What I'm Reading (Feb. 16)

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A belated Valentine’s day thought
Work vs. labor
Mass killings are not all the same; consider the Lost Boys

If we are lucky, there are many we love during our lives. Friends, real friends, must be cultivated, they thrive with attention and falter when ignored.

“Though every bond evolves in its own way, I have come to believe that there are six forces that help form friendships and maintain them through the years: accumulation, attention, intention, ritual, imagination, and grace.”

From the Atlantic, a valentine’s day thought, The Six Forces That Fuel Friendship


“Work is what we do by the hour. It begins and ends at a specific time and, if possible, we do it for money. Welding car bodies on an assembly line is work; washing dishes, computing taxes, walking the rounds in a psychiatric ward, picking asparagus — these are work. Labor, on the other hand, sets its own pace. We may get paid for it, but it’s harder to quantify. “…Writing a poem, raising a child, developing a new calculus, resolving a neurosis, invention in all forms — these are labors.”

Do I work as a heath care provider and labor as a physician? A passing thought from Marginalia on the distinction between work and labor; hint, one is more of a gift. The Vital Difference Between Work and Labor: Lewis Hyde on Sustaining the Creative Spirit


“Drug-war shoot-outs and gang vendettas are awful, but they are better-understood problems, in both their origins and possible remedies. The Lost Boys, however, are the perpetrators of out-of-the-blue massacres of innocents. Their actions are not driven by criminal gain, but instead are meant to shock us, to make us grieve, and finally, to force us to acknowledge the miserable existence of the young men behind the triggers.”

The Lost Boys, Tom Nichol’s term for angry young men that seem to be often behind the mass shootings that defy our understanding. From The Atlantic, The Narcissism Of The Angry Young Men