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Shenk Quotes & Sayings

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Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

The American tradition of separation of church and state grew directly from the freethinking of the Founders. After political independence, they considered independence of thought and belief a logical next step. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal. We now practically read it, 'all men are created equal, except negroes. When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read, 'all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics. When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty - to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." In — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By David Shenk

Talent is a process, not a thing. Failure is not proof of an innate limit but rather is an indication of a skill we haven't yet developed. — David Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

In his seminal book, Man's Search for Meaning, the psychiatrist Victor Frankl described the essence of what has come to be known as an existential approach to the human condition with this metaphor: "If architects want to strengthen a decrepit arch," he wrote, "they increase the load which is laid upon it, for thereby the parts are joined more firmly together." It is similarly true, he said, that therapy aimed at fostering mental health often should lay increased weight on a patient, creating what he described as "a sound amount of tension through a reorientation toward the meaning of one's own life. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Creeping fear of madness often accompanies depression. Sufferers wonder if their black moods will ever lift, or if their feelings of alienation from the healthy world will deepen and widen. "These fears are at least fifty percent of what it is to be melancholy," says Lauren Slater, a clinical psychologist who has written about her struggles with mental illness. "If you were to be really, really depressed but know that it was going to end in five days, it wouldn't be depression. The terror is in what the future holds. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

When a depressed person does get out of bed, it's usually not with a sudden insight that life is rich and valuable, but out of some creeping sense of duty or instinct for survival. If collapsing is sometimes vital, so is the brute force of will. To William James we owe the insight that, in the absence of real health, we sometimes must act as if we are healthy. Buoyed by such discipline and habit, we might achieve actual well-being. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Whatever greatness Lincoln achieved cannot be explained as a triumph over personal suffering. Rather, it must be accounted for as an outgrowth of the same system that produced that suffering. This is not a story of transformation but one of integration. Lincoln didn't do great work because he solved the problem of his melancholy. The problem of his melancholy was all the more fuel for the fire of his great work. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Her brother-in-law Ninian Edwards said bluntly, She could make a bishop forget his prayers. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By David Shenk

The electronic town hall allows for speedy communications and bad decision-making. — David Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Today, many people not only take the self for granted but struggle mightily to connect it to anything larger. In Lincoln's time, the idea of the self had the power - tinged with uncertainty, even with danger - of something emerging and ascending. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Did you know that Lincoln liked popcorn, and oysters, and a good strong cup of coffee? — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Of all the paradoxes of Lincoln's life, none is more powerful than the fact that the man who would come to be known throughout the world - from American schoolrooms to the tribal councils of the Caucasus Mountains - was deeply mysterious to the people who knew him best. "Those who have spoken most confidently of their knowledge of his personal qualities," wrote the Pennsylvania Republican Alexander McClure, "are, as a rule, those who saw least of them below the surface. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Don't you find," he said, "judging from his picture, that his eyes are full of tears and that his lips are sad with a secret sorrow? — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Another well-known study, led by Nancy Andreasen, used structured interviews and matched control groups to examine thirty writers at the prestigious University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Eighty percent of the writers met formal criteria for a major mood disorder, compared with thirty percent of controls matched for age, education, and sex. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By David Shenk

Contrary to what we've been taught, genes do not determine physical and character traits on their own. Rather, they interact with the environment in a dynamic, ongoing process that produces and continually refines an individual — David Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln's Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer's rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

A person with a melancholy temperament had been fated with both an awful burden and what Byron called "a fearful gift." The burden was a sadness and despair that could tip into a state of disease. But the gift was a capacity for depth, wisdom - even genius. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

The distinction is essential. Fault implies a failure or weakness for which a person should be held to account, if not outright blamed. Misfortune is an unhappy circumstance, something bad that has happened to a blameless good person. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

In a modern dictionary, the noun "melancholy" has two definitions. First, it means "thoughtful or gentle sadness. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

As late as 1820, families made three quarters of all goods - food, clothing, tools - for their own use. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By David Shenk

