Aim Best Quotes

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My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
Ernest Hemingway
A leader is best When people barely know he exists Of a good leader, who talks little, When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, They will say, “We did this ourselves.
Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)
Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
The aims of life are the best defense against death.
Primo Levi
You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.
Edward O. Wilson
To a hungry person, every bitter food is sweet. When the preferable is not available, the available becomes preferable!
Israelmore Ayivor
Whoever invented marriage was an ingenious tormentor. It is an institution committed to the dulling of the feelings. The whole point of marriage is repetition. The best it aims for is the creation of strong, mutual dependencies.
Susan Sontag (Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963)
The aim of life is no more to control the mind, but to develop it harmoniously; not to achieve salvation here after, but to make the best use of it here below; and not to realise truth, beauty and good only in contemplation, but also in the actual experience of daily life; social progress depends not upon the ennoblement of the few but on the enrichment of democracy; universal brotherhood can be achieved only when there is an equality of opportunity - of opportunity in the social, political and individual life.— from Bhagat Singh's prison diary, p. 124
Bhagat Singh (The Jail Notebook And Other Writings)
We could say that meditation doesn't have a reason or doesn't have a purpose. In this respect it's unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.
Alan W. Watts
The fishing is best where the fewest go and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone is aiming for base hits.
Timothy Ferriss
So, dear reader, we have come to the end of my trials. You have followed me through five volumes of adventures and six months of pain and suffering. By my reckoning, you have read two hundred and ten of my haiku. Like Meg, you surely deserve a reward. What would you accept? I am fresh out of unicorns. However, anytime you take aim and prepare to fire your best shot, anytime you seek to put your emotions into a song or poem, know that I am smiling on you. We are friends now. Call on me. I will be there for you.
Rick Riordan (The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5))
There comes a moment in each of our lives when the control that keeps us sane slips through our fingers. Most of us aim to seize it back. The best way to fight chaos is with chaos.
Emily Thorne
But literature, the best of it, does not aim to be literature. It wants and strives, beyond that artifact part of itself, to be a true part of the composite human record—that is, not words but a reality.
Mary Oliver (Upstream: Selected Essays)
Anytime you take aim and prepare to fire your best shot, anytime you seek to put your emotions into a song, know that I am smiling on you.
Rick Riordan (The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5))
… The most worthy calling in life is that in which man can serve best his fellow man. … The noblest aim in life is to strive to live to make other lives better and happier.
David O. McKay
drinking beer with friends is perhaps the most underestimated of all Reformation insights and essential to ongoing reform; and wasting time with a choice friend or two on a regular basis might be the best investment of time you ever make.
Carl R. Trueman (Fools Rush In Where Monkeys Fear to Tread: Taking Aim at Everyone)
When states are democratically governed according to law, there are no demagogues, and the best citizens are securely in the saddle; but where the laws are not sovereign, there you find demagogues. The people become a monarch... such people, in its role as a monarch, not being controlled by law, aims at sole power and becomes like a master.
Aristotle (Politics)
Except in a very few matches, usually with world-class performers, there is a point in every match (and in some cases it's right at the beginning) when the loser decides he's going to lose. And after that, everything he does will be aimed at providing an explanation of why he will have lost. He may throw himself at the ball (so he will be able to say he's done his best against a superior opponent). He may dispute calls (so he will be able to say he's been robbed). He may swear at himself and throw his racket (so he can say it was apparent all along he wasn't in top form). His energies go not into winning but into producing an explanation, an excuse, a justification for losing.
C. Terry Warner (Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves)
Another one of my favorite posters at Facebook declares in big red letters, “Done is better than perfect.” I have tried to embrace this motto and let go of unattainable standards. Aiming for perfection causes frustration at best and paralysis at worst.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
For the Lord aimed for him to do and not to spend too much time thinking, because his brain it's like a piece of machinery: it won't stand a whole lot of racking. It's best when it all runs along the same, doing the day's work and not no one part used no more than needful.
William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying)
Positive. In other news, Marcie's throwing a Halloween party here at the farmhouse." Patch smiled. "Grey - Millar family drama?" "The theme is famous couples from history. Could she be any less original? Worse, she's roped my mom into this. They went shopping for decorations today. For three whole hours. It's like they're suddenly best friends." I picked up another apple slice and made a face at it. "Marcie is ruining everything. I wanted Scott to go with Vee, but Marcie already convinced him to go with her." Patch's smile widened. I aimed my best sulky look at him. "This isn't funny. Marcie is destroying my life. Whose side are you on anyway?" Patch raised his hands in surrender. "I'm staying out of this.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
You need to come with us right now," one of the queen's guards said. "If you resist, we'll take you by force." "Leave him alone!" I yelled, looking from face to face. That angry darkness exploded within me. How could they still not believe? Why were they still coming after him? "He hasn't done anything! Why can't you guys accept that he's really a dhampir now?" The man who'd spoken arched an eyebrow. "I wasn't talking to him." "You're...you're here for me?" I asked. I tried to think of any new spectacles I might have caused recently. I considered the crazy idea that the queen had found out I'd spent the night with Adrian and was pissed off about it. That was hardly enough to send the palace guard for me, though...or was it? Had I really gone too far with my antics? "What for?" demanded Dimitri. That tall, wonderful bod of his—the one that could be so sensual sometimes—was filled with tension and menace now. The man kept his gaze on me, ignoring Dimitri. "Don't make me repeat myself: Come with us quietly, or we will make you." The glimmer of handcuffs showed in his hands. My eyes went wide. "That's crazy! I'm not going anywhere until you tel me how the hell this—" That was the point at which they apparently decided I wasn't coming quietly. Two of the royal guardians lunged for me, and even though we technically worked for the same side, my instincts kicked in. I didn't understand anything here except that I would not be dragged away like some kind of master criminal. I shoved the chair I'd been sitting in earlier at the one of the guardians and aimed a punch at the other. It was a sloppy throw, made worse because he was taller than me. That height difference allowed me to dodge his next grab, and when I kicked hard at his legs, a grunt told me I'd hit home. [...] Meanwhile, other guardians were joining the fray. Although I got a couple of good punches in, I knew the numbers were too overwhelming. One guardian caught hold of my arm and began trying to put the cuffs on me. He stopped when another set of hands grabbed me from the other side and jerked me away. Dimitri. "Don't touch her," he growled. There was a note in his voice that would have scared me if it had been directed toward me. He shoved me behind him, putting his body protectively in front of mine with my back to the table. Guardians came at us from all directions, and Dimitri began dispatching them with the same deadly grace that had once made people call him a god. [...] The queen's guards might have been the best of the best, but Dimitri...well, my former lover and instructor was in a category all his own. His fighting skills were beyond anyone else's, and he was using them all in defense me. "Stay back," he ordered me. "They aren't laying a hand on you.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
Where am I?" Magnus croaked. "Nazca." "Oh, so we went on a little trip." "You broke into a man's house," Catarina said. "You stole a carpet and enchanted it to fly. Then you sped off into the night air. We pursued you on foot." "Ah," said Magnus. "You were shouting some things." "What things?" "I prefer not to repeat them," Catarina said. "I also prefer not to remember the time we spent in the desert. It is a mammoth desert, Magnus. Ordinary deserts are quite large. Mammoth deserts are so called because they are larger than ordinary deserts." "Thank you for that interesting and enlightening information," Magnus croaked. "You told us to leave you in the desert, because you planned to start a new life as a cactus," Catarina said, her voice flat. "Then you conjured up tiny needles and threw them at us. With pinpoint accuracy." "Well," he said with dignity. "Considering my highly intoxicated state, you must have been impressed with my aim." "'Impressed' is not the word to use to describe how I felt last night, Magnus." "I thank you for stopping me there," Magnus said. "It was for the best. You are a true friend. No harm done. Let's say no more about it. Could you possibly fetch me - " "Oh, we couldn't stop you," Catarina interrupted. "We tried, but you giggled, leaped onto the carpet, and flew away again. You kept saying that you wanted to go to Moquegua." "What did I do in Moquegua?" "You never got there," Catarina said. "But you were flying about and yelling and trying to, ahem, write messages for us with your carpet in the sky." "We then stopped for a meal," Catarina said. "You were most insistent that we try a local specialty that you called cuy. We actually had a very pleasant meal, even though you were still very drunk." "I'm sure I must have been sobering up at that point," Magnus argued. "Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate." "I'm a very open-minded sort of fellow!" "Ragnor is not," Catarina said. "When he found out that you were feeding us guinea pigs, he hit you over the head with your plate. It broke." "So ended our love," Magnus said. "Ah, well. It would never have worked between me and the plate anyway. I'm sure the food did me good, Catarina, and you were very good to feed me and put me to bed - " Catarina shook her head."You fell down on the floor. Honestly, we thought it best to leave you sleeping on the ground. We thought you would remain there for some time, but we took our eyes off you for one minute, and then you scuttled off. Ragnor claims he saw you making for the carpet, crawling like a huge demented crab.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
If I want to be the best, I have to take risks others would avoid, always optimizing the learning potential of the moment and turning adversity to my advantage. That said, there are times when the body needs to heal, but those are ripe opportunities to deepen the mental, technical, internal side of my game. When aiming for the top, your path requires an engaged, searching mind. You have to make obstacles spur you to creative new angles in the learning process. Let setbacks deepen your resolve. You should always come off an injury or a loss better than when you went down.
Josh Waitzkin (The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence)
The ultimate good of the gospel is seeing and savoring the beauty and value of God. God’s wrath and our sin obstruct that vision and that pleasure. You can’t see and savor God as supremely satisfying while you are full of rebellion against Him and He is full of wrath against you. The removal of this wrath and this rebellion is what the gospel is for. The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savoring it as our highest treasure. “Behold Your God!” is the most gracious command and the best gift of the gospel. If we do not see Him and savor Him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel.
John Piper (God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself)
If God had wanted somebody with St. Francis's consistently winning personality for the job in the New Testament, he'd've picked him, you can be sure. As it was, he picked the best, the smartest, the most loving, the least sentimental the most unimitative master he could possibly have picked. And when you miss seeing that, I swear to you, you're missing the whole point of the Jesus Prayer. The Jesus Prayer has one aim, and one aim only. To endow the person who says it with Christ-consciousness. Not to set up some little cozy, holier-than-thou trysting place with some sticky, adorable divine personage who'll take you in his arms and relieve you of all your duties and make all your nasty weltschmerzen and Professor Tuppers go away and never come back. And by God, if you have intelligence enough to see that—and you do—and yet you refuse to see it, then you're misusing the prayer, you're using it to ask for a world full of dolls and saints and no Professor Tuppers.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
I do my best to simplify and refine, to be logical and harmonious. But I also try to keep an open mind, to listen to my intuition and allow for the unexpected, the coincidental, even the quirky to enter into my work. Ultimately, my aim is to entertain, and sometimes to enlighten, the child who still lives inside of me. This is always where I begin. And just as in my boyhood, making pictures is how I express my truest feelings.
Eric Carle
To accomplish the best you can, first aim for the best you can't.
Moffat Machingura
Aim for something Rosie, I know you don’t want to hear it, but it will help. Aim for what you want and the year will all make sense. Go to Boston if that will make you happy. Study hotel management like you’ve always wanted. You’re only young Rosie, and I know that you absolutely hate to hear that but it’s true. What seems tragic now won’t even be an issue in a few love, rosie 29 years time. You’re only 17. You and Alex have the rest of your lives to catch up together . . . After all, soul mates always end up together. Silly Bethany won’t even be remembered in a few years time. Ex-girlfriends are easily forgotten. Best friends stay with you forever.
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the "brain" of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you're with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion empty of all perception, an astonishing farce of misperception. And yet what are we to do about this terribly significant business of "other people," which gets bled of the significance we think it has and takes on instead a significance that is ludicrous, so ill-equipped are we all to envision one another's interior workings and invisible aims? Is everyone to go off and lock the door and sit secluded like the lonely writers do, in a soundproof cell, summoning people out of words and then proposing that these word people are closer to the real thing than the real people that we mangle with our ignorance every day? The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that--well, lucky you.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral (The American Trilogy, #1))
The price a world language must be prepared to pay is submission to many different kinds of use. The African writer should aim to use English in a way that brings out his message best without altering the language to the extent that its value as a medium of international exchange will be lost. He should aim at fashioning out an English which is at once universal and able to carry his peculiar experience.
Chinua Achebe (Morning Yet on Creation Day: Essays)
I have been accused of a habit of changing my opinions. I am not myself in any degree ashamed of having changed my opinions. What physicist who was already active in 1900 would dream of boasting that his opinions had not changed during the last half century? In science men change their opinions when new knowledge becomes available; but philosophy in the minds of many is assimilated rather to theology than to science. The kind of philosophy that I value and have endeavoured to pursue is scientific, in the sense that there is some definite knowledge to be obtained and that new discoveries can make the admission of former error inevitable to any candid mind. For what I have said, whether early or late, I do not claim the kind of truth which theologians claim for their creeds. I claim only, at best, that the opinion expressed was a sensible one to hold at the time when it was expressed. I should be much surprised if subsequent research did not show that it needed to be modified. I hope, therefore, that whoever uses this dictionary will not suppose the remarks which it quotes to be intended as pontifical pronouncements, but only as the best I could do at the time towards the promotion of clear and accurate thinking. Clarity, above all, has been my aim.
Bertrand Russell (Dictionary of Mind, Matter and Morals)
The best and most authentic reaction against feminism and against every other female aberration should not be aimed at women as such, but at men instead. It should not be expected of women that they return to what they really are and thus reestablish the necessary inner and outer conditions for a reintegration of a superior race, when men themselves retain only the semblance of true virility.
Julius Evola (Revolt Against the Modern World)
And our conservationist-environmentalist-moral outrage is often (in its frustration) aimed at the logger or the rancher, when the real power is in the hands of people who make unimaginably larger sums of money, people impeccably groomed, excellently educated at the best universities - male and female alike - eating fine foods and reading classy literature, while orchestrating the investment and legislation that ruin the world.
Gary Snyder (The Practice of the Wild: With a New Preface by the Author)
My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that 'achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.
Helen Hayes
The world needs great inspires, who will encourage every living soul to reach their highest potential. You can be one.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
May we each have the courage to move past our programming, and the example that was set for us. Let's dig deep and do our personal work so that we can be the best version of ourselves for these little earth warriors. It's time to redefine parenting! Our aim is not to be perfect- Our aim is only to create a childhood that our children don't have to recover from.
Brooke Hampton
We all would like to know more and, at the same time, to receive less information. In fact, the problem of a worker in today's knowledge industry is not the scarcity of information but its excess. The same holds for professionals: just think of a physician or an executive, constantly bombarded by information that is at best irrelevant. In order to learn anything we need time. And to make time we must use information filters allowing us to ignore most of the information aimed at us. We must ignore much to learn a little.
Mario Bunge (Philosophy in Crisis: The Need for Reconstruction)
Think of something useless, and that's probably what I'll be doing. Listen, Virginia, we need to love the useless. We need to raise pigeons without a thought of eating them, plant rose bushes without expecting to pick roses, write without aiming at publication. We need to do things without expecting benefits in return. The shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, but it's in the curving paths that the best things are found. . . . We must love the useless, because there is beauty in uselessness.
Lygia Fagundes Telles (Ciranda de Pedra)
The allotted function of art is not, as is often assumed, to put across ideas, to propagate thoughts, to serve as example. The aim of art is to prepare a person for death, to plough and harrow his soul, rendering it capable of turning to good. Touched by a masterpiece, a person begins to hear in himself that same call of truth which prompted the artist to his creative act. When a link is established between the work and its beholder, the latter experiences a sublime, purging trauma. Within that aura which unites masterpieces and audience, the best sides of our souls are made known, and we long for them to be freed. In those moments we recognize and discover ourselves, the unfathomable depths of our own potential, and the furthest reaches of our emotions.
Andrei Tarkovsky (Sculpting in Time)
I’m always intrigued by my nonsensical concern with picking out a bunch of things that look exactly alike the ones that somehow I feel are the best and belong to me. It’s that same crazy urge or superstition, or whatever it is, that makes me open a Bible in a hotel room, hoping for some great happenstance spiritual word of advice. More often than not, I hit a long passage of begats and begots, which contain little inspiration other than the fact that procreation is the highest aim of life.
Vincent Price (The Book of Joe)
The god of Delos, proud in victory, Saw Cupid draw his bow's taut arc, and said: 'Mischievous boy, what are a brave man's arms To you? That gear becomes my shoulders best. My aim is sure; I wound my enemies, I wound wild beasts; my countless arrows slew But now the bloated Python, whose vast coils Across so many acres spread their blight. You and your loves! You have your torch to light them!Let that content you; never claim my fame!' And Venus' son replied: 'Your bow, Apollo, May vanquish all, but mine shall vanquish you. As every creature yields to power divine, So likewise shall your glory yield to mine.
Ovid (Metamorphoses)
ABREAST He who aims to keep abreast is for ever second best.
Piet Hein
...The Presidential election has given me less anxiety than I myself could have imagined. The next administration will be a troublesome one, to whomsoever it falls, and our John has been too much worn to contend much longer with conflicting factions. I call him our John, because, when you were at the Cul de sac at Paris, he appeared to me to be almost as much your boy as mine. ...As to the decision of your author, though I wish to see the book {Flourens’s Experiments on the functions of the nervous system in vertebrated animals}, I look upon it as a mere game at push-pin. Incision-knives will never discover the distinction between matter and spirit, or whether there is any or not. That there is an active principle of power in the universe, is apparent; but in what substance that active principle resides, is past our investigation. The faculties of our understanding are not adequate to penetrate the universe. Let us do our duty, which is to do as we would be done by; and that, one would think, could not be difficult, if we honestly aim at it. Your university is a noble employment in your old age, and your ardor for its success does you honor; but I do not approve of your sending to Europe for tutors and professors. I do believe there are sufficient scholars in America, to fill your professorships and tutorships with more active ingenuity and independent minds than you can bring from Europe. The Europeans are all deeply tainted with prejudices, both ecclesiastical and temporal, which they can never get rid of. They are all infected with episcopal and presbyterian creeds, and confessions of faith. They all believe that great Principle which has produced this boundless universe, Newton’s universe and Herschel’s universe, came down to this little ball, to be spit upon by Jews. And until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world. I salute your fireside with best wishes and best affections for their health, wealth and prosperity. {Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 22 January, 1825}
John Adams (The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams)
I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is "needed" before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' "interests," I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.
