As Useless As A Quotes

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Better to be strong than pretty and useless.
Lilith Saintcrow (Strange Angels (Strange Angels, #1))
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.
Charles Dickens
If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
I'd rather be partly great than entirely useless.
Neal Shusterman (Unwind (Unwind, #1))
It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion.
William Ralph Inge
Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.
Bruce Lee
I said uselessly, "Sam, don't go." Sam cupped my face in his hands and looked me in the eyes. His eyes were yellow, sad, wolf, mine. "These stay the same. Remember that when you look at me. Remember it's me. Please.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
It's useless to lecture a human.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
All art is quite useless.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Game shows are designed to make us feel better about the random, useless facts that are all we have left of our education.
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
It is useless for me to describe to you how terrible Violet, Klaus, and even Sunny felt in the time that followed. If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels, and if you haven't, you cannot possibly imagine it.
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
I want to let her know though that all the nights sleeping beside her even the useless arguments were things ever splendid and the hard words I ever feared to say can now be said: I love you.
Charles Bukowski
Sometimes a woman needs a man for company, no matter how useless he is.
Lisa Kleypas (Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1))
He was gone, and I did not have time to tell him what I had just now realized: that I forgave him, and that she forgave us, and that we had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better is useless. And as I walked back to give Takumi’s note to the Colonel, I saw that I would never know. I would never know her well enough to know her thoughts in those last minutes, would never know if she left us on purpose. But the not-knowing would not keep me from caring, and I would always love Alaska Young, my crooked neighbor, with all my crooked heart.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
It is useless to meet revenge with revenge; it will heal nothing.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
Don't fuck with an English major. They keep lots of useless crap trapped in their heads. Once in a while they let some of it out and it bites you square on the ass.
P.C. Cast (Divine By Mistake (Partholon, #1))
So long as we love we serve; so long as we are loved by others, I would almost say that we are indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend.
Robert Louis Stevenson (Lay Morals)
It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride.
John Ruskin
I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
Bill Watterson
I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.
Louis C.K.
The man is as useless as nipples on a breastplate.
George R.R. Martin (A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4))
Fear's useless. Either something bad happens or it doesn't: If it doesn't, you've wasted time being afraid, and if it does, you've wasted time that you could have spent sharpening your weapons.
Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Lexicon)
Nothing made you feel so useless as another person's grief.
Laini Taylor (Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2))
Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no need of change.
H.G. Wells (The Time Machine)
Is it useful to feel fear, because it prepares you for nasty events, or is it useless, because nasty events will occur whether you are frightened or not?
Lemony Snicket
There are two kinds of guilt: the kind that drowns you until you’re useless, and the kind that fires your soul to purpose.
Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1))
To be stupid, and selfish, and to have good health are the three requirements for happiness - though if stupidity is lacking, the others are useless.
Julian Barnes (Flaubert's Parrot)
Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think every thing you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Crap. It's all crap. Living is crap. Life has no meaning. None. Nowhere to be found. Crap. Why doesn't anybody realize this?
K-Ske Hasegawa (Ballad of a Shinigami, Vol. 1 (Ballad of a Shinigami, #1))
Waiting for you is like waiting for rain in this drought. Useless and disappointing." ~ Sam (Hilary Duff), A Cinderella Story
Hilary Duff
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
Pablo Picasso
Ms. Wormwood: Calvin, can you tell us what Lewis and Clark did? Calvin: No, but I can recite the secret superhero origin of each member of Captain Napalm's Thermonuclear League of Liberty. Ms. Wormwood: See me after class, Calvin. Calvin: [retrospectively] I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
Bill Watterson
It reminds me that no embrace will ever feel the same again, because no one will ever be like her again, because she's gone. She's gone, and crying feels so useless, so stupid, but it's all I can do.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Do not give way to useless alarm; though it is right to be prepared for the worst, there is no occasion to look on it as certain.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
. . .There are certain people who come into your life, and leave a mark. . . Their place in your heart is tender; a bruise of longing, a pulse of unfinished business. Just hearing their names pushes and pulls at you in a hundred ways, and when you try to define those hundred ways, describe them even to yourself, words are useless.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken.
Benjamin Disraeli
Kell would say it was impossible. What a useless word, in a world with magic.
V.E. Schwab (A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2))
Because there are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, the third is useless.
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
You can't hammer tin into iron, no matter how hard you beat it, but that doesn't mean it's useless.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.
Jonathan Swift
The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
Nature does nothing uselessly.
Aristotle (Politics)
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)
If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live
Lin Yutang
You have to give up! you have to give up! You have to realize that someday you will die, Until you know that, you are useless!
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Some sort of pressure must exist; the artist exists because the world is not perfect. Art would be useless if the world were perfect, as man wouldn’t look for harmony but would simply live in it. Art is born out of an ill-designed world.
Andrei Tarkovsky
Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance.
John Steinbeck
I could not become anything; neither good nor bad; neither a scoundrel nor an honest man; neither a hero nor an insect. And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything, that only a fool can become something.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
She's one of those people who are like Slinkies." "Slinkies?" "Yeah. Basically useless, but they make you smile when you push them down the stairs.
Suzanne Wright (Feral Sins (The Phoenix Pack, #1))
We can regard our life as a uselessly disturbing episode in the blissful repose of nothingness.
Arthur Schopenhauer
When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.
Herophilus
If your clothes are enough to drive would-be friends away, they're not the kind of friends you want." Typical mother advice. Sweet, honest, and completely useless.
Aprilynne Pike (Wings (Wings, #1))
High School is like a spork: it's a crappy spoon and a crappy fork, so in the end it's just plain useless.
John Mayer
Now you see,' said the turtle, drifting back into the pond, 'why it is useless to cry. Your tears do not wash away your sorrows. They feed someone else's joy. And that is why you must learn to swallow your own tears.
Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club)
Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
Thomas A. Edison
You know what I think?" she says. "That people's memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn't matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They're all just fuel. Advertising fillers in the newspaper, philosophy books, dirty pictures in a magazine, a bundle of ten-thousand-yen bills: when you feed 'em to the fire, they're all just paper. The fire isn't thinking 'Oh, this is Kant,' or 'Oh, this is the Yomiuri evening edition,' or 'Nice tits,' while it burns. To the fire, they're nothing but scraps of paper. It's the exact same thing. Important memories, not-so-important memories, totally useless memories: there's no distinction--they're all just fuel.
Haruki Murakami (After Dark)
O Me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish; Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d; Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me; Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined; The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here—that life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
Peter Stone
It is the useless things that make life worth living and that make life dangerous too: wine, love, art, beauty. Without them life is safe, but not worth bothering with.
Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot (Memoir #1))
I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.
Arthur Conan Doyle (A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1))
Don't worry. Worry is useless. I worried anyway
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.
Padre Pio
One describes a tale best by telling the tale. You see? The way one describes a story, to oneself or to the world, is by telling the story. It is a balancing act and it is a dream. The more accurate the map, the more it resembles the territory. The most accurate map possible would be the territory, and thus would be perfectly accurate and perfectly useless. The tale is the map that is the territory. You must remember this.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Piper had a new entry in her top-ten list of Times Piper Felt Useless. Fighting Shrimpzilla with a dagger and a pretty voice? Not so effective.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
and when love came to us twice and lied to us twice we decided to never love again that was fair fair to us and fair to love itself. we ask for no mercy or no miracles; we are strong enough to live and to die and to kill flies, attend the boxing matches, go to the racetrack, live on luck and skill, get alone, get alone often, and if you can't sleep alone be careful of the words you speak in your sleep; and ask for no mercy no miracles; and don't forget: time is meant to be wasted, love fails and death is useless.
