Skip to content
Powerful Force + Defining the West + Proper Calories

Powerful Force + Defining the West + Proper Calories

Good Morning from Warren Grove, Prince Edward Island,
"Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there's no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic." – Laini Taylor.
Television programming is designed to sensationalise and keep us glued to the advertising box. So, this week I decided to back away from the box and read more about Ukraine, The West, and Russia.
I read The Weakness of the Despot by David Remnick. An excellent article in the New Yorker magazine. It gives historical background information I found educational and hopeful.
Russian expert Stephen Kotkin on Stalin discusses Putin, Russia, and the West in the article.
Mr. Kotkin has a distinguished reputation in academic circles. He is a professor of history at Princeton University. And a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has myriad sources in various realms of contemporary Russia: government, business, culture.
Q: How do you define "the West"?
"The West is a series of institutions and values. The West is not a geographical place. Russia is European, but not Western. Japan is Western but not European. "Western" means the rule of law, democracy, private property, open markets, respect for the individual, diversity, pluralism of opinion, and other freedoms that we enjoy, which we sometimes take for granted.
We sometimes forget where they came from. But that's what the West is. And that West, which we expanded in the nineties, in my view properly, through the expansion of the European Union and Nato, is revived now, and it has stood up to Vladimir Putin in a way that neither he nor Xi Jinping expected. If you assumed that the West was just going to fold, because it was in decline and ran from Afghanistan; if you assumed that the Ukrainian people were not for real, were not a nation; if you assumed that Zelensky was just a TV actor, a comedian, a Russian-speaking Jew from Eastern Ukraine—if you assumed all of that, then maybe you thought you could take Kyiv in two days or four days. But those assumptions were wrong."
This excellent article can be read here.
In a previous blog, I mentioned my childhood ambition was to be an architect. I love architecture. I especially enjoy buildings that are accessible and functionally designed. Buildings that create a sense of wonder and mystique brings joy.
"Architecture arouses sentiments in humanity. The architect's task, therefore, is to make those sentiments more precise." – Adolf Loos
I love what architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, this year's winner, has accomplished. He was born and raised dirt poor in a small village in Burkinabé, Africa.
"Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronisingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future." – Nelson Mandela.
Every year the Pritzker Architecture Prize honours a living architect or architects. Whose built work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision, and commitment. And has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity. Celebrating the built environment through the art of architecture.

The prize is often referred to as "architecture's Nobel" and "the profession's highest honour."

"Architecture is primarily a service to humanity, to create an environment where a human being can develop itself, can be happy, can have what I call wellbeing," he explained in the video.

Kéré, based in Berlin, is the first African and the first Black architect to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize since it launched in 1979.

Keep the Dream Alive

"Each one of us has a unique potential and purpose; that means that we’re the only ones who can evaluate and set the terms of our lives. Far too often, we look at other people and make their approval the standard we feel compelled to meet, and as a result, squander our very potential and purpose." ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

Now for something different...

A Battle of the Bands

Billie Jean on Ukulele or the Real Billie Jean by Micheal Jackson.

Now let's dance.

Thank you for spending your time here with me today. And I wish you a wonderful weekend and much peace.
With love from Prince Edward Island, and for Ukraine
Bruce + Millie
ps. Your Morning Smile
Nutritionist: You should eat 1200 calories a day.
Me: OK, and how many at night?
Previous article Perseverance, Guts & Hope + Big Eyes + He Doesn't Look Good in Blue
Next article Dum spiro spero + Humans Inspiring + Oh, No…Expired Passport


Murdock Morrison - March 23, 2022

Hi Bruce- away for a few days and now catching up to your blog- lots to think about as the articles by Remmick and Kotkin really touched on the uglyiness of Russia’s power and greed to bring down an independent and democratic country like Ukraine. I have beautiful pictures of Ukraine and it breaks my heart and thousands more to see how this beauty is being destroyed. Your Keep the Dream Alive and Billie Jean were great memory trips for me and appreciated. Spring is in the air and we can’t wait to open up our adorable Cavendish summer home. Murdock

Faye - March 20, 2022

Re: The Nelson Mandela quote…“turning our common suffering into hope for the future.”
It’s painful to think that we were living that “hope for the future”, a form of peace in the world, until just a few weeks ago. Our hero’s of previous wars have to be saddened beyond belief, like so many of us are today. To think the unthinkable is as close as it is…yet…we cannot give up hope. One man’s hatred cannot be allowed to win.

David - March 19, 2022

The New Yorker article and Kotkin’s insights were so helpful. Thanks for the link.

Kay - March 19, 2022

Thank you Bruce for your interesting & hopeful blog, also enjoyed the music. Always look forward to your weekly blog.

T - March 19, 2022

Blog was very hopeful!!
Just baked the Maple Streusel coffee cake for the church Ukraine fund raiser and brunch! It looks and smells amazing! Doubled the recipe and baked i. A 9×12” pan. Thank you- love the recipes !

Susan B - March 19, 2022

Good morning Bruce !!
Will definitely read the article in the New Yorker magazine.
Thank you for introducing us to the inspiring architect.
Loved looking at the different structures that he has designed.
Really enjoyed both versions of Billie Jean; love to dance to Michael’s version.
Have a great week. Always grateful for the blog.
Susan B

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields