Van Life | Most thoughtful conversion by far

A huge fan of tiny house and small spaces living, I have watched so many van tours and van conversion videos. This is by far the most thoughtful and functional one. The couple who converted it have travelled around interviewing people who live alternative lifestyles, including van life. They have…

You can't please everyone

It's true that you can't please everyone. You must be true to yourself, you must be authentic. You can’t pander. It is useful to get the feedback, to listen to it, to try to understand it. But you can’t let it jerk you around. You have to have…

Guilt eating

An older ex-classmate once asked me, “you don’t smoke, drink alcohol or coffee, what’s your vice?” “Sugar”, was the swift reply. To the despair of the other half, I’ve eaten ice cream, chips and drank Milo for a meal. Not often. It wouldn’t be so bad…

The Gift of Presence, The Perils of Advice

via On Being I asked my caller how that response had made him feel. “I’m sure my friend meant well,” he said, “but his advice left me less at peace.” … The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed…

How to Die

via The Atlantic As a psychotherapist, Irvin Yalom has helped others grapple with their mortality. Now he is preparing for his own end. … Another of Yalom’s signature ideas, expressed in books such as Staring at the Sun and Creatures of a Day, is that we can lessen our fear…

Why Trying New Things Is So Hard to Do

via New York Times Habits are powerful. We persist with many of them because we tend to give undue emphasis to the present. Trying something new can be painful: I might not like what I get and must forgo something I already enjoy. That cost is immediate, while any benefits…

How to Live Without Irony

via New York Times Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public. It is flagrantly indirect, a form of subterfuge, which means etymologically to “secretly flee” (subter + fuge)…

A psychology professor explains why humans are cruel

via Vox But our desire to do well socially can have an ugly side. If you can earn respect by helping people, that’s great. If you can earn respect by physically dominating people with aggression and violence, that’s destructive. So a lot depends on our social environment and…

Fostering bridges different people

via The Guardian About 100,000 young people go through the fostering system every year. In recent years an increasing number of these have been child refugees from Muslim-majority countries such as Syria and Afghanistan, many arriving here traumatised and in need of care. “We estimate there is a shortage…