• My reading list grows exponentially. Every time I read a book, it'll mention three other books I feel I have to read. It's like a particularly relentless series of pop-up ads

    A.J. Jacobs
  • Think of negative speech as verbal pollution. And that's what I've been doing: visualizing insults and gossip as a dark cloud, maybe one with some sulfur dioxide. Once you've belched it out, you can't take it back. As grandma said, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. The interesting this is, the less often I vocalize my negative thoughts, the fewer negative thoughts I cook up in the first place

    A.J. Jacobs
  • Each cherry took about three seconds to eat. Three seconds to eat, but at least five years in the making. It seemed unfair to the hard-working cherry tree. The least I could do was to devote my attention to the cherry in those three seconds, really appreciate the tartness of the skin and the faint crunching sound when I bite down. I guess it's called mindfulness. Or being in the moment, or making the mundane sacred. Whatever it is, I'm doing it more. Like the ridiculously extended thank-you list for my hummus, the fruit taboo made me more aware of the whole cherry process, the seed, the soil, the five years of watering and waiting. That's the paradox: I thought religion would make me live with my head in the clouds, but as often as not, it grounds me in this world

    A.J. Jacobs
  • I think there's something to the idea that the divine dwells more easily in text than in images. Text allows for more abstract thought, more of a separation between you and the physical world, more room for you and God to meet in the middle. I find it hard enough to conceive of an infinite being. Imagine if those original scrolls came in the form of a graphic novel with pictures of the Lord? I'd never come close to communing with the divine

    A.J. Jacobs
  • Maybe taming my tongue will be good for me in the end. But it's pretty hard when you've got a world filled with idiots from Drunkopolis

    A.J. Jacobs
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