today—every day—would be coming.
What a genius and touching cross-cultural initiative that connects generations.
Broaden yourself. You don’t have to focus when you’re 20. I think the broader you are, the better it is. Later you can focus on your real interests and ideas. The ultimate goal is to be interesting and useful…If you’re successful on top of that, then you’re way ahead of everybody.
Because:Martha Stewart might falter as an exemplary role model in a certain area, or two, but I can really get behind this advice she doled out. The bit was re-quoted in the Refinery29 piece 14 Late Bloomers Show Us Why The Wait Is Worth It. With my 26 birthday approaching in mere days and an ominous, pressing feeling of late to match that I should be saying/writing/creating more, reading this now was very heartening. Because at the bottom of it, I still feel as though I could use some broadening, that I myself don’t really have enough material yet, that I need to keep experiencing. And for now I’m very content with this dabbling at life, or whatever it is.
Also, the Gladwell piece Late Bloomers cited at the introduction of the piece does what he does best, in this case giving a flipped look at our youth and success-obsessed culture and how the ideals two intersect.
Americans love Mexican food. We consume nachos, tacos, burritos, tortas, enchiladas, tamales and anything resembling Mexican in enormous quantities. We love Mexican beverages, happily knocking back huge amounts of tequila, mezcal and Mexican beer every year. We love Mexican people—as we sure…
Because: I grew up in a culturally and ethnically diverse pocket of Central New Jersey. I would estimate 1/4 of my graduating class was Hispanic, Mexican or otherwise. Even then, even there, most of those Hispanics were grouped as “Mexicans” by my non-Hispanic classmates. When they’d make comments about “those Mexicans,” I’d often turn it on them and say, “You know, I’m Mexican.” “Yea, well you’re not like them.”
Our relationship with Mexico—its people and culture—is a complicated, hypocritical one, and always has been, though always and still quietly so, even despite bloody border violence and publicized immigration issues. It is one where I apparently get to be a more “acceptable” Mexican. It is one where—well, I’ll refer to Anthony Bourdain’s raw and admirable post that lays it out the reality of it, even if it’s hard to swallow.
I like this because it touches on the appeal of Snapchat: its ability to become quick reminders of the people around you. Barrett sends me some of the greatest, most hilarious, most endearing Snapchats and even if I haven’t seen him in a couple of weeks, I am reminded of why he is such a great friend. They can act as quick, visual messages that resonate more than a text message and a phone call because they won’t last. That’s the key. By opening it, you are acknowledging that it won’t last forever, that you have settled in for this quick moment and that it will be gone.
Because: Living far from my family and many close friends, I pounce on just about every social media and communication novelty that allows me to reach them faster, quicker and more often. I’ve found in my 3.5+ (eek, getting up there) years living abroad that the key to maintaining relationships is not necessarily periodic two-hour video chat sessions, but regular, even if perfunctory, communication. Snapchat makes that easy—beautifully, often hilariously, easy.
I would say about foreigners who come to Argentina and try to understand it, that they can walk in the Argentine rain without getting wet, because they don’t know where the raindrops are. They just don’t know the idiosyncrasies here, what we’re like.
Because: This interview makes me feel as though I just sat in on an operation dissecting the Argentine psyche. Even for those not as closely tied to Argentina as I am, I think Uki Goñi’s interview here is well worth dedicating the time to read. In recounting his personal and professional experiences as a journalist during Argentina’s Dirty War through to today, as well as as a writer and musician, much is revealed about human nature in general and, hell, the world and how it works.
Because: Come for the sideburns, stay for the psychological.
Of all the quotable sections of this piece, this has to be my favorite chunk. It so perfectly encapsulates so many characteristics of Argentine culture and how intertwined they all are, including psychology obsession, passion and politics here.
"Ignore the barrage of violent threats and harassing messages that confront you online every day." That’s what women are told.
Because: This subject of story is of immense personal and professional interest to me. As a journalist I have to put much of myself, or an extension of myself, my work, out there. Who knows how or where it will catch on and who will respond? It’s thrilling, but also something I’ve found can be paralyzingly frightening. That fear of unpredictable online reception admittedly has caused me to withdraw from certain work I’ve wanted to challenge myself to do—and being a woman does in some cases compound that fear.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s remember that the difference between being surrounded by a loving family or being homeless on the street is determined not just by our own level of virtue or self-discipline, but also by an inextricable mix of luck, biography, brain chemistry and genetics.
Because: If you have not yet read this piece, which is Kristof’s most-shared ever, I highly recommend you do so. We, the United States of America, an underdog, self-made country, love the rags-to-riches tale likely more than any other place in the world and firmly, uncontrovertibly believe that a mix of hard work and determination leads directly to success. (And conversely, that those who fail do not work hard enough.) Well, we’re delusional to think that stands as a truth.
Most all of us could use a reminder to be more empathic, an emotion that can go a long way for all and engender compassion. And as Kristof says at the close, “compassion isn’t a sign of weakness, but a mark of civilzation.”
An Argentine woman, documenting her relationships, begins an intimate investigation searching for love and answers: must she settle down or continue to be a free spirit in order to be happy?
Because: A friend who works for the U.S. Foreign Service drew my attention to this with a comment about how it has much to do with being someone who travels or moves constantly. The short is by an Argentine woman (incidentally, a friend of mine plays a major role in it, which I discovered when I watched it through) though the subject, concerns and message are surely transcend national boundaries.
The video hit a nerve with a number of friends. Today I sat with two single friends, one saying how she feels she needs to “settle down” soon, as in pick a place to call home and stay put. The other said, “I think you can choose to do that ‘settling’ or you can build the life that makes you happy and see who comes along who fits into it. And we’re not people content with settling.”