Famous Letter of Anton Chekhov to His Older Brother – 1886

People only laugh at what’s funny or what they don’t understand. Take your choice. The latter of course is more flattering, but—alas!—to me, for one, you’re no riddle. It’s not hard to understand someone with whom you’ve shared the delights of Tatar caps, Voutsina, Latin and, finally, life in Moscow. And besides, your life is psychologically so uncomplicated that even a nonseminarian could understand it. Out of respect for you let me be frank. You’re angry, offended…but it’s not because of my gibes or of that good-natured chatterbox Dolgov. The fact of the matter is that you’re a decent person [...]

Anatomy of an Epidemic (Part One)

Melancholy, of course, visits nearly everyone now and then. “I’m a man, and that is reason enough to be miserable.” wrote the Greek poet Menander in the fourth venture B.C., a sentiment that has been echoed by writers and philosophers ever since. In the 17th century tome Anatomy of Melancholy, English physician Robert Burton advised that everyone “feel the smart of it…. It is most absurd and ridiculous for any mortal man to look for a perpetual tenure of happiness in this life”. It was only when such gloomy states became a “habit”, Burton said, that they became a “disease”. [...]

Happy For No Reason (Part One)

Recently I read a book “Happy for no reason” by Marci Shimoff. Marci told her story of feeling unhappy in spite of her achievements for many years. Her search for true happy self led her to this book and she teaches her readers how to be happy for no reason. At the same time she mentions in her book that early in her life someone explained to her that in the declaration of independence of the US it says that citizens have the right of the pursuit of happiness, and back two centuries ago the word “pursuit” meant not to [...]

42 Things I Love About Santa Monica

Almost three months ago I was on a very rough flight from Boston to LA. There was turbulence, there was horrid pain in my ears and there was fear that this time the plane may not make it to LA. To my big surprise we landed. I saw my friend but couldn’t hear her. She picked me up and drove me to her home in Santa Monica. I instantly felt warmth both of her presence and warm air of LA. No more cold of Boston winter. I saw light-minded palm trees instead of trees with no leaves. It felt as [...]

The Man With The Violin

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: [...]

Synchromy in The Russian Hall

Often we resist the unknown, inconvenient and different. Last Friday I resisted going to the concert in Hollywood my friend invited me to. “How bizarre, a concert in a Russian Church.”- I thought, but I still went without any expectations. Here is what happened in the next two hours after we arrived… The concert started with Raison d’Etre by The Vientos Trio– three instruments Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon. It was very playful and meaningful. Three musicians were challenging common definitions of the performance and what it is for, reasons to love and play musical instruments. To me they spoke about [...]

I Have Resisted Change

A Sunday Poem I have resisted change with all my will … Cried out to life, “Pass by life and leave me still.” Bit I have found as I have trudged time’s track That all my wishing will not hold life back. I cannot bid the merest moment “stay.” So finding I have no power to change change I have changed my self. Adn this is strange. But I have found when I let change come, The very change that I was fleeing from Has often held the good I had prayed for, And I was not the less for [...]

Three Tales of Wisdom

If only every human mastered these three tales, it would be good enough education to go through life no matter what. A Cherokee Lesson An elder Cherokee was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A flight is going on inside of me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, hate, and ego. The other wolf represents joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, truth, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, compassion, and faith. This same fight [...]

You Can Start The Great Change

Rob White, a dynamic philosopher, author, teacher, successful entrepreneur and founder of Mind Adventure, presents a special guest post: Student: How does one learn to live his dreams? Teacher: There is nothing at all that is complicated about it. YOU BEGIN. Student: How do I begin? Teacher: You begin by ceasing to participating in activity that has been stopping you from living your dreams. You know what these activities are; you simply have been ignoring them too long. Might i ask you folks three personal questions? (1) What things do you do from a false sense of duty? Stop it. [...]

Storytelling with Scott Anger

Yesterday I attended Content Strategy Los Angeles Meetup “Story telling for business with award-winning journalist Scott Anger” organized by Heather Worthingon. I came to the event because I’m interested in improving my story telling skills and learning new techniques. About 20 people showed up at Coloft to hear Scott talk about best practices of story-telling and content strategy. Scott, formerly a video content Director at LA Times, is currently consulting and making documentary films (one on Polish youth discovering its Jewish ancestry is in works). Scott had made many documentaries, especially from front lines. Story telling is everywhere. All you [...]