Excerpt for Brook's Book by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Brook’s Book

Copyright © 2017 Dan Brook

Published by Dan Brook at Smashwords

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please download or purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not download or purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Smashwords.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Dedicated with gratitude to my friend Leonard Frank, author of the Quotationary and other publications, who helped inspire and encourage this project, though he’ll never see its completed form.

In this book are some of the nuggets of my accumulated “wisdom”, some attributable while others not. As with most people and their ideas, I am more a curator than an inventor, despite whatever innovations I may make to the vast and varied material that comes my way from a wide array of nourishing sources, enriching and enlivening me. Indeed, as Isaac Newton wisely and humbly recognized 300 years ago, we are all “standing on the shoulders of giants”, even when we take that universal and eternal truth for granted by asserting our seemingly-individual accomplishments.

I sincerely hope you find these bite-sized nuggets useful, as I certainly do, despite the playful narcissism of these apothegms. In the words of fellow aphorist Michel de Montaigne, “I am myself the matter of my book”. In this sense, this is my autobiography and I hope it becomes part of yours, as well.

Some of my aphoristic writings aren’t actually proper aphorisms per se, as they can’t necessarily be contained or conveyed properly in that tight genre. Whether they are aphorisms, apothegms, adages, maxims, quotes, sayings, advice, remarks, rules, common sense, quips, spiritual guidance, realizations, or whatever else, they may still, hopefully, be interesting, insightful, inspiring, enspiriting, enlightening, enheartening, entertaining, useful, or otherwise worthwhile, so I hope you forgive my sometimes sententious nature.

In the spirit of disclosure, I feel I should warn you. I’m sympathetic to Karl Kraus when he says that “An aphorism can never be the whole truth; it is either a half-truth or a truth-and-a-half.” Like Pablo Picasso opined, “art is a lie that makes us realize truth” and perhaps that is true here, as well. In that way, these aphorisms are gnomic in more than one way. But it is more for you to decide than me, as writing is ultimately more for the reader than the writer. These aphorisms are now yours!

Feel free to use the ones that resonate with you and to make them your own; similarly, feel free to discard whatever is unwelcome, ineffective, offensive, or unnecessary. I echo sagely Bruce Lee in declaring that we should “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” These nuggets should be nourishing and liberating, in one way or another, but certainly not burdensome or debilitating. In any event, enjoy your journeys!

Brook’s A:

Everything has to start somewhere.

Brook’s Abraham:

Sometimes we need to go forth (lech lecha) to get back to ourselves (teshuvah).

Brook’s Absence:

There is no darkness, silence, cold, and stupidity, only the absence of light, sound, heat, and intelligence. Bring them in, when desired or necessary.

Brook’s Absurdity:

It is absurd not to think the world is absurd.

Brook’s Accomplishments:

Our accomplishments and achievements are great and should be congratulated and celebrated, yet they should be steps not endpoints. If we don’t do anything meaningful with our accomplishments and achievements, we have not done nearly enough.

Brook’s Action:

We tend to feel better about the world when we constructively engage with it, when we actively try to make it a better place for ourselves and others. Success is in the attempt, not simply some potential result.

Brook’s Active:

It’s better to be proactive than reactive, but better to be reactive if we haven’t been proactive. Although it’s imperative to be reactive when threats arise, it’s also critical to be proactive to prevent future threats.

Brook’s Actuality:

The only dreams that can never be realized are the ones we don’t have.

Brook’s Adaptation:

Everything is relative, based on time, place, culture, situation, ideology, perspective, people, and personalities. People and their cultures can be extraordinarily flexible and adaptable.

Brook’s Advantage:

While I don’t like people who take advantage of others, I don’t respect people who let themselves be taken advantage of.

Brook’s Advice:

People like to give advice, though way too few like to take it, whether their own or others’.

Brook’s Afterlife:

The only heavens or hells are the many metaphorical ones we create for ourselves and others.

Brook’s Air:

We typically notice the air only when it is unavailable to us, either through partial (e.g., when it’s stinky) or total (e.g., when we’re under water) deprivation, despite how essential it is.

Brook’s Alchemy:

Turning evil into good is the most golden of processes.

Brook’s Alienation:

Alienation may be the root of many crimes and other anti-social behavior; community may be the antidote to alienation.

Brook’s Allergies:

Many mental illnesses — depression, anxiety, phobias, compulsions, anorexia/bulimia, etc. — are like allergies, huge involuntary over-reactions to small and (mostly) innocuous stimuli.

Brook’s Allusion:

That’s what I’m saying, if you know what I mean.

Brook’s Alternative:

Choosing a good alternative is not simply a shallow way of getting out of something, but a deeper way of getting into something better.

Brook’s Alternatives:

People sometimes declare that “there is no alternative”, or TINA, as Margaret Thatcher once did about economic globalization. When they do so, however, it almost always implies that there must be an alternative or perhaps even many alternatives, suggesting TAMA, there are many alternatives; perhaps TAAMA, there are always many alternatives, even if we won’t like some of them or can’t even conceive of some of them. Note that no one ever has to say, for example, that there is no alternative to breathing.

Brook’s Altruism:

The lines between giving and receiving are often blurred. Indeed, giving is a form of receiving.

Brook’s Always:

If a question contains the world always, the answer should always contain the word no.

Brook’s Ambiguity:

It’s hard to be certain about ambiguity, especially as it can be defined in different ways, so I don’t always know what to believe about it.

Brook’s Analysis:

Politics, economics, and culture can only be separated for analytical purposes. They are, however, inextricably linked in practice, if not always in theory.

Brook’s Animal Farm:

All metaphors are metaphorical, but some metaphors are more metaphorical than others.

Brook’s Animals:

Humans seem to be considerably more deaf than animals are mute. Animals speak in all sorts of ways, vocally and otherwise, whether we listen or not.

Brook’s Animus:

Animals are often more humane than humans, while humans are often more animalistic than animals.

Brook’s Annexation:

Every experience is a form of consumption, a little bit of imperialism, a type of annexation.

Brook’s Anniversaries:

People may know and therefore celebrate the anniversary date of their birth (and wedding, if married), but they never know and don’t ever celebrate the anniversary date of their death, though it also comes around each year.

Brook’s Answer:

For most requests, a yes would be best, a no would be disappointing though OK, but not getting an answer is the worst response.

Brook’s Anthropomorphism:

Humans may over anthropomorphize animals at times, yet we also under anthropomorphize animals, too-often denying the intelligence and emotions they so clearly have. Indeed, that may be true of how humans view other humans, as well.