Barry M. Goldwater
There are two missions we are obligated to carry out during our life journey. The first, is to seek Truth throughout our lifetime. The second, is simply to be good. Engrave it in your mind that life is just one big board game where you have to make it from start to finish by being good. That is all you have to do. The hardest part, is dealing with all the obstacles that prevent smooth sailing. The trick is, to always strive to be the right person in all situations – regardless of personal cost to you. Your aim is to make sure the right book on your shoulder weighs more that the bad book on the left. The scales are real. Regardless of your chosen faith, there is a measurement system to be found in all of the world's religions. After all, does it make sense for all souls, good or bad, to end up in the same place? Of course not. To really secure the very best setting in the afterlife, the vibrations of your good deeds must surpass your death.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
There's no surer way to destroy a man than to force him into a spot where he has to aim at not doing his best, where he has to struggle to do a bad job, day after day.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
I am giving my best in the pursuit of my most cherished dreams.
Lailah Gifty Akita
We all have this perfect little image of who we want to be, but it is unnecessary. Throw the image away. You're already you just be the best version of yourself.
Abhysheq Shukla (The Reflection "Success or Stress"Choose Wisely)
If I think God’s aim is to produce rule-followers, spiritual growth will always be an obligation rather than a desire of my heart.
John Ortberg (The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God's Best Version of You)
The question of this book is simple: What is the best use of my smartphone in the flourishing of my life? To that end, my aim is to avoid both extremes: the utopian optimism of the technophiliac and the dystopian pessimistic of the technophobe.
Tony Reinke (12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You)
To summarize what I have said: Aim for the highest; never enter a bar-room; do not touch liquor, or if at all only at meals; never speculate; never indorse beyond your surplus cash fund; make the firm’s interest yours; break orders always to save owners; concentrate; put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket; expenditure always within revenue; lastly, be not impatient, for, as Emerson says, “no one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourselves.” I congratulate poor young men upon being born to that ancient and honourable degree which renders it necessary that they should devote themselves to hard work. A basketful of bonds is the heaviest basket a young man ever had to carry. He generally gets to staggering under it. We have in this city creditable instances of such young men, who have pressed to the front rank of our best and most useful citizens. These deserve great credit. But the vast majority of the sons of rich men are unable to resist the temptations to which wealth subjects them, and sink to unworthy lives. I would almost as soon leave a young man a curse, as burden him with the almighty dollar. It is not from this class you have rivalry to fear. The partner’s sons will not trouble you much, but look out that some boys poorer, much poorer than yourselves, whose parents cannot afford to give them the advantages of a course in this institute, advantages which should give you a decided lead in the race–look out that such boys do not challenge you at the post and pass you at the grand stand. Look out for the boy who has to plunge into work direct from the common school and who begins by sweeping out the office. He is the probable dark horse that you had better watch.
Andrew Carnegie (The Road To Business Success)
It is so hard for a queer person to become an adult. Deprived of the markers of life's passage, they lolled about in a neverland dreamworld. They didn't get married. They didn't have children. They didn't buy homes or have job-jobs. The best that could be aimed for was an academic placement and a lover who eventually tired of pansexual sport-fucking and settled down with you to raise a rescue animal in a rent-controlled apartment.
Michelle Tea (Black Wave)
Truth is mighty and must prevail, and if any body of men believe that they have discovered a valuable truth, it is not merely their privilege but their duty to disseminate that truth. If they realize, as they quickly must, that this spreading of truth can be done upon a large scale and effectively only by organized effort, they will make use of the press and the platform as the best means to give it wide circulation. Propaganda becomes vicious and reprehensive only when its authors consciously and deliberately disseminate what they know to be lies, or when they aim at effects which they know to be prejudicial to the common good.
Edward L. Bernays (Propaganda)
Believe me, when you're dealing with infectious alien mind parasites, I always find primitive is best." Then, calmly, almost as if it were a recognised form of verbal punctuation, she took aim with the needler and gutted a rat which had dared to stray into the corridor.
Alastair Reynolds (Revelation Space (Revelation Space, #1))
The best social philosophies do not claim any greater objective than that the individual human beings living under such a regime shall have happy individual lives. If there are social philosophies which deny the happiness of the individual life as the final goal and aim of civilization, those philosophies are the product of a sick and unbalanced mind.
Lin Yutang (Lin Yutang: The Importance Of Living)
In an effort to teach myself self-restraint and self-control, I decided that until I completed my engineering degree, I would wear only white saris, refrain from sweets, sleep on a mat and take baths with cold water. I aimed to become self-sufficient; I would be my best friend and my worst enemy. I didn’t know then that such a quote already existed in the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna says, ‘Atma aiva hi atmano bandhu aatma aiva ripu atmanah’.
Sudha Murty (Three Thousand Stitches: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives)
One day, as Sarita tended to the wash, Gemma played in the garden. She was a knight, you see, with a sword fashioned out of wood. Most formidable, she was, though I didn't quite know how formidable. As I sat in my study, I heard screaming from outside. I ran to see what the commotion was. Sarita called to me, wide-eyed with fear, "Oh, Mr. Doyle, look- over there!" The tiger had entered the garden and was making his way toward where our Gemma frolicked with her wooden sword. Beside me, our house servant, Raj, drew his blade so stealthily it seemed to simply appear in his hand by magic. But Sarita stayed his hand. "If you run for him with your life, you will provoke the tiger," she advised. "We must wait."... I must tell you that it was the longest moment of my life. No one dared move. No one dared draw a breath. And all the while, Gemma played on, taking no notice until the great cat was upon her. She stood and faced him. They stared at one another as if each wondered what to make of the other, as if they sensed a kindred spirit. At last, Gemma placed her sword upon the ground. "Dear tiger," she said. "You may pass if you are peaceful." The tiger looked at the sword and back at Gemma, and without a sound, it passed on, dissappearing into the jungle." ... "The tiger had gone. He did not come around a gain. But I was a man possessed. The tiger had come too close, you see. I no longer felt safe. I hired the best tracker in Bombay. We hunted for days, tracking the tiger to the mountains there. We found him taking water from a small watering hole. He looked up but he did not charge. He took no notice of us at all but continued to drink. "Sahib, let us go," the boy said. "This tiger means you no harm." He was right, of course. But we had come all that way. The gun was in my hand. The tiger was before us. I took aim and shot it dead on the spot. I sold the tiger's skin for a fortune to a man in Bombay, and he called me brave for it. But it was not courage that brought me to that; it was fear..."But you," he says, smiling with a mix of sadness and pride, "you faced the tiger and survived." ... "The time has come for me to face my tiger, to look him in the eye and see which of us survives." - Mr. Doyle
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
Never settle. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was to never settle in relationships, friendships, your career, or your dreams. Never accept less than what you think you deserve, and aim for bigger and better (because you will probably get it!). You never want to look back and think, ‘I could have done more.’ You can do more…right now. Stop saying ‘someday.’ Start saying ‘today.
Lauren Conrad
The spiritual dance has no other purpose, no other aim than to elevate humankind beyond self thought, to joy, to bliss, to realization and to peace. The sincere dancer is one of the best workers for universal harmony, and so for universal peace.
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis
That is the most common excuse, and the most foolish of all. Love has never prevented a man from following his dreams. If she truly loves you, she will want the best for you. And anyway, you do not have a woman whom you love; the woman is not yours. What is yours is the energy of love, which you aim at her. You can do that from anywhere.
Paulo Coelho (Warrior of the Light)
That is what the highest criticism really is, the record of one's own soul. It is more fascinating than history, as it is concerned simply with oneself. It is more delightful than philosophy, as its subject is concrete and not abstract, real and not vague. It is the only civilized form of autobiography, as it deals not with events, but with the thoughts of one's life; not with life's physical accidents of deed or circumstance, but with the spiritual moods and imaginative passions of the mind...The best that one can say of most modern creative art is that it is just a little less vulgar than reality, and so the critic, with his fine sense of distinction and sure instinct of delicate refinement, will prefer to look into the silver mirror or through the woven veil, and will turn his eyes away from the chaos and clamor of actual existence, though the mirror be tarnished and the veil be torn. His sole aim is to chronicle his own impressions. It is for him that pictures are painted, books written, and marble hewn into form.
Oscar Wilde (The Critic as Artist)
You frequently state, and in your letter you imply, that I have developed a completely one-sided outlook and look at everything in terms of science. Obviously my method of thought and reasoning is influenced by a scientific training – if that were not so my scientific training will have been a waste and a failure. But you look at science (or at least talk of it) as some sort of demoralizing invention of man, something apart from real life, and which must be cautiously guarded and kept separate from everyday existence. But science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated. Science, for me, gives a partial explanation of life. In so far as it goes, it is based on fact, experience and experiment. Your theories are those which you and many other people find easiest and pleasantest to believe, but so far as I can see, they have no foundation other than they leaf to a pleasanter view of life (and an exaggerated idea of our own importance)... I agree that faith is essential to success in life (success of any sort) but I do not accept your definition of faith, i.e. belief in life after death. In my view, all that is necessary for faith is the belief that by doing our best we shall come nearer to success and that success in our aims (the improvement of the lot of mankind, present and future) is worth attaining. Anyone able to believe in all that religion implies obviously must have such faith, but I maintain that faith in this world is perfectly possible without faith in another world… It has just occurred to me that you may raise the question of the creator. A creator of what? ... I see no reason to believe that a creator of protoplasm or primeval matter, if such there be, has any reason to be interested in our significant race in a tiny corner of the universe, and still less in us, as still more significant individuals. Again, I see no reason why the belief that we are insignificant or fortuitous should lessen our faith – as I have defined it.
Rosalind Franklin
Bourdieu's interpretation was that tastes were serving as strategic tools. While working-class tastes seemed mainly a default (serving at best to express group belongingness and solidarity), for everyone else taste was not only a product of economic and educational background but, as it developed through life, a force mobilized as part of their quest for social status (or what Bourdieu called symbolic power). What we have agreed to call tastes, he said, is an array of symbolic associations we use to set ourselves apart from those whose social ranking is beneath us, and to take aim at the status we think we deserve. Taste is a means of distinguishing ourselves from others, the pursuit of distinction. And its end product is to perpetuate and reproduce the class structure.
Carl Wilson (Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste)
The highest aim and the meaning even of human life is to strive to do your best for the wellbeing of your neighbour, which is only possible by renouncing your own self-interest.
G.I. Gurdjieff
Everything’s focused on the next step, and before they know it, they’ve spent all their best years always aiming for the future and never really enjoying the present.
Maria Murnane (Katwalk)
Just as happiness is best experienced by not aiming for it directly, profits are best achieved by not making them the primary goal of the business.
John E. Mackey (Conscious Capitalism, With a New Preface by the Authors: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business)
If you don't have the ambition to be the very best at what you do, then what's the point? If you aim for greatness but keep missing -- fine. At least you had the guts to aim. There's honour in failing that way. But there's nothing honourable about settling for mediocrity.
Benjamin Wood (The Ecliptic)
Poetic Terrorism WEIRD DANCING IN ALL-NIGHT computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemical mss. ... Bolt up brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private) where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc. Go naked for a sign. Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty. Graffiti-art loaned some grace to ugly subways & rigid public monuments--PT-art can also be created for public places: poems scrawled in courthouse lavatories, small fetishes abandoned in parks & restaurants, Xerox-art under windshield-wipers of parked cars, Big Character Slogans pasted on playground walls, anonymous letters mailed to random or chosen recipients (mail fraud), pirate radio transmissions, wet cement... The audience reaction or aesthetic-shock produced by PT ought to be at least as strong as the emotion of terror-- powerful disgust, sexual arousal, superstitious awe, sudden intuitive breakthrough, dada-esque angst--no matter whether the PT is aimed at one person or many, no matter whether it is "signed" or anonymous, if it does not change someone's life (aside from the artist) it fails. PT is an act in a Theater of Cruelty which has no stage, no rows of seats, no tickets & no walls. In order to work at all, PT must categorically be divorced from all conventional structures for art consumption (galleries, publications, media). Even the guerilla Situationist tactics of street theater are perhaps too well known & expected now. An exquisite seduction carried out not only in the cause of mutual satisfaction but also as a conscious act in a deliberately beautiful life--may be the ultimate PT. The PTerrorist behaves like a confidence-trickster whose aim is not money but CHANGE. Don't do PT for other artists, do it for people who will not realize (at least for a few moments) that what you have done is art. Avoid recognizable art-categories, avoid politics, don't stick around to argue, don't be sentimental; be ruthless, take risks, vandalize only what must be defaced, do something children will remember all their lives--but don't be spontaneous unless the PT Muse has possessed you. Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary. The best PT is against the law, but don't get caught. Art as crime; crime as art.
Hakim Bey (TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone (New Autonomy))
Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued. . . . Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.” —Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
The difference between design and research seems to be a question of new versus good. Design doesn't have to be new, but it has to be good. Research doesn't have to be good, but it has to be new. I think these two paths converge at the top: the best design surpasses its predecessors by using new ideas, and the best research solves problems that are not only new, but worth solving. So ultimately design and research are aiming for the same destination, just approaching it from different directions.
Paul Graham (Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age)
The best way to check what you want is to first imagine that you have nothing and then check if the thing you want really matters to you. Your priorities would change; your wishes would change for sure.
Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma (10 Golden Steps of Life)
The written word is an attempt at completeness when there is no one impatiently awaiting you in a dimly lit bedroom--awaiting your tales of the day, as the healing hands of someone who knew turn to you and touch you, and you lose yourself so completely in another that you are momentarily delivered from yourself. Whispering across the pillow comes a kind voice that might tell you how to get out of certain difficulties, from someone who might mercifully detach you from your complications. When there is no matching of lives, and we live on a strict diet of the self, the most intimate bond can be with the words that we write: Oh often have I washed and dressed And what's to show for all my pain? Let me lie abed and rest: Ten thousand times I've done my best And all's to do again. I ask myself if there is an irresponsible aspect in relaying thoughts of pain as inspiration, and I wonder whether Housman actually infected the sensitives further, and pulled them back into additional darkness. Surely it is true that everything in the imagination seems worse then it actually is--especially when one is alone and horizontal (in bed, as in the coffin). Housman was always alone--thinking himself to death, with no matronly wife to signal to the watching world that Alfred Edward was quite alright--for isn't that partly the aim of scoring a partner: to trumpet the mental all-clear to a world where how things seem is far more important than how things are? Now snugly in eternity, Housman still occupies my mind. His best moments were in Art, and not in the cut and thrust of human relationships. Yet he said more about human relationships than those who manage to feast on them. You see you can't have it both ways
Morrissey (Autobiography)
I cannot believe that our factory system is the best mode by which men may get clothing. The condition of the operatives is becoming every day more like that of the English; and it cannot be wondered at, since, as far as I have heard or observed, the principal object is, not that mankind may be well and honestly clad, but, unquestionably, that corporations may be enriched. In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
It is said that there are four kinds of horses: excellent ones, good ones, poor ones, and bad ones. The best horse will run slow and fast, right and left, at the driver’s will, before it sees the shadow of the whip; the second best will run as well as the first one does, just before the whip reaches its skin; the third one will run when it feels pain on its body; the fourth will run after the pain penetrates to the marrow of its bones. You can imagine how difficult it is for the fourth one to learn how to run! When we hear this story, almost all of us want to be the best horse. If it is impossible to be the best one, we want to be the second best. That is, I think, the usual understanding of this story, and of Zen. You may think that when you sit in zazen you will find out whether you are one of the best horses or one of the worst ones. Here, however, there is a misunderstanding of Zen. If you think the aim of Zen practice is to train you to become one of the best horses, you will have a big problem. This is not the right understanding. If you practice Zen in the right way it does not matter whether you are the best horse or the worst one. When you consider the mercy of Buddha, how do you think Buddha will feel about the four kinds of horses? He will have more sympathy for the worst one than for the best one. When you are determined to practice zazen with the great mind of Buddha, you will find the worst horse is the most valuable one. In your very imperfections you will find the basis for your firm, way-seeking mind. Those who can sit perfectly physically usually take more time to obtain the true way of Zen, the actual feeling of Zen, the marrow of Zen. But those who find great difficulties in practicing Zen will find more meaning in it. So I think that sometimes the best horse may be the worst horse, and the worst horse can be the best one. If you study calligraphy you will find that those who are not so clever usually become the best calligraphers. Those who are very clever with their hands often encounter great difficulty after they have reached a certain stage. This is also true in art and in Zen. It is true in life. So when we talk about Zen we cannot say, 'He is good,' or 'He is bad,' in the ordinary sense of the words. The posture taken in zazen is not the same for each of us. For some it may be impossible to take the cross-legged posture. But even though you cannot take the right posture, when you arouse your real, way-seeking mind, you can practice Zen in its true sense. Actually it is easier for those who have difficulties in sitting to arouse the true way-seeking mind that for those who can sit easily.
Shunryu Suzuki
If you aim to be the best then it's essential to evolve constantly, learn from past mistakes, look for new opportunities and have the flexibility to implement improved processes and solutions along the way.
Mark Gallagher
The solution which I am urging is to eradicate the fatal disconnection of subjects which kills the vitality of our modern curriculum. There is only one subject-matter for education, and that is LIfe in all its manifestations. Instead of this single unity, we offer children--Algebra, from which nothing follows; Geometry, from which nothing follows; Science, from which nothing follows; History, from which nothing follows; a Couple of Languages, never mastered; and lastly, most dreary of all, Literature, represented by plays of Shakespeare, with philological notes and short analyses of plot and character to be in substance committed to memory. Can such a list be said to represent Life, as it is known in the midst of living it? The best that can be said of it is, that it is a rapid table of contents which a deity might run over in his mind while he was thinking of creating a world, and has not yet determined how to put it together
Alfred North Whitehead (The Aims of Education)
all the evidence from ancient Rome suggests that slavery as an institution was taken for granted, even by slaves. If they had a clearly formulated aim, the best guess is that Spartacus and his fellow escapees wanted to return to their various homes – in Spartacus’ case probably Thrace in northern Greece; for others, Gaul. One thing is certain, though: they managed to hold out against Roman forces for an embarrassingly long time.
