Adjusting To A New Life Quotes

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Don't live the same day over and over again and call that a life. Life is about evolving mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
Germany Kent
You cannot change the wind, but you can adjust the sails.
Elizabeth Edwards (Resilience: The New Afterword)
New mothers enter the world of parenting feeling much like Alice in Wonderland. - Being a mother is one of the most rewarding jobs on earth and also one of the most challenging. - Motherhood is a process. Learn to love the process. - There is a tremendous amount of learning that takes place in the first year of your baby’s life; the baby learns a lot, too. - It is sometimes difficult to reconcile the fantasy of what you thuoght motherhood would be like, and what you thought you would be like as a mother, with reality. - Take care of yourself. If Mommy isn’t happy, no one else in the family is happy either. - New mother generally need to lower their expectations. - A good mother learns to love her child as he is and adjusts her mothering to suit her child.
Debra Gilbert Rosenberg
After a great blow, or crisis, after the first shock and then after the nerves have stopped screaming and twitching, you settle down to the new condition of things and feel that all possibility of change has been used up. You adjust yourself, and are sure that the new equilibrium is for eternity. . . But if anything is certain it is that no story is ever over, for the story which we think is over is only a chapter in a story which will not be over, and it isn't the game that is over, it is just an inning, and that game has a lot more than nine innings. When the game stops it will be called on account of darkness. But it is a long day.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King’s Men)
I took my coffee into the dining room and settled down with the morning paper. A woman in New York had had twins in a taxi. A woman in Ohio had just had her seventeenth child. A twelve-year-old girl in Mexico had given birth to a thirteen-pound boy. The lead article on the woman's page was about how to adjust the older child to the new baby. I finally found an account of an axe murder on page seventeen, and held my coffee cup up to my face to see if the steam might revive me.
Shirley Jackson (Life Among the Savages)
Living is not thinking. Thought is formed and guided by objective reality outside us. Living is the constant adjustment of thought to life and life to thought in such a way that we are always growing, always experiencing new things in the old and old things in the new. Thus life is always new.
Thomas Merton
A sad fact, of course, about adult life is that you see the very things you'll never adapt to coming toward you on the horizon. You see them as the problems they are, you worry like hell about them, you make provisions, take precautions, fashion adjustments; you tell yourself you'll have to change your way of doing things. Only you don't. You can't. Somehow it's already too late. And maybe it's even worse than that: maybe the thing you see coming from far away is not the real thing, the thing that scares you, but its aftermath. And what you've feared will happen has already taken place. This is similar in spirit to the realization that all the great new advances of medical science will have no benefit for us at all, thought we cheer them on, hope a vaccine might be ready in time, think things could still get better. Only it's too late there too. And in that very way our life gets over before we know it. We miss it. And like the poet said: The ways we miss our lives are life.
Richard Ford
They are quiet for a long time. “Do you remember the time you told me you were afraid that you were a series of nasty surprises for me?” he asks him, and Jude nods, slightly. “You aren’t,” he tells him. “You aren’t. But being with you is like being in this fantastic landscape,” he continues, slowly. “You think it’s one thing, a forest, and then suddenly it changes, and it’s a meadow, or a jungle, or cliffs of ice. And they’re all beautiful, but they’re strange as well, and you don’t have a map, and you don’t understand how you got from one terrain to the next so abruptly, and you don’t know when the next transition will arrive, and you don’t have any of the equipment you need. And so you keep walking through, and trying to adjust as you go, but you don’t really know what you’re doing, and often you make mistakes, bad mistakes. That’s sometimes what it feels like.” They’re silent. “So basically,” Jude says at last, “basically, you’re saying I’m New Zealand.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
In the end, it seems to me that forgiveness may be the only realistic antidote we are offered in love, to combat the inescapable disappointments of intimacy." “Women’s sense of integrity seems to be entwined with an ethic of care, so that to see themselves as women as to see themselves in a relationship of connection…I believe that many modern women, my mother included, carry within them a whole secret New England cemetery, wherein that have quietly buried in many neat rows– the personal dreams they have given up for their families…(Women) have a sort of talent for changing form, enabling them to dissolve and then flow around the needs of their partners, or the needs of their children, or the needs of mere quotidian reality. They adjust, adapt, glide, accept.” “The cold ugly fact is that marriage does not benefit women as much as it benefits men. From studies, married men perform dazzingly better in life, live longer, accumulate more, excel at careers, report to be happier, less likely to die from a violent death, suffer less from alcoholism, drug abuse, and depression than single man…The reverse is not true. In fact, every fact is reverse, single women fare much better than married women. On average, married women take a 7% pay cut. All of this adds up to what Sociologists called the “Marriage Benefit Imbalance”…It is important to pause here and inspect why so women long for it (marriage) so deeply.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
I understand the mechanism of my own thinking. I know precisely how I know, and my understanding is recursive. I understand the infinite regress of this self-knowing, not by proceeding step by step endlessly, but by apprehending the limit. The nature of recursive cognition is clear to me. A new meaning of the term "self-aware." Fiat logos. I know my mind in terms of a language more expressive than any I'd previously imagined. Like God creating order from chaos with an utterance, I make myself anew with this language. It is meta-self-descriptive and self-editing; not only can it describe thought, it can describe and modify its own operations as well, at all levels. What Gödel would have given to see this language, where modifying a statement causes the entire grammar to be adjusted. With this language, I can see how my mind is operating. I don't pretend to see my own neurons firing; such claims belong to John Lilly and his LSD experiments of the sixties. What I can do is perceive the gestalts; I see the mental structures forming, interacting. I see myself thinking, and I see the equations that describe my thinking, and I see myself comprehending the equations, and I see how the equations describe their being comprehended. I know how they make up my thoughts. These thoughts.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
The human mind adjusts itself to a certain point of view, and those who have regarded nature from one angle, during a portion of their life, can adopt new ideas only with difficulty.
Antoine Lavoisier
The great point in Christianity is the search for an independent content for spiritual life which, according to the insights of its founder, could be elevated, not by the forces of a world external to the soul of man, but by the revelation of a new world within his soul. Islam fully agrees with this insight and supplements it by the further insight that the illumination of the new world thus revealed is not something foreign to the world of matter but permeates it through and through. Thus the affirmation of spirit sought by Christianity would come not by the renunciation of external forces which are already permeated by the illumination of spirit, but by a proper adjustment of man's relation to these forces in view of the light received from the world within.
Muhammad Iqbal (The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam)
But being with you is like being in this fantastic landscape,' he continuous slowly. 'You think it's one thing, a forest, and then suddenly it changes, and it's a meadow, or a jungle, or cliffs, or ice. And they are all beautiful, but they're strange as well, and you don't have a map, and you don't understand how you got from one terrain to the next so abruptly, and you don't know when the next transition will arrive, and you don't have any of the equipment you need. And so you keep walking through, and trying to adjust as you go, but you don't really know what you're doing, and often you make mistakes, bad mistakes. That's sometimes what it feels like.' They're silent. 'So basically,' Jude says at last, 'basically you're saying I'm New Zealand.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
[Sadness] enforces a kind of reflective retreat from life's busy pursuits, and leaves us in a suspended state to mourn the loss, mull over its meaning, and, finally, make the psychological adjustments and new plans that will allow our lives to continue
Daniel Goleman (Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ)
Day 5 Look for the gifts in everything, especially when you are facing what appears to be a negative situation. Everything that we attract causes us to grow, which means that ultimately everything is for our own good. Adjusting to a new path and a new direction will require new qualities and strengths, and these qualities are always exactly what we need to acquire in order to accomplish the great things ahead in our life.
Rhonda Byrne (The Secret Daily Teachings)
When it is becomes impossible to go back to normal ,we have to create a new normal and adjust to it.
Sabine Shah
I had never had a big opinion for myself. I had always thought I'd be a fuck up, that I'd be disappointed like always by life and people. But at this very moment, I knew it. I wasn't a good man, not well-adjusted. —Nolan
Stephanie Witter (Six Years)
Everything is temporary, almost like a passing fase, some of laughter Some of pain. What we would do, If we had the chance to explore What we had taken for Granted the very day before, Some would say I'm selfish, To hold a little sadness in my eyes, But they don't feel the sorrow When I can't do, all that helps me feel alive. I can express my emotions, but I can't run wild and free, My mind and soul would handle it but hell upon my hip, ankle and knees, This disorder came about, as a friendship said its last goodbyes, Soooo this is what I got given for all the years I stood by? I finally stand still to question it, life it is in fact? What the fuck is the purpose of it all if you get stabbed in the back? And after the anger fills the air, the regret takes it places, I never wanted to be that girl, Horrid, sad and faded... So I took with a grain of salt, my new found reality, I am not of my pain, the disability doesnt define me. I find away to adjust, also with the absence of my friend, I trust the choices I make, allow my heart to mend. I pick up the pieces I retrain my leg, I find where I left off And I start all over again, You see what happens... When a warrior gets tested; They grow from the ashes Powerful and invested. So I thank all this heartache, As I put it to a rest, I move forward with my life And I'll build a damn good nest.
Nikki Rowe
A new respect for Nature had been learned, a new kinship with sun and water and soil....They had learned that while Nature is often beautiful and kind, her laws must be respected, for they are ruthless and inexorable as well. Man must accept these laws and adjust his way of living to them. Then only can he prosper.
Lois Lenski (Texas Tomboy)
...while she respected all of the Seven, her relationship with Illium was different. He’d been the first one she’d truly come to know, his humor and wit critical in helping her adjust to this new life. Even among the Seven, he seemed to hold a special place: no one was ever angry at Bluebell. The idea that power might change him, chill that joyous heart was even worse than the thought of losing him to it.
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8))
Like walking in the darkness-- When you walk there long enough, You adjust to it. You forget how dark it is. Then, a glimpse of day! How bright he is! Illuminating everything, My love, my life, my light. But all too soon the curtain falls Bringing back the darkened night. Unaccustomed to it now. Where once it was a peaceful place, It seems as dark as dark can be. Never quite as comfortable On this strange familiar path Fumbling in the dark and watching now For new light to help me find my way.
