Sunday Wisdom No. 37
Growing up, I didn't own a computer. That gave me a lot of free time to play with friends, take long walks, go out on bike trips, read books, and do paintings. Unknowingly, I was living deliberately.
Last week I had requested you to write to me about how things are going. I’m overwhelmed by all the replies I’ve been getting. Thanks a tonne for writing to me. These are hard times, and the more we can connect to each other, the better it is.
I’ve tried to reply to all of you. If you haven’t received a reply yet, you would soon. It’s a promise! And in case, you feel like you want to share something, perhaps how things are going, any problem you are facing, what all new thing you are trying out during the nationwide lockdown, I’m all ears.
This is perhaps one of the rare times when everybody in the world is facing the same problem, and it’s a unique opportunity for us to connect and share. Let’s write to each other. Reply to this email, or simply write to email@example.com. I look forward to hear from you.
Now is the time for your weekly dose of multidisciplinary reading to upgrade your thinking and decision making skills. And if you’re seeing this newsletter for the first time, you can subscribe here.
📝 What I Wrote
In the last two editions of Sunday Wisdom, I wrote about digital declutter and building bragworthy products. Today I’m going to share the second part of my thoughts and ideas on contemplation, solitude, and the evils of constant connectivity.
Living Deliberately: The Importance of Long Walks, Paintings, and Board Games
Growing up, I didn’t have internet at my place until I was in college, and most of my school years were spent without a computer. We had landlines instead of mobile phones. Life was very different from now.
The good thing about it was that it had left me with plenty of free time after school and study. Free time that I spent playing with friends, taking long walks in the evening, taking bike trips, doing paintings, and reading books.
Unknowingly I was engaged in all sorts of activities essential to live deliberately. During these weeks when I’m stuck at home due to the ongoing lockdown, it all started coming back to me. I realised what most of our lives are missing.
💡 Little Bits of Wisdom (LBW)
A person who doesn’t praise you when you do something well, but criticises you when you don’t do something well is not your well wisher.
In other words, one who doesn’t praise you has no right to criticise you.
📑 I Enjoyed Reading
Befriending Heavy Breathers — “The Samaritans was one of the first phone helplines dedicated to reducing the feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide. The charity was built on the principles of being non-judgemental and there to listen. But what happens when a caller is looking for something more than conversation?”
The Art Of The New Deal: Why The Federal Government Funded The Arts During The Great Depression — “It’s odd to think that the gray-faced, gray-suited U.S. Cold Warriors of the 1950s funded Abstract Expressionism and left-wing literary magazines in a cultural offensive against the Soviet Union. And yet they did.”
ITC — An Investor’s Dilemma — “As of today, May 2 2020, the Indian financial twitter is split between ITC’s believers and naysayers. In a few years, one of the two factions will have won the righteous authority to say I told you so.”
The Man Feeding A Remote Alaska Town With a Costco Card And A Ship — “When Gustavus, Alaska, was cut off from its grocery supply chain, one resident decided to take matters into his own hands.”
Why Some Of Us Thrive In A Crisis —“I know a woman, very nearly a misanthrope—I’ll call her Stella—who lives alone and is convinced that everyone in the world has a better life than she. But a few weeks ago, as everyone everywhere was being put under house arrest, I called to see how she was doing and, in a voice clear as a bell, she said, Fine, I’m fine. Startled, I asked, How come? Equally startled, she said, ‘Because we’re all in this together.’”
📹 I Enjoyed Watching
My Ducks Go To Bed When I Call Them — “A few years ago I trained my ducks to go in at night when I yell, ‘All ducks go to bed!’ I’ll show you how it works when I need to get my ducks out of their pond and I’ll teach you my secrets.”
Why Do Animals Have Such Different Lifespans? — “For the microscopic lab worm C. elegans, life equates to just a few short weeks on Earth. The bowhead whale, on the other hand, can live over two hundred years. Why are these lifespans so different? And what does it really mean to ‘age’ anyway? Joao Pedro de Magalhaes explains why the pace of ageing varies greatly across animals.”
How This Chair Conquered The World — “No matter where in the world you’re from, it is very likely that you have already sat in this chair at some point in your life, probably even several times. This is the so-called Monobloc, probably the best-selling chair in history. And still, it’s getting a lot of hate. But why is it everywhere and is it an example of good or bad design?”
Tetris | Philosophy Of A Perfect Video Game — “A deep dive into the history and philosophy behind Tetris, and the reasons why it has managed to stay relevant for so long and will probably still be in the future.”
How to Break The Fourth Wall — “Breaking the Fourth Wall is such a creative and unique cinematic technique, but just how much potential does it have? Let’s take a look at the various emotional effects a fourth wall break can have in film.”
🤔 Worth Thinking About
You have people walking around with all the knowledge of humanity on their phone, but they have no idea how to integrate it. We don’t train people in thinking or reasoning.
— David Epstein, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialised World
As always, if you’re enjoying Sunday Wisdom, I’d love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I try to make it one of the best emails you get every Sunday, and I hope you’re enjoying it.
If you want to support my work, you can pledge anything between $2 and $200 and still enjoy all the exclusive benefits.
And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.