Charles Bukowski (What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire)
But grieving people are selfish. They won’t let you comfort them and they say you don’t understand and they make you feel useless when all your life you’ve been functional to them.
Melina Marchetta (The Piper's Son)
Typical mother advice. Sweet, honest, and completely useless.
Aprilynne Pike (Wings (Wings, #1))
Dr. Armonson stitched up her wrist wounds. Within five minutes of the transfusion he declared her out of danger. Chucking her under the chin, he said, "What are you doing here, honey? You're not even old enough to know how bad life gets." And it was then Cecilia gave orally what was to be her only form of suicide note, and a useless one at that, because she was going to live: "Obviously, Doctor," she said, "you've never been a thirteen-year-old girl.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Virgin Suicides)
Yeah. Calm down. Two of the most useless words in the English language.
Lili St. Crow (Betrayals (Strange Angels, #2))
There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.
Peter F. Drucker
Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.
Dalai Lama XIV
I cannot abide useless people.
Joss Whedon
Memory is so crazy! It's like we've got these drawers crammed with tons of useless stuff. Meanwhile, all the really important things we just keep forgetting, one after the other.
Haruki Murakami (After Dark)
The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
A secret is a strange thing. There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid. And then there is the third kind of secret, the most hidden kind. A secret no one knows about. Perhaps it was known once, but was taken to the grave. Or maybe it is a useless mystery, arcane and lonely, unfound because no one ever looked for it. Sometimes, some rare times, a secret stays undiscovered because it is something too big for the mind to hold. It is too strange, too vast, too terrifying to contemplate. All of us have secrets in our lives. We’re keepers or keptfrom, players or played. Secrets and cockroaches — that’s what will be left at the end of it all.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
Samuel Johnson (The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia)
To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There)
At first glance, the key and the lock it fits may seem very different," Sazed said. "Different in shape, different in function, different in design. The man who looks at them without knowledge of their true nature might think them opposites, for one is meant to open, and the other to keep closed. Yet, upon closer examination he might see that without one, the other becomes useless. The wise man then sees that both lock and key were created for the same purpose.
Brandon Sanderson (The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2))
As Unto the bow the the cord is , So unto the man is woman; Though she bends him, she obeys him, Though she draws him , yet she follows: Useless each without the other.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The useless sentries in the watchtower are now all half in love with you,” he lied. “One said he wanted to marry you.” A low snarl. He yielded a foot but held eye contact with her as he grinned. “But you know what I told them? I said that they didn't stand a chance in hell. Because I am going to marry you,” he promised her. “One day. I am going to marry you. I'll be generous and let you pick when, even if it's ten years from now. Or twenty. But one day, you are going to be my wife.” He shrugged. “Princess Lysandra Ashryver sounds nice, doesn't it?
Sarah J. Maas (Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5))
Kinda pointless to fight for what you want when what you want continues to break your heart
Molly McAdams (Stealing Harper (Taking Chances, #1.5))
We had one gun, one werewolf, one poltergeist, one supercharged spell-caster, one not-so-supercharged spell-caster, and one perfectly useless necromancer, though Liz was quick to remind me that she needed me to relay her words. - Chloe
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Happiness doesn't lie in conspicuous consumption and the relentless amassing of useless crap. Happiness lies in the person sitting beside you and your ability to talk to them. Happiness is clear-headed human interaction and empathy. Happiness is home. And home is not a house-home is a mythological conceit. It is a state of mind. A place of communion and unconditional love. It is where, when you cross its threshold, you finally feel at peace.
Dennis Lehane
There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.
Simone de Beauvoir
Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.
George Bernard Shaw
You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place...
Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)
But that's not what you said when she walked into the room," said Simon quietly. "You said, 'Why didn't you ever tell me I had a brother?'" "I know." Clary yanked a blade of grass out of the dirt, worrying it between her fingers. "I guess I can't help thinking that if I'd known the truth, I wouldn't have met Jace the way I did. I wouldn't have fallen in love with him." Simon was silent for a moment. "I don't think I've ever heard you say that before." "That I love him?" She laughed, but it sounded dreary even to her ears. "Seems useless to pretend like I don't, at this point. Maybe it doesn't matter. I probably won't ever see him again, anyway." "He'll come back." "Maybe." "He'll come back," Simon said again. "For you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I mean, if you were to find a shattered mirror, find all the pieces, all the shards and all the tiny chips, and have whatever skill and patience it took to put all that broken glass back together so that it was complete once again, the restored mirror would still be spiderwebbed with cracks, it would still be a useless glued version of its former self, which could show only fragmented reflections of anyone looking into it. Some things are beyond repair. And that was me.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
And maybe some people are like collages - no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered.
Heather Demetrios (I'll Meet You There)
I feel dead, wasted, awful, broken and useless. It's not the kind of feeling you forget.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
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)
I'm not ashamed of anything I've done. Shame is a useless emotion.
Candace Bushnell (Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries, #2))
He's the kind of good-looking that transforms once self-respecting females into useless puddles of dumbass.
Katja Millay (The Sea of Tranquility)
When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sandpaper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end you end up polished and they end up useless.
Andy Biersack
Riza: Without his Alchemy he's just... Jean: A little brat who swears a lot Maes: An arrogant pipsqueak Roy: Useless. Just useless Alphonse: Sorry big brother, I don't know how to add to that... Ed *starts to cry*: YOU'RE ALL PICKING ON ME!!!
Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 2 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #2))
So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information.
George Orwell (Why I Write)
Being tired of all illusions and of everything about illusions – the loss of illusions, the uselessness of having them, the prefatigue of having to have them in order to lose them, the sadness of having had them, the intellectual shame of having had them knowing that they would have to end this way.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
Get up, you useless lump, get up!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
She was breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the weight of beings, the insane or static life, the long anguish of living or dying. After so many years running from fear, fleeing crazily, uselessly, she was finally coming to a halt. At the same time she seemed to be recovering her roots, and the sap rose anew in her body, which was no longer trembling. Pressing her whole belly against the parapet, leaning toward the wheeling sky, she was only waiting for her pounding heart to settle down, and for the silence to form in her. The last constellations of stars fell in bunches a little lower on the horizon of the desert, and stood motionless. Then, with an unbearable sweetness, the waters of the night began to fill her, submerging the cold, rising gradually to the center of her being, and overflowing wave upon wave to her moaning mouth. A moment later, the whole sky stretched out above her as she lay with her back against the cold earth.
Albert Camus
Why I came here, I know not; where I shall go it is useless to inquire - in the midst of myriads of the living and the dead worlds, stars, systems, infinity, why should I be anxious about an atom?
Lord Byron
When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.
François de La Rochefoucauld
Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.
Montesquieu (The Spirit of the Laws)
Instructions for freedom": 1. Life's metaphors are God's instructions. 2. You have just climbed up and above the roof, there is nothing between you and the Infinite; now, let go. 3. The day is ending, it's time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go. 4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. You are being here is God's response, let go and watch the stars came out, in the inside and in the outside. 5. With all your heart ask for Grace and let go. 6. With all your heart forgive him, forgive yourself and let him go. 7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering then, let go. 8. Watch the heat of day pass into the cold night, let go. 9. When the Karma of a relationship is done, only Love remains. It's safe, let go. 10. When the past has past from you at last, let go.. then, climb down and begin the rest of your life with great joy.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
And I realize how useless wails are and how gratuitous melancholy is.
