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"We choose [these things], not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win" - John F. Kennedy
I remember something I read, once, in Opera News about the great Tatiana Troyanos. Here was a woman that had every right to complain at the Fates over her lot in life...she was abandoned by her parents to an orphanage, and she battled health issues for many years before dying of cancer at 55. (I remember reading that selfsame article about her and being amazed at what she had overcome.) And yet she remained ever gracious in her career and her professional dealings. The writer of the article, I remember, recalled assisting in a Metropolitan Opera performance of Giulio Cesare in Egitto, in which Kathleen Battle was singing. Battle was then in the throes of some of her worst behavior, and she was really letting people have it over trivial matters. And the writer said that when the curtain fell, he was about ready to tell her off, when he felt a tug at his elbow. It was Troyanos - she took him aside, smiled, and said, "Don't. It doesn't matter."
It can be so tempting to get wound up over the least little thing around here. But every time I do, somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind...so deep that I feel her presence rather than hear it...I'm sure Troyanos is reminding me, too: "It doesn't matter." If she, with all that she overcame, could say it, then I damn well can, too –Ser Amantio di Nicolao
"What is history but a fable agreed upon?" --Napoleon
Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
—Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1892)
Stay calm and maintain a professional demeanor. Be patient and remain courteous and civil.
Avoid conflict, even when you know you are right. Give other editors the benefit of the doubt.
Assume good faith toward your collaborating editors, if not their edits. Assuming good faith is not intended to be self-destructive, but to avoid conflict.
Ignore attacks. Not easily done, but a real timesaver. Attacks and counter-attacks are hazardous to your mental health. The best and most frequently offered administrative advice is to move on, and, if absolutely necessary, return the next day.
Don't take it personally. Editors make honest mistakes. Communicating our thoughts is not easily done on the Internet.
Don't isolate your interpretation. There are many interpretations other than yours. What you read might NOT be what was meant.
Don't think of editing as a competition. WE are cohorts, collaborating to improve our thing.
Don't edit when angry or upset. Stay off the article and talk page in question. Never let your anger or frustration be the deciding factor in your behavior.
Don't forget the human dimension of Wikipedia editing. Keep things in perspective. There is a real, living and breathing, sensitive human on the other side of the discussion.
You and your problems are not the most important thing in the world.
Choose your battles. Yield when it doesn't matter, and stand your ground when it does.
Keep a thick skin. Don't let criticism discourage you. Instead, let it teach you.
You learn more from listening than from talking. "A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something." (Wilson Mizner)
Don’t waste your time arguing with an idiot.
Give other people the same respect that you would want from them. (Matthew 7:12)
The surest way to drive yourself crazy is to compare yourself to other people.
Take the high road, no matter what the other person does. It will benefit you in the long run. (Romans 12:20)
Don’t take yourself too seriously: "We share 99% of our genes with mice, and we even have the genes that could make a tail." (Dr. Jane Rogers, Human Sequencing and Mapping Project Manager, Sanger Institute); "The graveyards are full of indispensable men." (Charles de Gaulle)
The most important thing is to be able to look yourself in the mirror. “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it's right.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Complexity [. . .] is not ambivalence or ambiguity. To tell the whole story—to follow that crooked course—does not diminish the clarity of an argument or mystify it into a maze of “nuances, paradox, or irony.” Telling the entire tale is not a form of obscuration. If done right, it clarifies precisely because it consolidates the mass of competing claims under a single head. Elegance or simplicity of argument is only useful when it encompasses all of the evidence, not when it excludes or narrows it.
— Ira Berlin, "Who Freed the Slaves? Emancipation and its meaning in American life"
The past is holy. Why? Not merely because the present contains the past, but because a moral world depends on an acceptance of the notion of causality, on an acknowledgment that we are responsible for, and a product of, our actions.”
We women shall never understand men. When they are bent on making a road for some achievement, they think nothing of breaking the heart of the world into pieces to pave it for the progress of their chariot. When they are mad with the intoxication of creating, they rejoice in destroying the creation of the Creator. This heart-breaking shame of mine will not attract even a glance from their eyes. They have no feeling for life itself,—all their eagerness is for their object. What am I to them but a meadow flower in the path of a torrent in flood?
“Nations reel and stagger on their way; they make hideous mistakes; they commit frightful wrongs; they do great and beautiful things. And shall we not best guide humanity by telling the truth about all of this, so far as the truth is ascertainable?”
One thing alone I charge you. As you live, believe in Life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader and fuller life. The only possible death is to lose belief in this truth simply because the great end comes slowly, because time is long.
And yes, I still am terrified every day. Yet fear can be love trying its best in the dark. So do not fear your fear. Own it. Free it. This isn’t a liberation that I or anyone can give you — it’s a power you must look for, learn, love, lead and locate for yourself.
Why? The truth is, hope isn’t a promise we give. It’s a promise we live. Tell it like this, and we, like our words, will not rest.
... and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. Ulysses(68–70)
Because ignorance thrives in darkness, shine a light on past wrongs and there is more hope for the future.
All contributions by this user are hereby released into the public domain
I, the author, hereby agree to waive all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in all content contributed by me, the user, and immediately place any and all contributions by me into the public domain, unless otherwise noted. I grant anyone the right to use my work for any purpose, without any conditions, to be changed or destroyed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notification.