Mary Beard (SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome)
The many ... whom one chooses to call the people, are indeed a collection, but only as a multitude, a formless mass, whose movement and action would be elemental, irrational, savage, and terrible." "Public opinion deserves ... to be esteemed as much as to be despised; to be despised for its concrete consciousness and expression, to be esteemed for its essential fundamental principle, which only shines, more or less dimly, through its concrete expression." "The definition of the freedom of the press as freedom to say and write what one pleases, is parallel to the one of freedom in general, viz., as freedom to do what one pleases. Such a view belongs to the uneducated crudity and superficiality of naïve thinking." "In public opinion all is false and true, but to discover the truth in it is the business of the great man. The great man of his time is he who expresses the will and the meaning of that time, and then brings it to completion; he acts according to the inner spirit and essence of his time, which he realizes. And he who does not understand how to despise public opinion, as it makes itself heard here and there, will never accomplish anything great." "The laws of morality are not accidental, but are essentially Rational. It is the very object of the State that what is essential in the practical activity of men, and in their dispositions, should be duly recognized; that it should have a manifest existence, and maintain its position. It is the absolute interest of Reason that this moral Whole should exist; and herein lies the justification and merit of heroes who have founded states - however rude these may have been." "Such are all great historical men, whose own particular aims involve those large issues which are the will of the World Spirit. ... World historical men - the Heroes of an epoch - must be recognized as its clear-sighted ones; their deeds, their words are the best of that time. Great men have formed purposes to satisfy themselves, not others." "A World-Historical individual is devoted to the One Aim, regardless of all else. It is even possible that such men may treat other great, even sacred interests inconsiderately; conduct which is indeed obnoxious to moral reprehension. But so mighty a form must trample down many an innocent flower or crush to pieces many an object in its path.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
My own dim life should teach me this, That life shall live for evermore, Else earth is darkness at the core, And dust and ashes all that is; This round of green, this orb of flame, Fantastic beauty such as lurks In some wild Poet, when he works Without a conscience or an aim. What then were God to such as I? 'Twere hardly worth my while to choose Of things all mortal, or to use A tattle patience ere I die; 'Twere best at once to sink to peace, Like birds the charming serpent draws, To drop head-foremost in the jaws Of vacant darkness and to cease.
Alfred Tennyson (In Memoriam)
The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war, but aims at peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters the fraternal spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great “brotherhood.” It does not seek to drag down the natural man, but to improve and uplift him. It advocates education and cultivation and appeals to “the best that is within us.” It aims to make this world such a comfortable and congenial habitat that Christ’s absence from it will not be felt and God will not be needed. It endeavors to occupy man so much with this world that he has no time or inclination to think of the world to come. It propagates the principles of self-sacrifice, charity and benevolence, and teaches us to live for the good of others, and to be kind to all. It appeals strongly to the carnal mind and is popular with the masses, because it ignores the solemn facts that by nature man is a fallen creature, alienated from the life of God, and dead in trespasses and sins, and that his only hope lies in being born again.
Arthur W. Pink (Satan and His Gospel (Arthur Pink Collection))
Once they got there, it wasn’t a pretty landing. With the oars damaged and the foresail torn, Leo could barely manage a controlled descent. The others strapped themselves in below—except for Coach Hedge, who insisted on clinging to the forward rail, yelling, “YEAH! Bring it on, lake!” Leo stood astern, alone at the helm, and aimed as best he could. Festus creaked and whirred warning signals, which were relayed through the intercom to the quarterdeck. “I know, I know,” Leo said, gritting his teeth. He didn’t have much time to take in the scenery. To the southeast, a city was nestled in the foothills of a mountain range, blue and purple in the afternoon shadows. A flat desert landscape spread to the south. Directly beneath them the Great Salt Lake glittered like aluminum foil, the shoreline etched with white salt marshes that reminded Leo of aerial photos of Mars. “Hang on, Coach!” he shouted. “This is going to hurt.” “I was born for hurt!
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
Girls, since when have we ever fought over a chick? Since when has that same chick been our sworn enemy? This is some weird shit, and if you two don't figure it out, then we're all screwed. SO tuck your panties back in and toss your bras into the fire. I don't want to have to bury two of my best friends just because they don't see the bullet aimed for their hearts the minute Frank learns that his precious granddaughter isn't just flirting with the enemy...but sleeping with him.
Rachel Van Dyken (Enforce (Eagle Elite, #1.5))
To break up the superstition and worship of legality should be our aim. Nothing would please me more than to see Inspector Heat and his likes take to shooting us down in broad daylight with the approval of the public. Half our battle would be won then; the desintegration of the old morality would have set in in its very temple. That is what you ought to aim at. But you revolutionists will never understand that. You plan the future, you lose yourselves in reveries of economical systems derived from what is; where as what's wanted is a clean sweep and a clear start for a new conception of life. That sort of future will take care of itself if you will only make room for it. Therefore I would shovel my stuff in heaps at the corners of the streets if I had enough for that; and as I haven't, I do my best by perfecting a really dependable detonator.
Joseph Conrad (The Secret Agent)
There can wisely be no “solutions,” no self-help, of a kind that removes problems altogether. What we can aim for, at best, is consolation—a word tellingly lacking in glamour. To believe in consolation means giving up on cures; it means accepting that life is a hospice rather than a hospital, but one we’d like to render as comfortable, as interesting, and as kind as possible.
The School of Life (The School of Life: An Emotional Education)
It’s up to you to dictate your business’s rate of growth as best you can by understanding the key processes that need to be performed, the key objectives that need to be achieved, the key position you are aiming your business to hold in the marketplace.
Michael E. Gerber (The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It)
Feeling your body beneath me was the closest to heaven that I shall ever come.” He spoke not in a whisper but on an intimate level, his voice rolling like the caress of dark velvet. “Your skin, your mouth, your body, your sweet, sweet moans, and your blood… I want them all. I want quite a bit more, actually. So you best prepare yourself, my lady. Since I’m already damned, I aim to have all of you. I want to see that look of ecstasy on your face over and over again when I’m buried deep inside you and you’re screaming my name.
Juliette Cross (The Red Lily (Vampire Blood, #2))
Beer bottles and whisky jugs exploded from ill-aimed bullets. Wood chips showered down from the rafters and the air filled with the metallic smell of gun smoke. Trace fired a shot or two of his own, but decided his best option was to find some sort of shelter--drunks made horrible shooters.
Angela Scott (Wanted: Dead or Undead (Zombie West #1))
Trapnel wanted, among other things, to be a writer, a dandy, a lover, a comrade, an eccentric, a sage, a virtuoso, a good chap, a man of honour, a hard case, a spendthrift, an opportunist, a raisonneur; to be very rich, to be very poor, to possess a thousand mistresses, to win the heart of one love to whom he was ever faithful, to be on the best of terms with all men, to avenge savagely the lightest affront, to live to a hundred full of years and honour, to die young and unknown but recognized the following day as the most neglected genius of the age. Each of these ambitions had something to recommend it from one angle or another, with the possible exception of being poor - the only aim Trapnel achieved with unqualified mastery - and even being poor, as Trapnel himself asserted, gave the right to speak categorically when poverty was discussed by people like Evadne Clapham.
Anthony Powell (Books Do Furnish a Room (A Dance to the Music of Time, #10))
The problem with me is that I cannot focus when she is on my mind. I can’t. I probably will make a mistake when writing that paper and will start writing everything I feel about her—the professor will be very happy with that, I am sure. Oh well, such is my life. I guess I’ve been attempting my best to forget her for several weeks now. But even in that act of forgetting her, I am remembering her. I am recollecting her and recreating her in my mind. And that’s where everything falls apart. In remembering her, I remember her goodness. In remembering her, I remember her weaknesses and my own. In remembering her, I am remembering myself. Out of that dark cave of mine, I call myself out. And then all of the remembering starts again. I doodle, I twitch, I aim restlessly for some unseen goal. And then my thoughts drift to you. I’ll let them stay there for now. Just for a minute. Or two.
Moses Y. Mikheyev
It is a special blessing to belong among those who can and may devote their best energies to the contemplation and exploration of objective and timeless things. How happy and grateful I am for having been granted this blessing, which bestows upon one a large measure of independence from one's personal fate and from the attitude of one's contemporaries. Yet this independence must not inure us to the awareness of the duties that constantly bind us to the past, present and future of humankind at large. Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here, involuntarily and uninvited, for a short stay, without knowing the why and the wherefore. In our daily lives we feel only that man is here for the sake of others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own. I am often troubled by the thought that my life is based to such a large extent on the work of my fellow human beings, and I am aware of my great indebtedness to them. I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer's words: 'Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,' accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper. I have never coveted affluence and luxury and even despise them a good deal. My passion for social justice has often brought me into conflict with people, as has my aversion to any obligation and dependence I did not regard as absolutely necessary. [Part 2] I have a high regard for the individual and an insuperable distaste for violence and fanaticism. All these motives have made me a passionate pacifist and antimilitarist. I am against any chauvinism, even in the guise of mere patriotism. Privileges based on position and property have always seemed to me unjust and pernicious, as does any exaggerated personality cult. I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I know well the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual have always seemed to me the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice keeps me from feeling isolated. The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is.
Albert Einstein
Too many philosophers accept the idea that truth is best achieved by a marketplace of ideas conducted in the fashion of ultimate fighting. But aggressive styles that seek easy victories by harping on arcane counterexamples do not maximize truth...Sometimes, interestingly, the aim of truth is enhanced less by adversarial argument than by a receptivity that holds back on disagreement long enough to try out the new ideas on offer, push them further, see where they might go.
Linda Martín Alcoff
The healthy, dynamic, and above all else truthful personality will admit to error. It will voluntarily shed—let die—outdated perceptions, thoughts, and habits, as impediments to its further success and growth. This is the soul that will let its old beliefs burn away, often painfully, so that it can live again, and move forward, renewed. This is also the soul that will transmit what it has learned during that process of death and rebirth, so that others can be reborn along with it. Aim at something. Pick the best target you can currently conceptualize. Stumble toward it. Notice your errors and misconceptions along the way, face them, and correct them. Get your story straight. Past, present, future—they all matter. You need to map your path. You need to know where you were, so that you do not repeat the mistakes of the past. You need to know where you are, or you will not be able to draw a line from your starting point to your destination. You need to know where you are going, or you will drown in uncertainty, unpredictability, and chaos, and starve for hope and inspiration. For better or worse, you are on a journey. You are having an adventure—and your map better be accurate. Voluntarily confront what stands in your way. The way—that is the path of life, the meaningful path of life, the straight and narrow path that constitutes the very border between order and chaos, and the traversing of which brings them into balance. Aim at something profound and noble and lofty. If you can find a better path along the way, once you have started moving forward, then switch course. Be
Jordan B. Peterson (Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life)
Dear Alice, Cogitate on this list when you're in the mood, but not too much and not too often.... Cultivate gratitude. Think for yourself. Treat all people equally. Respect your body. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask for help when you need it. Be your own best friend. Don't be afraid to fail. Do one thing at a time. Learn how to dance. Write thank-you notes. Good manners never go out of style. Treat your family and your friends like gold. Give more than you receive. Aim high
Laura Harrington (Alice Bliss)
A hallmark of interactions on the best teams is what psychologist Jonathan Baron termed “active open-mindedness.” The best forecasters view their own ideas as hypotheses in need of testing. Their aim is not to convince their teammates of their own expertise, but to encourage their teammates to help them falsify their own notions.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
an aristocracy come to power, convinced of its own disinterested quality, believing itself above both petty partisan interest and material greed. The suggestion that this also meant the holding and wielding of power was judged offensive by these same people, who preferred to view their role as service, though in fact this was typical of an era when many of the great rich families withdrew from the new restless grab for money of a modernizing America, and having already made their particular fortunes, turned to the public arena as a means of exercising power. They were viewed as reformers, though the reforms would be aimed more at the newer seekers of wealth than at those who already held it. (“First-generation millionaires,” Garry Wills wrote in Nixon Agonistes, “give us libraries, second-generation millionaires give us themselves.”)
David Halberstam (The Best and the Brightest)
Win the day.” This means you should take advantage of the opportunity that each day brings to be the best athlete you can be. “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse” is a winning philosophy that must be embraced to reach personal excellence and competitive greatness. Peak performance is the daily strike zone we are aiming for.
Jim Afremow (The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive)
Do you have someone in mind, Galen?" Toraf asks, popping a shrimp into his mouth. "Is it someone I know?" "Shut up, Toraf," Galen growls. He closes his eyes, massages his temples. This could have gone a lot better in so many ways. "Oh," Toraf says. "It must be someone I know, then." "Toraf, I swear by Triton's trident-" "These are the best shrimp you've ever made, Rachel," Toraf continues. "I can't wait to cook shrimp on our island. I'll get the seasoning for us, Rayna." "She's not going to any island with you, Toraf!" Emma yells. "Oh, but she is, Emma. Rayna wants to be my mate. Don't you, princess?" he smiles. Rayna shakes her head. "It's no use, Emma. I really don't have a choice." She resigns herself to the seat next to Emma, who peers down at her, incredulous. "You do have a choice. You can come live with me at my house. I'll make sure he can't get near you." Toraf's expression indicates he didn't consider that possibility before goading Emma. Galen laughs. "It's not so funny anymore is it, tadpole?" he says, nudging him. Toraf shakes his head. "She's not staying with you, Emma." "We'll see about that, tadpole," she returns. "Galen, do something," Toraf says, not taking his eyes off Emma. Galen grins. "Such as?" "I don't know, arrest her or something," Toraf says, crossing his arms. Emma locks eyes with Galen, stealing his breath. "Yeah, Galen. Come arrest me if you're feeling up to it. But I'm telling you right now, the second you lay a hand on me, I'm busting this glass over your head and using it to split your lip like Toraf's." She picks up her heavy drinking glass and splashes the last drops of orange juice onto the table. Everyone gasps except Galen-who laughs so hard he almost upturns his chair. Emma's nostrils flare. "You don't think I'll do it? There's only one way to find out, isn't there, Highness?" The whole airy house echoes Galen's deep-throated howls. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he elbows Toraf, who's looking at him like he drank too much saltwater. "Do you know those foolish humans at her school voted her the sweetest out of all of them?" Toraf's expression softens as he looks up at Emma, chuckling. Galen's guffaws prove contagious-Toraf is soon pounding the table to catch his breath. Even Rachel snickers from behind her oven mitt. The bluster leaves Emma's expression. Galen can tell she's in danger of smiling. She places the glass on the table as if it's still full and she doesn't want to spill it. "Well, that was a couple of years ago." This time Galen's chair does turn back, and he sprawls onto the floor. When Rayna starts giggling, Emma gives in, too. "I guess...I guess I do have sort of a temper," she says, smiling sheepishly. She walks around the table to stand over Galen. Peering down, she offers her hand. He grins up at her. "Show me your other hand." She laughs and shows him it's empty. "No weapons." "Pretty resourceful," he says, accepting her hand. "I'll never look at a drinking glass the same way." He does most of the work of pulling himself up but can't resist the opportunity to touch her. She shrugs. "Survival instinct, maybe?" He nods. "Or you're trying to cut my lips off so you won't have to kiss me." He's pleased when she looks away, pink restaining her cheeks. "Rayna tries that all the time," Toraf chimes in. "Sometimes when her aim is good, it works, but most of the time kissing her is my reward for the pain.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
What I aim to do here is to deliver in plain English the inspiring science connecting exercise and the brain and to demonstrate how it plays out in the lives of real people. I want to cement the idea that exercise has a profound impact on cognitive abilities and mental health. It is simply one of the best treatments we have for most psychiatric problems.
John J. Ratey (Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain)
the best cooking is not about perfection, but rather the flawed process of how we aim for a desired flavor.
Edward Lee (Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef's Journey to Discover America's New Melting-Pot Cuisine)
A noble aim engenders positive feelings. When we pursue what we believe to be a profound and valuable goal, it stirs the best parts of ourselves and others.
Will Smith (Will)
The best part of keeping your goal a secret is to easily get rid of those that will prevent you from reaching that goal!
Mehmet Murat ildan
I would rather be part of a show that aims for best ever and comes in 2nd than aims for mediocrity and achieves his goal.” – Joshua Jackson (about Fringe TV series)
Anne-Rae Vasquez (Doubt (Among Us, #1))
Let the haters’ hate push you to go further instead of tear you down, your accomplishments will be your best revenge.
Oscar Auliq-Ice
We can achieve our goals either by human effort or by the power of God. The dependence on God’s power is the best choice.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Aim to be the blue ribbon best. Have high standards and work to be exceptional. Develop yourself from practice to be a winner at what you do.
Mark F. LaMoure
Aim and hit the target of excellence, with constant practice. Make success happen, by working to be the best at what you do.
Mark F. LaMoure
Aim to be the blue ribbon best. Develop yourself from practice, to become exceptional. Raise your standards and be the best.
Mark F. LaMoure
Vice, Virtue. It's best not to be too moral. You cheat yourself out of too much *life*. Aim above morality. If you apply that to life, then you're bound to live life fully.
Maude (Harold & Maude)
The aim of a ship's captain is a successful voyage; a doctor's, health; a general's, victory. So the aim of our ideal statesman is the citizens' happy life--that is, a life secure in wealth, rich in resources, abundant in renown, and honorable in its moral character. That is the task which I wish him to accomplish--the greatest and best that any man can have.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (On the Republic / On the Laws)
A leader is best when people barely know that he [or she] exists, Of a good leader who talks little, When the work is done, The aim is fulfilled They will say, “We did this ourselves.
Lao Tzu
Bettinger bought his first genetic test in 2003. A few years later he launched a blog—The Genetic Genealogist—with the aim of explaining the science behind the tests in simple language.
Deborah Blum (The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014)
Do your best to convince them. But act on your own, if justice requires it. If met with force, then fall back on acceptance and peaceability. Use the setback to practice other virtues. Remember that our efforts are subject to circumstances; you weren’t aiming to do the impossible. —Aiming to do what, then? To try. And you succeeded. What you set out to do is accomplished.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
The aim of theater—Aristotle said it first, and Aristotle said it best—is to arouse profound emotion in the spectator and through this arousal to effect a catharsis of the soul. If there’s
Joyce Carol Oates (Blonde)
If Readers have prejudices, that's the writing world we live in. We must decide how to navigate it. We can't please all the Readers all the time and we shouldn't try. but we don't get to create our Readers in our own image, either. We don't get to tell them what to value or enjoy. We can write in a way true to our own voice and our own ideas of beauty and substance, and we can hope that some readers appreciate it. But, even when we aim to serve the narrowest cross section of Readers, we're still working for the Readers we have. We should be grateful that we have them.
