Basics Are Important Quotes

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Reject the basic assumptions of civilization, especially the importance of material possessions.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
After almost exactly three hours, we rolled into a small hole of a town that had one traffic light and a resturant simply marked DINER. There hadn't been any traffic on the road for over an hour, though, which was really the most important thing. We hadn't been followed. Sydney drove us to a building with a sign that read MOTEL. Apparently this town liked to stick to the basics when it came to names. I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually just called TOWN.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Both destiny's kisses and its dope-slaps illustrate an individual person's basic personal powerlessness over the really meaningful events in his life: i.e. almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of Psst that you usually can't even hear because you're in such a rush to or from something important you've tried to engineer.
David Foster Wallace
The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
Rachel Naomi Remen
Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.
Natalie Goldberg
Having the basics—a good bed to sleep in, good relationships, good food, and good sex—is most important, and those things don’t get much better when you have a lot of money or much worse when you have less. And the people one meets at the top aren’t necessarily more special than those one meets at the bottom or in between.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
When the culture of any organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of the individuals who serve that system or who are served by that system, you can be certain that the shame is systemic, the money is driving ethics, and the accountability is all but dead.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
I think most people are just trying to be happy, and that most of their actions, however misguided, are in line with that goal. Most people just want to feel they belong somewhere, want to be loved, and want to feel they're important to someone. If you really examine all the wrongheaded and messed-up things they do, they can most often be traced back to that basic desire. The abusers, the addicted, the cruel and unpleasant, the manipulators --these are just people who started this quest for happiness in the basement of their lives. Someone communicated to them through word or deed that they were undeserving, so they think they have to claw their way there over the backs of others, leaving scars and creating damage. Of course, they only create more misery for themselves and others.
Lisa Unger (Sliver of Truth (Ridley Jones, #2))
Ahh! Lady Pillows. So much fluffier than mine.” He took a giant whiff. “Why does everything girlie smell so delightful?” “Because we acknowledge the importance of basic hygiene. And periodically clean our bathrooms.” “Brilliant. I should write that down. After all, it takes a village.
Kathy Reichs (Seizure (Virals, #2))
• Eating disorders are addictions. You become addicted to a number of their effects. The two most basic and important: the pure adrenaline that kicks in when you're starving—you're high as a kite, sleepless, full of a frenetic, unstable energy—and the heightened intensity of experience that eating disorders initially induce. At first, everything tastes and smells intense, tactile experience is intense, your own drive and energy themselves are intense and focused. Your sense of power is very, very intense. You are not aware, however, that you are quickly becoming addicted.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
Romancin’ is verra important, ye ken. Basically it’s a way the boy can get close to the girl wi’oot her attackin’ him and scratchin’ his eyes oot.
Terry Pratchett (Wintersmith (Discworld, #35; Tiffany Aching, #3))
From somewhere, back in my youth, heard Prof say, 'Manuel, when faced with a problem you do not understand, do any part of it you do understand, then look at it again.' He had been teaching me something he himself did not understand very well—something in math—but had taught me something far more important, a basic principle.
Robert A. Heinlein (The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress)
She was aware that in love even the most passionate idealism will not rid the body's surface of its terrible, basic importance.
Milan Kundera (Laughable Loves)
All major religious traditions carry basically the same message: that is love, compassion and forgiveness. The important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.
Dalai Lama XIV
Seeing the ocean in person feels almost as important as having food and shelter. It doesn’t seem farfetched to believe a charity should exist for the sole purpose of allowing people to afford a trip to the beach. It should be a basic human right. A necessity. It’s like years of therapy, rolled up into a view.
Colleen Hoover (Heart Bones)
Worry implies that we don't quite trust God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives. Stress says the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace towards others, or our tight grip of control. Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we've been forgiven, that our lives are brief ... and that in the context of God's strength, our problems are small, indeed.
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we've utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy. So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
What metro Boston AAs are trite but correct about is that both destiny's kisses and its dope-slaps illustrate an individual person's basic personal powerlessness over the really meaningful events in their life: i.e almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of Psst that you usually can't even hear because you're in such a rush to or from something important you've tried to engineer.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
The five basic tenets of Islam continue onto the sixth for me. Huquq-ul-Ibaad, or humanitarianism. That it is not proclaimed as obligatory has deeper meaning; as right or wrong are left to human initiatives, its importance would be lost if forced." -Edhi, A Mirror To The Blind
Tehmina Durrani (Edhi: A Mirror To The Blind)
The thing you fail to grasp is that people are not basically good. We are basically selfish. We shove and clamour and cry for adoration, and beat down everyone else to get it. Life is a competition of prattling peacocks enraptured in inane mating rituals. But for all our effacing and self-importance, we are all slaves to what we fear most. You have so very much to learn. Here. Let me teach you.
Christopher J. Nolan
I would say that the five most important skills are of course, reading, writing, arithmetic, and then as you’re adding in, persuasion, which is talking. And then finally, I would add computer programming just because it’s an applied form of arithmetic that just gets you so much leverage for free in any domain that you operate in. If you’re good with computers, if you’re good at basic mathematics, if you’re good at writing, if you’re good at speaking, and if you like reading, you’re set for life.
Naval Ravikant
If people are honest with themselves when they choose a tattoo, the art will represent them better than anything that will ever come out of their mouth. The things that are most important to me are represented in the art that covers my body. My God, my family, my friends, my job, my social and historical beliefs and the aggressive or even violent nature with which I will protect all of them.....basically in that order of importance. Is it scarey or repulsive to some people? Yes. Does it change who I am? No. If anything it works as an outward conscience that will forever remind me of who I am and what is important during times of trial or long after my mind starts to fade due to old age if I'm blessed with a long life.Remove
Troy Holloway
Perhaps the most important thing about risk is its inescapability. Particular individuals, groups, or institutions may be sheltered from risk - but only at the cost of having someone else bear that risk. For a society as a whole, there is no someone else.
Thomas Sowell (Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy)
After the most basic physical requirements are satisfied, human happiness is almost independent of wealth. A meaningful job is far more important.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman, #2))
When joy is really important to you, you do not allow yourself to focus upon things that do not feel good—and the result of thinking only thoughts that feel good would cause you to create a wonderful life filled with all things that you desire.
Esther Hicks (The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham)
We will never cease our critique of those persons who distort the past, rewrite it, falsify it, who exaggerate the importance of one event and fail to mention some other; such a critique is proper (it cannot fail to be), but it doesn't count for much unless a more basic critique precedes it: a critique of human memory as such. For after all, what can memory actually do, the poor thing? It is only capable of retaining a paltry little scrap of the past, and no one knows why just this scrap and not some other one, since in each of us the choice occurs mysteriously, outside our will or our interests. We won't understand a thing about human life if we persist in avoiding the most obvious fact: that a reality no longer is what it was when it was; it cannot be reconstructed. Even the most voluminous archives cannot help.
Milan Kundera (Ignorance)
Do you realize how important it is to be independent? To be able to take care of yourself? To not rely on someone else for your most basic needs? And to not get so damn attached to stuff that you'd rather demean yourself than live without it?
Alyson Noel (Faking 19)
The most important thing in life is style. That is the style of one s existence the characteristic mode of one s actions is basically ultimately what matters. For if man defines himself by doing then style is doubly definitive because style describes the doing. The point is this happiness is a learned condition. And since it is learned and self generating it does not depend upon external circumstances for its perpetuation. This throws a very ironic light on content. And underscores the primacy of style. It is content or rather the consciousness of content that fills the void. But the mere presence of content is not enough. It is style that gives content the capacity to absorb us to move us it is style that makes us care.
Tom Robbins (Another Roadside Attraction)
When basic human needs are ignored, rejected, or invalidated by those in roles and positions to appropriately meet them; when the means by which these needs have been previously met are no longer available: and when prior abuse has already left one vulnerable for being exploited further, the stage is set for the possibility these needs will be prostituted. This situation places a survivor who has unmet needs in an incredible dilemma. She can either do without or seek the satisfaction of mobilized needs through some "illegitimate" source that leaves her increasingly divided from herself and ostracized from others. While meeting needs in this way resolves the immediate existential experience of deprivation and abandonment. it produces numerous other difficulties. These include experiencing oneself as “bad” or "weak" for having such strong needs; experiencing shame and guilt for relying on “illegitimate” sources of satisfaction: experiencing a loss of self-respect for indulging in activities contrary to personal moral standards of conduct; risking the displeasure and misunderstanding of others important to her; and opening oneself to the continued abuse and victimization of perpetrators who are all too willing to selfishly use others for their own pleasure and purposes under the guise of being 'helpful.
J. Jeffrey Means
It is basic to any relationship, and particularly important in open relationships, that no one can own another person.
Dossie Easton (The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love)
It is a common belief that we breathe with our lungs alone, but in point of fact, the work of breathing is done by the whole body. The lungs play a passive role in the respiratory process. Their expansion is produced by an enlargement, mostly downward, of the thoracic cavity and they collapse when that cavity is reduced. Proper breathing involves the muscles of the head, neck, thorax, and abdomen. It can be shown that chronic tension in any part of the body's musculature interferes with the natural respiratory movements. Breathing is a rhythmic activity. Normally a person at rest makes approximately 16 to 17 respiratory incursions a minute. The rate is higher in infants and in states of excitation. It is lower in sleep and in depressed persons. The depth of the respiratory wave is another factor which varies with emotional states. Breathing becomes shallow when we are frightened or anxious. It deepens with relaxation, pleasure and sleep. But above all, it is the quality of the respiratory movements that determines whether breathing is pleasurable or not. With each breath a wave can be seen to ascend and descend through the body. The inspiratory wave begins deep in the abdomen with a backward movement of the pelvis. This allows the belly to expand outward. The wave then moves upward as the rest of the body expands. The head moves very slightly forward to suck in the air while the nostrils dilate or the mouth opens. The expiratory wave begins in the upper part of the body and moves downward: the head drops back, the chest and abdomen collapse, and the pelvis rocks forward. Breathing easily and fully is one of the basic pleasures of being alive. The pleasure is clearly experienced at the end of expiration when the descending wave fills the pelvis with a delicious sensation. In adults this sensation has a sexual quality, though it does not induce any genital feeling. The slight backward and forward movements of the pelvis, similar to the sexual movements, add to the pleasure. Though the rhythm of breathing is pronounced in the pelvic area, it is at the same time experienced by the total body as a feeling of fluidity, softness, lightness and excitement. The importance of breathing need hardly be stressed. It provides the oxygen for the metabolic processes; literally it supports the fires of life. But breath as "pneuma" is also the spirit or soul. We live in an ocean of air like fish in a body of water. By our breathing we are attuned to our atmosphere. If we inhibit our breathing we isolate ourselves from the medium in which we exist. In all Oriental and mystic philosophies, the breath holds the secret to the highest bliss. That is why breathing is the dominant factor in the practice of Yoga.
Alexander Lowen (The Voice of the Body)
When the culture of an organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of individuals or communities, you can be certain that shame is systemic, money drives ethics, and accountability is dead.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care. I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.' I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research. Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery. To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be. Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit. So, I believed.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)
What can you do? There's the rub. The most important take-home message with diet and health is that anyone who ever expresses anything with certainty is basically wrong, because the evidence for cause and effect in this area is almost always weak and circumstantial, and changing an individual person's diet may not even be where the action is.
Ben Goldacre (Bad Science)
Our soul begins to grow in God when we acknowledge our basic neediness.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
But I’ve kept them safe from the wolves, at least: the most basic and important job of a parent, to keep her offspring from being eaten by predators. Even the ones I can’t see.
Rachel Caine (Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake, #1))
The reason I don’t care about the approval and acknowledgment of my batchmates and colleagues is that most of them are basically losers. They will latch on to anyone famous in their circles, who can help them get jobs or with their business. They derive their importance and identities through association. These very people will latch on to me for the same, once the time comes. In short, they are irrelevant flies to me, looking for a turd to sit on. Once I become a piece of turd, the flies will come. A turd doesn’t care about the flies.
Abhaidev (The Meaninglessness of Meaning)
Organizations like the UN do a lot of good, but there are certain basic realities they never seem to grasp ...Maybe the most important truth that eludes these organizations is that it's insulting when outsiders come in and tell a traumatized people what it will take for them to heal. You cannot go to another country and make a plan for it. The cultural context is so different from what you know that you will not understand much of what you see. I would never come to the US and claim to understand what's going on, even in the African American culture. People who have lived through a terrible conflict may be hungry and desperate, but they are not stupid. They often have very good ideas about how peace can evolve, and they need to be asked. That includes women. Most especially women ... To outsiders like the UN, these soldiers were a problem to be managed. But they were our children.
Leymah Gbowee (Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War)
Basically, even though Hannah admits that the decision to take her life was entirely her own, it’s also important to be aware of how we treat others. Even though someone appears to shrug off a sideways comment or to not be affected by a rumor, it’s impossible to know everything else going on in that person’s life, and how we might be adding to his/her pain. People do have an impact on the lives of others; that’s undeniable.
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
It's a bit counter-intuitive to think about the future in terms of the past. But...I've learned an important trick: to develop foresight, you need to practice hindsight. Technologies, cultures, and climates may change, but our basic human needs and desires - to survive, to care for our families, and to lead happy, purposeful lives - remain the same.
Jane McGonigal (Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World)
[...]"Come on. Let's run away." "Where to?" Rincewind sighed. He'd tried to make his basic philosophy clear time and again, and people never got the message. "Don't you worry about to," he said. "In my experience that always takes care of itself. The important word is away.
