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The Sun Magazine

The Dog-Eared Page

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Many years ago there was an Emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed. He cared nothing about reviewing his soldiers, going to the theater, or going for a ride in his carriage, except to show off his new clothes.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, / With conquering limbs astride from land to land; / Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand / A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

On Nonviolent Resistance

There are two ways of countering injustice. One way is to smash the head of the man who perpetrates injustice and to get your own head smashed in the process. All strong people in the world adopt this course. Everywhere wars are fought and millions of people are killed.

A Politics Of Hope

It is that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper — that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, and yet still come together as one American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.

excerpted from
Hope In The Dark

A lot of activists seem to have a mechanistic view of change, or perhaps they expect what quack diet pills offer, “Quick and easy results guaranteed.” They expect finality, definitiveness, straightforward cause-and-effect relationships, instant returns, and as a result they specialize in disappointment, which sinks in as bitterness, cynicism, defeatism, knowingness.

Transforming The Heart Of Suffering

In fact, one’s whole attitude toward pain can change. Instead of fending it off and hiding from it, one could open one’s heart and allow oneself to feel that pain, feel it as something that will soften and purify us and make us far more loving and kind.

The Optimism Of Uncertainty

There is a tendency to think that what we see in the present moment will continue. We forget how often we have been astonished by the sudden crumbling of institutions, by extraordinary changes in people’s thoughts, by unexpected eruptions of rebellion against tyrannies, by the quick collapse of systems of power that seemed invincible.

A Marriage

You are holding up a ceiling / with both arms. It is very heavy, / but you must hold it up, or else / it will fall down on you. Your arms / are tired, terribly tired, / and, as the day goes on, it feels / as if either your arms or the ceiling / will soon collapse.

excerpted from
A Cat Named Darwin

The need for companionship of any sort is a human-species trait, and in the absence of a human companion, the mind grows like a vine around any living thing. The first time your mind grows around a cat, you do not realize you have fallen in love.