Kate McGahan
I wake up. Immediately I have to figure out who I am. It’s not just the body—opening my eyes and discovering whether the skin on my arm is light or dark, whether my hair is long or short, whether I’m fat or thin, boy or girl, scarred or smooth. The body is the easiest thing to adjust to, if you’re used to waking up in a new one each morning. It’s the life, the context of the body, that can be hard to grasp. Every day I am someone else. I am myself—I know I am myself—but I am also someone else. It has always been like this.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
An Afternoon in the Stacks Closing the book, I find I have left my head inside. It is dark in here, but the chapters open their beautiful spaces and give a rustling sound, words adjusting themselves to their meaning. Long passages open at successive pages. An echo, continuous from the title onward, hums behind me. From in here the world looms, a jungle redeemed by these linked sentences carved out when an author traveled and a reader kept the way open. When this book ends I will pull it inside-out like a sock and throw it back in the library. But the rumor of it will haunt all that follows in my life. A candleflame in Tibet leans when I move.
William Stafford (The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems)
Grief doesn’t hit us in tidy phases and stages, nor is it something that we forget and move on from; it is an individual process that has a momentum of its own, and the work involves finding ways of coping with our fear and pain, and also adjusting to this new version of ourselves, our “new normal.
Julia Samuel (Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving)
Both in cave diving and in life, the darkness of uncertainty was beckoning. I was scared, but I knew that if I could be brave enough to step over the brink into the blackness, my eyes would adjust and new possibilities would be revealed.
Jill Heinerth (Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver)
Our "increasing mental sickness" may find expres­sion in neurotic symptoms. These symptoms are con­spicuous and extremely distressing. But "let us beware," says Dr. Fromm, "of defining mental hygiene as the prevention of symptoms. Symptoms as such are not our enemy, but our friend; where there are symp­toms there is conflict, and conflict always indicates that the forces of life which strive for integration and happiness are still fighting." The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. "Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been si­lenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does." They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their per­fect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted, still cherish "the illusion of indi­viduality," but in fact they have been to a great extent deindividualized. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But "uniformity and free­dom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too. . . . Man is not made to be an automaton, and if he becomes one, the basis for mental health is destroyed.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
... Wickard's novel colorfully illuminates the two sychronized protagonists, each displaying profound characteristics: Sami has trouble adjusting to her new life and Smitty balances his secret life with his normal one, with a (living) wife and infant daughter at home... ... assertive characters with distinct backgrounds provide a solid fountaion for the story of a killer on the hunt." Kirkus Review February 24, 2012
Douglas Wickard
Look everywhere. There are miracles and curiosities to fascinate and intrigue for many lifetimes: the intricacies of nature and everything in the world and universe around us from the miniscule to the infinite; physical, chemical and biological functionality; consciousness, intelligence and the ability to learn; evolution, and the imperative for life; beauty and other abstract interpretations; language and other forms of communication; how we make our way here and develop social patterns of culture and meaningfulness; how we organise ourselves and others; moral imperatives; the practicalities of survival and all the embellishments we pile on top; thought, beliefs, logic, intuition, ideas; inventing, creating, information, knowledge; emotions, sensations, experience, behaviour. We are each unique individuals arising from a combination of genetic, inherited, and learned information, all of which can be extremely fallible. Things taught to us when we are young are quite deeply ingrained. Obviously some of it (like don’t stick your finger in a wall socket) is very useful, but some of it is only opinion – an amalgamation of views from people you just happen to have had contact with. A bit later on we have access to lots of other information via books, media, internet etc, but it is important to remember that most of this is still just opinion, and often biased. Even subjects such as history are presented according to the presenter’s or author’s viewpoint, and science is continually changing. Newspapers and TV tend to cover news in the way that is most useful to them (and their funders/advisors), Research is also subject to the decisions of funders and can be distorted by business interests. Pretty much anyone can say what they want on the internet, so our powers of discernment need to be used to a great degree there too. Not one of us can have a completely objective view as we cannot possibly have access to, and filter, all knowledge available, so we must accept that our views are bound to be subjective. Our understanding and responses are all very personal, and our views extremely varied. We tend to make each new thing fit in with the picture we have already started in our heads, but we often have to go back and adjust the picture if we want to be honest about our view of reality as we continually expand it. We are taking in vast amounts of information from others all the time, so need to ensure we are processing that to develop our own true reflection of who we are.
Jay Woodman
We grow accustomed to the Dark — When Light is put away — As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp To witness her Good bye — A Moment — We Uncertain step For newness of the night — Then — fit our Vision to the Dark — And meet the Road — erect — And so of larger — Darknesses — Those Evenings of the Brain — When not a Moon disclose a sign — Or Star — come out — within — The Bravest — grope a little — And sometimes hit a Tree Directly in the Forehead — But as they learn to see — Either the Darkness alters — Or something in the sight Adjusts itself to Midnight — And Life steps almost straight.
Emily Dickinson (The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson)
Fungi are veteran survivors of ecological disruption. Their ability to cling on—and often flourish—through periods of catastrophic change is one of their defining characteristics. They are inventive, flexible, and collaborative. With much of life on Earth threatened by human activity, are there ways we can partner with fungi to help us adapt? These may sound like the delirious musings of someone buried up to their neck in decomposing wood chips, but a growing number of radical mycologists think exactly this. Many symbioses have formed in times of crisis. The algal partner in a lichen can’t make a living on bare rock without striking up a relationship with a fungus. Might it be that we can’t adjust to life on a damaged planet without cultivating new fungal relationships
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word “maladjusted.” This word is the ringing cry to modern child psychology. Certainly, we all want to avoid the maladjusted life. In order to have real adjustment within our personalities, we all want the well‐adjusted life in order to avoid neurosis, schizophrenic personalities. But I say to you, my friends, as I move to my conclusion, there are certain things in our nation and in the world which I am proud to be maladjusted and which I hope all men of good‐will will be maladjusted until the good societies realize. I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self‐defeating effects of physical violence… In other words, I’m about convinced now that there is need for a new organization in our world. The International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment‐‐men and women who will be as maladjusted as the prophet Amos. Who in the midst of the injustices of his day could cry out in words that echo across the centuries, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
Martin Luther King Jr.
As an observer, I am particularly interested in watching women, married, divorced, single. So many of them trapped in lives they think they must live, in roles they have come to resent, with little job and no laughter. They've "settled." They've compromised. They've learned to adjust. Among the divorced, many are bitter, coloring their lives with resentment; others live only to meet the man who will complete them. I have no intentions of adjusting, and I am not looking to define myself by the man I am with. The new me is feeling rebellious, looking for excitement, bursting with energy to explore. There is no way that I am going to sit around feeling sorry for myself, thinking that the only way I can enjoy life is with a man. With no possessions, no home, and no precedent, I am free to design a life that fits me. Best of all, I have tasted the life I want. My Mexican adventure opened me up. I want more. During my four months away, I met interesting people, I was never bored, and I laughed more than I had in years. I resolve to continue exploring the world, ignoring the THEY who define how people should live.
Rita Golden Gelman (Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World)
In the Qur’an’s telling, Abraham after much reflection declares himself a Hanifam-Muslima (3:67). Typically translated as “a pure Muslim,” both words were archaic Arabic terms at the time of the Qur’an’s revelation and together constituted a dynamic new identity for young Abraham. The root Hanif (cited twelve times in the Qur’an) originally described a tree precariously balanced atop eroding soil in a volatile climate, forced to constantly adjust its roots and branches—and was also used to describe traversing a perilous lava formation. The term connoted the need to constantly rebalance in order to stay safe in unstable situations: remaining true to core roots while having the courage to confront reality. In essence, a Hanif is a healthy skeptic who honestly evaluates inherited traditions. In Abraham’s formula, the Hanif interrogates reality not as a cynic but as a healer, diagnosing injuries in order to repair them. Indeed, Muslim derived from the ancient Semitic root S-L-M, literally “to repair cracks in city walls.” As the integrity of monotheism erodes over time, repairers need to assess the damage and then get to work restoring the fractures.
Mohamad Jebara (The Life of the Qur'an: From Eternal Roots to Enduring Legacy)
Life's full of events - they occur and you adjust, you roll and move on. But at some point you realize some events are actually developments. You realize there's a big plan out there you know nothing about, and a development is a first step in that new direction. Sometimes things feel like big-time developmens but in time you adjust, you find a new way and realize they didn't throw you off course, they didn't change you. They were just events. The tricky part is telling the difference between the two.
Adam Johnson (Fortune Smiles)
Among the 27,000 North Koreans in the South, two kinds of life have been left behind: the wretched life of persecution and hunger, and the manageable life that was not so bad. People in the first group adjust rapidly. Their new life, however challenging, could only be better. For the people in the second group, life in the South is far more daunting. It often makes them yearn for the simpler, more ordered existence they left behind, where big decisions are taken for them by the state, and where life is not a fierce competition.
Hyeonseo Lee (The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector's Story)
changing a default setting involves three steps: new exposures, reflection, and commitment to change.
Rad Wendzich (Your Default Settings: Adjust Your Autopilot to Build a More Stable and Impactful Life)
It is invariably saddening to look through new eyes at things upon which you have expended your own powers of adjustment
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
The new shit was always upon you and you had to adjust, such was life, but the new shit came so fast these days, and it was so wily and unlikely, that he had a hard time keeping up.
