Nara Park, home to Todai-ji, the largest wooden building in the world that holds a 50-foot tall statue of Buddha. Over 1,200 wild sika deer frolick around the park, eating snacks from passersby. According to local folklore, deer from this area were considered sacred due to a visit from Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto, one of the four gods of Kasuga Shrine. He appeared on Mt. Mikasa-yama riding a white deer. From that point, the deer were considered divine and sacred by both Kasuga Shrine and Kōfuku-ji. Killing one of these sacred deer was a capital offense punishable by death up until 1637, where they were renamed as simply protected national treasures instead of divine.
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
Lee Mingwei’s exhibition about (human) relationships at the Mori Art Museum. The exhibit featured many communal installations: deliver a flower to a stranger. Give something that needs mending, and this woman will sew it back together with the thread on the wall. Write a letter of apology or gratitude to someone in your life, and post it. A celebration of connections made and mended.
"What do you think is so special about the time we’re living in now, and Silicon Valley?"
"There’s a culture of rebellion and entrepreneurship here that didn’t exist. Nowadays, the great connection to the industry of creativity is technology… And the more diversity we have, the better that creativity will flourish."
Today we just released our first official campaign, #YouCanLearnAnything, based on the science of growth mindset. The ad spot was directed by Angus Wall (who worked on The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fight Club, and TheGirl with the Dragon Tattoo), with footage from volunteers from literally everywhere. People submitted their footage just because they were so passionate about the movement and wanted to be a part of it, no compensation required. Love love love the message — I feel like it’s the heart of everything we stand for.