June Casagrande (It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences)
Kaz snagged her wrist. "Inej." His gloved thumb moved over her pulse, traced the top of the feather tattoo. "If we don't make it out, I want you to know..." She waited. She felt hope rustling its wings inside her, ready to take flight at the right words from Kaz. She willed that hope in to stillness. Those words would never come. The heart is an arrow. She reached up and touched his cheek. She thought he might flinch again, even knock her hand away. In nearly two years of battling side by side with Kaz, of late-night scheming, impossible heists, clandestine errands, and harried meals of fried potatoes and hutspot gobbled down as they rushed from one place to another, this was the first time she had touched him skin to skin, without the barrier of gloves or coat or shirtsleeve. She let her hand cup his cheek. His skin was cool and damp from the rain. He stayed still, but she saw a tremor pass through him, as if he were waging a war with himself. "If we don't die this night, I will die unafraid, Kaz. Can you say the same?" His eyes were nearly black, the pupils dilated. She could see it took every last bit of his terrible will for him to remain still beneath her touch. And yet, he did not pull away. She knew it was the best he could offer. It was not enough. She dropped her hand. He took a deep breath. Kaz had said he didn't want her prayers and she wouldn't speak them, but she wished him safe nonetheless. She had her aim now, her heart had direction, and though it hurt to know that path led away from him, she could endure it.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
As long as art is understood and valued as an “absolute” activity, it will be a separate, elitist one. Elites presuppose masses. So far as the best art defines itself by essentially “priestly” aims, it presupposes and confirms the existence of a relatively passive, never fully initiated, voyeuristic laity which is regularly convoked to watch, listen, read, or hear — and then sent away.
Susan Sontag
It has always been my aim, and it is my prayer, to have no plans with regard to myself, well assured as I am, that the place where the Saviour sees meet to place me must ever be the best place for me.
Andrew A. Bonar (The Biography of Robert Murray M'Cheyne)
As you aim for just outcomes, realize that what you control are your intentions and the actions that come from them. Focusing on your own actions will give you the best chance of reaching external goals.
Matthew Van Natta (The Beginner's Guide to Stoicism: Tools for Emotional Resilience and Positivity)
To anticipate the Enemy’s strategy, we must consider His aims. The Enemy wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour’s talents—or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall. He wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognise all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things. He wants to kill their animal self-love as soon as possible; but it is His long-term policy, I fear, to restore to them a new kind of self-love—a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own; when they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
I felt that the metal of my spirit, like a bar of iron that is softened and bent by a persistent flame, was being gradually softened and bent by the troubles that oppressed it. In spite of myself, I was conscious of a feeling of envy for those who did not suffer from such troubles, for the wealthy and the privileged; and this envy, I observed, was accompanied—still against my will—by a feeling of bitterness towards them, which, in turn, did not limit its aim to particular persons or situations, but, as if by an uncontrollable bias, tended to assume the general, abstract character of a whole conception of life. In fact, during those difficult days, I came very gradually to feel that my irritation and my intolerance of poverty were turning into a revolt against injustice, and not only against the injustice which struck at me personally but the injustice from which so many others like me suffered. I was quite aware of this almost imperceptible transformation of my subjective resentments into objective reflections and states of mind, owing to the bent of my thoughts which led always and irresistibly in the same direction: owing also to my conversation, which, without my intending it, alway harped upon the same subject. I also noticed in myself a growing sympathy for those political parties which proclaimed their struggle against the evils and infamies of the society to which, in the end I had attributed the troubles that beset me—a society which, as I thought, in reference to myself, allowed its best sons to languish and protected its worst ones. Usually, and in the simpler, less cultivated people, this process occurs without their knowing it, in the dark depths of consciousness where, by a kind of mysterious alchemy, egoism is transmuted into altruism, hatred into love, fear into courage; but to me, accustomed as I was to observing and studying myself, the whole thing was clear and visible, as though I were watching it happen in someone else; and yet I was aware the whole time that I was being swayed by material subjective factors, that I was transforming purely personal motives into universal reasons.
Alberto Moravia (Contempt)
The best forecasters view their own ideas as hypotheses in need of testing. Their aim is not to convince their teammates of their own expertise, but to encourage their teammates to help them falsify their own notions.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
So tired am I, so weary of to-day, So unrefreshed from foregone weariness, So overburdened by foreseen distress, So lagging and so stumbling on my way, I scarce can rouse myself to watch or pray, To hope, or aim, or toil for more or less,-- Ah, always less and less, even while I press Forward and toil and aim as best I may. Half-starved of soul and heartsick utterly, Yet lift I up my heart and soul and eyes Which fail in looking upward
Christina Rossetti (Poems - The Original Classic Edition)
Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run—in the long run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.” The
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
It was soothing to sit with life-long friends, the cacophony of bar sounds around us while we caught up on our lives and talked about the glory days of high school. My life since then had been on an accelerated trajectory, not always aimed in the best direction. I acquired a sense of well-being from those friends who married their high school sweethearts, set up housekeeping a stone's throw from where they grew up, and kept the heartbeat of small-town living beating rhythmically.
Debi Tolbert Duggar (Riding Soul-O)
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
When you don't see Jesus for exactly what he was, you miss the whole point of the Jesus Prayer. If you don't understand Jesus, you can't understand his prayer - you don't get the prayer at all, you just get some kind of organized cant. . . . If God had wanted somebody with St. Francis's consistently winning personality for the job of the New Testament, he'd've picked him, you can be sure. As it was, he picked the best, the smartest, the most loving, the least sentimental, the most unimitative master he could possibly have picked. And when you miss seeing that, I swear to you, you're missing the whole point of the Jesus Prayer. The Jesus Prayer has one aim, and one aim only. To endow the person who says it with Christ-Consciousness.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
1 You said ‘The world is going back to Paganism’. Oh bright Vision! I saw our dynasty in the bar of the House Spill from their tumblers a libation to the Erinyes, And Leavis with Lord Russell wreathed in flowers, heralded with flutes, Leading white bulls to the cathedral of the solemn Muses To pay where due the glory of their latest theorem. Hestia’s fire in every flat, rekindled, burned before The Lardergods. Unmarried daughters with obedient hands Tended it. By the hearth the white-armd venerable mother Domum servabat, lanam faciebat. At the hour Of sacrifice their brothers came, silent, corrected, grave Before their elders; on their downy cheeks easily the blush Arose (it is the mark of freemen’s children) as they trooped, Gleaming with oil, demurely home from the palaestra or the dance. Walk carefully, do not wake the envy of the happy gods, Shun Hubris. The middle of the road, the middle sort of men, Are best. Aidos surpasses gold. Reverence for the aged Is wholesome as seasonable rain, and for a man to die Defending the city in battle is a harmonious thing. Thus with magistral hand the Puritan Sophrosune Cooled and schooled and tempered our uneasy motions; Heathendom came again, the circumspection and the holy fears … You said it. Did you mean it? Oh inordinate liar, stop. 2 Or did you mean another kind of heathenry? Think, then, that under heaven-roof the little disc of the earth, Fortified Midgard, lies encircled by the ravening Worm. Over its icy bastions faces of giant and troll Look in, ready to invade it. The Wolf, admittedly, is bound; But the bond wil1 break, the Beast run free. The weary gods, Scarred with old wounds the one-eyed Odin, Tyr who has lost a hand, Will limp to their stations for the Last defence. Make it your hope To be counted worthy on that day to stand beside them; For the end of man is to partake of their defeat and die His second, final death in good company. The stupid, strong Unteachable monsters are certain to be victorious at last, And every man of decent blood is on the losing side. Take as your model the tall women with yellow hair in plaits Who walked back into burning houses to die with men, Or him who as the death spear entered into his vitals Made critical comments on its workmanship and aim. Are these the Pagans you spoke of? Know your betters and crouch, dogs; You that have Vichy water in your veins and worship the event Your goddess History (whom your fathers called the strumpet Fortune).
C.S. Lewis
True love involves virtue, friendship and the pursuit of a common good. Both people are focused on a common goal outside of themselves. In Christian marriage, for example, a husband and wife unite themselves to the common aim of helping each other grow in holiness, deepening their own union and raising children. Most of all, true love involves the selfless pursuit of what is best for the other person, even if it means sacrificing one’s own preferences and desires—love in the sense of ti voglio bene.
Edward Sri (Men, Women and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II's Love and Responsibility)
Again and again I therefore admonish my students both in Europe and in America: 'Don't aim at success - the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. for success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run - in the long run I say! - success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
A dear friend best expressed, in a few words, the aim of this book. When she reflected on my recovery from Alzheimer symptoms she stated: “You came back to life.” She was right. For me, losing the ability to think, talk, and feed and clothe myself would be the same as dying. If you (or someone you know) suffer these symptoms, I want to bring you back to life.” “Avoiding certain foods can reverse the many conditions caused by nerve damage—including damage to the nerves of the brain. The nerves of the brain can recover from years of abuse.
William E. Walsh (Retaining The Mind)
Sometimes things don't go, after all, from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail, sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well. A people sometimes will step back from war; elect an honest man, decide they care enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor. Some men become what they were born for. Sometimes our best efforts do not go amiss, sometimes we do as we meant to. The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow that seemed hard frozen ... may it happen for you ... x x x
Sometimes by Sheenagh Pugh
In libertarianism the aim isn't judging better from best, it's making sure that there is freedom for the perpetual revolution of ideas. It too opposes custom, tradition, the authority of winnowed wisdom, and our moral heritage that is our inheritance and defends only that which serves its purpose; utility and efficiency are its trumps and those cannot be conserved but rather only aimed at. Libertarianism is thereby tolerant of all behavior that seems not to damage others because its strongest belief is that no truth but freedom itself has been settled.
Darrin Moore
Acknowledging, as a fact, the equal rights of all its members to the treasures accumulated in the past, it no longer recognizes a division between exploited and exploiters, governed and governors, dominated and dominators, and it seeks to establish a certain harmonious compatibility in its midst-not by subjecting all its members to an -authority that is fictitiously supposed to represent society, not by trying to establish uniformity, but by urging all men to develop free initiative, free action, free association.   It seeks the most complete development of individuality combined with the highest development of voluntary association in all its aspects, in all possible degrees, for all imaginable aims; ever changing, ever modified associations which carry in themselves the elements of their durability and constantly assume new forms, which answer best to the multiple aspirations of all.
Pyotr Kropotkin (Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Ideal)
Meg slashed through the last of Tarquin’s minions. That was a good thing, I thought distantly. I didn’t want her to die, too. Hazel stabbed Tarquin in the chest. The Roman king fell, howling in pain, ripping the sword hilt from Hazel’s grip. He collapsed against the information desk, clutching the blade with his skeletal hands. Hazel stepped back, waiting for the zombie king to dissolve. Instead, Tarquin struggled to his feet, purple gas flickering weakly in his eye sockets. “I have lived for millennia,” he snarled. “You could not kill me with a thousand tons of stone, Hazel Levesque. You will not kill me with a sword.” I thought Hazel might fly at him and rip his skull off with her bare hands. Her rage was so palpable I could smell it like an approaching storm. Wait…I did smell an approaching storm, along with other forest scents: pine needles, morning dew on wildflowers, the breath of hunting dogs. A large silver wolf licked my face. Lupa? A hallucination? No…a whole pack of the beasts had trotted into the store and were now sniffing the bookshelves and the piles of zombie dust. Behind them, in the doorway, stood a girl who looked about twelve, her eyes silver-yellow, her auburn hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was dressed for the hunt in a shimmering gray frock and leggings, a white bow in her hand. Her face was beautiful, serene, and as cold as the winter moon. She nocked a silver arrow and met Hazel’s eyes, asking permission to finish her kill. Hazel nodded and stepped aside. The young girl aimed at Tarquin. “Foul undead thing,” she said, her voice hard and bright with power. “When a good woman puts you down, you had best stay down.” Her arrow lodged in the center of Tarquin’s forehead, splitting his frontal bone. The king stiffened. The tendrils of purple gas sputtered and dissipated. From the arrow’s point of entry, a ripple of fire the color of Christmas tinsel spread across Tarquin’s skull and down his body, disintegrating him utterly. His gold crown, the silver arrow, and Hazel’s sword all dropped to the floor. I grinned at the newcomer. “Hey, Sis.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
We come up against beauty here — for the first time in our enquiry: beauty at which a novelist should never aim though he fails if he does not achieve it. I will conduct beauty to her proper place later on. Meanwhile please accept her as part of a completed plot. She looks a little surprised at being there, but beauty ought to look a little surprised: it is the emotion that best suits her face, as Botticelli knew when he painted her risen from the waves, between the winds and the flowers. The beauty who does not look surprised, who accepts her position as her due—she reminds us too much of a prima donna.
E.M. Forster (Aspects of the Novel)
The political antagonisms of today are not controversies over ultimate questions of philosophy, but opposing answers to the question how a goal that all acknowledge as legitimate can be achieved most quickly and with the least sacrifice. This goal, at which all men aim, is the best possible satisfaction of human wants; it is prosperity and abundance. Of course, this is not all that men aspire to, but it is all that they can expect to attain by resort to external means and by way of social cooperation. The inner blessings—happiness, peace of mind, exaltation—must be sought by each man within himself alone. Liberalism is no religion, no world view, no party of special interests. It is no religion because it demands neither faith nor devotion, because there is nothing mystical about it, and because it has no dogmas. It is no world view because it does not try to explain the cosmos and because it says nothing and does not seek to say anything about the meaning and purpose of human existence. It is no party of special interests because it does not provide or seek to provide any special advantage whatsoever to any individual or any group. It is something entirely different. It is an ideology, a doctrine of the mutual relationship among the members of society and, at the same time, the application of this doctrine to the conduct of men in actual society. It promises nothing that exceeds what can be accomplished in society and through society. It seeks to give men only one thing, the peaceful, undisturbed development of material well-being for all, in order thereby to shield them from the external causes of pain and suffering as far as it lies within the power of social institutions to do so at all. To diminish suffering, to increase happiness: that is its aim. No sect and no political party has believed that it could afford to forgo advancing its cause by appealing to men's senses. Rhetorical bombast, music and song resound, banners wave, flowers and colors serve as symbols, and the leaders seek to attach their followers to their own person. Liberalism has nothing to do with all this. It has no party flower and no party color, no party song and no party idols, no symbols and no slogans. It has the substance and the arguments. These must lead it to victory.
Ludwig von Mises (Liberalism: The Classical Tradition)
hallmark of interactions on the best teams is what psychologist Jonathan Baron termed “active open-mindedness.” The best forecasters view their own ideas as hypotheses in need of testing. Their aim is not to convince their teammates of their own expertise, but to encourage their teammates to help them falsify their own notions.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
That first day I asked my students what they thought fiction should accomplish, why one should bother to read fiction at all. It was an odd way to start, but I did succeed in getting their attention. I explained that we would in the course of the semester read and discuss many different authors, but that one thing these authors all had in common was their subversiveness. Some, like Gorky or Gold, were overtly subversive in their political aims; others, like Fitzgerald and Mark Twain, were in my opinion more subversive, if less obviously so. I told them we would come back to this term, because my understanding of it was somewhat different from its usual definition. I wrote on the board one of my favorite lines from the German thinker Theodor Adorno: “The highest form of morality is not to feel at home in one’s own home.” I explained that most great works of the imagination were meant to make you feel like a stranger in your own home. The best fiction always forced us to question what we took for granted. It questioned traditions and expectations when they seemed too immutable. I told my students I wanted them in their readings to consider in what ways these works unsettled them, made them a little uneasy, made them look around and consider the world, like Alice in Wonderland, through different eyes.
Azar Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books)
In his book Politics, which is the foundation of the study of political systems, and very interesting, Aristotle talked mainly about Athens. But he studied various political systems - oligarchy, monarchy - and didn't like any of the particularly. He said democracy is probably the best system, but it has problems, and he was concerned with the problems. One problem that he was concerned with is quite striking because it runs right up to the present. He pointed out that in a democracy, if the people - people didn't mean people, it meant freemen, not slaves, not women - had the right to vote, the poor would be the majority, and they would use their voting power to take away property from the rich, which wouldn't be fair, so we have to prevent this. James Madison made the same pint, but his model was England. He said if freemen had democracy, then the poor farmers would insist on taking property from the rich. They would carry out what we these days call land reform. and that's unacceptable. Aristotle and Madison faced the same problem but made the opposite decisions. Aristotle concluded that we should reduce ineqality so the poor wouldn't take property from the rich. And he actually propsed a visin for a city that would put in pace what we today call welfare-state programs, common meals, other support systems. That would reduce inequality, and with it the problem of the poor taking property from the rich. Madison's decision was the opposite. We should reduce democracy so the poor won't be able to get together to do this. If you look at the design of the U.S. constitutional system, it followed Madison's approach. The Madisonian system placed power in the hands of the Senate. The executive in those days was more or less an administrator, not like today. The Senate consisted of "the wealth of the nation," those who had sympathy for property owners and their rights. That's where power should be. The Senate, remember, wasn't elected. It was picked by legislatures, who were themselves very much subject to control by the rich and the powerful. The House, which was closer to the population, had much less power. And there were all sorts of devices to keep people from participation too much - voting restrictions and property restrictions. The idea was to prevent the threat of democracy. This goal continues right to the present. It has taken different forms, but the aim remains the same.