Brook’s Anti:

In a world of divisions, discrimination, hate, and violence, it is good to be non-racist, non-sexist, and non-homophobic, non-antisemitic and non-islamophobic, and non-nationalistic, but it is better to be anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-homophobic, anti-antisemitic and anti-islamophobic, and anti-nationalistic. All of these discriminatory divisions hurt the perpetrators and bystanders as well as the victims, though of course not equally, as people are unable to live out their full and authentic humanity. We need to be actively — in our words and deeds — pro-social justice, supporting the positives, not simply opposing the negatives.

Brook’s Anthropology:

We can better understand our culture by visiting and better understanding others.

Brook’s Anxiety:

If ones knows that something will be limited and short term, almost anything can be endured.

Brook’s Appreciation:

Appreciate what you have more than you mourn for what’s lost and pine for what you don’t have.

Brook’s Architecture:

The physical world we create structures the social world that we inhabit.

Brook’s Aristotelian Anger:

Typical anger is common, yet typically ineffective and destructive. Channeling one’s anger in the right way, at the right time, in the right place, at the right intensity, at the right target, with the right accuracy, with the right intentions, for the right purpose, and for the right amount of time is rare albeit essential.

Brook’s Art:

Anything and everything can be art, if it is seen as such.

Brook’s Asymmetry:

We are all interdependent — dependent on others — even if not equally so.

Brook’s Atheism:

I have the same existential and spiritual needs that led to the invention of gods and God, without personally needing gods or God that I’m confident doesn’t exist. There are a lot of things that can be asserted to exist without any basis or evidence — like flat Earths, ghosts, souls, or flying spaghetti monsters — but that doesn’t make them any more real, even if they may seem real to their believers. God is a concept, metaphor, fiction, invention, social construction, imposition, mistranslation, reified verb, business plan, motivational tool, pacifier, snake oil, alternative fact, simplistic description of the complex and sometimes otherwise indescribable, a means of social control, and also an inhibitor of full spiritual progress. Like a crutch, what may once have seemed useful can later become detrimental. In any event, most people are atheist about most gods.

Brook’s Attitude:

With pessimism, there’s less chance of success; with optimism, anything is possible.

Brook’s Authority:

Authority is authoritarianism, wanting to make its way the only way.

Brook’s Autobiography:

All the work we do — and don’t do — is autobiographical.

Brook’s Avocation:

Teachers, clergy, writers, artists, musicians, inventors, activists, explorers, and others never truly finish their jobs.

Brook’s Awakening:

If people really knew what they already know, we’d be intellectual geniuses and spiritual giants.

Brook’s Aware:

Be aware. The more aware we are, the more we can be knowledgeable, safe, useful, creative, and happy.

Brook’s Awareness:

People can’t really know others unless they really know themselves and they can better know themselves by really knowing others.

Brook’s Away:

Even when we go away or throw something away, there is no away. We live in the same universe and it’s a closed system.

Brook’s Babatunde:

Even more important than loving others is allowing them to love you.

Brook’s Backpack:

As much as possible when you travel, bring less stuff, more money, an open mind, a flexible approach, and a good attitude. If you do, you’ll have everything you need.

Brook’s Bad:

To be successful, bad people need good people to ignore their bad deeds; to be good, good people need bad people to exist.

Brook’s Bads:

In the production of goods, we also produce bads. As with goods, bads are unfairly and unequally distributed and consumed.

Brook’s Bacteria:

Even though humans cannot live without microscopic bacteria, bacteria has, does, and will live quite well without us. We may ignore, forget, despise, fear, attack, misunderstand, or take bacteria for granted, but that doesn’t change our dependence on them and their lack of dependence on us. Indeed, what we anthropocentrically call human is about 90% bacteria and other micro-organisms.

Brook’s Balance:

It’s at least as important to increase the positives as it is to decrease the negatives. Be at least as excited about good things as you are disappointed by bad things.

Brook’s Balancing:

Maintaining one’s balance is not about staying still, but rather about quickly, constantly, and relatively effortlessly shifting one’s position to appear still.

Brook’s Beauty:

Beauty may be subjective, but the admiration of beauty is universal.

Brook’s Beginning:

The beginning doesn’t always have to come at the beginning, just as the end doesn’t always have to come at the end.

Brook’s Beggar:

Even when we don’t ignore beggars and give them money, food, or supplies, we too often avoid eye contact, meaningful conversation, and basic respect, thereby contributing to the painful depersonalization of the poor. Poor people aren’t only poor in terms of money, but typically have a poverty of everything, including being treated like a person.

Brook’s Behavior:

If well-behaved people never make history, those who never behave rarely do, either. One must know, and have the courage, to behave and misbehave, as the case may be, when it most matters.

Brook’s Being:

It’s good to be able to be solitary without feeling lonely, to be quiet when there is no need to speak, to be doing nothing without being bored. These are important parts of being.

Brook’s Belief:

One’s beliefs shape one’s reality as much as one’s reality shapes one’s beliefs.

Brook’s Bernie Kaplan:

Homework is absolutely required, but there is never a due date.

Brook’s Better:

The best way to feel better is to make other people feel better.

Brook’s Bias:

Whatever existed yesterday is more likely to exist today and whatever exists today is more likely to exist tomorrow.

Brook’s Biases:

The better we understand cognitive, implicit, and other biases — our own as well as others’ — the better we'll be able to recognize and transcend them.

Brook’s Bibliomancy:

If you choose any book at random, you can find something in there that would be relevant and useful to whatever you’re interested in.

Brook’s Biography:

Everyone — and everything — has an infinite number of biographies.

Brook’s Biome:

Most of the human body is emptiness; of that which is material, most is water; of that which is material but not water, overwhelmingly most is made up of thousands of species of bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea, and other tiny organisms of flora, fauna, and otherwise. What we think of as the human is in reality the human microbiome and this vast complex ecosystem is precious little human.

Brook’s Bird:

Everyone can fly, even if it’s easier for some than others.

Brook’s Birdcage:

One sings best when one is free.

Brook’s Blah:

Things will not always be exciting, but excitement can always be found.

Brook’s Blasphemy:

Blasphemy laws are themselves blasphemous. People should believe or not believe whatever they believe or not believe without prohibiting others from believing what they believe or not believing what they don’t believe.

Brook’s Blessing:

For all those we know as well as for all those we don’t, may all their good thoughts and good deeds accomplish their goals, while inspiring others, and may all their bad thoughts, deeds, and goals transform into good ones.

