Cultured People

Every Sunday I look so forward to my weekly email from Brain Pickings edited by Maria Popova. It is definitely a Silver Lining of my week. The New York Times describes the blog beautifully as “an online grab bag of eclectic information.” Yes, it’s that great!

Maria Popova’s daily job is “helping people become interested in things they didn’t know they were interested in, until they are.” This is EXACTLY how I feel about receiving a Brain Picking email: “I wonder what I’m about to be interested in this week!”

Well, this week it is Anton Checkhov’s 8 Qualities of Cultured People, written in 1886. It’s fascinating and inspiring and I know for sure that prior to opening this post, I sure as heck wasn’t thinking about Anton Checkov.

Below is a snippet from the post:

  1. They respect human personality, and therefore they are always kind, gentle, polite, and ready to give in to others. They do not make a row because of a hammer or a lost piece of india-rubber; if they live with anyone they do not regard it as a favour and, going away, they do not say “nobody can live with you.” They forgive noise and cold and dried-up meat and witticisms and the presence of strangers in their homes.
  2. They have sympathy not for beggars and cats alone. Their heart aches for what the eye does not see…. They sit up at night in order to help, to pay for brothers at the University, and to buy clothes for their mother.
  3. They respect the property of others, and therefore pay their debts.
  4. They are sincere, and dread lying like fire. They don’t lie even in small things. A lie is insulting to the listener and puts him in a lower position in the eyes of the speaker.
  5. They do not disparage themselves to rouse compassion. They do not play on the strings of other people’s hearts so that they may sigh and make much of them.
  6. They have no shallow vanity. If they do a pennyworth they do not strut about as though they had done a hundred roubles’ worth, and do not brag of having the entry where others are not admitted.
  7. If they have a talent they respect it. They sacrifice to it rest, women, wine, vanity…. They are proud of their talent…. Besides, they are fastidious.
  8. They develop the aesthetic feeling in themselves. They cannot go to sleep in their clothes, see cracks full of bugs on the walls, breathe bad air, walk on a floor that has been spat upon, cook their meals over an oil stove.

To read more, pop on over here:

I highly recommend having a daily or weekly dose of mind candy to enlighten your thoughts and broaden your horizons, both of which are wonderful Silver Linings in my life!

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