Anxiety isn't escaped. It's discarded.  

Today I escaped from anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions–not outside. 

–Marcus Aurelius


On treating animate and inanimate objects differently:

If a man is crossing a river

And an empty boat collides with his own skiff,

Even though he be a bad-tempered man

He will not become very angry.

But if he sees a man in the boat,

He will shout at him to steer clear.

If the shout is not heard, he will shout again,

And yet again, and begin cursing.

And all because there is somebody in the boat.

Yet if the boat were empty.

He would not be shouting, and not angry.

–Chuang Tzu


I don’t remember where I first heard it but this is one of the most thought-provoking things I’ve come across in recent years, often in a very uncomfortable way.    

“The output of a system is the purpose of that system”

It made me look at the harmful results of systems not as accidents or imperfections to be fixed but as intended or at least tolerated outcomes.     

e.g. An economy that has homeless people is, at least in part, designed to make some people homeless.