Sam Radford

June 16, 2021

Overcoming our need to appear perfect

I love it when a provocative quote gets inside my head and starts messing with me! That’s been the case all day today since reading this from St. Francis of Assisi: “We can patiently accept not being good. What we cannot bear is not being considered good, not appearing good.” I think that’s something that fits in the category of ‘bruta...
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June 15, 2021

Beauty and brokenness go hand in hand

Avni Patel Thompson wrote a moving piece on her blog recently*, reflecting on beauty and brokenness. Her words are powerful and true: “I’ve been thinking a lot about “kintsugi” over the past couple of days. It’s the Japanese art of putting together broken shards of pottery – only instead of using a clear glue, you use a lacquer dusted ...
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June 14, 2021

Fail small, not big

If you’re anything like me, you may have an unfortunate tendency to make negative occurrences a bigger deal than they really are. Something goes wrong and your response is: ‘This day is ruined!’ But does the whole day have to be written off, just because something has gone off track? Gretchen Rubin doesn’t think so. I love what she say...
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June 11, 2021

The way we heal each other

If you’ve not yet seen Ethan Hawke’s TED talk, ‘Permission to be creative’, you should make the time. It’s nine minutes long and full of sage insight. It’s a healthy reminder of the roles creativity and art need to play in our lives. These comments in particular resonated with me: “Do you think human creativity matters? Well, hmm. Most...
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June 10, 2021

Practicing for non-addiction

I was reading through my collection of quotes in my Notes app earlier, and I came across this from Fr. Richard Rohr: “You practice non-addiction every day by letting go, not needing, and not desiring anything in particular. Fasting, detachment, and simplicity were the original words for non-addiction in the spiritual traditions.” Readi...
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June 9, 2021

No redemption

Here in England this last week there’s been a story in the sports pages about a debutant playing his first match for the England cricket team. Sadly, the story hasn’t been about his cricketing prowess. Instead it’s been all about some tweets he posted. Nine years ago. When he was a teenager. And here’s the thing: they were vile. Racist...
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June 8, 2021

Enough already

Reading Morgan Housel’s latest blog post, I enjoyed this story told by Kurt Vonnegut: “True story, Word of Honor: Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer now dead, and I were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island. I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday may have made more money th...
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June 7, 2021

There’s no such thing as multitasking

I always enjoy reading Oliver Burkeman’s newsletter. And his latest issue is no exception. In particular, his comments about multitasking were a good reminder: “And just to spell it out: the point here isn't "stop multitasking and focus on one thing, and you're a bad person if you don't!" Rather, it's that (with a few technical excepti...
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June 4, 2021

Holidays

I am acutely aware that holidays are a thing of privilege. I’ve spent enough time with people both home and abroad to know that many people never get to go anywhere. Sure, there may be other factors sometimes, but it’s pretty much always money why they can’t. It’s a good reminder that, though I may not be rich by some people’s standard...
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June 3, 2021

Nothing and everything

I’ve shared an entry from Rebecca Toh’s blog before. And I love another recent post of hers titled A beautiful life. I’ll include a few lines below, but you should go and read the whole piece: “A beautiful picture of your life isn’t the same as a beautiful life… …A beautiful life is one lived awake, or one lived trying to be awake… …A ...
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