Mircea Eliade (Le Roman de l'adolescent myope)
The Gunman is useless. I know it. He knows it. The whole bank knows it.
Markus Zusak (I Am the Messenger)
Life is a useless passion.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Being and Nothingness)
I see that it is by no means useless to travel, if a man wants to see something new
Jules Verne (Around the World in Eighty Days)
Hate is a useless emotion.
Carrie Jones (Need (Need, #1))
It is useless to offer words of hope when you have none yourself.
Julie Kagawa (The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1))
Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own
Bruce Lee (Bruce Lee — Wisdom for the Way)
God surely did not create us, and cause us to live, with the sole end of wishing always to die. I believe, in my heart, we were intended to prize life and enjoy it, so long as we retain it. Existence never was originally meant to be that useless, blank, pale, slow-trailing thing it often becomes to many, and is becoming to me, among the rest.
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
Kindness. The only possible method when dealing with a living creature. You'll get nowhere with an animal if you use terror, no matter what its level of development may be. That I have maintained, do maintain and always will maintain. People who think you can use terror are quite wrong. No, no, terror is useless, whatever its colour – white, red or even brown! Terror completely paralyses the nervous system.
Mikhail Bulgakov (Heart of a Dog)
It is better to fill your head with useless knowledge than no knowledge at all.
Jim Hinckley (Route 66 Backroads: Your Guide to Scenic Side Trips & Adventures from the Mother Road)
Life is painful and disappointing. It is useless, therefore, to write new realistic novels. We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don’t care to know any more.
Michel Houellebecq (H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life)
I love you and I always will and I am sorry. What a useless word.
Ernest Hemingway (The Garden of Eden)
God grant that I may never live to be useless!
John Wesley (How To Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer)
If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be unless.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Women are so useless and unimaginative, aren't they? All they ever think of planting in the dirt is the seed of something beautiful or edible. The only missile they can ever think of throwing at anybody is a ball or a bridal bouquet.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Bluebeard)
The acquisition of knowledge is always of use to the intellect, because it may thus drive out useless things and retain the good. For nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first known.
Leonardo da Vinci
It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.
Oscar Wilde
To me it seems that too many young women of this time share the same creed. 'Live, laugh, love, be nothing but happy, experience everything, et cetera et cetera.' How monotonous, how useless this becomes. What about the honors of Joan of Arc, Beauvoir, Stowe, Xena, Princess Leia, or women that would truly fight for something other than just their own emotions?
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
How despicably I have acted!" she cried; "I, who have prided myself on my discernment! I, who have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratified my vanity in useless or blameable mistrust! How humiliating is this discovery! Yet, how just a humiliation! Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind. But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our aquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment I never knew myself.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
Could be. I’m a pretty dangerous dude when I’m cornered.” “Yeah,” said the voice from under the table, “you go to pieces so fast people get hit by the shrapnel.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time because we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallest actions. But we can't know better until knowing better is useless.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Anger is the most useless emotion," Henchick intoned, "destructive to the mind and hurtful to the heart.
Stephen King (Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6))
As you can see, I have memorized this utterly useless piece of information long enough to pass a test question. I now intend to forget it forever. You’ve taught me nothing except how to cynically manipulate the system. Congratulations.
Bill Watterson
Being locked up is one thing, but to have no concept of confinement, to be ignorant of its terms and never understand that struggle is useless - that's what hell must be like.
David Sedaris
Of all the priceless objects left behind, this is what we rescue. These artifacts. Memory cues. Useless souvenirs. Nothing you could auction. The scars left from happiness.
Chuck Palahniuk (Diary)
What amazes me is that most days feel useless. I don't seem to accomplish anything-just a few pages, most of which don't seem very good. Yet, when I put all those wasted days together, I somehow end up with a book of which I'm very proud.
Louis Sachar
Never give up on your dreams, and never let anyone tell you that what you love is inconsequential or useless or a waste of time. Because if you love it? If that OTP or children's card game or abridged series or YA book or animated series makes you happy? That is never a waste of time. Because in the end we're all just a bunch of weirdos standing in front of other weirdos, asking for their username.
Ashley Poston (Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1))
In practice people who study philosophy too long become very odd birds, not to say thoroughly vicious; while even those who are the best of them are reduced by...[philosophy] to complete uselessness as members of society.
Plato (Republic: The Theatre of the Mind)
I do not wish you much happiness--it would bore you; I do not wish you trouble either; but, following the people's philosophy, I will simply repeat: 'Live more' and try somehow not to be too bored; this useless wish I am adding on my own.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Demons)
I figured I could get a job at a filling station somewhere, putting gas and oil in people's cars. I didn't care what kind of job it was, though. Just so people didn't know me and I didn't know anybody. I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life. Everybody'd think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard and they'd leave me alone.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Words were useless. At times, they might sound wonderful, but they let you down the moment you really needed them. You could never find the right words, never, and where would you look for them? The heart is as silent as a fish, however much the tongue tries to give it a voice.
Cornelia Funke (Inkheart (Inkworld, #1))
Katie had a fierce desire for survival which made her a fighter. Johnny had a hankering after immortality which made him a useless dreamer. And that was the great difference between these two who loved each other so well.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
According to Chekhov," Tamaru said, rising from his chair, "once a gun appears in a story, it has to be fired." "Meaning what?" "Meaning, don't bring unnecessary props into a story. If a pistol appears, it has to be fired at some point. Chekhov liked to write stories that did away with all useless ornamentation.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3))
She asks why I like her. Might as well ask Why I breathe. Maybe tomorrow I won't Breathe or like her Anymore. Maybe tomorrow the tides Will stop. Maybe tomorrow will bring No more rainbows. Maybe tomorrow She will stop Asking useless questions.
Gail Carson Levine (The Wish)
If our life is poured out in useless words, we will never hear anything, never become anything, and in the end, because we have said everything before we had anything to say, we shall be left speechless at the moment of our greatest decision.
Thomas Merton (Thoughts in Solitude)
Loneliness is a hard thing to handle. I feel it, sometimes. When I do, I want it to end. Sometimes, when you're near someone, when you touch them on some level that is deeper than the uselessly structured formality of casual civilized interaction, there's a sense of satisfaction in it. Or at least, there is for me. It doesn't have to be someone particularly nice. You don't have to like them. You don't even have to want to work with them. You might even want to punch them in the nose. Sometimes just making that connection is its own experience, its own reward.
Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble. An animal perfectly in harmony with its environment is a perfect mechanism. Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no change and no need of change. Only those animals partake of intelligence that have a huge variety of needs and dangers.
H.G. Wells (The Time Machine)
Daleks: [simultaneously] Exterminate! Exterminate! [They fire their weapons, none of which so much as touch the Doctor] The Doctor: Is that it? Useless! Nul points! [to Rose and Jack] It's all right, you can come out; that forcefield can hold back anything! Jack Harkness: Almost anything. [pause] The Doctor: Yes, but I wasn't going to tell them that. Thanks.
