2 min read

20. The heavier the burden

The burdens that bring us close to the earth aren't garbage, aren't something to sneer at.
20. The heavier the burden

You're reading The Ponder, and I'm Devin. Welcome! This is where I share loosely-related snippets from what I'm reading in an attempt to find meaning and connection.


"Modern stupidity means not ignorance but the nonthought of received ideas. Flaubert's discovery is more important for the future of the world than the most startling ideas of Marx or Freud. For we could imagine the world without the class struggle or without psycho-analysis, but not without the irresistible flood of received ideas that--programmed into computers, propagated by the mass media--threaten soon to become a force that will crush all original and individual thought and thus will smother the very essence of the European culture of the Modern Era." – Milan Kundera, Jerusalem Address: The Novel and Europe in THE ART OF THE NOVEL


[On influencers] "None of this would matter if this progressivism was not being used to sell us something. Not just Uber or mayonnaise. But these people. These bland, ordinary figures. These symptoms of a culture that is forgetting the value of beauty, weirdness and coolness. Of people who are brave. Of people who are very good at something that matters. Of feeling like something inside you is waking up. A culture that is so risk-averse it has stupefied itself." – Rachel Connolly in The Guardian earlier this week


"The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become." – Milan Kundera in THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING


The work we're doing to think about the ideas we receive is vital, each time. The work we're doing to be brave, to get better at something that matters (loving, writing, parenting, sibling-ing, nourishing ourselves, whatever it is), to wake something inside is essential. And the burdens that bring us close to the earth aren't garbage, aren't something to sneer at. I hope some of our work will be to dismantle systems and attitudes that burden people. But there will always be a weight of one kind or another, and how do we contend with that?


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