Brook’s Blindness:

Blindness is a physical lack of sight, not a metaphorical state of being stupid or arrogant.

Brook’s Body:

A mind has more strength than a body ever could.

Brook’s Books:

There are few things better than a really good book. All books are books of lives, even if some are clearly better and livelier than others. Immerse yourself in as many as you can!

Brook’s Boomerang:

Whatever we do to others, we do to ourselves.

Brook’s Boredom:

If you find something boring, you’re probably not looking closely enough. With all the excitement of the world, both internally and externally, those who are bored often are often boring themselves.

Brook’s Borges:

All realities contain unrealities, and all unrealities contain realities, even if many remain undiscovered or, when discovered, are misunderstood.

Brook’s Bottom Line:

What is often called the bottom line isn’t, acting more like a false bottom concealing much else.

Brook’s Box:

It’s good to think outside the box if you’re stuck in one, but better to realize that there’s no box at all and that you are as free as you imagine yourself to be.

Brook’s Bradbury:

If you have the burning desire, no one or no thing can stop you from reading or writing; no one or no thing can stop caterpillars from becoming butterflies.

Brook’s Brain:

Everything that we’re ever exposed to — saw, heard, felt, read, thought, imagined, experienced — is somewhere in our brain. Whether we can remember, access, connect, explicate, or understand any of it is another matter. The capacity of the human brain is effectively infinite.

Brook's Break Up:

A break up is like a death, not of the people, but of the relationship between them, which is now irrevocably transformed or completely destroyed. A relationship is that invisible and intangible thing that is created between people, which takes on a life of its own and is much greater than merely the sum of its two or more parts. The loss of this relationship is a social death that has to be mourned before one can properly heal from it.

Brook’s Breath:

Although absolutely dependent on our air, we’re rarely conscious of it, unless it’s stinky, polluted, or absent. Breathe — and appreciate the breath.

Brook’s Bridge:

We must build bridges between what is and what could be, encouraging and joining with others to march across them.

Brook’s Bubble:

Bubbles always burst and booms always bust, so best not to rely on them, even if you’re enjoying them.

Brook’s Buddha:

Compassionate awareness without attachments to all things.

Brook’s Bully:

Although bullies are acting out their insecurities and to that extent should be pitied, they must be stopped, and hopefully rehabilitated, so as to spare others from becoming their victims.

Brook’s Business:

Business specifically, and the economy more generally, are our means or tools to create a good society not just a society of goods, to “promote the general welfare”; they are not ends in themselves and, therefore, like any other tools should not be given special privileges, rights, or status, but should instead be carefully controlled for our collective purposes. What business does should be the business of the people.

Brook’s Butterfly:

Whether Chuang Tzu dreamt a butterfly or a butterfly dreamt Chuang Tzu, we can either see ourselves as a part of dreams or apart from dreams, a part of nature or apart from nature, a part of each other or apart from others.

Brook’s By-Products:

When a single goal is being sought — a corporation seeking profits, for example — everything else that happens, whether positive (e.g., jobs, good and services, camaraderie) or negative (e.g., abuse of resources, pollution, layoffs), are merely by-products.

Brook’s Cactus:

Most prickly things are misunderstood and mistrusted.

Brook’s Cain:

We are all each other’s keepers; it’s a matter of how carefully we keep.

Brook’s Cage:

The fewer cages — mental as well as physical, for humans as well as animals — the better.

Brook’s Calories:

There are no empty calories, only those that are a damaging form of fuel if they aren’t healthy.

Brook’s Canary:

Early indicators are too often ignored, mocked, or minimized, yet can inform, inspire, improve, and even save lives.

Brook’s Candle:

One candle can light many others without diminishing itself — as with teaching and creativity, smiling and laughing, blessing and building — and if it goes out, it can then more easily be relit by those others. Be the candle!

Brook’s Capitalism:

Capitalism is a system that institutionalizes greed and sacrifices everything else — communities, people, animals, nature, health, happiness, security, sustainability, education, truth, life — for the sake of profit. Capitalism without constraints creates a relatively few winners with wealth at the expense of the many who lose out with poverty, suffering, and diminished life chances. Either this vast inequality is intentional and capitalism is therefore a fascist success, which I don’t believe, or this is unintentional and capitalism is therefore a massive failure, which I do believe.

Brook’s Care:

If you don’t care for something, no one will care for you.

Brook’s Catalyst:

It often seems like things are changing very slowly, always too slowly, until they change very quickly. When conditions are ripe, it only takes a very small thing to create very big changes. A tiny spark can set a giant prairie fire and a single person can launch a massive social movement.

Brook’s Causal Convergence:

Even when it may appear that one thing causes another, that would be an oversimplification, as it is always many phenomena that converge.

Brook’s Cave:

We all live lives of illusions, though some illusions are more durable, widespread, and valued than others.

Brook’s Caveat Emptor:

Although we as consumers should indeed be as aware as possible, we should have good enough policy that makes it less necessary to beware.

Brook’s Cemetery:

Many dead people — especially thinkers and doers — are more alive than many people who are still living.

Brook’s Certainty:

The more certain we are, the less we can learn.

Brook’s Ceteris Paribus:

If all other things were equal, it would be a much simpler (yet much duller) world.

Brook’s Challenge:

It is not failure that is essential for success, but overcoming challenges.

Brook’s Change:

Change is constant and ubiquitous, as nothing is static. Uncertainty is the only certainty. People, languages, societies, governments, economies, religions, and cultures are always changing, most often very slowly, but occasionally very rapidly. People generally both fear and embrace change.

Brook’s Changes:

Because everything changes, including change itself, even nouns are verbs, actions more than things that signal movement, evolution, growth, decay, transition, transaction, processes, being only permanently temporary yet temporarily permanent.

Brook’s Chemistry:

In social relationships, chemistry is much more important than commonalities.

Brook’s Chess:

Chess is at least as much about manipulating thoughts as moving pieces.

Brook’s Chiasmus:

When thinking this and that, you should also think that and this.

Brook’s Child:

A child creates and raises a parent as much as a parent creates and raises a child.

Brook’s Children:

Children have the best ability for chronic, infinite, radical amazement. If you’ve ever been a child, you still do, too.

Brook’s Choice:

There is no such thing as “no choice”. Choices may be constrained, even highly so, though there is still always an element of choice. Even when it may appear that there is no choice, there is still the choice of how one feels about what one “has” to do. When you create a false choice, you choose unwisely.