Russell T. Davies
Hindsight, I think, is a useless tool. We, each of us, are at a place in our lives because of innumerable circumstances, and we, each of us, have a responsibility (if we do not like where we are) to move along life's road, to find a better path if this one does not suit, or to walk happily along this one if it is indeed our life's way. Changing even the bad things that have gone before would fundamentally change who we are, and whether or not that would be a good thing, I believe, it is impossible to predict. So I take my past experiences... and try to regret nothing. -Drizzt Do'urden
R.A. Salvatore (Sea of Swords (Forgotten Realms: Paths of Darkness, #4; Legend of Drizzt, #13))
Do you feel that?’ He flattens my palms on his chest and holds them there firmly. ‘It was made to love you, Ava. For too long it was useless, redundant, not required. Now it’s gone into overdrive. It swells with happiness when I look at you. It splinters with pain when we fight. And it beats wildly when I make love to you. Maybe I go overboard with my love, but that’s never going to change. I’ll love you this fiercely until the day I die, baby. Children or not.
Jodi Ellen Malpas (This Man Confessed (This Man, #3))
The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, "What good is it?" If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.
Aldo Leopold (Round River: From the Journals of Aldo Leopold)
I promise I will repay you.” “Oh yeah?” she asked, looking at him, with his bare feet and plain, dark clothes. “With what?” The smile stayed on his lips. “Jewels, lies, slips of paper, dried flowers, memories of things long past, useless quotations, idle hands, beads, buttons, and mischief.
Holly Black (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown)
You know, I don’t get why Fred and George only got three O.W.L.s each,” said Harry, watching as Fred, George, and Lee collected gold from the eager crowd. “They really know their stuff. . . .” “Oh, they only know flashy stuff that’s no real use to anyone,” said Hermione disparagingly. “No real use?” said Ron in a strained voice. “Hermione, they’ve got about twenty-six Galleons already. . . .
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions--poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed--which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished. It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity.
Howard Zinn (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)
To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime.
Romain Rolland
...He kissed me again, farther up my neck, and I pushed him back against the wall. My mind searched for the logical thought, a rational life raft before I drowned in wanting to hiss him. I managed, "We've only met a few days ago. We don't know each other." Luke released me. "How long does it take to know someone?" I didn't know. "A month? A few months?" It sounded stupid to quantify it, especially when I didn't want to believe my own reasoning. But I couldn't just go kissing someone I knew nothing about-- it went against everything I'd ever been told. So why was it so hard to say no? He took my fingers, playing with them in between his own. "I'll wait." He looked so good in the half-light under the trees, his light eyes nearly glowing against his shadowed skin. It was useless. "I don't want you to." I whispered the words, and before I'd even finished saying them, his mouth was on mine and I was melting under his lips.
Maggie Stiefvater (Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Books of Faerie, #1))
She loved the sea for its storms alone, cared for vegetation only when it grew here and there among ruins. She had to extract a kind of personal advantage from things and she rejected as useless everything that promised no immediate gratification — for her temperament was more sentimental than artistic, and what she was looking for was emotions, not scenery.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
Elsewhere the paper notes that vegetarians and vegans (including athletes) 'meet and exceed requirements' for protein. And, to render the whole we-should-worry-about-getting-enough-protein-and-therefore-eat-meat idea even more useless, other data suggests that excess animal protein intake is linked with osteoporosis, kidney disease, calcium stones in the urinary tract, and some cancers. Despite some persistent confusion, it is clear that vegetarians and vegans tend to have more optimal protein consumption than omnivores.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
A child free from the guilt of ownership and the burden of economic competition will grow up with the will to do what needs doing and the capacity for joy in doing it. It is useless work that darkens the heart. The delight of the nursing mother, of the scholar, of the successful hunter, of the good cook, of the skilful maker, of anyone doing needed work and doing it well, - this durable joy is perhaps the deepest source of human affection and of sociality as a whole.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #6))
I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life. Everybody'd think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard and they'd leave me alone . . . I'd cook all my own food, and later on, if I wanted to get married or something, I'd meet this beautiful girl that was also a deaf-mute and we'd get married. She'd come and live in my cabin with me, and if she wanted to say anything to me, she'd have to write it on a piece of paper, like everybody else
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
I was learning the craft of poetry, which really was an intensive version of what my mother had taught me all those years ago—the craft of writing as the art of thinking. Poetry aims for an economy of truth—loose and useless words must be discarded, and I found that these loose and useless words were not separate from loose and useless thoughts.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
Does everyone feel this way? When I was young, I was perpetually overconfident or insecure. Either I felt completely useless, unattractive, and worthless, or that I was pretty much a success, and everything I did was bound to succeed. When I was confident, I could overcome the hardest challenges. But all it took was the smallest setback for me to be sure that I was utterly worthless. Regaining my self-confidence had nothing to do with success...whether I experienced it as a failure or triumph was utterly dependent on my mood.
Bernhard Schlink (The Reader)
I'm talking about the ones who, for whatever reason, are as much a part of you as your own soul. Their place in your heart is tender; a bruise of longing, a pulse of unfinished business. Just hearing their names pushes and pulls at you in a hundred ways, and when you try to define those hundred ways, describe them even to yourself, words are useless. If you had a lifetime to talk, there would still be things left unsaid.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
I know. So, I was angry with you. I didn't know why. I was angry with the world. I did know why. I hated all my therapists for being useless. I was this little ball of self-destructive fury, and none of them could do anything but tell me that I was a little ball of self-destructive fury. [...] I knew I was angry. Tell me what to do with that anger, please.
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
For a second, he was still, blinking. Then he shook off all the blankets and coats so that his arms were free and he wrapped them around me as tightly as he could. I felt him shuddering, shuddering against me as he buried his face in my hair. I said, uselessly, "Sam, don't go." Sam cupped my face in his hands and looked me in the eyes. His eyes were yellow, sad, wolf, mine. "These stay the same. Remember that when you look at me. Remember it's me. Please."" — Grace and Sam (Shiver)
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
It is not that I do not get angry. I don't give vent to my anger. I cultivate the quality of patience as angerlessness, and generally speaking, I succeed. But I only control my anger when it comes. How I find it possible to control it would be a useless question, for it is a habit that everyone must cultivate and must succeed in forming by constant practice.
Mahatma Gandhi
On the surface, I was calm: in secret, without really admitting it, I was waiting for something. Her return? How could I have been waiting for that? We all know that we are material creatures, subject to the laws of physiology and physics, and not even the power of all our feelings combined can defeat those laws. All we can do is detest them. The age-old faith of lovers and poets in the power of love, stronger than death, that finis vitae sed non amoris, is a lie, useless and not even funny. So must one be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox... Must I go on living here then, among the objects we both had touched, in the air she had breathed? In the name of what? In the hope of her return? I hoped for nothing. And yet I lived in expectation. Since she had gone, that was all that remained. I did not know what achievements, what mockery, even what tortures still awaited me. I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
His breath caught, harsh enough that she looked over her shoulder. But his eyes weren't on her face. Or the water. They were on her bare back. Curled as she was against her knees, he could see the whole expanse of ruined flesh, each scar from the lashing. "Who did that to you?" It would have been easy to lie, but she was so tired, and he had saved her useless hide. So she said, "A lot of people. I spent some time in the Salt Mines of Endovier." He was so still that she wondered if he'd stopped breathing. "How long?" he asked after a moment. She braced herself for the pity, but his face was so carefully blank-no, not blank. Calm with lethal rage. "A year. I was there a year before... it's a long story." She was too exhausted, her throat too raw, to say the rest of it. She noticed then his arms were bandaged, and more bandages across his broad chest peeked up from beneath his shirt. She'd burned him again. And yet he had held her- had run all the way here and not let go once. "You were a slave." She gave him a slow nod. He opened his mouth, but shut it and swallowed, that lethal rage winking out. As if he remembered who he was talking to and that it was the least punishment she deserved. He turned on his heel and shut the door behind him. She wished he'd slammed it-wished he'd shattered it. But he closed it with barely more than a click and did not return.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
My main goal is to stay alive. To keep fooling myself into hanging around. To keep getting up every day. Right now I live without inspiration. I go day to day and do the work because it's all I know. I know that if I keep moving I stand a chance. I must keep myself going until I find a reason to live. I need one so bad. On the other hand maybe I don't. Maybe it's all bullshit. Nothing I knew from my old life can help me here. Most of the things that I believed turned out to be useless. Appendages from someone else's life. Everything I have I would give to not know what I know. To not feel emptiness as my constant companion. To not look into this room and be reminded why I'm in it. I'm not getting enough air. The room feels so small all of a sudden. It's pathetic to be this lonely and know it. To keep breathing. To be silent and alone. And to know.
