Allowed To Use Quotes

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THE FIRST TEN LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL 1. We are here to help you. 2. You will have time to get to your class before the bell rings. 3. The dress code will be enforced. 4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds. 5. Our football team will win the championship this year. 6. We expect more of you here. 7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen. 8. Your schedule was created with you in mind. 9. Your locker combination is private. 10. These will be the years you look back on fondly. TEN MORE LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL 1. You will use algebra in your adult lives. 2. Driving to school is a privilege that can be taken away. 3. Students must stay on campus during lunch. 4. The new text books will arrive any day now. 5. Colleges care more about you than your SAT scores. 6. We are enforcing the dress code. 7. We will figure out how to turn off the heat soon. 8. Our bus drivers are highly trained professionals. 9. There is nothing wrong with summer school. 10. We want to hear what you have to say.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
give your daughters difficult names. give your daughters names that command the full use of tongue. my name makes you want to tell me the truth. my name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right.
Warsan Shire
I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use -- silence, exile, and cunning.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.
James Allen (As a Man Thinketh)
Have you kissed many boys before?" he asked quietly. His question brought my mind back into focus. I raised an eyebrow. "Boys? That's an assumption." Noah laughed, the sound low and husky. "Girls, then?" "No." "Not many girls? Or not many boys?" "Neither," I said. Let him make of that what he would. "How many?" "Why—" "I am taking away that word. You are no longer allowed to use it. How many?" My cheeks flushed, but my voice was steady as I answered. "One." At this, Noah leaned in impossibly closer, the slender muscles in his forearm flexing as he bent his elbow to bring himself nearer to me, almost touching. I was heady with the proximity of him and grew legitimately concerned that my heart might explode. Maybe Noah wasn't asking. Maybe I didn't mind. I closed my eyes and felt Noah's five o' clock graze my jaw, and the faintest whisper of his lips at my ear. "He was doing it wrong.
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
Words used carelessly, as if they did not matter in any serious way, often allowed otherwise well-guarded truths to seep through.
Douglas Adams (The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Dirk Gently, #2))
People don't read any more. It's a sad state of affairs. Reading's the only thing that allows you to use your imagination. When you watch films it's someone else's vision, isn't it?" [Interview in The Independent, 15 October 2005]
Lemmy Kilmister
May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us." ...
Saint Terese of Liseaux
Try to find pleasure in the speed that you're not used to. Changing the way you do routine things allows a new person to grow inside of you. But when all is said and done, you're the one who must decide how you handle it.
Paulo Coelho
Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing 1. Never open a book with weather. 2. Avoid prologues. 3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. 4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely. 5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose." 7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. 8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters. 9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things. 10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. My most important rule is one that sums up the 10. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Elmore Leonard
May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.
Teresa de Jesús
trying to convince myself i am allowed to take up space is like writing with my left hand when i was born to use my right -the idea shrinking is hereditary
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
If you think I'm going to let six people risk their lives - !' 'because it's the first time for all of us,' said Ron. 'This is different, pretending to be me -' 'Well, none of us really fancy it, Harry,' said Fred earnestly. 'Imagine if something went wrong and we were stuck as specky, scrawny gits forever.' Harry did not smile. 'You can't do it if I don't cooperate, you need me to give you some hair.' 'Well, that's the plan scuppered,' said George. 'Obviously there's no chance at all of us getting a bit of your hair unless you cooperate.' 'Yeah, thirteen of us against one bloke who's not allowed to use magic; we've got no chance,' said Fred.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy's useful actions but allow his useless actions
Miyamoto Musashi (A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy)
For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
The strange word nymphomation, used to denote a complex mathematical procedure where numbers, rather than being added together or multiplied or whatever, were actually allowed to breed with each other to produce new numbers.
Jeff Noon (Nymphomation (Vurt, #4))
I have a private theory, Sir, that there are no heroes and no monsters in this world. Only children should be allowed to use these words
Alfred de Vigny (Stello)
What use are experiences if we're not allowed to remember them? If we forget in order to avoid the pain of loss? What is the point of living if we have to always insulate ourselves?
Carrie Ryan (The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2))
Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable. We are against such a situation and will not allow it. Those who use religion in such a manner have fooled our people; it is against just such people that we have fought and will continue to fight.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
In our relationships, how much can we allow them to become new, and how much do we cling to what they used to be yesterday?
Ram Dass
Just because you’re allowed to use magic now you don’t have to whip your wands out for every tiny little thing!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
If we hold tightly to anything given to us unwilling to allow it to be used as the Giver means it to be used we stunt the growth of the soul. What God gives us is not necessarily "ours" but only ours to offer back to him, ours to relinguish, ours to lose, ours to let go of, if we want to be our true selves. Many deaths must go into reaching our maturity in Christ, many letting goes.
Elisabeth Elliot (Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control)
encroach, v. The first three nights we spent together, I couldn't sleep. I wasn't used to your breathing, your feet on my legs, your weight in my bed. In truth, I still sleep better when I'm alone. But now I allow that sleep isn't always the most important thing.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Allow me to explain how my whole life has prepared me for this moment. I am used to girls screaming, and your screams – will be sweeter than another’s cries of love.
Holly Black (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown)
A letter is always better than a phone call. People write things in letters they would never say in person. They permit themselves to write down feelings and observations using emotional syntax far more intimate and powerful than speech will allow.
Alice Steinbach (Educating Alice: Adventures of a Curious Woman)
Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect. But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants "just a few minutes of your time, please—this won't take long." Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time—and squawk for more! So learn to say No—and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you. (This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don't do it because it is "expected" of you.)
Robert A. Heinlein (Time Enough for Love)
When my daughter was a toddler, I used to take her to a park not far from our apartment. One day as she was playing in a sandbox, an ice-cream salesman approached us. I purchased her a treat, and when I turned to give it to her, I saw her mouth was full of sand. Where I had intended to put a delicacy, she had put dirt. Did I love her with dirt in her mouth? Absolutely. Was she any less of my daughter with dirt in her mouth? Of course not. Was I going to allow her to keep the dirt in her mouth? No way. I loved her right where she was, but I refused to leave her there. I carried her over to the water fountain and washed out her mouth. Why? Because I love her. God does the same for us. He holds us over the fountain. "Spit out the dirt, honey," our Father urges. "I've got something better for you." And so he cleanses us of filth; immorality, dishonesty, prejudice, bitterness, greed. We don't enjoy the cleansing; sometimes we even opt for the dirt over the ice cream. "I can eat dirt if I want to!" we pout and proclaim. Which is true—we can. But if we do, the loss is ours. God has a better offer.
Max Lucado (Just Like Jesus)
When we want to help the poor, we usually offer them charity. Most often we use charity to avoid recognizing the problem and finding the solution for it. Charity becomes a way to shrug off our responsibility. But charity is no solution to poverty. Charity only perpetuates poverty by taking the initiative away from the poor. Charity allows us to go ahead with our own lives without worrying about the lives of the poor. Charity appeases our consciences.
Muhammad Yunus (Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty)
Its amazing waht you can get used to if your daily allowance of bizarre is high enough.'......Harry Dresden
Jim Butcher (Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10))
Thank you. It used to be knee length, but then I discovered that when I get angry I like to cut things. I'm not allowed to have scissors any more. It's still pretty lengthy, but I've been threatening to shave half of it for the past week and nobody seems to believe me... I do it all myself though because I scream when I'm touched and that scares people.
Emilie Autumn
If we choose to, we can live in a world of comforting illusions. We can allow ourselves to be deceived by false realities. Or we can use them to hide our true intentions.
Emily Thorne
They don't know we're not allowed to use magic at home. I'm going to have a lot of fun with Dudley this summer.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
Humility will allow you to master what you need to learn, and to be fully present when the moment comes to use what you have mastered.
Graeme Rodaughan (A Subtle Agency (The Metaframe War #1))
The best indicator of your level of consciousness is how you deal with life's challenges when they come. Through those challenges, an already unconscious person tends to become more deeply unconscious, and a conscious person more intensely conscious. You can use a challenge to awaken you, or you can allow it to pull you into even deeper sleep. The dream of ordinary unconsciousness then turns into a nightmare.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
The sun has blessed you," Sarita used to say. "Look how he has left his kisses on your face for all to see and be jealous." "The sun loves you more," I said, rubbing my hands over her dry arms, the color of an aged wine gourd, and she laughed. But this is not India and we are not prized for our freckles here. The sun is not allowed to show his love.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
I personally have a cunt. Sometimes it's 'flaps' or 'twat', but most of the time, it's my cunt. Cunt is a proper, old, historic, strong word. I like that my fire escape also doubles up as the most potent swearword in the English language. Yeah. That's how powerful it is, guys. If I tell you what I've got down there, old ladies and clerics might faint. I like how shocked people are when you say 'cunt'. It's like I have a nuclear bomb in my pants, or a tiger, or a gun. Compared to this the most powerful swearword men have got out of their privates is 'dick', which is frankly vanilla, and I believe you're allowed to use on, like, Blue Peter if something goes wrong. In a culture where nearly everything female is still seen as squeam-inducing, and/or weak - menstruation, menopause, just the sheer simple act of calling someone 'a girl' - I love that 'cunt' stands, on its own, as the supreme unvanquishable word. It has almost mystic resonance. It is a cunt - we all know it's a cunt - but we can't call it a cunt. We can't say the actual word. It's too powerful. Like Jews can never utter the Tetragrammaton - an must make do with 'Jehovah', instead.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
We love being mentally strong, but we hate situations that allow us to put our mental strength to good use.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
We all make mistakes. And some of them are really bad... But that doesn't mean we're allowed to use those mistakes as excuses. In fact, doing that makes them even worse.
Sarah Fine (Fractured (Guards of the Shadowlands, #2))
Since every country stands in numerous and various relations with the other countries of the world, and many, our own among the number, exercise actual authority over some of these, a knowledge of the established rules of international morality is essential to the duty of every nation, and therefore of every person in it who helps to make up the nation, and whose voice and feeling form a part of what is called public opinion. Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject. It depends on the habit of attending to and looking into public transactions, and on the degree of information and solid judgment respecting them that exists in the community, whether the conduct of the nation as a nation, both within itself and towards others, shall be selfish, corrupt, and tyrannical, or rational and enlightened, just and noble.
John Stuart Mill (Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867 (Collected Works))
I am like a winged creature who is too rarely allowed to use its wings. Ecstasies do not occur often enough.
Anaïs Nin
Jon Spiro had not hired Pex and Chips for their debating sills. In the job interview, they had only been set one task. A hundred applicants were handed a walnut and asked to smash it however they could. Only two succeeded. Pex had shouted at the walnut for a few minutes, then flattened it between his giant palms. Chips had opted for a more controversial method. He placed the walnut on the table, grabbed is interviewer by the ponytail, and used the man's forehead to smash the nut. Both men were hired on the spot. They quickly established themselves as Arno Blunt's most reliable leiutenants for in-house work. They were not allowed outside Chicago, as this could involve map reading, something Pex and Chips were not very good at.
Eoin Colfer (The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3))
It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky, up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened- Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
She'd preferred the uncertainty, if only because it allowed her to remember him the way he used to be. Sometimes, though, she wondered what he felt when he thought of that year they spent together, or if he ever marveled at what they'd shared, or even whether he thought of her at all.
Nicholas Sparks (The Best of Me)
You're not allowed to have legs and not use them. Dance.
Dianna Hardy (Heart Of The Wolf (Eye Of The Storm, #3))
The man shouldn’t be allowed to have a mouth. Shouldn’t be allowed to use that thing like a weapon.
Alessandra Torre (Hollywood Dirt (Hollywood Dirt, #1))
I'm always telling myself I don't have many feelings. Even when something does affect me I'm only moderately moved. I almost never cry. It's not that I'm stronger than the ones with teary eyes, I'm weaker. They have courage. When all you are is skin and bones, feelings are a brave thing. I'm more of a coward. The difference is minimal though, I just use my strength not to cry. When I do allow myself a feeling, I take the part that hurts and bandage it up with a story that doesn't cry, that doesn't dwell on homesickness.
Herta Müller (The Hunger Angel)
All my life and all my experience, the events that have befallen me, the people I have known, all my memories, dreams, fantasies, everything I have ever read, all of that has been chucked onto the compost heap, where over time it has rotted down to a dark, rich, organic mulch. The process of cellular breakdown makes it unrecognizable. Other people call it the imagination. I think of it as a compost heap. Every so often I take an idea, plant it in the compost, and wait. It feeds on the black stuff that used to be a life, takes its energy for its own. It germinates,. Takes root. Produces shoots. And so on and so forth, until one fine day I have a story, or a novel....Readers are fools. They believe all writing is autobiographical. And so it is, but not in the way they think. The writer's life needs time to rot away before it can be used to nourish a work of fiction. It must be allowed to decay.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
Indeed, religion allows people to imagine that their concerns are moral when they are highly immoral - that is, when pressing these concerns inflicts unnecessary and appalling suffering on innocent human beings. This explains why Christians like yourself expend more "moral" energy opposing abortion than fighting genocide. It explains why you are more concerned about human embryos than about the lifesaving promise of stem-cell research. And it explains why you can preach against condom use in sub-Saharan Africa while millions die from AIDS there each year.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
Libraries allow children to ask questions about the world and find the answers. And the wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open.
Laura Bush
Me, and thousands of others in this country like me, are half-baked, because we were never allowed to complete our schooling. Open our skulls, look in with a penlight, and you'll find an odd museum of ideas: sentences of history or mathematics remembered from school textbooks (no boy remembers his schooling like the one who was taken out of school, let me assure you), sentences about politics read in a newspaper while waiting for someone to come to an office, triangles and pyramids seen on the torn pages of the old geometry textbooks which every tea shop in this country uses to wrap its snacks in, bits of All India Radio news bulletins, things that drop into your mind, like lizards from the ceiling, in the half hour before falling asleep--all these ideas, half formed and half digested and half correct, mix up with other half-cooked ideas in your head, and I guess these half-formed ideas bugger one another, and make more half-formed ideas, and this is what you act on and live with.
Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger)
Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to used during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course? Each of us has such a bank, it's name is time. Every morning, it credits you 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off at a lost, whatever of this you failed to invest to a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no over draft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against "tomorrow". You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and health. The clock is running. Make the most of today.
Marc Levy (If Only It Were True)
There is no ongoing spiritual life without this process of letting go. At the precise point where we refuse, growth stops. If we hold tightly to anything given to us, unwilling to let it go when the time comes to let it go or unwilling to allow it to be used as the Giver means it to be used, we stunt the growth of the soul. It is easy to make a mistake here, “If God gave it to me,” we say, “its mine. I can do what I want with it.” No. The truth is that it is ours to thank Him for and ours to offer back to Him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go of – if we want to find our true selves, if we want real life, if our hearts are set on glory.
Elisabeth Elliot
To quote the Tsalagi, you should never allow your yesterday to use up too much of today. The past is gone and tomorrow is at best a maybe. Live for this moment because it may be all you'll ever have.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
If we want to use forests as a weapon in the fight against climate change, then we must allow them to grow old, which is exactly what large conservation groups are asking us to do.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees)
Let's invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It's not about being perfect. It's not about where you get yourself in the end. There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there's grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
As long as I hold it as long as I use it, the knife lives, lives in order to take life, but it has to be commanded, it has to have me to tell it to kill, and it wants to, it wants to plunge and thrust and cut and stab and gouge, but I have to want it to as well, my will has to join with its will. I'm the one who allows it and I'm the one responsible.
Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1))
That is another chamber of my heart that shows no electrical activity - the chamber that used to flicker into life when I saw a film that moved me, or read a book that inspired me, or listened to music that made me want to cry. I closed that chamber myself, for all the usual reasons. And now I seem to have made a pact with some philistine devil: if I don't attempt to re-open it, I will be allowed just enough energy and optimism to get through a working day without wanting to hang myself.
Nick Hornby (How to Be Good)
‎Using his burgeoning intelligence, this most successful of all mammals has exploited the environment to produce food for an ever increasing population. Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, perhaps it's time we controlled the population to allow the survival of the environment.
David Attenborough
Don't you like a rather foggy a in a wood in autumn? You'll find we shall be perfectly warm sitting in the car." Jane said she'd never heard of anyone liking fogs before but she didn't mind trying. All three got in. "That's why Camilla and I got married, "said Denniston as they drove off. "We both like Weather. Not this or that kind of weather, but just Weather. It's a useful taste if one lives in England." "How ever did you learn to do that, Mr. Denniston?" said Jane. "I don't think I should ever learn to like rain and snow." "It's the other way round," said Denniston. "Everyone begins as a child by liking Weather. You learn the art of disliking it as you grow up. Noticed it on a snowy day? The grown-ups are all going about with long faces, but look at the children - and the dogs? They know what snow's made for." "I'm sure I hated wet days as a child," said Jane. "That's because the grown-ups kept you in," said Camilla. "Any child loves rain if it's allowed to go out and paddle about in it.
C.S. Lewis (That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy, #3))
Liberty means refusing to allow some men to use the state to compel other men to serve their interests or opinion.
