Sources of inspiration

Many people, thinkers, authors, poets, musicians, have talked about happiness. To me, reading has always been a great source of joy and inspiration. Here are some of my favourite authors and quotes… Please don’t hesitate to share other sources you like !

  • Mathieu Riccard : The skill of happiness

“By happiness I mean here a deep sense of flourishing that arises from an exceptionally healthy mind. This is not a mere pleasurable feeling, a fleeting emotion, or a mood, but an optimal state of being. Happiness is also a way of interpreting the world, since while it may be difficult to change the world, it is always possible to change the way we look at it”

  • Margaret Mead

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

  • Jean Giono : The man who planted trees

“The oaks from 1910 were then ten years old and taller than me. The spectacle was impressive. I was litterally speechless and, as he was not talking, we spent the whole day being silent, walking through the forest. It was, in three segments, eleven kilometers long in its biggest part. When you realized all of this had came out of this man’s hands and soul, without any technical means, you would understand that men could be as efficient as God in other fields than destruction.”

  • Stephane Hessel : Time for Outrage ! / Citizens without borders

“Resisting is considering that there are outrageous things around us and that they must be fought with forcefulness. Resisting is refusing to surrender to a situation that we could accept as being unfortunately irrevocable (…) To create is to resist. To resist is to Create”

“It is not about being good or doing good, it is about living a life that has meaning, and that carries responsability, which is not exactly the same thing. This leads to choosing difficulty rather than epicureanism.”

  • Guillaume Appolinaire : The pretty redhead

“All we want is to explore is kindness, the enormous country where everything is silent”

  • Xochitl Borel : L’alphabet des anges

“Aneth’s curly hair right in the middle of my scenery, my view being crushed by her smell, I was so moved that I could have died, enthralled by her vivid force that, I felt it at this moment more than ever, would always resist any ordeal. She could be a bastard, a one-eyed, too intelligent or wearing overalls, she could become blind or a sunfish, Aneth would resist, and with her, her freedom ; there was under her disobedient and leafy hair so much disarming poetry, ready to commit and to support, most of all ready to love.”

  • Antoine de Saint-Exupery : The Little Prince

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

  • Pierre Rahbi : As in the Heart, So in the Earth

“The village of Mafi fully deserved its reputation. Staring at this swath of greenery and life in the midst of a desert environment, I reflected how little we measure the miracles that can arise from generous intelligence and constructive will. Not only did this green island emanate a palpable sense of well-being, it ennobled the arid country around it. Much of its landscaping followed the principles of anti-erosion, and many young trees now grew there. This place was a message of hope carved in the very flesh of death. Now I understood better what was meant by the sickness of the earth and how it is possible for humans to transform themselves from destructive parasites to healers.”

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