You think this is just another day in your life? It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today. It’s given to you. It’s a gift. It’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness.

If you do nothing else but to cultivate that response, to the great gift that this unique day is, if you learn to respond as if it were the first day of your life, and the very last day, then you will have spent this day very well.

Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised you have eyes that you can open. That incredible array of colours that is constantly offered to us, for pure enjoyment. Look at the sky. We so rarely look at the sky, we so rarely note how different it is from moment to moment, with clouds coming and going. We just think of the weather, and even with the weather we don’t think of all the many nuances of weather. We just think of good weather and bad weather. This day right now has unique weather, maybe a kind that will never exactly in that form come again. The formation of clouds in the sky will never be the same as it is now.

Open your eyes, look at that.

—  Brother David Steindl-Rast, his words accompanying a short time-lapse film by Louie Schwartzberg. Watch the full film and the Ted Talk here.
Kalecki and Steindl in the Transition to Monopoly Capital by Jan Toporowski • Monthly Review
Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy’s Monopoly Capital is a classic that has long outlived the conjuncture in American capitalism that it described. In a deep and scholarly way, its authors exposed the deep structure of that capitalism, which determined the dynamics of the system and therefore those “surface” phenomena of unemployment and poverty—symptoms not of any functional malaise in capitalism (the “market failures” beloved by academic economists), but of the very way in which modern capitalism works.

Hungarian Parliament Building 

Országház in Hungarian, which translates to House of the Country or House of the Nation. Is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, and is one of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube. It is currently the largest building in Hungary and still the tallest building in Budapest. 

Designed by architect Imre Steindl, construction started in 1885 and the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the country in 1896, and completed in 1904. Unfortunately, however, the architect went blind before its completion. — in Budapest, Hungary.

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“This idea of listening and really looking and beholding, that comes in when people ask well, how shall we practice this gratefulness? And, there is a very simple kind of methodology to it: stop, look, go. Most of us caught up in schedules and deadlines, and rushing around. And so the first thing is that we have to stop, because otherwise we are not really coming into this place of moment at all. And we can’t even appreciate the opportunity that is given to us because we rush by and it rushes by. So stopping is the first thing. But that doesn’t have to be long. When you are in practice, a split second is enough to stop. And then you look. What is now the opportunity of this given moment? Only this moment, and the unique opportunity this moment gives. And that is where this beholding comes in.”

—Br. David Steindl-Rast