Auberon Herbert
When life becomes too complicated and we feel overwhelmed, it’s often useful just to stand back and remind ourselves of our overall purpose, our overall goal. When faced with a feeling of stagnation and confusion, it may be helpful to take an hour, an afternoon, or even several days to simply reflect on what it is that will truly bring us happiness, and then reset our priorities on the basis of that. This can put our life back in proper context, allow a fresh perspective, and enable us to see which direction to take.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living)
Have you ever thought about why GOD did it? Why tempt such fragile beings in the first place? Did GOD give the race of man free will, knowing that they would use that will to defy him, or to take it a step further since GOD knows all, did he know that Adam and Eve would eat the forbidden fruit, allowing him to cast them out of paradise to toil and suffer for a living.
J.B. Lion (The Seventh Spark: Volume One – Knights of the Trinity)
You want to know about voting. I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground night-club filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pitbulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand new sexual organs you did not even know existed. So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.
Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard)
Michael Pollan likens consumer choices to pulling single threads out of a garment. We pull a thread from the garment when we refuse to purchase eggs or meat from birds who were raised in confinement, whose beaks were clipped so they could never once taste their natural diet of worms and insects. We pull out a thread when we refuse to bring home a hormone-fattened turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. We pull a thread when we refuse to buy meat or dairy products from cows who were never allowed to chew grass, or breathe fresh air, or feel the warm sun on their backs. The more threads we pull, the more difficult it is for the industry to stay intact. You demand eggs and meat without hormones, and the industry will have to figure out how it can raise farm animals without them. Let the animals graze outside and it slows production. Eventually the whole thing will have to unravel. If the factory farm does indeed unravel - and it must - then there is hope that we can, gradually, reverse the environmental damage it has caused. Once the animal feed operations have gone and livestock are once again able to graze, there will be a massive reduction in the agricultural chemicals currently used to grow grain for animals. And eventually, the horrendous contamination caused by animal waste can be cleaned up. None of this will be easy. The hardest part of returning to a truly healthy environment may be changing the current totally unsustainable heavy-meat-eating culture of increasing numbers of people around the world. But we must try. We must make a start, one by one.
Jane Goodall (Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating)
SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night. Accurate scholarship can Unearth the whole offence From Luther until now That has driven a culture mad, Find what occurred at Linz, What huge imago made A psychopathic god: I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return. Exiled Thucydides knew All that a speech can say About Democracy, And what dictators do, The elderly rubbish they talk To an apathetic grave; Analysed all in his book, The enlightenment driven away, The habit-forming pain, Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again. Into this neutral air Where blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse: But who can live for long In an euphoric dream; Out of the mirror they stare, Imperialism's face And the international wrong. Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play, All the conventions conspire To make this fort assume The furniture of home; Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good. The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About Diaghilev Is true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love But to be loved alone. From the conservative dark Into the ethical life The dense commuters come, Repeating their morning vow; 'I will be true to the wife, I'll concentrate more on my work,' And helpless governors wake To resume their compulsory game: Who can release them now, Who can reach the dead, Who can speak for the dumb? All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die. Defenseless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame.
W.H. Auden (Another Time)
The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions-there we have none.
Virginia Woolf (The Second Common Reader)
If women allow themselves to be consoled for their culturally determined lack of access to the modes of intellectual debate by the invocation of hypothetical great goddesses, they are simply flattering themselves into submission (a technique often used on them by men). All the mythic versions of women, from the myth of the redeeming purity of the virgin to that of the healing, reconciliatory mother, are consolatory nonsenses; and consolatory nonsense seems to me a fair definition of myth, anyway. Mother goddesses are just as silly a notion as father gods. If a revival of the myths gives women emotional satisfaction, it does so at the price of obscuring the real conditions of life. This is why they were invented in the first place.
Angela Carter (The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography)
When, as happened recently in France, an attempt is made to coerce women out of the burqa rather than creating a situation in which a woman can choose what she wishes to do, it’s not about liberating her, but about unclothing her. It becomes an act of humiliation and cultural imperialism. It’s not about the burqa. It’s about the coercion. Coercing a woman out of a burqa is as bad as coercing her into one. Viewing gender in this way, shorn of social, political and economic context, makes it an issue of identity, a battle of props and costumes. It is what allowed the US government to use western feminist groups as moral cover when it invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Afghan women were (and are) in terrible trouble under the Taliban. But dropping daisy-cutters on them was not going to solve their problems.
Arundhati Roy
Our higher needs include making full use of our gifts, finding and fulfilling our calling, being loved and cherished just for ourselves, and being in relationships that honor all of these. Such needs are fulfilled in an atmosphere of the five A’s by which love is shown: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing.
David Richo
Alcohol is used by millions of people, both men and women, and I will make no friends by taking the position that alcohol culture is not politically correct. Yet how can we explain the legal toleration for alcohol, the most destructive of all intoxicants, and the almost frenzied efforts to repress nearly all other drugs? Could it not be that we are willing to pay the terrible toll that alcohol extracts because it is allowing us to continue the repressive dominator style that keeps us all infantile and irresponsible participants in a dominator world characterized by the marketing of ungratified sexual fantasy?
Terence McKenna (Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge)
The necessity of reform mustn’t be allowed to become a form of blackmail serving to limit, reduce, or halt the exercise of criticism. Under no circumstances should one pay attention to those who tell one: “Don’t criticize, since you’re not capable of carrying out a reform.” That’s ministerial cabinet talk. Critique doesn’t have to be the premise of a deduction that concludes, “this, then, is what needs to be done.” It should be an instrument for those for who fight, those who resist and refuse what is. Its use should be in processes of conflict and confrontation, essays in refusal. It doesn’t have to lay down the law for the law. It isn’t a stage in a programming. It is a challenge directed to what is.
Michel Foucault (The Essential Foucault: Selections from Essential Works of Foucault, 1954-1984)
After his experience with Minos, Nico realized that most spectres held only as much power as you allowed them to have. They pried into your mind, using fear or anger or longing to influence you. Nico had learned to shield himself. Sometimes he could even turn the tables and bend ghosts to his will.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
Life is a lot like pizza… But in fact, Hank, the fundamental thing that all critical reading does is reveal to us there are not easy definitions that distinguish us from them. Reading with an eye toward metaphor allows us to become the person we’re reading about while reading about them. That’s why there are symbols in books and why your English teacher deserves your attention. Ultimately it doesn’t matter if the author intended a symbol to be there because the job of reading is not to understand the author’s intent. The job of reading is to use stories as a way into other people as we see ourselves, and when we do that we can look out at the world and see a giant endless set of beautiful variations of pizzas; the whole world composed of billions of beautiful, delicious pizzas.
John Green
I conclude therefore that, fortune being changeful and mankind steadfast in their ways, so long as the two are in agreement men are successful, but unsuccessful when they fall out. For my part I consider that it is better to be adventurous than cautious, because fortune is a woman, and if you wish to keep her under it is necessary to beat and ill-use her; and it is seen that she allows herself to be mastered by the adventurous rather than by those who go to work more coldly. She is, therefore, always, woman-like, a lover of young men, because they are less cautious, more violent, and with more audacity command her.
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
What did she say?” asked Matthias. Nina coughed and took his arm, leading him away. “She said you’re a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven’t had proper blini in forever.” “That word she used: babink,” he said. “You’ve called me that before. What does it mean?” Nina directed her attention to a stack of paper-thin buttered pancakes. “It means sweetie pie.” “Nina—” “Barbarian.” “I was just asking, there’s no need to name-call.” “No, babink means barbarian.” Matthias’ gaze snapped back to the old woman, his glower returning to full force. Nina grabbed his arm. It was like trying to hold on to a boulder. “She wasn’t insulting you! I swear!” “Barbarian isn’t an insult?” he asked, voice rising. “No. Well, yes. But not in this context. She wanted to know if you’d like to play Princess and Barbarian.” “It’s a game?” “Not exactly.” “Then what is it?” Nina couldn’t believe she was actually going to attempt to explain this. As they continued up the street, she said, “In Ravka, there’s a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior—” “Really?” Matthias asked. “He’s the hero?” “In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess—” “That would never happen.” “In the story it does, and”—she cleared her throat—“they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave.” “He lives in a cave?” “It’s a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead.” “Ah,” he said approvingly. “A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?” Nina picked up a pair of embroidered gloves from another stand. “Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look.” “How does the story end? Do they fight battles?” Nina tossed the gloves back on the pile in defeat. “They get to know each other intimately.” Matthias’ jaw dropped. “In the cave?” “You see, he’s very brooding, very manly,” Nina hurried on. “But he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him—” “To civilize him?” “Yes, but that’s not until the third book.” “There are three?” “Matthias, do you need to sit down?” “This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan—” “Calm down, Matthias.” “Perhaps I’ll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans.” “Now that sounds like a party.” Matthias shook his head, but she could see a smile tugging at his lips. She decided to push the advantage. “We could play,” she murmured, quietly enough so that no one around them could hear. “We most certainly could not.” “At one point he bathes her.” Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he—” “She’s tied up, so he has to.” “Be silent.” “Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.” “How about I bite your lip?” “Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
One must allow other people to be right," he used to say when he was insulted, "It consoles them for not being anything else.
André Gide (The Immoralist)
Religion was a means to an end. She had seen it wielded as a weapon. If she needed to use it, she would, but she would never allow herself to be used by it.
Kiersten White (And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1))
If you make human company too important you will not discover your true Self. Relationships not based in truth are never entirely reliable and are rarely enduring. Taking time to discover yourself is the best use of time. Prioritize this. One should not excessively seek partners or friends, one should seek to know and be oneself. As you begin to awaken to the Truth, you start noticing how well life flows by itself and how well you are cared for. Life supports the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs of the one who is open to self-discovery. Trust opens your eyes to the recognition of this. Surrender allows you to merge in your own eternal being.
Mooji
After changing shape several times, the ball eventually turned into a huge face. It floated alongside the air-car. This time, time instead of sending him a mental message, the face spoke out aloud and the whole air-car vibrated with its intensity. “If you are foolish enough to renege on your contract, you will be severely punished. For your sake, I hope you wouldn’t do such a thing.” When Tarmy made no attempt to respond, the face turned and pressed itself against the millipede-free window. A moment later, Tarmy felt the fat slug entering his mind, the sign that the face was attempting to use its powers to obtain his response by other means. But as the slug dug deeper, Samantha’s cover stories began springing out of the corners of his mind. Instead of obtaining Tarmy’s agreement, all that the face saw was a burning army transporter surrounded by bodies. Undeterred, the face continued its assault. Samantha had anticipated that Tarmy might come up against an adept, so the mental images of death and destruction flowed unchecked. After failing to break Tarmy’s defences, the face removed the slug and tried reason. “You can’t win, Mr Tarleton, so why don’t you do yourself a favour and cooperate? It will be better for you in the long run. Now, where is the miniature pulse drive engine?” Tarmy realised why the millipedes hadn’t been allowed to attack. It was obvious that the Great Ones were hoping to retrieve the engine. When Tarmy didn’t respond, the face said, “I am prepared to overlook your desertion if you agree to tell us where the engine is and also honour your contract by showing us how to convert the engine into a bomb.
Andrew R. Williams (Samantha's Revenge (Arcadia's Children #1))
Here I am, your one man circus freak show, having bled out for mother Russia, having desperately tried to get to you, now on top of you with this scourge marks, and you, who used to love me, who was sympathized, internalized, normalized everything, you are not allowed to turn away from me....this is what I am going to look like until the day I die. I can't get any peace from you ever unless you find away to make peace with this. Make peace with me. Or let me go for good.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
talk like that again! You’re not allowed to use the words ‘I’ and ‘die’ in the same sentence. You’re not allowed to die before me, ever! You think you couldn’t bear to lose our sons? Well, I couldn’t lose you and stay sane. Kitten, I know what life is without you. “If I died…” Shocked, Beth tried to stop his words, but his finger pressed against her lips, halting her words. “If I died,” he continued, “you would be strong enough to carry on and raise our children. Eventually, you would make it through life until we could be together again. Me, on the other hand, I am an asshole. If I couldn’t have you, then there wouldn’t be anything of me left to give anyone.
Jamie Begley (King (The VIP Room, #3))
Be brave. Even if you're not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Don't allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It's there for your convenience, not the callers. Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is. Don't burn bridges. You'll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don't major in minor things. Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Don't spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly. Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Don't waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them and move on. Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best. Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, 'Gee, if I'd only spent more time at the office'. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health and love. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Never cut what can be untied. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don't want to do. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out. Spend less time worrying who's right, more time deciding what's right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it. When facing a difficult task, act as though it's impossible to fail.
Jackson H. Brown Jr.
If I love the other person, I feel one with him or her, but with him as he is, not as I need him to be as an object for my use. Respect thus implies the absence of exploitation: it allows the other to be, to change and to develop 'in his own ways.' This requires a commitment to know the other as a separate being, and not merely as a reflection of my own ego. According to Velleman this loving willingness and ability to see the other as they really are is foregrounded in our willingness to risk self-exposure.
Erich Fromm
We are all born and someday we’ll all die. Most likely to some degree alone.What if our aloneness isn’t a tragedy? What if our aloneness is what allows us to speak the truth without being afraid? What if our aloneness is what allows us to adventure – to experience the world as a dynamic presence – as a changeable, interactive thing? If I lived in Bosnia or Rwanda or who knows where else, needless death wouldn’t be a distant symbol to me, it wouldn’t be a metaphor, it would be a reality. And I have no right to this metaphor. But I use it to console myself. To give a fraction of meaning to something enormous and needless. This realization. This realization that I will live my life in this world where I have privileges. I can’t cool boiling waters in Russia. I can’t be Picasso. I can’t be Jesus. I can’t save the planet single-handedly. I can wash dishes.
Rachel Corrie
What is the world coming to when girls allow their hands to be kissed without gloves? That young people don't use proper protection these days is exactly why there are always so many colds going around.
Bauvard (The Prince Of Plungers)
The Internet is transient. Information can be removed with a couple of mouse-clicks; it is an Orwellian dream. We have been advised, by people who claim to know about these things, that there is no point in protesting against a social network. Whoever owns the network will run it as they see fit, normally to maximize their profit margin. Members who dispute the rules will simply be thrown out. The Terms of Use are written so as not to allow them any recourse.
G.R. Reader (Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt)
We should not expect individuals to produce good, open-minded, truth-seeking reasoning, particularly when self-interest or reputational concerns are in play. But if you put individuals together in the right way, such that some individuals can use their reasoning powers to disconfirm the claims of others, and all individuals feel some common bond or shared fate that allows them to interact civilly, you can create a group that ends up producing good reasoning as an emergent property of the social system. This is why it's so important to have intellectual and ideological diversity within any group or institution whose goal is to find truth (such as an intelligence agency or a community of scientists) or to produce good public policy (such as a legislature or advisory board).
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion)
The most sanctified figure in American historiography is, by no accident, the Great Saint of centralizing "democracy" and the strong unitary nation-state: Abraham Lincoln. And so didn't Lincoln use force and violence, and on a massive scale, on behalf of the mystique of the sacred "Union," to prevent the South from seceding? Indeed he did, and on the foundation of mass murder and oppression, Lincoln crushed the South and outlawed the very notion of secession (based on the highly plausible ground that since the separate states voluntarily entered the Union they should be allowed to leave). But not only that: for Lincoln created the monstrous unitary nation-state from which individual and local liberties have never recovered.
Murray N. Rothbard
There's an old, frequently-used definition of insanity, which is "performing the same action over and over, expecting different results."... Now, I'm no doctor, but I am on TV. And in my professional opinion, George Bush is a paranoid schizophrenic. ... ...Other symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia are: Do you see things that aren't there? Such as a link between 9/11 and Iraq? Do you - do you feel things that you shouldn't be feeling, like a sense of accomplishment? Do you have trouble organizing words into a coherent sentence? Do you hear voices that aren't really there? Like, oh, I don't know, your imaginary friend, Jesus? Telling you to start a war in the Middle East. Well, guess what? There are a large number of people out there also suffering from the same delusions, because there are Republicans, there are conservatives, and then there are the Bushies. This is the 29 percent of Americans who still think he's doing "a heck of a job, Whitey." And I don't believe that it's coincidence that almost the same number of Americans - 25 percent - told a recent pollster that they believe that this year - this year, 2007 - would bring the Second Coming of Christ! I have a hunch these are the same people. Because, if you think that you're going to meet Jesus before they cancel "Ugly Betty," then you're used to doing things by faith. And if you have so much blind faith that you think this war is winnable, you're nuts and you shouldn't be allowed near a voting booth.
Bill Maher
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
And when I look around the apartment where I now am,—when I see Charlotte’s apparel lying before me, and Albert’s writings, and all those articles of furniture which are so familiar to me, even to the very inkstand which I am using,—when I think what I am to this family—everything. My friends esteem me; I often contribute to their happiness, and my heart seems as if it could not beat without them; and yet—if I were to die, if I were to be summoned from the midst of this circle, would they feel—or how long would they feel—the void which my loss would make in their existence? How long! Yes, such is the frailty of man, that even there, where he has the greatest consciousness of his own being, where he makes the strongest and most forcible impression, even in the memory, in the heart of his beloved, there also he must perish,—vanish,—and that quickly. I could tear open my bosom with vexation to think how little we are capable of influencing the feelings of each other. No one can communicate to me those sensations of love, joy, rapture, and delight which I do not naturally possess; and though my heart may glow with the most lively affection, I cannot make the happiness of one in whom the same warmth is not inherent. Sometimes I don’t understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her! I possess so much, but my love for her absorbs it all. I possess so much, but without her I have nothing. One hundred times have I been on the point of embracing her. Heavens! what a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it! And laying hold is the most natural of human instincts. Do not children touch everything they see? And I! Witness, Heaven, how often I lie down in my bed with a wish, and even a hope, that I may never awaken again! And in the morning, when I open my eyes, I behold the sun once more, and am wretched. If I were whimsical, I might blame the weather, or an acquaintance, or some personal disappointment, for my discontented mind; and then this insupportable load of trouble would not rest entirely upon myself. But, alas! I feel it too sadly; I am alone the cause of my own woe, am I not? Truly, my own bosom contains the source of all my pleasure. Am I not the same being who once enjoyed an excess of happiness, who at every step saw paradise open before him, and whose heart was ever expanded towards the whole world? And this heart is now dead; no sentiment can revive it. My eyes are dry; and my senses, no more refreshed by the influence of soft tears, wither and consume my brain. I suffer much, for I have lost the only charm of life: that active, sacred power which created worlds around me,—it is no more. When I look from my window at the distant hills, and behold the morning sun breaking through the mists, and illuminating the country around, which is still wrapped in silence, whilst the soft stream winds gently through the willows, which have shed their leaves; when glorious Nature displays all her beauties before me, and her wondrous prospects are ineffectual to extract one tear of joy from my withered heart,—I feel that in such a moment I stand like a reprobate before heaven, hardened, insensible, and unmoved. Oftentimes do I then bend my knee to the earth, and implore God for the blessing of tears, as the desponding labourer in some scorching climate prays for the dews of heaven to moisten his parched corn.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
Vices are simply overworked virtues, anyway. Economy and frugality are to be commended but follow them on in an increasing ratio and what do we find at the other end? A miser! If we overdo the using of spare moments we may find an invalid at the end, while perhaps if we allowed ourselves more idle time we would conserve our nervous strength and health to more than the value the work we could accomplish by emulating at all times the little busy bee. I once knew a woman, not very strong, who to the wonder of her friends went through a time of extraordinary hard work without any ill effects. I asked her for her secret and she told me that she was able to keep her health, under the strain, because she took 20 minutes, of each day in which to absolutely relax both mind and body. She did not even “set and think.” She lay at full length, every muscle and nerve relaxed and her mind as quiet as her body. This always relieved the strain and renewed her strength.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Sophy looked at him. Under his amazed and horrified gaze, large tears slowly welled over her eyelids, and rolled down her cheeks. She did not sniff, or gulp, or even sob: merely allowed her tears to gather and fall. 'Sophy, for God's sake do not cry!' 'Oh, do not stop me!' begged Sophy. 'Sir Horace says it is my only accomplishment.' Mr. Rivenhall glared at her. 'What!' 'Very few persons are able to do it!' Sophy assured him. 'I discovered it by the veriest accident when I was seven years old. Sir Horace said I should cultivate it, for I would find it most useful.' 'You - you - ' Words failed Mr. Rivenhall. 'Stop at once!
Georgette Heyer (The Grand Sophy)
As long as there has been knitting there have been battles about it. There are self-declared "yarn snobs," who frown on using anything but natural fibers; "gauge snobs", who wouldn't be caught dead with chunky yarn; and "experience snobs", who claim you can't declare yourself a real knitter until you abandon novelty yarns. The truth is that the knitting world is a tiny metaphor for the real world. It takes all kinds. I will not allow myself to feel bad if someone disapproves of my knitting. I will also resist the urge to stuff his mailbox full of chunky acrylic fun fur at 3:00 am.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much)
I had a teacher I liked who used to say good fiction’s job was to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. I guess a big part of serious fiction’s purpose is to give the reader, who like all of us is sort of marooned in her own skull, to give her imaginative access to other selves. Since an ineluctable part of being a human self is suffering, part of what we humans come to art for is an experience of suffering, necessarily a vicarious experience, more like a sort of “generalization” of suffering. Does this make sense? We all suffer alone in the real world; true empathy’s impossible. But if a piece of fiction can allow us imaginatively to identify with a character’s pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with our own. This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside.
David Foster Wallace
Stay out of this, Green!” He was still wholly focused on Chubs. “What else did you tell her? What else did she get out of you?” I jerked back, one single word throwing me off balance. “What did you just call her?” Chubs interrupted. Of course he had caught it, too. “What? I’m not allowed to use her name now?” he demanded. The look on his face was ripe with derision. “What do you want me to call you? What clever codename did the League think up for you? Pumpkin? Tiger? Tangerine?” “You called me Green,” I said. “No I didn’t,” he said. “Why the hell would I call you that? I know what you are.” “You did,” Chubs insisted. “You called her Green. You really don’t remember?
Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2))
I think God is something that people use to avoid reality. I think faith allows people to reject what is right in front of our eyes, which is that thing, this life, this existence, this consciousness, or whatever word you want to use for it, is all we have, and all we'll ever have. I think people have faith because they want and need to believe in something, whatever that something is, because life can be hard and depressing and brutal if you don't.
James Frey (A Million Little Pieces)
Hatred is a bitter, damaging emotion. It winds itself through the blood, infecting its host and driving it forward without any reason. Its view is jaundiced and it skews even the clearest of eye sights. Sacrifice is noble and tender. It’s the action of a host who values others above himself. Sacrifice is bought through love and decency. It is truly heroic. Vengeance is an act of violence. It allows those who have been wronged to take back some of what was lost to them. Unlike sacrifice, it gives back to the one who practices it. Love is deceitful and sublime. In its truest form, it brings out the best in all beings. At its worst, it’s a tool used to manipulate and ruin anyone who is stupid enough to hold it. Don’t be stupid. Sacrifice is for the weak. Hatred corrupts. Love destroys. Vengeance is the gift of the strong. Move forward, not with hatred, not with love. Move forward with purpose. Take back what was stolen. Make those who laughed at your pain pay. Not with hatred, but with calm, cold rationale. Hatred is your enemy. Vengeance is your friend. Hold it close and let it loose. May the gods have mercy on those who have wronged me because I will have no mercy for them. (Xypher)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Chaser (Dark-Hunter, #13; Dream-Hunter, #3))
….So much crueller than any British colony, they say, so much more brutal towards the local Africans, so much more manipulative after begrudgingly granting independence. But the history of British colonialism in Africa, from Sierra Leone to Zimbabwe, Kenya to Botswana and else-where, is not fundamentally different from what Belgium did in the Congo. You can argue about degree, but both systems were predicated on the same assumption: that white outsiders knew best and Africans were to be treated not as partners, but as underlings. What the British did in Kenya to suppress the pro-independence mau-mau uprising in the 1950s, using murder, torture and mass imprisonment, was no more excusable than the mass arrests and political assassinations committed by Belgium when it was trying to cling on to the Congo. And the outside world's tolerance of a dictator in the Congo like Mobutu, whose corruption and venality were overlooked for strategic expedience, was no different from what happened in Zimbabwe, where the dictator Robert Mugabe was allowed to run his country and its people into the ground because Western powers gullibly accepted the way he presented himself as the only leader able to guarantee stability and an end to civil strife. Those sniffy British colonial types might not like to admit it, but the Congo represents the quintessence of the entire continent’s colonial experience. It might be extreme and it might be shocking, but what happened in the Congo is nothing but colonialism in its purest, basest form.
Tim Butcher (Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart)
But perhaps the most alarming ingredient in a Chicken McNugget is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, an antioxidant derived from petroleum that is either sprayed directly on the nugget or the inside of the box it comes in to "help preserve freshness." According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane (i.e. lighter fluid) the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a nugget. Which is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause "nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse." Ingesting five grams of TBHQ can kill.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
When you ignore your belly, you become homeless. You spend your life trying to erase your own existence. Apologizing for yourself. Feeling like a ghost. Eating to take up space, eating to give yourself the feeling that you have weight here, you belong here, you are allowed to be yourself -- but never quite believing it because you don't sense yourself directly. . . . I started teaching a simple belly meditation in which I asked people to become aware of sensations in their belly (numbness and emptiness count as sensations). Every time their mind wandered . . . I asked them to begin counting their breaths so they could anchor their concentration. Starting with the number one and saying it on the out breath, they'd count to seven and begin again. If they were able to stay concentrated on the sensations in their belly centers, they didn't need to use counting as a concentration anchor. . . . you begin the process of bringing yourself back to your body, to your belly, to your breath because they -- not the mind medleys -- are here now. And it is only here, only now that you can make a decision to eat or not eat. To occupy your own body or to vacate your arms and your legs while still breathing and go through your days as a walking head. . . . Meditation is a tool to shake yourself awake. A way to discover what you love. A practice to return yourself to your body when the mind medleys threaten to usurp your sanity.
Geneen Roth (Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything)
Adam described the circumstances surrounding his eye and his hand with the same level tone he would use to answer a question in class. He allowed Ronan to lean in to compare his eyes – close enough that Ronan felt his breath on his cheek – and he allowed Ronan to study the palm of his hand. The latter was not strictly necessary, and they both knew it, but Adam watched Ronan closely as he lightly traced the lines there. This was like walking the line between dream and sleep. The night-sharp balance of being asleep enough to dream and awake enough to remember what he wanted. He knew Adam had figured out how he felt. But he didn’t know if he could step off this knife-slender path without destroying what he had.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
Beginning when we are girls, most of us are taught to deflect praise. We apologize for our accomplishments. We try to level the field with our family and friends by downplaying our brilliance. We settle for the passenger’s seat when we long to drive. That’s why so many of us have been willing to hide our light as adults. Instead of being filled with all the passion and purpose that enable us to offer our best to the world, we empty ourselves in an effort to silence our critics. The truth is that the naysayers in your life can never be fully satisfied. Whether you hide or shine, they’ll always feel threatened because they don’t believe they are enough. So stop paying attention to them. Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are ignoring the owner’s manual your Creator gave you. What I know for sure is this: You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up.
Oprah Winfrey (What I Know For Sure)
I thought how lovely and how strange a river is. A river is a river, always there, and yet the water flowing through it is never the same water and is never still. It’s always changing and is always on the move. And over time the river itself changes too. It widens and deepens as it rubs and scours, gnaws and kneads, eats and bores its way through the land. Even the greatest rivers- the Nile and the Ganges, the Yangtze and he Mississippi, the Amazon and the great grey-green greasy Limpopo all set about with fever trees-must have been no more than trickles and flickering streams before they grew into mighty rivers. Are people like that? I wondered. Am I like that? Always me, like the river itself, always flowing but always different, like the water flowing in the river, sometimes walking steadily along andante, sometimes surging over rapids furioso, sometimes meandering wit hardly any visible movement tranquilo, lento, ppp pianissimo, sometimes gurgling giacoso with pleasure, sometimes sparkling brillante in the sun, sometimes lacrimoso, sometimes appassionato, sometimes misterioso, sometimes pesante, sometimes legato, sometimes staccato, sometimes sospirando, sometimes vivace, and always, I hope, amoroso. Do I change like a river, widening and deepening, eddying back on myself sometimes, bursting my banks sometimes when there’s too much water, too much life in me, and sometimes dried up from lack of rain? Will the I that is me grow and widen and deepen? Or will I stagnate and become an arid riverbed? Will I allow people to dam me up and confine me to wall so that I flow only where they want? Will I allow them to turn me into a canal to use for they own purposes? Or will I make sure I flow freely, coursing my way through the land and ploughing a valley of my own?
Aidan Chambers (This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn)
Hua Cheng said quietly, "Your Highness, I understand your everything. "Your courage, your despair; your kindness, your pain; your resentment, your hate; your intelligence, your foolishness. "If I could, I would have you use me as your stepping stone, the bridge you take apart after crossing, the corpse bones you need to trample to climb up, the sinner who deserved the butchering of a million knives. But, I know you wouldn't allow it." (...) However, Hua Cheng only replied, "To die in battle for you is my greatest honour." Those words were like a fatal blow. The tears in Xie Lian's eyes could no longer be restrained, and they came pouring out. Like he was hanging on the thread of his life, he pleaded, "You said you would never leave me." However, Hua Cheng replied, "There is no banquet in this world that doesn't come to an end." Xie Lian bowed his head and buried it deep into his chest, his heart and throat in constricted agony, unable to speak. Yet soon after, he heard Hua Cheng say above him, "But, I will never leave you." Hearing this, Xie Lian's head shot up. Hua Cheng said to him, "I will come back. Your Highness, believe me.
Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù (天官赐福 [Tiān Guān Cì Fú])
So the conservative who resists change is as valuable as the radical who proposes it -- perhaps as much more as the roots are more vital than grafts. It is good that new ideas should be heard, for the sake of the few that can be used; but it is also good that new ideas should be compelled to go through the mill of objection, opposition, and contumely; this is the trial heat which innovations must survive before being allowed to enter the human race. It is good that the old should resist the young, and that the young should prod the old; out of this tension, as out of the strife of the sexes and the classes, comes a creative tensile strength, a stimulated development, a secret and basic unity and movement of the whole.
Will Durant
Theologians talk about a prevenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a prevenient courage that allows us to be brave - that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm. And therefore, this courage allows us, as the old men said, to make ourselves useful. It allows us to be generous, which is another way of saying exactly the same thing.
Marilynne Robinson (Gilead)
You think me foolish to call instruction a torment, but if you had been as much used as myself to hear poor little children first learning their letters and then learning to spell, if you had ever seen how stupid they can be for a whole morning together, and how tired my poor mother is at the end of it, as I am in the habit of seeing almost every day of my life at home, you would allow that to torment and to instruct might sometimes be used as synonymous words.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
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))
Nick knew the moment she realized her robe had dropped. Knew when the knowledge she was naked hit her full force. Watched her lips purse a small circle of horror right before sanity hit to make her reach for the robe. Nick used his two-second time span to make a decision. Her fingers started to yank up the material when he blocked her motion, lowered his head, and stamped his mouth over hers. Shock held her immobile and he used the time to his advantage. One quick thrust parted her plump lips and allowed him entry—entry to every slick, feminine heated corner of her mouth. Drugged on the taste of her, he circled her tongue with quick, urgent strokes, begging her to give it all back to him. And she did. Full power.
Jennifer Probst (The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire, #1))
My father used to tell me that stories offer the listener a chance to escape but, more importantly, he said, they provide people with a chance to maximize their minds. Suspend ordinary constraints, allow the imagination to be freed, and we are charged with the capability of heighetned thought. Learn to use your eyes as if they are your ears, he said, and you become connected with the ancient heritage of man, a dream world for the waking mind.
Tahir Shah (In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams)
Once upon a time black male “cool” was defined by the ways in which black men confronted hardships of life without allowing their spirits to be ravaged. They took the pain of it and used it alchemically to turn the pain into gold. That burning process required high heat. Black male cool was defined by the ability to withstand the heat and remain centered. It was defined by black male willingness to confront reality, to face the truth, and bear it not by adopting a false pose of cool while feeding on fantasy; not by black male denial or by assuming a “poor me” victim identity. It was defined by individual black males daring to self-define rather than be defined by others.
bell hooks (We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity)
Women's liberation and empowerment are terms feminists started using to talk about casting off the limitations imposed upon women and demanding equality. We have perverted these words. The freedom to be sexually provocative or promiscuous is not enough freedom; it is not the only 'women's issue' worth paying attention to. And we are not even free in the sexual arena. We have simply adopted a new norm, a new role to play: lusty, busty exhibitionist. There are other choices. If we are really going to be sexually liberated, we need to make room for a range of options as wide as the variety of human desire. We need to allow ourselves the freedom to figure out what we internally want from sex instead of mimicking whatever popular culture holds up to us as sexy. That would be liberation.
Ariel Levy
God created every man to be free. The ability to choose whether to live free or enslaved, right or wrong, happy or in fear is something called freewill. Every man was born with freewill. Some people use it, and some people use any excuse not to. Nobody can turn you into a slave unless you allow them. Nobody can make you afraid of anything, unless you allow them. Nobody can tell you to do something wrong, unless you allow them. God never created you to be a slave, man did. God never created division or set up any borders between brothers, man did. God never told you hurt or kill another, man did. And in the end, when God asks you: "Who told you to kill one of my children?" And you tell him, "My leader." He will then ask you, "And are THEY your GOD?
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
We don't have a choice in how or when our bad days will blindside us. But what we do choose is how we allow them to leave us once they're gone. You can use those moments as a catalyst to spur you on to greater things or you can let it be the event that breaks you and leaves you shattered and forever lost in darkness.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Inferno)
Empathy is the ability to step outside of your own bubble and into the bubbles of other people. Empathy is the ability that allows us to be useful creatures on this planet; without empathy, we are a waste of oxygen in this world. Without empathy, we are lower than animals. Empathy is the ability that allows us the perception of things around us, outside of ourselves; so a person without empathy is a limited human being, someone who will only live half of a life.
C. JoyBell C.
Sooner or later, we are bound to discover some things about ourselves that we don't like. But once we see they're there, we can decide what we want to do with them. Do we want to get rid of them completely, change them into other things, or use them in beneficial ways? The last two approaches are often especially Useful, since they avoid head on conflict, and therefore minimize struggle. Also, they allow those transformed characteristics to be added to the list of things we have that help us out. In a similar manner, instead of struggling to erase what are referred to as negative emotions, we can learn to use them in positive ways. We could describe the principle like this: while pounding on the piano keys may produce noise, removing them doesn't exactly further the creation of music.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point he asked: ‘Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?’ His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson: I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.’ Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special. ‘But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!’ ‘That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.’ ‘First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will.’ ‘Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpner. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person. ‘Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.’ ‘Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.’ ‘Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. in just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action
Paulo Coelho (Like the Flowing River)
Of course, it wouldn’t have mattered if I’d seen it coming or not. Adrian was totally unsuitable for me, and it had nothing to do with his many vices or potential descent into insanity. Adrian was a vampire. True, he was a Moroi—one of the good, living vampires—but it made no difference. Humans and vampires couldn’t be together. This was one point the Moroi and Alchemists stood firmly together on. It was still amazing to me that Adrian had voiced those feelings to me. It was amazing that he could even have them or that he’d had the nerve to kiss me, even if it was a kiss that had left me dizzy and breathless. I’d had to reject him, of course. My training would allow nothing less. Our situation here in Palm Springs forced the two us to constantly be together in social situations, and it had been rough since his declaration. For me, it wasn’t just the awkwardness of our new relationship. I…well, I missed him. Before this debacle, he and I had been friends and spent a lot of time together. I’d gotten used to his smirky smile and the quick banter that always flowed between us. Until those things were gone, I hadn’t realized how much I relied on them. How much I needed them. I felt empty inside...which was ridiculous, of course. Why should I care so much about one vampire? Sometimes it made me angry. Why had he ruined such a good thing between us? Why had he made me miss him so much? And what had he expected me to do? He had to have known it was impossible for us to be together. I couldn’t have feelings for him. I couldn’t. If we’d lived among the Keepers—a group of uncivilized vampires, humans, and dhampirs—maybe he and I could have…no. Even if I had feelings for him—and I firmly told myself I didn’t—it was wrong for us to even consider such a relationship. Now, Adrian spoke to me as little as possible. And always, always, he watched me with a haunted look in his green eyes, one that made my heart ache and—
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Rose, I’m sorry I had to leave so quickly, but when the Alchemists tell me to jump … well, I jump. I’ve hitched a ride back to that farm town we stayed in so that I can pick up the Red Hurricane, and then I’m off to Saint Petersburg. Apparently, now that you’ve been delivered to Baia, they don’t need me to stick around anymore. I wish I could tell you more about Abe and what he wants from you. Even if I was allowed to, there isn’t much to say. In some ways, he’s as much a mystery to me as he is to you. Like I said, a lot of the business he deals in is illegal—both among humans and Moroi. The only time he gets directly involved with people is when something relates to that business—or if it’s a very, very special case. I think you’re one of those cases, and even if he doesn’t intend you harm, he might want to use you for his own purposes. It could be as simple as him wanting to contract you as a bodyguard, seeing as you’re rogue. Maybe he wants to use you to get to others. Maybe this is all part of someone else’s plan, someone who’s even more mysterious than him. Maybe he’s doing someone a favor. Zmey can be dangerous or kind, all depending on what he needs to accomplish. I never thought I’d care enough to say this to a dhampir, but be careful. I don’t know what your plans are now, but I have a feeling trouble follows you around. Call me if there’s anything I can help with, but if you go back to the big cities to hunt Strigoi, don’t leave any more bodies unattended! All the best, Sydney P.S. “The Red Hurricane” is what I named the car. P.P.S. Just because I like you, it doesn’t mean I still don’t think you’re an evil creature of the night. You are.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
It is very painful to argue with an incredibly ignorant person. Not because they are stupid, but because the stupid are unbelievable arrogant and insulting. Their constant intention to manipulate a conversation in order to nullify their responsibility transforms any conversation into a game of theirs to bring another person down rather than using logic, and much less allow an agreement.
Robin Sacredfire
The fundamental defect of the female character is a lack of a sense of justice. This originates first and foremost in their want of rationality and capacity for reflexion but it is strengthened by the fact that, as the weaker sex, they are driven to rely not on force but on cunning: hence their instinctive subtlety and their ineradicable tendency to tell lies: for, as nature has equipped the lion with claws and teeth, the elephant with tusks, the wild boar with fangs, the bull with horns and the cuttlefish with ink, so it has equipped woman with the power of dissimulation as her means of attack and defence, and has transformed into this gift all the strength it has bestowed on man in the form of physical strength and the power of reasoning. Dissimulation is thus inborn in her and consequently to be found in the stupid woman almost as often as in the clever one. To make use of it at every opportunity is as natural to her as it is for an animal to employ its means of defence whenever it is attacked, and when she does so she feels that to some extent she is only exercising her rights. A completely truthful woman who does not practice dissimulation is perhaps an impossibility, which is why women see through the dissimulation of others so easily it is inadvisable to attempt it with them. – But this fundamental defect which I have said they possess, together with all that is associated with it, gives rise to falsity, unfaithfulness, treachery, ingratitude, etc. Women are guilty of perjury far more often than men. It is questionable whether they ought to be allowed to take an oath at all.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Über die Weiber)
Like a lot of people with mental illness, I spend a lot of time fronting. It’s really important to me to not appear crazy, to fit in, to seem normal, to do the things “normal people” do, to blend in. As a defense mechanism, fronting makes a lot of sense, and you hone that mechanism after years of being crazy. Fronting is what allows you to hold down a job and maintain relationships with people, it’s the thing that sometimes keeps you from falling apart. It’s the thing that allows you to have a burst of tears in the shower or behind the front seat of your car and then coolly collect yourself and stroll into a social engagement… We are rewarded for hiding ourselves. We become the poster children for “productive” mentally ill people, because we are so organized and together. The fact that we can function, at great cost to ourselves, is used to beat up the people who cannot function. Because unlike the people who cannot front, or who fronted too hard and fell off the cliff, we are able to “keep it together,” whatever it takes.
S.E. Smith
No doubt your sword is indeed a beautiful thing. It is a tribute to whoever forged it in bygone ages. There are very few such swords as this one left in the world, but remember, it is only a sword, Matthias! It contains no secret spell, nor holds within its blade any magical power. This sword is made for only one purpose, to kill. It will only be as good or evil as the one who wields it. I know that you intend to use it only for the good of your Abbey, Matthias; do so, but never allow yourself to be tempted into using it in a careless or idle way. It would inevitably cost you your life, or that of your dear ones. Martin the Warrior used the sword only for right and good. This is why it has become a symbol of power to Redwall. Knowledge is gained through wisdom, my friend. Use the sword wisely.
Brian Jacques (Redwall (Redwall, #1))
...To allow the market mechanism to be sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment, indeed, even of the amount and use of purchasing power, would result in the demolition of society. For the alleged commodity, "labor power" cannot be shoved about, used indiscriminately, or even left unused, without affecting the human individual who happens to be the bearer of this peculiar commodity. In disposing of a man's labor power the system would, incidentally, dispose of the physical, psychological, and moral entity of "man" attached to the tag. Robbed of the protective covering of cultural institutions, human beings would perish from the the effects of social exposure; they would die as the victims of acute social dislocation through vice, perversion, crime, and starvation. Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rovers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed...
Karl Polanyi (The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time)
It is said that one should keep one's allies within view, and one's enemies within reach. A valid statement. One must be able to read an ally's strengths, so as to determine how to best use them. One must similarly be able to read his enemy's weaknesses, so as to determine how to best defeat him. But what of friends? There is no accepted answer, perhaps true friendship is so exceedingly rare. But I had formulated my own. A friend need not be kept within sight or within reach. A friend must be allowed the freedom to find and follow his own path. If one is fortunate, those paths will for a time join. But if paths separate, it is comforting to know that a friend still graces the universe with his skills, and his viewpoint, and his present. For if one is remembered by a friend, one is never truly gone.
Timothy Zahn (Thrawn (Star Wars: Thrawn, #1))
Everything dies eventually. We all know that. People, cities, whole civilizations. Nothing lasts. So if existence was just binary, dead or alive, here or not here, what would be the fucking point in anything?" She looks up at some falling leaves and puts out her hand to catch one, a flaming red maple. "My mom used to say that's why we have memory. And the opposite of memory - hope. So things that are gone can still matter. So we can build off our pasts and make futures." She twirls the leaf in front of her face, back and forth. "Mom said life only makes any sense if we can see time how God does. Past, present and future all at once." I allow myself to look at Julie. She sees my tears and tries to wipe one away. "So what's the future?" I ask, not flinching as her fingers brush my eye. "I can see the past and the present, but what's the future?" "Well . . . ," she says with a broken laugh. "I guess that's the tricky part. The past is made out of facts . . . I guess the future is just hope." "Or fear." "No." She shakes her head firmly and sticks the leaf in my hair. "Hope.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
He found her not even a block away from the house, sitting on a curb. As he approached, he saw her wiping her face with her forearm. Sabine was...crying? "What are you doing out here, cwena?" Over the past week, Rydstrom had been pleased when she'd worried about him, and gratified when she'd felt the sting of jealousy. Was he a terrible man to hope she was crying about him? She glared at him with her bottom lip quivering, allowing him to see her like this instead of using a mask. "I d-don't have anywhere else to g-go." Another swipe of her forearm over her eyes. "Lanthe's gone, and I c-can't get to her for six days. And I'm in a strange t-town and land, and Vrekeners are everywhere." Sabine hadn't even mentioned what they'd just gone through- "And you br-broke up with me!" she said, her tears falling faster. "Is that supposed to make me happy?" "Come inside, Sabine." "No! You t-told me not to." She sniffled, "You don't want me at your house." He swooped her up in his arms. "Will you shut up?" With his free hand, he brushed her tears. "I made it ten minutes before I came after you.
Kresley Cole (Kiss of a Demon King (Immortals After Dark, #6))
If you were determined to get enjoyment out of every moment, you would learn to do whatever it took. What it takes is not listening to negative thoughts, yours or anyone else's. Disregarding negative thoughts isn't hiding our head in the sand, but simply not allowing the negative to clutter and influence over our experience of the present moment. The moment is never improved or helped by negativity, although we are programmed to think our negative thoughts, worries, and fears serve a useful function. When you really examine this idea, however, you see that negativity doesn't serve. Focusing on negativity and fears doesn't make anyone a better person, nor does doing that help us function better in the world. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite.
Gina Lake (What About Now?: Reminders for Being in the Moment)
The liturgy of the Eucharist is best understood as a journey or procession. It is the journey of the Church into the dimension of the Kingdom. We use the word 'dimension' because it seems the best way to indicate the manner of our sacramental entrance into the risen life of Christ. Color transparencies 'come alive' when viewed in three dimensions instead of two. The presence of the added dimension allows us to see much better the actual reality of what has been photographed. In very much the same way, though of course any analogy is condemned to fail, our entrance into the presence of Christ is an entrance into a fourth dimension which allows us to see the ultimate reality of life. It is not an escape from the world, rather it is the arrival at a vantage point from which we can see more deeply into the reality of the world.
Alexander Schmemann (For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy)
God told us to love everyone. However, when you don’t like someone then you need to walk away and focus not on him or her, but the hatred you’re harboring. Otherwise, you will allow your piety to take over. Before you know it, you’re using the gospel as a sword to slice other religious people apart, which have offended you. From your point of helplessness, it will be is easy to recruit people that will mistake your kindness as righteousness, when in reality it is a hidden agenda to humiliate through the words of Christ. This game is so often used by women in the Christian faith, that it is the number one reason why many people become inactive. It is a silent, unspoken hypocrisy that is inconsistent with the teachings of the gospel. If you choose not to like someone, then avoid them. If you wish to love them, the only way to overcome your frustrations is through empathy, prayer, forgiveness and allowing yourself time to heal through distance. Try focusing on what you share as sisters in the gospel, rather than the negative aspects you dislike about that person.
Shannon L. Alder
Music was a kind of penetration. Perhaps absorption is a less freighted word. The penetration or absorption of everything into itself. I don't know if you have ever taken LSD, but when you do so the doors of perception, as Aldous Huxley, Jim Morrison and their adherents ceaselessly remind us, swing wide open. That is actually the sort of phrase, unless you are William Blake, that only makes sense when there is some LSD actually swimming about inside you. In the cold light of the cup of coffee and banana sandwich that are beside me now it appears to be nonsense, but I expect you to know what it is taken to mean. LSD reveals the whatness of things, their quiddity, their essence. The wateriness of water is suddenly revealed to you, the carpetness of carpets, the woodness of wood, the yellowness of yellow, the fingernailness of fingernails, the allness of all, the nothingness of all, the allness of nothing. For me music gives access to everyone of these essences, but at a fraction of the social or financial cost of a drug and without the need to cry 'Wow!' all the time, which is LSD's most distressing and least endearing side effects. ...Music in the precision of its form and the mathematical tyranny of its laws, escapes into an eternity of abstraction and an absurd sublime that is everywhere and nowhere at once. The grunt of rosin-rubbed catgut, the saliva-bubble blast of a brass tube, the sweaty-fingered squeak on a guitar fret, all that physicality, all that clumsy 'music making', all that grain of human performance...transcends itself at the moment of its happening, that moment when music actually becomes, as it makes the journey from the vibrating instrument, the vibrating hi-fi speaker, as it sends those vibrations across to the human tympanum and through to the inner ear and into the brain, where the mind is set to vibrate to frequencies of its own making. The nothingness of music can be moulded by the mood of the listener into the most precise shapes or allowed to float as free as thought; music can follow the academic and theoretical pattern of its own modality or adhere to some narrative or dialectical programme imposed by a friend, a scholar or the composer himself. Music is everything and nothing. It is useless and no limit can be set to its use. Music takes me to places of illimitable sensual and insensate joy, accessing points of ecstasy that no angelic lover could ever locate, or plunging me into gibbering weeping hells of pain that no torturer could ever devise. Music makes me write this sort of maundering adolescent nonsense without embarrassment. Music is in fact the dog's bollocks. Nothing else comes close.
Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot (Memoir #1))
According to the biblical tradition the absence of work -- idleness -- was a condition of the first man's state of blessedness before the Fall. The love of idleness has been preserved in fallen man, but now a heavy curse lies upon him, not only because we have to earn our bread by the sweat of our brow, but also because our sense of morality will not allow us to be both idle and at ease. Whenever we are idle a secret voice keeps telling us to feel guilty. If man could discover a state in which he could be idle and still feel useful and on the path of duty, he would have regained one aspect of that primitive state of blessedness. And there is one such state of enforced and irreproachable idleness enjoyed by an entire class of men -- the military class. It is this state of enforced and irreproachable idleness that forms the chief attraction of military service, and it always will.
Leo Tolstoy (Война и мир)
Here’s another way. This is most important. Don't allow men to be happy. Happiness is self-contained and self-sufficient. Happy men have no time and no use for you. Happy men are free men. So kill their joy in living. Take away from them what they want. Make them think that the mere thought of a personal desire is evil. Bring them to a state where saying ‘I want’ is no longer a natural right, but a shameful admission. Altruism is of great help in this. Unhappy men will come to you. They’ll need you. They’ll come for consolation, for support, for escape. Nature allows no vacuum. Empty man’s soul – and the space is yours to fill.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
I do think free will is sewn into everything we do; you can't cross a street, light a cigarette, drop saccharine in your coffee without really doing it. Yet the possible alternatives that life allows us are very few, often there must be none. I've never thought there was any choice for me about writing poetry. No doubt if I used my head better, ordered my life better, worked harder etc., the poetry would be improved, and there must be many lost poems, innumerable accidents and ill-done actions. But asking you is the might have been for me, the one towering change, the other life that might have been had.
Robert Lowell (Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell)
Steadily, the room shrank, till the book thief could touch the shelves within a few small steps. She ran the back of her hand along the first shelf, listening to the shuffle of her fingernails gliding across the spinal cord of each book. It sounded like an instrument, or the notes of running feet. She used both hands. She raced them. One shelf against the other. And she laughed. Her voice was sprawled out, high in her throat, and when she eventually stopped and stood in the middle of the room, she spent many minutes looking from the shelves to her fingers and back again. How many books had she touched? How many had she felt? She walked over and did it again, this time much slower, with her hand facing forward, allowing the dough of her palm to feel the small hurdle of each book. It felt like magic, like beauty, as bright lines of light shone down from a chandelier. Several times, she almost pulled a title from its place but didn't dare disturb them. They were too perfect.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
...sometimes they almost made me feel glad that I had a few extra years to play my depression out with therapy and other means, because I think its useful in youth- unless suicide or drug abuse are the alternatives- to have some faith in the mind to cure itself, to not rush to doctors or diagnosis's...I sometimes worry that part of what creates depression in young people is their own, and their parents, and the whole worlds impatience with allowing the phases of life to run their course. We will very likely soon be living in a society that confuses disease with normal life if the panic and rush to judgment and labeling do not slow down a bit. Somewhere between the unbelievable tardiness that the medical profession was guilty of in administering proper treatment to me and the eagerness to with which practitioners prescribe Ritalin for 8 year old boys and Paxil for 14 year old girls, there is a sane course of action.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
If he looked into her face, he would see those haunted, loving eyes. The hauntedness would irritate him -- the love would move him to fury. How dare she love him? Hadn't she any sense at all? What was he supposed to do about that? Return it? How? What could his calloused hands produce to make her smile? What of his knowledge of the world and of life could be useful to her? What could his heavy arms and befuddled brain accomplish that would earn him his own respect, that would in turn allow him to accept her love?
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
Eventually the Woodsman spoke. ‘We all have our routines,’ he said softly. ‘But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.’ The Woodsman stood and showed David his axe. ‘See here,’ he said, pointing with his finger at the blade. Every morning, I make certain that me axe is clean and keen. I look to my house and check that its windows and doors remain secure. I tend to my land, disposing of weeds and ensuring that the soil is watered. I walk through the forest, clearing those paths that need to be kept open. Where trees have been damaged, I do my best to repair what has been harmed. these are my routines and I enjoy doing them well.’ He laid a hand gently on David’s shoulder, and David saw understanding in his face. ‘Rules and routines are good, but they must give you satisfaction. Can you truly say you gain that from touching and counting?’ David shook his head. ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I get scared when I don’t do them. I’m afraid of what might happen.’ ‘Then find routines that allow you to feel secure when they are done. You told me that you have a new brother: look to him each morning. Look to your father, and your stepmother. Tend to the flowers in the garden, or in the pots upon the window sill. Seek others who are weaker than you are, and try to give them comfort where you can. Let these be your routines, and the rules that govern your life.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. To read them things they enjoy. To read to them stories we are already tired of. To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not to stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves. We have an obligation to use reading-aloud time as bonding time, as time when no phones are being checked, when the distractions of the world are put aside. We have an obligation to use the language. To push ourselves: to find out what words mean and how to deploy them, to communicate clearly, to say what we mean. We must not attempt to freeze language, or to pretend it is a dead thing that must be revered, but we should use it as a living thing, that flows, that borrows words, that allows meanings and pronunciations to change with time.
Neil Gaiman (The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction)
The librarian was explaining the benefits of the Dewey decimal system to her junior--benefits that extended to every area of life. It was orderly, like the universe. It had logic. It was dependable. Using it allowed a kind of moral uplift, as one's own chaos was also brought under control. 'Whenever I am troubled,' said the librarian, 'I think about the Dewey decimal system.' 'Then what happens?' asked the junior, rather overawed. 'Then I understand that trouble is just something that has been filed in the wrong place. That is what Jung was explaining of course--as the chaos of our unconscious contents strive to find their rightful place in the index of consciousness.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
When the web started, I used to get really grumpy with people because they put my poems up. They put my stories up. They put my stuff up on the web. I had this belief, which was completely erroneous, that if people put your stuff up on the web and you didn’t tell them to take it down, you would lose your copyright, which actually, is simply not true. And I also got very grumpy because I felt like they were pirating my stuff, that it was bad. And then I started to notice that two things seemed much more significant. One of which was… places where I was being pirated, particularly Russia where people were translating my stuff into Russian and spreading around into the world, I was selling more and more books. People were discovering me through being pirated. Then they were going out and buying the real books, and when a new book would come out in Russia, it would sell more and more copies. I thought this was fascinating, and I tried a few experiments. Some of them are quite hard, you know, persuading my publisher for example to take one of my books and put it out for free. We took “American Gods,” a book that was still selling and selling very well, and for a month they put it up completely free on their website. You could read it and you could download it. What happened was sales of my books, through independent bookstores, because that’s all we were measuring it through, went up the following month three hundred percent. I started to realize that actually, you’re not losing books. You’re not losing sales by having stuff out there. When I give a big talk now on these kinds of subjects and people say, “Well, what about the sales that I’m losing through having stuff copied, through having stuff floating out there?” I started asking audiences to just raise their hands for one question. Which is, I’d say, “Okay, do you have a favorite author?” They’d say, “Yes.” and I’d say, “Good. What I want is for everybody who discovered their favorite author by being lent a book, put up your hands.” And then, “Anybody who discovered your favorite author by walking into a bookstore and buying a book raise your hands.” And it’s probably about five, ten percent of the people who actually discovered an author who’s their favorite author, who is the person who they buy everything of. They buy the hardbacks and they treasure the fact that they got this author. Very few of them bought the book. They were lent it. They were given it. They did not pay for it, and that’s how they found their favorite author. And I thought, “You know, that’s really all this is. It’s people lending books. And you can’t look on that as a loss of sale. It’s not a lost sale, nobody who would have bought your book is not buying it because they can find it for free.” What you’re actually doing is advertising. You’re reaching more people, you’re raising awareness. Understanding that gave me a whole new idea of the shape of copyright and of what the web was doing. Because the biggest thing the web is doing is allowing people to hear things. Allowing people to read things. Allowing people to see things that they would never have otherwise seen. And I think, basically, that’s an incredibly good thing.
Neil Gaiman
Let us dedicate this new era to mothers around the world, and also to the mother of all mothers -- Mother Earth. It is up to us to keep building bridges to bring the world closer together, and not destroy them to divide us further apart. We can pave new roads towards peace simply by understanding other cultures. This can be achieved through traveling, learning other languages, and interacting with others from outside our borders. Only then will one truly discover how we are more alike than different. Never allow language or cultural traditions to come between brothers and sisters. The same way one brother may not like his sister's choice of fashion or hairstyle, he will never hate her for her personal style or music preference. If you judge a man, judge only his heart. And if you should do so, make sure you use the truth in your conscience when weighing one's character. Do not measure anybody strictly based on the bad you see in them and ignore all the good.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
I can't make the hills The system is shot I'm living on pills For which I thank G-d I followed the course From chaos to art Desire the horse Depression the cart I sailed like a swan I sank like a rock But time is long gone Past my laughing stock My page was too white My ink was too thin The day wouldn't write What the night pencilled in My animal howls My angel's upset But I'm not allowed A trace of regret For someone will use What I couldn't be My heart will be hers Impersonally She'll step on the path She'll see what I mean My will cut in half And freedom between For less than a second Our lives will collide The endless suspended The door open wide Then she will be born To someone like you What no one has done She'll continue to do I know she is coming I know she will look And that is the longing And this is the book
Leonard Cohen (Book of Longing)
They said of him, about the city that night, that it was the peacefullest man's face ever beheld there. Many added that he looked sublime and prophetic. One of the most remarkable sufferers by the same axe---a woman---had asked at the foot of the same scaffold, not long before, to be allowed to write down the thoughts that were inspiring her. If he had given an utterance to his, and they were prophetic, they would have been these: "I see Barsad, and Cly, Defarge, The Vengeance, the Juryman, the Judge, long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old, perishing by this retributive instrument, before it shall cease out of its present use. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out. "I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more. I see Her with a child upon her bosom, who bears my name. I see her father, aged and bent, but otherwise restored, and faithful to all men in his healing office, and at peace. I see the good old man, so long their friend, in ten years' time enriching them with all he has, and passing tranquilly to his reward. "I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. I see her, an old woman weeping for me on the anniversary of this day. I see her and her husband, their course done, lying side by side in their last earthly bed, and I know that each was not more honoured and held sacred in the other's soul, than I was in the souls of both. "I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore my name, a man winning his way up in that path of life which once was mine. I see him winning it so well, that my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. I see the blots I threw upon it, faded away. I see him, foremost of just judges and honoured men, brining a boy of my name, with a forehead that I know and golden hair, to this place---then fair to look upon, with not a trace of this day's disfigurement---and I hear him tell the child my story, with a tender and faltering voice. "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Many strong girls have similar stories: They were socially isolated and lonely in adolescence. Smart girls are often the girls most rejected by peers. Their strength is a threat and they are punished for being different. Girls who are unattractive or who don't worry about their appearance are scorned. This isolation is often a blessing because it allows girls to develop a strong sense of self. Girls who are isolated emerge from adolescence more independent and self-sufficient than girls who have been accepted by others. Strong girls may protect themselves by being quiet and guarded so that their rebellion is known by only a few trusted others. They may be cranky and irascible and keep critics at a distance so that only people who love them know what they are up to. They may have the knack of shrugging off the opinions of others or they may use humor to deflect the hostility that comes their way.
Mary Pipher
Music is a complete evocation – like a smell. It can bring an entire memory and feeling back to you in a rush. Much more complete than even a photograph. You allow yourself a certain visual distance with photos – not music. It envelopes you – there’s no way to escape it. It’s a great test of sensitivity – the degree of reaction to music. I use it all the time. I call it my ‘Music Test.’ People today don’t want to hear the truth. They’re really afraid of tranquility and silence – they’re afraid they might begin to understand their own motivations too well. They keep a steady stream of noise going to protect themselves, to build a wall against the truth. Like African natives, beating on their drums, rattling their gourds, shaking the bells to scare off evil spirits. As long as there’s enough noise, there’s nothing to fear – or hear. But they will listen. Times are changing.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey)
Etsuko had to go back to the restaurant, but she settled on the sofa for a few minutes. When she had been a young mother there used to be only one time in her waking hours where she’d felt a kind of peace, and that was always after her children went to bed for the night. She longed to see her sons as they were back then: their legs chubby and white, their mushroom haircuts misshapen because they could never sit still at the barber. She wished she could take back the times she had scolded her children just because she was tired. There were so many errors. If life allowed revisions, she would let them stay in their bath a little longer, read them one more story before bed, and fix them another plate of shrimp.
Min Jin Lee (Pachinko)
The most common English word spoken in the nail salon was sorry. It was the one refrain for what it meant to work in the service of beauty. Again and again, I watched as manicurists, bowed over a hand or foot of a client, some young as seven, say, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry," when they had nothing wrong. I have seen workers, you included, apologize dozens of times throughout a forty-five-minute manicure, hoping to gain warm traction that would lead to the ultimate goal, a tip--only to say sorry anyway when none was given. In the nail salon, sorry is a tool one uses to pander until the word itself becomes currency. It no longer merely apologizes, but insists, reminds: I'm here, right here, beneath you. It is the lowering of oneself so that the client feels right, superior, and charitable. In the nail salon, one's definition of sorry is deranged into a new word entirely, one that's charged and reused as both power and defacement at once. Being sorry pays, being sorry even, or especially, when one has no fault, is worth every self-deprecating syllable the mouth allows. Because the mouth must eat.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
It's a Buddhist concept. Nonduality. It's about oneness, about how things that seem to be separate are really connected to one another. There are no separations...This is not just a piece of wood. This is also the clouds that brought the rain that watered the tree, and the birds that nested in it and the squirrels that fed on its nuts. It is also the food my grandparents fed me that made me strong enough to cut the tree, and it's the steel in the axe I used. And it's how you know your fox, which allowed you to carve him yesterday. And it's the story you will tell your children when you give this to them. All these things are separate but also one, inseparable. Do you see?
Sara Pennypacker (Pax (Pax #1))
Then what do you want?" she asked softly. He shook his head without answering. But Sara knew. He wanted to be safe. If he were rich and powerful enough, he would never be hurt, lonely, or abandoned. He would never have to trust anyone. She continued to stroke his hair, playing lightly with the thick raven locks. 'Take a chance on me," she urged. "Do you really have so much to lose?" He gave a harsh laugh and loosened his arms to release her. "More than you know." Clinging to him desperately, Sara kept her mouth at his ear. "Listen to me." All she could do was play her last card. Her voice trembled with emotion. "You can't change the truth. You can act as though you're deaf and blind, you can walk away from me forever, but the truth will still be there, and you can't make it go away. I love you." She felt an involuntary tremor run through him. "I love you," she repeated. "Don't lie to either of us by pretending you're leaving for my good. All you'll do is deny us both a chance at happiness. I'll long for you every day and night, but at least my conscience will be clear. I haven't held anything back from you, out of fear or pride or stubbornness." She felt the incredible tautness of his muscles, as if he were carved from marble. "For once have the strength not to walk away," she whispered. "Stay with me. Let me love you, Derek." He stood there frozen in defeat, with all the warmth and promise of her in his arms ... and he couldn't allow himself to take what she offered. He'd never felt so worthless, so much a fraud. Perhaps for a day, a week, he could be what she wanted. But no longer than that. He had sold his honor, his conscience, his body, anything he could use to escape the lot he'd been given in life. And now, with all his great fortune, he couldn't buy back what he'd sacrificed. Were he capable of tears, he would have shed them. Instead he felt numbing coldness spread through his body, filling up the region where his heart should have been. It wasn't difficult to walk away from her. It was appallingly easy. Sara made an inarticulate sound as he extricated himself from her embrace. He left her as he had left the others, without looking back.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
Every previous revolutionary movement in human history has made the same basic mistake. They’ve all seen power as a static apparatus, as a structure. And it’s not. It’s a dynamic, a flow system with two possible tendencies. Power either accumulates, or it diffuses through the system. In most societies, it’s in accumulative mode, and most revolutionary movements are only really interested in reconstituting the accumulation in a new location. A genuine revolution has to reverse the flow. And no one ever does that, because they’re all too fucking scared of losing their conning tower moment in the historical process. If you tear down one agglutinative power dynamic and put another one in its place, you’ve changed nothing. You’re not going to solve any of that society’s problems, they’ll just reemerge at a new angle. You’ve got to set up the nanotech that will deal with the problems on its own. You’ve got to build the structures that allow for diffusion of power, not re-grouping. Accountability, demodynamic access, systems of constituted rights, education in the use of political infrastructure
Richard K. Morgan (Woken Furies (Takeshi Kovacs, #3))
Race is a mirage but one that humanity has organized itself around in very real ways. Imagining away the existence of races in a racist world is as conserving and harmful as imagining away classes in a capitalistic world—it allows the ruling races and classes to keep on ruling. Assimilationists believe in the post-racial myth that talking about race constitutes racism, or that if we stop identifying by race, then racism will miraculously go away. They fail to realize that if we stop using racial categories, then we will not be able to identify racial inequity. If we cannot identify racial inequity, then we will not be able to identify racist policies. If we cannot identify racist policies, then we cannot challenge racist policies. If we cannot challenge racist policies, then racist power’s final solution will be achieved: a world of inequity none of us can see, let alone resist.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
Brokenness can be a remarkable gift. If we allow it, it can expand our space to transform - this potential space that is slight, humble, and unassuming. It may seem counterintuitive to claim the benefits of having been broken, but it is precisely when cracks appear in the bedrock of what we thought we knew that the gravity of what has fallen away becomes evident. When that bedrock is blown up by illness, a death, a breakup, a breakdown of any kind, we get the chance to look beyond the rubble to see a whole new way of life. The landscape that had been previously obscured by the towers of what we thought we knew for sure is suddenly revealed, showing us the limitations of the way things used to be.
Michele Harper (The Beauty in Breaking)
Didn't you just turn eighteen, Jen?" Vasile asked her. Jen looked a little confused at his choice of response. "Umm, yes. I believe that loud racket you heard a couple of weeks ago was Sally and Jacque's idea of a birthday party. What does that have to do with me leaving?" "If you are eighteen, Jen, you are an adult. I can't make you stay here. If you want to leave, if you really think that is the best thing for you, then you can go. I will allow you to use the pack plane to get back to the U.S. if that is truly what you want," Vasile explained. Jen cocked her head to the side, eyes narrowed at the Alpha sitting calmly in front of her. "Just like that? No trying to convince me to stay, or telling me not to give up, or yada yada yada bull crap?" "No 'yada yada yada bull crap'," he agreed. "Huh, okay then.
Quinn Loftis (Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves, #3))
Altruism, compassion, empathy, love, conscience, the sense of justice—all of these things, the things that hold society together, the things that allow our species to think so highly of itself, can now confidently be said to have a firm genetic basis. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, although these things are in some ways blessings for humanity as a whole, they didn’t evolve for the “good of the species” and aren’t reliably employed to that end. Quite the contrary: it is now clearer than ever how (and precisely why) the moral sentiments are used with brutal flexibility, switched on and off in keeping with self-interest; and how naturally oblivious we often are to this switching. In the new view, human beings are a species splendid in their array of moral equipment, tragic in their propensity to misuse it, and pathetic in their constitutional ignorance of the misuse. The title of this book is not wholly without irony.