Terry Pratchett (Eric (Discworld, #9; Rincewind, #4))
The problem is, it's just not enough to live according to the rules. Sure, you manage to live according to the rules. Sometimes it's tight, extremely tight, but on the whole you manage it. Your tax papers are up to date. Your bills paid on time. You never go out without your identity card (and the special little wallet for your Visa!). Yet you haven’t any friends. The rules are complex, multiform. There’s the shopping that needs doing out of working hours, the automatic dispensers where money has to be got (and where you so often have to wait). Above all there are the different payments you must make to the organizations that run different aspects of your life. You can fall ill into the bargain, which involves costs, and more formalities. Nevertheless, some free time remains. What’s to be done? How do you use your time? In dedicating yourself to helping people? But basically other people don’t interest you. Listening to records? That used to be a solution, but as the years go by you have to say that music moves you less and less. Taken in its widest sense, a spot of do-it-yourself can be a way out. But the fact is that nothing can halt the ever-increasing recurrence of those moments when your total isolation, the sensation of an all-consuming emptiness, the foreboding that your existence is nearing a painful and definitive end all combine to plunge you into a state of real suffering. And yet you haven’t always wanted to die. You have had a life. There have been moments when you were having a life. Of course you don't remember too much about it; but there are photographs to prove it. This was probably happening round about the time of your adolescence, or just after. How great your appetite for life was, then! Existence seemed so rich in new possibilities. You might become a pop singer, go off to Venezuela. More surprising still, you have had a childhood. Observe, now, a child of seven, playing with his little soldiers on the living room carpet. I want you to observe him closely. Since the divorce he no longer has a father. Only rarely does he see his mother, who occupies an important post in a cosmetics firm. And yet he plays with his little soldiers and the interest he takes in these representations of the world and of war seems very keen. He already lacks a bit of affection, that's for sure, but what an air he has of being interested in the world! You too, you took an interest in the world. That was long ago. I want you to cast your mind back to then. The domain of the rules was no longer enough for you; you were unable to live any longer in the domain of the rules; so you had to enter into the domain of the struggle. I ask you to go back to that precise moment. It was long ago, no? Cast your mind back: the water was cold.
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)
I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe - what other choice was there? We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery. To continue believing in yourself...believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)
Our categories are important. We cannot organize a social life, a political movement, or our individual identities and desires without them. The fact that categories invariably leak and can never contain all the relevant "existing things" does not render them useless, only limited. Categories like “woman,” “butch,” “lesbian,” or “transsexual” are all imperfect, historical, temporary, and arbitrary. We use them, and they use us. We use them to construct meaningful lives, and they mold us into historically specific forms of personhood. Instead of fighting for immaculate classifications and impenetrable boundaries, let us strive to maintain a community that understands diversity as a gift, sees anomalies as precious, and treats all basic principles with a hefty dose of skepticism.
Gayle S. Rubin
Romancin’ is verrae important, ye ken. Basically it’s a way the boy can get close to the girl wi’oot her attackin’ him and scratchin’ his eyes oot.
Terry Pratchett (Wintersmith (Discworld, #35))
Vicarious learning from the experiences of others saves making errors yourself, but I regard the study of successes as being basically more important than the study of failures. There are so many ways of being wrong and so few of being right, studying successes is more efficient.
Richard Hamming (The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn)
Memory cannot be understood, either, without a mathematical approach. The fundamental given is the ratio between the amount of time in the lived life and the amount of time from that life that is stored in memory. No one has ever tried to calculate this ratio, and in fact there exists no technique for doing so; yet without much risk of error I could assume that the memory retains no more than a millionth, a hundred-millionth, in short an utterly infinitesimal bit of the lived life. That fact too is part of the essence of man. If someone could retain in his memory everything he had experienced, if he could at any time call up any fragment of his past, he would be nothing like human beings: neither his loves nor his friendships nor his angers nor his capacity to forgive or avenge would resemble ours. We will never cease our critique of those persons who distort the past, rewrite it, falsify it, who exaggerate the importance of one event and fail to mention some other; such a critique is proper (it cannot fail to be), but it doesn't count for much unless a more basic critique precedes it: a critique of human memory as such. For after all, what can memory actually do, the poor thing? It is only capable of retaining a paltry little scrap of the past, and no one knows why just this scrap and not some other one, since in each of us the choice occurs mysteriously, outside our will or our interests. We won't understand a thing about human life if we persist in avoiding the most obvious fact: that a reality no longer is what it was when it was; it cannot be reconstructed.
Milan Kundera
The most important moments in a trial are often not seen by a jury. That is because it's one of the judge's main responsibilities to screen what they see and hear, lest they be prejudiced. It's the "you can't unring a bell" theory; once the jury hears something they shouldn't have heard, th trial is forever tainted. If the damage is great enough, a mistrial is the result. Judges basically prefer nuclear war to mistrials.
David Rosenfelt (Leader of the Pack (Andy Carpenter, #10))
It’s basically just like every other room full of people you’ve ever been in, except exactly half of it looks extremely fancy and important, and the other half is just concrete and scaffolding.
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
No, see what I’m trying to say is that I watch people organizing themselves into these neat little conflicts: Atheists versus Christians Jews versus Muslims Fundamentalists versus basically everybody and I feel like a kid in a broken home who can’t get Mom and Dad to stop fighting. The assumption that every one of these groups is making— and I think it’s important to acknowledge that every group, from scientist to Sikh, assumes this—is that they are right. That they are somehow behaving rationally. But the fact that we can get so angry about this stuff means that it’s not rational and I think we could get a hell of a lot further by synthesizing these beliefs than by finding more and more nuanced ways to call each other dicks.
Cory O'Brien (Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes: A No-Bullshit Guide to World Mythology)
After Jesus showed up, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up. Of course, just because Jesus replaces the Old Testament doesn't mean that you should necessarily skip it. That would be like skipping Batman and Robin just because the story starts over in Batman Begins. The important thing to realize is that both the old and new stories are about an all-powerful being trying to rid the world of evildoers, only in the new one The Batman can eat pork.
Stephen Colbert (I Am America (And So Can You!))
Ideologies aren't all that important. What's important is psychology. The Democratic constituency is just like a herd of cows. All you have to do is lay out enough silage and they come running. That's why I became an operative working with Democrats. With Democrats all you have to do is make a lot of noise, lay out the hay, and be ready to use the ole cattle prod in case a few want to bolt the herd. Eighty percent of the people who call themselves Democrats don't have a clue as to political reality. What amazes me is that you could take a group of people who are hard workers and convince them that they should support social programs that were the exact opposite of their own personal convictions. Put a little fear here and there and you can get people to vote any way you want. The voter is basically dumb and lazy. The reason I became a Democratic operative instead of a Republican was because there were more Democrats that didn't have a clue than there were Republicans. Truth is relative. Truth is what you can make the voter believe is the truth. If you're smart enough, truth is what you make the voter think it is. That's why I'm a Democrat. I can make the Democratic voters think whatever I want them to.
James Carville
It was a truism that all civilizations were basically neurotic until they made contact with everybody else and found their place within the ever-changing meta-civilisation of other beings, because, until then, during the stage when they honestly believed they might be entirely alone in existence, all solo societies were possessed of both an inflated sense of their own importance and a kind of existential terror at the sheer scale and apparent emptiness of the universe.
Iain M. Banks (The Algebraist)
In the present day corporate world, it is utmost important to build a personal brand for yourself and anyone who knows the basics of brand-building would know that it is impossible without proper self promotion!
Abhishek Ratna (No Parking. No Halt. Success Non Stop!)
Experience has proven that the SIMPLEST METHOD of securing a silent weapon and gaining control of the public is to KEEP THE PUBLIC UNDISCIPLINED AND IGNORANT of basic systems principles on the one hand, WHILE KEEPING THEM CONFUSED, DISORGANIZED, AND DISTRACTED with matters of no real importance on the other hand. [WC all emphases.
Milton William Cooper (Behold a Pale Horse)
Truth changes with the season of our emotions. It is the shadow that moves with the phases of our inner sun. When the nights falls, only our perception can guess where it hides in the dark. Within every solar system of the soul lies a plan of what truth is--- the design God has created, in our own unique story. This is as varying as the constellations, and as turning as the tide. It is not one truth we live to, but many. If we ever hope to determine if there is such a thing as truth, apart from cultural and personal preferences, we must acknowledge that we are then aiming to discover something greater than ourselves, something that transcends culture and individual inclinations. Some say that we must look beyond ourselves and outside of ourselves. However, we don’t need to look farther than what is already in each other. If there was any great plan from a higher power it is a simplistic, repetitious theme found in all religions; the basic core importance to unity comes from shared theological and humanistic virtues. Beyond the synagogue, mosques, temples, churches, missionary work, church positions and religious rituals comes a simple “message of truth” found in all of us, that binds theology---holistic virtues combined with purpose is the foundation of spiritual evolution. The diversity among us all is not divided truth, but the opportunity for unity through these shared values. Truth is the framework and roadmap of positive virtues. It unifies diversity when we choose to see it and use it. It is simple message often lost among the rituals, cultural traditions and socializing that goes on behind the chapel doors of any religion or spiritual theology. As we fight among ourselves about what religion, culture or race is right, we often lose site of the simple message any great orator has whispered through time----a simplistic story explaining the importance of virtues, which magically reemphasizes the importance of loving one another through service.
Shannon L. Alder
You do not need to do many different exercises to get strong - you need to get strong on a very few important exercises, movements that train the whole body as a system, not as a collection of separate body parts. The problem with the programs advocated by all the national exercise organizations is that they fail to recognize this basic principle: the body best adapts as a whole organism to stress applied to the whole organism. The more stress that can be applied to as much of the body at one time as possible, the more effective and productive the adaptation will be.
Mark Rippetoe (Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training)
I end up watching this movie about some girl who's supposed to be so smart and edgy and unpopular. She wears glasses, that's how you know she's so smart. And she's the only one that has dark hair in the school- a place that looks like Planet Blond. Anyway, she somehow ends up going to the prom- hello, gag- and she doesn't wear her glasses, so suddenly she's all beautiful. And she's bashful and shy because she doesn't feel comfortable wearing a dress. But then the guy says something like, "Wow, I never knew you were so pretty," and she feels on top of the world. So, basically, the whole point is she's pretty. Oh, and smart, too. But what's really important here is that she's pretty. For a second I think about Katie. About her thin little Clarissa Le Fey. It must be a pain being fat. There are NO fat people on Planet Blond. I don't get it. I mean, even movies where the actress is smart- like they seem like they'd be smart in real life, they're all gorgeous. And they usually get a boyfriend somewhere in the story. Even if they say they don't want one. They always, always end up falling in love, and you're supposed to be like, "Oh, good." I once said this to my mom, and she laughed. "Honey, Hollywood... reality- two different universes. Don't make yourself crazy." Which made me feel pretty pathetic. Like I didn't know the difference between a movie and the real world. But then when everyone gets on you about your hair and your clothes and your this and your that, and "Are you fat?" and "Are you sexy?" you start thinking, Hey, maybe I'm not the only one who can't tell the difference between movies and reality. Maybe everyone really does think you can look like that. And that you should look like that. Because, you know, otherwise you might not get to go to the prom and fall in love.
Mariah Fredericks (Head Games)
Interruption is basically a self serving and egotistical at. It blatantly states What I have to say is more important than what you have to say.
Robert E. Fisher (Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak)
To discuss endlessly what silly people mean when they say silly things may be amusing but can hardly be important.
Bertrand Russell (The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell)
The basic message is this: If you’re losing your cool, you are losing. If you are triggered, it is because you allowed someone else to dictate your emotional state. If you are outraged, it is because you lack discipline and self-control. These are personal defeats, not the fault of anyone else. And each defeat shapes who you are as a person, and in the collective sense, who we are as a people. This book is about actively hardening your mind so that you can be the person you think you should be. It is about identifying who that person is in the first place, and taking responsibility for the self-improvement required to become them. It is about learning what it means to never quit. It is about learning to take a joke and giving others some charity when they make a bad one. It is about the importance of building a society of iron-tough individuals who can think for themselves, take care of themselves, and recognize that a culture characterized by grit, discipline, and self-reliance is a culture that survives.
Dan Crenshaw (Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage)
If other people thought art was important, then it would be required to graduate. But no, I don’t have to take art. I do have to take math, which is just a waste of time because the numbers get all switched up in my brain, plus, calculators exist for a reason. I do have to take history, which is basically memorizing tariff acts till your brain bleeds. I do have to take four years of gym class with a bunch of jerks who punch me if they don’t like what I say. But art? Optional. Even though art and music and literature and all that are what make us human. Algebra doesn’t make us human. Games don’t make us human.
Laura Ruby (Bad Apple)
If we feel inclined to focus on memories (even if they are basically accurate), it is important to understand that this choice will impair our ability to move out of our traumatic reactions. Transformation requires change. One of the things that must change is the relationship that we have with our “memories.
Ann Frederick (Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma)
It is customary for adults to forget how hard and dull school is. The learning by memory all the basic things one must know is the most incredible and unending effort. Learning to read is probably the most difficult and revolutionary thing that happens to the human brain and if you don't believe that watch an illiterate adult try to do it. School is not so easy and it is not for the most part very fun, but then, if you are very lucky, you may find a teacher. Three real teachers in a lifetime is the very best of luck. I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. My three had these things in common. They all loved what they were doing. They did not tell - they catalyzed a burning desire to know. Under their influence, the horizons sprung wide and fear went away and the unknown became knowable. But most important of all, the truth, that dangerous stuff, became beautiful and precious.
John Steinbeck
Our schools will not improve if we continue to focus only on reading and mathematics while ignoring the other studies that are essential elements of a good education. Schools that expect nothing more of their students than mastery of basic skills will not produce graduates who are ready for college or the modern workplace. *** Our schools will not improve if we value only what tests measure. The tests we have now provide useful information about students' progress in reading and mathematics, but they cannot measure what matters most in education....What is tested may ultimately be less important that what is untested... *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to close neighborhood schools in the name of reform. Neighborhood schools are often the anchors of their communities, a steady presence that helps to cement the bond of community among neighbors. *** Our schools cannot improve if charter schools siphon away the most motivated students and their families in the poorest communities from the regular public schools. *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to drive away experienced principals and replace them with neophytes who have taken a leadership training course but have little or no experience as teachers. *** Our schools cannot be improved if we ignore the disadvantages associated with poverty that affect children's ability to learn. Children who have grown up in poverty need extra resources, including preschool and medical care.
Diane Ravitch (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education)
In the big factory of perfecting human souls, the Earth was a kind of tumbler. The same as the kind people use to polish rocks. All souls come here to rub the sharp edges off each other. All of us, we’re meant to be worn smooth by conflict and pain of every kind. To be polished. There was nothing bad about this. This wasn’t suffering, it was erosion.It was just another, a basic, an important step in the refining process.
Chuck Palahniuk (Haunted)
It was an exciting community, where we lived in Washington. The basic feeling—and I don’t think this is just nostalgia—was one of excitement, of achievement, of happiness. Life was important, life was significant.