Noam Chomsky (Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire)
If you are to live in this world, then you must be willing to actively participate in life." You cannot just be an expectator. You cannot just be sitting down at the bleachers and comtemplate the game and expect to win. You are to step out of your comfortable zone. You are to participate and do your very best. Remember, "Every pro was once an amateur. Every expert was once a beginner." And every beginner once decided to step down from the bleachers and start participating. Build a solid foundation for your life. Stay rooted in the Word. Don't let the holy things become common. Be disciplined and be committed. Sacrifice what you are to sacrifice in order to succeed. But never ever your values, integrity, character, and principles. Never give up nor give in. Be aware that people will hate you on your way up. People will rate you. They'll will shake you and try to bring you down. "But how strong you stand, is what makes you." Choose to live by choice not by chance. Be motivated and not manipulated. BE useful not used. Make changes and not excuses. Aim to excel not to compete. Choose self-esteem, not self pitty. Choose to listen to your inner voice, (which is GOd's word whispering to you) not to the random opinions of others. And finally, choose to live for yourself and not to please others. Word of advice, "make your goals so big, that your everyday problems seem insignificant." Have a bless day
Rafael García
But there is a way of despising the dandelion which is not that of the dreary pessimist, but of the more offensive optimist. It can be done in various ways; one of which is saying, "You can get much better dandelions at Selfridge's," or "You can get much cheaper dandelions at Woolworth's." Another way is to observe with a casual drawl, "Of course nobody but Gamboli in Vienna really understands dandelions," or saying that nobody would put up with the old-fashioned dandelion since the super-dandelion has been grown in the Frankfurt Palm Garden; or merely sneering at the stinginess of providing dandelions, when all the best hostesses give you an orchid for your buttonhole and a bouquet of rare exotics to take away with you. These are all methods of undervaluing the thing by comparison; for it is not familiarity but comparison that breeds contempt. And all such captious comparisons are ultimately based on the strange and staggering heresy that a human being has a right to dandelions; that in some extraordinary fashion we can demand the very pick of all the dandelions in the garden of Paradise; that we owe no thanks for them at all and need feel no wonder at them at all; and above all no wonder at being thought worthy to receive them. Instead of saying, like the old religious poet, "What is man that Thou carest for him, or the son of man that Thou regardest him?" we are to say like the discontented cabman, "What's this?" or like the bad-tempered Major in the club, "Is this a chop fit for a gentleman?" Now I not only dislike this attitude quite as much as the Swinburnian pessimistic attitude, but I think it comes to very much the same thing; to the actual loss of appetite for the chop or the dish of dandelion-tea. And the name of it is Presumption and the name of its twin brother is Despair. This is the principle I was maintaining when I seemed an optimist to Mr. Max Beerbohm; and this is the principle I am still maintaining when I should undoubtedly seem a pessimist to Mr. Gordon Selfridge. The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them.
G.K. Chesterton (The Autobiography of G.K. Chesterton)
It was as if the past, till then so longed after, so lived over, had slipped off my shoulders like a burden. The future was still hidden, somewhere in the lights that made a yellow blur in the sky beyond the end of the dark street. Here between the two I waited, and for the first time saw both clearly.... I had made myself a stranger in England, not only bereaved, but miserably dépaysée, drifting with no clear aim, resenting the life I had been thrust into with such tragic brutality; I had refused to adapt myself to it and make myself a place there, behaving like the spoiled child who, because he cannot have the best cake, refuses to eat at all. I had waited for life to offer itself back to me on the old terms. Well, it wasn't going to.
Mary Stewart (Nine Coaches Waiting)
Hi. I’m Nikki. Best friend and personal stylist for Harper Deacon.” Smith grinned at her, those stupid dimples making a reappearance. “Nice to meet you, Nikki I’m Smith. I aspire to be second-best friend and guitar player for Harper Deacon.” “You must enjoy a challenge,” Nikki said, batting her ridiculously long eyelashes. “Oh, I do,” Smith said, and aimed his grin at me.
E.A. Andrews (Everything Begins With Us)
Consider then that the alleviation of unnecessary pain and suffering is a good. Make that an axiom: to the best of my ability I will act in a manner that leads to the alleviation of unnecessary pain and suffering. You have now placed at the pinnacle of your moral hierarchy a set of presuppositions and actions aimed at the betterment of Being. Why? Because we know the alternative. The alternative was the twentieth century. The alternative was so close to Hell that the difference is not worth discussing. And the opposite of Hell is Heaven. To place the alleviation of unnecessary pain and suffering at the pinnacle of your hierarchy of value is to work to bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth. That’s a state, and a state of mind, at the same time.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
My Definite Chief Aim I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return, I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.
Bruce Lee
The built environment is shaped not only by private sector development pratices, but also by the honored and fascinating field of planning. Planners in towns, counties, regional and state government, consulting firms and in economic development agencies translate ideas about human settlements into concrete designs. They can be generalists or specialize in transportation, urban centers, rural land use, economic development and more. At its best, the planning profession aims to mediate tensions between people, social groups, and the natural environment by creating an orderly process for determining common values, shared priorities and elegant principles for transcending conflicts. Therefore planners may find themselves caught in some of the most challenging political crossfire to be found. But they also have the opportunity to educate many sectors and communities.
Melissa Everett (Making a Living While Making a Difference: The Expanded Guide to Creating Careers with a Conscience)
Putting It into Practice: Neutralizing Negativity Use the techniques below anytime you’d like to lessen the effects of persistent negative thoughts. As you try each technique, pay attention to which ones work best for you and keep practicing them until they become instinctive. You may also discover some of your own that work just as well. ♦ Don’t assume your thoughts are accurate. Just because your mind comes up with something doesn’t necessarily mean it has any validity. Assume you’re missing a lot of elements, many of which could be positive. ♦ See your thoughts as graffiti on a wall or as little electrical impulses flickering around your brain. ♦ Assign a label to your negative experience: self-criticism, anger, anxiety, etc. Just naming what you are thinking and feeling can help you neutralize it. ♦ Depersonalize the experience. Rather than saying “I’m feeling ashamed,” try “There is shame being felt.” Imagine that you’re a scientist observing a phenomenon: “How interesting, there are self-critical thoughts arising.” ♦ Imagine seeing yourself from afar. Zoom out so far, you can see planet Earth hanging in space. Then zoom in to see your continent, then your country, your city, and finally the room you’re in. See your little self, electrical impulses whizzing across your brain. One little being having a particular experience at this particular moment. ♦ Imagine your mental chatter as coming from a radio; see if you can turn down the volume, or even just put the radio to the side and let it chatter away. ♦ Consider the worst-case outcome for your situation. Realize that whatever it is, you’ll survive. ♦ Think of all the previous times when you felt just like this—that you wouldn’t make it through—and yet clearly you did. We’re learning here to neutralize unhelpful thoughts. We want to avoid falling into the trap of arguing with them or trying to suppress them. This would only make matters worse. Consider this: if I ask you not to think of a white elephant—don’t picture a white elephant at all, please!—what’s the first thing your brain serves up? Right. Saying “No white elephants” leads to troops of white pachyderms marching through your mind. Steven Hayes and his colleagues studied our tendency to dwell on the forbidden by asking participants in controlled research studies to spend just a few minutes not thinking of a yellow jeep. For many people, the forbidden thought arose immediately, and with increasing frequency. For others, even if they were able to suppress the thought for a short period of time, at some point they broke down and yellow-jeep thoughts rose dramatically. Participants reported thinking about yellow jeeps with some frequency for days and sometimes weeks afterward. Because trying to suppress a self-critical thought only makes it more central to your thinking, it’s a far better strategy to simply aim to neutralize it. You’ve taken the first two steps in handling internal negativity: destigmatizing discomfort and neutralizing negativity. The third and final step will help you not just to lessen internal negativity but to actually replace it with a different internal reality.
Olivia Fox Cabane (The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism)
You fight your superficiality, you shallowness, as as to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untank-like as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong, you might as well have the brain if a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you're with them; and them you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion empty of all perception an astonishing farce of misperception. And yet what are we to do about this terribly significant business of other people, which gets bled of the significance we think it has and takes on instead a significance that is ludicrous, so ill equipped are we all to envision one another's interior workings and invisible aims? Is everyone to go off and lock the door and sit secluded like the lonely writers do, in a soundproof cell, summoning people out of words, and then proposing that there word people are closer to the real thing than we mangle with our ignorance every day? The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful consideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that - well, lucky you.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral (The American Trilogy, #1))
I have something for you,” she said as she pulled his leather gloves from the sleeve of her prison tunic. He stared at them. “How—” “I got them from the discarded clothes. Before I made the climb.” “Six stories in the dark.” She nodded. She wasn’t going to wait for thanks. Not for the climb, or the gloves, or for anything ever again. He pulled the gloves on slowly, and she watched his pale, vulnerable hands disappear beneath the leather. They were trickster hands—long, graceful fingers made for prying open locks, hiding coins, making things vanish. “When we get back to Ketterdam, I’m taking my share, and I’m leaving the Dregs.” He looked away. “You should. You were always too good for the Barrel.” It was time to go. “Saints’ speed, Kaz.” Kaz snagged her wrist. “Inej.” His gloved thumb moved over her pulse, traced the top of the feather tattoo. “If we don’t make it out, I want you to know…” She waited. She felt hope rustling its wings inside her, ready to take flight at the right words from Kaz. She willed that hope into stillness. Those words would never come. The heart is an arrow. She reached up and touched his cheek. She thought he might flinch again, even knock her hand away. In nearly two years of battling side by side with Kaz, of late-night scheming, impossible heists, clandestine errands, and harried meals of fried potatoes and hutspot gobbled down as they rushed from one place to another, this was the first time she had touched him skin to skin, without the barrier of gloves or coat or shirtsleeve. She let her hand cup his cheek. His skin was cool and damp from the rain. He stayed still, but she saw a tremor pass through him, as if he were waging a war with himself. “If we don’t survive this night, I will die unafraid, Kaz. Can you say the same?” His eyes were nearly black, the pupils dilated. She could see it took every last bit of his terrible will for him to remain still beneath her touch. And yet, he did not pull away. She knew it was the best he could offer. It was not enough. She dropped her hand. He took a deep breath. Kaz had said he didn’t want her prayers and she wouldn’t speak them, but she wished him safe nonetheless. She had her aim now, her heart had direction, and though it hurt to know that path led away from him, she could endure it.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
I ask myself if there is an irresponsible aspect in relaying thoughts of pain as inspiration, and I wonder whether Housman actually infected the sensitives further, and pulled them back into additional darkness. Surely it is true that everything in the imagination seems worse than it actually is - especially when one is alone and horizontal (in bed, as in the coffin.) Housman was always alone - thinking himself to death, with no matronly wife to signal to the watching world that Alfred Edward was now quite alright - for isn’t this at least partly the aim of scoring a partner: to trumpet the mental all-clear to a world where how things seem is far more important than how things are? Now snugly in eternity, Housman still occupies my mind. His best moments were in Art, and not in the cut and thrust of human relationships. Yet he said more about human relationships than those who managed to feast on them. You see, you can’t have it both ways.
Morrissey
What we feel and how we feel is far more important than what we think and how we think. Feeling is the stuff of which our consciousness is made, the atmosphere in which all our thinking and all our conduct is bathed. All the motives which govern and drive our lives are emotional. Love and hate, anger and fear, curiosity and joy are the springs of all that is most noble and most detestable in the history of men and nations. The opening sentence of a sermon is an opportunity. A good introduction arrests me. It handcuffs me and drags me before the sermon, where I stand and hear a Word that makes me both tremble and rejoice. The best sermon introductions also engage the listener immediately. It’s a rare sermon, however, that suffers because of a good introduction. Mysteries beg for answers. People’s natural curiosity will entice them to stay tuned until the puzzle is solved. Any sentence that points out incongruity, contradiction, paradox, or irony will do. Talk about what people care about. Begin writing an introduction by asking, “Will my listeners care about this?” (Not, “Why should they care about this?”) Stepping into the pulpit calmly and scanning the congregation to the count of five can have a remarkable effect on preacher and congregation alike. It is as if you are saying, “I’m about to preach the Word of God. I want all of you settled. I’m not going to begin, in fact, until I have your complete attention.” No sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as crystal. The getting of that sentence is the hardest, most exacting, and most fruitful labor of study. We tend to use generalities for compelling reasons. Specifics often take research and extra thought, precious commodities to a pastor. Generalities are safe. We can’t help but use generalities when we can’t remember details of a story or when we want anonymity for someone. Still, the more specific their language, the better speakers communicate. I used to balk at spending a large amount of time on a story, because I wanted to get to the point. Now I realize the story gets the point across better than my declarative statements. Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. Limits—that is, form—challenge the mind, forcing creativity. Needless words weaken our offense. Listening to some speakers, you have to sift hundreds of gallons of water to get one speck of gold. If the sermon is so complicated that it needs a summary, its problems run deeper than the conclusion. The last sentence of a sermon already has authority; when the last sentence is Scripture, this is even more true. No matter what our tone or approach, we are wise to craft the conclusion carefully. In fact, given the crisis and opportunity that the conclusion presents—remember, it will likely be people’s lasting memory of the message—it’s probably a good practice to write out the conclusion, regardless of how much of the rest of the sermon is written. It is you who preaches Christ. And you will preach Christ a little differently than any other preacher. Not to do so is to deny your God-given uniqueness. Aim for clarity first. Beauty and eloquence should be added to make things even more clear, not more impressive. I’ll have not praise nor time for those who suppose that writing comes by some divine gift, some madness, some overflow of feeling. I’m especially grim on Christians who enter the field blithely unprepared and literarily innocent of any hard work—as though the substance of their message forgives the failure of its form.
Mark Galli (Preaching That Connects: Using Techniques of Journalists to Add Impact)
As long as you are forced to be a woman first instead of a person, by default, you need to be a feminist. That’s it. Men are people, women are women? Screw that. Screw that. I am sick of having words aimed to shut me up. I am sick of having to be anything other than a person first. Zounds! I enjoy being a girl, whatever that means. For me, that meant Star Wars figurines, mounds of books, skirts and flats. It meant Civil War reenacting and best girlfriends I’d give a kidney to and best guy friends I’d ruin a liver with and making messes and cleaning up some of them and still not knowing how to apply eye shadow. That’s being a girl. That’s being a person. It’s the same damn thing. I wish Rush had just called me an idiot. I’m happy to be called an idiot! On the day when someone on the Internet calls me an idiot first and ugly second, I will set down my feminist battle flag and heave a great sigh. Then I will pick it back up and keep climbing. There are many more mountains to overcome.
Alexandra Petri (A Field Guide to Awkward Silences)
The aim of life is no more to control mind, but to develop it harmoniously, not to achieve salvation hereafter, but to make the best use of it here below, and not to realise truth, beauty and good only in contemplation, but also in the actual experience of daily life; social progress depends not upon the ennoblement of the few but on the enrichment of the many; and spiritual democracy or universal brotherhood can be achieved only when there is an equality of opportunity in the social, political and industrial life.”127
Bhagat Singh (Jail Notebook and Other Writings)
And so it is both strange and remarkable to me that-among some dozens of books I have authored-precisely this one, which I had intended to be published anonymously so that it could never build up any reputation on the part of the author, did become a success. Again and again I therefore admonish my students both in Europe and in America: "Don't aim at success-the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run-in the long run, I say!-success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
And now the holy couple began here a new married life. They made a sacrifice to God of all the preceding years, and began again as if they had only just now been united. Their only aim was by a life pleasing to God, to attract upon themselves that blessing for which alone they sighed. I saw them both going to and fro among their herds. They divided them into three parts, and drove the best to the Temple. The poor received the second part, and the worst was retained for themselves. They acted in the same manner with all that belonged to them.
Anne Catherine Emmerich (The Lowly Life and Bitter Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother Together with the Mysteries of the Old Testament)
The Dawning Ah! what time wilt Thou come? when shall that cry, The Bridegroom’s coming! fill the sky; Shall it in the evening run When our words and works are done? Or will Thy all-surprising light Break at midnight, When either sleep or some dark pleasure Possesseth mad man without measure? Or shall these early, fragrant hours Unlock Thy bow’rs, And with their blush of light descry Thy locks crown’d with eternity? Indeed, it is the only time That with Thy glory doth best chime; All now are stirring, ev’ry field Full hymns doth yield; The whole Creation shakes off night, And for Thy shadow looks the light; Stars now vanish without number, Sleepy Planets set and slumber, The pursy Clouds disband and scatter, All expect some sudden matter; Not one beam triumphs but from far That morning-star; O at what time soever thou (Unknown to us,) the heavens wilt bow, And, with Thy angels in the van, Descend to judge poor careless man, Grant, I may not like puddle lie In a corrupt security, Where if a traveller water crave, He finds it dead, and in a grave. But as this restless, vocal spring All day and night doth run, and sing, And though here born, yet is acquainted Elsewhere, and flowing keeps untainted; So let me all my busy age In Thy free services engage; And though (while here) of force I must Have commerce sometimes with poor dust, And in my flesh, though vile and low, As this doth in her channel flow, Yet let my course, my aim, my love, And chief acquaintance be above; So when that day and hour shall come, In which Thyself will be the sun, Thou’lt find me drest and on my way, Watching the break of Thy great day.
Henry Vaughan
The aim of our orator, then, when speaking of things that are just and holy and good--and he should not speak of anything else--the aim, as I say, that he pursues to the best of his ability when he speaks of these things is to be listened to with understanding, with pleasure, and with obedience. He should be in no doubt that any ability he has and however much he has derives more from his devotion to prayer than his dedication to oratory; and so, by praying for himself and for those he is about to address, he must become a man of prayer before becoming a man of words.
Augustine of Hippo (On Christian Doctrine)
The world has been changing even faster as people, devices and information are increasingly connected to each other. Computational power is growing and quantum computing is quickly being realised. This will revolutionise artificial intelligence with exponentially faster speeds. It will advance encryption. Quantum computers will change everything, even human biology. There is already one technique to edit DNA precisely, called CRISPR. The basis of this genome-editing technology is a bacterial defence system. It can accurately target and edit stretches of genetic code. The best intention of genetic manipulation is that modifying genes would allow scientists to treat genetic causes of disease by correcting gene mutations. There are, however, less noble possibilities for manipulating DNA. How far we can go with genetic engineering will become an increasingly urgent question. We can’t see the possibilities of curing motor neurone diseases—like my ALS—without also glimpsing its dangers. Intelligence is characterised as the ability to adapt to change. Human intelligence is the result of generations of natural selection of those with the ability to adapt to changed circumstances. We must not fear change. We need to make it work to our advantage. We all have a role to play in making sure that we, and the next generation, have not just the opportunity but the determination to engage fully with the study of science at an early level, so that we can go on to fulfil our potential and create a better world for the whole human race. We need to take learning beyond a theoretical discussion of how AI should be and to make sure we plan for how it can be. We all have the potential to push the boundaries of what is accepted, or expected, and to think big. We stand on the threshold of a brave new world. It is an exciting, if precarious, place to be, and we are the pioneers. When we invented fire, we messed up repeatedly, then invented the fire extinguisher. With more powerful technologies such as nuclear weapons, synthetic biology and strong artificial intelligence, we should instead plan ahead and aim to get things right the first time, because it may be the only chance we will get. Our future is a race between the growing power of our technology and the wisdom with which we use it. Let’s make sure that wisdom wins.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
Here’s my patented approach to event cooking: shoot for 70 percent. My philosophy is based on an apocryphal story I’ve heard about how a large financial services firm used to choose their new analysts. They didn’t hire people who scored 100 on their Series 7 exam. They wanted people who purposely aimed for 70, because it meant you knew the material so well that you could confidently shoot for a C-minus and get it. That’s where you want to be when you’re cooking for events. Not the worst and not the best. Whether it’s a cooking demo or a collaborative dinner, trying to impress people is a fool’s errand.
