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Human Parts
A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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11 perspectives on food, family, and American history

Before we log off to join our respective Zoom Thanksgivings, we wanted to share a few memorable perspectives on this holiday — how it started, the stories we tell ourselves about it, and what it means to give thanks (especially this year). You’ll find humor, revisionist history, and some advice on coping with homesickness (if that’s what you’re feeling this highly unconventional holiday season). Also, a few of our favorite family-themed personal essays.

Until next week,
The Human Parts Team

1. “What Poverty Taught Me About Being ‘Too Generous’” by Kristine Levine

I was five years old when my mom took off with me to the coast. She said she needed a…


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It’s what you don’t see that matters the most

This is Stan.

And this is his friend Creativity.


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Our expectations of the world are truly perplexing

Illustrations: More To That

The strangest thing about reality is how un-strange it actually is.

Let me explain.

When Newton discovered the laws of gravity in the 17th century, this was a fundamental departure from the prevailing paradigm at the time. Prior to Newton, people believed that celestial bodies orbited around one another in a “natural motion” without understanding why.

We like to believe that Newton updated the nature of reality, and that we were all better off for it.

But here’s the thing.

Reality itself didn’t change one bit as a result of Newton’s discoveries. The world was always governed by gravity, whether…


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A step-by-step playbook for the skill of the future

My earliest childhood memory was stressful.

I was about five years old, and it started with me waking up from an afternoon nap.

Since I was a child with many needs, the first thing I did was ask for my mom.


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Beat perfectionism by embracing this one simple concept

When I start on a new post, I’m off to the races.

Words connect, the creative juices flow, and I’m able to get a lot done.


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You can’t predict the countless benefits that await you on the other side

A smiling person jumps toward the viewer, fist raised triumphantly.
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Life leaps come in varying distances.

Some feel lofty and risky:


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Learn the three rules of self-doubt to silence its voice for good

Illustrations courtesy of the author.

Of all the emotions I struggle with, the toughest is self-doubt.

To give you an idea of our tenuous relationship, here are some of the questions self-doubt routinely asks me:

“Hey, you. Yeah, you. Will your work ever be good enough?”

“Do you really think you’ll be able to grow this blog into something financially viable?”

“Shouldn’t you just give up now and do something else instead?”

These questions are no fun to face, and the most frustrating part is that they can appear at any moment. Even when things are going well and I’m feeling good about my work…


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A wiser version of yourself is accessible whenever you need that person most

Illustrations courtesy of the author.

When I was in the eighth grade, I was invited to an awards ceremony that was like the Oscars for our junior high school. Each subject had nominees vying for one award, and I was nominated in three categories.

I had never won any type of trophy in my life, so I was excited to tell my dad there was a good chance I could finally win something. Needless to say, I hyped up this ceremony quite a bit, so my father proudly agreed to accompany me.


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There‘s nothing unique about defying the status quo

Say hello to Lil’ Jimmy.

Lil’ Jimmy is two years old, and he’s an accomplished minimalist. He’s been able to successfully condense all of life into just three activities: sleeping, eating, and playing.


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Setbacks are hard, but they give us the space to see what truly matters

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In the opening chapter of his book, The Order of Time, physicist Carlo Rovelli writes:

“Let’s begin with a simple fact: Time passes faster in the mountains than it does at sea level.”

He describes a situation where two friends separate, with one going to live in the mountains and one moving to the plains:

Human Parts

A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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