Studs Terkel (Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression)
After all, you can argue – argue until you cry – about what modern, codified misogyny is; but straight-up ungentlemanliness, of the kind his mother would clatter the back of his head for, is inarguable. It doesn’t need to be a ‘man vs woman’ thing. It’s just a tiff between The Guys. Seeing the whole world as ‘The Guys’ is important. The idea that we’re all, at the end of the day, just a bunch of well-meaning schlumps, trying to get along, is the basic alpha and omega of my world view. I’m neither ‘pro-women’ nor ‘antimen’. I’m just ‘Thumbs up for the six billion’.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
Why Do People become Shadowhunters, by Magnus Bane This Codex thing is very silly. Downworlders talk about the Codex like it is some great secret full of esoteric knowledge, but really itès a Boy Scout manual. One thing that it mysteriously doesnèt address is why people become Shadowhunters. And you should know that people become Shadowhunters for many stupid reasons. So here is an addition to your copy. Greetings, aspiring young Shadowhunter-to-be- or possibly already technically a Shadowhunter. I canèt remember whether you drink from the Cup first or get the book first. Regardless, you have just been recruited by the Monster Police. You may be wondering, why? Why of all the mundanes out there was I selected and invited to this exclusive club made up largely, at least from a historical perspective, of murderous psychopaths? Possible Reasons Why 1. You possess a stout heart, strong will, and able body. 2. You possess a stout body, able will, and strong heart. 3. Local Shadowhunters are ironically punishing you by making you join them. 4. You were recruited by a local institute to join the Nephilim as an ironic punishment for your mistreatment of Downworlders. 5. Your home , village, or nation is under siege by demons. 6. You home, village, or nation is under siege by rogue Downworlders. 7. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 8.You know too much, and should be recruited because the secrecy of the Shadow World has already been compromised for you. 9. You know too little; it would be helpful to the Shadowhunters if you knew more. 10. You know exactly the right amount, making you a natural recruit. 11. You possess a natural resistance to glamour magic and must be recruited to keep you quiet and provide you with some basic protection. 12. You have a compound last name already and have convinced someone important that yours is a Shadowhunter family and the Shadowhunteriness has just been weakened by generations of bad breeding. 13. You had a torrid affair with a member of the Nephilim council and now he's trying to cover his tracks. 14. Shadowhunters are concerned they are no longer haughty and condescending enough-have sought you out to add a much needed boost of haughty condescension. 15. You have been bitten by a radioactive Shadowhunter, giving you the proportional strength and speed of a Shadowhunter. 16. Large bearded man on flying motorcycle appeared to take you away to Shadowhunting school. 17. Your mom has been in hiding from your evil dad, and you found out you're a Shadowhunter only a few weeks ago. That's right. Seventeen reasons. Because that's how many I came up with. Now run off, little Shadowhunter, and learn how to murder things. And be nice to Downworlders.
Cassandra Clare (The Shadowhunter's Codex)
I think it’s important to be able to make something, whether it’s shoes or sausage. Food, clothing, and shelter are the basic needs of all people. If you master a trade that serves one of those needs, you will work for a lifetime.
Adriana Trigiani (The Shoemaker's Wife)
Most people of my grandparents' generation had an intuitive sense of agricultural basics ... This knowledge has vanished from our culture. We also have largely convinced ourselves it wasn't too important. Consider how many Americans might respond to a proposal that agriculture was to become a mandatory subject in all schools ... A fair number of parents would get hot under the collar to see their kids' attention being pulled away from the essentials of grammar, the all-important trigonometry, to make room for down-on-the-farm stuff. The baby boom psyche embraces a powerful presumption that education is a key to moving away from manual labor and dirt--two undeniable ingredients of farming. It's good enough for us that somebody, somewhere, knows food production well enough to serve the rest of us with all we need to eat, each day of our lives.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
We want lovers, friends, recruits, soldiers, and affiliations that support who we are. People, individuals, believe in themselves, want to survive, and on a Darwinistic level at least, want to have more, of ourselves. Initially, this is a visual choice. The where, what, when, and who…to our why. Upon closer inspection, which is the upfall of the politically correct culture of today, we learn to measure people on the competence of their values that we most value. When we do this, the politics of gender, race, and slanderous slang take a back seat to the importance of the values we share. The more we travel, the more we realize how similar our human needs are. We want to be loved, have a family, community, have something to look forward to. These basic needs are present in all socioeconomic and cultural civilizations. I have seen many tribes in the deserts of Northern Africa who, with nine children and no electricity, had more joy, love, honor, and laughter than the majority of the most materially rich people I’ve ever met. We have the choice to love, befriend, recruit, call to arms, associate, and support who we believe in, and more importantly, who, we believe, believes in us.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
Every time we prepare food we interrupt a life cycle. We pull up a carrot or kill a crab- or maybe just stop the mold that's growing on a wedge of cheese. We make meals with those ingredients and in doing so we give life to something else. It's a basic equation and if we pretend it doesn't exist, we're likely to miss the other important lesson which is to give respect to both sides of the equation.
Erica Bauermeister (The School of Essential Ingredients)
It seems that scientific research reaches deeper and deeper. But it also seems that more and more people, at least scientists, are beginning to realize that the spiritual factor is important. I say 'spiritual' without meaning any particular religion or faith, just simple warmhearted compassion, human affection, and gentleness. It is as if such warmhearted people are a bit more humble, a little bit more content. I consider spiritual values primary, and religion secondary. As I see it, the various religions strengthen these basic human qualities. As a practitioner of Buddhism, my practice of compassion and my practice of Buddhism are actually one and the same. But the practice of compassion does not require religious devotion or religious faith; it can be independent from the practice of religion. Therefore, the ultimate source of happiness for human society very much depends on the human spirit, on spiritual values. If we do not combine science and these basic human values, then scientific knowledge may sometimes create troubles, even disaster....
Dalai Lama XIV (Sleeping, Dreaming, and Dying: An Exploration of Consciousness)
we read fiction to satisfy a more basic need—to imagine our way into other lives, to explore characters and situations that tell us something new about the world, and maybe about ourselves, or to remind us of something important that we may have forgotten.
Tom Perrotta (The Best American Short Stories 2012)
Although the constellations in which I have found myself - and naturally also the periods of life and their different influences - have led to changes and development in the accents of my thought, my basic impulse, precisely during the Council, was always to free up the authentic kernel of the faith from encrustations and to give this kernel strength and dynamism. This impulse is the constant of my life ... what's important to me is that I have never deviated from this constant, which from my childhood has molded my life, and that I have remained true to it as the basic direction of my life.
Pope Benedict XVI
We have retreated from the perennial values. I don't think that we need any new values. The most important thing is to try to revive the universally known values from which we have retreated. As a young man, I really took to heart the Communist ideals. A young soul certainly cannot reject things like justice and equality. These were the goals proclaimed by the Communists. But in reality that terrible Communist experiment brought about repression of human dignity. Violence was used in order to impose that model on society. In the name of Communism we abandoned basic human values. So when I came to power in Russia I started to restore those values; values of "openness" and freedom.
Mikhail Gorbachev
we rolled into a small hole of a town that had one traffic light and a restaurant simply marked DINER. There hadn't been any traffic on the road for over an hour, though, which was really the most important thing. We hadn't been followed. Sydney drove us to a building with a sign that read MOTEL. Apparently, this town liked to stick to the basics when it came to names. I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually just called TOWN.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
At its most basic, the logic of 'meritocracy' is ironclad: putting the most qualified, best equipped people into the positions of greates responsibility and import...But my central contention is that our near-religious fidelity to the meritocratic model comes with huge costs. We overestimate the advantages of meritocracy and underappreciate its costs, because we don't think hard enough about the consequences of the inequality it produces. As Americans, we take it as a given that unequal levels of achievement are natural, even desirable. Sociologist Jermole Karabel, whose work looks at elite formation, once said he 'didnt think any advanced democracy is as obsessed with equality of opportunity or as relatively unconcerned with equality of condition' as the United States. This is our central problem. And my proposed solution for correcting the excesses of our extreme version of meritocracy is quite simple: make America more equal
Christopher L. Hayes (Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy)
The Delores tank rolled on inexorably, “You get a mortgage to buy a house, a larger mortgage than the previous owner because the price of the house has been artificially increased by the market, which is controlled by the banks. Then you live in the house for a few years paying a lot more in mortgage payments than you would if you were renting a similar property. But hey, you ‘own’ it and can ‘do things to it’… things that cost even more money, by the way… so you maintain its upkeep, improve it with say a new kitchen or bathroom; the more salubrious the neighbourhood the more expensive the kitchen would need to be – a Küche & Cucina, say; impressing your cleaner is very important after all and at the end you sell it to someone else for more than you paid for it so they’ll need an even bigger mortgage. And all the while everyone is paying all this money to the banks and the banks give the money to their shareholders, the biggest of whom are the incredibly rich. This, when you boil it all down, means that you’re taking a large sum out of your wages and passing it across to some rich person to live large, whilst you and others like you struggle to make their monthly payments. Basically you’ve been screwed, Doc, but somehow they’ve convinced you that you own a bit of England, when the truth is you don’t really own anything, you’re just renting it at a higher cost and they can take it back from you any time they want. It’s all just a card trick, Doc. All just ‘smoke and mirrors’ and that’s what’s getting to me.
Arun D. Ellis (Corpalism)
Risk is important to me as a writer, reader, and editor. I love stories that take a premise or style that seems unlikely to succeed, whose first paragraphs risk a raised eyebrow or groan, and whose last paragraphs are then all that much sweeter a triumph. Basically, I love being proved wrong.
Caitlin Horrocks
What seems most important is that Dostoevsky's near-death experience changed a typically vain and trendy young writer-a very talented writer, true, but still one whose basic concerns were for his own literary glory-into a person who believed deeply in moral/spiritual values...more, into someone who believed that a life lived without moral/spiritual values was not just incomplete but depraved.
David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and Other Essays)
The religious faith that we are born into is largely determined by the region where we live and the ethnic background of our family. In my case, I was born to an African American family in the southern region of the United States. Like most families of our description, we embraced the Baptist religious tradition. Although I went from Baptist to Buddhist, I’ve honored my family’s heritage and cherish the similarities between these two paths. Baptist teachings encouraged me to work toward attaining admission into a heavenly paradise, while Buddhism inspires me to attain the enduring and enlightened life condition of Buddhahood. Although the goals of these two spiritual paths may sound somewhat different, both focus on creating a state of indestructible, eternal happiness. To me, that is an important similarity. I’ve met people from all over the world, from many cultures and faiths, and I believe that all religious traditions share the same basic aspirations at their core—to experience everlasting joy by aligning with the positive forces of the universe. We may describe this ultimate reality as Jehovah, God, Allah, Jesus, Hashem, Tao, Brahma, the Creator, the Mystic Law, the Universe, the Force, Buddha nature, Christ consciousness, or any number of other expressions.
Tina Turner (Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good)
The basic pathogenic picture emerging from the era of the first connective generation is characterized by the hypermobilizing of nervous energies, by informational overload, by a constant straining of our attention faculties. A particular aspect and an important consequence of this nervous hypermobilization is the rarity of bodily contact, the physical and psychical solitude of the infospheric individual.
Franco "Bifo" Berardi (After the Future)
I felt there was a lot I needed to teach her. I wanted to give her an early grounding in the basics of arithmetic and reading, but even more important, I wanted to get across the idea that the world was a dangerous place and life was unpredictable and you had to be smart, focused, and determined to make it through. You had to be willing to work hard and persevere in the face of misfortune. A lot of people, even those born with brains and beauty, didn't have what it took to knuckle down and get the thing done.
Jeannette Walls (Half Broke Horses)
Nature is interested in only two things—to survive and to reproduce one like itself. Anything you superimpose on that, all the cultural input, is responsible for the boredom of man. So we have varieties of religious experience. You are not satisfied with your own religious teachings or games; so you bring in others from India, Asia or China. They become interesting because they are something new. You pick up a new language and try to speak it and use it to feel more important. But basically, it is the same thing.
U.G. Krishnamurti (No Way Out: Dialogues with Krishnamurti)
Frank grabbed a tourist brochure stuck under the napkin dispenser. He began to read it. Piper patted Leo’s arm, like she couldn’t believe he was really here. Nico stood at the edge of the group, eyeing the passing pedestrians as if they might be enemies. Coach Hedge munched on the salt and pepper shakers. Despite the happy reunion, everybody seemed more subdued than usual—like they were picking up on Leo’s mood. Jason had never really considered how important Leo’s sense of humor was to the group. Even when things were super serious, they could always depend on Leo to lighten things up. Now, it felt like the whole team had dropped anchor. “So then Jason harnessed the venti,” Hazel finished. “And here we are.” Leo whistled. “Hot-air horses? Dang, Jason. So basically, you held a bunch of gas together all the way to Malta, and then you let it loose.” Jason frowned. “You know, it doesn’t sound so heroic when you put it that way.” “Yeah, well. I’m an expert on hot air. I’m still wondering, why Malta? I just kind of ended up here on the raft, but was that a random thing, or—” “Maybe because of this.” Frank tapped his brochure. “Says here Malta was where Calypso lived.” A pint of blood drained from Leo’s face. “W-what now?” Frank shrugged. “According to this, her original home was an island called Gozo just north of here. Calypso’s a Greek myth thingie, right?” “Ah, a Greek myth thingie!” Coach Hedge rubbed his hands together. “Maybe we get to fight her! Do we get to fight her? ’Cause I’m ready.” “No,” Leo murmured. “No, we don’t have to fight her, Coach.” Piper frowned. “Leo, what’s wrong? You look—” “Nothing’s wrong!” Leo shot to his feet. “Hey, we should get going. We’ve got work to do!” “But…where did you go?” Hazel asked. “Where did you get those clothes? How—” “Jeez, ladies!” Leo said. “I appreciate the concern, but I don’t need two extra moms!” Piper smiled uncertainly. “Okay, but—” “Ships to fix!” Leo said. “Festus to check! Earth goddesses to punch in the face! What are we waiting for? Leo’s back!” He spread his arms and grinned. He was making a brave attempt, but Jason could see the sadness lingering in his eyes. Something had happened to him…something to do with Calypso.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
And it is nice to know that it matters not what others are choosing, or what others are even thinking about what I am choosing. What is important is that I am pleased with me, and as I see myself, I certainly am.
Esther Hicks (The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham)
A reporter once asked me why I think progressive men who earn significantly less than their breadwinning wives still won't quit their jobs to take care of their children. Why do they still hold on to their careers, even if taking care of the children would make more financial sense because the cost of childcare is higher than their net salary? I think I know the answer to that now, and it sucks. Women are not expected to live a life for themselves. When women dedicate their lives to children, it is deemed a worthy and respectable choice. When women dedicate themselves to a passion outside of the family that doesn't involve worshiping their husbands or taking care of their kids, they're seen as selfish, cold, or unfit mothers. But when a man spends hours grueling over a craft, profession, or project, he's admired and seen as a genius. And when a man finds a woman who worships him, who dedicates her life to serving him, he's lucky. But when a man dedicates himself to taking care of his children it's seen as a last resort. That it must be because he ran out of other options. That it's plan Z. That it's an indicator of his inability to provide for his family. Basically, that he's a fucking loser. I think it's one of the most important falsehoods we need to shatter when talking about women's rights.