Colson Whitehead (Crook Manifesto (Ray Carney, #2))
an empathic and patient listener, coaxing each of us through the maze of our feelings, separating out our weapons from our wounds. He cautioned us when we got too lawyerly and posited careful questions intended to get us to think hard about why we felt the way we felt. Slowly, over hours of talking, the knot began to loosen. Each time Barack and I left his office, we felt a bit more connected. I began to see that there were ways I could be happier and that they didn’t necessarily need to come from Barack’s quitting politics in order to take some nine-to-six foundation job. (If anything, our counseling sessions had shown me that this was an unrealistic expectation.) I began to see how I’d been stoking the most negative parts of myself, caught up in the notion that everything was unfair and then assiduously, like a Harvard-trained lawyer, collecting evidence to feed that hypothesis. I now tried out a new hypothesis: It was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be. I was too busy resenting Barack for managing to fit workouts into his schedule, for example, to even begin figuring out how to exercise regularly myself. I spent so much energy stewing over whether or not he’d make it home for dinner that dinners, with or without him, were no longer fun. This was my pivot point, my moment of self-arrest. Like a climber about to slip off an icy peak, I drove my ax into the ground. That isn’t to say that Barack didn’t make his own adjustments—counseling helped him to see the gaps in how we communicated, and he worked to be better at it—but I made mine, and they helped me, which then helped us. For starters, I recommitted myself to being healthy. Barack and I belonged to the same gym, run by a jovial and motivating athletic trainer named Cornell McClellan. I’d worked out with Cornell for a couple of years, but having children had changed my regular routine. My fix for this came in the form of my ever-giving mother, who still worked full-time but volunteered to start coming over to our house at 4:45 in the morning several days a week so that I could run out to Cornell’s and join a girlfriend for a 5:00 a.m. workout and then be home by 6:30 to get the girls up and ready for their days. This new regimen changed everything: Calmness and strength, two things I feared I was losing, were now back. When it came to the home-for-dinner dilemma, I installed new boundaries, ones that worked better for me and the girls. We made our schedule and stuck to it. Dinner each night was at 6:30. Baths were at 7:00, followed by books, cuddling, and lights-out at 8:00 sharp. The routine was ironclad, which put the weight of responsibility on Barack to either make it on time or not. For me, this made so much more sense than holding off dinner or having the girls wait up sleepily for a hug. It went back to my wishes for them to grow up strong and centered and also unaccommodating to any form of old-school patriarchy: I didn’t want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn’t wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Living is the constant adjustment of thought to life and life to thought in such a way that we are always growing, always experiencing new things in the old and old things in the new. Thus life is always new.
Thomas Merton (Thoughts In Solitude)
Telling women’s stories was—and would always be—Jackson’s major fictional project. As she had in The Road Through the Wall and the stories of The Lottery, with Hangsaman Jackson continued to chronicle the lives of women whose behavior does not conform to society’s expectations. Neither an obedient daughter nor a docile wife-in-training, Natalie represents every girl who does not quite fit in, who refuses to play the role that has been predetermined for her—and the tragic psychic consequences she suffers as a result. During the postwar years, Betty Friedan would later write, the image of the American woman “suffered a schizophrenic split” between the feminine housewife and the career woman: “The new feminine morality story is . . . the heroine’s victory over Mephistopheles . . . the devil inside the heroine herself.” That is precisely what happens in Hangsaman. Unfortunately, it was a story that the American public, in the process of adjusting to the changing roles of women and the family in the wake of World War II, was not yet ready to countenance.
Ruth Franklin (Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life)
The average person wastes his life. He has a great deal of energy but he wastes it. The life of an average person seems at the end utterly meaningless…without significance. When he looks back…what has he done? MIND The mind creates routine for its own safety and convenience. Tradition becomes our security. But when the mind is secure it is in decay. We all want to be famous people…and the moment we want to be something…we are no longer free. Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential…the what is. It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything new…and in that there’s joy. To awaken this capacity in oneself and in others is real education. SOCIETY It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Nature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals…whereas culture has invented a single mold to which we must conform. A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person because he conforms to a pattern. He repeats phrases and thinks in a groove. What happens to your heart and your mind when you are merely imitative, naturally they wither, do they not? The great enemy of mankind is superstition and belief which is the same thing. When you separate yourself by belief tradition by nationally it breeds violence. Despots are only the spokesmen for the attitude of domination and craving for power which is in the heart of almost everyone. Until the source is cleared there will be confusion and classes…hate and wars. A man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country to any religion to any political party. He is concerned with the understanding of mankind. FEAR You have religion. Yet the constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear. You can only be afraid of what you think you know. One is never afraid of the unknown…one is afraid of the known coming to an end. A man who is not afraid is not aggressive. A man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free and peaceful mind. You want to be loved because you do not love…but the moment you really love, it is finished. You are no longer inquiring whether someone loves you or not. MEDITATION The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence. In meditation you will discover the whisperings of your own prejudices…your own noises…the monkey mind. You have to be your own teacher…truth is a pathless land. The beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are…where you are going…what the end is. Down deep we all understand that it is truth that liberates…not your effort to be free. The idea of ourselves…our real selves…is your escape from the fact of what you really are. Here we are talking of something entirely different….not of self improvement…but the cessation of self. ADVICE Take a break with the past and see what happens. Release attachment to outcomes…inside you will feel good no matter what. Eventually you will find that you don’t mind what happens. That is the essence of inner freedom…it is timeless spiritual truth. If you can really understand the problem the answer will come out of it. The answer is not separate from the problem. Suffer and understand…for all of that is part of life. Understanding and detachment…this is the secret. DEATH There is hope in people…not in societies not in systems but only in you and me. The man who lives without conflict…who lives with beauty and love…is not frightened by death…because to love is to die.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
Our “increasing mental sickness” may find expression in neurotic symptoms. These symptoms are conspicuous and extremely distressing. But “let us beware,” says Dr. Fromm, “of defining mental hygiene as the prevention of symptoms. Symptoms as such are not our enemy, but our friend; where there are symptoms there is conflict, and conflict always indicates that the forces of life which strive for integration and happiness are still fighting.” The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. “Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.” They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted, still cherish “the illusion of individuality,” but in fact they have been to a great extent deindividualized. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But “uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too. . . . Man is not made to be an automaton, and if he becomes one, the basis for mental health is destroyed.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World / Brave New World Revisited)
The seasons change to teach us the very inevitability of change. Our duty is to adjust our sails and flow with the current of change – adjust and learn, adapt and modify to the newness that life presents from time to time.
Sanchita Pandey (Lessons from My Garden)
Always lost, always striking out in the wrong direction, always going around in circles. You have suffered from a life-long inability to orient yourself in space, and even in New York, the easiest of cities to negotiate, the city where you have spent the better part of your adulthood, you often run into trouble. Whenever you take the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan (assuming you have boarded the correct train and are not traveling deeper into Brooklyn), you make a special point to stop for a moment to get your bearings once you have climbed the stairs to the street, and still you will head north instead of south, go east instead of west, and even when you try to outsmart yourself, knowing that your handicap will set you going the wrong way and therefore, to rectify the error, you do the opposite of what you were intending to do, go left instead of right, go right instead of left, and still you find yourself moving in the wrong direction, no matter how many adjustments you have made. Forget tramping alone in the woods. You are hopelessly lost within minutes, and even indoors, whenever you find yourself in an unfamiliar building, you will walk down the wrong corridor or take the wrong elevator, not to speak of smaller enclosed spaces such as restaurants, for whenever you go to the men’s room in a restaurant that has more than one dining area, you will inevitably make a wrong turn on your way back and wind up spending several minutes searching for your table. Most other people, your wife included, with her unerring inner compass, seem to be able to get around without difficulty. They know where they are, where they have been, and where they are going, but you know nothing, you are forever lost in the moment, in the void of each successive moment that engulfs you, with no idea where true north is, since the four cardinal points do not exist for you, have never existed for you. A minor infirmity until now, with no dramatic consequences to speak of, but that doesn’t mean a day won’t come when you accidentally walk off the edge of a cliff.
Paul Auster (Winter Journal)
He buried his past life, not because it was so terrible but because abandoning it was the only way to survive. He pulled on his English accent like a new coat, adjusted everything he could about himself to make it fit, and, within weeks, wore it with comfort.
R.F. Kuang (Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution)
I wasn’t just exploring the pocked landscape; I was also exploring conceptual barriers. By passing through the threshold of darkness, I was discovering my psychological limits and potential. Each time my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I would find new strength, and with courage, I could go further.
Jill Heinerth (Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver)
We can only create new connections between things that are already stored in our brains. The same applies to our settings. We can’t change our beliefs or habits to a different course of action if we don’t know our options. To change a default setting, then, you must first realize that there’s another way.
Rad Wendzich (Your Default Settings: Adjust Your Autopilot to Build a More Stable and Impactful Life)
learning in adulthood that you have been secretly nursing a disability all your life is quite the world-shattering experience. Adjusting your self-concept is a long process. It can involve mourning, rage, embarrassment, and dozens upon dozens of “wait, that was an Autism thing?” revelations. Though many of us come to see Autistic identity as a net positive in our lives, accepting our limitations is an equally important part of the journey. The clearer we are with ourselves about where we excel and where we need help, the more likely we are to eke out an existence that’s richly interdependent, sustainable, and meaningful.
Devon Price (Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity)
What I’m saying is that we were all of us struggling to adjust to our new life, and I suppose we all did things back then we later regretted. I was really upset by Ruth’s remark at the time, but it’s pointless now trying to judge her or anyone else for the way they behaved during those early days at the Cottages.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
In life we never know when a rainy day will come and you might fall short of money. In order to be prepared for such a situation, you should always save some money from your salary, and if you are not earning, then from your husband’s salary. If your salary is one thousand rupees take fifty or hundred rupees and keep it separately. This money should not be used for buying ornaments or silk saris. When you are young, you want to spend money and buy many things but remember, when you are in difficulty only few things will come to your help. Your courage, your ability to adjust to new situations and the money which you have saved. Nobody will come and help you.
Sudha Murty (How I Taught My Grand Mother to Read: And Other Stories)
Engaged in a new form of serfdom---only bound now to banks and mortgage lenders instead of to lords---her more highly leveraged neighbors pore over the business section of the newspaper each day looking for some sign that the government will soon step in to “freeze” their mortgage rates where they are before a scheduled adjustment hits.
