More To That

Be kind, but keep your integrity 🧭

Published 3 months ago • 2 min read

Hey friends,

Of all the virtues we aspire to embody, kindness should reside near the top. If you take inventory of all the world’s problems, almost every single one can be resolved with it.

With that said, there is a nuance to navigate.

It turns out that there’s a species of kindness which doesn’t add to one’s well-being, but detracts from it. Instead of acting as a force for compassion, it becomes a proponent of cowardice.

So in today’s post, we’re going to explore the border between the two. Even the greatest virtues require caution, and kindness isn't exempt.

When you’re ready, let’s dive right in:

Be Kind, But Keep Your Integrity

A Book I’ve Been Enjoying

The Aleph and Other Stories by Jorge Luis Borges — If you were able to view every crevice of the world in an instant, how would you describe that experience? If you were to convey the wisdom you gleaned from observing infinitude, how would it come out? Would it sound profound, or unbelievably trite?

These are some of the questions that will emerge once you read the titular story from this beautiful collection of short stories. I loved “The Aleph” in particular because it explores the limits of language on describing experience, which is something I’ve long been fascinated by. And when fiction is done well, it does a better job conveying a conundrum than any work of non-fiction ever can.

An Illustrated Insight

"I... a universe of atoms, an atom in a universe."

— Richard Feynman

A Thought I’ve Been Pondering

A core tension we experience is the dance between our intuition and our conditioning. Intuition is your inner compass, whereas conditioning is the outer wind that disturbs it. Intuition requires no justifications, whereas conditioning always does.

We live in a world that actively tries to sway you from your intuition. People will use fear to convince you that their belief is greater than yours, or that you should reconsider the path you want to take. This could take the form of something wide like a social norm, or something narrow like a disapproving family member. Regardless of the scale, both are equally effective in getting you to doubt yourself.

Confidence is a commitment to trusting your inner compass, despite how strong the outer winds are. If you do the work to know yourself, then you’ll realize that no external voice can adequately convey the inner complexities you embody. And through that awareness, you’ll reliably choose your intuition above all else.

A Brief Parting Question

What’s an example of you choosing your inner compass above everything? How did you stick with your intuition even when it was difficult to do so?

As always, hit reply to share any thoughts, to respond to the parting question, or to simply say hello. I love hearing from you.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to share this email with anyone who might enjoy it. Have a great rest of your week!

-Lawrence Yeo

P.S. Thanks to Harry Hand for adding your support on Patreon! It means so much. If you’d like to support More To That and get access to exclusive AMAs, book recommendations, offline posts, and other reflections, join as a patron today.

P.P.S. If you want to learn how to write reflections like the one I shared today, check out The Examined Writer. It’s 3 hours of self-paced material, all designed to elevate your writing practice.

If you were forwarded this email, subscribe to the More To That newsletter and get the next edition in your inbox.

More To That

by Lawrence Yeo

Illustrated stories on the human condition.

Read more from More To That

Hey friends, In the last edition of the newsletter, I mentioned that I was working on a big writing project. Well, that’s still where I’m directing a majority of my creative attention toward, and in due time, I’ll share more details here. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a result of working on it, and perhaps you’ll sense that when you get to read it as well. In the meantime, I wanted to share a reflection on an important topic: what it means to follow your passion. One of the ways we’ve...

24 days ago • 5 min read

Hey friends, I’m back in Los Angeles after a wonderful stay in Vancouver, and I’m back in the groove of my writing schedule. I’m working on something I’m very excited about, and in due time, I’ll share more details here. I haven’t been this energized when it comes to my writing for quite some time, which signals that this is the exact project I’m supposed to be working on. Hope that there’s something in your life that fuels you in a similar way as well. In the meantime, I’d like to share a...

about 1 month ago • 4 min read

Hey friends, Hello from Vancouver, where I’m visiting family until early next week. This city holds a special place in my heart because my wife and I got married here, and it’s wild that we’re now here with a child. The pages of life turn quickly, and I hope you’re taking a moment to slow down and bookmark the most special ones. Today, I wanted to share a reflection on one of life’s most important topics: happiness. In a sense, happiness is the greatest aspiration of all. It’s what makes the...

about 2 months ago • 3 min read
Share this post