Brook’s Choices:

All personal choices are also social choices. Whether something is or isn’t legally and culturally sanctioned helps determine its availability and adoption. When more people do something, others are more likely to also do it. When organizations offer something as an option, people are more likely to choose that option. The more people hear, see, and learn about something, they are also more likely to choose it and engage in it.

Brook’s Chomskyian Universalism:

Whatever standards one applies to others should be applied to oneself.

Brook’s Circumstances:

People in both good and bad circumstances experience suffering, while people in both good and bad circumstances experience joy; therefore, choice is the key that unlocks the door of either or both.

Brook’s Citizenship:

I do the work of a citizen when I vote, when I petition, when I speak up and out, when I organize, when I rally, when I protest, when I organize, and when I try to get my government and society to be the best it could be.

Brook’s City:

Some people need to escape to the country to get away and find themselves, but I prefer to stay in the city and find everything. Everything can be found in the city, if the city is worth being called that, including the country — even wilderness and solitude, if necessary — but you can never find the city in the country.

Brook’s Classroom:

Teachers usually learn more than students and good teachers bring more out of their students than they put in.

Brook’s Clean Water:

There’s an alternative to nearly everything, except clean water.

Brook’s Cleaver:

Cleave means to separate and to attach; we must cleave.

Brook’s Cliche:

Just because something is cliche doesn’t mean we shouldn’t embrace the wisdom within it.

Brook’s Climate Crisis:

We need to reverse, and will mitigate, adapt, and suffer, climate change. The more we choose to do the former of these, the less we will be forced do the latter.

Brook’s Clinical Sociology:

Although people’s personal issues can sometimes be traced to their individual personalities, it’s at least as true that macro social forces are responsible for the social problems that manifest in myriad personal ways on the micro level. We are largely conditioned by a variety of social, cultural, and environmental forces that interact with, and might even construct, our individual personalities.

Brook’s Cloud:

If every cloud has a silver lining, it’s worth remembering that every silver lining has a cloud.

Brook’s Cocktail:

Ideas are always better when they mix.

Brook’s Cogito:

Cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am) is more logically rendered as cogito sum (I think I am), in the same way that dreaming something doesn’t prove its physical existence, even if it seems to exist in one’s imagination. Thinking we are something doesn’t necessarily make it so.

Brook’s Comfort Zone:

If you continually expand your comfort zone, you’ll never have to step out of it; if you want to step out of your comfort zone, there will always be opportunities to do so.

Brook’s Communication:

To communicate clearly with others, and to be understood, we need to speak their language, both literally and figuratively.

Brook’s Communities:

We are at least as much communities as we are individuals. We can sometimes be alone, but we are never separate from others and our culture.

Brook’s Community:

A community without unity is not a community, but a collections of individuals.

Brook’s Comparison:

Some things can only be compared to themselves and even with that it’s iffy at best.

Brook’s Compassion:

Help out, increase happiness, encourage goodness, discourage badness, and teach others to do likewise.

Brook’s Complexity:

To better understand complexity — and to enjoy it more — simplify.

Brook’s Compromise:

It’s good to compromise with others, as long as you never compromise yourself.

Brook’s Concrete:

People tend to give advice in the abstract, but people tend to take advice, if they take it at all, in the concrete.

Brook’s Connect:

So much of life generally, and so much of human behavior specifically, is accidental, contingent, chanced. We're a lucky lot, in many ways, though we make our luck better when we connect.

Brook’s Connection:

Especially when not being attacked, it’s best to build bridges and ladders, rather than moats, walls, and vaults.

Brook’s Connections:

Without connections, nothing has meaning. Life is all about relationships, associations, networks, interplay, ecosystems — whether amongst people, species, or ideas.

Brook’s Consciousness:

If one is highly conscious of one’s environment, one can find awe in anything and everything. Even the most trivial, mundane, or tiny object, detail, or phenomenon — including each of us — contains the entire amazing universe.

Brook’s Consequences:

Consequences come from actions as much as actions lead to consequences.

Brook’s Conservatism:

Conservative Americans have opposed independence from England, abolishing slavery, women’s suffrage, equal pay for equal work, civil rights, human rights, unionization, marriage equality, LGBT rights, Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, the New Deal, the Great Society, the War on Poverty, environmental safety, occupational health and safety, consumer protections, seat belts and air bags, minimum wages, living wages, maximum hours, reductions in the work day and work week, separation of church and state, welfare, food stamps, unemployment insurance, progressive taxation, public education, mass transit, all social movements, and other phenomena that make societies more democratic, more safe, more equal, more prosperous, and more civilized. This American opposes that kind of conservatism.

Brook’s Constant:

Zero is always zero, nothing more and nothing less.

Brook’s Constraint:

The more we know about the constraints on our lives, the freer we are to navigate around them, use them, remove them, and/or transform them.

Brook’s Consumption:

Although many people need to consume less, especially of luxuries, many others need to consume more, especially of necessities.

Brook’s Contagion:

All behaviors — even life itself — are contagious. The more people do anything, the more likely it is that other people will also do it.

Brook’s Context:

Things happen, but they also have a context in which they happen, especially a history and a future.

Brook’s Contingencies:

The world always is however it is at the time, but it could have been infinitely different in the past and it could always be infinitely different in the future.

Brook’s Continuity:

All personal and social change comes with personal and cultural continuity. We always bring the past into the present.

Brook’s Continuum:

Social phenomena (almost) always fall on a continuum somewhere between the dichotomous endpoints. It’s a matter of where on the continuum we fall and when we rise.

Brook’s Contrast:

Even things that are different have something in common and even things that are similar have significant differences.

Brook’s Convenience:

Convenience can be a nice bonus, but should never be a goal or a principle. Although convenience can make your life easier, it will rarely make it better. Convenience, while comfortable, leads to a weakening of the body, mind, and spirit. Too much convenience can become inconvenient, as we so easily do things that we wouldn’t necessarily do or even want to do.

Brook’s Cookbook:

The best recipes increase your health and happiness, while doing likewise for others.

Brook’s Cordon Sanitaire:

We separate from what we fear and we fear what we separate from, often ignorantly and punitively, with great asymmetrical losses.

Brook’s Corporations:

Consistent with sociopathy, corporations are single-mindedly organized to be profit-responsible and therefore socially and environmentally irresponsible.

Brook’s Corps:

Corporations sell their wants, trying to convince us that they’re our needs.

Brook’s Counterfeit:

Counterfeits wouldn’t exist if what they’re counterfeiting didn’t exist.

Brook’s Country:

All countries are empires, colonizing and aggregating various peoples and lands for one country.

Brook’s Courage:

We don’t have to be fearless, and perhaps shouldn’t be, but we do sometimes have to act as if we’re fearless or at least act for good despite our fears. That’s the essence of courage and bravery.

Brook’s Craving:

Those who crave more will never have enough and those who crave less will never be satisfied.

Brook’s Crawl:

If you quit walking because you kept falling, you’d still be crawling. Many of us are still crawling, but there are whole other worlds out there for those who are able to walk, run, skip, hop, jump, and fly!

Brook’s Craziness:

It’s the crazy people — some of the dreamers, prophets, inventors, artists, activists, musicians, poets, philosophers, entrepreneurs, revolutionaries, scientists, teachers, writers, and others — who change the world instead of simply adapting themselves to the insanity of normality and the status quo.

Brook’s Creation:

In our social world, we are both creators and creation, masters and slaves, artists and audience, subjects and objects.

Brook’s Creativity:

There are an infinite number of ways, individually and collectively, to be creative.

Brook’s Credo:

Principles are more important than beliefs and while beliefs may change, principles are enduring.

Brook’s Creed:

Never let your personal creed include personal greed.

Brook’s Crisis:

Crisis is nothing more than the intensification of everyday life.

Brook’s Criticism:

We need to take criticism seriously, while not taking it (too) personally, regardless of who or where it comes from. Criticism is a friend that appears like a foe. Use it to progress and thrive, not retreat and shrivel. Constructive criticism, given kindly, is the best compliment one can receive.

Brook’s Crowdsourcing:

We are all crowdsourced in society, as we all exert influence on each other.

Brook’s Crutch:

What helps you when you’re injured hurts you when you’re healed.

Brook’s Culture:

All personal choices are also social choices. The more there is a culture of something, the more people will choose that thing.

Brook’s Curator:

Curating is collecting not creating, yet it is creation to the extent that curators arrange, showcase, and contextualize their collections for others.

Brook’s Curiosity:

If you’re not curious, you’re not really alive.

Brook’s Curriculum:

If you don’t know something, find out; if you do know something, share it.

Brook’s Curse Words:

Words are only curse words if they wish harm to others. Fuck is a blessing, not a curse.

Brook’s Curses:

The best curses turn into blessings.

Brook’s Darkness:

It is easier to deny or ignore our dark sides, but it is much more healthy and beneficial to channel them for positive and productive purposes.

Brook’s Darwin:

Adaptability is the key to comfort and survival.

Brook’s Day:

At the end of the day, it's the end of the day. There is nothing else to conclude.

Brook’s Daydream:

Daydreams can sometimes be the most pleasurable thing one can do as well as the most useful, natural, frequent, and human thing to do.

Brook’s Deadline:

Lifelines are better than deadlines.

Brook’s Death:

For all living beings, death is a normal and natural part of life and is therefore completely safe and failure-proof. Death is not the opposite of life, but rather the opposite of birth. It is the ultimate reminder that nothing is permanent.

Brook’s Death Penalty:

Everyone receives the death penalty eventually, but no one should receive it from another human being, from a weapon, or from a machine. While we should kill all forms of injustice, we should not kill anyone, even the unjust. The death penalty is dead wrong.

Brook’s Deceit:

When someone claims to know what is unknowable, they are either deceiving themselves or others.

Brook’s Decision:

Not making a decision is still a decision and every time we decide to not speak up or get involved, we are deciding to let other people’s voices have more say and let other people have more power.

Brook’s Decision-Making:

The more people who participate in a decision, the more likely that decision is to be fair.

Brook’s Deep:

To deeply love while being deeply loved is a peak experience.

Brook’s Defense:

Even the best defense will lose without a strong offense. One can never win with only a defense.

Brook’s Definite:

Definitive statements are almost always wrong or incomplete. The world is nuanced.

Brook’s Democracy:

Democracy should be democratized. We need more democracy, not less, and the burden of argument should be on those who say we shouldn’t. Only more democracy can save democracy. If democracy doesn’t mean rule of the people in a real sense, then it isn’t really democracy.

Brook’s Democratic Socialism:

With as much participation and empowerment in all sectors of society (including social, political, economic) as possible, all people should have all their needs met (including housing, food, water, clothing, education, healthcare, transportation, privacy, security) with civil and human rights and without discrimination or exclusion. As the Zapatistas say: everything for everybody, nothing for nobody.

Brook’s Dependence:

Anything that we’re dependent on restricts our freedom.

Brook’s Depth:

Those who listen hear deeper truths; those who observe see deeper truths; those who reflect think deeper truths; those who meditate realize deeper truths; those who serve and share experience deeper truths.

Brook’s Desert:

The desert only seems deserted to those ignorant of the desert. The more one knows about something, the more one can appreciate its charms.

Brook’s Desire:

All undesirable phenomena have some aspects that are desirable about them, otherwise complaints would simply be exits.

Brook’s Destination:

Perhaps the single destination of every journey is the heart. If we miss beauty and love on our way, we’re lost; if we find them, we’re found.

Brook’s Deterministic Free Will:

We are determined to a certain extent and have free will to a certain extent, combining these in different ways at different times depending on different circumstances and different personalities.

Brook’s Development:

Quantitative economic growth, which mimics cancer, is usually mistaken for qualitative social development, which is beneficial for people and planet, though the former is only a tool that sometimes works and often doesn’t, while the latter is the desire and goal of the overwhelming majority.

Brook’s Dialectic:

Theory always comes from past practice and should lead to revised and future practice; practice always comes from past theory and should lead to revised and future theory.

Brook’s Dialectics:

Everything in life — including life itself — is dialectical.

Brook’s Diamonds:

Fake diamonds are no less real than actual diamonds, they’re just not as diamondy.

Brook’s Diaspora:

We are all in exile — no matter where we live and regardless of whether we realize it — though some more than others.

Brook’s Dictum of Desire:

Those who surrender to appetite — not just with food, of course — are themselves consumed.

Brook’s Difficulty:

I'm not always anxious to do something that’s difficult, though I’m more often glad to have done it afterward. That, in itself, makes it worthwhile.

Brook’s Disappointment:

Those looking for disappointment are rarely disappointed in their quest. Disappointment only occurs when expectations are too high. Disappointments derive from unmet expectations, which is why it is best to maintain high hopes, but low expectations.

Brook’s Discount:

You can get a 100% discount on anything — simply by not buying it. Any thing at any price can be too expensive if you don’t need it, even more so if you don’t want it, even more so if it’s detrimental to you.