Douglas Rushkoff (Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back)
How old is she now?” “Oh, she’s twenty now.” She hesitated. She was obligated to end our little chat with a stylized flourish. The way it’s done in serial television. So she wet her little bunny mouth, sleepied her eyes, widened her nostrils, patted her hair, arched her back, stood canted and hip-shot, huskied her voice and said, “See you aroun’, huh?” “Sure, Marianne. Sure.” Bless them all, the forlorn little rabbits. They are the displaced persons of our emotional culture. They are ravenous for romance, yet settle for what they call making out. Their futile, acne-pitted men drift out of high school into a world so surfeited with unskilled labor there is competition for bag-boy jobs in the supermarkets. They yearn for security, but all they can have is what they make for themselves, chittering little flocks of them in the restaurants and stores, talking of style and adornment, dreaming of the terribly sincere stranger who will come along and lift them out of the gypsy life of the two-bit tip and the unemployment, cut a tall cake with them, swell them up with sassy babies, and guide them masterfully into the shoal water of the electrified house where everybody brushes after every meal. But most of the wistful rabbits marry their unskilled men, and keep right on working. And discover the end of the dream. They have been taught that if you are sunny, cheery, sincere, group-adjusted, popular, the world is yours, including barbecue pits, charge plates, diaper service, percale sheets, friends for dinner, washer-dryer combinations, color slides of the kiddies on the home projector, and eternal whimsical romance—with crinkly smiles and Rock Hudson dialogue. So they all come smiling and confident and unskilled into a technician’s world, and in a few years they learn that it is all going to be grinding and brutal and hateful and precarious. These are the slums of the heart. Bless the bunnies. These are the new people, and we are making no place for them. We hold the dream in front of them like a carrot, and finally say sorry you can’t have any. And the schools where we teach them non-survival are gloriously architectured. They will never live in places so fine, unless they contract something incurable.
John D. MacDonald (The Deep Blue Good-By)
Revise what you need to as changes occur and new information becomes available. Be willing to go back, look again, and consider where and how you can make adjustments in order to stay in alignment with your vision, mission, passion, and purpose. Rather than rehashing the past, know that your life is a working draft and you can revise the story you write about it. Let the revising begin.
Susan C. Young
They were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world, drifting they knew not where, without a hope of rescue, subsisting only so long as Providence sent them food to eat. And yet they had adjusted with surprisingly little trouble to their new life, and most of them were quite sincerely happy. The adaptability of the human creature is such that they actually had to remind themselves on occasion of their desperate circumstances. On November 4, Macklin wrote in his diary: "It has been a lovely day, and it is hard to think we are in a frightfully precarious situation." It was an observation typical of the entire party. There was not a hero among them, at least not in the fictional sense. Still not a single diary reflected anything beyond the matter-of-fact routine of each day's business.
Alfred Lansing (Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage)
I suppose a part of me wished when I put my key in the door, it would magically open into a different apartment, a different life, a place so bright with joy and excitement that I'd be temporarily blinded when I first saw it. I pictured what a documentary film crew would capture in my face as I glimpsed this whole new world before me, like in those home improvement shows Reva liked to watch when she came over. First, I'd cringe with surprise. But then, once my eyes adjusted to the light, they'd grow wide and glisten with awe. I'd drop the keys and the coffee and wander in, spinning around with my jaw hanging open, shocked at the transformation of my dim, gray apartment into a paradise of realized dreams. But what would it look like exactly? I had no idea. When I tried to imagine this new place, all I could come up with was a cheesy mural of a rainbow, a man in a white bunny costume, a set of dentures in a glass, a huge slice of watermelon on a yellow plate—an odd prediction, maybe, of when I'm ninety-five and losing my mind in an assisted-living facility where they treat the elderly residents like retarded children. I should be so lucky, I thought. I opened the door to my apartment, and, of course, nothing had changed.
Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation)
The new normal is rarely an easy adjustment and never truly feels, well, normal. Let’s be honest. Plan B is never preferred. Detours and alternate routes are never quite as scenic. The darkness of being gifted a second chance is that it means something went wrong in the first place. And yet, I would rather have a few speed bumps slow me down, causing me to spill coffee on my dress, than ever hand someone else the keys to my life.
Alicia Cook (Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately)
He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air. Metal ground against metal; a lurching shudder shook the floor beneath him. He fell down at the sudden movement and shuffled backward on his hands and feet, drops of sweat beading on his forehead despite the cool air. His back struck a hard metal wall; he slid along it until he hit the corner of the room. Sinking to the floor, he pulled his legs up tight against his body, hoping his eyes would soon adjust to the darkness. With another jolt, the room jerked upward like an old lift in a mine shaft. Harsh sounds of chains and pulleys, like the workings of an ancient steel factory, echoed through the room, bouncing off the walls with a hollow, tinny whine. The lightless elevator swayed back and forth as it ascended, turning the boy’s stomach sour with nausea; a smell like burnt oil invaded his senses,
James Dashner (The Maze Runner Series Complete Collection (Maze Runner): The Maze Runner; The Scorch Trials; The Death Cure; The Kill Order; The Fever Code)
For many of us who are still adjusting to the very real way that our friends becoming mothers often means 'losing' them as friends, yet another announcement can feel like a bell tolling on that friendship. We've heard our friends say to us, 'It's not going to change anything,' and we know that they mean it at the time, but they're probably going to move towards a new circle of friends who are mothers, and that's how it needs to be. And we're not mothers.
Jody Day (Living the Life Unexpected: How to find hope, meaning and a fulfilling future without children)
The First 5 in 5 × 5 × 5: The Health Defense Systems There are five health defense systems in your body: angiogenesis, regeneration, microbiome, DNA protection, and immunity. These systems maintain your health in a state of perfect balance. When mild disruptions occur in your health, the systems adjust themselves to take care of the problem and continue functioning behind the scenes, so you don’t even notice—that’s what you want your health to be like your entire life.
William W. Li (Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself)
Malcolm’s friend, Ishak, tells him to be strong. Be strong—it is also a saying used by New Zealand Maori who will urge, kia kaha. My husband repeats to himself, Be strong, as if trying it on for size. Yet he is finding it impossible to be strong. He realises that Ishak’s advice is that of a believer, one who sees a point to all this suffering. A superior being has willed it, and there is life after death. Malcolm admires that certainty, that belief. But he does not share it.
Linda Collins (Loss Adjustment)
We must adjust our emotive outlook before drowning in bitterness and choking on despair. We must periodically weed out pangs of disenchantment and scour disillusionment from our hearts in order to console and replenish the depleted resolve of our spirit. Finding ourselves crippled by physical injury, weakened by illness, or left stranded in a vulnerable emotional condition brought on by grief, disappointment, and other physiological or psychological crisis, we must each examine our values and update our mythological mental maps in order to generate a source of stirred concentrate steeling a rejuvenated march onward. Perhaps our sources of revitalizing energy will stem from gaining a new perspective on ancient challenges, by establishing new hopes and dreams, or by delving a lofty purpose behind our efforts. Alternatively, perhaps we only develop the resolve to resume our scrupulous assault on the important issues of life by orchestrating a fundamental transformation of the self, a complete restructuring of our values and goals.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Let’s take a look at how modern life goes. Mostly, it’s frenetic and at a pace that’s not conducive to reflective thought./ It’s all too fast for our human dimensions, as David Malouf put it. We don’t have time to adjust, to work out our priorities, and to reflect on whether what we’re doing when we’re running around madly is actually meaningful to us.. While we are meant to have more time (all those time-saving devices were meant to deliver just this, no?), we have less space. We are “on” 24/7. Every gap is filled. Even waiting at bus stops. We don’t leave work and unwind and stare into space for a bit, enjoying the sound of the birds, the soft dusk sunlight on fellow passenger’s faces. Nope, we must prune our social feeds./ Technology freed us up . . .to imprison us further. It’s created the imperative to go faster, to take on more ideas, and to juggle more. There are no excuses for not coming up with an answer, and immediately. Not when there’s Google./ But what if we need more time to know and to feel if it’s the right answer?
Sarah Wilson (First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Story About Anxiety)
Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you'll be sick. The simplest single-celled organism oscillates to a number of different frequencies, at the atomic, molecular, sub-cellular, and cellular levels. Microscopic movies of these organisms are striking for the ceaseless, rhythmic pulsation that is revealed. In an organism as complex as a human being, the frequencies of oscillation and the interactions between those frequencies are multitudinous. -George Leonard Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by a slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases than that which preceded it…the upward spurts vary; the plateaus have their own dips and rises along the way…To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so–and this is the inexorable–fact of the journey–you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere. (Mastery, p. 14-15). Backsliding is a universal experience. Every one of us resists significant change, no matter whether it’s for the worse or for the better. Our body, brain and behavior have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits, and to snap back when changed…Be aware of the way homeostasis works…Expect resistance and backlash. Realize that when the alarm bells start ringing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sick or crazy or lazy or that you’ve made a bad decision in embarking on the journey of mastery. In fact, you might take these signals as an indication that your life is definitely changing–just what you’ve wanted….Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change. Our preoccupation with goals, results, and the quick fix has separated us from our own experiences…there are all of those chores that most of us can’t avoid: cleaning, straightening, raking leaves, shopping for groceries, driving the children to various activities, preparing food, washing dishes, washing the car, commuting, performing the routine, repetitive aspects of our jobs….Take driving, for instance. Say you need to drive ten miles to visit a friend. You might consider the trip itself as in-between-time, something to get over with. Or you could take it as an opportunity for the practice of mastery. In that case, you would approach your car in a state of full awareness…Take a moment to walk around the car and check its external condition, especially that of the tires…Open the door and get in the driver’s seat, performing the next series of actions as a ritual: fastening the seatbelt, adjusting the seat and the rearview mirror…As you begin moving, make a silent affirmation that you’ll take responsibility for the space all around your vehicle at all times…We tend to downgrade driving as a skill simply because it’s so common. Actually maneuvering a car through varying conditions of weather, traffic, and road surface calls for an extremely high level of perception, concentration, coordination, and judgement…Driving can be high art…Ultimately, nothing in this life is “commonplace,” nothing is “in between.” The threads that join your every act, your every thought, are infinite. All paths of mastery eventually merge. [Each person has a] vantage point that offers a truth of its own. We are the architects of creation and all things are connected through us. The Universe is continually at its work of restructuring itself at a higher, more complex, more elegant level . . . The intention of the universe is evolution. We exist as a locus of waves that spreads its influence to the ends of space and time. The whole of a thing is contained in each of its parts. We are completely, firmly, absolutely connected with all of existence. We are indeed in relationship to all that is.