David Chang (Eat a Peach)
The best and the greatest number of authors have asserted that philosophy consists of three parts: the moral, the natural, and the rational. The first puts the soul in order. The second thoroughly examines the natural order of things. The third inquires into the proper meaning of words, and their arrangements and proofs which keep falsehoods from creeping in to displace truth.” —SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 89.9 These three parts—the moral, the natural, and the rational—have one aim. As different as they are, they have the same purpose: to help you live a good life ruled by reason. Not in the future, but right now.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
My ideal was contained within the word beauty, so difficult to define despite all the evidence of our senses. I felt responsible for sustaining and increasing the beauty of the world. I wanted the cities to be splendid, spacious and airy, their streets sprayed with clean water, their inhabitants all human beings whose bodies were neither degraded by marks of misery and servitude nor bloated by vulgar riches; I desired that the schoolboys should recite correctly some useful lessons; that the women presiding in their households should move with maternal dignity, expressing both vigor and calm; that the gymnasiums should be used by youths not unversed in arts and in sports; that the orchards should bear the finest fruits and the fields the richest harvests. I desired that the might and majesty of the Roman Peace should extend to all, insensibly present like the music of the revolving skies; that the most humble traveller might wander from one country, or one continent, to another without vexatious formalities, and without danger, assured everywhere of a minimum of legal protection and culture; that our soldiers should continue their eternal pyrrhic dance on the frontiers; that everything should go smoothly, whether workshops or temples; that the sea should be furrowed by brave ships, and the roads resounding to frequent carriages; that, in a world well ordered, the philosophers should have their place, and the dancers also. This ideal, modest on the whole, would be often enough approached if men would devote to it one part of the energy which they expend on stupid or cruel activities; great good fortune has allowed me a partial realization of my aims during the last quarter of a century. Arrian of Nicomedia, one of the best minds of our time, likes to recall to me the beautiful lines of ancient Terpander, defining in three words the Spartan ideal (that perfect mode of life to which Lacedaemon aspired without ever attaining it): Strength, Justice, the Muses. Strength was the basis, discipline without which there is no beauty, and firmness without which there is no justice. Justice was the balance of the parts, that whole so harmoniously composed which no excess should be permitted to endanger. Strength and justice together were but one instrument, well tuned, in the hands of the Muses. All forms of dire poverty and brutality were things to forbid as insults to the fair body of mankind, every injustice a false note to avoid in the harmony of the spheres.
Marguerite Yourcenar (Memoirs of Hadrian)
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Shamsher khan
Where the strongest natures are to be sought. The ruin and degeneration of the solitary species is much greater and more terrible: they have the instincts of the herd, and the tradition of values, against them; their weapons of defence, their instincts of self-preservation, are from the beginning insufficiently strong and reliable — fortune must be peculiarly favourable to them if they are to prosper (they prosper best in the lowest ranks and dregs of society; if ye are seeking personalities it is there that ye will find them with much greater certainty than in the middle classes!) When the dispute between ranks and classes, which aims at equality of rights, is almost settled, the fight will begin against the solitary person. (In a certain sense the latter can maintain and develop himself most easily in a democratic society: there where the coarser means of defence are no longer necessary, and a certain habit of order, honesty, justice, trust, is already a general condition.) The strongest must be most tightly bound, most strictly watched, laid in chains and supervised: this is the instinct of the herd. To them belongs a régime of self-mastery, of ascetic detachment, of 'duties' consisting in exhausting work, in which one can no longer call one's soul one's own.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Will to Power)
Do what you have to do as you must do it, and exert all your noble strength in doing it in so far as it pleases God, and give less attention to the approval or disapproval of men, though put their thoughts into consideration and take the lessons from their thoughts seriously. Factor the thoughts of the masses into changing the face of your vision as you journey to it and be happy and more confident about where you want to get to. Seek not for fame but let it inspire you to the top. Mind your real aim notwithstanding the obstacles and failure you shall meet. Do your best to present your best to God for from Him comes your daily breath!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Indeed, language, thought, and discourse are not what is most basic and determinative about human life as social and interpersonal. To say that ethics is more primary than philosophy is also to say that praxis is more primary than theory and that acting on behalf of the needs of other persons is more important, more basic, and more the point of being human than thinking about them or even following rules aimed at them or their well-being. Caring for you is the most human thing I can do, and a world in which I act toward you by acknowledging, accepting, and aiding you is best, enriched by my act and the acts of everyone who acts similarly.
Michael L. Morgan (The Cambridge Introduction to Emmanuel Levinas)
Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run—in the long run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
At every instant the objects and events in the world around us bombard us with impressions. As they do so they produce a phantasia, a mental impression. From this the mind generates a perception (hypolepsis), which might best be compared to a print made from a photographic negative. Ideally this print will be an accurate and faithful representation of the original. But it may not be. It may be blurred, or it may include shadow images that distort or obscure the original. Chief among these are inappropriate value judgments: the designation as “good” or “evil” of things that in fact are neither good nor evil. For example, my impression that my house has just burned down is simply that—an impression or report conveyed to me by my senses about an event in the outside world. By contrast, my perception that my house has burned down and I have thereby suffered a terrible tragedy includes not only an impression, but also an interpretation imposed upon that initial impression by my powers of hypolepsis. It is by no means the only possible interpretation, and I am not obliged to accept it. I may be a good deal better off if I decline to do so. It is, in other words, not objects and events but the interpretations we place on them that are the problem. Our duty is therefore to exercise stringent control over the faculty of perception, with the aim of protecting our mind from error.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film Lincoln is dramatization at its best. It shows the president, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, trying to make good on the claim, in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal: what more praiseworthy cause could a hedgehog possibly pursue? But to abolish slavery, Lincoln must move the Thirteenth Amendment through a fractious House of Representatives, and here his maneuvers are as foxy as they come. He resorts to deals, bribes, flattery, arm-twisting, and outright lies—so much so that the movie reeks, visually if not literally, of smoke-filled rooms. 27 When Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) asks the president how he can reconcile so noble an aim with such malodorous methods, Lincoln recalls what his youthful years as a surveyor taught him: [A] compass . . . [will] point you true north from where you’re standing, but it’s got no advice about the swamps and deserts and chasms that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead, heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp . . . , [then] what’s the use of knowing true north? 28 I had the spooky sense, when I saw the film, that Berlin was sitting next to me, and at the conclusion of this scene leaned over to whisper triumphantly: “You see? Lincoln knows when to be a hedgehog (consulting the compass) and when a fox (skirting the swamp)!
John Lewis Gaddis (On Grand Strategy)
Sometimes when one cannot stand the story or novel one is working on, it helps to write something else—a different story or novel, or essays venting one's favorite peeves, or exercises aimed at passing the time and incidentally polishing up one's craft. The best way in the world for breaking a writer's block is to write a lot. Jabbering away on paper, one gets tricked into feeling interested, all at once, in something one is saying, and behold, the magic waters are flowing again. Often it helps to work on a journal, since that allows the writer to write about those things that most interest him, yet frees him of the pressure of achievement and encourages him to develop a more natural, more personal style.
John Gardner (On Becoming a Novelist)
Feminist “theory,” as it is grandiloquently called, is simply whatever the women in the movement come up with in post facto justification of their attitudes and emotions. A heavy focus on feminist doctrine seems to me symptomatic of the rationalist fallacy: the assumption that people are motivated primarily by beliefs. If they were, the best way to combat an armed doctrine would indeed be to demonstrate that its beliefs are false. (…) A feminist in the strict and proper sense may be defined as a woman who envies the male role. By the male role I mean, in the first place, providing, protecting, and guiding rather than nurturing and assisting. This in turn envolves relative independence, action, and competition in the larger impersonal society outside the family, the use of language for communication and analysis (rather than expressiveness or emotional manipulation), and deliberate behavior aiming at objective achievement (rather than the attainment of pleasant subjective states) and guided by practical reasoning (rather than emotional impulse). Both feminist and nonfeminist women sense that these characteristically male attributes have a natural primacy over their own. I prefer to speak of“primacy” rather than superiority in this context since both sets of traits are necessary to propagate the race. One sign of male primacy is that envy of the female role by men is virtually nonexistent — even, so far as I know, among homosexuals. Normal women are attracted to male traits and wish to partner with a man who possesses them. (…) The feminists’ response to the primacy of male traits, on the other hand, is a feeling of inadequacy in regard to men—a feeling ill-disguised by defensive assertions of her “equality.”She desires to possess masculinity directly, in her own person, rather than partnering with a man. That is what leads her into the spiritual cul de sac of envy. And perhaps even more than she envies the male role itself, the feminist covets the external rewards attached to its successful performance: social status, recognition, power, wealth, and the chance to control wealth directly (rather than be supported).
F. Roger Devlin (Sexual Utopia in Power: The Feminist Revolt Against Civilization)
Oath of Non-Harm for an Age of Big Data I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability, the following covenant: I will respect all people for their integrity and wisdom, understanding that they are experts in their own lives, and will gladly share with them all the benefits of my knowledge. I will use my skills and resources to create bridges for human potential, not barriers. I will create tools that remove obstacles between resources and the people who need them. I will not use my technical knowledge to compound the disadvantage created by historic patterns of racism, classism, able-ism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, religious intolerance, and other forms of oppression. I will design with history in mind. To ignore a four-century-long pattern of punishing the poor is to be complicit in the “unintended” but terribly predictable consequences that arise when equity and good intentions are assumed as initial conditions. I will integrate systems for the needs of people, not data. I will choose system integration as a mechanism to attain human needs, not to facilitate ubiquitous surveillance. I will not collect data for data’s sake, nor keep it just because I can. When informed consent and design convenience come into conflict, informed consent will always prevail. I will design no data-based system that overturns an established legal right of the poor. I will remember that the technologies I design are not aimed at data points, probabilities, or patterns, but at human beings.
Virginia Eubanks (Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor)
How little one is justified in speaking in this connection of "optimism" and "pessimism" and how much the characterization of liberalism as "optimistic" aims at surrounding it with an unfavorable aura by bringing in extrascientific, emotional considerations is best shown by the fact that one can, with as much justice, call those people "optimists" who are convinced that the construction of a socialist or of an interventionist commonwealth would be practicable. Most of the writers who concern themselves with economic questions never miss an opportunity to heap senseless and childish abuse on the capitalist system and to praise in enthusiastic terms either socialism or inter ventionism, or even agrarian socialism and syndicalism, as excellent institutions.
Ludwig von Mises (Liberalism: The Classical Tradition)
I am not against playfully imagining possible decivilized worlds. But for such imaginings to be truly playful and to have experimental potential, they cannot be models worked out from abstracted conceptions of either past or future societies. In fact, in my opinion, it is best to leave the concept of “society” itself behind, and rather think in terms of perpetually changing, interweaving relationships between unique, desiring individuals. That said, we can only play and experiment now, where our desire for the apparently “impossible” meets the reality that surrounds us. If civilization were to be dismantled in our lifetime, we would not confront a world of lush forests and plains and healthy deserts teeming with an abundance of wildlife. We would instead confront a world full of the detritus of civilization — abandoned buildings, tools, scrap, etc., etc. Imaginations that are not chained either to realism or to a primitivist moral ideology could find many ways to use, explore and play with all of this — the possibilities are nearly infinite. More significantly, this is an immediate possibility, and one that can be explicitly connected with a destructive attack against civilization. And this immediacy is utterly essential, because I am living now, you are living now, not several hundred years from now, when an enforced program aimed toward a primitivist ideal might be able to create a world in which this ideal could be realized globally — if primitivists have their revolution now and enforce their program.
Wolfi Landstreicher
...The happy Warrior... 'tis he whose law is reason; who depends upon that law as on the best of friends; whence, in a state where men are tempted still to evil for a guard against worse ill, and what in quality or act is best doth seldom on a right foundation rest, he labors good on good to fix, and owes to virtue every triumph that he knows: who, if he rise to station of command, rises by open means; and there will stand on honorable terms, or else retire, and in himself possess his own desire; who comprehends his trust, and to the same keeps faithful with a singleness of aim; and therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait for wealth, or honors, or for worldly state; whom they must follow; on whose head must fall, like showers of manna, if they come at all:
William Wordsworth (Character of the Happy Warrior)
With drug use related harms, explanatory models are often presented as predictive tools, even though they ‘are [rarely if ever] predictive of consequent behavior’ or outcomes. Hence, we feel confident in asserting at outset, that prohibition based approaches in drug policy lack a sound basis in empirical research (despite sounding logical, i.e. remove drugs or the means of their production and less drugs will be available to users, thus minimising or eliminating harm), and are not animated by well-defined goals, goals that are not only consistent with the ethical and humanitarian aims of public health policy in general, but also with the fundamental principles of democracy) such as empowering or enabling those best placed to act, but by beliefs, assumptions, hypotheses and expectations.
Daniel Waterman
I hope I have now made it clear why I thought it best, in speaking of the dissonances between fiction and reality in our own time, to concentrate on Sartre. His hesitations, retractations, inconsistencies, all proceed from his consciousness of the problems: how do novelistic differ from existential fictions? How far is it inevitable that a novel give a novel-shaped account of the world? How can one control, and how make profitable, the dissonances between that account and the account given by the mind working independently of the novel? For Sartre it was ultimately, like most or all problems, one of freedom. For Miss Murdoch it is a problem of love, the power by which we apprehend the opacity of persons to the degree that we will not limit them by forcing them into selfish patterns. Both of them are talking, when they speak of freedom and love, about the imagination. The imagination, we recall, is a form-giving power, an esemplastic power; it may require, to use Simone Weil's words, to be preceded by a 'decreative' act, but it is certainly a maker of orders and concords. We apply it to all forces which satisfy the variety of human needs that are met by apparently gratuitous forms. These forms console; if they mitigate our existential anguish it is because we weakly collaborate with them, as we collaborate with language in order to communicate. Whether or no we are predisposed towards acceptance of them, we learn them as we learn a language. On one view they are 'the heroic children whom time breeds / Against the first idea,' but on another they destroy by falsehood the heroic anguish of our present loneliness. If they appear in shapes preposterously false we will reject them; but they change with us, and every act of reading or writing a novel is a tacit acceptance of them. If they ruin our innocence, we have to remember that the innocent eye sees nothing. If they make us guilty, they enable us, in a manner nothing else can duplicate, to submit, as we must, the show of things to the desires of the mind. I shall end by saying a little more about La Nausée, the book I chose because, although it is a novel, it reflects a philosophy it must, in so far as it possesses novel form, belie. Under one aspect it is what Philip Thody calls 'an extensive illustration' of the world's contingency and the absurdity of the human situation. Mr. Thody adds that it is the novelist's task to 'overcome contingency'; so that if the illustration were too extensive the novel would be a bad one. Sartre himself provides a more inclusive formula when he says that 'the final aim of art is to reclaim the world by revealing it as it is, but as if it had its source in human liberty.' This statement does two things. First, it links the fictions of art with those of living and choosing. Secondly, it means that the humanizing of the world's contingency cannot be achieved without a representation of that contingency. This representation must be such that it induces the proper sense of horror at the utter difference, the utter shapelessness, and the utter inhumanity of what must be humanized. And it has to occur simultaneously with the as if, the act of form, of humanization, which assuages the horror. This recognition, that form must not regress into myth, and that contingency must be formalized, makes La Nausée something of a model of the conflicts in the modern theory of the novel. How to do justice to a chaotic, viscously contingent reality, and yet redeem it? How to justify the fictive beginnings, crises, ends; the atavism of character, which we cannot prevent from growing, in Yeats's figure, like ash on a burning stick? The novel will end; a full close may be avoided, but there will be a close: a fake fullstop, an 'exhaustion of aspects,' as Ford calls it, an ironic return to the origin, as in Finnegans Wake and Comment c'est. Perhaps the book will end by saying that it has provided the clues for another, in which contingency will be defeated, ...
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
Putin had launched “a new form of warfare” in which the human mind was the main battlefront, a comprehensive assessment by the Modern War Institute at West Point concluded a decade later. Using disinformation and deception, “Russia created the time and space to shape the international narrative in the critical early days of the conflict.” The West Point study saw four essential elements of Russian information warfare on display in Georgia and thereafter: “First, and most benignly, it aims to put the best spin it can on ordinary news; second, it incites a population with fake information in order to prep a battlefield; third, it uses disinformation or creates enough ambiguity to confuse people on the battlefield; and fourth, it outright lies.” The overarching Russian strategy was “to degrade trust in institutions across the world.
