24 // Mistakes

While on a recent subway trip, I noticed the subway line had replaced the live-person announcements for each station with pre-recorded announcements.

Most of the stations along the route have fairly ordinary names. But there’s one station with an odd name, one that’s not even remotely phonetic. Unless you’re from the area, you probably wouldn’t know how to pronounce it correctly.

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23 // Move Closer

The zoom setting on a camera is safe. It allows you to take a picture of something without getting close enough to experience it.

Which can be helpful, if you want a shot of a lion’s canines.

Moving closer requires risk. Vulnerability. Intimacy.

(And by now you realized we’re not actually talking about photography.)

Don’t zoom in on people; move closer.

19 // Problem-Solving Questions

“My dear, all life is a series of problems which we must try and solve, first one and the next and the next, until at last we die.” – Dowager Countess, Downton Abbey

What do we do when faced with something new? Do we blindly accept it? Overthink it? Consider the pros and cons and make an educated decision? Go with the recommendation of family and friends?

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18 // Ask Less, Offer More

I got a couple copies of a key made today.

At the first brand-name hardware store I went to, the only place I could find to make a key was a self-serve kiosk with a screen that said “Get started!” in big letters. Another sign announced, in much smaller letters, “cash only.” And in even smaller letters, a third decal explained, “exact change only.”

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16 // The Books That Shaped Me

Books were as much a part of my childhood as breathing. Bookshelves lined every available wall in our house, filled with books that my mom picked up at used book sales or stores for 25 cents. I read them all, educating myself so thoroughly that I never did a formal study of American history until I reached high school (I was home-educated, so this was an option).

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