Quotes on emotional needs

Clouds Give Dramatic Backdrop to Russian Space Station Mir, from Space Shuttle Atlantis

Have you ever taken a trip thinking you’d planned everything perfectly only to discover you’d forgotten something critical, such as reservations or directions? In a way, that’s what happened to Dr. Norman E. Thagard.


It was the summer of 1995, and in the 34 years since the Soviets first blasted off Yuri Gagarin, more than 300 American and Russian astronauts had totaled 38 years in space. Finally, the two Super Powers had arranged for their space travelers to spend some quality time together. Thagard would join two Russians for four months aboard the space station Mir. It would be the longest space trip ever undertaken by an American.

Great care was taken to ensure détente. Thagard and the Russians carefully studied each other’s hand gestures and customs to avoid giving unintentional offense. Since remaining fit during flight seemed to help minimize space sickness, the space station was even packed with exercise equipment. The mission planners thought of everything … well, almost.

No one thought about the seclusion Thagard would feel spending four months as the only English-speaking person aboard the spacecraft, communicating with a Russian ground crew. Although he bonded with his colleagues, telling President Clinton “The Russians took good care of me. We’re great friends,” he also described an extreme sense of cultural isolation and desperate longing for his family.

Later, NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin conceded that, despite all the planning, the agency had failed to consider the psychological aspects of Thagard’s mission.

Do you give your emotional needs the attention they deserve? Keep these thoughts in mind:

“The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms. The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, automobiles, and real state, but friendships, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love, and faith.”

—Bertrand Russell, philosopher, essayist


“No man is a success in business unless he loves his work.”

—Florence Scovel Shinn, artist, author, educator


“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.”

—Hubert H. Humphrey, vice president of the United States


“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.”

—John Ruskin, critic, social theorist


“Cherish your human connections.”

—Barbara Bush, First Lady of the United States


“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”

—Jane Howard, novelist


“Communication is everyone’s panacea for everything.”

—Thomas J. Peters, management consultant


“The eternal quest of the human being is to shatter his loneliness.”

—Norman Cousins, editor, author, humanitarian

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