Henry Rollins (Roomanitarian)
...as I watched all the problems you were struggling with, I realized how much you meant to me. It changed everything. I was worried about you—so, so worried. You have no idea. And it became useless to try to act like I could ever put any Moroi life above yours. It's not going to happen, no matter how wrong others say it is. And so I decided that's something I have to deal with. Once I made that decision...there was nothing to hold us back." He hesitated, seeming to replay his words as he brushed my hair from my face. "Well, to hold me back. I'm speaking for myself. I don't mean to act like I know exactly why you did it." "I did it because I love you," I said, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. And really, it was.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
[...] I grew up out of that strange, dreamy childhood of mine and went into the world of reality. I met with experiences that bruised my spirit - but they never harmed my ideal world. That was always mine to retreat into at will. I learned that that world and the real world clashed hopelessly and irreconcilably; and I learned to keep them apart so that the former might remain for me unspoiled. I learned to meet other people on their own ground since there seemed to be no meeting place on mine. I learned to hide the thoughts and dreams and fancies that had no place in the strife and clash of the market place. I found that it was useless to look for kindred souls in the multitude; one might stumble on such here and there, but as a rule it seemed to me that the majority of people lived for the things of time and sense alone and could not understand my other life. So I piped and danced to other people's piping - and held fast to my own soul as best I could.
L.M. Montgomery (My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. Macmillan from L.M. Montgomery)
But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. . . . As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. . . . The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill, and lie to make money. They throw poor people out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars for profit, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, plunder the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship money and power.
Chris Hedges (The Death of the Liberal Class)
Overeating is the addiction of choice of carers, and that's why it's come to be regarded as the lowest-ranking of all the addictions. It's a way of fucking yourself up while still remaining fully functional, because you have to. Fat people aren't indulging in the "luxury" of their addiction making them useless, chaotic, or a burden. Instead, they are slowly self-destructing in a way that doesn't inconvenience anyone. And that's why it's so often a woman's addiction of choice. All the quietly eating mums. All the KitKats in office drawers. All the unhappy moments, late at night, caught only in the fridge light.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
I, Gavin MacKenzie, sexy cowboy man of Baker City, Oregon … being of sound mind and hot body … do hereby declare that I love you, Andie Marks, lawyer extraordinaire, and want to be married to you until I’m so old, I either die or my pecker falls off.I will have sex with you whenever you want, and I will always give you the option to be on top if that’s what will make you happy. Blowjobs will always be optional but appreciated.I will change diapers when called for, both for our children and for you when you’re old and decrepit. I will never spit in public or burp too loudly or say mean things about your friends.I promise never to raise my hand against you in anger or tell you that you’re useless or threaten to hurt people who you love. Ten-four, over and out, happily ever after. Those are my vows.
Elle Casey (Shine Not Burn (Shine Not Burn, #1))
Like a wild animal, the soul is tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy, and self-sufficient: it knows how to survive in hard places. I learned about these qualities during my bouts with depression. In that deadly darkness, the faculties I had always depended on collapsed. My intellect was useless; my emotions were dead; my will was impotent; my ego was shattered. But from time to time, deep in the thickets of my inner wilderness, I could sense the presence of something that knew how to stay alive even when the rest of me wanted to die. That something was my tough and tenacious soul.
Parker J. Palmer (A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life)
It is useless to try to make peace with ourselves by being pleased with everything we have done. In order to settle down in the quiet of our own being we must learn to be detached from the results of our own activity. We must withdraw ourselves, to some extent, from the effects that are beyond our control and be content with the good will and the work that are the quiet expression of our inner life. We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work without expecting any immediate reward, to love without an instantaneous satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition.
Thomas Merton (No Man Is an Island)
And my own affairs were as bad, as dismal, as the day I had been born. The only difference was that now I could drink now and then, though never often enough. Drink was the only thing that kept a man from feeling forever stunned and useless. Everything else just kept picking and picking, hacking away. And nothing was interesting, nothing. The people were restrictive and careful, all alike. And I've got to live with these fuckers for the rest of my life, I thought. God, they all had assholes and sexual organs and their mouths and their armpits. They shit and they chattered and they were dull as horse dung. The girls looked good from a distance, the sun shining through their dresses, their hair. But get up close and listen to their minds running out of their mouths, you felt like digging in under a hill and hiding out with a tommy-gun. I would certainly never be able to be happy, to get married, I could never have children. Hell, I couldn't even get a job as a dishwasher.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
Then as he had kept watch Sam had noticed that at times a light seemed to be shining faintly within; but now the light was even clearer and stronger. Frodo's face was peaceful, the marks of fear and care had left it; but it looked old, old and beautiful, as if the chiseling of the shaping years was now revealed in many fine lines that had before been hidden, though the identity of the face was not changed. Not that Sam Gamgee put it that way to himself. He shook his head, as if finding words useless, and murmured: "I love him. He's like that, and sometimes it shines through, somehow. But I love him, whether or no.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))
Faster than lightening, his hand shot out and she gagged, jolting as he grabbed her tongue between his fingers...He released her tongue, and she gasped for breath. She swore at him, a filthy, foul name, and spat at his feet. And that's when he bit her. She cried out as those canines pierced the spot between her neck and shoulder, a primal act of aggression--the bite so strong and claiming that she was too stunned to move. He had her pinned against the tree and clamped down harder, his canines digging deep, her blood spilling onto her shirt. Pinned, like some weakling. But that was what she'd become, wasn't it? Useless, pathetic. She growled, more animal than sentient being. And shoved. Rowan staggered back a step, teeth ripping her skin and she struck his chest. She didn't feel the pain, didn't care about the blood or flash of light. No, she wanted to rip his throat out--rip it out with the elongated canines she bared at him as she finished shifting and roared. Rowan grinned. "There you are.