George Leonard
Dear patient (first name, last name)! You are presently located in our experimental state hospital. The measures taken to save your life were drastic, extremely drastic (circle one). Our finest surgeons, availing themselves of the very latest achievements of modern medicine, performed one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten operations (circle one) on you. They were forced, acting wholly in your interest to replace certain parts of your organism with parts obtained from other persons, in strict accordance with Federal Law (Rev. Stat. Comm. 1-989/0-001/89/1). The notice you are now reading was thoughtfully prepared in order to help you make the best possible adjustment to these new if somewhat unexpected circumstances in your life, which, we hasten to remind you, we have saved. Although it was found necessary to remove your arms, legs, spine, skill, lungs, stomach, kidneys, liver, other (circle one or more), rest assured that these mortal remains were disposed of in a manner fully in keeping with the dictates of your religion; they were, with the proper ritual, interred, embalmed, mummified, buried at sea, cremated with the ashes scattered in the wind—preserved in an urn—thrown in the garbage (circle one). The new form in which you will henceforth lead a happy and healthy existence may possibly occasion you some surprise, but we promise that in time you will become, as indeed all our dear patients do, quite accustomed to it We have supplemented your organism with the very best, the best, perfectly functional, adequate, the only available (circle one) organs at our disposal, and they are fully guaranteed to last a year, six months, three months, three weeks, six days (circle one).
Stanisław Lem (The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy)
In this sense, yes, we are moral; we have, at least, the technical capacity for leading a truly examined life; we have self-awareness, memory, foresight, and judgment. But the last several decades of evolutionary thought lead one to emphasize the word technical. Chronically subjecting ourselves to a true and bracing moral scrutiny, and adjusting our behavior accordingly, is not something we are designed for. We are potentially moral animals—which is more than any other animal can say—but we aren’t naturally moral animals. To be moral animals, we must realize how thoroughly we aren’t.
Robert Wright (The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are - The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology)
Naturalization, on the other hand, also proved to be a failure. The whole naturalization system of European countries fell apart when it was confronted with stateless people, and this for the same reasons that the right of asylum had been set aside. Essentially naturalization was an appendage to the nation-state's legislation that reckoned only with "nationals," people born in its territory and citizens by birth. Naturalization was needed in exceptional cases, for single individuals whom circumstances might have driven into a foreign territory. The whole process broke down when it became a question of handling mass applications for naturalization: even from the purely administrative point of view, no European civil service could possibly have dealt with the problem. Instead of naturalizing at least a small portion of the new arrivals, the countries began to cancel earlier naturalizations, partly because of general panic and partly because the arrival of great masses of newcomers actually changed the always precarious position of naturalized citizens of the same origin. Cancellation of naturalization or the introduction of new laws which obviously paved the way for mass denaturalization shattered what little confidence the refugees might have retained in the possibility of adjusting themselves to a new normal life; if assimilation to the new country once looked a little shabby or disloyal, it was now simply ridiculous. The difference between a naturalized citizen and a stateless resident was not great enough to justify taking any trouble, the former being frequently deprived of important civil rights and threatened at any moment with the fate of the latter. Naturalized persons were largely assimilated to the status of ordinary aliens, and since the naturalized had already lost their previous citizenship, these measures simply threatened another considerable group with statelessness.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Language learning never stops. No matter how much you know, there will always be more to learn. Nothing can change that, and the most successful language learners such as Kató Lomb recognise that and adjust accordingly, right from the start. Learning a new language is an endlessly exciting and rewarding journey. As you set out on it, you can look forward to the exhilarating rush of learning new words, and the immense satisfaction of forming whole sentences and making yourself understood. These highs will always eclipse the lows, as you will realise one day that you can’t imagine what life was like when you couldn’t speak the language you’re learning now.
Alex Rawlings (How to Speak Any Language Fluently: Fun, stimulating and effective methods to help anyone learn languages faster)
How have individuals been affected by the technological advances of recent years? Here is the answer to this question given by a philosopher-psychiatrist, Dr. Erich Fromm: Our contemporary Western society, in spite of its material, intellectual and political progress, is increasingly less conducive to mental health, and tends to undermine the inner security, happiness, reason and the capacity for love in the individual; it tends to turn him into an automaton who pays for his human failure with increasing mental sickness, and with despair hidden under a frantic drive for work and so-called pleasure. Our "increasing mental sickness" may find expression in neurotic symptoms. These symptoms are conspicuous and extremely distressing. But "let us beware," says Dr. Fromm, "of defining mental hygiene as the prevention of symptoms. Symptoms as such are not our enemy, but our friend; where there are symptoms there is conflict, and conflict always indicates that the forces of life which strive for integration and happiness are still fighting." The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. "Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does." They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted, still cherish "the illusion of individuality," but in fact they have been to a great extent deindividualized. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But "uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too. ... Man is not made to be an automaton, and if he becomes one, the basis for mental health is destroyed.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
As was true throughout the Americas, newly arriving Africans, referred to as “fresh” or “saltwater” blacks, often underwent a painful period of adjustment known as “seasoning,” lasting up to three years. It was during this time that captives became enslaved, whereas prior to disembarkation anything was possible, including mutiny. Seasoning involved acclimating to a new environment, new companions, strange languages and food, and new living arrangements. Above all, seasoning involved adjusting to life and work under conditions cruel and lethal. As a result of brutal treatment, the shock of the New World, disease, and the longing for home, between 25 and 33 percent of the newly arrived did not survive seasoning.
Michael A. Gomez (Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora (New Approaches to African History Book 3))
And so when you see a man often wearing the robe of office, when you see one whose name is famous in the Forum, do not envy him; those things are bought at the price of life.  They will waste all their years, in order that they may have one year reckoned by their name. Life has left some in the midst of their first struggles, before they could climb up to the height of their ambition; some, when they have crawled up through a thousand indignities to the crowning indignity, have been possessed by the unhappy thought that they have but toiled for an inscription on a tomb; some who have come to extreme old age, while they adjusted it to new hopes as if it were youth, have had it fail from sheer weakness in the midst of their great and shameless endeavors.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
As excited as Jase and I were to have Mia home, we were both nervous about caring for an infant with special needs. We remembered the night we brought Reed home from the hospital--neither of us slept because we had never had a baby before and were afraid something might happen to him. We wanted to be awake and alert if he needed us. With only six feet separating our two bedroom doors at the time, we heard every coo and cough Reed made. One time during that first night, Reed sounded like he was choking. Jase flew out of bed and made it to Reed’s crib in two leaps--quite a feat from a waterbed! There was absolutely nothing wrong with Reed. We were two brand-new parents learning how to adjust to caring for another living, breathing human being who was now entirely our responsibility.
Missy Robertson (Blessed, Blessed ... Blessed: The Untold Story of Our Family's Fight to Love Hard, Stay Strong, and Keep the Faith When Life Can't Be Fixed)
How have individuals been affected by the technological advances of recent years? Here is the answer to this question given by a philosopher-psychiatrist, Dr Erich Fromm: ‘Our contemporary Western society, in spite of its material, intellectual and political progress, is increasingly less conducive to mental health, and tends to undermine the inner security, happiness, reason and the capacity for love in the individual; it tends to turn him into an automaton who pays for his human failure with increasing mental sickness, and with despair hidden under a frantic drive for work and so-called pleasure.’ Our ‘increasing mental sickness’ may find expression in neurotic symptoms. These symptoms are conspicuous and extremely distressing. But ‘let us beware’, says Dr Fromm, ‘of defining mental hygiene as the prevention of symptoms. Symptoms as such are not our enemy, but our friend; where there are symptoms there is conflict, and conflict always indicates that the forces of life which strive for integration and happiness are still fighting.’ The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. ‘Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.’ They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
There’s a story that comes from the tradition of the Desert Fathers, an order of Christian monks who lived in the wastelands of Egypt about seventeen hundred years ago. In the tale, a couple of monks named Theodore and Lucius shared the acute desire to go out and see the world. Since they’d made vows of contemplation, however, this was not something they were allowed to do. So, to satiate their wanderlust, Theodore and Lucius learned to “mock their temptations” by relegating their travels to the future. When the summertime came, they said to each other, “We will leave in the winter.” When the winter came, they said, “We will leave in the summer.” They went on like this for over fifty years, never once leaving the monastery or breaking their vows. Most of us, of course, have never taken such vows—but we choose to live like monks anyway, rooting ourselves to a home or a career and using the future as a kind of phony ritual that justifies the present. In this way, we end up spending (as Thoreau put it) “the best part of one’s life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it.” We’d love to drop all and explore the world outside, we tell ourselves, but the time never seems right. Thus, given an unlimited amount of choices, we make none. Settling into our lives, we get so obsessed with holding on to our domestic certainties that we forget why we desired them in the first place. Vagabonding is about gaining the courage to loosen your grip on the so-called certainties of this world. Vagabonding is about refusing to exile travel to some other, seemingly more appropriate, time of your life. Vagabonding is about taking control of your circumstances instead of passively waiting for them to decide your fate. Thus, the question of how and when to start vagabonding is not really a question at all. Vagabonding starts now. Even if the practical reality of travel is still months or years away, vagabonding begins the moment you stop making excuses, start saving money, and begin to look at maps with the narcotic tingle of possibility. From here, the reality of vagabonding comes into sharper focus as you adjust your worldview and begin to embrace the exhilarating uncertainty that true travel promises. In this way, vagabonding is not a merely a ritual of getting immunizations and packing suitcases. Rather, it’s the ongoing practice of looking and learning, of facing fears and altering habits, of cultivating a new fascination with people and places. This attitude is not something you can pick up at the airport counter with your boarding pass; it’s a process that starts at home. It’s a process by which you first test the waters that will pull you to wonderful new places.
