Straightforward vs. Complicated People

A basic distinction in humans is between those who are simple and straightforward to deal with – and those who are – as we tend to be reminded when we interact…

Reasons to Give Up on Perfection

Part of our problem as a species is that we’re troublingly good at making things perfect. We can set our minds on an extraordinary goal and – with heroic sacrifice, thousands…

The Need for a Cry

One of the wisest things about young children is that they have no shame or compunction whatsoever about bursting into tears, perhaps because they have a more accurate and less pride-filled…

On Confinement

Being confined at home gives us a range of curious benefits. The first is an encouragement to think. Whatever we like to believe, few of us do much of the solitary…

The Importance of Singing Badly

Most of what we would really like to do is annihilated long before its possible birth by a relentlessly forensic and masochistic sense of our own incompetence. We can’t possibly invite…

You Don't Need Permission

When we first arrive on the earth, nothing is more alien to our minds than the idea of needing permission. We simply try to do whatever we want: when the carpet…