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Van Houten, I’m a good person but a shitty writer. You’re a shitty person but a good writer. We’d make a good team. I don’t want to ask you any favors, but if you have time – and from what I saw, you have plenty – I was wondering if you could write a eulogy for Hazel. I’ve got notes and everything, but if you could just make it into a coherent whole or whatever? Or even just tell me what I should say differently. Here’s the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, “They’ll remember me now,” but (a) they don’t remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion. (Okay, maybe I’m not such a shitty writer. But I can’t pull my ideas together, Van Houten. My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.) We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can’t stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it’s silly and useless – epically useless in my current state – but I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either. People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invented anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox. After my PET scan lit up, I snuck into the ICU and saw her while she was unconscious. I just walked in behind a nurse with a badge and I got to sit next to her for like ten minutes before I got caught. I really thought she was going to die, too. It was brutal: the incessant mechanized haranguing of intensive care. She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. A nurse guy came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, “She’s still taking on water.” A desert blessing, an ocean curse. What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.” At the time Switters had disputed her assertion. Even at seventeen, he was aware that depression could have chemical causes. “The key word here is roots,” Maestra had countered. “The roots of depression. For most people, self-awareness and self-pity blossom simultaneously in early adolescence. It's about that time that we start viewing the world as something other than a whoop-de-doo playground, we start to experience personally how threatening it can be, how cruel and unjust. At the very moment when we become, for the first time, both introspective and socially conscientious, we receive the bad news that the world, by and large, doesn't give a rat's ass. Even an old tomato like me can recall how painful, scary, and disillusioning that realization was. So, there's a tendency, then, to slip into rage and self-pity, which if indulged, can fester into bouts of depression.” “Yeah but Maestra—” “Don't interrupt. Now, unless someone stronger and wiser—a friend, a parent, a novelist, filmmaker, teacher, or musician—can josh us out of it, can elevate us and show us how petty and pompous and monumentally useless it is to take ourselves so seriously, then depression can become a habit, which, in tern, can produce a neurological imprint. Are you with me? Gradually, our brain chemistry becomes conditioned to react to negative stimuli in a particular, predictable way. One thing'll go wrong and it'll automatically switch on its blender and mix us that black cocktail, the ol’ doomsday daiquiri, and before we know it, we’re soused to the gills from the inside out. Once depression has become electrochemically integrated, it can be extremely difficult to philosophically or psychologically override it; by then it's playing by physical rules, a whole different ball game. That's why, Switters my dearest, every time you've shown signs of feeling sorry for yourself, I've played my blues records really loud or read to you from The Horse’s Mouth. And that’s why when you’ve exhibited the slightest tendency toward self-importance, I’ve reminded you that you and me— you and I: excuse me—may be every bit as important as the President or the pope or the biggest prime-time icon in Hollywood, but none of us is much more than a pimple on the ass-end of creation, so let’s not get carried away with ourselves. Preventive medicine, boy. It’s preventive medicine.” “But what about self-esteem?” “Heh! Self-esteem is for sissies. Accept that you’re a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace—and maybe even glory.
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
Aunt Prue was holding one of the squirrels in her hand, while it sucked ferociously on the end of the dropper. 'And once a day, we have ta clean their little private parts with a Q-tip, so they'll learn ta clean themselves.' That was a visual I didn't need. 'How could you possibly know that?' 'We looked it up on the E-nternet.' Aunt Mercy smiled proudly. I couldn't imagine how my aunts knew anything about the Internet. The Sisters didn't even own a toaster oven. 'How did you get on the Internet?' 'Thelma took us ta the library and Miss Marian helped us. They have computers over there. Did you know that?
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
I rolled my eyes. “I feel like a zoo animal.” Travis watched me for a moment, noted those staring, and then stood up. “I CAN’T!” he yelled. I stared in awe as the entire room jerked their heads in his direction. Travis bobbed his head a couple of times to a beat in his head. Shepley closed his eyes. “Oh, no.” Travis smiled. “get no….sa…tis…faction,” he sang, “I can’t get no….sat-is-fac-tion. ‘Cuz I’ve tried…and I’ve tried…and I’ve tried…and I’ve tried…,” he climbed onto the table as everyone stared, “I CAN’T GET NO!” He pointed to the football players at the end of the table and they smiled, “I CAN’T GET NO!” they yelled in unison. The whole room clapped to the beat, then. Travis’ sang into his fist, “When I’m drivin’ in my car, and a man comes on the…ra-di-o…he’s tellin’ me more and more…about some useless in-for-ma-tion! Supposed to fire my im-agin-a-tion! I CAN’T GET NO!
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came,—the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon,—that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure,—he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow. The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room,alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately: I have received yours,—but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget,—it is all that remains for either of us." And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained,—the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare,—exceedingly real. Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Where there was nature and earth, life and water, I saw a desert landscape that was unending, resembling some sort of crater, so devoid of reason and light and spirit that the mind could not grasp it on any sort of conscious level and if you came close the mind would reel backward, unable to take it in. It was a vision so clear and real and vital to me that in its purity it was almost abstract. This was what I could understand, this was how I lived my life, what I constructed my movement around, how I dealt with the tangible. This was the geography around which my reality revolved: it did not occur to me, ever, that people were good or that a man was capable of change or that the world could be a better place through one’s own taking pleasure in a feeling or a look or a gesture, of receiving another person’s love or kindness. Nothing was affirmative, the term “generosity of spirit” applied to nothing, was a cliche, was some kind of bad joke. Sex is mathematics. Individuality no longer an issue. What does intelligence signify? Define reason. Desire- meaningless. Intellect is not a cure. Justice is dead. Fear, recrimination, innocence, sympathy, guilt, waste, failure, grief, were things, emotions, that no one really felt anymore. Reflection is useless, the world is senseless. Evil is its only permanence. God is not alive. Love cannot be trusted. Surface, surface, surface, was all that anyone found meaning in…this was civilization as I saw it, colossal and jagged…
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
Sit still with me in the shade of these green trees, which have no weightier thought than the withering of their leaves when autumn arrives, or the stretching of their many stiff fingers into the cold sky of the passing winter. Sit still with me and meditate on how useless effort is, how alien the will, and on how our very meditation is no more useful than effort, and no more our own than the will. Meditate too on how a life that wants nothing can have no weight in the flux of things, but a life the wants everything can likewise have no weight in the flux of things, since it cannot obtain everything, and to obtain less than everything is not worthy of souls that seek the truth.
Fernando Pessoa (The Education of the Stoic)
CUSTOMER: Which was the first Harry Potter book? BOOKSELLER: The Philosopher’s Stone. CUSTOMER: And the second? BOOKSELLER: The Chamber of Secrets. CUSTOMER: I’l take The Chamber of Secrets. I don’t want The Philosopher’s Stone. BOOKSELLER: Have you already read that one? CUSTOMER: No, but with series of books I always find they take a while to really get going. I don’t want to waste my time with the useless introductory stuff at the beginning. BOOKSELLER: The story in Harry Potter actually starts right away. Personally, I do recommend that you start with the first book – and it’s very good. CUSTOMER: Are you working on commission? BOOKSELLER: No. CUSTOMER: Right. How many books are there in total? BOOKSELLER: Seven. CUSTOMER: Exactly. I’m not going to waste my money on the first book when there are so many others to buy. I’l take the second one. BOOKSELLER: . . . If you’re sure. (One week later, the customer returns) BOOKSELLER: Hi, did you want to buy a copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban? CUSTOMER: What’s that? BOOKSELLER: It’s the book after The Chamber of Secrets. CUSTOMER: Oh, no, definitely not. I found that book far too confusing. I ask you, how on earth are children supposed to understand it if I can’t? I mean, who the heck is that Voldemort guy anyway? No. I’m not going to bother with the rest. BOOKSELLER: . . .