Rolf Potts (Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel)
Revelation. I understand the mechanism of my own thinking. I know precisely how I know, and my understanding is recursive. I understand the infinite regress of this self-knowing, not by proceeding step by step endlessly, but by apprehending the limit. The nature of recursive cognition is clear to me. A new meaning of the term ‘self-aware.’ Fiat logos. I know my mind in terms of a language more expressive than any I’d previously imagined. Like God creating order from chaos with an utterance, I make myself anew with this language. It is meta-self-descriptive and self-editing; not only can it describe thought, it can describe and modify its own operations as well, at all levels. What Gödel would have given to see this language, where modifying a statement causes the entire grammar to be adjusted. With this language, I can see how my mind is operating. I don’t pretend to see my own neurons firing; such claims belong to John Lilly and his LSD experiments of the sixties. What I can do is perceive the gestalts; I see the mental structures forming, interacting. I see myself thinking, and I see the equations that describe my thinking, and I see myself comprehending the equations, and I see how the equations describe their being comprehended. I know how they make up my thoughts. These thoughts. Initially I am overwhelmed by all this input, paralyzed with awareness of my self. It is hours before I can control the flood of self-describing information. I haven’t filtered it away, nor pushed it into the background. It’s become integrated into my mental processes, for use during my normal activities. It will be longer before I can take advantage of it, effortlessly and effectively, the way a dancer uses her kinesthetic knowledge. All that I once knew theoretically about my mind, I now see detailed explicitly. The undercurrents of sex, aggression, and self-preservation, translated by the conditioning of my childhood, clash with and are sometimes disguised as rational thought. I recognize all the causes of my every mood, the motives behind my every decision. What
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
The ordering ef good things and morality. —The rank ordering of good things that was once assumed according to whether a low, or higher, or highest egoism wants one thing or another, now decides what is moral and what is immoral. To prefer a lowly good (for example, sensual pleasure) to a more highly esteemed one (for example, health) is considered immoral, just like preferring a comfortable life to freedom. But the rank ordering of good things is not something settled and identical for all time; if someone prefers revenge to justice, he is moral according to the standard of an earlier culture, immoral according to the present one. "Immoral" therefore signifies that someone does not yet feel or does not yet feel strongly enough the higher, more refined, more spiritual motives that the new culture of a given time has brought with it: it designates someone who is backward, but always only to a certain degree. —The rank ordering of good things is not itself set up and adjusted according to the point of view of morality; though to be sure, its prevailing arrangement will determine whether an action is moral or immoral.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
The ordering ef good things and morality. —The rank ordering of good things that was once assumed according to whether a low, or higher, or highest egoism wants one thing or another, now decides what is moral and what is immoral. To prefer a lowly good (for example, sensual pleasure) to a more highly esteemed one (for example, health) is considered immoral, just like preferring a comfortable life to freedom. But the rank ordering of good things is not something settled and identical for all time; if someone prefers revenge to justice, he is moral accord- ing to the standard of an earlier culture, immoral according to the present one. "Immoral" therefore signifies that someone does not yet feel or does not yet feel strongly enough the higher, more refined, more spiritual motives that the new cul- ture of a given time has brought with it: it designates someone who is backward, but always only to a certain degree. —The rank ordering of good things is not itself set up and adjusted according to the point of view of morality; though to be sure, its prevailing arrangement will determine whether an action is moral or immoral.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
Robert and Lucy were both finding it hard to adjust to new circumstances. Lucy now found herself in an uncertain situation in the middle of the family as neither the eldest nor the youngest child, and not until Robert went away to another scout camp later in the summer did she show any interest in the baby. Then she was suddenly called upon to fetch and carry bottles, nappies, pins and powder – chores that Robert had previously undertaken. At first she resisted defiantly, and then she burst into tears. At that moment I realized how badly she too had been affected by the trauma we had undergone since little Tim’s arrival. Lucy had been left to fend for herself when in fact she needed as much reassurance as anyone else. I hugged her and told her that I had not stopped loving her just because there was another person in the family to care for. She warmed to her little brother straight away, as if in all those miserable weeks she had been longing to show her true feelings but had not known how. She fetched and carried just as willingly as Robert had done, and thereafter no one could have been more devoted to Tim or more susceptible to his winning ways.
Jane Hawking (Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen)
They are quiet for a long time. 'Do you remember the time you told me you were afraid that you were a series of nasty surprises for me?' he asks him, and Jude nods, slightly. 'You aren’t,' he tells him. 'You aren’t. ‘Being with you is like being in this fantastic landscape,’ he continues, slowly. ‘You think it’s one thing, a forest, and then suddenly it changes and it’s a meadow, or a jungle, or cliffs of ice. And they’re all beautiful, but they’re strange as well, and you don’t have a map, and you don’t understand how you got from one terrain to the next so abruptly, and you don’t know when the next transition will arrive, and you don’t have any of the equipment you need. And so you keep walking through, and trying to adjust as you go, but you don’t really know what you’re doing, and often you make mistakes, bad mistakes. That’s sometimes what it feels like.’ They’re silent. ‘So basically,’ Jude says at last, ‘basically, you’re saying I’m New Zealand.’ It takes him a second to realize Jude is joking, and when he does he begins to laugh, unhingedly, with relief and sorrow, and he turns Jude toward him and kisses him. ‘Yes,’ he says. ‘Yes, you’re New Zealand.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
They are quiet for a long time. “Do you remember the time you told me you were afraid that you were a series of nasty surprises for me?” he asks him, and Jude nods, slightly. “You aren’t,” he tells him. “You aren’t. But being with you is like being in this fantastic landscape,” he continues, slowly. “You think it’s one thing, a forest, and then suddenly it changes, and it’s a meadow, or a jungle, or cliffs of ice. And they’re all beautiful, but they’re strange as well, and you don’t have a map, and you don’t understand how you got from one terrain to the next so abruptly, and you don’t know when the next transition will arrive, and you don’t have any of the equipment you need. And so you keep walking through, and trying to adjust as you go, but you don’t really know what you’re doing, and often you make mistakes, bad mistakes. That’s sometimes what it feels like.” They’re silent. “So basically,” Jude says at last, “basically, you’re saying I’m New Zealand.” It takes him a second to realize Jude is joking, and when he does he begins to laugh, unhingedly, with relief and sorrow, and he turns Jude toward him and kisses him. “Yes,” he says. “Yes, you’re New Zealand.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
With one final flip the quarter flew high into the air and came down on the mattress with a light bounce. It jumped several inches off the bed, high enough for the instructor to catch it in his hand. Swinging around to face me, the instructor looked me in the eye and nodded. He never said a word. Making my bed correctly was not going to be an opportunity for praise. It was expected of me. It was my first task of the day, and doing it right was important. It demonstrated my discipline. It showed my attention to detail, and at the end of the day it would be a reminder that I had done something well, something to be proud of, no matter how small the task. Throughout my life in the Navy, making my bed was the one constant that I could count on every day. As a young SEAL ensign aboard the USS Grayback, a special operation submarine, I was berthed in sick bay, where the beds were stacked four high. The salty old doctor who ran sick bay insisted that I make my rack every morning. He often remarked that if the beds were not made and the room was not clean, how could the sailors expect the best medical care? As I later found out, this sentiment of cleanliness and order applied to every aspect of military life. Thirty years later, the Twin Towers came down in New York City. The Pentagon was struck, and brave Americans died in an airplane over Pennsylvania. At the time of the attacks, I was recuperating in my home from a serious parachute accident. A hospital bed had been wheeled into my government quarters, and I spent most of the day lying on my back, trying to recover. I wanted out of that bed more than anything else. Like every SEAL I longed to be with my fellow warriors in the fight. When I was finally well enough to lift myself unaided from the bed, the first thing I did was pull the sheets up tight, adjust the pillow, and make sure the hospital bed looked presentable to all those who entered my home. It was my way of showing that I had conquered the injury and was moving forward with my life. Within four weeks of 9/11, I was transferred to the White House, where I spent the next two years in the newly formed Office of Combatting Terrorism. By October 2003, I was in Iraq at our makeshift headquarters on the Baghdad airfield. For the first few months we slept on Army cots. Nevertheless, I would wake every morning, roll up my sleeping bag, place the pillow at the head of the cot, and get ready for the day.
William H. McRaven (Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World)
Blocks of flats could change everything, thought Mma Ramotswe. They were designed for people, but people were not necessarily designed for them. These flats at the edges of the Village, though, were made more human by the washing that was hung out to dry from their balconies; by the children who congregated in their doorways, or played with skipping ropes and dogs on their pathways; by the music that the residents listened to, melodies that drifted out of the open windows and throbbed with life. All of this made it harder for large new buildings to deaden the human spirit. It was like the bush: you could clear it and build something where once there had been nothing but trees and grass and termite mounds, but if you turned your back for a moment, Africa would begin to reclaim what had always been hers. The grass would encroach, its seeds carried by the wind; birds would drop the seeds of saplings that would then send tiny shoots up out of the ground; the termites would marshal their exploratory troops to begin rebuilding their own intricate cities of mud in the very places they had claimed once before. And sooner or later the bush would have covered all your efforts and it would be as it was before, the wound on nature completely healed.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #14))
She went alone to the vast room where the second-hand clothes were kept. Later, she thought it the happiest hour of her life. There were silks and brocades by the yard, and pile upon pile of hats, wigs, cloaks, and masks. After two years in wretched rags, even the linen shifts felt as soft as thistledown. She whirled from one delight to another- clutching lace, burying her nose in furs, holding flashy paste jewels next to her new-bleached skin. Catching her reflected eye in the mirror she laughed out loud, her red mouth wide and knowing. She put aside a few carefully-chosen costumes and elbow-length mittens. Then, finally, she chose a few costumes of a particular nature: shiny satin, ebony black. Lastly, she gathered the garments she would wear for her journey: a grass-green woolen gown and a lace cap and apron. The effect was somewhat grand for a domestic servant. Her auburn locks were pinned tightly, her figure flattered by a frilled muslin kerchief, crisscrossed in an 'X' over her breast. Pulling out a few auburn tendrils from her cap, she adjusted her bodice to show a little more flesh. Then she grew very still, and smiled slowly into the empty space before her. "How do you do, sir," she said with a graceful curtsy. "Now, what pretty dish might you care for tonight?