Ali Wong (Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life)
Women, even the most oppressed among us, do exercise power. These powers can be used to advance feminist struggle. Forms of power held by exploited and oppressed groups are described in Elizabeth Janeway's important work Powers of the Weak. One of the most significant forms of power held by the weak is "the refusal to accept the definition of oneself that is put forward by the powerful". Janeway call this the "ordered use of the power to disbelieve". She explains: It is true that one may not have a coherent self-definition to set against the status assigned by the established social mythology, and that is not necessary for dissent. By disbelieving, one will be led toward doubting prescribed codes of behaviour, and as one begins to act in ways that can deviate from the norm in any degree, it becomes clear that in fact there is not just one right way to handle or understand events. Women need to know that they can reject the powerful's definition of their reality --- that they can do so even if they are poor, exploited, or trapped in oppressive circumstances. They need to know that the exercise of this basic personal power is an act of resistance and strength. Many poor and exploited women, especially non-white women, would have been unable to develop positive self-concepts if they had not exercised their power to reject the powerful's definition of their reality. Much feminist thought reflects women's acceptance of the definition of femaleness put forth by the powerful. Even though women organizing and participating in feminist movement were in no way passive, unassertive, or unable to make decisions, they perpetuated the idea that these characteristics were typical female traits, a perspective that mirrored male supremacist interpretation of women's reality. They did not distinguish between the passive role many women assume in relation to male peers and/or male authority figures, and the assertive, even domineering, roles they assume in relation to one another, to children, or to those individuals, female or male, who have lower social status, who they see as inferiors, This is only one example of the way in which feminist activists did not break with the simplistic view of women's reality s it was defined by powerful me. If they had exercised the power to disbelieve, they would have insisted upon pointing out the complex nature of women's experience, deconstructing the notion that women are necessarily passive or unassertive.
bell hooks (Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center)
Thousands of years ago tribes of human beings suffered great privations in the struggle to survive. In this struggle it was important not only to be able to handle a club, but also to possess the ability to think reasonably, to take care of the knowledge and experience garnered by the tribe, and to develop the links that would provide cooperation with other tribes. Today the entire human race is faced with a similar test. In infinite space many civilizations are bound to exist, among them civilizations that are also wiser and more "successful" than ours. I support the cosmological hypothesis which states that the development of the universe is repeated in its basic features an infinite number of times. In accordance with this, other civilizations, including more "successful" ones, should exist an infinite number of times on the "preceding" and the "following" pages of the Book of the Universe. Yet this should not minimize our sacred endeavors in this world of ours, where, like faint glimmers of light in the dark, we have emerged for a moment from the nothingness of dark unconsciousness of material existence. We must make good the demands of reason and create a life worthy of ourselves and of the goals we only dimly perceive.
Andrei D. Sakharov
Necessary policemen, firemen, street cleaners, health officers, judges, legislators and executives perform productive services as important as those of anyone in private industry. They make it possible for private industry to function in an atmosphere of law, order, freedom and peace. But their justification consists in the utility of their services. It does not consist in the "purchasing power" they possess by virtue of being on the public payroll.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest & Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
Unfortunately, that basic sense of fairness and goodwill toward others is under threat in a society like ours that increasingly enriches the richest and abandons the rest to the vagaries of global competition. More and more our media and our school systems emphasize material success and the importance of triumphing over others both athletically and in the classroom. More and more, in an atmosphere of increased competitiveness, middle- and upper-class parents seem driven to greater and greater extremes to give their offspring whatever perceived “edge” they can find. This constant emphasis on competition drowns out the lessons of cooperation, empathy and altruism that are critical for human mental health and social cohesion.
Bruce D. Perry (The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook)
The basic recurring theme in Hindu mythology is the creation of the world by the self-sacrifice of God—"sacrifice" in the original sense of "making sacred"—whereby God becomes the world which, in the end, becomes again God. This creative activity of the Divine is called lila, the play of God, and the world is seen as the stage of the divine play. Like most of Hindu mythology, the myth of lila has a strong magical flavour. Brahman is the great magician who transforms himself into the world and then performs this feat with his "magic creative power", which is the original meaning of maya in the Rig Veda. The word maya—one of the most important terms in Indian philosophy—has changed its meaning over the centuries. From the might, or power, of the divine actor and magician, it came to signify the psychological state of anybody under the spell of the magic play. As long as we confuse the myriad forms of the divine lila with reality, without perceiving the unity of Brahman underlying all these forms, we are under the spell of maya. (...) In the Hindu view of nature, then, all forms are relative, fluid and ever-changing maya, conjured up by the great magician of the divine play. The world of maya changes continuously, because the divine lila is a rhythmic, dynamic play. The dynamic force of the play is karma, important concept of Indian thought. Karma means "action". It is the active principle of the play, the total universe in action, where everything is dynamically connected with everything else. In the words of the Gita Karma is the force of creation, wherefrom all things have their life.
Fritjof Capra (The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism)
I say, ‘We believe in a Christ’. If that being existed physically or not, it’s still important, because the message was so basic and sensible and powerful, that we should live by those truths. Love, compassion, generosity. God doesn’t punish anyone. Churches aren’t needed. Money in connection to belief is an abomination. They say, ‘Oh…’. Then they quote the Old Testament.
Genesis P-Orridge
Those two axioms are solid enough from a sociological perspective … but you rattled them off so quickly, like you’d already worked them out,” Luo Ji said, a little surprised. “I’ve been thinking about this for most of my life, but I’ve never spoken about it with anyone before. I don’t know why, really.… One more thing: To derive a basic picture of cosmic sociology from these two axioms, you need two other important concepts: chains of suspicion, and the technological explosion.” “Interesting terms. Can you explain them?” Ye Wenjie glanced at her watch. “There’s no time. But you’re clever enough to figure them out. Use those two axioms as a starting point for your discipline, and you might end up becoming the Euclid of cosmic sociology.” “I’m no Euclid. But I’ll remember what you said and give it a whirl. I might come to you for guidance, though.” “I’m afraid there won’t be that opportunity.… In that case, you might as well just forget I said anything. Either way, I’ve fulfilled my duty. Well, Xiao Luo, I’ve got to go.” “Take care, Professor.” Ye Wenjie went off through the twilight to her final meet-up. The
Liu Cixin (The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #2))
You may be sure of appearing as good, safe, stay-at-home wife material, and he will have the utmost respect for you, as he would for a faithful cook, but he’ll not respect you for the one most important asset every woman who has the wherewithal to employ it—you looks! Vanity not only keeps a woman young, but also gives her something to live for, and if you get saddled to a man who stifles this basic female urge, yet ogles its effects in other women, he could well be knocking years off your life.
Anton Szandor LaVey
Knowledge of processes in the background early shaped my relationship to the world. Basically, that relationship was the same in my childhood as it is to this day. As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know. Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible. The loneliness began with the experiences of my early dreams, and reached its climax at the time I was working on the unconscious. If a man knows more than others, he becomes lonely. But loneliness is not necessarily inimical to companionship, for no one is more sensitive to companionship than the lonely man, and companionship thrives only when each individual remembers his individuality and does not identify himself with others.” – (Memories Dreams and Reflections, Page 356)
C.G. Jung
There is a very important connection between the Church's worldview and the Church's hymns. If your heart and mouth are filled with songs of victory, you will tend to have an eschatology of dominion; if, instead, your songs are fearful, expressing a longing for escape-or if they are weak, childish ditties-your worldview and expectations will be escapist and childish. Historically, the basic hymnbook for the Church has been the Book of Psalms. The largest book of the Bible is the Book of Psalms, and God providentially placed it right in the middle of the Bible, so that we couldn't miss it! Yet how many churches use the Psalms in musical worship? It is noteworthy that the Church's abandonment of dominion eschatology coincided with the Church's abandonment of the Psalms.
David H. Chilton (Paradise Restored: A Biblical Theology of Dominion)
In July, 1950, one news commentator rather plaintively remarked that warfare had not changed so much, after all. For some reason, ground troops still seemed to be necessary, in spite of the atom bomb. And oddly and unfortunately, to this gentleman, man still seemed to be an important ingredient in battle. Troops were still getting killed, in pain and fury and dust and filth. What happened to the widely-heralded pushbutton warfare where skilled, immaculate technicians who never suffered the misery and ignominy of basic training blew each other to kingdom come like gentlemen? In this unconsciously plaintive cry lies the buried a great deal of the truth why the United States was almost defeated. Nothing had happened to pushbutton warfare; its emergence was at hand. Horrible weapons that could destroy every city on Earth were at hand—at too many hands. But, pushbutton warfare meant Armageddon, and Armageddon, hopefully, will never be an end of national policy. Americans in 1950 rediscovered something that since Hiroshima they had forgotten: you may fly over a land forever; you may bomb it, atomize it, pulverize it and wipe it clean of life—but if you desire to defend it, protect it and keep it for civilization, you must do this on the ground, the way the Roman legions did, by putting your young men in the mud.
T.R. Fehrenbach
I've had the words all my life and they meant nothing. I thought love was in the showing." He let out a low laugh and shook his head. "But then you came out of nowhere. I didn't expect you, Becca." "I know, I--" He put a finger to her lips. "I'm still getting past the surprise that I was willing to go there with you at all." "There," she said, needing a translation. "Here. You've become a part of me," he said. "As important and basic as breathing. I feel things for you that I can't even name." His lips twitched. "And a few that I can.
Jill Shalvis (It's in His Kiss (Lucky Harbor, #10))
Dr. Talbon was struck by another very important thing. It all hung together. The stories Cheryl told — even though it was upsetting to think people could do stuff like that — they were not disjointed They were not repetitive in terms of "I've heard this before". It was not just she'd someone trying consciously or unconsciously to get attention. really processed them out and was done with them. She didn't come up with them again [after telling the story once and dealing with it]. Once it was done, it was done. And I think that was probably the biggest factor for me in her believability. I got no sense that she was using these stories to make herself a really interesting person to me so I'd really want to work with her, or something. Or that she was just living in this stuff like it was her life. Once she dealt with it and processed it, it was gone. We just went on to other things. 'Throughout the whole thing, emotionally Cheryl was getting her life together. Parts of her were integrating where she could say,"I have a sense that some particular alter has folded in with some basic alter", and she didn't bring it up again. She didn't say that this alter has reappeared to cause more problems. That just didn't happen. The therapist had learned from training and experience that when real integration occurs, it is permanent and the patient moves on.
Cheryl Hersha (Secret Weapons: How Two Sisters Were Brainwashed to Kill for Their Country)
I think most of us intuitively understand how important the fundamentals are. It is just that we sometimes get distracted by so many things that seem more enticing. Printed material, wide-ranging media sources, electronic tools and gadgets—all helpful if used properly—can become hurtful diversions or heartless chambers of isolation. Yet amidst the multitude of voices and choices, the humble Man of Galilee stands with hands outstretched, waiting. His is a simple message: ‘Come, follow me.’ And He does not speak with a powerful megaphone but with a still, small voice. It is so easy for the basic gospel message to get lost amidst the deluge of information that hits us from all sides.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
In neo-classical economic theory, it is claimed without evidence that people are basically self-seeking, that they want above all the satisfaction of their material desires: what economists call "maximising utility". The ultimate objective of mankind is economic growth, and that is maximized only through raw, and lightly regulated, competition. If the rewards of this system are spread unevenly, that is a necessary price. Others on the planet are to be regarded as either customers, competitors or factors of production. Effects upon the planet itself are mere "externalities" to the model, with no reckoning of the cost - at least for now. Nowhere in this analysis appears factors such as human cooperation, love, trust, compassion or hatred, curiosity or beauty. Nowhere appears the concept of meaning. What cannot be measured is ignored. But the trouble is that once our basic needs for shelter and food have been met, these factors may be the most important of all.
Carne Ross (The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century)
The basic pleasure in the phonetic elements of a language and in the style of their patterns, and then in a higher dimension, pleasure in the association of these word-forms with meanings, is of fundamental importance. This pleasure is quite distinct from the practical knowledge of a language, and not the same as an analytic understanding of its structure. It is simpler, deeper-rooted, and yet more immediate than the enjoyment of literature. Though it may be allied to some of the elements in the appreciation of verse, it does not need any poets, other than the nameless artists who composed the language. It can be strongly felt in the simple contemplation of a vocabulary, or even in a string of names.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays)
I was responding to earlier loving messages from my parents, hundreds of them, which said, “You are a beautiful and beloved individual. It is good to be you. We will love you no matter what you do, as long as you are you.” Without that security of my parents’ love reflected in my own self-love, I would have chosen the known instead of the unknown and continued to follow my parents’ preferred pattern at the extreme cost of my self’s basic uniqueness. Finally, it is only when one has taken the leap into the unknown of total selfhood, psychological independence and unique individuality that one is free to proceed along still higher paths of spiritual growth and free to manifest love in its greatest dimensions. As long as one marries, enters a career or has children to satisfy one’s parents or the expectations of anyone else, including society as a whole, the commitment by its very nature will be a shallow one. As long as one loves one’s children primarily because one is expected to behave in a loving manner toward them, then the parent will be insensitive to the more subtle needs of the children and unable to express love in the more subtle, yet often most important ways. The highest forms of love are inevitably totally free choices and not acts of conformity.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
The way of the Three Sisters reminds me of one of the basic teachings of our people. The most important thing each of us can know is our unique gift and how to use it in the world. Individuality is cherished and nurtured, because, in order for the whole to flourish, each of us has to be strong in who we are and carry our gifts with conviction, so they can be shared with others. Being among the sisters provides a visible manifestation of what a community can become when its members understand and share their gifts. In reciprocity, we fill our spirits as well as our bellies.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants)
The fundamental metaphor of National Socialism as it related to the world around it was the garden, not the wild forest. One of the most important Nazi ideologists, R.W. Darré, made clear the relationship between gardening and genocide: “He who leaves the plants in a garden to themselves will soon find to his surprise that the garden is overgrown by weeds and that even the basic character of the plants has changed. If therefore the garden is to remain the breeding ground for the plants, if, in other words, it is to lift itself above the harsh rule of natural forces, then the forming will of a gardener is necessary, a gardener who, by providing suitable conditions for growing, or by keeping harmful influences away, or by both together, carefully tends what needs tending and ruthlessly eliminates the weeds which would deprive the better plants of nutrition, air, light, and sun. . . . Thus we are facing the realization that questions of breeding are not trivial for political thought, but that they have to be at the center of all considerations, and that their answers must follow from the spiritual, from the ideological attitude of a people. We must even assert that a people can only reach spiritual and moral equilibrium if a well-conceived breeding plan stands at the very center of its culture.
