Food For Thought




The Fierce Urgency Of NOW

11 comments | January 18th, 2013

King and Son Walking Up House Steps

By Seth Matlins (We first posted this piece on Father's Day 2011.  In honor of MLK Day, we're reposting it now.)  A father walks down the path to his house with his son.  A simple and quiet moment captured, that stands in relatively stark contrast to the images of MLK we all know so well. Dr. King was a parent; sometimes we can forget that about him. A person and a parent who looked at the world and knew he needed to stand up and speak up for change, for justice, and for truth. For a lot of people.  For his children. And Dr. King didn't just have a dream, he had a timetable.  The changes he spoke for, dreamed of, and fought to create, needed to happen "now".  He didn't just urge us to end discrimination and economic injustice, he urged our embrace of "the fierce urgency" of the moment. As we look at this picture of Dr. King walking up the steps to his home with his baby boy, we're reminded that life changes quickly and sometimes irrevocably, sometimes ...

#chestismsLife Changing Moments

4 comments | December 10th, 2012

exploding flowers

(via via We bumped into this article in our travels across the interwebs, on our never-ending search for that which will enthrall and intrigue you, and provoke your thought (how we doing, btw?). The Smithmag piece features the stories of authors known and not, recalling the moments in their lives that changed them, defined them, made them who they are and aren't. We were inspired. And so we ask you, are there moments in your life on which you look back and think "that one changed me"?  Which ones are they?  What happened and why did it matter?  Did you realize its importance at the time?  Let's talk life-changing moments, shall we?  You share yours and we'll share ours.  XO, FMB

#chestismsDefine happiness. What Do You Need to Be Happy?

19 comments | December 6th, 2012


Nope, there's no article, no story - just the question in the headline. Let's think about it...what do we (that means you too) need in our lives to be happy?  What do we WANT in our lives to be happy? Deep stuff, right?!  But what question could we ask ourselves where the answer could be more important, more essential, more fundamentally our happiest version of ourselves? Throw down, Chestists, throw down.

#chestismsTime Is What We Make Of It.

2 comments | October 6th, 2012

annie dillard1

We pretty much love this.  Succinct and to the point.  Oh, and right too.  What do you think?  How are you spending your days, and what would you do differently - now that you've stopped to think about it????

Love & SexSex and Happyness

7 comments | September 28th, 2012


(story by FMB, on repeat, via dailymaiil)











Want to get happier?  Get busy.  That's the implication of a study from the U.K. (they're so far ahead of us on so many things).  Check it:

"Making love boosts our happiness more than anything else."  Yup, according to this study of 45,000 iPhone users, having sex is the best way to help yourself feel good.

So, we've got 2 questions.  One, is this true for you?  And 2, what if the sex is only meh?  Let's #discuss.

(Read more)

Happy MakingQ: How Do You Handle Conflict?

11 comments | September 27th, 2012


(by FMB)

Conflict's as inevitable a part of life as...pooping and peeing (you probably thought we were going to say death and taxes.  Nope, not us.)

How we handle conflict can have a lot to do with how we feel.  Some of us run head first into it and some of us run away from it like a coming storm.

What about you - do you deal with it head on; let it fester; swlallow it whole and never address it?  Does it matter who the conflict is with?  Are you more or less likely to deal with it if it's at hom,e, a friend, at work?  Any tips from any of you guys on how you deal with it productively?  Conflict...let's #discuss.


3 comments | August 29th, 2012


(by Mary)

Your past is always a part of you. But if something makes you uncomfortable NOW, then it is about what you need NOW to feel safe and comfortable. You don't need to apologize for or justify what you need nor where your boundaries fall. They simply are what they are. {end story}

Mary posted this as a comment on this story.  While the original piece was about Surviing Abuse, we think her point about boundaries transcends the original and abuse.  Knowing where our lines are and how far we'll go...and won' all kinds of circumstances can help us know how far to push things (inlcusing ourselves) and when to ease off. 

Sooooo, do you know where your boundaries and limits are? 

I Like People

3 comments | August 21st, 2012

i like everybody

(by FMB)

It'd be nice to like everybody wouldn't it? But seriously, despite the fact that everybody else likes YOU, it's hard to like everybody.  Here's the question though...even if you don't like someone, are you able to see the good in them? Are you able to learn from those you meet who you don't like and hope you'll never see again?

Do you like most/some/almost none of the people you meet?  Go on (we know you like us, so it doesn't  matter what you say.  You do like us, right?)


On Having, and Wanting, and Doing

14 comments | July 30th, 2012


(by Mir from here)

Like a lot of people, I suppose, I'm spending a lot of time right now watching the Olympics. I can't even explain it, as I'm not much of a sports fan in the first place, and I'll find myself riveted by, say, competitive kayaking, which is something I've never even heard of before. (I had no idea you could basically run a slalom course through rapids in a kayak. Couch potato me always assumed that if you took a trip in a kayak and didn't drown, you won!) But the Olympics pull me in every time, despite my normally "meh" attitude towards most sports.

