But the very desire to automate personal sentiment through plagiarized algorithmic authorship exemplifies disregard for too many things: the art of conversation, the sincerity of conviction, the effort required to make caring gestures, and, frankly, the respectful acknowledgement that underlies meaningful gestures of etiquette.
Small human beings learn by mimicking and so they learn patience by mimicking patience. Perhaps this means that a larger human being somewhere many thousands of generations back took a long and patient breath as the smaller human being in his or her arms squirmed. Perhaps the smaller human being saw this long and patient breath and internalized it and began to understand. Perhaps all of the patience in the world is a copy of one sigh.
Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair. If you find that writing is hard, it’s because it is hard.
When my wife and I found out that we were having a girl—and I hope this doesn’t sound sexist or anything—the women I talked to all said the same thing: “Never be afraid to hug your daughter.” They told me to hug her so much more than I think I should. It might seem weird, but no little girl says, “My dad hugged me too much.
We invite attention because we’re learning to lean on it, and the reactions that pour through our screens warms us. It reminds us that we’re appreciated, that we’re loved, that we’re alive.