Martine Bailey (A Taste for Nightshade)
We kept our fingers crossed and eagerly scanned the newspapers and magazines for news of an engagement between Diana and Charles. Then, late in the morning of February 24, I answered the telephone in my bedroom and heard the voice of a friend in London… “Mary, it’s Dena. Your girl made it!” I knew she meant that Diana’s engagement to Prince Charles had just been announced. I gave a big shout and literally jumped for joy, banging my head on the low dormer ceiling. I couldn’t have been prouder of Diana if I’d been her mother. I was so happy for her I could have burst! I knew how desperately she had wished for this outcome. The past fall, she had told me that she would “simply die” if the romance didn’t work out. How wonderful that her dream had come true. Almost immediately, a mischievous picture popped into my mind of the future and royal Diana, scheduled for an official day of handshaking, ribbon cutting, or tree planting and wishing she could have a friend call to cancel those tedious engagements. As Princess of Wales, she would not be able to cancel on short notice, if at all, as she had when she was baby-sitting for me. I wondered how the lively, spontaneous, and very young Diana would adjust to her official duties. I felt a bit sorry for her as I dimly realized how rigid and structured her new life might be.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
Grabbing my hair and pulling it to the point my skull throbs, I rock back and forth while insanity threatens to destroy my mind completely. Father finally did what Lachlan started. Destroyed my spirit. The angel is gone. The monster has come and killed her. Lachlan Sipping his whiskey, Shon gazes with a bored expression at the one-way mirror as Arson lights the match, grazing the skin of his victim with it as the man convulses in fear. “Show off,” he mutters, and on instinct, I slap the back of his head. He rubs it, spilling the drink. “The fuck? We are wasting time, Lachlan. Tell him to speed up. You know if you let him, he can play for hours.” All in good time, we don’t need just a name. He is saving him for a different kind of information that we write down as Sociopath types furiously on his computer, searching for the location and everything else using FBI databases. “Bingo!” Sociopath mutters, picking up the laptop and showing the screen to me. “It’s seven hours away from New York, in a deserted location in the woods. The land belongs to some guy who is presumed dead and the man accrued the right to build shelters for abused women. They actually live there as a place of new hope or something.” Indeed, the center is advertised as such and has a bunch of stupid reviews about it. Even the approval of a social worker, but then it doesn’t surprise me. Pastor knows how to be convincing. “Kids,” I mutter, fisting my hands. “Most of them probably have kids. He continues to do his fucked-up shit.” And all these years, he has been under my radar. I throw the chair and it bounces off the wall, but no one says anything as they feel the same. “Shon, order a plane. Jaxon—” “Yeah, my brothers will be there with us. But listen, the FBI—” he starts, and I nod. He takes a beat and quickly sends a message to someone on his phone while I bark into the microphone. “Arson, enough with the bullshit. Kill him already.” He is of no use to us anyway. Arson looks at the wall and shrugs. Then pours gas on his victim and lights up the match simultaneously, stepping aside as the man screams and thrashes on the chair, and the smell of burning flesh can be sensed even here. Arson jogs to a hose, splashing water over him. The room is designed security wise for this kind of torture, since fire is one of the first things I taught. After all, I’d learned the hard way how to fight with it. “On the plane, we can adjust the plan. Let’s get moving.” They spring into action as I go to my room to get a specific folder to give to Levi before I go, when Sociopath’s hand stops me, bumping my shoulder. “Is this a suicide mission for you?” he asks, and I smile, although it lacks any humor. My friend knows everything. Instead of answering his question, I grip his shoulder tight, and confide, “Valencia is entrusted to you.” We both know that if I want to destroy Pastor, I have to die with him. This revenge has been twenty-three years in the making, and I never envisioned a different future. This path always leads to death one way or another, and the only reason I valued my life was because I had to kill him. Valencia will be forever free from the evils that destroyed her life. I’ll make sure of it. Once upon a time, there was an angel. Who made the monster’s heart bleed.
V.F. Mason (Lachlan's Protégé (Dark Protégés #1))
Sometimes a woman would tell me that the feeling gets so strong she runs out of the house and walks through the streets. Or she stays inside her house and cries. Or her children tell her a joke, and she doesn’t laugh because she doesn’t hear it. I talked to women who had spent years on the analyst’s couch, working out their “adjustment to the feminine role,” their blocks to “fulfillment as a wife and mother.” But the desperate tone in these women’s voices, and the look in their eyes, was the same as the tone and the look of other women, who were sure they had no problem, even though they did have a strange feeling of desperation. A mother of four who left college at nineteen to get married told me: I’ve tried everything women are supposed to do—hobbies, gardening, pick-ling, canning, being very social with my neighbors, joining committees, run-ning PTA teas. I can do it all, and I like it, but it doesn’t leave you anything to think about—any feeling of who you are. I never had any career ambitions. All I wanted was to get married and have four children. I love the kids and Bob and my home. There’s no problem you can even put a name to. But I’m desperate. I begin to feel I have no personality. I’m a server of food and a putter-on of pants and a bedmaker, somebody who can be called on when you want something. But who am I? A twenty-three-year-old mother in blue jeans said: I ask myself why I’m so dissatisfied. I’ve got my health, fine children, a lovely new home, enough money. My husband has a real future as an electron-ics engineer. He doesn’t have any of these feelings. He says maybe I need a vacation, let’s go to New York for a weekend. But that isn’t it. I always had this idea we should do everything together. I can’t sit down and read a book alone. If the children are napping and I have one hour to myself I just walk through the house waiting for them to wake up. I don’t make a move until I know where the rest of the crowd is going. It’s as if ever since you were a little girl, there’s always been somebody or something that will take care of your life: your parents, or college, or falling in love, or having a child, or moving to a new house. Then you wake up one morning and there’s nothing to look forward to.
Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique)
How have individuals been affected by the technological advances of recent years? Here is the answer to this question given by a philosopher-psychiatrist, Dr Erich Fromm: ‘Our contemporary Western society, in spite of its material, intellectual and political progress, is increasingly less conducive to mental health, and tends to undermine the inner security, happiness, reason and the capacity for love in the individual; it tends to turn him into an automaton who pays for his human failure with increasing mental sickness, and with despair hidden under a frantic drive for work and so-called pleasure.’ Our ‘increasing mental sickness’ may find expression in neurotic symptoms. These symptoms are conspicuous and extremely distressing. But ‘let us beware’, says Dr Fromm, ‘of defining mental hygiene as the prevention of symptoms. Symptoms as such are not our enemy, but our friend; where there are symptoms there is conflict, and conflict always indicates that the forces of life which strive for integration and happiness are still fighting.’ The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. ‘Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.’ They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted, still cherish ‘the illusion of individuality’, but in fact they have been to a great extent de-individualized. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But ‘uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too . . . Man is not made to be an automaton, and if he becomes one, the basis for mental health is destroyed.’ In the course of evolution nature has gone to endless trouble to see that every individual is unlike every other individual. We reproduce our kind by bringing the father’s genes into contact with the mother’s. These hereditary factors may be combined in an almost infinite number of ways. Physically and mentally, each one of us is unique. Any culture which, in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual, commits an outrage against man’s biological nature.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
Men are not content with a simple life: they are acquisitive, ambitious, competitive, and jealous; they soon tire of what they have, and pine for what they have not; and they seldom desire anything unless it belongs to others. The result is the encroachment of one group upon the territory of another, the rivalry of groups for the resources of the soil, and then war. Trade and finance develop, and bring new class-divisions. "Any ordinary city is in fact two cities, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich, each at war with the other; and in either division there are smaller ones - you would make a great mistake if you treated them as single states". A mercantile bourgeoisie arises, whose members seek social position through wealth and conspicuous consumption: "they will spend large sums of money on their wives". These changes in the distribution of wealth produce political changes: as the wealth of the merchant over-reaches that of the land-owner, aristocracy gives way to a plutocratic oligarchy - wealthy traders and bankers rule the state. Then statesmanship, which is the coordination of social forces and the adjustment of policy to growth, is replaced by politics, which is the strategy of parts and the lust of the spoils of office. Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principle. Aristocracy ruins itself by limiting too narrowly the circle within which power is confined; oligarchy ruins itself by the incautious scramble for immediate wealth. In rather case the end is revolution. When revolution comes it may seem to arise from little causes and petty whims, but though it may spring from slight occasions it is the precipitate result of grave and accumulated wrongs; when a body is weakened by neglected ills, the merest exposure may bring serious disease. Then democracy comes: the poor overcome their opponents, slaughtering some and banishing the rest; and give to the people an equal share of freedom and power. But even democracy ruins itself by excess – of democracy. Its basic principle is the equal right of all to hold office and determine public policy. This is at first glance a delightful arrangement; it becomes disastrous because the people are not properly equipped by education to select the best rulers and the wisest courses. As to the people they have no understanding, and only repeat what their rulers are pleased to tell them; to get a doctrine accepted or rejected it is only necessary to have it praised or ridiculed in a popular play (a hit, no doubt, at Aristophanes, whose comedies attacked almost every new idea). Mob-rule is a rough sea for the ship of state to ride; every wind of oratory stirs up the waters and deflects the course. The upshot of such a democracy is tyranny or autocracy; the crowd so loves flattery, it is so “hungry for honey” that at last the wiliest and most unscrupulous flatterer, calling himself the “protected of the people” rises to supreme power. (Consider the history of Rome). The more Plato thinks of it, the more astounded he is at the folly of leaving to mob caprice and gullibility the selection of political officials – not to speak of leaving it to those shady and wealth-serving strategists who pull the oligarchic wires behind the democratic stage. Plato complains that whereas in simpler matters – like shoe-making – we think only a specially-trained person will server our purpose, in politics we presume that every one who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state.