Maybe it goes back to the "thrill of victory, agony of defeat" commercials from my youth (am I dating myself with that...?), and the thrill of knowing you're watching the best of the best, the biggest contest there is. Maybe some of it is that I've been watching Olympic ice skating for as long as I can remember, despite the fact that my own ice skating was limited to the zombie-shuffle, run-into-something-solid-to-stop variety. Maybe it's simply the vicarious thrill of watching people ...


4 comments | July 11th, 2012


(by anonymous, a Chestist)

I've always believed in the power of positive thinking.  You know, the idea that if you put good thoughts out there good things will come back.  What happens when you can't think good thoughts, when you're just in one of those spaces where everything is kind of depressing?  If you're filled with negative and depressed thoughts is that what comes back to you?

I would really like to get out of my head which hasn't been a very fun place to be lately. I worry I'm putting negative thoughts out there and they're boomeranging back to me. {end story}

What do you guys think (get it)?  If we are what we eat, what about what we think?  #discuss.

The Gift of Palm Reading

2 comments | June 6th, 2012


(story by Erin)

 We gathered around a spread of figs and cheese, chips and salsa, chocolate chip cookies and candied coconut. A much-needed ladies’ night for old friends and new. Later that night I quietly thanked myself for pulling it together and getting out of the house as I was reminded how endearing it is to create the space to enjoy and grow true friendship. We had planned to watch a movie, but even after three hours of laughter and conversation, no one, except the hostess, was ready to ease back into silence. Instead we turned reading palms and the horoscopes for The Year of the Dragon.

Now for the disclaimer: I don’t believe in any of that stuff. Zodiac signs and horoscopes? It’s fun. One day they’re right on target and the next they’re way out of the ballpark. Ougie boards? Never done it but it’s always been my take that a present and in the flesh person is moving the planchette. Tarot cards? Cards reading the future? I find it ridiculous. But my fascination with psychic abilities stems back to my youthful days of watching Carrie, The ...

Finding the Grand

11 comments | May 21st, 2012


(story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda) I am currently on an extended-family vacation, which is a rare treat. We are scattered all over the country, and this is the second time we've gathered to vacation together. The fact that my father thought to do this for all of us---and is doing it again---is pretty amazing. We're very fortunate that we have the chance(s) to get together this way. For me, of course, being a fairly solitary person who is sadly used to not seeing my family very often, a whole week with so many other people is a mixed blessing. I love it. I really do! But it's an adjustment, for sure, to adjust to the hubbub and the excitement and help my kids adjust and all of that. Stress is stress, even when it's good stress! Especially if you are normally sort of a hermit, like I am. All of this is preamble to this: We are vacationing in Arizona, and on Sunday we all went to the Grand Canyon. Before we went, various people had assured me that "You just ...

#lifestagesNow Versus Later, a Reader Wonders

3 comments | May 2nd, 2012

enjoy your life

(story submitted by "Wondering", a Chestist)

Like a lot of us, I grew up getting served a healthy dose of platitudes and cliches.  "Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today"; "try, try and try again"; "life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it"; "all you can do is your best"; "a penny saved..." "caffeine will stunt your growth" and so on.

There all serve as shortcuts for keeping us on the path from here to there but here's what I'm wondering.  I can't remember any that help teach the balance between the short and long term.  I'm 27 and trying to figure out how much I "live for today" as opposed to "plan for tomorrow".  I know it's not all or nothing either way, I'm neither a Spartan nor a Heathen, but is it 25/75 or 75/25  or what, and when does it change?  Do I live for the moment I have now or the one I might have later?  Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts.  Platitudes and cliches are welcome.  {end story}

The balance between ...

Can We See Your I.D.

9 comments | April 24th, 2012

I am

In the mood for a deep thought?  We've got one for you....

Here @OOC HQ, we think one of the keys to happiness is knowing who you truly are. If your sense of self and identity has been shaped - whether by default or design - by someone else's sense of who and what you should be, well, that might make happier a tougher place to get - you know what we mean?

Sometimes we want to fit in, sometimes we want to stand out, and sometimes we create a sense of our selves in reaction to X or Y, and not as a proactive effort to be the us we want to be. you feel like you know who you are?  How different is this from who you want to be?

Who (and perhaps what) else has played a role in shaping your sense of self and identity, for good or bad?  If you told you what you should be from here, what would you say?  What (or who) do you want to be that you aren't yet?  What (or who) is stopping you?.    XO, ...


6 comments | April 16th, 2012


(by OOC)

One of the best pieces of parenting advice we ever got was this.  You know when a baby cries?  Let the baby know crying is okay.  Don't try and shoosh away what the child is feeling.  Let them feel it.

Most of us, pick them up anbd gently start ricking them and shooshing them and saying something like "oh, don't cry.  Don't be sad, baby, it's going to be okay."

Why do we do that?  Why not let the baby cry and be sad on their way to being happier and feeling more better?  It's like we're demonizing an inevitable part of our emotional lives.  Sadness isn't bad, it's sad.  We all feel sad, we all will feel sad, and while hopefully we won't spend a lot if time in that space, we often don't give oursleves the permission to spend any time there.  Why is that?

How do you deal with sadness in your life?  How do you work your way throught it and past it ~ or don't you?  Do you let yourself feel all your emotions, or do you try and compartmentalize ...