Breakfast Notes #41 (Etymology, Role Models, NYT)

Breakfast Notes #41 (Etymology, Role Models, NYT)
Photo by visuals / Unsplash

Good morning friends.

Here is what I want to share this week.

  • Working Wednesday Reads 3. Every Wednesday, I take a 45-minute bus ride to the office. This week features an absolute banger of an article from Morgan Housel. I share with you links worth your time.
  • Quote of the Week. 'Happiness grows at our own firesides, and is not to be picked in strangers' gardens.' - Douglas William Jerrold.

Here is the 41st serving of the Breakfast Notes.

The Beauty of Etymology

Etymology has helped me appreciate the English language better. It has even imbued great meaning in some of the most mundane words.

Here are a few.

  • The Latin root word of vocation is vocare, which means 'a calling'. Our occupation should not just be about earning money; it should feel like a calling.
  • The Latin root word of religion is religare, which is to bind. Its later Latin variant meant religio- an obligation and reverence. To be religious is to bound one's entire being to principles.
  • The Greek root word for history is histor which means a learned and wise man. In a time without writing, the wise man passes his knowledge through stories- historia. If we study history, we become histor, accessing the aggregated wisdom of humankind.

Visualization Of The Day

This trippy retro advert is such a hot take on the social media landscape.


Role Models Are Hidden in Plain Sight

If I told you that there is a democratically-elected world leader today, who could lead one of the world's most difficult countries competently by reducing inequality and developing a national infrastructure, while healing a seemingly irreconcilable divide, you would think I'm nuts.

But as Professor Kishore shared, President Jokowi did just that.

Like our moms and dads, sometimes, our best role models are hidden in plain sight.

The Beginnings of An Empire

The New York Times was established in 1851 as a penny paper that would purposely avoid sensationalism and report the news in a restrained and objective fashion. The leading New York newspapers (i.e. New York Post, The Sun) at the time were seen as over the top and utterly biased.

We, being The Times, do not believe that everything in society is either exactly right or exactly wrong. We do not mean to write as if we were in a passion, unless that shall really be the case; and we shall make it a point to get into a passion as rarely as possible.

This was published on their very first edition of the paper.

However, NYT has had its own fair share of editorial turmoil in recent years. The most recent one was its leaked memo asking NYT journalists to hit the Twitter "reset" with a super-specific emphasis that tweeting or subtweeting about colleagues was "not allowed."

This just shows you how difficult it truly is to stay true to your mission.

Thank you for reading this and truly, may the sun shine upon your face,


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