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers)
I wake up. Immediately I have to figure out who I am. It’s not just the body—opening my eyes and discovering whether the skin on my arm is light or dark, whether my hair is long or short, whether I’m fat or thin, boy or girl, scarred or smooth. The body is the easiest thing to adjust to, if you’re used to waking up in a new one each morning. It’s the life, the context of the body, that can be hard to grasp. Every day I am someone else. I am myself—I know I am myself—but I am also someone else. It has always been like this.
Anonymous
All your decisions discount the Persians themselves, and that is the mistake of your ignorance and your plotting. To you the Persian is a stupid peasant who can't decide his own affairs; an uncultured wretch who will take all manner of deceit and oppression and diplomatic twisting. If you do see any signs, any glimmer of revolt, you blame the Russians and take it to the Security Council. But it isn't the Russians. It's the peasant himself who is revolting. If any of you understood Iran you would know that. Dirty and wretched they may be, opium-ridden and backward and dull, but they are really the people you should fear, not the Russians. It may take time and there may be set-backs, but sooner or later the Persians are going to throw us out and throw out all our corrupt and friendly governments. They don't need any complicated political excuse to revolt, however much you cry Communism. There isn't a simple man, woman or child in Iran who isn't landlord-ridden,m who isn't a slave by the way in which he works, who isn't preyed upon by corrupt officials, who isn't beaten and insulted and robbed by the police and the army. The peasants are impoverished by the tithes they must pay the Khans, and the mechanics are underpaid and underfed and overworked. There isn't an adult in Iran who isn't ridden with some chronic disease, there isn't a child who survives all the ravages of poverty and dirt and sickness. The whole government structure is rotten with bribery and extortion and petty cruelties, and there isn't a modicum of justice in the land. There are no real courts, no political rights, no representative government, no wage laws, no right to organize, no means of adjusting the bad conditions of life except by revolting as the Azerbaijanians and the Kurds are revolting. Thank heavens the Russians have given them a chance to revolt; and damn us for preventing it wherever we can. We will fail anyway, whatever the Security Council decides in New York. You can get the Russians out of Azerbaijan and you can give it back to your merchants and wazirs of Teheran, but after a little while it will all begin again because you cannot stop the Persian from deciding his own affairs. He is not ignorant and stupid to his political situation. He is not so wretched and afraid of revolt. He is not even uncultured: in the language he speaks and the use he makes of it there is more natural culture among the peasants of Iran than you can find among the world's diplomats a the Savoy Hotel. He is backward and poor and dirty, but that is largely due to the influence we have had on Iran for a hundred years or more. Now it is too late for us. These people have reached the breaking point and they don't care about the wise men of the House of Commons and the clever men of the Security Council. These people are desperate, and for our reckless methods of holding our power and our oil it ought to be a warning. It will all go. The oil, the power, and the last drop of influence. Rather than let us have any of it the Persian will wreck Abadan and the wells and every other sign of our presence and our strength there. They are beginning to hate us and that is beginning a battle which we can't stop, which you can't stop in the Security Council. Unless we are determined to kill every man in the country we will lose. We cannot help but lose.
James Aldridge (The Diplomat)
To my mind the infelicities of which we see so much in life grow out of lack of time and patience to study and adjust our natures to those of others, though we have agreed in the sight of God and man to stand up for one another to the last. Many will not take the pains, they have not enough specific gravity, to balance themselves in their new environment. Indeed, I found a whole philosophy of life in the wooing and the winning of my bicycle.
Frances E. Willard (How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle: Reflections of an Influential 19th Century Woman)
The first instance of slave trading and slave labor developed in the New World involved, racially, not the Negro but the Indian. The Indians rapidly succumbed to the excessive labor demanded of them, the insufficient diet, the white man’s diseases, and their inability to adjust themselves to the new way of life. Accustomed to a life of liberty, their
Eric Williams (Capitalism and Slavery)
Going forward, you must adjust to the new reality, be more self directed, and learn to be productive under the reign of uncertainty, unpredictability, and unstable times.
Jennifer Touma (Moment of Impact: Harness the Explosive Power of Three to Maximize Your Mind, Life, and Business)
Kim was twenty-three, single, on her own, and at a job making $27,000 per year. She had recently started her Total Money Makeover. She was behind on credit cards, not on a budget, and barely making her rent because her spending was out of control. She let her car insurance drop because she “couldn’t afford it.” She did her first budget and two days later was in a car wreck. Since it wasn’t bad, the damage to the other guy’s car was only about $550. As Kim looked at me through panicked tears, that $550 might as well have been $55,000. She hadn’t even started Baby Step One. She was trying to get current, and now she had one more hurdle to clear before she even started. This was a huge emergency. Seven years ago George and Sally were in the same place. They were broke with new babies, and George’s career was sputtering. George and Sally fought and scraped through a Total Money Makeover. Today they are debt-free, even their $85,000 home. They have a $12,000 emergency fund, retirement in Roth IRAs, and even the kids’ college is funded. George has grown personally, his career has blossomed, and he now makes $75,000 per year while Sally stays home with the kids. One day a piece of trash flew out of the back of George’s pickup and hit a car behind him on the interstate. The damage was about $550. I think you can see that George and Sally probably adjusted one month’s budget and paid the repairs, while Kim dealt with her wreck for months. The point is that as you get in better shape, it takes a lot more to rock your world. When the accidents occurred, George’s heart rate didn’t even change, but Kim needed a Valium sandwich to calm down. Those true stories illustrate the fact that as you progress through your Total Money Makeover, the definition of an emergency that is worthy to be covered by the emergency fund changes. As you have better health insurance, disability insurance, more room in your budget, and better cars, you will have fewer things that qualify as emergency-fund emergencies. What used to be a huge, life-altering event will become a mere inconvenience.
Dave Ramsey (The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness)
As Christians, it is so easy to get bogged down with every day life. We find little time to spend in God's presence. Life, and even service for God, becomes a real chore, with the enjoyment seemingly being sucked out of the Christian experience. I remember the words of Andrae Crouch, who once sang, "Take me back to the place where I first received you". Today, is God asking you to get back to the simplicity of the gospel in your life? If you have become so busy with your daily routine, then it's time to make some new adjustments, so that you might spend a little more time discovering God's favour in your life!
Christopher Roberts (365 Days With God: A Daily Devotional)
The waves lapped onto the shore in quiet, relentless ripples. A seagull screeched from somewhere down the shoreline, and another bird replied. She missed home, the comfort of her padded swing, her tall shade trees and scented lilac bushes. If she closed her eyes and blocked out the sound of the waves, she could almost imagine that she was back home in her garden, dozing on her swing under the tall oak— “Hey, Meri!” Jake’s voice shattered the illusion. She craned her head around, following the sound of his voice to an upstairs window. His elbows perched lazily on the ledge. She glared up at him. “Meridith.” “Wanna come take a look?” She’d rather beat the smug grin off his face. “Be right there.” Her bones ached as she climbed the main stairway, a repercussion of her night on the hard floor. Just beyond the guest loft, Jake stood in front of the doorway, making some final adjustment to the latch. It looked different with the area closed off from the hall. The smell of wood and some kind of chemical hung in the air. “What do you think?” He’d already hung the drywall, and the patching was drying, which explained the smell. He swung the door open, showing her the thumb-turn on the other side, then closed the door and demonstrated the lock with the key. Thank you, Vanna. “Are both doors keyed the same?” “Yep.” He threw her the new set of keys, and she caught it clumsily. She’d keep one set in her room and find a hiding spot in the kitchen for the other. He gathered his tools and supplies. Now that he was finished, maybe she could take the kids to the driving range. She could teach them how to tee off. Jake capped the drywall compound, then walked through the new doorway toward the family suite. “Where are you going?” Meridith followed him down the hall. “Patching up the other partition.” “I thought you were done.” “If I get them both patched, they’ll be ready to sand and paint on Monday. You got any more of this green?” “What? I don’t know.” He trotted down the back stairway and unlocked the new door’s thumb-turn. Meridith stopped at the top of the steps, sighing. The sooner he finished, the sooner he’d be out of her life. Out of the house, she corrected herself. That man was not in her life.
Denise Hunter (Driftwood Lane (Nantucket, #4))
Publishing a new book is like adding anything new to your life--marriage, a child, a new job, a new house. It takes time to adjust to a different status.
Annette Wood
The peasant starved, yet centuries of an unequal struggle against his environment had taught him to endure, and even in poverty and starvation he had a certain calm dignity, a feeling of submission to an all-powerful fate. Not so the middle classes, more especially the new petty bourgeoisie, who had no such background. Incompletely developed and frustrated, they did not know where to look, for neither the old nor the new offered them any hope. There was no adjustment to social purpose, no satisfaction of doing something worthwhile, even though suffering came in its train. Custom-ridden, they were born old, yet they were without the old culture. Modern thought attracted them, but they lacked its inner content, the modern social and scientific consciousness. Some tried to cling tenaciously to the dead forms of the past, seeking relief from present misery in them. But there could be no relief there, for, as Tagore has said, we must not nourish in our being what is dead, for the dead is death-dealing. Others made themselves pale and ineffectual copies of the west. So, like derelicts, frantically seeking some foothold of security for body and mind and finding none, they floated aimlessly in the murky waters of Indian life.
Jawaharlal Nehru (The Discovery of India)
One thing is certain: your essence in my life is essential. It has been from the beginning. Even when I was a kid, it was as if I were waiting for you to enter the picture. Starting over in a new country, adjusting to the strange calm that takes hold when you've left everything that defines you, I had the feeling of weightless suspension. It stayed with me until the day I met you.
Louisa Hall
A dark-haired, slightly-built young man in his late twenties stepped out in front of me. He had the air of a guy with a lot of diplomas on his wall and not too much trouble getting them. "I'm Doctor Devine. I'll be helping you get adjusted to your new life in a different world." How
R.N. Wright (Orlo Suggs, Space Dick: The Complete Episodes)