Jen Campbell (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
startling! such determination in the dull and uninspired and the copyists. they never lose the fierce gratitude for their uneventfulness, nor do they forget to laugh at the wit of slugs; as a study in diluted senses they'd make any pharaoh cough up his beans; in music they prefer the monotony of dripping faucets; in love and sex they prefer each other and therefore compound the problem; the energy with which they propel their uselessness (without any self-doubt) toward worthless goals is as magnificent as cow shit. they produce novels, children, death, freeways, cities, wars, wealth, poverty, politicians and total areas of grandiose waste; it's as if the whole world is wrapped in dirty bandages. it's best to take walks late at night. it's best to do your business only on Mondays and Tuesdays. it's best to sit in a small room with the shades down and wait. the strongest men are the fewest and the strongest women die alone too.
Charles Bukowski (The People Look Like Flowers at Last)
Plea Against the Death Penalty Look, examine, reflect. You hold capital punishment up as an example. Why? Because of what it teaches. And just what is it that you wish to teach by means of this example? That thou shalt not kill. And how do you teach that "thou shalt not kill"? By killing. I have examined the death penalty under each of its two aspects: as a direct action, and as an indirect one. What does it come down to? Nothing but something horrible and useless, nothing but a way of shedding blood that is called a crime when an individual commits it, but is (sadly) called "justice" when society brings it about. Make no mistake, you lawmakers and judges, in the eyes of God as in those of conscience, what is a crime when individuals do it is no less an offense when society commits the deed.
Victor Hugo
There’re eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds in a day, right? There’re one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes in a day.” Her brow knitted. “Okay. I’ll take your word for it.” “I’m right.” I tapped my finger against my head. “A lot of useless knowledge up here. Anyway, are you following me? There’re one hundred and sixty-eight hours in a week. Around eighty-seven hundred and then some hours in a year, and you know what?” She smiled. “What?” “I want to spend every second, every minute, every hour with you.” Part of me couldn’t believe something that cheesy had come out of my mouth, but it was also so beauti fully true. “I want a year’s worth of seconds and minutes with you. I want a decade’s worth of hours, so many that I can’t add them up.” Her chest rose sharply as she stared at me, eyes widening. I took one more step and then went down on one knee in front of her, in a towel. Probably should have put some pants on. “Do you want that?” I asked. Kat’s eyes met mine, and the answer was immediate. “Yes. I want that. You know I want that.” “Good.” My lips curved up. “So let’s get married.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin (Lux, #4))
Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. It is not about the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is action. Hope is doing something. The more futile, the more useless, the more irrelevant and incomprehensible an act of rebellion is, the vaster and more potent hope becomes. Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized and absurd. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness, the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on all of us. Hope posits that people are drawn to the good by the good. This is the secret of hope's power. Hope demands for others what we demand for ourselves. Hope does not separate us from them. Hope sees in our enemy our own face.
Chris Hedges
A Pause of Thought I looked for that which is not, nor can be, And hope deferred made my heart sick in truth But years must pass before a hope of youth Is resigned utterly. I watched and waited with a steadfast will: And though the object seemed to flee away That I so longed for, ever day by day I watched and waited still. Sometimes I said: This thing shall be no more; My expectation wearies and shall cease; I will resign it now and be at peace: Yet never gave it o'er. Sometimes I said: It is an empty name I long for; to a name why should I give The peace of all the days I have to live?-- Yet gave it all the same. Alas, thou foolish one! alike unfit For healthy joy and salutary pain: Thou knowest the chase useless, and again Turnest to follow it.
Christina Rossetti (Complete Poems)
Don’t be deceived when they tell you things are better now. Even if there’s no poverty to be seen because the poverty’s been hidden. Even if you ever got more wages and could afford to buy more of these new and useless goods which industries foist on you and even if it seems to you that you never had so much, that is only the slogan of those who still have much more than you. Don’t be taken in when they paternally pat you on the shoulder and say that there’s no inequality worth speaking of and no more reason to fight because if you believe them they will be completely in charge in their marble homes and granite banks from which they rob the people of the world under the pretence of bringing them culture. Watch out, for as soon as it pleases them they’ll send you out to protect their gold in wars whose weapons, rapidly developed by servile scientists, will become more and more deadly until they can with a flick of the finger tear a million of you to pieces.
Jean-Paul Marat
I looked up at him. His green eyes glittered in the dark, reflecting the moonlight like a cat's. His scowl had vanished. The defiance was gone, too, replaced by a tightness around his mouth, a worry that clouded his eyes; and seeing that quicksilver change, I wanted to... I don't know what I wanted to do. Kick him in the shins seemed like a good option. Unfortunately, bursting into tears seemed more likely, because here lay the root of the problem, the contradiction in Derek that I couldn't seem to work out, no matter how hard I tried. One second he was in my face, making me feel stupid and useless. The next he was like this: hovering, concerned, worried. I told myself it was just his wolf instinct, that he had to protect me whether he wanted to or not, but when he looked like this, like he'd pushed me too far and regretted it . . . That look said he genuinely cared.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there's twice as much of it. It always gets more and more." "I see." The girl regarded him uncertainly, not knowing whether to believe him. Not sure if he meant it seriously. "There's the First Law of Kipple," he said. "'Kipple drives out nonkipple.' Like Gresham's law about bad money. And in these apartments there's been nobody here to fight the kipple." "So it has taken over completely," the girl finished. She nodded. "Now I understand." "Your place, here," he said, "this apartment you've picked--it's too kipple-ized to live in. We can roll the kipple-factor back; we can do like I said, raid the other apts. But--" He broke off. "But what?" Isidore said, "We can't win." "Why not?" [...] "No one can win against kipple," he said, "except temporarily and maybe in one spot, like in my apartment I've sort of created a stasis between the pressure of kipple and nonkipple, for the time being. But eventually I'll die or go away, and then the kipple will again take over. It's a universal principle operating throughout the universe; the entire universe is moving toward a final state of total, absolute kippleization.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner, #1))
Well, Mr. Frankel, who started this program, began to suffer from the computer disease that anybody who works with computers now knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is you *play* with them. They are so wonderful. You have these switches - if it's an even number you do this, if it's an odd number you do that - and pretty soon you can do more and more elaborate things if you are clever enough, on one machine. After a while the whole system broke down. Frankel wasn't paying any attention; he wasn't supervising anybody. The system was going very, very slowly - while he was sitting in a room figuring out how to make one tabulator automatically print arc-tangent X, and then it would start and it would print columns and then bitsi, bitsi, bitsi, and calculate the arc-tangent automatically by integrating as it went along and make a whole table in one operation. Absolutely useless. We *had* tables of arc-tangents. But if you've ever worked with computers, you understand the disease - the *delight* in being able to see how much you can do. But he got the disease for the first time, the poor fellow who invented the thing.