Robert Wright (The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are - The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology)
You've been my teachers, clergy, my fellow students, coworkers, bosses, principals, sometimes you were a former friend or even family I once trusted. You've taken things I told you in utter confidence, & twisted them into lies to be used against me. Without cause, you have told lies against me. You have refused to see me as a human being. You have kicked me when I was up & you have kicked me when I was down. But today, you will kick me no more, I will no longer be your verbal or physical punching bag, Today, I discovered the secret that will never allow you or friends, who will one day turn on you too, to hurt me again. Today as I lay broken & bleeding in that dark place I crawl into when I think I can't take it anymore, I found something extraordinary. My humanity. As my soul screamed in bleeding agony & I wanted to die rather than live one more day in a world where you exist, I realized that my tears & ability to feel pain without lashing out to return that hurt to someone else makes me human.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Inferno (Chronicles of Nick, #4))
It is easy to be calm when there is nothing to worry about, Eragon. The true test of your self-control, however, is whether you can remain calm in a trying situation. You cannot allow anger or frustration to cloud your thoughts, not at the moment. Right now, you need your mind to be clear. Have you always been able to remain calm at times like this? The old dragon seemed to chuckle. No. I used to growl and bite and knock down trees and tear up the ground. Once, I broke the top off of a mountain in the Spine; the other dragons were rather upset with me for that. But I have had many years to learn that losing my temper rarely helps. You have not, I know, but allow my experience to guide you in this. Let go of your worries and focus on the task at hand. The future will be what is will, and fretting about it will only make your fears more likely to come true. I know, Eragon sighed, but it's not easy. Of course not. Few things of worth are. Then Glaedr withdrew and left him to the silence of his own mind.
Christopher Paolini (Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4))
The heirs of the French, English, and American revolutions had partly believed in their own phrases about the rights of man, freedom of speech, equality before the law, and the like, and have even allowed their conduct to be influenced by them to some extent. But by the fourth decade of the twentieth century all the main currents of political thought were authoritarian. The earthly paradise had been discredited at exactly the moment when it became realizable. Every new political theory, by whatever name it called itself, led back to hierarchy and regimentation. And in the general hardening of outlook that set in round about 1930, practices which had been long abandoned, in some cases for hundreds of years — imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages, and the deportation of whole populations — not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive.
George Orwell (1984)
while the long history of religious oppression and hypocrisy is profoundly sobering, the earnest seeker must look beyond the behavior of flawed humans in order to find the truth. Would you condemn an oak tree because its timbers had been used to build battering rams? Would you blame the air for allowing lies to be transmitted through it? Would you judge Mozart’s The Magic Flute on the basis of a poorly rehearsed performance by fifth-graders? If you had never seen a real sunset over the Pacific, would you allow a tourist brochure as a substitute? Would you evaluate the power of romantic love solely in the light of an abusive marriage next door? No. A real evaluation of the truth of faith depends upon looking at the clean, pure water, not at the rusty containers.
Francis S. Collins (The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief)
In Mexico City they somehow wandered into an exhibition of paintings by the beautiful Spanish exile Remedios Varo: in the central painting of a triptych, titled “Bordando el Manto Terrestre,” were a number of frail girls with heart-shaped faces, huge eyes, spun-gold hair, prisoners in the top room of a circular tower, embroidering a kind of tapestry which spilled out the slit windows and into a void, seeking hopelessly to fill the void: for all the other buildings and creatures, all the waves, ships and forests of the earth were contained in the tapestry, and the tapestry was the world. Oedipa, perverse, had stood in front of the painting and cried. No one had noticed; she wore dark green bubble shades. For a moment she’d wondered if the seal around her sockets were tight enough to allow the tears simply to go on and fill up the entire lens space and never dry. She could carry the sadness of the moment with her that way forever, see the world refracted through those tears, those specific tears, as if indices as yet unfound varied in important ways from cry to cry. She had looked down at her feet and known, then, because of a painting, that what she stood on had only been woven together a couple thousand miles away in her own tower, was only by accident known as Mexico, and so Pierce had take her away from nothing, there’d been no escape. What did she so desire escape from? Such a captive maiden, having plenty of time to think, soon realizes that her tower, its height and architecture, are like her ego only incidental: that what really keeps her where she is is magic, anonymous and malignant, visited on her from outside and for no reason at all. Having no apparatus except gut fear and female cunning to examine this formless magic, to understand how it works, how to measure its field strength, count its lines of force, she may fall back on superstition, or take up a useful hobby like embroidery, or go mad, or marry a disk jockey. If the tower is everywhere and the knight of deliverance no proof against its magic, what else?
Thomas Pynchon (The Crying of Lot 49)
When a stranger on the street makes a sexual comment, he is making a private assessment of me public. And though I’ve never been seriously worried that I would be attacked, it does make me feel unguarded, unprotected. Regardless of his motive, the stranger on the street makes an assumption based on my physique: He presumes I might be receptive to his unpoetic, unsolicited comments. (Would he allow a friend to say “Nice tits” to his mother? His sister? His daughter?) And although I should know better, I, too, equate my body with my soul and the result, at least sometimes, is a deep shame of both. Rape is a thousand times worse: The ultimate theft of self-control, it often leads to a breakdown in the victim’s sense of self-worth. Girls who are molested, for instance, often go on to engage in risky behavior—having intercourse at an early age, not using contraception, smoking, drinking, and doing drugs. This behavior, it seems to me, is at least in part because their self-perception as autonomous, worthy human beings in control of their environment has been taken from them.
Leora Tanenbaum (Slut!: Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation)
Imagine this: Instead of waiting in her tower, Rapunzel slices off her long, golden hair with a carving knife, and then uses it to climb down to freedom. Just as she’s about to take the poison apple, Snow White sees the familiar wicked glow in the old lady’s eyes, and slashes the evil queen’s throat with a pair of sewing scissors. Cinderella refuses everything but the glass slippers from her fairy godmother, crushes her stepmother’s windpipe under her heel, and the Prince falls madly in love with the mysterious girl who dons rags and blood-stained slippers. Imagine this: Persephone goes adventuring with weapons hidden under her dress. Persephone climbs into the gaping chasm. Or, Persephone uses her hands to carve a hole down to hell. In none of these versions is Persephone’s body violated unless she asks Hades to hold her down with his horse-whips. Not once does she hold out on eating the pomegranate, instead biting into it eagerly and relishing the juice running down her chin, staining it red. In some of the stories, Hades never appears and Persephone rules the underworld with a crown of her own making. In all of them, it is widely known that the name Persephone means Bringer of Destruction. Imagine this: Red Riding Hood marches from her grandmother’s house with a bloody wolf pelt. Medusa rights the wrongs that have been done to her. Eurydice breaks every muscle in her arms climbing out of the land of the dead. Imagine this: Girls are allowed to think dark thoughts, and be dark things. Imagine this: Instead of the dragon, it’s the princess with claws and fiery breath who smashes her way from the confines of her castle and swallows men whole.
theappleppielifestyle
If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth... for understanding. Too often, we assume that the light on the wall is God, but the light is not the goal of the search, it is the result of the search. The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it. Similarly, someone who does not search - who does not bring a lantern - sees nothing. What we perceive as God is the by-product of our search for God. It may simply be an appreciation of the light... pure and unblemished... not understanding that it comes from us. Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe - God looks astonishingly like we do - or we turn to look at our shadow and assume that all is darkness. If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose, which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty and in all its flaws; and in so doing, better understand the world around us.
J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5)
The most traumatic aspects of all disasters involve the shattering of human connections. And this is especially true for children. Being harmed by the people who are supposed to love you, being abandoned by them, being robbed of the one-on-one relationships that allow you to feel safe and valued and to become humane—these are profoundly destructive experiences. Because humans are inescapably social beings, the worst catastrophes that can befall us inevitably involve relational loss. As a result, recovery from trauma and neglect is also all about relationships—rebuilding trust, regaining confidence, returning to a sense of security and reconnecting to love. Of course, medications can help relieve symptoms and talking to a therapist can be incredibly useful. But healing and recovery are impossible—even with the best medications and therapy in the world—without lasting, caring connections to others.
Bruce D. Perry (The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook)
...we're a people who pollute the very air we breathe. And our rivers. We're destroying the great lakes; Erie is already gone, and now we've begun on the oceans. We filled our atmosphere with radioactive fallout that put poison into our children's bones, and we knew it. We've made bombs that can wipe out humanity in minutes, and they are aimed and ready to fire. We ended polio, and then the United States Army bred new strains of germs that can cause fatal, incurable disease. We had a chance to do justice to our Negroes, and when they asked it, we refused. In Asia we burned people alive, we really did. We allow children to grow up malnourished in the United States. We allow people to make money by using our television channels to pursued our own children to smoke, knowing what it is going to do to them. This is a time when it becomes harder and harder to continue telling yourself that we are still good people. We hate each other. And we're used to it.
Jack Finney
I lead a life much below my level. Beyond the books, which trickle in slowly (I have to read what I can get, not what I have a mind to read), I have nothing to sustain my inner life; and everything around me exudes an indescribable prosiness, which presses down on me too with its brutal weight. Nothing on the order of a stroll with a dear person, not one hour of quiet and serene contemplation--all is tainted by mundane worry and staleness. I take it that productive creators fence themselves off from their environment by a certain regimen of living, a certain organization of their daily routine that does not allow the workaday banality, humdrum job, and the rest of it to get to them. I badly feel the lack of such a regimen, my incapacity to subject myself to such a discipline. One must, for instance, fence off one's inner life, not permit the vermin of ordinary cares to infest it. Some blindness used to protect me from this truth; I wore blinkers like a horse in harness. Now reality has won and penetrated my interior.
Bruno Schulz
My son used to believe that he could look at a plane in flight and make it explode in midair by simply thinking it. He believed, at thirteen, that the border between himself and the world was thin and porous enough to allow him to affect the course of events. An aircraft in flight was a provocation too strong to ignore. He’d watch a plane gaining altitude after taking off from Sky Harbor and he’d sense an element of catastrophe tacit in the very fact of a flying object filled with people. He was sensitive to the most incidental stimulus and he thought he could feel the object itself yearning to burst. All he had to do was wish the fiery image into his mind and the plane would ignite and shatter. His sister used to tell him, Go ahead, blow it up, let me see you take that plane out of the sky with all two hundred people aboard, and it scared him to hear someone talk this way and it scared her too because she wasn’t completely convinced he could not do it. It’s the special skill of an adolescent to imagine the end of the world as an adjunct to his own discontent. But Jeff got older and lost interest and conviction. He lost the paradoxical gift for being separate and alone and yet intimately connected, mind-wired to distant things.
Don DeLillo (Underworld)
Sometimes an uncontrollable feeling of sadness grips us, he said. We recognize that the magic moment of the day has passed and that we’ve done nothing about it. Life begins to conceal its magic and its art. We have to listen to the child we once were, the child who still exists inside us. That child understands magic moments. We can stifle its cries, but we cannot silence its voice. The child we once were is still there. Blessed are the children, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. If we are not reborn – if we cannot learn to look at life with the innocence and the enthusiasm of childhood – it makes no sense to go on living. There are many ways to commit suicide. hose who try to kill the body violate God's law. Those who try to kill the soul also violate God's law, even though their crime is less visible to others. We have to pay attention to what the child in our heart tells us. We should not be embarrassed by this child. We must not allow this child to be scared because the child is alone and almost never heard. We must allow the child to take the reins of our lives. The child knows that each day is different from every other day. We have to allow it to feel loved again. We must please this child – even if this means that we act in ways we are not used to, in ways that may seem foolish to others. Remember that human wisdom is madness in the eyes of God. But if we listen to the child who lives in our soul, our eyes will grow bright. If we do not lose contact with that child, we will not lose contact with life.
Paulo Coelho (By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept)
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: Akashic U.S. Presidents Series)
There was nothing worse, Veppers thought, than a loser who’d made it. It was just part of the way things worked – part of the complexity of life, he supposed – that sometimes somebody who absolutely deserved nothing more than to be one of the down-trodden, the oppressed, the dregs of society, lucked out into a position of wealth, power and admiration. At least people who were natural winners knew how to carry themselves in their pomp, whether their ascendancy had come through the luck of being born rich and powerful or the luck of being born ambitious and capable. Losers who’d made it always let the side down. Veppers was all for arrogance – he possessed the quality in full measure himself, as he’d often been informed – but it had to be deserved, you had to have worked for it. Or at the very least, an ancestor had to have worked for it. Arrogance without cause, arrogance without achievement – or that mistook sheer luck for true achievement – was an abomination. Losers made everybody look bad. Worse, they made the whole thing – the great game that was life – appear arbitrary, almost meaningless. Their only use, Veppers had long since decided, was as examples to be held up to those who complained about their lack of status or money or control over their lives: look, if this idiot can achieve something, so can anybody, so can you. So stop whining about being exploited and work harder. Still, at least individual losers were quite obviously statistical freaks. You could allow for that, you could tolerate that, albeit with gritted teeth. What he would not have believed was that you could find an entire society – an entire civilization– of losers who’d made it.
Iain Banks (Surface Detail (Culture #9))
The thing about being barren is that you’re not allowed to get away from it. Not when you’re in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
A beginning is a very delicate time. Know then, that is is the year 10191. The known universe is ruled by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam the Fourth, my father. In this time, the most precious substance in the universe is the spice Melange. The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness. A product of the Spive, the red Sapho juice, stains the lips of the Mentats but allows them to be human computers, as thinking machines have been outlawed. The spice is vital to space travel. The Spacing Guild and its navigators, who the spice has mutated over 4000 years, use the orange spice gas, which gives them the ability to fold space. That is, travel to any part of the universe without moving. Because the Guild controls all interplanetary travel, they are the highest power in the Universe. The Spice also plays a very secret role in the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, of which I am a part. The sisterhood has been interfering with the marriages, and the children thereof, of the great Houses of the Universe, cleverly intermixing one bloodline with another to form the Kwisatz Haderach, a super being. They plan to control this super being and use his powers for their own selfish purposes. The breeding plan has been carried out in a strict manner for 90 generations. The goal of the super being is in sight. But now, so close to the prize, a Bene Gesserit woman, Jessica, the bound concubine of Duke Leto Atreides, who has been ordered to bear only daughters, has given birth to a son. Oh, yes. I forgot to tell you. The spice exists on only one planet in the entire universe. A desolate, dry planet with vast deserts. Hidden away within the rocks of these deserts are a people known as the Fremen, who have long held a prophecy that a man would come, a messiah, who would lead them to true freedom. The planet is Arrakis, also known as Dune.
Frank Herbert
Socialism lost its way largely when it became decoupled from the processes of democracy. My vision of a socially just society is one that is deeply democratic, that allows people’s voices to be heard, where people actually govern. C.L.R James sometimes used the slogan “every cook can govern” to speak to the concept that there should be no hierarchies of power between those who lead and their constituencies. This idea is related to Antonio Gramsci’s argument that the goal of the revolutionary party is for every member to be an intellectual. That is, everyone has the capacity, has the ability to articulate a vision of reality and to fight for the realization of their values and goals in society. Gramsci is pointing toward the development of a strategy that is deeply democratic, one where we don’t have elitist, vanguardist notions of what society should look like, but have humility and the patience to listen to and learn from working class and poor people, who really are at the center of what any society is.
Manning Marable
Something as superfluous as "play" is also an essential feature of our consciousness. If you ask children why they like to play, they will say, "Because it's fun." But that invites the next question: What is fun? Actually, when children play, they are often trying to reenact complex human interactions in simplified form. Human society is extremely sophisticated, much too involved for the developing brains of young children, so children run simplified simulations of adult society, playing games such as doctor, cops and robber, and school. Each game is a model that allows children to experiment with a small segment of adult behavior and then run simulations into the future. (Similarly, when adults engage in play, such as a game of poker, the brain constantly creates a model of what cards the various players possess, and then projects that model into the future, using previous data about people's personality, ability to bluff, etc. The key to games like chess, cards, and gambling is the ability to simulate the future. Animals, which live largely in the present, are not as good at games as humans are, especially if they involve planning. Infant mammals do engage in a form of play, but this is more for exercise, testing one another, practicing future battles, and establishing the coming social pecking order rather than simulating the future.)