Brook’s Discussion:

It is at least as necessary to ask as to answer questions, to listen as well as to talk, to be alone as well as to be with others, to think as well as to act, to be as well as to do.

Brook’s Disrespect:

Most of the people who are very sensitive to being disrespected are often some of the most disrespectful people, both to themselves and others.

Brook's Distortion:

Everything we view depends on distance and level of analysis. If we are either too close or too far, visually or analytically, there is distortion. We are almost always too close or too far.

Brook’s Distraction:

Distractions are

Brook’s Distribution:

Distribution is the political economic crux and is the critical link between production and consumption.

Brook’s Do:

We are able to do what we do because others before us did what they did and others will be able to do what they do because of what we did.

Brook’s Doctor:

Whoever or whatever our patient is, like any good doctor, we should examine the patient, diagnose the problems, and prescribe the remedies, taking the smart risks that are necessary. When that works, we should reflect and learn from it, so we can repeat our success; when it doesn’t work, we should reflect and learn from it, so we can avoid those failures.

Brook’s Doing:

What we don’t do is as important as what we do and, therefore, not doing is an important form of doing.

Brook’s Domestication:

Culture and socialization — including family, friends, corporations, institutions, celebrities, media, schools, teachers, coaches, clergy, neighbors, classmates, co-congregationalists, peers, norms — domesticate us, transforming animalistic biological homo sapiens into social human beings. For better and worse, we are less wild than we were or could be.

Brook’s Dots:

Dots don’t connect themselves. It is up to us to make the connections, draw the lines, construct the images, chart the courses of action.

Brook’s Doubt:

Doubt is much more fertile than certainty.

Brook’s Dream:

Dreams are as real as anything else; if they weren’t real, they wouldn’t exist.

Brook’s Dreams:

My dreams are my other lives within this life. Asleep or awake, I dream every chance I get and therefore live more fully.

Brook’s Drop in the Bucket:

When you worry that your efforts will only be a drop in the bucket, remember that the bucket is only filled up with drops.

Brook’s Duality Paradox:

We are all separate individuals, yet we are also all one.

Brook’s Duck:

Just because it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, that doesn’t mean it’s a duck. It could just be someone dressed in a duck suit.

Brook’s Dump:

Dump the things you don’t need and you’ll find that you have more of the things that you do need.

Brook’s Dunning-Kruger:

While people may tend to overestimate their actual knowledge, skills, and abilities, they tend to underestimate their potential.

Brook’s Durkheim:

Most people follow most of the norms most of the time, yet deviance from the norms always exists and is itself therefore normal. Abnormalcy is universal. Deviance can be personally dangerous or rewarding, as it can also lead to social control, social repression, and/or social change.

Brook’s E=mc²:

Anything can be potentially transformed into anything else.

Brook’s Earth:

With sky above and earth below, we’re all Earthlings who share the same home.

Brook’s Eco:

When we shift from ego to eco, we go from only one to complete oneness, from unique to universal.

Brook’s Ecocide:

Ecocide is a form of homicide and then genocide and geocide, which turns out to be a form of suicide. When we destroy the environment, we destroy other beings, other species, our home, and eventually destroy ourselves.

Brook’s Eco-Eating:

If we eat what’s best for our environment, we will also be eating what’s best for our health, what’s best for the animals, and what’s best for the future.

Brook’s Ecology:

Everything is, in some way, connected to everything else.

Brook’s Economics:

Like all tools, economies should serve people, rather than people being forced to serve it. If it’s useful, keep it; if it’s broken, fix it; if it’s too destructive, discard it; if it can’t do the job, replace it.

Brook’s Ecosystem:

The environment can thrive without humans, while humans cannot survive without the rest of the environment.

Brook’s Education:

Schools and classes, tests and quizzes, books and magazines, facts and opinions, and much else may come and go, but education is a life-long endeavor. Never let a school graduation be the end of your education. One doesn’t receive an education as much as one seizes, wrestles, discovers, and earns it. Learning is yearning, turning, burning, and earning.

Brook’s Effect:

Everything is affected by everything else and everything affects everything else in its own way.

Brook’s Efficiency:

All processes are efficient for some ends and not for others, efficient for some people and not for others, efficient for some times and not others.

Brook’s Effort:

People should be rewarded for substantial effort, not just for winning and certainly not simply for being there.

Brook’s Ego Boost:

If one feels the need for an ego boost — a questionable pursuit — it’s better to achieve it internally via self-esteem, self-compassion, and good feelings about oneself than through the capricious and dependent external path relying on others’ words and deeds.

Brook’s Eisenhower:

All isms eventually become wasms.

Brook’s Either/Or:

Either/or dichotomies are often false ones, even if better than neither/nor ones. We can embrace, or at least imagine, both/and/other/oneness experiences.

Brook’s Elements:

Fire and water can kill as well as sustain, create as well as destroy, just as they can induce excitement as well as fear.

Brook’s Elephant:

Aspire to be strong yet careful, wise yet playful, wild yet civil, self-preservationist yet altruistic, voracious yet discerning, independent yet social, powerful yet respectful.

Brook’s Emotions:

Emotions can be related to, but are ultimately independent from, external and objective phenomena. Emotions are personal, subjective, and chosen.

Brook’s Empire:

All empires — currently the U.S., Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, and others — have within them all the modes of production and ways of being: communitarianism, slavery, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, and communism; religiosity, apatheism, and secularism; backwardness, modernism, and postmodernism; past, present, and future.

Brook’s End:

Death isn’t scary; killers are.

Brook’s End Time:

People have probably been predicting the end time since the beginning of it.

Brook’s End of the World:

It’s not “the end of the world” unless it’s actually the end of the world.

Brook’s End Times:

Prophesies of end times — regardless of whether the millennialism is apocalyptic or utopian, religious or secular, progressive or regressive — are always anti-intellectual.

Brook’s Endurance:

The shorter and more recognizably finite something is, the easier it is to endure.

Brook’s Enemy:

It is always better to convert an enemy from a foe to a friend than to conquer one or be conquered.

Brook’s English:

No one knows the entire English language, therefore in some sense no one person knows English, yet we all know it together. Likewise with much else, as we all share a portion of the commonwealth.

Brook’s Enlightenment:

Deep insight can lead to awakening; staying awakened is enlightenment. The former is fairly common; the latter is exceedingly rare.

Brook’s Enloe:

Politics is always present, even when it seems absent.