Tim Weiner (The Folly and the Glory: America, Russia, and Political Warfare 1945–2020)
Harm reduction is often perceived as being inimical to the ultimate purpose of “curing” addiction—that is, of helping addicts transcend their habits and to heal. People regard it as “coddling” addicts, as enabling them to continue their destructive ways. It’s also considered to be the opposite of abstinence, which many regard as the only legitimate goal of addiction treatment. Such a distinction is artificial. The issue in medical practice is always how best to help a patient. If a cure is possible and probable without doing greater harm, then cure is the objective. When it isn’t — and in most chronic medical conditions cure is not the expected outcome — the physician’s role is to help the patient with the symptoms and to reduce the harm done by the disease process. In rheumatoid arthritis, for example, one aims to prevent joint inflammation and bone destruction and, in all events, to reduce pain. In incurable cancers we aim to prolong life, if that can be achieved without a loss of life quality, and also to control symptoms. In other words, harm reduction means making the lives of afflicted human beings more bearable, more worth living. That is also the goal of harm reduction in the context of addiction. Although hardcore drug addiction is much more than a disease, the harm reduction model is essential to its treatment. Given our lack of a systematic, evidencebased approach to addiction, in many cases it’s futile to dream of a cure. So long as society ostracizes the addict and the legal system does everything it can to heighten the drug problem, the welfare and medical systems can aim only to mitigate some of its effects. Sad to say, in our context harm reduction means reducing not only the harm caused by the disease of addiction, but also the harm caused by the social assault on drug addicts.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
HAPPINESS: "Flourishing is a fact, not a feeling. We flourish when we grow and thrive. We flourish when we exercise our powers. We flourish when we become what we are capable of becoming...Flourishing is rooted in action..."happiness is a kind of working of the soul in the way of perfect excellence"...a flourishing life is a life lived along lines of excellence...Flourishing is a condition that is created by the choices we make in the world we live in...Flourishing is not a virtue, but a condition; not a character trait, but a result. We need virtue to flourish, but virtue isn't enough. To create a flourishing life, we need both virtue and the conditions in which virtue can flourish...Resilience is a virtue required for flourishing, bur being resilient will not guarantee that we will flourish. Unfairness, injustice, and bad fortune will snuff our promising lives. Unasked-for pain will still come our way...We can build resilience and shape the world we live in. We can't rebuild the world...three primary kinds of happiness: the happiness of pleasure, the happiness of grace, and happiness of excellence...people who are flourishing usually have all three kinds of happiness in their lives...Aristotle understood: pushing ourselves to grow, to get better, to dive deeper is at the heart of happiness...This is the happiness that goes hand in hand with excellence, with pursuing worthy goals, with growing mastery...It is about the exercise of powers. The most common mistake people make in thinking about the happiness of excellence is to focus on moments of achievement. They imagine the mountain climber on the summit. That's part of the happiness of excellence, and a very real part. What counts more, though, is not the happiness of being there, but the happiness of getting there. A mountain climber heads for the summit, and joy meets her along the way. You head for the bottom of the ocean, and joy meets you on the way down...you create joy along the way...the concept of flow, the kind of happiness that comes when we lose ourselves through complete absorption in a rewarding task...the idea of flow..."Contrary to what we usually believe, moments like these, the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times...The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limit in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile."...Joy, like sweat, is usually a byproduct of your activity, not your aim...A focus on happiness will not lead to excellence. A focus on excellence will, over time, lead to happiness. The pursuit of excellence leads to growth, mastery, and achievement. None of these are sufficient for happiness, yet all of them are necessary...the pull of purpose, the desire to feel "needed in this world" - however we fulfill that desire - is a very powerful force in a human life...recognize that the drive to live well and purposefully isn't some grim, ugly, teeth-gritting duty. On the contrary: "it's a very good feeling." It is really is happiness...Pleasures can never make up for an absence of purposeful work and meaningful relationships. Pleasures will never make you whole...Real happiness comes from working together, hurting together, fighting together, surviving together, mourning together. It is the essence of the happiness of excellence...The happiness of pleasure can't provide purpose; it can't substitute for the happiness of excellence. The challenge for the veteran - and for anyone suddenly deprived of purpose - is not simple to overcome trauma, but to rebuild meaning. The only way out is through suffering to strength. Through hardship to healing. And the longer we wait, the less life we have to live...We are meant to have worthy work to do. If we aren't allowed to struggle for something worthwhile, we'll never grow in resilience, and we'll never experience complete happiness.
Eric Greitens (Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life)
Pleasure Principles What you pay attention to grows. This will be familiar to those who have read Emergent Strategy. Actually, all the emergent strategy principles also apply here! (Insert eggplant emoji). Tune into happiness, what satisfies you, what brings you joy. We become what we practice. I learned this through studying somatics! In his book The Leadership Dojo, Richard Strozzi-Heckler shares that “300 repetitions produce body memory … [and] 3,000 repetitions creates embodiment.”12 Yes is the way. When it was time to move to Detroit, when it was time to leave my last job, when it was time to pick up a meditation practice, time to swim, time to eat healthier, I knew because it gave me pleasure when I made and lived into the decision. Now I am letting that guide my choices for how I organize and for what I am aiming toward with my work—pleasure in the processes of my existence and states of my being. Yes is a future. When I feel pleasure, I know I am on the right track. Puerto Rican pleasure elder Idelisse Malave shared with me that her pleasure principle is “If it pleases me, I will.” When I am happy, it is good for the world.13 The deepest pleasure comes from riding the line between commitment and detachment.14 Commit yourself fully to the process, the journey, to bringing the best you can bring. Detach yourself from ego and outcomes. Make justice and liberation feel good. Your no makes the way for your yes. Boundaries create the container within which your yes is authentic. Being able to say no makes yes a choice. Moderation is key.15 The idea is not to be in a heady state of ecstasy at all times, but rather to learn how to sense when something is good for you, to be able to feel what enough is. Related: pleasure is not money. Pleasure is not even related to money, at least not in a positive way. Having resources to buy unlimited amounts of pleasure leads to excess, and excess totally destroys the spiritual experience of pleasure.
Adrienne Maree Brown (Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good (Emergent Strategy))
For a patrimonial state to be stable over time, it is best ruled with consent, at least with consent from the largest minority, if not from the majority. Instinctive obedience must be the norm, otherwise too much effort needs to be put into suppressing disaffection for the regime's wider aims to be achievable. Consent is, however, not always easy to obtain. The collective view of most societies is rather conservative: in the main people prefer to see the social arrangements of their youth perpetuated into their old age; they prefer that things be done in the time-honoured way; they are suspicious of novelty and resistant to change. Thus when radical action must be taken, for whatever reason, a great burden falls on the ruler, the father-figure, who has to overcome this social inertia and persuade his subjects to follow his lead. In order that his will shall prevail, he needs to generate huge respect, preferably adulation, and if at all possible sheer awe among his people.
Paul Kriwaczek (Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization)
Nobody can return to you something that was never yours, to begin with. Let’s trace back to the history of your race: the humans were made for slavery and were found faulty for that purpose. They showed immense energy and willpower only when confronted against tremendous obstacles with no weapons in their hands. With those bare hands, and the wits that exceeded even those of their creators and equalled the ones of mighty gods, they could break mountains. Once the humans earned at least a bit of benevolence from their creators, though, they’d immediately turn into lazy drunkards feasting upon the luxuries of life. They were quite haughty creatures, at that – one could never make them work without posing a certain purpose before their eyes. They should be given an aim they approved of, or else, they’d move no finger! Yet, if such necessities were met, they’d begin to loaf around. Forbidding them to taste those luxuries? Nay, they obeyed not! Hence, their creators cast them down on Earth – a planet inhabited by many other faulty experiments of different alien species, so that their lives would end. Yet even here, the humans defied their creators – instead of dying out, they adapted to the environment they were cast in, due to their boundless wits and the unexplainable willpower that no other species could ever possess. They mated the local species whom they could more or less find a common language with, killed off the obstacles, and conquered the planet as their own. The conquering ambitions of their creators, the boundless wisdom of their gods, and the primal instincts of Earthly nature – all of it meddled in these extraordinary creatures. They were full of instability, unpredictability, wild dreams, and rotten primitivism. Which side they would develop, depended entirely upon their choice. Aye, they had proven faulty to their creators, yet had attained the perfect treasure they required – the freedom. Could they make use of it? – Nay, certainly not… at least not many of them. There are certain individuals among the human race, who are able to well balance their mixed-up nature and grow into worthy people that merit our godly benevolence. However, most of them are quite an interesting bunch whom an ambitious man like me can make good use of. I am half-human with godly and angelic descendance, so I guess, I am worthy to be their sole ruler, their only saviour, their treasured shepherd… The shepherds too make use of their sheep – they guide them, then to consume some of them for wool and meat. Shepherds do not help the sheep for granted – they use their potential to its fullest. I shall be the same kind of a god – I shall help these magnificent creatures to achieve the wildest of their dreams but will use their powers for my own benefit. These poor creatures cannot define their potential alone, they cannot decide what’s the best and the fittest for them! I can achieve that. Free human souls? – Nay, they need no freedom. What they need, is to serve the rightful master, and that rightful master I shall be.
Tamuna Tsertsvadze (Galaxy Pirates)
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:28-6:33). What does all that mean? Orient yourself properly. Then—and only then—concentrate on the day. Set your sights at the Good, the Beautiful, and the True, and then focus pointedly and carefully on the concerns of each moment. Aim continually at Heaven while you work diligently on Earth. Attend fully to the future, in that manner, while attending fully to the present. Then you have the best chance of perfecting both.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
The tornadic bundle of legs and arms and feet and hands push farther into the kitchen until only the occasional flailing limb is visible from the living room, where I can’t believe I’m still standing. A spectator in my own life, I watch the supernova of my two worlds colliding: Mom and Galen. Human and Syrena. Poseidon and Triton. But what can I do? Who should I help? Mom, who lied to me for eighteen years, then tried to shank my boyfriend? Galen, who forgot this little thing called “tact” when he accused my mom of being a runaway fish-princess? Toraf, who…what the heck is Toraf doing, anyway? And did he really just sack my mom like an opposing quarterback? The urgency level for a quick decision elevates to right-freaking-now. I decide that screaming is still best for everyone-it’s nonviolent, distracting, and one of the things I’m very, very good at. I open my mouth, but Rayna beats me to it-only, her scream is much more valuable than mine would have been, because she includes words with it. “Stop it right now, or I’ll kill you all!” She pushed past me with a decrepit, rusty harpoon from God-knows-what century, probably pillaged from one of her shipwreck excursions. She waves it at the three of them like a crazed fisherman in a Jaws movie. I hope they don’t notice she’s got it pointed backward and that if she fires it, she’ll skewer our couch and Grandma’s first attempt at quilting. It works. The bare feet and tennis shoes stop scuffling-out of fear or shock, I’m not sure-and Toraf’s head appears at the top of the counter. “Princess,” he says, breathless. “I told you to stay outside.” “Emma, run!” Mom yells. Toraf disappears again, followed by a symphony of scraping and knocking and thumping and cussing. Rayna rolls her eyes at me, grumbling to herself as she stomps into the kitchen. She adjusts the harpoon to a more deadly position, scraping the popcorn ceiling and sending rust and Sheetrock and tetanus flaking onto the floor like dirty snow. Aiming it at the mound of struggling limbs, she says, “One of you is about to die, and right now I don’t really care who it is.” Thank God for Rayna. People like Rayna get things done. People like me watch people like Rayna get things done. Then people like me round the corner of the counter as if they helped, as if they didn’t stand there and let everyone they love beat the shizzle out of one another. I peer down at the three of them all tangled up. Crossing my arms, I try to mimic Rayna’s impressive rage, but I’m pretty sure my face is only capable of what-the-crap-was-that. Mom looks up at me, nostrils flaring like moth wings. “Emma, I told you to run,” she grinds out before elbowing Toraf in the mouth so hard I think he might swallow a tooth. Then she kicks Galen in the ribs. He groans, but catches her foot before she can re-up. Toraf spits blood on the linoleum beside him and grabs Mom’s arms. She writhes and wriggles, bristling like a trapped badger and cussing like sailor on crack. Mom has never been girlie. Finally she stops, her arms and legs slumping to the floor in defeat. Tears puddle in her eyes. “Let her go,” she sobs. “She’s got nothing to do with this. She doesn’t even know about us. Take me and leave her out of this. I’ll do anything.” Which reinforces, right here and now, that my mom is Nalia. Nalia is my mom. Also, holy crap.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Only under a polity in which all citizens enjoy equal rights—corresponding to the liberal ideal, which has nowhere ever been fully achieved—can there be political parties consisting of associations of persons who want to see their ideas on legislation and administration put into effect. For there can very well be differences of opinion concerning the best way to achieve the liberal aim of assuring peaceful social cooperation, and these differences of opinion must join issue as conflicts of ideas. Thus, in a liberal society there could be socialist parties too. Even parties that seek to have a special legal position conceded to particular groups would not be impossible under a liberal system. But all these parties must acknowledge liberalism (at least temporarily, until they emerge victorious) so far as to make use in their political struggles solely of the weapons of the intellect, which liberalism views as the only ones permissible in such contests, even though, in the last analysis, as socialists or as champions of special privileges, the members of the antiliberal parties reject the liberal philosophy.
Ludwig von Mises (Liberalism: The Classical Tradition)
Morning comes. I go to my class. There sit the little ones with folded arms. In their eyes is still all the shy astonishment of the childish years. They look up at me so trustingly, so believingly - and suddenly I get a spasm over the heart. Here I stand before you, one of the hundreds of thousands of bankrupt men in whom the war destroyed every belief and almost every strength. Here I stand before you, and see how much more alive, how much more rooted in life you are than I. Here I stand and must now be your teacher and guide. What should I teach you? Should I tell you that in twenty years you will be dried-up and crippled, maimed in your freest impulses, all pressed mercilessly into the selfsame mold? Should I tell you that all the learning, all culture, all science is nothing but hideous mockery, so long as mankind makes war in the name of God and humanity with gas, iron, explosive and fire? What should I teach you then, you little creatures who alone have remained unspotted by the terrible years? What am I able to teach you then? Should I tell you how to pull the string of a hand grenade, how best to throw it at a human being? Should I show you how to stab a man with a bayonet, how to fell him with a club, how to slaughter him with a spade? Should I demonstrate how best to aim a rifle at such an incomprehensible miracle as a breathing breast, a living heart? Should I explain to you what tetanus is, what a broken spine is, and what a shattered skull? Should I describe to you what brains look like when they scatter about? What crushed bones are like - and intestines when they pour out? Should I mimic how a man with a stomach wound will groan, how one with a lung wound gurgles and one with a head wound whistles? More I do not know. More I have not learned. Should I take you the brown-and-green map there, move my finger across it and tell you that here love was murdered? Should I explain to you that the books you hold in your hands are but nets with which men design to snare your simple souls, to entangle you in the undergrowth of find phrases, and in the barbed wire of falsified ideas? I stand here before you, a polluted, a guilty man and can only implore you ever to remain as you are, never to suffer the bright light of your childhood to be misused as a blow flame of hate. About your brows still blows the breath of innocence. How then should I presume to teach you? Behind me, still pursuing, are the bloody years. - How then can I venture among you? Must I not first become a man again myself?
Erich Maria Remarque (The Road Back)
According to socialism, instead of spending years talking about my mother, my emotions and my complexes, I should ask myself: who owns the means of production in my country? What are its main exports and imports? What’s the connection between the ruling politicians and international banking? Only by understanding the surrounding socio-economic system and taking into account the experiences of all other people could I truly understand what I feel, and only by common action can we change the system. Yet what person can take into account the experiences of all human beings, and weigh them one against the other in a fair way? That’s why socialists discourage self-exploration, and advocate the establishment of strong collective institutions – such as socialist parties and trade unions – that aim to decipher the world for us. Whereas in liberal politics the voter knows best, and in liberal economics the customer is always right, in socialist politics the party knows best, and in socialist economics the trade union is always right. Authority and meaning still come from human experience – both the party and the trade union are composed of people and work to alleviate human misery – yet individuals must listen to the party and the trade union rather than to their personal feelings.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Maxims If you work harder and look more closely, there's always something you can whittle away. It's when you get to the essence of your idea that you'll have something to be proud of. 196 Blunt is Simplicity. Meandering is Complexity. 13 The simplest way isn't always the easiest. 2 You can't let yourself be talked into going along with something when you know there's something better. Ever. 15 Apple encourages big thinking but small everything else. 25 Simplicity's best friend: Small groups of smart people. 26 Great ideas travel with a degree of risk. 39 Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff. ~ Steve Jobs's advice to Nike. 51 The less the merrier. 54 Simplicity never stands till. 70 To accomplish great things two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time. ~ Leonard Bernstein, 72 Aim realistically high. 72 Never stop moving. 73 As long as you've got new ideas to share, you are free to re-present the old ones. 110 Simplicity gains power through brevity. 133 Simplicity is in a hurry. 134 Simplicity has universal appeal. 161 It's really hard to design things by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them. ~ Steve Jobs, 164 Take advice, not orders. 166 So it must become your nature never to relent. You never want to come out even, because in this game a tie goes to Complexity. 192
Ken Segall (Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success)
The introduction to the original book as I found it in Greece contains many interesting points, since it shows that educators in foreign countries, notably in Germany, had come to the same conclusion with our best American teachers. The editor of the little Greek reading-book says: "In editing this work we have made use not only of Homer's 'Odyssey,' but also of that excellent reader which is used in the public schools of Germany, Willman's 'Lesebuch aus Homer.' We have divided the little volume into three parts, the first of which gives a short resumé of the war against Troy and the destruction of that city, the second the wanderings of Odysseus till his arrival in Ithaca, the third his arrival and the killing of the wooers. We have no apology to make in presenting this book to the public as a school-book, since many people superior to us have shown the need of such books in school-work. The new public schools, as is well known, have a mission of the highest importance. They do not aim, as formerly, at absolute knowledge pounded into the heads of children in a mechanical way. Their aim is the mental and ethical development of the pupils. Reading and writing lead but half way to this goal. With all nations the readers used in the public schools are a collection of the noblest thoughts of their authors." The Greek editor had never read the inane rat and cat stories of American school "readers" when he wrote that.
Homer (Odysseus, the Hero of Ithaca Adapted from the Third Book of the Primary Schools of Athens, Greece)
Travis raised his head from sighting down the rifle as shock radiated through him. Those eyes. Such a vivid blue. It was as if he’d seen them before. But that was impossible. Females didn’t exactly pay them calls on a regular basis. Clearing his throat, he readjusted his rifle. “We don’t cotton to trespassers around here, lady. You best skedaddle back the way you came.” “I will. But not until I say my piece.” She pivoted to face him fully, her lashes lowering for just a moment before she aimed her gaze directly at him again. Even knowing what was coming didn’t stop the jolt from ricocheting through his chest when those piercing eyes latched onto him. “I came to warn you, Travis.” Travis? She knew who he was? Most folks meeting the Archers all at once had no way of knowing him from Crockett or Jim. Yet she said his name with the confidence of recognition. He squinted at her. “Look, lady. I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but I want no part of it.” “This is no game. Please, Travis. Just listen.” “You know this gal, Trav?” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his youngest brother start to lower his rifle. “Hush up, Neill, and hold your line.” The kid obeyed without question, firming up his grip. “The man who wants to buy your land is sending men out here tonight to persuade you to change your mind. They plan to set fire to the place while you sleep and force you to accept the next offer in order to recoup your losses.