You have to want it, want it so bad you will never give up, so bad that you are ready to sacrifice time, money, sleep, friendships, even your reputation," he writes. "You will have to adopt a particular lifestyle of ambition, not just for a few weeks or months but for years and years and years. You have to want it so bad that you are not only ready to fail, but you actually want to experience failure: revel in it, learn from it. — David Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

An argument can be made - a rigorous, persuasive argument - that every good new thing results from a teeming complexity. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

The inclination to exchange thoughts with one another is probably an original impulse of our nature. If I be in pain I wish to let you know it, and to ask your sympathy and assistance; and my pleasurable emotions also, I wish to communicate to, and share with you. - ABRAHAM LINCOLN, February 11, 1859 — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

You," she said, "are the ugliest man I ever saw." Sadly, the man answered, "Perhaps so, but I can't help that." "No," the woman allowed, "but you might stay at home. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

How true it is that 'God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,' or in other words, that He renders the worst of human conditions tolerable, while He permits the best, to be nothing better than tolerable. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

The Perspectives of Psychiatry, Paul R. McHugh and Phillip R. Slavney identify four approaches to a suffering person. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Yet, to the wigwam audience in Decatur, Lincoln presented a strange figure. He didn't seem euphoric, or triumphant, or even pleased. To the contrary, said a man named Johnson, observing from the convention floor, "I then thought him one of the most diffident and worst plagued men I ever saw. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Though major depression is often associated with lethargy to the point of being frozen, many people with chronic depression not only work well but devote more energy to their vocation than to any other endeavor. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

As Frederick Douglass said, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

At the same time that "self-made" entered the nation's lexicon, so did the notion of abject failure. Once reserved to describe a discrete financial episode - "I made a failure," a merchant would say after losing his shop - "failure" in antebellum America became a matter of identity, describing not an event but a person. As the historian Scott Sandage explains in Born Losers: A History of Failure in America, the phrase "I feel like a failure" comes to us so naturally today "that we forget it is a figure of speech: the language of business applied to the soul." It became conventional wisdom in the early nineteenth century, Sandage explains, that people who failed had a problem native to their constitution. They weren't just losers; they were "born losers. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Lincoln was raised in the thick of Old School Calvinism. In Kentucky and Indiana, his parents belonged to a fire-breathing sect called Separate Baptism, in which congregants heard - in the tradition of Jonathan Edward's famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" - that they were bound for eternal hellfire, and nothing they could do or say or think would change their fate. Preachers did allow that a chosen few were ordained for grace and would be saved, but these fortunate ones had been selected by God before time began. As one Baptist preacher in Lincoln's Kentucky explained it, "Long before the morning stars sang together . . . the Almighty looked down upon the ages yet unborn, as it were, in review before him, and selected one here and another there to enjoy eternal life and left the rest to the blackness of darkness forever." Such Baptist ministers were so intense that it has been said that they "out-Calvined Calvin. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

It is a signal feature of depression that, in times of trouble, sensible ideas, memories of good times, and optimism for the future all recede into blackness. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By David Shenk

Microsoft, by some accounts, the second most capitalized company on the planet, is the only corporate colossus in history whose entire product line could be eliminated with a giant magnet. — David Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

In the fourth century, John Cassian described a condition among his fellow monks that he called "acedia": a "weariness or distress of heart . . . akin to dejection" that took "possession" of unhappy souls and left them lazy, sluggish, restless, and solitary. Later, acedia became widely translated as sloth, one of the seven deadly sins, and blended with melancholy in the popular mind. Both required, at the very least, confession and penitence. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Why is it that all men who have become outstanding in philosophy, statesmanship, poetry or the arts are melancholic, — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

The individuals in great dyads will be very different from each other and very much alike. These simultaneous extremes generate the deep rapport and energizing friction that define a creative pair. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Perhaps," observes James McPherson, "McClellan's career had been too successful. He had never known . . . the despair of defeat or the humiliation of failure. He had never learned the lessons of adversity and humility." Lincoln had clearly learned those lessons. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

In the early nineteenth century, a new culture - a new idea about what to hope for - emerged for many Americans, centered around the independent self, under nation and God. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