Brook’s Enso:

A circle, zero, pregnant belly, tea mug, and this world contain both nothing and everything.

Brook’s Enthymeme:

When people try to make stronger arguments rather than simply try to win arguments, we are more likely to get solutions instead of more problems.

Brook’s Entrepreneur:

Entrepreneurs — whether economic, political, religious, or otherwise — try to sell us something, regardless of whether we need or want it, using whatever tricks they can and whatever stories they have, creating a clear conflict of interest.

Brook’s Epitaph:

Let my love, parenting, teaching, writing, poetry, photography, activism, hope, and optimism speak for me. Carry on with goodness!

Brook’s Equality:

All people may be created equal, but it seems to end immediately after that.

Brook’s Equanimity:

Worrying is not planning, neither providing comfort nor aid, and is not unproductive, but rather counterproductive. Worrying is meditating on what you fear. Take the tasks as they arrive.

Brook’s Error 404:

Just because something can’t be found doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. If it’s important to you, keep searching.

Brook’s Errors:

All errors contain truths not yet realized.

Brook’s Ethics:

We should take any and all of our ethical lessons and extrapolate them to as many forms of exclusion, discrimination, domination, hatred, exploitation, and violence as possible, so as to minimize suffering and maximize our inclusion, compassion, love, peace, and justice.

Brook’s Event-Process:

All people, events, and processes co-exist in relation to all other people, events, and processes. Nothing simply ‘just happens’, but rather happens in relation to other people, other things, and earlier times.

Brook’s Everything:

Within nothing is the potential for everything.

Brook’s Ex:

Every ex — friend, lover, job, school, hometown — is a mix of memories, many of them partially remembered and misfiled, others constructed and reconstructed.

Brook’s Example:

Living as an example is not enough. One should be more active with one’s example — teach, write, speak out, donate, mentor, march, share, etc. A flaming candle is much more powerful than an unlit one and even an unlit one in its holder is more powerful than a candle stored away in a drawer.

Brook’s Exception:

Exceptions don’t prove rules, they only prove that rules have exceptions.

Brook’s Exile:

Whenever we are lonely, afraid, anxious, depressed, oppressed, marginalized, or otherized, we are in exile, wherever we are; whenever we are at peace, in love, giving or receiving kindness, or full of joy, we are at home, wherever we are.

Brook’s Existence:

Post-death will feel like pre-birth — though perhaps differently to the survivors.

Brook’s Exodus:

We’re always simultaneously in Eden, Exile, Egypt, Sinai, and the Promised Land, simultaneously in paradise, diaspora, slavery, revelation and transition, and liberation.

Brook’s Experience:

People can and should learn from both positive and negative, as well as neutral, experiences and examples. Anti-role models are as instructive and useful as positive and constructive role models. Everything can teach us, especially if we’re willing to learn.

Brook’s Experiences:

All experiences can be experienced in an infinite number of ways.

Brook’s Experiment:

There’s no such thing as a failed experiment. All results, whether positive or negative, expected or unexpected, can lead to discovery and more knowledge. The only failed experiment is the one we don’t learn from, but that wouldn’t be the fault of the experiment; the fault would lie with us.

Brook’s Experiments:

Life is a series of experiments and life itself is a big experiment for all of us.

Brook’s Exploitation:

Exploitation derives from hierarchical devalued dynamics instead of horizontal personal relationships.

Brook’s Extraordinary:

The extraordinary can always be found in the ordinary and the ordinary can always be found in the extraordinary. As always, it’s a matter of perspective and attitude.

Brook’s Extremes:

Too much or too little light inhibits seeing; too much or too little sound inhibits hearing; too much or too little thought inhibits thinking.

Brook’s Fact:

Facts come and go — whether by changing or by forgetting — but good ideas, modes of analysis, and ways of thinking can last lifetimes.

Brook’s Failure:

A good failure is a great pre-success.

Brook’s Failures:

We explain failures much more often, easily, and better than successes.

Brook’s Fairy Tales:

If you want your children to be intelligent, teach them to critically analyze fairy tales — whether cultural, commercial, religious, political, economic, or otherwise — including the ones we tell ourselves.

Brook’s Faith:

Teaching, as well as writing, is a faith-based endeavor, because we might occasionally get to witness or hear of amazing outcomes, but most of the time we never see the effects of the butterfly’s flapping. Sometimes we don’t even see the butterfly at all. But no matter; it flaps nevertheless!

Brook’s Falling:

If you don’t fall in love with someone or something every day — or even more often than that — you’re not fully alive. There’s no wrong way to fall in love and no wrong reason to love someone.

Brook’s Falsity:

Adding to the truth has the same result as subtracting from the truth.

Brook’s Family:

My family lives by socialism, not capitalism; we share our resources, contribute what we have, take what we need, and make decisions collectively and fairly for our mutual benefit. No one of us would ever be homeless if we had a home; no one of us would ever be hungry if we had food; no one of us would ever be lonely if we were together.

Brook’s Fast Food:

Fast food is junk food and junk food isn’t really food at all; it doesn’t improve the body and mind, it degrades it. Certain whole foods — such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds — are the original and best fast foods. One could eat them anytime and thrive!

Brook’s Fear:

Boo! Fear is a great motivator as well as a great inhibitor. In response to fear, balancing fight, flight, finagle, and freeze allows us not only to survive, but to thrive. Better to live one’s hopes rather than one’s fears.

Brook’s Fears:

The fear of fear can be the greatest fear of all; the fear of pain can be the worst pain. All fears are, in some sense, a fear of the unknown. If we make peace with the unknown, we make peace with ourselves and the universe.

Brook’s Feel:

Too many people would rather feel better about what they do than actually do good.

Brook’s Feeling:

No one can shame, guilt, embarrass, or humiliate you — it’s about how you feel, not what someone else says or does — therefore, only you can shame, guilt, embarrass, or humiliate yourself.

Brook’s Ferlinghetti of the Mind:

Keep as open a mind as possible to allow in all information, perspectives, wonder, and joy, but not so open that your good sense falls out.

Brook’s Fiction:

Given people’s memories, perceptions, selection biases, sense of self, cognitive distortions, and more, even non-fiction is fiction. All writing is fiction — it’s simply a matter of what type of fiction.

Brook’s Find:

We sometimes find ourselves by losing ourselves.

Brook’s First:

All chickens come from eggs, yet not all eggs come from chickens, therefore the egg came first. Not all unsolvable problems are unsolvable.

