Going to the library gives people the same kick as getting a raise does — a £1,359 ($2,282) raise, to be exact — according to a study commissioned by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media & Sport.
Ira Glass … has said that “the power of anecdote is so great that it has a momentum in and of itself.” He contends, “no matter how boring the facts are,” with a well-told story, “you feel inherently as if you are on a train that has a destination.”
A wise person knows when and how to make the exception to every rule… A wise person knows how to improvise… Real-world problems are often ambiguous and ill-defined and the context is always changing. A wise person is like a jazz musician — using the notes on the page, but dancing around them, inventing combinations that are appropriate for the situation and the people at hand. A wise person knows how to use these moral skills in the service of the right aims. To serve other people, not to manipulate other people. And finally, perhaps most important, a wise person is made, not born. Wisdom depends on experience, and not just any experience. You need the time to get to know the people that you’re serving. You need permission to be allowed to improvise, try new things, occasionally to fail and to learn from your failures. And you need to be mentored by wise teachers.
Legendary psychologist Barry Schwartz, author of the enormously stimulating Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing, on our loss of wisdom.
Bricolage as a way of living a wise life
A free public library is a revolutionary notion, and when people don’t have free access to books, then communities are like radios without batteries. You cut people off from essential sources of information — mythical, practical, linguistic, political — and you break them. You render them helpless in the face of political oppression.