Richard P. Feynman (Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character)
Algebra applies to the clouds, the radiance of the star benefits the rose--no thinker would dare to say that the perfume of the hawthorn is useless to the constellations. Who could ever calculate the path of a molecule? How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by falling grains of sand? Who can understand the reciprocal ebb and flow of the infinitely great and the infinitely small, the echoing of causes in the abyss of being and the avalanches of creation? A mite has value; the small is great, the great is small. All is balanced in necessity; frightening vision for the mind. There are marvelous relations between beings and things, in this inexhaustible whole, from sun to grub, there is no scorn, each needs the other. Light does not carry terrestrial perfumes into the azure depths without knowing what it does with them; night distributes the stellar essence to the sleeping plants. Every bird that flies has the thread of the infinite in its claw. Germination includes the hatching of a meteor and the tap of a swallow's beak breaking the egg, and it guides the birth of the earthworm, and the advent of Socrates. Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has a greater view? Choose. A bit of mold is a pleiad of flowers; a nebula is an anthill of stars. The same promiscuity, and still more wonderful, between the things of the intellect and material things. Elements and principles are mingled, combined, espoused, multiplied one by another, to the point that the material world, and the moral world are brought into the same light. Phenomena are perpetually folded back on themselves. In the vast cosmic changes, universal life comes and goes in unknown quantities, rolling everything up in the invisible mystery of the emanations, using everything, losing no dream from any single sleep, sowing a microscopic animal here, crumbling a star there, oscillating and gyrating, making a force of light, and an element of thought, disseminated and indivisible dissolving all, that geometric point, the self; reducing everything to the soul-atom; making everything blossom into God; entangling from the highest to the lowest, all activities in the obscurity of a dizzying mechanism, linking the flight of an insect to the movement of the earth, subordinating--who knows, if only by the identity of the law--the evolutions of the comet in the firmament to the circling of the protozoa in the drop of water. A machine made of mind. Enormous gearing, whose first motor is the gnat, and whose last is the zodiac.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Here's the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That's what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, "They'll remember me now," but (a) they don't remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion. ... We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can't stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it's silly and useless--epically useless in my current state--but I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We're as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we're not likely to do either. People will say it's sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it's not sad, Van Houten. It's triumphant. It's heroic. Isn't that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren't the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn't actually invent anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn't get smallpox. ... But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. ... What else? She is so beautiful. You don't get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth traveled round the sun appeared to me to be such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it. ‘You appear to be astonished,’ he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. ‘Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.’ ‘To forget it!’ ‘You see,’ he explained, ‘I consider that a man’s brain is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.’ ‘But the Solar System!’ I protested. ‘What the deuce is it to me?’ he interrupted impatiently: ‘you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.
Arthur Conan Doyle (A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1))
But what about human nature? Can it be changed? And if not, will it endure under Anarchism? Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every heart fettered, wounded, and maimed? John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities? Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities. Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations. This is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the mind. It is the conclusion arrived at by hosts of intellectual men and women the world over; a conclusion resulting from the close and studious observation of the tendencies of modern society: individual liberty and economic equality, the twin forces for the birth of what is fine and true in man.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
Youth was the time for happiness, its only season; young people, leading a lazy, carefree life, partially occupied by scarcely absorbing studies, were able to devote themselves unlimitedly to the liberated exultation of their bodies. They could play, dance, love, and multiply their pleasures. They could leave a party, in the early hours of the morning, in the company of sexual partners they had chosen, and contemplate the dreary line of employees going to work. They were the salt of the earth, and everything was given to them, everything was permitted for them, everything was possible. Later on, having started a family, having entered the adult world, they would be introduced to worry, work, responsibility, and the difficulties of existence; they would have to pay taxes, submit themselves to administrative formalities while ceaselessly bearing witness--powerless and shame-filled--to the irreversible degradation of their own bodies, which would be slow at first, then increasingly rapid; above all, they would have to look after children, mortal enemies, in their own homes, they would have to pamper them, feed them, worry about their illnesses, provide the means for their education and their pleasure, and unlike in the world of animals, this would last not just for a season, they would remain slaves of their offspring always, the time of joy was well and truly over for them, they would have to continue to suffer until the end, in pain and with increasing health problems, until they were no longer good for anything and were definitively thrown into the rubbish heap, cumbersome and useless. In return, their children would not be at all grateful, on the contrary their efforts, however strenuous, would never be considered enough, they would, until the bitter end, be considered guilty because of the simple fact of being parents. From this sad life, marked by shame, all joy would be pitilessly banished. When they wanted to draw near to young people's bodies, they would be chased away, rejected, ridiculed, insulted, and, more and more often nowadays, imprisoned. The physical bodies of young people, the only desirable possession the world has ever produced, were reserved for the exclusive use of the young, and the fate of the old was to work and to suffer. This was the true meaning of solidarity between generations; it was a pure and simple holocaust of each generation in favor of the one that replaced it, a cruel, prolonged holocaust that brought with it no consolation, no comfort, nor any material or emotional compensation.
Michel Houellebecq (The Possibility of an Island)
You are not you--you have no body, no blood, no bones, you are but a thought. I myself have no existence; I am but a dream--your dream, a creature of your imagination. In a moment you will have realized this, then you will banish me from your visions and I shall dissolve into the nothingness out of which you made me. I am perishing already, I am failing, I am passing away. In a little while you will be alone in shoreless space, to wander its limitless solitudes without friend or comrade forever—for you will remain a thought, the only existent thought, and by your nature inextinguishable, indestructible. But I, your poor servant, have revealed you to yourself and set you free. Dream other dreams, and better! Strange! that you should not have suspected years ago—centuries, ages, eons, ago!—for you have existed, companionless, through all the eternities. Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane—like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell—mouths mercy and invented hell—mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him! You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks—in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier. "It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream—a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought—a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)
It is worth saying something about the social position of beggars, for when one has consorted with them, and found that they are ordinary human beings, one cannot help being struck by the curious attitude that society takes towards them. People seem to feel that there is some essential difference between beggars and ordinary 'working' men. They are a race apart--outcasts, like criminals and prostitutes. Working men 'work', beggars do not 'work'; they are parasites, worthless in their very nature. It is taken for granted that a beggar does not 'earn' his living, as a bricklayer or a literary critic 'earns' his. He is a mere social excrescence, tolerated because we live in a humane age, but essentially despicable. Yet if one looks closely one sees that there is no ESSENTIAL difference between a beggar's livelihood and that of numberless respectable people. Beggars do not work, it is said; but, then, what is WORK? A navvy works by swinging a pick. An accountant works by adding up figures. A beggar works by standing out of doors in all weathers and getting varicose veins, chronic bronchitis, etc. It is a trade like any other; quite useless, of course--but, then, many reputable trades are quite useless. And as a social type a beggar compares well with scores of others. He is honest compared with the sellers of most patent medicines, high-minded compared with a Sunday newspaper proprietor, amiable compared with a hire-purchase tout--in short, a parasite, but a fairly harmless parasite. He seldom extracts more than a bare living from the community, and, what should justify him according to our ethical ideas, he pays for it over and over in suffering. I do not think there is anything about a beggar that sets him in a different class from other people, or gives most modern men the right to despise him. Then the question arises, Why are beggars despised?--for they are despised, universally. I believe it is for the simple reason that they fail to earn a decent living. In practice nobody cares whether work is useful or useless, productive or parasitic; the sole thing demanded is that it shall be profitable. In all the modem talk about energy, efficiency, social service and the rest of it, what meaning is there except 'Get money, get it legally, and get a lot of it'? Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test beggars fail, and for this they are despised. If one could earn even ten pounds a week at begging, it would become a respectable profession immediately. A beggar, looked at realistically, is simply a businessman, getting his living, like other businessmen, in the way that comes to hand. He has not, more than most modem people, sold his honour; he has merely made the mistake of choosing a trade at which it is impossible to grow rich.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)