Brook’s Fish:

Simply because we don’t see fish cry doesn’t mean they don’t. Out of sight shouldn’t always mean out of mind, even though we can’t consider all things at all times.

Brook’s Flaw:

The only real flaw is to only notice a flaw.

Brook’s Flow:

We can be in flow, being our best — which often brings learning, success, meaning, satisfaction, and happiness — when we find the sweet spot between inhale and exhale, past and future, reminiscence and anticipation, laziness and fanaticism, fear and greed, hubris and nemesis, boredom and frazzle, competition and cooperation, knowing too little and knowing too much, challenge and ability, heaven and hell, birthing and dying.

Brook’s Flower:

When a flower doesn’t bloom, we don’t blame the flower; we assess light, water, soil, temperature, nutrients, care, chemicals, competitors, predators, environment, and ecology. This too often doesn’t happen when people fail to bloom.

Brook’s Flux:

Everything in the social world is constantly constructed, deconstructed, and reconstructed — from personal thoughts to the global political economy.

Brook’s Focus:

Too much complaining creates negativity; too little complaining accepts negativity. Complaining focuses on what’s negative or absent; gratitude focuses on what’s positive or present. Finding the proper balance is the key to a good life.

Brook’s FOMO:

Those who have a fear of missing out are missing out.

Brook’s Food:

Food is personal, political, social, economic, cultural, agricultural, delicious, joyful, satisfying, nourishing, existential, and shouldn’t be unjust or ecocidal. If what you eat doesn’t actively help your mind, body, and spirit thrive, you’re not eating food.

Brook’s Fool:

We are each our own biggest fool, as we are the ones we fool the most, with the most serious consequences.

Brook’s Forest:

The more we think like a forest — rather than a tree, a logger, or a logging company — the better.

Brook’s Forest for the Trees:

While focusing on a tree, we cannot forget the forest; while protecting an individual animal, we have to concern ourselves with the species; while considering a species, we should situate it in its ecosystem; while treating a symptom, we have to address and cure the disease.

Brook’s Forever:

Nothing is forever, nothing is invulnerable, no one is irreplaceable, no one or no thing is perfect, even if they occasionally seem so and can last for a long time.

Brook's Forgiveness:

To offer forgiveness can be compassionate and therapeutic; to request forgiveness can be selfish and cruel. Forgiving is more foe-giving than forgetting, giving away the past foes to one’s happiness, even if we remember them.

Brook’s Fork:

We shouldn’t protect or emphasize certain things in our lives to the fatal detriment of important others.

Brook’s Free Lunch:

Few things taste better than proving an economist wrong.

Brook’s Freedom:

The highest level of freedom is being able to free others.

Brook’s Free Will:

Some people have no choice but to believe in free will.

Brook’s Freud:

Sometimes an aphorism is just an aphorism.

Brook’s Friends:

Friends are the parts of yourself that you didn’t know you had.

Brook’s Friendship:

If you fear jeopardizing a friendship by saying something, something is wrong with that friendship.

Brook’s Frontier:

There are always new frontiers, whether physical, philosophical, artistic, or otherwise.

Brook’s Frost:

Regardless of which path one takes, and whether it is more or less traveled, will make a difference, sometimes a huge one, though sometimes a small one, but one can change one’s path, choose or create a different path, or create a new experience of the same path with mindfulness and without regret or longing. And that will make all the difference!

Brook’s Fruit:

There are many ways to be fruitful and to multiply, the least of which may be biological.

Brook’s Functional Equivalence:

Seemingly different things can be functionally equivalent. Racism, sexism, homophobia, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and others each manifest differently and have different targets and consequences, yet they involve the same basic social dynamics — group othering, ostracism, oppression, and so on — and are therefore functionally equivalent. Likewise with certain complex organizations that are functionally equivalent such as schools, corporations, religious institutions, hospitals, militaries, mental institutions, etc. that all employ authority, hierarchy, rules, regulations, surveillance, rewards, and punishments. Despite their obvious differences, there are functional equivalencies. Same with languages and various other phenomena.

Brook’s Future:

We will undoubtedly achieve certain insights, rights, and privileges, just as we will with technologies, systems, and processes, as well as musical genres and art forms, that we presently don’t desire or imagine.

Brook’s Fuzzy:

There’s a vast landscape between on and off, yes and no, here and there, empty and full. Everything is on a variety of continua.

Brook’s Game:

The more one combines work and play, necessity and hobby, chores and fun, the more one enjoys life.

Brook’s Games:

Games are for playing, enjoying, socializing, connecting, learning, and imagining, not simply for winning and losing.

Brook’s Gap:

Where we recognize a gap, we need to step back, fill it, jump over it, or build a bridge.

Brook’s Garden:

Food picked from one’s tended garden tends to taste best.

Brook’s Geertz:

Culture guides action. Everyone thinks, speaks, feels, views, creates, enjoys, works, eats, behaves, resists, protests, interprets, loves, learns, rears, sleeps, dreams, fights, produces, consumes, develops, exists, and dies in a cultural context.

Brook’s Getting Lost:

We are increasingly losing the ability to get lost and the consequential loss is incalculable.

Brook’s Gift:

Whenever someone gives a gift to us — whether physical, social, emotional, or otherwise — we should give a gift to them — our gratitude in the form of thanks.

Brook’s Give-and-Take:

We need to both give and take, but it generally feels better to give than to take, so much so that the giving sometimes can feel like a taking.

Brook’s Give:

Giving is good, kind, healthy, supportive, and loving, and is itself a form of receiving, yet the only thing we shouldn’t give is up, even when it’s necessary or desirable to let go.

Brook’s Glass:

While some see glasses as half empty and others as half full, I almost always see glasses overflowing with potential.

Brook’s Global Weirding:

With all the hot and cold, drought and floods, fires and famines, ocean acidification and jet stream shifts, threatened species and spreading diseases, as well as other extreme events that constitute global weirding, we need to re-heavenize our beautiful but increasingly hellish planet through sustainable living (i.e., an array of clean renewable energies, plant-based eating, massive reforestation, conservation of resources, increased efficiency, decreased consumption, etc.).

Brook’s God:

If God were a Dog, cats would be sinners and we would have a Bible of woof, woof, woof.

Brook’s Godliness:

If a person claims to be a god or a messiah, they are neither those nor a good person; they are, instead, either insane or a religious entrepreneur looking to make profit from claiming to be a prophet.

Brook’s Goldilocks:

If one has too little of something, it’s often better to have more; if one has too much of something, it’s often better to have less; if one has just the right amount, it’s always better to realize it and be grateful.

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