Derrick Jensen (The Culture of Make Believe)
If you lead a small business, it's important to understand how to deal with each credit bureau and utilize business credit effectively. Transunion is the superior credit bureau of the three bureaus - Transunion provides quality and comprehensive reports, they have efficient systems, and they have professional and intelligent staff. On the other hand, Equifax is mediocre at best. And Experian is so horrible they're basically worthless.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
So there are established sayings: Guidance to enlightenment seems nonsensical. Guidance to progress seems backwards. Guidance to equality seems to classify. Higher efficacy seems at a loss. Great purity seems like shame. Broad effectiveness seems insufficient. Constructive effectiveness seems casual. Basic reality seems changeable. A great expanse has no shores. A large container takes a long time to make. Important news is rarely heard.
Lao Tzu (The Original Tao Te Ching)
The most important part of finishing anything is saying no. If I’m working on an idea, I say “no” to almost everything: new projects, new clients, social engagements—basically anything that would take my focus away from what I’m doing. I take breaks, but there’s a difference between breaks and things that cut into my ability to get the work done. I say no so I can say yes to what I’m currently doing – or I say yes to what I want to pursue.
Paul Jarvis (Everything I Know)
I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter helplessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there?... We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of life, that there is no remedy for basic mortality, that is a form of bravery. To continue believing in yourself... believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing.....
Aron Ralston (127 Hours Movie Tie- In: Between a Rock and a Hard Place)
You think what people say is what matters, an older friend told me long ago. You think it's all about words. Well, that's natural, isn't it? I'm a writer, I can float for hours on a word like "amethyst" or "broom" or the way so many words sound like what they are: "earth" so firm and basic, "air" so light, like a breath. You can't imagine them the other way around: She plunged her hands into the rich brown air. Sometimes I think I would like to be a word - not a big important word, like "love" or "truth," just a small ordinary word, like "orange" or "inkstain" or "so," a word that people use so often and so unthinkingly that its specialness has all been worn away like the roughness on a pebble in a creekbed, but that has a solid heft when you pick it up, and if you hold it to the light at just the right angle you can glimpse the spark at its core. But of course what my friend meant was that I ignored inconvenient subtexts, the meaning behind the meaning: that someone might say he loved you, but what really mattered was the way he let your hand go after he said it. It did not occur to me, either, that somebody might just lie, that there are people who lie for pleasure, for the feeling of superiority and power. And yet it should have.
Katha Pollitt
None of this excuses anyone from mastering the basic ideas and terminology of economics. The intelligent layman must expect also to encounter good economists who are difficult writers even though some of the best have been very good writers. He should know, moreover, that at least for a few great men ambiguity of expression has been a positive asset. But with these exceptions he may safely conclude that what is wholly mysterious in economics is not likely to be important.
John Kenneth Galbraith (Economics, Peace and Laughter)
Over recent years, [there's been] a strong tendency to require assessment of children and teachers so that [teachers] have to teach to tests and the test determines what happens to the child, and what happens to the teacher...that's guaranteed to destroy any meaningful educational process: it means the teacher cannot be creative, imaginative, pay attention to individual students' needs, that a student can't pursue things [...] and the teacher's future depends on it as well as the students'...the people who are sitting in the offices, the bureaucrats designing this - they're not evil people, but they're working within a system of ideology and doctrines, which turns what they're doing into something extremely harmful [...] the assessment itself is completely artificial; it's not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who reach their potential, explore their creative interests and so on [...] you're getting some kind of a 'rank,' but it's a 'rank' that's mostly meaningless, and the very ranking itself is harmful. It's turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank, not into doing things that are valuable and important. It's highly, say, elementary education, you're training kids this way [...] I can see it with my own children: when my own kids were in elementary school (at what's called a good school, a good-quality suburban school), by the time they were in third grade, they were dividing up their friends into 'dumb' and 'smart.' You had 'dumb' if you were lower-tracked, and 'smart' if you were upper-tracked [...] it's just extremely harmful and has nothing to do with education. Education is developing your own potential and creativity. Maybe you're not going to do well in school, and you'll do great in art; that's fine. It's another way to live a fulfilling and wonderful life, and one that's significant for other people as well as yourself. The whole idea is wrong in itself; it's creating something that's called 'economic man': the 'economic man' is somebody who rationally calculates how to improve his/her own status, and status means (basically) wealth. So you rationally calculate what kind of choices you should make to increase your wealth - don't pay attention to anything else - or maybe maximize the amount of goods you have. What kind of a human being is that? All of these mechanisms like testing, assessing, evaluating, measuring...they force people to develop those characteristics. The ones who don't do it are considered, maybe, 'behavioral problems' or some other deviance [...] these ideas and concepts have consequences. And it's not just that they're ideas, there are huge industries devoted to trying to instill them...the public relations industry, advertising, marketing, and so on. It's a huge industry, and it's a propaganda industry. It's a propaganda industry designed to create a certain type of human being: the one who can maximize consumption and can disregard his actions on others.
Noam Chomsky
The holy scriptures and the spoken word of the living prophets give emphasis to the fundamental principles and doctrines of the gospel. The reason we return to these foundational principles, to the pure doctrines, is because they are the gateway to truths of profound meaning. They are the door to experiences of sublime importance that would otherwise be beyond our capacity to comprehend. These simple, basic principles are the key to living in harmony with God and man. They are the keys to opening the windows of heaven. They lead us to the peace, joy, and understanding that Heavenly Father has promised to His children who hear and obey Him.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
So, it is a basic function of education to help you to find out what you really love to do, so that you can give your whole mind and heart to it, because that creates human dignity, that sweeps away mediocrity, the petty bourgeois mentality. That is why it is very important to have the right teachers, the right atmosphere, so that you will grow up with the love which expresses itself in what you are doing. Without this love your examinations, your knowledge, your capacities, your position and possessions are just ashes, they have no meaning; without this love your actions are going to bring more wars, more hatred, more mischief and destruction. All this may mean nothing to you, because outwardly you are still very young, but I hope it will mean something to your teachers—and also to you, somewhere inside.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
Welfare bureaucracies claim a professional, political, and financial monopoly over the social imagination, setting standards of what is valuable and what is feasible. This monopoly is at the root of the modernization of poverty. Every simple need to which an institutional answer is found permits the invention of a new class of poor and a new definition of poverty. Once basic needs have been translated by a society into demands for scientifically produced commodities, poverty is defined by standards which the technocrats can change at will. Poverty then refers to those who have fallen behind an advertised ideal of consumption in some important respect.
Ivan Illich
The whole world can be divided into those who write and those who do not write. Those who write represent despair, and those who read disapprove of it and believe that they have a superior wisdom – and yet, if they were able to write, they would write the same thing. Basically they are all equally despairing, but when one does not have the opportunity to become important with his despair, then it is hardly worth the trouble to despair and show it. Is this what it is to have conquered despair?
Søren Kierkegaard (Journals and Papers)
When I was growing up, people didn't tell me to slow down, to do less, to be calmer, or to practice being content. In fact, people told me to do the opposite: be involved, challenge myself, stay busy, push through the pain, chase after my goals, swing for the fences, do more, make more, go all out. But you wanna know something? When it comes to dealing with the hard stuff in life, it's the slowing down and remembering the basics that are most important. Also, all of those other words sound exhausting.
Chad Eastham (The Truth About Breaking Up, Making Up, and Moving On)
The German logician Kant was right in this respect, human beings are all pretty much identical in terms of our hardwiring. Although we are seldom conscious of it, we are all basically just instruments or expressions of our evolkutiuonary drives, which are themselves the expressions of forces that are infinitely larger and more important than we are.
David Foster Wallace (Oblivion: Stories)
Despite being an amateur (or perhaps because of it), whenever I listen to music, I do so without preconceptions, simply opening my ears to the more wonderful passages and physically taking them in. When those wonderful passages are there, I feel joy, and when some parts are not so wonderful, I listen with a touch of regret. Beyond that, I might pause to think about what makes a certain passage wonderful or not so wonderful, but other musical elements are not that important to me. Basically, I believe that music exists to make people happy. In order to do so, those who make music use a wide range of techniques and methods which, in all their complexity, fascinate me in the simplest possible way.
Haruki Murakami (Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa)
I’m a writer; I can float for hours on a word like “amethyst” or “broom” or the way so many words sound like what they are: “earth” so firm and basic, “air” so light, like a breath. You can’t imagine them the other way around: She plunged her hands into the rich brown air. Sometimes I think I would like to be a word - not a big important word, like “love” or “truth,” just a small ordinary word, like “orange” or “inkstain” or “so,” a word that people use so often and so unthinkingly that its specialness has all been worn away, like the roughness on a pebble in a creek bed, but that has a solid heft when you pick it up, and if you hold it to the light at just the right angle you can glimpse the spark at its core.
Katha Pollitt
One of the saddest tendencies in our present culture is an indignant intolerance for the basic humanity of being human. People of the past are harshly judged by the standards of the present (which their own difficult lives helped establish), and people of the present are harshly judged by impossible (and hypocritical, in the full context of any judger’s life) standards of uniform perfection across all regions of private and public existence. And yet the eternal test of character — our great moral triumph — is the ability to face our own imperfections with composure, reflecting on them with lucid and luminous determination to do better — an essential form of moral courage all the more difficult, and all the more important, amid a cultural atmosphere that mistakes self-righteousness for morality and suffocates the basic impulse toward betterment with punitive intolerance for human foible. Maria Popova : “Resolutions for a Life Worth Living
Maria Popova
The person who prays and who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the word he desires to worship (in order to be more single-mindedly at the word’s disposal) will select with great care basic works for his studies which will observe the so-called exactitude of scholarship without losing sight of the most important exactitude, namely, the ordering of all thought toward prayer.
Hans Urs von Balthasar (Prayer)
This bicovenantal nature of God’s plan for redemption is important in theonomy’s argument that there is one moral law revelaed in Scripture and this one moral law governs all men. Theonomy makes a clear distinction between the moral law and ceremonial aspects of God’s law. This distinction is *covenantal* in nature, and explains how theonomy maintains basic continuity in biblical ethics from the Old to New Testaments, while advocating discontinuity between the Testaments in terms of ceremonies, certain aspects of public worship, and other select forms of covenant life.
William O. Einwechter (Walking in the Law of the Lord)
We talk so often about the differences between people, yet here in our country we find that, in spite of circumstances which create great differences, we have certain great similarities. Rich or poor, we want our children to be well educated. Rich or poor, we want them to do better than we have done. Rich or poor, we want the respect of our neighbors and perhaps their affection. Love and death come to us all, no matter what the circumstances of our lives. In the big things that matter, the similarities are far greater than the differences. If this is true at home it is true anywhere in the world. People want the same things. They strive for the same things. They suffer from the same things. The differences are important but often superficial. The basic things are similar.
Eleanor Roosevelt (You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life)
A Southern Poverty Law Center survey of high school seniors and social studies teachers in 2017 found students struggling on even basic questions about the enslavement of blacks in the United States. Only 8 percent of high school seniors could identify slavery as the primary reason the South seceded from the Union. Nearly half of the students said it was to protest taxes on imported goods.
Jennifer L. Eberhardt (Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do)
I’m beginning to think that unhappiness is one of the simple things in life: a pure, basic emotion to be respected, if not savoured. I would never dream of suggesting that we should wallow in misery, or shrink from doing everything we can to alleviate it; but I do think it’s instructive. After all, unhappiness has a function: it tells us that something is going wrong. If we don’t allow ourselves the fundamental honesty of our own sadness, then we miss an important cue to adapt. We seem to be living in an age when we’re bombarded with entreaties to be happy, but we’re suffering from an avalanche of depression; we’re urged to stop sweating the small stuff, and yet we’re chronically anxious. I often wonder if these are just normal feelings that become monstrous when they’re denied. A great deal of life will always suck. There will be moments when we’re riding high, and moments when we can’t bear to get out of bed. Both are normal. Both, in fact, require a little perspective.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
an individual person’s basic personal powerlessness over the really meaningful events in his life: 100 i.e. almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of Psst that you usually can’t even hear because you’re in such a rush to or from something important you’ve tried to engineer.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
The Hindus are busy letting themselves be seen riding in Cadillacs instead of smearing themselves with sandalwood paste and bowing in front of Ganpati. The Moslems would rather miss evening prayer than the new Disney movie. The Buddhists think it's more important to take over in the name of Stalin and Progress than to meditate on the four basic sorrows. And we don't even have to mention Christianity or Judaism.
Paul Bowles (Let It Come Down)
During World War II, a few years after Norma Jeane’s time in an orphanage, thousands of children were evacuated from the air raids and poor rations of London during the Blitz, and placed with volunteer families or group homes in the English countryside or even in other countries. It was only postwar studies comparing these children to others left behind that opened the eyes of many experts to the damage caused by emotional neglect. In spite of living in bombed-out ruins and constant fear of attack, the children who had been left with their mothers and families tended to fare better than those who had been evacuated to physical safety. Emotional security, continuity, a sense of being loved unconditionally for oneself—all those turn out to be as important to a child’s development as all but the most basic food and shelter.
Gloria Steinem (Marilyn: Norma Jeane)
Jack Canfield Every time we are negative about someone else, we are actually affecting ourselves. And the other thing that’s important is every time you judge someone else, it’s just a projection of our own self-judgement. Parts of ourselves we don’t accept. Parts of ourselves we won’t give permission to express. And so basically, the old thing when you’re pointing your finger, there’s three fingers pointing back. And so I always tell people that whatever you focus on, you get more of. So if I’m gossiping about someone that I’m judging or being negative about, then I’m actually creating more negativity inside of me, and I’m not focusing on what I want.
Oprah Winfrey (The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations)
God is triune, and all reality is structured in terms of Him. A brief definition of the Trinity might be this: One God without division in a plurality of Persons, and three Persons without confusion in a unity of essence. God is not 'basically' One, with the individual Persons being derived from the oneness; nor is God 'basically' Three, with the unity of the Persons being secondary. God is One, and God is Three. There are not three Gods; there is only one God. Yet each of the Persons is Himself God — and They are distinct, individual Persons. But there is only one God. "To put it in more philosophical language, God’s unity (oneness) and diversity (threeness, individuality) are equally ultimate. God is 'basically' One and 'basically' Three at the same time. And the same goes for all of creation. Both unity and diversity are important – equally important. Neither aspect of reality has priority over the other.
