in: Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends: February 9, 2024

It Isn’t About Your Love Language; It’s About Your Partner’s. The idea that there are five love languages, and that each person prefers to be loved in a couple of them more than others, has reached complete cultural ubiquity. Yet, as this Atlantic article points out, on its way to societal saturation, the original intent of the concept has gotten lost. Today, people concentrate on what their love language is, and how they want to be loved. But Gary Chapman, who introduced the paradigm in a book first published in 1992, thought it was most useful for figuring out how your partner wanted to be loved, and catering your affections accordingly. People typically give love in the way they like to receive it, e.g., if they like getting gifts, then they give others gifts to show their love, even if the recipient is indifferent to them. If there is some use to the love languages idea, then it’s similar to the most useful (and similarly ignored) use of personality tests: it can get you to push past the natural, self-absorbed assumption that everyone else experiences the world in the same way that you do and treat others more as they like to be treated, rather than as you like to be treated.

Warrior. I somehow missed this movie when it came out in 2011, but recently watched it and really enjoyed it. It’s thumos inspiring. This sports drama tells the story of two estranged brothers, Tommy and Brendan Conlon (played by Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, respectively), who enter a mixed martial arts tournament for their own personal reasons. Tommy, an ex-Marine with a troubled past, seeks redemption, while Brendan, a high school physics teacher, fights to save his family from financial ruin. Their paths lead to a climactic battle in the ring, forcing them to confront their shared painful history. It’s a movie that explores family, forgiveness, and redemption. The fight scenes are fantastic, too. 

ZELUS Weighted Vest. I’ve done two podcast episodes — one with Dan John and one with John Berardi that recommend a tip that can help you break through a weight loss plateau: wearing a weighted vest during the day. We fleshed this idea out in this article, but here’s the TLDR: As you lose weight, your body’s metabolic rate decreases. To trick your body into thinking you’re still at your former weight and ramp up your metabolic rate, wear a weighted vest around. I bought a weighted vest to try out the idea and wear it when I’m trying to drop some pounds. It seems to help. My kids think it’s weird, and they’re right, but when you’re a middle-aged guy trying to stay healthy, sometimes you do weird things. And I oddly enjoy doing chores and run-of-the-mill activities around the house while wearing a weighted vest.

The Spiritual Emerson. Ralph Waldo Emerson wasn’t religious in the traditional sense; he resigned his pastorship at Boston’s Second Church because of his unorthodox beliefs. But he was deeply interested in matters of the inner life: the relationship between nature and the soul, man’s divine spark, the necessity of direct experience, the value of self-relianceThe Spiritual Emerson is an excellent collection of Emerson’s best writings on these topics and is packed with tons of highlightable insights that will inspire you to resist conformity and become a true individual.

Quote of the Week

The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

―Thomas Merton

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