Inner peace (Horace)

“Happiness and misery, [Horace] said to himself, are inside emotions, not outside facts; essentially, then, they are under my control. I can do nothing about what fate sends me, but I can do everything about the way I take what is sent. I can so order my own spirit that no matter how outrageous fortune is I can keep my balance within unmoved. ‘Do you know, friend, what I feel, for what I pray? Not to waver to and fro, hanging upon the hope of the dubious hour. God may give this or that—life—wealth. I will my own self make my spirit undisturbed.’ There lies the whole secret of life. The only important matter is what we are. ‘The fool,’ he writes, ‘finds fault with a place. The fault is not there but in the mind, and that can never escape from itself’”

—Edith Hamilton, writing about the poet Horace in The Roman Way to Western Civilization, pg. 167-68

Pope Francis

There is the tendency to place ourselves and our ambitions at the center of our lives. This is very human, but it is not Christian.

— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) September 27, 2014


Thinking about this quote. Also a really good profile of Pope Francis.

He just wants me to be me



























I need to start posting these things earlier. I made this goal to post something uplifting to social media every week, and then I forget to do it until right before I go to bed. It feels good, though, to reflect a little before I lie down. So all in all not bad.

Happy Sunday!


I went to a regional conference today where Richard G. Scott spoke, and he said some really neat things about prayer:

"Don’t worry about your clumsily expressed feelings. Just talk to your compassionate, understanding Father. You are His precious child whom He loves perfectly and wants to help. As you pray, recognize that Father in Heaven is near and He is listening."

I'm just grateful that God will meet us where we are. He'll greet us if we run to Him, like Martha. And He'll teach us. But on the days when we just can't, He'll still be there. Like how he came to Mary, and wept with her (John 11). I'm glad to know that He doesn't expect me to be like anyone else or have the strength or ability or reactions that others might have. He just wants me to be me, and that's a wonderful thing.

Have a great week!

P.S. The picture is from a great video, if you have the time/desire to watch it:
https://www.lds.org/bible-videos/videos/jesus-heals-a-man-born-blind?lang=eng

Update



First of all, I want to update you on my progress with my goals—they're going really well! I'm surprised by how easy it is to save water now that I'm aware. I'm not sure how much this will help, in all practicality, but it has definitely made me more conscious of the blessings I have. Turning of my water turns my thoughts to those in crisis who may not have the simple luxury of fresh water—to drink, much less to bathe in. So I suppose goal #1 helps me with goal #2, and goal #3. Cool, huh?

As for #4, I've realized that I don't use cash. Like, ever. So that hasn't worked out super well. I'll have to find another way to get in the habit of donating. And I still need to talk to the food bank. But three out of four—not so bad, right? Seriously, the water-saving thing is so easy. And I feel cleaner because I spend more time scrubbing, especially when I'm just washing my hands. It's hard to believe I haven't always been doing this. But some people really love their showers, and I think that's okay. I think it's all about finding ways to do what you can, no matter how small it is. But it certainly isn't about self-denial.

And since I'm talking about goals, I have another goal to share with you that I'm really excited about! I was reading a talk by one of the leaders of my church, and he encouraged us to use social media as an aid in helping other people. One thing he said really stuck out to me:


"Handheld devices, such as smartphones, are a blessing, but they can also distract us from hearing the 'still, small voice.' They need to be our servants, not our masters. For example, if later tonight you share inspiring thoughts from this devotional on social media, your smartphone is a servant. If you randomly surf the Internet, your smartphone is a master. . . .

Honestly, how much time do you spend every day on your cell phone or tablet, not including school or Church work?

Their use is appropriate, and they are a blessing. However, when smartphones begin to interfere with our relationships with friends and family—and even more importantly, with God—we need to make a change. For some of you, the adjustment will be slight; for others, it may be significant.

I am also concerned that excessive text messaging, Facebooking, tweeting, and Instagraming are replacing talking—talking directly one to another and talking in prayer with our Heavenly Father and thinking about the things that matter most in life."


A few weeks ago I was walking to Chicho's apartment when I noticed that my bag was dripping. I looked to find that I hadn't screwed on my waterbottle lid well enough, and all my possessions were floating inside—including my cell phone. This, of course, necessitated the purchase of a new phone, and so I received my first smartphone. It's been wonderful—I can listen to all my favorite podcasts, read The New Yorker, study flashcards, and so many other great things. But I noticed that it slowly began to consume my attention.

Besides encouraging me to unplug from my phone more often, this talk helped me think of ways to use it that will make it a servant and not a master. One was downloading audio versions of the scriptures, which has been so cool. (Do you realize how many chapters you can listen to while cleaning the kitchen?) And the second idea was to post these quotes. I wanted to share some encouragement without being overbearing about it—to put the things that mean the most to me out there in a way that was inviting for those who may need it, but not in an overly personal or awkward way. I figure pictures and quotes would be a good bet.

Ok, why am I taking so long to explain this? I have to go to bed!—I'm a grannie, I know. I always go to bed before 11. But here's the first of hopefully many other pics, to be posted every Sunday. Sunday-ly? This is where Hungarian beats English: vasárnaponként.

Happy Sunday!

International Cinema



























I just finished watching From Up on Poppy Hill at the International Cinema. As I was walking away from the showing, I was thinking of films that I love, and I thought I'd share five of my favorites with you. They're not in order, just a few that are at the top of my list and that, if you asked me, I would tell you to see. Have a great Saturday!

Ikiru, directed by Akira Kurosawa

Jean de Florette / Manon of the Spring, written and directed by Claude Berri, with Yves Montand and Gérard Depardieu

Departures, directed by Yôjirô Takita

The Mission, directed by Roland Joffé, with Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons

Amour, directed by Michael Haneke



Image: An alleyway in my hometown. Taken on Canon EOS Rebel with 400-speed B&W film


Cancun and classes







































I was going to post a bunch of pictures from Cancun, but have I ever mentioned how much I hate uploading pictures to Blogger? It's the worst, especially if you have multiple. So they'll come one at a time, I guess. Classes have begun again, and (dare I say this?) I love it. But ask me again in November when finals are looming.

Also, I'm listening to this song. On repeat. So if you're wondering how I'm feeling, that sums it up well—quietly, wonderfully happy.

Have a great weekend!

Romney and race


Why am I up in the middle of the night? Or I guess more accurately, why, when I wake up in the middle of the night, do I turn on podcasts that keep me up even longer?

But you gotta listen to the House Rules episode from This American Life. Fascinating stuff.

I didn't know that George Romney (Mitt Romney's father) was such a strong advocate of housing desegregation when he was governor of Michigan, at a time when most of the country was strongly opposed to desegregation policies. If Nixon hadn't stonewalled his efforts, there would likely be less inner-city black ghettos today. A black family still needs at least twice the income of a white family in order to escape poor neighborhoods because of housing discrimination. Which makes it clear, if it wasn't already, that when we talk about poverty we should really be talking about race—but Americans don't like to think that our country is as racist as it really is.

Eventually Nixon—vehemently opposed to housing reform policies—tried to force Romney out by appointing him Ambassador to Mexico. Romney, knowing exactly what Nixon was trying to do, rejected the appointment and resigned as governor. It's a great podcast—listen to it on the way to work tomorrow. Or in the middle of the night, like I do.