We become what we take in. Along the way, some more than others, have informed my tastes, perspectives, and attitudes. Here are some of these. The list includes people and the resources they’ve created. I’m sure you might find some value in them too.
It is a fountain of wisdom through art, literature, philosophy, and science, curated by the wonderful Maria Popova. The tagline reads ‘An Inventory for the Meaningful Life’ and that is what Brain Pickings is. This is where I first came across Susan Sontag, Virginia Woolf, the importance of reading and libraries, and every other good thought in my head. In the beginning, Maria simply wanted to share all the interesting stuff she was reading with her colleagues and friends. Later, it became big and seems there were too many people who were looking for some meaningful content on the internet.
If Brain Pickings developed a taste in me for a certain kind of wisdom, it was The School of Life that helped me to develop my faculties more fully. They started with a YouTube channel that put out short videos examining things that were essential to a good life but not spoken about in our culture. Later, they published a blog ‘The Book of Life‘ with a series of articles on important aspects of life, and a books series with some interesting themes like How to Think More About Sex, On Being Alone, Emotional Health, among others. It was self-help with a new touch. I developed my taste for philosophy, literature, art, and the general intellectual life from here. I’m a big reader Alain de Botton’s (philosopher and founder of The School of Life) books, which have considerably shaped my worldview.
Barack and Michelle Obama
I have learnt so much through reading their books – The Audacity of Hope, Dreams from My Father, and Becoming Me. Great people and some amazing role models for young people.
- Sadie – A US Foreign Service Officer who keeps a blog about her life around the world.
- Daphne Kapsali – A writer who took the plunge to become one by moving from London to a Greek Island and spent a hundred days of cold winter and solitude writing everyday.
- William Dalrymple – An amazing historian and travel writer who writes with humanism and insight into culture and religion. At 22 years of age he traced Marco Polo’s journey to Mongolia.
- Rose Ellen Dix – A YouTuber who creates some of the most authentic and playful vlogs on the internet with her wife Rosie
- John Green – Probably needs no introduction. Bestselling novelist who writes with a focus on Young Adult fiction and runs educational YouTube channel Crash Course. He also vlogs at VlogBrothers with his brother Hank Green.
And finally, there are books and films. They’re too many to name here. They’ll feature in separate posts soon. Some of them might already feature in the Reading Lists and Film Lists.