Writing songs is an essential part of my life: my mother teaches piano, and I have inherited my grandparents' passion for music, especially from my grandfather Tommy, who was a great drummer. It's no coincidence that I play the drums best, but I am also good with the guitar and the piano.
We are taught to believe it's bad to be angry, or at least it's not good. That's not the case all throughout the world. People are more open and not embarrassed about it. For instance in Paris, people believe Americans have a really unhealthy relation with anger. They think it's essential to get angry.
The Italians and Spanish, the Chinese and Vietnamese see food as part of a larger, more essential and pleasurable part of daily life. Not as an experience to be collected or bragged about - or as a ritual like filling up a car - but as something else that gives pleasure, like sex or music, or a good nap in the afternoon.
Prediction is structurally inseparable from the business of punditry: It creates the essential image of indefatigable authority that is punditry's very architecture it flows from that calcified image, and it provides the substance for the story that keeps getting told about the inevitability of American progress.
Much in the way Olympic athletes optimize their game by paying an enormous - borderline maniacal - amount of attention to things like diet, exercise, sleep, and of course the essential R&R, we all would do well to pay more attention to those key aspects of our lives that comprise our overall health equation.
My theory is that literature is essential to society in the way that dreams are essential to our lives. We can't live without dreaming - as we can't live without sleep. We are 'conscious' beings for only a limited period of time, then we sink back into sleep - the 'unconscious.' It is nourishing, in ways we can't fully understand.
I've never met a person who does not want a safer world, better medical care and education for their children, and peace with their neighbours. I just don't meet those people. What I meet, over and over again, as I travel around, is that the essential human condition is optimistic - in every one of these places.