After dinner Natasha went to the clavichord, at Prince Andrey's request, and began singing. Prince Andrey stood at the window, talking to the ladies, and listened to her. In the middle of a phrase, Prince Andrey ceased speaking, and felt suddenly a lump in his throat from tears, the possibility of which he had never dreamed of in himself. He looked at Natasha singing, and something new and blissful stirred in his soul. He was happy, and at the same time he was sad. He certainly had nothing to weep about, but he was ready to weep. For what? For his past love? For the little princess? For his lost illusions? For his hopes for the future? Yes, and no. The chief thing which made him ready to weep was a sudden, vivid sense of the fearful contrast between something infinitely great and illimitable existing in him, and something limited and material, which he himself was, and even she was. This contrast made his heart ache, and rejoiced him while she was singing.
We are constituted so that simple acts of kindness, such as giving to charity or expressing gratitude, have a positive effect on our long-term moods. The key to the happy life, it seems, is the good life: a life with sustained relationships, challenging work, and connections to community.
There's no question that a great teacher can make a huge difference in a student's achievement, and we need to recruit, train and reward more such teachers. But here's what some new studies are also showing: We need better parents. Parents more focused on their children's education can also make a huge difference in a student's achievement.