Michio Kaku (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind)
I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid, determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cart-wheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenze sweaters in turquoise, red, and peach (my mother allowed me none- said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling- even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was. But at least I was a few months older and she would never quite catch up. That's when I decided to check out my thirtieth birthday- in a year so far away that it sounded like science fiction. It fell on a Sunday, which meant that my dashing husband and I would secure a responsible baby-sitter for our two (possibly three) children on that Saturday evening, dine at a fancy French restaurant with cloth napkins, and stay out past midnight, so technically we would be celebrating on my actual birthday. I would have just won a big case- somehow proven that an innocent man didn't do it. And my husband would toast me: "To Rachel, my beautiful wife, the mother of my chidren and the finest lawyer in Indy." I shared my fantasy with Darcy as we discovered that her thirtieth birthday fell on a Monday. Bummer for her. I watched her purse her lips as she processed this information. "You know, Rachel, who cares what day of the week we turn thirty?" she said, shrugging a smooth, olive shoulder. "We'll be old by then. Birthdays don't matter when you get that old." I thought of my parents, who were in their thirties, and their lackluster approach to their own birthdays. My dad had just given my mom a toaster for her birthday because ours broke the week before. The new one toasted four slices at a time instead of just two. It wasn't much of a gift. But my mom had seemed pleased enough with her new appliance; nowhere did I detect the disappointment that I felt when my Christmas stash didn't quite meet expectations. So Darcy was probably right. Fun stuff like birthdays wouldn't matter as much by the time we reached thirty. The next time I really thought about being thirty was our senior year in high school, when Darcy and I started watching ths show Thirty Something together. It wasn't our favorite- we preferred cheerful sit-coms like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains- but we watched it anyway. My big problem with Thirty Something was the whiny characters and their depressing issues that they seemed to bring upon themselves. I remember thinking that they should grow up, suck it up. Stop pondering the meaning of life and start making grocery lists. That was back when I thought my teenage years were dragging and my twenties would surealy last forever. Then I reached my twenties. And the early twenties did seem to last forever. When I heard acquaintances a few years older lament the end of their youth, I felt smug, not yet in the danger zone myself. I had plenty of time..
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
Resilient strength is the opposite of helplessness. The tree is made strong and resilient by its grounded root system. These roots take nourishment from the ground and grow strong. Grounding also allows the tree to be resilient so that it can yield to the winds of change and not be uprooted. Springiness is the facility to ground and ‘unground’ in a rhythmical way. This buoyancy is a dynamic form of grounding. Aggressiveness is the biological ability to be vigorous and energetic, especially when using instinct and force. In the immobility (traumatized) state, these assertive energies are inaccessible. The restoration of healthy aggression is an essential part in the recovery from trauma. Empowerment is the acceptance of personal authority. It derives from the capacity to choose the direction and execution of one’s own energies. Mastery is the possession of skillful techniques in dealing successfully with threat. Orientation is the process of ascertaining one’s position relative to both circumstance and environment. In these ways the residue of trauma is renegotiated.
Peter A. Levine (Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma)
Rich loved taking care of women. He would swoop in like Tarzan swinging on a vine, rescue them from whatever situation they found themselves in, and be their hero. He would make all the decisions, and he would be strong and dependable. "What a catch!" they would feel. But they did not see his inability to allow them to disagree or have an opinion. He could not yield to another person. He could not show weakness or vulnerability. He would make up for that inflexibility by being a very attractive "strong man" to women who would want to be swept off their feet more than they wanted a real person. So, they would be a perfect match—until he would see the other side of a passive, compliant woman. She would be sneaky and not tell him exactly what was going on. Then, lo and behold, one day she would really "mess up" and have a wish contrary to somthing he wanted or valued. Then, from his perspective, she had "changed" and had become "selfish." "She used to be nice, and now look!" But in reality, this is not what had happened. She had not changed. When they first met, she showed only half of who she was, hiding the other half, which would come out in sneaky, indirect ways. After a while, it came out directly, such as when she disagreed with him. Then he would cry, "Foul." So they both got what they asked for. In her compliance, she attracted a controller. In his control he attracted an adaptive person who had a secret side and was indirect. They were co-conspirators, and it always blew up.
Henry Cloud (How to Get a Date Worth Keeping)
In the cage is the lion. She paces with her memories. Her body is a record of her past. As she moves back and forth, one may see it all: the lean frame, the muscular legs, the paw enclosing long sharp claws, the astonishing speed of her response. She was born in this garden. She has never in her life stretched those legs. Never darted farther than twenty yards at a time. Only once did she use her claws. Only once did she feel them sink into flesh. And it was her keeper's flesh. Her keeper whom she loves, who feeds her, who would never dream of harming her, who protects her. Who in his mercy forgave her mad attack, saying this was in her nature, to be cruel at a whim, to try to kill what she loves. He had come into her cage as he usually did early in the morning to change her water, always at the same time of day, in the same manner, speaking softly to her, careful to make no sudden movement, keeping his distance, when suddenly she sank down, deep down into herself, the way wild animals do before they spring, and then she had risen on all her strong legs, and swiped him in one long, powerful, graceful movement across the arm. How lucky for her he survived the blow. The keeper and his friends shot her with a gun to make her sleep. Through her half-open lids she knew they made movements around her. They fed her with tubes. They observed her. They wrote comments in notebooks. And finally they rendered a judgment. She was normal. She was a normal wild beast, whose power is dangerous, whose anger can kill, they had said. Be more careful of her, they advised. Allow her less excitement. Perhaps let her exercise more. She understood none of this. She understood only the look of fear in her keeper's eyes. And now she paces. Paces as if she were angry, as if she were on the edge of frenzy. The spectators imagine she is going through the movements of the hunt, or that she is readying her body for survival. But she knows no life outside the garden. She has no notion of anger over what she could have been, or might be. No idea of rebellion. It is only her body that knows of these things, moving her, daily, hourly, back and forth, back and forth, before the bars of her cage.
Susan Griffin (Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her)
There are any number of reasons to want novels to survive. The way [Jonathan] Franzen thinks about it is that books can do things, socially useful things, that other media can't. He cites -- as one does -- the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard and his idea of busyness: that state of constant distraction that allows people to avoid difficult realities and maintain self-deceptions. With the help of cell phones, e-mail and handheld games, it's easier to stay busy, in the Kierkegaardian sense, than it's ever been. Reading, in its quietness and sustained concentration, is the opposite of busyness. "We are so distracted by and engulfed by the technologies we've created, and by the constant barrage of so-called information that comes our way, that more than ever to immerse yourself in an involving book seems socially useful," Franzen says. "The place of stillness that you have to go to to write, but also to read seriously, is the point where you can actually make responsible decisions, where you can actually engage productively with an otherwise scary and unmanageable world.
Lev Grossman
The most common theory points to the fact that men are stronger than women and that they have used their greater physical power to force women into submission. A more subtle version of this claim argues that their strength allows men to monopolize tasks that demand hard manual labor, such as plowing and harvesting. This gives them control of food production, which in turn translates into political clout. There are two problems with this emphasis on muscle power. First, the statement that men are stronger is true only on average and only with regard to certain types of strength. Women are generally more resistant to hunger, disease, and fatigue than men. There are also many women who can run faster and lift heavier weights than many men. Furthermore, and most problematically for this theory, women have, throughout history, mainly been excluded from jobs that required little physical effort, such as the priesthood, law, and politics, while engaging in hard manual labor in the fields....and in the household. If social power were divided in direct relation to physical strength or stamina, women should have got far more of it. Even more importantly, there simply is no direct relation between physical strength and social power among humans. People in their sixties usually exercise power over people in their twenties, even though twenty-somethings are much stronger than their elders. ...Boxing matches were not used to select Egyptian pharaohs or Catholic popes. In forager societies, political dominance generally resides with the person possessing the best social skills rather than the most developed musculature. In fact, human history shows that there is often an inverse relation between physical prowess and social power. In most societies, it’s the lower classes who do the manual labor. Another theory explains that masculine dominance results not from strength but from aggression. Millions of years of evolution have made men far more violent than women. Women can match men as far as hatred, greed, and abuse are concern, but when push comes to shove…men are more willing to engage in raw physical violence. This is why, throughout history, warfare has been a masculine prerogative. In times of war, men’s control of the armed forces has made them the masters of civilian society too. They then use their control of civilian society to fight more and more wars. …Recent studies of the hormonal and cognitive systems of men and women strengthen the assumption that men indeed have more aggressive and violent tendencies and are…on average, better suited to serve as common soldiers. Yet, granted that the common soldiers are all men, does it follow that the ones managing the war and enjoying its fruits must also be men? That makes no sense. It’s like assuming that because all the slaves cultivating cotton fields are all Black, plantation owners will be Black as well. Just as an all-Black workforce might be controlled by an all-White management, why couldn’t an all-male soldiery be controlled by an all-female government?
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Within sixty-minute limits or one-hundred-yard limits or the limits of a game board, we can look for perfect moments or perfect structures. In my fiction I think this search sometimes turns out to be a cruel delusion. No optimism, no pessimism. No homesickness for lost values or for the way fiction used to be written. Everybody seems to know everything. Subjects surface and are totally exhausted in a matter of days or weeks, totally played out by the publishing industry and the broadcast industry. Nothing is too arcane to escape the treatment, the process. Making things difficult for the reader is less an attack on the reader than it is on the age and its facile knowledge-market. The writer is the person who stands outside society, independent of affiliation and independent of influence. The writer is the man or woman who automatically takes a stance against his or her government. There are so many temptations for American writers to become part of the system and part of the structure that now, more than ever, we have to resist. American writers ought to stand and live in the margins, and be more dangerous. Writers in repressive societies are considered dangerous. That’s why so many of them are in jail. Some people prefer to believe in conspiracy because they are made anxious by random acts. Believing in conspiracy is almost comforting because, in a sense, a conspiracy is a story we tell each other to ward off the dread of chaotic and random acts. Conspiracy offers coherence. I see contemporary violence as a kind of sardonic response to the promise of consumer fulfillment in America... I see this desperation against the backdrop of brightly colored packages and products and consumer happiness and every promise that American life makes day by day and minute by minute everywhere we go. Discarded pages mark the physical dimensions of a writer’s labor. Film allows us to examine ourselves in ways earlier societies could not—examine ourselves, imitate ourselves, extend ourselves, reshape our reality. It permeates our lives, this double vision, and also detaches us, turns some of us into actors doing walk-throughs. Every new novel stretches the term of the contract—let me live long enough to do one more book. You become a serious novelist by living long enough.
Don DeLillo
Many social justice or social activist movements have been rooted in a position. A position is usually against something. Any position will call up its opposition. If I say up, it generates down. If I say right, it really creates left. If I say good, it creates bad. So a position creates its opposition. A stand is something quite distinct from that. There are synonyms for “stand” such as “declaration” or “commitment,” but let me talk for just a few moments about the power of a stand. A stand comes from the heart, from the soul. A stand is always life affirming. A stand is always trustworthy. A stand is natural to who you are. When we use the phrase “take a stand” I’m really inviting you to un-cover, or “unconceal,” or recognize, or affirm, or claim the stand that you already are. Stand-takers are the people who actually change the course of history and are the source of causing an idea’s time to come. Mahatma Gandhi was a stand-taker. He took a stand so powerful that it mobilized millions of people in a way that the completely unpredictable outcome of the British walking out of India did happen. And India became an independent nation. The stand that he took… or the stand that Martin Luther King, Jr. took or the stand that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony took for women’s rights—those stands changed our lives today. The changes that have taken place in history as a result of the stand-takers are permanent changes, not temporary changes. The women in this room vote because those women took so powerful a stand that it moved the world. And so the opportunity here is for us to claim the stand that we already are, not take a position against the macro economic system, or a position against this administration, although some of you may have those feelings. What’s way more powerful than that is taking a stand, which includes all positions, which allows all positions to be heard and reconsidered, and to begin to dissolve. When you take a stand, it actually does shift the whole universe and unexpected, unpredictable things happen.
Lynne Twist
Because women tend to turn their anger inward and blame themselves, they tend to become depressed and their self-esteem is lowered. This, in turn, causes them to become more dependent and less willing to risk rejection or abandonment if they were to stand up for themselves by asserting their will, their opinions, or their needs. Men often defend themselves against hurt by putting up a wall of nonchalant indifference. This appearance of independence often adds to a woman's fear of rejection, causing her to want to reach out to achieve comfort and reconciliation. Giving in, taking the blame, and losing herself more in the relationship seem to be a small price to pay for the acceptance and love of her partner. As you can see, both extremes anger in and anger out-create potential problems. While neither sex is wrong in the way they deal with their anger, each could benefit from observing how the other sex copes with their anger. Most men, especially abusive ones, could benefit from learning to contain their anger more instead of automatically striking back, and could use the rather female ability to empathise with others and seek diplomatic resolutions to problems. Many women, on the other hand, could benefit from acknowledging their anger and giving themselves permission to act it out in constructive ways instead of automatically talking themselves out of it, blaming themselves, or allowing a man to blame them. Instead of giving in to keep the peace, it would be far healthier for most women to stand up for their needs, their opinions, and their beliefs.
Beverly Engel (The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing)
Unfortunately, the term “identity politics” has been weaponized. It is most often used by speakers to describe politics as practiced by members of historically marginalized groups. If you’re black and you're worried about police brutality, that’s identity politics. If you’re a woman and you’re worried about the male-female pay gap, that’s identity politics. But if you’re a rural gun owner decrying universal background checks as tyranny, or a billionaire CEO complaining that high tax rates demonize success, or a Christian insisting on Nativity scenes in public squares — well, that just good, old fashioned politics. With a quick sleight of hand, identity becomes something that only marginalized groups have. The term “identity politics,” in this usage, obscures rather than illuminates; it’s used to diminish and discredit the concerns of the weaker groups by making them look self-interested, special pleading in order to clear the agenda for the concerns of stronger groups, which are framed as more rational, proper topics for political debate. But in wielding identity as a blade, we have lost it as a lens, blinding ourselves in a bid for political advantage. WE are left searching in vaid for what we refuse to allow ourselves to see.
Ezra Klein (Why We're Polarized)
The triviality of American popular culture, its emptiness and gossip, accelerates this destruction of critical thought. It expands the void, the mindlessness that makes the magic, mythology, and irrationality of the Christian Right palatable. Television, the movement’s primary medium, allows viewers to preoccupy themselves with context-free information. The homogenized empty chatter on the airwaves, the banal amusement and clichés, the bizarre doublespeak endlessly repeated on cable news channels and the huge spectacles in sports stadiums have replaced America’s political, social and moral life, indeed replaced community itself. Television lends itself perfectly to this world of signs and wonders, to the narcissism of national and religious self-exaltation. Television discourages real communication. Its rapid frames and movements, its constant use of emotional images, its sudden shifts from one theme to an unrelated theme, banish logic and reason with dizzying perplexity. It, too, makes us feel good. It, too, promises to protect and serve us. It, too, promises to life us up and thrill us. The televangelists have built their movement on these commercial precepts. The totalitarian creed of the Religious Right has found in television the perfect medium. Its leaders know how television can be used to seduce and encourage us to walk away from dwindling, less exciting collectives that protect and nurture us. They have mastered television’s imperceptible, slowly induced hypnosis. And they understand the enticement of credo quia absurdum—I believe because it is absurb.
Chris Hedges (American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America)
He set the RAM on the desk, then reached into his back pocket to pull out his grimoire. The size of a small paperback novel, it'd been a gift from Ambrose to help him understand some of the madness that surrounded him, and to answer some of the "other" questions that came up. "All right, Nashira," Nick said in a low tone. "Talk to me. What the heck is watching me?" He slid his knife out of his pocket, opened the book, and pricked his finger, allowing three drops of blood to touch a blank page. "Dredanya eire coulet" he whispered, waking the female spirit who lived inside the enchanted pages. The moment he finished speaking, his blood began swirling until it formed words: Do not fear that which cannot be seen. For they are lost in between. 'Tis the ones who come alive That your blood will allow to thrive. Nick snorted at the cryptic stanzas. "Not really useful, Nashira. Doesn't answer my question." His blood crawled over to the next page. Answer, answer, you always say, But it doesn't work that way. In time, the truth you shall find. And then you will understand my rhyme. "I'm such a masochist to even try talking to you" Underneath the words, a picture of an obscene gesture formed. "Oh very nice, Nashira. Very nice. Wherever did you learn that?" In your pocket I reside. Ever privy to your deride. But more than that, I can see. And that includes bathroom stall graffiti Nick screwed his face up in distaste. "Oh my God, no. Tell me you haven't been spying on me in the rest room. You perv!" Calm yourself, you evil troll. My job is not to console. But if it is privacy you seek, Leave me in your backpack so I can't peek. Now he understood why other people got so aggravated with his attitude disorder. He wanted to strangle his book.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Inferno (Chronicles of Nick, #4))
In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it." This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.
G.K. Chesterton
One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love. So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favorite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn’t that insulting? Shouldn’t there be some other term to describe deeper emotion? Humans were so preoccupied with love. They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their “other half.” It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloved’s entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could they really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a person’s face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself? Of course, I knew nothing about human love, but the idea had always been intriguing to me. Celestial beings never pretended to understand the intensity of human relationships; but I found it amazing how humans could allow another person to take over their hearts and minds. It was ironic how love could awaken them to the wonders of the universe, while at the same time confine their attention to one another.