One of the basic ideas of the evangelical movement in the early nineteenth century was that people could help themselves. Rather than wonder and fear the fate God decreed for them, they could actively change their lives by renouncing sin and accepting Christ. From this same pool of thought rose a wave of healers who claimed that disease wasn't a product of inscrutable humors that needed to be poisoned or purged from the body, but natural phenomena that could be studied and understood. This idea blended Enlightenment rationalism with evangelical optimism. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

In particular, he named three kinds of troubles that could beset a person with a nervous temperament: poor weather, isolation or idleness, and stressful events. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Yet a period's character does affect individual character. Psychology, the study of what happens in our minds, is tightly interwoven with culture, the name we give to our beliefs, practices, and social behaviors. The scholar Andrew Delbanco goes so far as to define culture as a collective psychological notion. "Human beings need to organize the inchoate sensations amid which we pass our days - pain, desire, pleasure, fear - into a story," Delbanco writes. "When that story leads somewhere and thereby helps us navigate through life to its inevitable terminus in death, it gives us hope. And if such a sustaining narrative establishes itself over time in the minds of a substantial number of people, we call it culture. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

I close. We are not we must not be aliens or enemies but fellow countrymen and brethren. Although passion has strained our bonds of affection too hardly they must not I am sure they will not be broken. The mystic chords of memory which proceeding from so many battle fields and so many patriot graves pass through all the hearts and all the hearths in this broad continent of ours will yet again harmonize in their ancient music when breathed upon by the guardian angel of the nation. Lincoln — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

History is not what happened in the past, but the best story we can tell with the available material — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

They saw him as he was, a full man whose griefs and solaces and talents ran together. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

The suffering he had endured lent him clarity, discipline, and faith in hard times - perhaps especially in hard times. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Jonathan Franzen

For David Shenk, the most important of the "windows onto meaning" afforded by Alzheimer's is its slowing down of death. Shenk likens the disease to a prism that refracts death into a spectrum of its otherwise tightly conjoined parts - death of autonomy, death of memory, death of self-consciousness, death of personality, death of body - and he subscribes to the most common trope of Alzheimer's: that its particular sadness and horror stem from the sufferer's loss of his or her "self" long before the body dies. — Jonathan Franzen

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

One crucial distinction between major depression and chronic depression is that, in the latter, one largely ceases to howl in protest that the world is hard or painful. Rather, one becomes accustomed to it, expecting such hardship and greeting it with, at best, a stoic determination. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

High-level creative exchange depends on both hierarchical and fluid power relationships. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

sickness of hope deferred, — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

People expected too much, pushed themselves too hard, and therefore brought strains upon their minds that they were constitutionally incapable of withstanding. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

In Lincoln's middle years, a loud insistence on his own woe evolved into a quiet, disciplined yearning. He yoked his feelings to a style of severe self-control, articulating a melancholy that was, more than anything, philosophical. He saw the world as a sad, difficult place from which he expected considerable suffering. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

He arrived tentatively at his own idea, that melancholy arose from natural, sometimes beneficent forces. Talking about it in plain human terms was his first step toward claiming his own ground as a person who, through no fault of his own, needed help. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Lincoln once noted how the printing press spread knowledge by making works widely available that had previously been the province of a privileged few. The same is true when primary sources are collected, transcribed, and published; when exhaustive reference works are produced; when scholars leave published books and carefully organized research files; and when interest in a subject grows to the point that entire institutions - libraries, journals, and museums - are devoted to assisting its students. The main problem with studying Lincoln is not finding sources, but choosing which sources to follow. A — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

Suffering was not a punishment from beyond or a malevolent infestation of the soul. Like the earth turning on its axis or energy passing through a conductor, it was a part of the natural world, to be studied, understood, and, when possible, managed. — Joshua Wolf Shenk

Shenk Quotes By Joshua Wolf Shenk

That solitude promotes insight as well as change," Storr continues, "has been recognized by the great religious leaders" - including the Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed - "who have usually retreated from the world before returning to it to share what has been revealed to them. — Joshua Wolf Shenk