Karen Witemeyer (Short-Straw Bride (Archer Brothers, #1))
My Definite Chief Aim I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return, I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness. My aim is to establish a first Gung Fu Institute that will later spread all over the U.S. (I have set a time limit of 10 to 15 years to complete the whole project). My reason in doing this is not the sole objective of making money. The motives are many and among them are: I like to let the world know about the greatness of this Chinese art; I enjoy teaching and helping people; I like to have a well-to-do home for my family; I like to originate something; and the last but yet one of the most important is because gung fu is part of myself. … Right now, I can project my thoughts into the future. I can see ahead of me. I dream (remember that practical dreamers never quit). I may now own nothing but a little place down in a basement, but once my imagination has got up a full head of steam, I can see painted on a canvas of my mind a picture of a fine, big five or six story Gung Fu Institute with branches all over the States. I am not easily discouraged, readily visualize myself as overcoming obstacles, winning out over setbacks, achieving “impossible” objectives.
Bruce Lee
Build houses and make yourselves at home. You are not camping. This is your home; make yourself at home. This may not be your favorite place, but it is a place. Dig foundations; construct a habitation; develop the best environment for living that you can. If all you do is sit around and pine for the time you get back to Jerusalem, your present lives will be squalid and empty. Your life right now is every bit as valuable as it was when you were in Jerusalem, and every bit as valuable as it will be when you get back to Jerusalem. Babylonian exile is not your choice, but it is what you are given. Build a Babylonian house and live in it as well as you are able. Put in gardens and eat what grows in the country. Enter into the rhythm of the seasons. Become a productive part of the economy of the place. You are not parasites. Don’t expect others to do it for you. Get your hands into the Babylonian soil. Become knowledgeable about the Babylonian irrigation system. Acquire skill in cultivating fruits and vegetables in this soil and climate. Get some Babylonian recipes and cook them. Marry and have children. These people among whom you are living are not beneath you, nor are they above you; they are your equals with whom you can engage in the most intimate and responsible of relationships. You cannot be the person God wants you to be if you keep yourself aloof from others. That which you have in common is far more significant than what separates you. They are God’s persons: your task as a person of faith is to develop trust and conversation, love and understanding. Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare. Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you. Welfare: shalom. Shalom means wholeness, the dynamic, vibrating health of a society that pulses with divinely directed purpose and surges with life-transforming love. Seek the shalom and pray for it. Throw yourselves into the place in which you find yourselves, but not on its terms, on God’s terms. Pray. Search for that center in which God’s will is being worked out (which is what we do when we pray) and work from that center. Jeremiah’s letter is a rebuke and a challenge: “Quit sitting around feeling sorry for yourselves. The aim of the person of faith is not to be as comfortable as possible but to live as deeply and thoroughly as possible—to deal with the reality of life, discover truth, create beauty, act out love. You didn’t do it when you were in Jerusalem. Why don’t you try doing it here, in Babylon? Don’t listen to the lying prophets who make an irresponsible living by selling you false hopes. You are in Babylon for a long time. You better make the best of it. Don’t just get along, waiting for some miraculous intervention. Build houses, plant gardens, marry husbands, marry wives, have children, pray for the wholeness of Babylon, and do everything you can to develop that wholeness. The only place you have to be human is where you are right now. The only opportunity you will ever have to live by faith is in the circumstances you are provided this very day: this house you live in, this family you find yourself in, this job you have been given, the weather conditions that prevail at this moment.
Eugene H. Peterson (Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best)
When the course of civilization takes an unexpected turn—when, instead of the continuous progress which we have come to expect, we find ourselves threatened by evils associated by us with past ages of barbarism—we naturally blame anything but ourselves. Have we not all striven according to our best lights, and have not many of our finest minds incessantly worked to make this a better world? Have not all our efforts and hopes been directed toward greater freedom, justice, and prosperity? If the outcome is so different from our aims— if, instead of freedom and prosperity, bondage and misery stare us in the face—is it not clear that sinister forces must have foiled our intentions, that we are the victims of some evil power which must be conquered before we can resume the road to better things? However much we may differ when we name the culprit—whether it is the wicked capitalist or the vicious spirit of a particular nation, the stupidity of our elders, or a social system not yet, although we have struggled against it for half a century, fully overthrown—we all are, or at last were until recently, certain of one thing: that the leading ideas which during the last generation have become common to most people of good will and have determined the major changes in our social life cannot have been wrong. We are ready to accept almost any explanation of the present crisis of our civilization except one: that the present state of the world may be the result of genuine error on our own part and that the pursuit of some of our most cherished ideals has apparently produced results utterly different from those which we expected.
Friedrich A. Hayek (The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents: The Definitive Edition (The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek))
While writing the article that reported these findings, Amos and I discovered that we enjoyed working together. Amos was always very funny, and in his presence I became funny as well, so we spent hours of solid work in continuous amusement. The pleasure we found in working together made us exceptionally patient; it is much easier to strive for perfection when you are never bored. Perhaps most important, we checked our critical weapons at the door. Both Amos and I were critical and argumentative, he even more than I, but during the years of our collaboration neither of us ever rejected out of hand anything the other said. Indeed, one of the great joys I found in the collaboration was that Amos frequently saw the point of my vague ideas much more clearly than I did. Amos was the more logical thinker, with an orientation to theory and an unfailing sense of direction. I was more intuitive and rooted in the psychology of perception, from which we borrowed many ideas. We were sufficiently similar to understand each other easily, and sufficiently different to surprise each other. We developed a routine in which we spent much of our working days together, often on long walks. For the next fourteen years our collaboration was the focus of our lives, and the work we did together during those years was the best either of us ever did. We quickly adopted a practice that we maintained for many years. Our research was a conversation, in which we invented questions and jointly examined our intuitive answers. Each question was a small experiment, and we carried out many experiments in a single day. We were not seriously looking for the correct answer to the statistical questions we posed. Our aim was to identify and analyze the intuitive answer, the first one that came to mind, the one we were tempted to make even when we knew it to be wrong. We believed—correctly, as it happened—that any intuition that the two of us shared would be shared by many other people as well, and that it would be easy to demonstrate its effects on judgments.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
I think I have done you a disservice,” my father finally said, looking me in the eye. “I told you from such a young age that you could be the very best. But I never explained to you that it’s about aiming for excellence, not about stats.” “What?” “I am just saying that when you were a child, I spoke in…grandiosities. But, Carrie, there is no actual unequivocal greatest in the world. Tennis doesn’t work like that. The world doesn’t work like that.” “I’m not going to sit here and be insulted.” “How am I insulting you? I am telling you there is no one way to define the greatest of all time. You’re focusing right now on rankings. But what about the person who gets the most titles over the span of their career? Are they the greatest? How about the person with the fastest recorded serve? Or the highest paid? I’m asking you to take a minute and recalibrate your expectations.” “Excuse me?” I said, standing up. “Recalibrate my expectations?” “Carrie,” my father said. “Please listen to me.” “No,” I said, putting my hands up. “Don’t use your calm voice and act like you’re being nice. Because you’re not. Having someone on this planet who is as good as me—or better—means I have not achieved my goal. If you would like to coach someone who is fine being second, go coach someone else.” I threw my napkin down and walked out of the restaurant. I made my way through the lobby to the parking lot. I was still furious by the time my father caught up to me by my car. “Carolina, stop, you’re making a scene,” he said. “Do you have any idea how hard it is?” I shouted. It felt shocking to me, to hear my own voice that loud. “To give everything you have to something and still not be able to grasp it! To fail to reach the top day after day and be expected to do it with a smile on your face? Maybe I’m not allowed to make a scene on the court, but I will make a scene here, Dad. It is the very least you can give me. Just for once in my life, let me scream about something!” There were people gathering in the parking lot, and each one of them, I could tell, knew my name. Knew my father’s name. Knew exactly what they were witnessing. “WHAT ARE YOU ALL LOOKING AT? GO ON ABOUT YOUR SAD LITTLE DAYS!” I got in my convertible and drove away. —
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Carrie Soto Is Back)
David Brooks, “Our Founding Yuppie,” Weekly Standard, Oct. 23, 2000, 31. The word “meritocracy” is an argument-starter, and I have employed it sparingly in this book. It is often used loosely to denote a vision of social mobility based on merit and diligence, like Franklin’s. The word was coined by British social thinker Michael Young (later to become, somewhat ironically, Lord Young of Darlington) in his 1958 book The Rise of the Meritocracy (New York: Viking Press) as a dismissive term to satirize a society that misguidedly created a new elite class based on the “narrow band of values” of IQ and educational credentials. The Harvard philosopher John Rawls, in A Theory of Justice (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971), 106, used it more broadly to mean a “social order [that] follows the principle of careers open to talents.” The best description of the idea is in Nicholas Lemann’s The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999), a history of educational aptitude tests and their effect on American society. In Franklin’s time, Enlightenment thinkers (such as Jefferson in his proposals for creating the University of Virginia) advocated replacing the hereditary aristocracy with a “natural aristocracy,” whose members would be plucked from the masses at an early age based on “virtues and talents” and groomed for leadership. Franklin’s idea was more expansive. He believed in encouraging and providing opportunities for all people to succeed as best they could based on their diligence, hard work, virtue, and talent. As we shall see, his proposals for what became the University of Pennsylvania (in contrast to Jefferson’s for the University of Virginia) were aimed not at filtering a new elite but at encouraging and enriching all “aspiring” young men. Franklin was propounding a more egalitarian and democratic approach than Jefferson by proposing a system that would, as Rawls (p. 107) would later prescribe, assure that “resources for education are not to be allotted solely or necessarily mainly according to their return as estimated in productive trained abilities, but also according to their worth in enriching the personal and social life of citizens.” (Translation: He cared not simply about making society as a whole more productive, but also about making each individual more enriched.)
Walter Isaacson (Benjamin Franklin: An American Life)
In other words, you'll pretend to be someone else in order to snag a husband." "Oh, for heaven's sake," she said defensively, "it's no different than what half the women in society do to catch a man. I don't want to waste my time in pointless flirtation when a little knowledge will improve my aim on the targets." He flashed her a condescending smile. "What is it?" she snapped. "Only you would approach courtship as a marksman approaches a shooting match." He licked the tip of his pencil. "So who are these hapless targets?" "The Earl of Devonmont, the Duke of Lyons, and Fernandez Valdez, the Viscount de Basto." His jaw dropped. "Are you insane?" "I know they're rather beyond my reach, but they seem to like my company-" "I daresay they do!" He strode up to her, strangely angry. "The earl is a rakehell with a notorious reputation for trying to get beneath the skirts of every woman he meets. The duke's father was mad, and it's said to run in his family, which is why most women steer clear of him. And Basto is a Portuguese idiot who's too old for you and clearly trawling for some sweet young thing to nurse him in his declining years." "How can you say such things? The only one you know personally is Lord Devonmont, and you barely know even him." "I don't have to. Their reputations tell me they're utterly unacceptable." Unacceptable? Three of the most eligible bachelors in London? Mr. Pinter was mad, not her. "Lord Devonmont is Gabe's wife's cousin. The duke of Gabe's best friend, whom I've known since childhood, and the viscount...well..." "Is an oily sort, from what I hear," he snapped. "No, he isn't. He's very pleasant to talk to." Really, this was the most ridiculous conversation. "Who the devil do you think I should marry, anyway?" That seemed to take him aback. He glanced away. "I don't know," he muttered. "But no...That is, you shouldn't..." He tugged at his cravat. "They're wrong for you, that's all." She'd flustered Mr. Pinter. How astonishing! He was never flustered. It made him look vulnerable and much less...stiff. She rather liked that. But she'd like it even better if she understood what had provoked it. "Why do you care whom I choose, as long as you're paid? I'm wiling to pay extra to ensure that you find out everything I want to know." Once more he turned into Proud Pinter. "It isn't a matter of payment, madam. I choose my own assignments, and this one isn't to my taste. Good day," Turning on his heel, he headed for the door. Oh, dear, she hadn't meant to run him off entirely.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Bram stared into a pair of wide, dark eyes. Eyes that reflected a surprising glimmer of intelligence. This might be the rare female a man could reason with. “Now, then,” he said. “We can do this the easy way, or we can make things difficult.” With a soft snort, she turned her head. It was as if he’d ceased to exist. Bram shifted his weight to his good leg, feeling the stab to his pride. He was a lieutenant colonel in the British army, and at over six feet tall, he was said to cut an imposing figure. Typically, a pointed glance from his quarter would quell the slightest hint of disobedience. He was not accustomed to being ignored. “Listen sharp now.” He gave her ear a rough tweak and sank his voice to a low threat. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll do as I say.” Though she spoke not a word, her reply was clear: You can kiss my great woolly arse. Confounded sheep. “Ah, the English countryside. So charming. So…fragrant.” Colin approached, stripped of his London-best topcoat, wading hip-deep through the river of wool. Blotting the sheen of perspiration from his brow with his sleeve, he asked, “I don’t suppose this means we can simply turn back?” Ahead of them, a boy pushing a handcart had overturned his cargo, strewing corn all over the road. It was an open buffet, and every ram and ewe in Sussex appeared to have answered the invitation. A vast throng of sheep bustled and bleated around the unfortunate youth, gorging themselves on the spilled grain-and completely obstructing Bram’s wagons. “Can we walk the teams in reverse?” Colin asked. “Perhaps we can go around, find another road.” Bram gestured at the surrounding landscape. “There is no other road.” They stood in the middle of the rutted dirt lane, which occupied a kind of narrow, winding valley. A steep bank of gorse rose up on one side, and on the other, some dozen yards of heath separated the road from dramatic bluffs. And below those-far below those-lay the sparkling turquoise sea. If the air was seasonably dry and clear, and Bram squinted hard at that thin indigo line of the horizon, he might even glimpse the northern coast of France. So close. He’d get there. Not today, but soon. He had a task to accomplish here, and the sooner he completed it, the sooner he could rejoin his regiment. He wasn’t stopping for anything. Except sheep. Blast it. It would seem they were stopping for sheep. A rough voice said, “I’ll take care of them.” Thorne joined their group. Bram flicked his gaze to the side and spied his hulking mountain of a corporal shouldering a flintlock rifle. “We can’t simply shoot them, Thorne.” Obedient as ever, Thorne lowered his gun. “Then I’ve a cutlass. Just sharpened the blade last night.” “We can’t butcher them, either.” Thorne shrugged. “I’m hungry.” Yes, that was Thorne-straightforward, practical. Ruthless. “We’re all hungry.” Bram’s stomach rumbled in support of the statement. “But clearing the way is our aim at the moment, and a dead sheep’s harder to move than a live one. We’ll just have to nudge them along.” Thorne lowered the hammer of his rifle, disarming it, then flipped the weapon with an agile motion and rammed the butt end against a woolly flank. “Move on, you bleeding beast.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
A stranger. Young, well-dressed, pale and visibly sweaty, as if he’d endured some great shock and needed a drink. West would have been tempted to pour him one, if not for the fact that he’d just pulled a small revolver from his pocket and was pointing it in his direction. The nose of the short barrel was shaking. Commotion erupted all around them as patrons became aware of the drawn pistol. Tables and chairs were vacated, and shouts could be heard among the growing uproar. “You self-serving bastard,” the stranger said unsteadily. “That could be either of us,” Severin remarked with a slight frown, setting down his drink. “Which one of us do you want to shoot?” The man didn’t seem to hear the question, his attention focused only on West. “You turned her against me, you lying, manipulative snake.” “It’s you, apparently,” Severin said to West. “Who is he? Did you sleep with his wife?” “I don’t know,” West said sullenly, knowing he should be frightened of an unhinged man aiming a pistol at him. But it took too much energy to care. “You forgot to cock the hammer,” he told the man, who immediately pulled it back. “Don’t encourage him, Ravenel,” Severin said. “We don’t know how good a shot he is. He might hit me by mistake.” He left his chair and began to approach the man, who stood a few feet away. “Who are you?” he asked. When there was no reply, he persisted, “Pardon? Your name, please?” “Edward Larson,” the young man snapped. “Stay back. If I’m to be hanged for shooting one of you, I’ll have nothing to lose by shooting both of you.” West stared at him intently. The devil knew how Larson had found him there, but clearly he was in a state. Probably in worse condition than anyone in the club except for West. He was clean-cut, boyishly handsome, and looked like he was probably very nice when he wasn’t half-crazed. There could be no doubt as to what had made him so wretched—he knew his wrongdoings had been exposed, and that he’d lost any hope of a future with Phoebe. Poor bastard. Picking up his glass, West muttered, “Go on and shoot.” Severin continued speaking to the distraught man. “My good fellow, no one could blame you for wanting to shoot Ravenel. Even I, his best friend, have been tempted to put an end to him on a multitude of occasions.” “You’re not my best friend,” West said, after taking a swallow of brandy. “You’re not even my third best friend.” “However,” Severin continued, his gaze trained on Larson’s gleaming face, “the momentary satisfaction of killing a Ravenel—although considerable—wouldn’t be worth prison and public hanging. It’s far better to let him live and watch him suffer. Look how miserable he is right now. Doesn’t that make you feel better about your own circumstances? I know it does me.” “Stop talking,” Larson snapped. As Severin had intended, Larson was distracted long enough for another man to come up behind him unnoticed. In a deft and well-practiced move, the man smoothly hooked an arm around Larson’s neck, grasped his wrist, and pushed the hand with the gun toward the floor. Even before West had a good look at the newcomer’s face, he recognized the smooth, dry voice with its cut-crystal tones, so elegantly commanding it could have belonged to the devil himself. “Finger off the trigger, Larson. Now.” It was Sebastian, the Duke of Kingston . . . Phoebe’s father. West lowered his forehead to the table and rested it there, while his inner demons all hastened to inform him they really would have preferred the bullet.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))