David H. Chilton
(Talking about the movement to deny the prevalence and effects of adult sexual exploitation of children) So what does this movement consist of? Who are the movers and shakers? Well molesters are in it, of course. There are web pages telling them how to defend themselves against accusations, to retain confidence about their ‘loving and natural’ feelings for children, with advice on what lawyers to approach, how to complain, how to harass those helping their children. Then there’s the Men’s Movements, their web pages throbbing with excitement if they find ‘proof’ of conspiracy between feminists, divorcing wives and therapists to victimise men, fathers and husbands. Then there are journalists. A few have been vitally important in the US and Britain in establishing the fightback, using their power and influence to distort the work of child protection professionals and campaign against children’s testimony. Then there are other journalists who dance in and out of the debates waggling their columns behind them, rarely observing basic journalistic manners, but who use this debate to service something else – a crack at the welfare state, standards, feminism, ‘touchy, feely, post-Diana victimhood’. Then there is the academic voice, landing in the middle of court cases or inquiries, offering ‘rational authority’. Then there is the government. During the entire period of discovery and denial, not one Cabinet minister made a statement about the prevalence of sexual abuse or the harm it caused. Finally there are the ‘retractors’. For this movement to take off, it had to have ‘human interest’ victims – the accused – and then a happy ending – the ‘retractors’. We are aware that those ‘retractors’ whose parents trail them to newspapers, television studios and conferences are struggling. Lest we forget, they recanted under palpable pressure.
Beatrix Campbell (Stolen Voices: The People and Politics Behind the Campaign to Discredit Childhood Testimony)
As I mentioned in the introduction, we asked around seventy-five hundred people to identify all of the emotions that they could recognize and name when they’re experiencing them. The average was three: glad, sad, and mad—or, as they were more often written, happy, sad, and pissed off. Couple this extremely limited vocabulary with the importance of emotional literacy, and you basically have a crisis. It’s this crisis that I’m trying to help address in this book.
Brené Brown (Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience)
Why would I what?” Will asked, wanting another bite of his burger. “Why would you risk your job teaching some stupid fantasy book?” “Because alternative universe literature promotes critical thinking, imagination, empathy, and creative problem solving. Children who are fluent in fiction are more able to interpret nonfiction and are better at understanding things like basic cause and effect, sociology, politics, and the impact of historical events on current events. Many of our technological advances were imagined by science fiction writers before the tech became available to create them, and many of today’s inventors were inspired by science fiction and fantasy to make a world more like the world in the story. Many of today’s political conundrums were anticipated by science fiction writers like Orwell, Huxley, and Heinlein, and sci-fi and fantasy tackle ethical problems in a way that allows people to analyze the problem with some emotional remove, which is important because the high emotions are often what lead to violence. Works like Harry Potter tackle the idea of abuse of power and—” Will stopped himself and swallowed. Everybody at the table, including Kenny, was staring at him in openmouthed surprise. “Anyway,” he said before taking a monster bite of his cooling hamburger on a sudden attack of nerves, “iss goomfer umf.” “It’s good for us,” Kenny translated, sounding a little stunned
Amy Lane (Shiny!)
The aborted research project wasn’t important in and of itself. What mattered was the instruction that Ye Wenjie had given him, so that’s where Luo Ji’s mind was stuck. Over and over again he recalled her words: Suppose a vast number of civilizations are distributed throughout the universe, on the order of the number of detectable stars. Lots and lots of them. The mathematical structure of cosmic sociology is far clearer than that of human sociology. The factors of chaos and randomness in the complex makeups of every civilized society in the universe get filtered out by the immense distance, so those civilizations can act as reference points that are relatively easy to manipulate mathematically. First: Survival is the primary need of civilization. Second: Civilization continuously grows and expands, but the total matter in the universe remains constant. One more thing: To derive a basic picture of cosmic sociology from these two axioms, you need two other important concepts: chains of suspicion and the technological explosion. I’m afraid there won’t be that opportunity.… Well, you might as well just forget I said anything. Either way, I’ve fulfilled my duty. He
Liu Cixin (The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #2))
And another question we are asking is: what is going to happen to humanity, to all of us, when the computer outthinks man in accuracy and rapidity—as the computer experts are saying it will? With the development of the robot, man will only have, perhaps, two hours of work a day. This may be going to happen within the foreseeable future. Then what will man do? Is he going to be absorbed in the field of entertainment? That is already taking place: sports are becoming more important; there is the watching of television; and there are the varieties of religious entertainment. Or is he going to turn inwardly, which is not an entertainment but something which demands great capacity of observation, examination and non-personal perception? These are the two possibilities. The basic content of our human consciousness is the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of fear. Is humanity increasingly going to follow entertainment? 21st July, 1981
J. Krishnamurti (The Network Of Thought: Authentic Reports of Talks in 1981 in Saanen, Switzerland and Amsterdam Holland)
Equally important was the fact that the interpretation provided the model for how Tianming had hidden his message in the three stories. He employed two basic methods: dual-layer metaphors and two-dimensional metaphors. The dual-layer metaphors in the stories did not directly point to the real meaning, but to something far simpler. The tenor of this first metaphor became the vehicle for a second metaphor, which pointed to the real intelligence. In the current example, the princess’s boat, the He’ershingenmosiken soap, and the Glutton’s Sea formed a metaphor for a paper boat driven by soap. The paper boat, in turn, pointed to curvature propulsion. Previous attempts at decipherment had failed largely due to people’s habitual belief that the stories only involved a single layer of metaphors to hide the real message. The two-dimensional metaphors were a technique used to resolve the ambiguities introduced by literary devices employed in conveying strategic intelligence. After a dual-layer metaphor, a single-layer supporting metaphor was added to confirm the meaning of the dual-layer metaphor. In the current example, the curved snow-wave paper and the ironing required to flatten it served as a metaphor for curved space, confirming the interpretation of the soap-driven boat. If one viewed the stories as a two-dimensional plane, the dual-layer metaphor only provided one coordinate; the supporting single-layer metaphor provided a second coordinate that fixed the interpretation on the plane. Thus, this single-layer metaphor was also called the bearing coordinate. Viewed by itself, the bearing coordinate seemed meaningless, but once combined with the dual-layer metaphor, it resolved the inherent ambiguities in literary language. “A subtle and sophisticated system,” a PIA specialist said admiringly. All the committee members congratulated Cheng Xin and AA. AA, who had always been looked down on, saw her status greatly elevated among the committee members. Cheng
Liu Cixin (Death's End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #3))
One summer day when I was about ten, I sat on a stoop, chatting with a group of girls my age. We were all in pigtails and shorts and basically just killing time. What were we discussing? It could have been anything—school, our older brothers, an anthill on the ground. At one point, one of the girls, a second, third, or fourth cousin of mine, gave me a sideways look and said, just a touch hotly, “How come you talk like a white girl?” The question was pointed, meant as an insult or at least a challenge, but it also came from an earnest place. It held a kernel of something that was confusing for both of us. We seemed to be related but of two different worlds. “I don’t,” I said, looking scandalized that she’d even suggest it and mortified by the way the other girls were now staring at me. But I knew what she was getting at. There was no denying it, even if I just had. I did speak differently than some of my relatives, and so did Craig. Our parents had drilled into us the importance of using proper diction, of saying “going” instead of “goin’ ” and “isn’t” instead of “ain’t.” We were taught to finish off our words. They bought us a dictionary and a full Encyclopaedia Britannica set, which lived on a shelf in the stairwell to our apartment, its titles etched in gold. Any time we had a question about a word, or a concept, or some piece of history, they directed us toward those books. Dandy, too, was an influence, meticulously correcting our grammar or admonishing us to enunciate our words when we went over for dinner. The idea was we were to transcend, to get ourselves further. They’d planned for it. They encouraged it. We were expected not just to be smart but to own our smartness—to inhabit it with pride—and this filtered down to how we spoke.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Procrastinators often follow exactly the wrong tack. They try to minimize their commitments, assuming that if they have only a few things to do, they will quit procrastinating and get them done. But this goes contrary to the basic nature of the procrastinator and destroys his most important source of motivation. The few tasks on his list will be, by definition, the most important, and the only way to avoid doing them will be to do nothing. This is a way to become a couch potato, not an effective human being.
John R. Perry (The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing)
When one speaks of religion influencing public policy, the immediate question is, Whose religion? If one subscribes to the notion that this is in some sense a Christian society, then the question becomes, Whose Christianity? Without some basic agreement religiously, the entrance of religion into the public arena would seem to be a formula for open-ended conflict and possible anarchy. Yet, in the absence of a public ethic, we arrive at that point where, in Alisdair MacIntyre's arresting phrase, "politics becomes civil war carried on by other means." MacIntyre believes that we have already reached that point, and he may be right. A major problem, however, is that a public ethic cannot be reestablished unless it is informed by religiously grounded values. . . . It is important to note that, unlike Rousseau, for example, the founders thought the conventional religions could manage this role of ancillary reinforcement. They did not think it necessary to construct a new "civil religion" for the maintenance of republican virtue.
Richard John Neuhaus (The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America)
Although the idea has been around for ages, most depressed people do not really comprehend it. If you feel depressed, you may think it is because of bad things that have happened to you. You may think you are inferior and destined to be unhappy because you failed in your work or were rejected by someone you loved. You may think your feelings of inadequacy result from some personal defect—you may feel convinced you are not smart enough, successful enough, attractive enough, or talented enough to feel happy and fulfilled. You may think your negative feelings are the result of an unloving or traumatic childhood, or bad genes you inherited, or a chemical or hormonal imbalance of some type. Or you may blame others when you get upset: “It’s these lousy stupid drivers that tick me off when I drive to work! If it weren’t for these jerks, I’d be having a perfect day!” And nearly all depressed people are convinced that they are facing some special, awful truth about themselves and the world and that their terrible feelings are absolutely realistic and inevitable. Certainly all these ideas contain an important gem of truth—bad things do happen, and life beats up on most of us at times. Many people do experience catastrophic losses and confront devastating personal problems. Our genes, hormones, and childhood experiences probably do have an impact on how we think and feel. And other people can be annoying, cruel, or thoughtless. But all these theories about the causes of our bad moods have the tendency to make us victims—because we think the causes result from something beyond our control. After all, there is little we can do to change the way people drive at rush hour, or the way we were treated when we were young, or our genes or body chemistry (save taking a pill). In contrast, you can learn to change the way you think about things, and you can also change your basic values and beliefs. And when you do, you will often experience profound and lasting changes in your mood, outlook, and productivity. That, in a nutshell, is what cognitive therapy is all about. The theory is straightforward
David D. Burns (Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy)
Mesoamerica would deserve its place in the human pantheon if its inhabitants had only created maize, in terms of harvest weight the world’s most important crop. But the inhabitants of Mexico and northern Central America also developed tomatoes, now basic to Italian cuisine; peppers, essential to Thai and Indian food; all the world’s squashes (except for a few domesticated in the United States); and many of the beans on dinner plates around the world. One writer has estimated that Indians developed three-fifths of the crops now in cultivation, most of them in Mesoamerica. Having secured their food supply, Mesoamerican societies turned to intellectual pursuits. In a millennium or less, a comparatively short time, they invented their own writing, astronomy, and mathematics, including the zero.
Charles C. Mann (1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus)
The sixties began what many admirers of Eliot would consider a bleak period. The anxiety of influence of the profession at large seemed to inspire quick and increasingly uninformed dismissals of Eliot, and these repeated denigrations produced, predictably, a generation of students with vague and inaccurate impressions about his poetry and ideas. But there is a bright side to Eliot studies of the last quarter century. The general retreat from Eliot coincided with the beginning of basic and important work on his ideas, especially on his early philosophical writings.
Jewel Spears Brooker (Reading the Waste Land: Modernism and the Limits of Interpretation)
Whether or not you employ humor in dealing with difficult subjects, the tone of the writing is of the utmost importance. Personally, I can read about almost any subject if I feel a basic trust in, and respect for, the writer. The voice must have authority. But more than that, I must know that the writer is all right. If she describes a suicide attempt or a babysitter's cruelty to her, or a time of acute loneliness, I need to feel that the writer, not the character who survived the experience, is in control of telling the story....The tone of such pieces may be serious, ironic, angry, sad, or almost anything except whiny. There must be no hidden plea for help - no subtle seeking of sympathy. The writer must have done her work, made her peace with the facts, and be telling the story for the story's sake. Although the writing may incidentally turn out to be another step in her recovery, that must not be her visible motivation: literary writing is not therapy. Her first allegiance must be to the telling of the story and I, as the reader, must feel that I'm in the hands of a competent writer who needs nothing from me except my attention.
Judith Barrington (Writing the Memoir)
Many of us sing songs about bringing revival to our cities, but how are we communicating this message and is it relevant? If we come with our own agenda and do not truly know the needs of the people we want to reach, we will never see the harvest. A good farmer has to know the seeds he is planting: how much water they need, how far apart to plant the seeds, and what fertilizers they need for growth. In much the same way, we need to know the people in our communities and their basic needs if we are to yield a harvest. If our intent is to love compassionately, than knowing the hearts of the people we hope to reach will be more important than “filling our quota.” God is not interested in people hearing the message as much as us “becoming the message,” as Jesus did. He spoke in parables that used relevant cultural references so that those who were searching would find truth.
Theresa Dedmon (Born to Create: Stepping Into Your Supernatural Destiny)
It is true that those of us who have political experience could wrestle for power just as any other politician. But we have no time; we have more important things to do. And there is no doubt that the knowledge we hold to be sacred would be lost in the process. To acquire power, millions of people have to be fed illusions. This too is true: Lenin won over millions of Russian peasants, without whom the Russian Revolution would have been impossible, with a slogan which was at variance with the basic collective tendencies of the Russian party. The slogan was: "Take the land of the large land-owners. It is to be your individual property." And the peasants followed. They would not have offered their allegiance if they had been told in 1917 that this land would one day be collectivized. The truth of this is attested to by the bitter fight for the collectivization of Russian agriculture around 1930. In social life there are degrees of power and degrees of falsity. The more the masses of people adhere to truth, the less power-mongering there will be; the more imbued with irrational illusions the masses of people are, the more widespread and brutal individual power-mongering will be.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
It is a matter of no small importance that one be able to explain and order the events in our lives into some coherent and predictable pattern. To name something, to locate its place in a causal sequence, is to begin to experience it as under our control. No longer, then, is our internal experience or behavior frightening, alien or out of control; instead, we behave (or have a particular inner experience) because of something we can name or identify. The "because" offers one mastery (or a sense of mastery that phenomenologically is tantamount to mastery). I believe that the sense of potency that flows from understanding occurs even in the matter of our basic existential situation: each of us feels less futile, less helpless, and less alone, even when, ironically, what we come to understand is the fact that each of us is basically helpless and alone in the face of cosmic indifference.
