So I did what I thought was right: I said sorry. I’d say sorry when we had to walk too far to carry our groceries home, even though it wasn’t my fault we couldn’t yet afford a car. I’d say sorry for the bad days at work where they were forced to repeat their perfect English in Australian twangs so their colleagues could grant them some level of acceptance. I’d say sorry when they couldn’t resolve arguments they had because my mother felt they were repeating old patterns in a new country, where she was the one looking after the children as my father threw himself into his job. I’d also say sorry at school. I’d apologize to my teacher when I already knew the answers to the basic mathematical lessons he taught since I covered the same lessons in India. I’d say sorry to classmates because I couldn’t yet understand the slang they uncompromisingly spoke to me.
Once I got to death row, I thought I’d get executed right away, or at least within months. But then the years started passing. My mind cleared. People said, “You shouldn’t be here forever for a fist fight.” I started reading. I read that the law requires you get an “impartial tribunal” that “preserves both the appearance and reality of fairness.” I read that some courts have ruled that two guys who start a deadly fight are equally guilty, so then why did Schoolboy get manslaughter? I was meeting guys on death row with two or three bodies in their past.
J.T. KIRKSEY as told to MAURICE CHAMMAH — The Marshall Project
That is why those early days are special.
Passionate love is a fleeting emotion. It is a high, and one cannot stay high forever. Hatfield and her colleagues (2008) interviewed couples (dating couples, newlyweds, and long-married couples). They found that, as expected, passionate love decreased markedly over time. When asked to rate their feelings on a scale that included the responses “none at all,” “very little,” “some,” “a great deal,” and “a tremendous amount,” steady daters and newlyweds expressed “a great deal” of passionate love for their mates. However, starting shortly after marriage, passionate love was shown to steadily decline, with long-married couples admitting that they felt only “some” passionate love for each other.
Do you feel your name is apt for you?
The explanation that the study authors offered for their results echoes Alter’s point: In most cases, a name is “a self-fulfilling prophecy,” explains co-author Yonat Zwebner, a marketing researcher at Wharton. “Your parents and society treat you according to the spirit of your name, and then you grow up and you fulfill those expectations, eventually even the way you look.” In the study, Zwebner and her colleagues attributed their “face-name matching effect” to both factors within the person’s control, like hairstyle, and factors created by life experience, like smile lines.
Sometimes you find your angel in the worst moments of your life. Goodness and evil always balance each other out.
“It’s amazing how our friendship came out of something so horrific and terrible,” Will says.
“We wouldn’t ordinarily have crossed paths. We’re different ages, have different professions and live and work in different areas.”
It’s a year later and he’s sitting with Cristina at the back of a busy brasserie in Soho. The sun is streaming through the windows and on the street outside office workers are mingling and sipping their first post-work pints.
Both have just come from work – Will, 25, from his job rejuvenating the area around Baker Street and Cristina, 34, from a meeting with an advertising firm. While Will grew up in London, Cristina moved to the city from Portugal 12 years ago.
It was an act of terror by Khalid Masood that brought them to the same place at the same time. On 22 March 2017, he drove a hired car into dozens of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed to death an unarmed police officer, before being shot and killed himself.
Thoughts of some of my Facebook friendships came to mind recently as I read an essay by William Hazlitt. In “The Pleasures of Hating,” Hazlitt talks about the many things we come to hate, especially as we age. “We hate old friends: we hate old books: we hate old opinions; and at last we come to hate ourselves.” He continues:
Old friendships are like meats served up repeatedly, cold, comfortless, and distasteful. The stomach turns against them. Either constant intercourse and familiarity breed weariness and contempt; or, if we meet again after an interval of absence, we appear no longer the same. One is too wise, another too foolish for us; and we wonder we did not find this out before. We are disconcerted and kept in a state of continual alarm by the wit of one, or tired to death of the dullness of another.
We humans have a tendency to measure everything. For example, what matters for Business is profits and humans are worth only how productive they are, whatever that means.
The ad’s gimmick plays not only to the fantasy that our life force can be captured in some simple unidimensional measure and actively managed but also to the broader, more insidious notion that people should function like phones. The expectations we have for our devices saturate our expectations of others (whether they are friends, family, service workers, or robots) and ultimately ourselves. We should be capable of handling any task we’re hired for, moving seamlessly from one interface to the next, from one application to another, for as long as required. If we can’t, we need to “recharge” ourselves: to find the right drug combination or exercise regimen, or else to sit ourselves out for precisely as long as we need to get back to 100 percent. The idea that we are anything other than self-sufficient and energy independent is suspended for a fantasy of instrumental control.