Alexandra Adornetto
If our shallow, self-critical culture sometimes seems to lack a sense of the numinous or spiritual it’s only in the same way a fish lacks a sense of the ocean. Because the numinous is everywhere, we need to be reminded of it. We live among wonders. Superhuman cyborgs, we plug into cell phones connecting us to one another and to a constantly updated planetary database, an exo-memory that allows us to fit our complete cultural archive into a jacket pocket. We have camera eyes that speed up, slow down, and even reverse the flow of time, allowing us to see what no one prior to the twentieth century had ever seen — the thermodynamic miracle of broken shards and a puddle gathering themselves up from the floor to assemble a half-full wineglass. We are the hands and eyes and ears, the sensitive probing feelers through which the emergent, intelligent universe comes to know its own form and purpose. We bring the thunderbolt of meaning and significance to unconscious matter, blank paper, the night sky. We are already divine magicians, already supergods. Why shouldn’t we use all our brilliance to leap in as many single bounds as it takes to a world beyond ours, threatened by overpopulation, mass species extinction, environmental degradation, hunger, and exploitation? Superman and his pals would figure a way out of any stupid cul-de-sac we could find ourselves in — and we made Superman, after all.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
You don’t know,” I say, exasperated. “That’s why you don’t understand. You don’t know what I used to be like. You don’t know what it was like in my head. I lived in a really dark place,” I say to him. “I wasn’t safe in my own mind. I woke up every morning hoping to die and then spent the rest of the day wondering if maybe I was already dead because I couldn’t even tell the difference,” I say, more harshly than I mean to. “I had a small thread of hope and I clung to it, but the majority of my life was spent waiting around to see if someone would take pity on me.” Kenji is just staring at me, his eyes tight. “Don’t you think I’ve realized,” I say to him, angrier now, “that if I’d allowed myself to get mad a long time ago, I would’ve discovered I had the strength to break through that asylum with my own two hands?” Kenji flinches. “Don’t you think that I think about that, all the time?” I ask him, my voice shaking. “Don’t you think it kills me to know that it was my own unwillingness to recognize myself as a human being that kept me trapped for so long? For two hundred and sixty-four days, Kenji,” I say, swallowing hard. “Two hundred and sixty-four days I was in there and the whole time, I had the power to break myself out and I didn’t, because I had no idea I could. Because I never even tried. Because I let the world teach me to hate myself. I was a coward,” I say, “who needed someone else to tell me I was worth something before I took any steps to save myself. “This isn’t about Adam or Warner,” I tell him. “This is about me and what I want. This is about me finally understanding where I want to be in ten years. Because I’m going to be alive, Kenji. I will be alive in ten years, and I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be strong. And I don’t need anyone to tell me that anymore. I am enough, and I always will be.
Tahereh Mafi
What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked. She looked nervously down at the papers in her hand even though I knew for a fact she had memorized every word. “When I was eleven I thought I knew the answer to that question. That was when the recruiters came to see me. They showed me brochures and told me they were impressed by my test scores and asked if I was ready to be challenged. And I said yes. Because that was what a Gallagher Girl was to me then, a student at the toughest school in the world.” She took a deep breath and talked on. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked again. “When I was thirteen I thought I knew the answer to that question. That was when Dr. Fibs allowed me to start doing my own experiments in the lab. I could go anywhere—make anything. Do anything my mind could dream up. Because I was a Gallagher Girl. And, to me, that meant I was the future.” Liz took another deep breath. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” This time, when Liz asked it, her voice cracked. “When I was seventeen I stood on a dark street in Washington, D.C., and watched one Gallagher Girl literally jump in front of a bullet to save the life of another. I saw a group of women gather around a girl whom they had never met, telling the world that if any harm was to come to their sister, it had to go through them first.” Liz straightened. She no longer had to look down at her paper as she said, “What is a Gallagher Girl? I’m eighteen now, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I don’t really know the answer to that question. Maybe she is destined to be our first international graduate and take her rightful place among Her Majesty’s Secret Service with MI6.” I glanced to my right and, call me crazy, but I could have sworn Rebecca Baxter was crying. “Maybe she is someone who chooses to give back, to serve her life protecting others just as someone once protected her.” Macey smirked but didn’t cry. I got the feeling that Macey McHenry might never cry again. “Who knows?” Liz asked. “Maybe she’s an undercover journalist.” I glanced at Tina Walters. “An FBI agent.” Eva Alvarez beamed. “A code breaker.” Kim Lee smiled. “A queen.” I thought of little Amirah and knew somehow that she’d be okay. “Maybe she’s even a college student.” Liz looked right at me. “Or maybe she’s so much more.” Then Liz went quiet for a moment. She too looked up at the place where the mansion used to stand. “You know, there was a time when I thought that the Gallagher Academy was made of stone and wood, Grand Halls and high-tech labs. When I thought it was bulletproof, hack-proof, and…yes…fireproof. And I stand before you today happy for the reminder that none of those things are true. Yes, I really am. Because I know now that a Gallagher Girl is not someone who draws her power from that building. I know now with scientific certainty that it is the other way around.” A hushed awe descended over the already quiet crowd as she said this. Maybe it was the gravity of her words and what they meant, but for me personally, I like to think it was Gilly looking down, smiling at us all. “What is a Gallagher Girl?” Liz asked one final time. “She’s a genius, a scientist, a heroine, a spy. And now we are at the end of our time at school, and the one thing I know for certain is this: A Gallagher Girl is whatever she wants to be.” Thunderous, raucous applause filled the student section. Liz smiled and wiped her eyes. She leaned close to the microphone. “And, most of all, she is my sister.
Ally Carter (United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6))
There is some confusion as to what magic actually is. I think this can be cleared up if you just look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic in its earliest form is often referred to as “the art”. I believe this is completely literal. I believe that magic is art and that art, whether it be writing, music, sculpture, or any other form is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. The very language about magic seems to be talking as much about writing or art as it is about supernatural events. A grimmoir for example, the book of spells is simply a fancy way of saying grammar. Indeed, to cast a spell, is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people's consciousness. And I believe that this is why an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world that you are likely to see to a Shaman. I believe that all culture must have arisen from cult. Originally, all of the faucets of our culture, whether they be in the arts or sciences were the province of the Shaman. The fact that in present times, this magical power has degenerated to the level of cheap entertainment and manipulation, is, I think a tragedy. At the moment the people who are using Shamanism and magic to shape our culture are advertisers. Rather than try to wake people up, their Shamanism is used as an opiate to tranquilize people, to make people more manipulable. Their magic box of television, and by their magic words, their jingles can cause everyone in the country to be thinking the same words and have the same banal thoughts all at exactly the same moment. In all of magic there is an incredibly large linguistic component. The Bardic tradition of magic would place a bard as being much higher and more fearsome than a magician. A magician might curse you. That might make your hands lay funny or you might have a child born with a club foot. If a Bard were to place not a curse upon you, but a satire, then that could destroy you. If it was a clever satire, it might not just destroy you in the eyes of your associates; it would destroy you in the eyes of your family. It would destroy you in your own eyes. And if it was a finely worded and clever satire that might survive and be remembered for decades, even centuries. Then years after you were dead people still might be reading it and laughing at you and your wretchedness and your absurdity. Writers and people who had command of words were respected and feared as people who manipulated magic. In latter times I think that artists and writers have allowed themselves to be sold down the river. They have accepted the prevailing belief that art and writing are merely forms of entertainment. They’re not seen as transformative forces that can change a human being; that can change a society. They are seen as simple entertainment; things with which we can fill 20 minutes, half an hour, while we’re waiting to die. It’s not the job of the artist to give the audience what the audience wants. If the audience knew what they needed, then they wouldn’t be the audience. They would be the artists. It is the job of artists to give the audience what they need.
Alan Moore
Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him, and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the state of his own mind--or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties of directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate the most useful human characteristics, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practise self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office. 2. It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers innocuous. Make sure that they are always very 'spiritual', that is is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rhuematism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards are her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining. In the second place, since his ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and it will be your task to make that imaginary person daily less and less like the real mother--the sharp-tongued old lady at the breakfast table. In time you may get the cleavage so wide that no thought or feeling from his prayers for the imagined mother will ever flow over into his treatment of the real one. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment's notice from impassioned prayer for a wife's or son's soul to beating or insulting the real wife or son without any qualm. 3. When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face whice are almost unedurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother's eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy--if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbablity of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
One day in my pharmacology class, we were discussing the possibility of legalizing marijuana. The class was pretty evenly divided between those that advocated legalizing marijuana and those that did not. The professor said he wanted to hear from a few people on both sides of the argument. A couple students had the opportunity to stand in front of the class and present their arguments. One student got up and spoke about how any kind of marijuana use was morally wrong and how nobody in the class could give him any example of someone who needed marijuana. A small girl in the back of the classroom raised her hand and said that she didn’t want to get up, but just wanted to comment that there are SOME situations in which people might need marijuana. The same boy from before spoke up and said that she needed to back up her statements and that he still stood by the fact that there wasn’t anyone who truly needed marijuana. The same girl in the back of the classroom slowly stood up. As she raised her head to look at the boy, I could physically see her calling on every drop of confidence in her body. She told us that her husband had cancer. She started to tear up, as she related how he couldn’t take any of the painkillers to deal with the radiation and chemotherapy treatments. His body was allergic and would have violent reactions to them. She told us how he had finally given in and tried marijuana. Not only did it help him to feel better, but it allowed him to have enough of an appetite to get the nutrients he so desperately needed. She started to sob as she told us that for the past month she had to meet with drug dealers to buy her husband the only medicine that would take the pain away. She struggled every day because according to society, she was a criminal, but she was willing to do anything she could to help her sick husband. Sobbing uncontrollably now, she ran out of the classroom. The whole classroom sat there in silence for a few minutes. Eventually, my professor asked, “Is there anyone that thinks this girl is doing something wrong?” Not one person raised their hand.
Daniel Willey
No need to be embarassed. After seeing you in my cousin's nightgown, you've got nothing to hide. But why were you crying in the shower?" he murmured into her hair. She could feel his lips moving against her scalp, and feel the press of his hips through the covers, but his arms were an unyielding cage. She tried to turn over to face him, to welcome him under the covers with her, but he wouldn't let her. "I was crying because I'm frustrated! Why are you doing this?" she whispered into her pillow. "We can't, Helen," was all he said. He kissed her neck and said he was sorry over and over, but try as she might, he wouldn't let her face him. She began to feel like she was being used. "Please be patient," he begged as he stopped her hand from reaching back to touch him. She tried to sit up, to push him out of her bed, anything but suffer lying next to someone who would play with her so terribly. They wrestled a bit, but he was much better at it than she was and felt even heavier than he looked. He easily blocked every attempt she made to wrap her arms or legs or lips around him. "Do you want me at all, or do you just think it's fun to tease me like this?" she asked, feeling rejected and humiliated. "Won't you even kiss me?" She finally struggled onto her back where she could at least see his face. "If I kiss you, I won't stop," he said in a desperate whisper as he propped himself up on his elbows to look her in the eye. She looked back at him, really seeing him for the first time that night. His expression was vulnerable and uncertain. His mouth was swollen with want. His body was shaking and there was a fine layer of anxious sweat wilting his clothes. Helen relaxed back into the bed with a sigh. For some reason that obviously had nothing to do with desire, he wouldn't allow himself to be with her. "You're not laughing at me, are you?" she asked warily, just as a precaution. "No. There's nothing funny about this," he answered. He shifted himself off her and lay back down alongside her, still breathing hard. "But for some reason, you and I will never happen," she said, feeling calm. "Never say never," he said urgently, rolling back on top of her and using all of his unusually heavy mass to press her deep into the cocoon of her little-girl bed. "The gods love to toy with people who use absolutes." Lucas ran his lips around her throat and let her put her arms around him, but that was all.
Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1))
Consider the following sequence of cases, which we shall call the Tale of the Slave, and imagine it is about you. 1. There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master’s whims. He is often cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on. 2. The master is kindlier and beats the slave only for stated infractions of his rules (not fulling the work quota, and so on). He gives the slave some free time. 3. The master has a group of slave, and he decides how things are to be allocated among them on nice grounds, taking into account their needs, merit, and so on. 4. The master allows the slave four days on their own and requires them to work only three days a week on his land. The rest of the time is their own. 5. The master allows his slaves to go off and work in the city (or anywhere they wish) for wages. He also retains the power to recall them to the plantation if some emergency threatens his land; and to raise or lower the three-sevenths amount required to be turned over to him. He further retains the right to restrict the slaves from participating in certain dangerous activities that threaten his financial return, for example, mountain climbing, cigarette smoking. 6. The master allows all of his 10,000 slaves, except you, to vote, and the joint decision is made by all of them. There is open discussion, and so forth, among them, and they have the power to determine to what use to put whatever percentage of your (and their) earnings they decide to take; what activities legitimately may be forbidden to you, and so on. 7. Though still not having the vote, you are at liberty (and are given the right) to enter into discussion of the 10,000, to try to persuade them to adopt various policies and to treat you and themselves in a certain way. They then go off to vote to decide upon policies covering the vast range of their powers. 8. In appreciation of your useful contributions to discussion, the 10,000 allow you to vote if they are deadlocked; they commit themselve3s to this procedure. After the discussion you mark your vote on a slip of paper, and they go off and vote. In the eventuality that they divide evenly on some issue, 5,000 for and 5,000 against, they look at your ballot and count it in. This has never yet happened; they have never yet had occasion to open your ballot. (A single master may also might commit himself to letting his slave decide any issue concerning him about which he, the master, was absolutely indifferent.) 9. They throw your vote in with theirs. If they are exactly tied your vote carries the issue. Otherwise it makes no difference to the electoral outcome. The question is: which transition from case 1 to case 9 made it no longer the tale of the slave?
Robert Nozick (Anarchy, State, and Utopia)
My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands. Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother’s arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap. I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death. But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled. Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own. My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever. But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path? No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day. So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship. Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer--you never know if it will be your last. Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character. Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing. My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits . But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know. So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have. But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents--not until that time arrives when a little hand--resembling our own--gently clutches our finger from its crib. My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.
Shakieb Orgunwall
What's Toraf's favorite color?" She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is." I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?" She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails." "I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact. Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color." Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before. When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me. "Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs. Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time. Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue. "Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?" Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted." Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers. "Not as much as I missed you," he tells her. Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish. If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before." Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!" Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck. Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock. Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I don’t remember when I stopped noticing—stopped noticing every mirror, every window, every scale, every fast-food restaurant, every diet ad, every horrifying model. And I don’t remember when I stopped counting, or when I stopped caring what size my pants were, or when I started ordering what I wanted to eat and not what seemed “safe,” or when I could sit comfortably reading a book in my kitchen without noticing I was in my kitchen until I got hungry—or when I started just eating when I got hungry, instead of questioning it, obsessing about it, dithering and freaking out, as I’d done for nearly my whole life. I don’t remember exactly when recovery took hold, and went from being something I both fought and wanted, to being simply a way of life. A way of life that is, let me tell you, infinitely more peaceful, infinitely happier, and infinitely more free than life with an eating disorder. And I wouldn’t give up this life of freedom for the world. What I know is this: I chose recovery. It was a conscious decision, and not an easy one. That’s the common denominator among people I know who have recovered: they chose recovery, and they worked like hell for it, and they didn’t give up. Recovery isn’t easy, at first. It takes time. It takes more work, sometimes, than you think you’re willing to do. But it is worth every hard day, every tear, every terrified moment. It’s worth it, because the trade-off is this: you let go of your eating disorder, and you get back your life. There are a couple of things I had to keep in mind in early recovery. One was that I was going to recover, even though I didn’t feel “ready.” I realized I was never going to feel ready—I was just going to jump in and do it, ready or not, and I am deeply glad that I did. Another was that symptoms were not an option. Symptoms, as critically necessary and automatic as they feel, are ultimately a choice. You can choose to let the fallacy that you must use symptoms kill you, or you can choose not to use symptoms. Easier said than done? Of course. But it can be done. I had to keep at the forefront of my mind the reasons I wanted to recover so badly, and the biggest one was this: I couldn’t believe in what I was doing anymore. I couldn’t justify committing my life to self-destruction, to appearance, to size, to weight, to food, to obsession, to self-harm. And that was what I had been doing for so long—dedicating all my strength, passion, energy, and intelligence to the pursuit of a warped and vanishing ideal. I just couldn’t believe in it anymore. As scared as I was to recover, to recover fully, to let go of every last symptom, to rid myself of the familiar and comforting compulsions, I wanted to know who I was without the demon of my eating disorder inhabiting my body and mind. And it turned out that I was all right. It turned out it was all right with me to be human, to have hungers, to have needs, to take space. It turned out that I had a self, a voice, a whole range of values and beliefs and passions and goals beyond what I had allowed myself to see when I was sick. There was a person in there, under the thick ice of the illness, a person I found I could respect. Recovery takes time, patience, enormous effort, and strength. We all have those things. It’s a matter of choosing to use them to save our own lives—to survive—but beyond that, to thrive. If you are still teetering on the brink of illness, I invite you to step firmly onto the solid ground of health. Walk back toward the world. Gather strength as you go. Listen to your own inner voice, not the voice of the eating disorder—as you recover, your voice will get clearer and louder, and eventually the voice of the eating disorder will recede. Give it time. Don’t give up. Love yourself absolutely. Take back your life. The value of freedom cannot be overestimated. It’s there for the taking. Find your way toward it, and set yourself free.
Marya Hornbacher