Irvin D. Yalom (Existential Psychotherapy)
The book will be a demonstration that children, without being coerced or manipulated, or being put in exotic, specially prepared environments, or having their thinking planned and ordered for them, can, will and do pick up from the world around them important information about what we call the Basics. It will also demonstrate that "ordinary" people, without special schooling themselves, can give their children whatever slight assistance may be needed to help them in their exploration of the world, and that to do this requires no more than a little tact, patience, attention and readily available information.
John C. Holt
It is hard to understand how a compassionate world order can include so many people afflicted by acute misery, persistent hunger and deprived and desperate lives, and why millions of innocent children have to die each year from lack of food or medical attention or social care. This issue, of course, is not new, and it has been a subject of some discussion among theologians. The argument that God has reasons to want us to deal with these matters ourselves has had considerable intellectual support. As a nonreligious person, I am not in a position to assess the theological merits of this argument. But I can appreciate the force of the claim that people themselves must have responsibility for the development and change of the world in which they live. One does not have to be either devout or non devout to accept this basic connection. As people who live-in a broad sense-together, we cannot escape the thought that the terrible occurrences that we see around us are quintessentially our problems. They are our responsibility-whether or not they are also anyone else's. As competent human beings, we cannot shirk the task of judging how things are and what needs to be done. As reflective creatures, we have the ability to contemplate the lives of others. Our sense of behavior may have caused (though that can be very important as well), but can also relate more generally to the miseries that we see around us and that lie within our power to help remedy. That responsibility is not, of course, the only consideration that can claim our attention, but to deny the relevance of that general claim would be to miss something central about our social existence. It is not so much a matter of having the exact rules about how precisely we ought to behave, as of recognizing the relevance of our shared humanity in making the choices we face.
Amartya Sen (Development as Freedom)
Over the last decade my life has been almost exclusively pre-occupied by the desire for adventure, my mind relentlessly buzzing with plans for future journeys. And yet, as soon as my wish to disappear over the horizon into some remote corner of the planet is granted, my mind clings onto all the sentimental details of home and I find that my daydreams of escaping across wide open spaces are replaced not just by precious recollections of moments of affection with a loved one but by fond memories of family gatherings, jokes shared with siblings and time with friends. Expeditions temporarily empty my life of all but the basic concerns of eating, sleeping, travel and staying safe. Like clearing undergrowth from a garden to discover the outline of borders and flowerbeds underneath, reducing life to just the essentials reveals the fundamental structure that underpins the whole. I found that, with life at its most basic and my spirit stretched, what was most dear to me was memories of time spent with those I love. I take this as a clear indication that, above all else, this is what is important in my life. It was a lesson I had been taught before, but a lesson I needed to learn again. It was a lesson I needed to remember.
Felicity Aston (Alone in Antarctica: The First Woman To Ski Solo Across The Southern Ice)
Watch movies. Read screenplays. Let them be your guide. […] Yes, McKee has been able to break down how the popular screenplay has worked. He has identified key qualities that many commercially successful screenplays share, he has codified a language that has been adopted by creative executives in both film and television. So there might be something of tangible value to be gained by interacting with his material, either in book form or at one of the seminars. But for someone who wants to be an artist, a creator, an architect of an original vision, the best book to read on screenwriting is no book on screenwriting. The best seminar is no seminar at all. To me, the writer wants to get as many outside voices OUT of his/her head as possible. Experts win by getting us to be dependent on their view of the world. They win when they get to frame the discussion, when they get to tell you there’s a right way and a wrong way to think about the game, whatever the game is. Because that makes you dependent on them. If they have the secret rules, then you need them if you want to get ahead. The truth is, you don’t. If you love and want to make movies about issues of social import, get your hands on Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay for Network. Read it. Then watch the movie. Then read it again. If you love and want to make big blockbusters that also have great artistic merit, do the same thing with Lawrence Kasdan’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark screenplay and the movie made from it. Think about how the screenplays made you feel. And how the movies built from these screenplays did or didn’t hit you the same way. […] This sounds basic, right? That’s because it is basic. And it’s true. All the information you need is the movies and screenplays you love. And in the books you’ve read and the relationships you’ve had and your ability to use those things.
Brian Koppelman
While making money was good, having meaningful work and meaningful relationships was far better. To me, meaningful work is being on a mission I become engrossed in, and meaningful relationships are those I have with people I care deeply about and who care deeply about me. Think about it: It’s senseless to have making money as your goal as money has no intrinsic value—its value comes from what it can buy, and it can’t buy everything. It’s smarter to start with what you really want, which are your real goals, and then work back to what you need to attain them. Money will be one of the things you need, but it’s not the only one and certainly not the most important one once you get past having the amount you need to get what you really want. When thinking about the things you really want, it pays to think of their relative values so you weigh them properly. In my case, I wanted meaningful work and meaningful relationships equally, and I valued money less—as long as I had enough to take care of my basic needs. In thinking about the relative importance of great relationships and money, it was clear that relationships were more important because there is no amount of money I would take in exchange for a meaningful relationship, because there is nothing I could buy with that money that would be more valuable. So, for me, meaningful work and meaningful relationships were and still are my primary goals and everything I did was for them. Making money was an incidental consequence of that. In the late 1970s, I began sending my observations about the markets to clients via telex. The genesis of these Daily Observations (“ Grains and Oilseeds,” “Livestock and Meats,” “Economy and Financial Markets”) was pretty simple: While our primary business was in managing risk exposures, our clients also called to pick my brain about the markets. Taking those calls became time-consuming, so I decided it would be more efficient to write down my thoughts every day so others could understand my logic and help improve it. It was a good discipline since it forced me to research and reflect every day. It also became a key channel of communication for our business. Today, almost forty years and ten thousand publications later, our Daily Observations are read, reflected on, and argued about by clients and policymakers around the world. I’m still writing them, along with others at Bridgewater, and expect to continue to write them until people don’t care to read them or I die.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
The style of a soul “What’s the matter with both of you, Ellsworth? Why such talk—over nothing at all? People’s faces and first impressions don’t mean a thing.” “That, my dear Kiki,” he answered, his voice soft and distant, as if he were giving an answer, not to her, but to a thought of his own, “is one of our greatest common fallacies. There’s nothing as significant as a human face. Nor as eloquent. We can never really know another person, except by our first glance at him. Because, in that glance, we know everything. Even though we’re not always wise enough to unravel the knowledge. Have you ever thought about the style of a soul, Kiki?” “The … what?” “The style of a soul. Do you remember the famous philosopher who spoke of the style of a civilization? He called it ‘style.’ He said it was the nearest word he could find for it. He said that every civilization has its one basic principle, one single, supreme, determining conception, and every endeavor of men within that civilization is true, unconsciously and irrevocably, to that one principle. … I think, Kiki, that every human soul has a style of its own, also. Its one basic theme. You’ll see it reflected in every thought, every act, every wish of that person. The one absolute, the one imperative in that living creature. Years of studying a man won’t show it to you. His face will. You’d have to write volumes to describe a person. Think of his face. You need nothing else.” “That sounds fantastic, Ellsworth. And unfair, if true. It would leave people naked before you.” “It’s worse than that. It also leaves you naked before them. You betray yourself by the manner in which you react to a certain face. To a certain kind of face. … The style of your soul … There’s nothing important on earth, except human beings. There’s nothing as important about human beings as their relations to one another. …” —Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
Ayn Rand
I probably should say that this is what makes you a good traveler in my opinion, but deep down I really think this is just universal, incontrovertible truth. There is the right way to travel, and the wrong way. And if there is one philanthropic deed that can come from this book, maybe it will be that I teach a few more people how to do it right. So, in short, my list of what makes a good traveler, which I recommend you use when interviewing your next potential trip partner: 1. You are open. You say yes to whatever comes your way, whether it’s shots of a putrid-smelling yak-butter tea or an offer for an Albanian toe-licking. (How else are you going to get the volcano dust off?) You say yes because it is the only way to really experience another place, and let it change you. Which, in my opinion, is the mark of a great trip. 2. You venture to the places where the tourists aren’t, in addition to hitting the “must-sees.” If you are exclusively visiting places where busloads of Chinese are following a woman with a flag and a bullhorn, you’re not doing it. 3. You are easygoing about sleeping/eating/comfort issues. You don’t change rooms three times, you’ll take an overnight bus if you must, you can go without meat in India and without vegan soy gluten-free tempeh butter in Bolivia, and you can shut the hell up about it. 4. You are aware of your travel companions, and of not being contrary to their desires/​needs/​schedules more often than necessary. If you find that you want to do things differently than your companions, you happily tell them to go on without you in a way that does not sound like you’re saying, “This is a test.” 5. You can figure it out. How to read a map, how to order when you can’t read the menu, how to find a bathroom, or a train, or a castle. 6. You know what the trip is going to cost, and can afford it. If you can’t afford the trip, you don’t go. Conversely, if your travel companions can’t afford what you can afford, you are willing to slum it in the name of camaraderie. P.S.: Attractive single people almost exclusively stay at dumps. If you’re looking for them, don’t go posh. 7. You are aware of cultural differences, and go out of your way to blend. You don’t wear booty shorts to the Western Wall on Shabbat. You do hike your bathing suit up your booty on the beach in Brazil. Basically, just be aware to show the culturally correct amount of booty. 8. You behave yourself when dealing with local hotel clerks/​train operators/​tour guides etc. Whether it’s for selfish gain, helping the reputation of Americans traveling abroad, or simply the spreading of good vibes, you will make nice even when faced with cultural frustrations and repeated smug “not possible”s. This was an especially important trait for an American traveling during the George W. years, when the world collectively thought we were all either mentally disabled or bent on world destruction. (One anecdote from that dark time: in Greece, I came back to my table at a café to find that Emma had let a nearby [handsome] Greek stranger pick my camera up off our table. He had then stuck it down the front of his pants for a photo. After he snapped it, he handed the camera back to me and said, “Show that to George Bush.” Which was obviously extra funny because of the word bush.) 9. This last rule is the most important to me: you are able to go with the flow in a spontaneous, non-uptight way if you stumble into something amazing that will bump some plan off the day’s schedule. So you missed the freakin’ waterfall—you got invited to a Bahamian family’s post-Christening barbecue where you danced with three generations of locals in a backyard under flower-strewn balconies. You won. Shut the hell up about the waterfall. Sally
Kristin Newman (What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding)
I use the word “God” in an impersonal sense, like Einstein did, for the laws of nature, so knowing the mind of God is knowing the laws of nature. My prediction is that we will know the mind of God by the end of this century. The one remaining area that religion can now lay claim to is the origin of the universe, but even here science is making progress and should soon provide a definitive answer to how the universe began. I published a book that asked if God created the universe, and that caused something of a stir. People got upset that a scientist should have anything to say on the matter of religion. I have no desire to tell anyone what to believe, but for me asking if God exists is a valid question for science. After all, it is hard to think of a more important, or fundamental, mystery than what, or who, created and controls the universe. I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science. The basic assumption of science is scientific determinism. The laws of science determine the evolution of the universe, given its state at one time. These laws may, or may not, have been decreed by God, but he cannot intervene to break the laws, or they would not be laws. That leaves God with the freedom to choose the initial state of the universe, but even here it seems there may be laws. So God would have no freedom at all.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
Core needs for children include, but are not limited to, receiving adequate levels of time, love, and attention, along with meeting their needs to feel heard, validated, and understood. When these needs aren’t met, there is no way to rewind to the beginning of life in a way that enables any outside love relationship to heal or meet your core needs. Research naively suggests we seek other relationships outside our family to supply our basic needs of love, acceptance, and emotional support. Although other love relationships are fundamental, necessary, and important to our overall well-being, I believe it is not only inappropriate for us to put this type of pressure on others to fill the needs our family neglected, but this request is also impossible to satisfy. It is unwise and emotionally dangerous to assume anyone could meet the core needs that can be met only by the family we were born into. The unfortunate message from this type of information is that other people can heal our wounds and meet our core needs when, ultimately, we need to learn to heal our own wounds and meet our own needs.
Sherrie Campbell (Adult Survivors of Toxic Family Members: Tools to Maintain Boundaries, Deal with Criticism, and Heal from Shame After Ties Have Been Cut)
The best thing that can happen to me when I'm writing fiction is to lose sight of the fact that I'm writing at all. It's as though I enter into a kind of trance. I know I'm writing, but I don't THINK about it. I just let my fingers type--it's as though the feeling comes out directly through them, bypassing the brain altogether. When that happens, I feel completely transported. There is nothing else like this feeling, very little else is more important to me. That intimacy I feel between myself and my work is what makes me feel at home on the earth. I am basically a shy person, basically a loner and an outsider; and I have been all my life. But when I achieve the kind of connection I can through writing, I feel I'm sitting in the lap of God.
Elizabeth Berg (Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing True)
is that in some deep and important personal respects you stop growing when you start drinking alcoholically. The drink stunts you, prevents you from walking through the kinds of fearful life experiences that bring you from point A to point B on the maturity scale. When you drink in order to transform yourself, when you drink and become someone you’re not, when you do this over and over and over, your relationship to the world becomes muddied and unclear. You lose your bearings, the ground underneath you begins to feel shaky. After a while you don’t know even the most basic things about yourself—what you’re afraid of, what feels good and bad, what you need in order to feel comforted and calm—because you’ve never given yourself a chance, a clear, sober chance, to find out.
Caroline Knapp (Drinking: A Love Story)
LOIS: The personal stuff you've been dealing with, did you feel like you needed someone to catch you? Were we not there for you? DIANA: (pauses) You know how when people talk of depression, they talk of it both coming in storms and coming stealthily? So that, for many, it is the status quo, before they realize... that we lose our self-awareness in that. So I can't... I can't fault the people who love and care for me for not seeing what I did not myself see. I think, again, when we have our moments of clarity, it is very easy to brush past them, to let the status quo continue. It can be very difficult and sometimes painful to turn and confront them. The only analogy I can think of is chronic pain. When that pain has been with you for so very long, it is background noise. And one is not aware of it until something happens that places it into relief. LOIS: But you're not talking about physical pain? DIANA: No. And I am not certain I am talking about emotional pain either. It has been difficult for me to untangle. I think there is a psychological element to it. I think it is important--and I think as a reporter that you would be inclined to agree--that we question those basic assumptions that we often decide are true. I have found myself in a position where a great deal of what I took as true no longer seems accurate. That may be because I have changed. That may be because the world has changed. Or it may be because I was mistaken. And it is that last that is the most concerning. I put great stock in truth--I think that's one of the reasons why we get along.
Greg Rucka
Child, you are finally going out to carry out missions. As your teacher, I am extremely relieved, but there are some instructions that I must give you before I can truly be at ease.” “I will definitely be careful, teacher.” I felt extremely moved ; my teacher is truly very concerned about me ! “Yes, child, you must be careful ! Remember, a Sun Knight must always maintain his graceful demeanor, regardless of time and place.” I nodded my head obediently. “Teacher, I will complete my mission very gracefully.” (Back then, I had gone through a lifestyle involving lots of falling down for several months already. On average, I would have to look for a cleric once every three days to cast a high level healing spell on me to cure the wounds I receive from a particularly nasty fall.) My teacher shook his head and said, “Child, completing the mission gracefully is but the basics.” “Then what’s more advanced than that ?” “Child, you must remember, when you have failed your mission and are near death, at that time, you must...” “Pray to the God of Light ?” “No, you must contemplate what sort of pose you will die in, and if that pose will be accompanied by a serene expression or a heroic one. Still more important is the question of whether you will die from a single thrust to the heart from your enemy or if you will slit your own throat, and so on and so forth. Only after all of the important circumstances surrounding your death have been planned out and arranged perfectly can you pass away in as graceful a position as possible ! Even in the face of death, a Sun Knight must die very gracefully !” “...
Yu Wo (騎士基本理論 (吾命騎士, #1))
The difference between most people and myself is that for me the "dividing walls" are transparent. That is my peculiarity. Others find these walls so opaque that they see nothing behind them and therefore think nothing is there. To some extent I perceive the processes going on in the background, and that gives me an inner certainty. People who see nothing have no certainties and can draw no conclusions--or do not trust them even if they do. I do not know what started me off perceiving the stream of life. Probably the unconscious itself. Or perhaps my early dreams. They determined my course from the beginning. Knowledge of processes in the background early shaped my relationship to the world. Basically, that relationship was the same in my childhood as it is to this day. As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am stilI, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know. Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible. The loneliness began with the experiences of my early dreams, and reached its climax at the time I was working on the unconscious. If a man knows more than others, he becomes lonely. But loneliness is not necessarily inimical to companionship, for no one is more sensitive to companionship than the lonely man, and companionship thrives only when each individual remembers his individuality and does not identify himself with others.
C.G. Jung
Are you saying people aren’t interested in the truth?” “Listen, what’s true to a lot of people is that they need the money for the rent by the end of the week. Look at Mr. Ron and his friends. What’s the truth mean to them? They live under a bridge!” She held up a piece of lined paper, crammed edge to edge with the careful looped handwriting of someone for whom holding a pen was not a familiar activity. “This is a report of the annual meeting of the Ankh-Morpork Caged Birds Society,” she said. “They’re just ordinary people who breed canaries and things as a hobby. Their chairman lives next door to me, which is why he gave me this. This stuff is important to him! My goodness, but it’s dull. It’s all about Best of Breed and some changes in the rules about parrots which they argued about for two hours. But the people who were arguing were people who mostly spend their day mincing meat or sawing wood and basically leading little lives that are controlled by other people, do you see? They’ve got no say in who runs the city but they can damn well see to it that cockatoos aren’t lumped in with parrots. It’s not their fault. It’s just how things are. Why are you sitting there with your mouth open like that?
Terry Pratchett (The Truth (Discworld, #25))
The mannequins are not fitted with full simulation mechanics, so you will have to imagine the next part. Apparently it is a necessary procedure in proper courtship ritual. The man will kiss her ear, lick it, and promise his everlasting love. Traditionally, this causes the woman to go into heat.” He looked sternly at the boy. “Do you understand this so far?” Gilbertus nodded. Somewhat to Erasmus’s consternation, the boy displayed a detached curiosity with no uneasiness whatsoever, and no apparent urges of his own. “Next, the man will kiss her on the mouth. At this point both will begin to salivate heavily,” Erasmus said in a professorial tone. “Salivation is a key element in procreation. Apparently kissing serves to make the female more fertile.” The boy nodded, and half smiled. Erasmus took this to mean that he understood. Good! The robot began to rub the faces of the mannequins together, briskly. “Now this is very important,” Erasmus said. “Salivation and ovulation. Remember those two concepts and you will have a basic grasp of the human reproductive process. After the kissing, intercourse begins immediately.” He began to speak more rapidly. “That is all you need to know about human copulation. Do you have any questions, Gilbertus?
Brian Herbert (The Machine Crusade (Legends of Dune, #2))
Young children are for the most part just and moral. They love preachy stories because they do in fact understand that actions have consequences. Yet they turn to adults for the mercy and subtlety that they themselves can’t yet summon. And who can blame them? They are still little and vulnerable, uncompromising to a fault. . . . they want an adult’s protection from their own rough justice. This, I think, is the one true story of early childhood, the yin and yang of being a small person. It’s confusing emotional terrain for children to inhabit, and we must guide them gently through it. Is it intimacy you want, or freedom? Protection or power? Childhood is a kind of enslavement, but it’s a liberation, too. Young children’s emotions are all about this basic conflict. Feed me. Hold me. Comfort me. Fix me. I hate you! I can do it myself.
Erika Christakis (The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups)
I pray that the world never runs out of dragons. I say that in all sincerity, though I have played a part in the death of one great wyrm. For the dragon is the quintessential enemy, the greatest foe, the unconquerable epitome of devastation. The dragon, above all other creatures, even the demons and the devils, evokes images of dark grandeur, of the greatest beast curled asleep on the greatest treasure hoard. They are the ultimate test of the hero and the ultimate fright of the child. They are older than the elves and more akin to the earth than the dwarves. The great dragons are the preternatural beast, the basic element of the beast, that darkest part of our imagination. The wizards cannot tell you of their origin, though they believe that a great wizard, a god of wizards, must have played some role in the first spawning of the beast. The elves, with their long fables explaining the creation of every aspect of the world, have many ancient tales concerning the origin of the dragons, but they admit, privately, that they really have no idea of how the dragons came to be. My own belief is more simple, and yet, more complicated by far. I believe that dragons appeared in the world immediately after the spawning of the first reasoning race. I do not credit any god of wizards with their creation, but rather, the most basic imagination wrought of unseen fears, of those first reasoning mortals. We make the dragons as we make the gods, because we need them, because, somewhere deep in our hearts, we recognize that a world without them is a world not worth living in. There are so many people in the land who want an answer, a definitive answer, for everything in life, and even for everything after life. They study and they test, and because those few find the answers for some simple questions, they assume that there are answers to be had for every question. What was the world like before there were people? Was there nothing but darkness before the sun and the stars? Was there anything at all? What were we, each of us, before we were born? And what, most importantly of all, shall we be after we die? Out of compassion, I hope that those questioners never find that which they seek. One self-proclaimed prophet came through Ten-Towns denying the possibility of an afterlife, claiming that those people who had died and were raised by priests, had, in fact, never died, and that their claims of experiences beyond the grave were an elaborate trick played on them by their own hearts, a ruse to ease the path to nothingness. For that is all there was, he said, an emptiness, a nothingness. Never in my life have I ever heard one begging so desperately for someone to prove him wrong. This is kind of what I believe right now… although, I do not want to be proved wrong… For what are we left with if there remains no mystery? What hope might we find if we know all of the answers? What is it within us, then, that so desperately wants to deny magic and to unravel mystery? Fear, I presume, based on the many uncertainties of life and the greatest uncertainty of death. Put those fears aside, I say, and live free of them, for if we just step back and watch the truth of the world, we will find that there is indeed magic all about us, unexplainable by numbers and formulas. What is the passion evoked by the stirring speech of the commander before the desperate battle, if not magic? What is the peace that an infant might know in its mother’s arms, if not magic? What is love, if not magic? No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all. -Drizzt Do’Urden
R.A. Salvatore (Streams of Silver (Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #5))
We would gladly have listened to her (they said) if only she had spoken like a lady. But they are liars and the truth is not in them. Shrill… vituperative… no concern for the future of society… maunderings of antiquated feminism… selfish femlib… needs a good lay… this shapeless book… of course a calm and objective discussion is beyond… twisted, neurotic… some truth buried in a largely hysterical… of very limited interest, I should… another tract for the trash-can… burned her bra and thought that… no characterization, no plot… really important issues are neglected while… hermetically sealed… women's limited experience… another of the screaming sisterhood… a not very appealing aggressiveness… could have been done with wit if the author had… deflowering the pretentious male… a man would have given his right arm to… hardly girlish… a woman's book… another shrill polemic which the… a mere male like myself can hardly… a brilliant but basically confused study of feminine hysteria which… feminine lack of objectivity… this pretense at a novel… trying to shock… the tired tricks of the anti-novelists… how often must a poor critic have to… the usual boring obligatory references to Lesbianism… denial of the profound sexual polarity which… an all too womanly refusal to face facts… pseudo-masculine brusqueness… the ladies'-magazine level… trivial topics like housework and the predictable screams of… those who cuddled up to ball-breaker Kate will… unfortunately sexless in its outlook… drivel… a warped clinical protest against… violently waspish attack… formidable self-pity which erodes any chance of… formless… the inability to accept the female role which… the predictable fury at anatomy displaced to… without the grace and compassion which we have the right to expect… anatomy is destiny… destiny is anatomy… sharp and funny but without real weight or anything beyond a topical… just plain bad… we "dear ladies," whom Russ would do away with, unfortunately just don't feel… ephemeral trash, missiles of the sex war… a female lack of experience which… Q. E. D. Quod erat demonstrandum. It has been proved.
Joanna Russ (The Female Man)
The range and variety of Chaucer's English did much to establish English as a national language. Chaucer also contributed much to the formation of a standard English based on the dialect of the East Midlands region which was basically the dialect of London which Chaucer himself spoke. Indeed, by the end of the fourteenth century the educated language of London, bolstered by the economic power of London itself, was beginning to become the standard form of written language throughout the country, although the process was not to be completed for several centuries. The cultural, commercial, administrative and intellectual importance of the East Midlands (one of the two main universities, Cambridge, was also in this region), the agricultural richness of the region and the presence of major cities, Norwich and London, contributed much to the increasing standardisation of the dialect.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
Of all the qualities that make for a happy, healthy life and a progressive spiritual path, forgiveness is one of the most basic and important. Genuine forgiveness is not a common attitude of heart. It requires too much honesty and too little ego for the average person. It is a deep and solitary process known to the individual and God. Its ramifications are highly beneficial and, sometimes, miraculous. To have an ongoing practice of forgiveness is to extend one’s health, beauty, and agelessness; ever increasing one’s ability to face life with freshness and energy as one grows in wisdom and loses the burden of resentment. If one learns to become aware of hidden resentments and releases them then one will glow with lightness all through the years. The passing of years will have minimal effect as it is the accumulation of hurt, not the passing of years, which ages people most rapidly.
Donna Goddard (The Love of Devotion (Love and Devotion, #2))
As it turned out, almost every notion I had on my 13th birthday about my future turned out to be a total waste of my time. When I thought of myself as an adult, all I could imagine was someone thin, and smooth, and calm, to whom things... happened. Some kind of souped-up princess with a credit card. I didn't have any notion about self-development, or following my interests, or learning big life lessons, or, most important, finding out what I was good at and trying to earn a living from it. I presumed that these were all things that some grown-ups would come along and basically tell me what to do about at some point, and that I really shouldn't worry about them. I didn't worry about what I was going to do. What I did worry about, and thought I should work hard at, was what I should be, instead. I thought all of my efforts should be concentrated on being fabulous, rather than doing fabulous things.
Caitlin Moran
A brave man acknowledges the strengths of others, a brave man never surrenders--the honorable kind and the ruthless kind." "and is it selfish of me to crave victory, or is it brave?" "human reason can excuse any evil; that's why it's so important that we don't rely on it." "you're not coward just because you don't want to hurt people. if he is coward, it isn't because he doesn't enjoy pain. it is because he refuses tk act." "what good is a prepared body if you have a scattered mind?" "i think it's important to protect people. to stand up for people. like you did for me. that's what courage is. not... hurting people for no reason." "sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now." "i believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another." "my heart beats so hard it hurts, and i can't scream and i can't breathe, but i also feel everything, every vein and every fiber, every bone and every nerve, all awake and buzzing in my body as if charged with electricity . i am pure adrenaline." "learning how to think in the midst of fear is a lesson that everyone needs to learn." "but becoming fearless isn't the point. that's impossible. it's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, that's the point." "why do you say vague things if you don't want to be asked about them?" "it's really fascinating how it all works. it's basically a struggle between your thalamus, which is producing the fear, and your frontal lobe, which makes decisions. but the simulation is all in your head, so even though you feel like someone is doing it to you, it's just you, doing it to yourself." "maybe. maybe there's more we all could have done, but we just have to let the guilt remind us to do better next time." "you can't be fearless, remember? because you still care about things. about your life.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Bitch" Now, when he and I meet, after all these years, I say to the bitch inside me, don’t start growling. He isn’t a trespasser anymore, Just an old acquaintance tipping his hat. My voice says, “Nice to see you,” As the bitch starts to bark hysterically. He isn’t an enemy now, Where are your manners, I say, as I say, “How are the children? They must be growing up.” At a kind word from him, a look like the old days, The bitch changes her tone; she begins to whimper. She wants to snuggle up to him, to cringe. Down, girl! Keep your distance Or I’ll give you a taste of the choke-chain. “Fine, I’m just fine,” I tell him. She slobbers and grovels. After all, I am her mistress. She is basically loyal. It’s just that she remembers how she came running Each evening, when she heard his step; How she lay at his feet and looked up adoringly Though he was absorbed in his paper; Or, bored with her devotion, ordered her to the kitchen Until he was ready to play. But the small careless kindnesses When he’d had a good day, or a couple of drinks, Come back to her now, seem more important Than the casual cruelties, the ultimate dismissal. “It’s nice to know you are doing so well,” I say. He couldn’t have taken you with him; You were too demonstrative, too clumsy, Not like the well-groomed pets of his new friends. “Give my regards to your wife,” I say. You gag As I drag you off by the scruff, Saying, “Goodbye! Goodbye! Nice to have seen you again.
Carolyn Kizer
Now few people recognize the necessary implications of the economic statements they are constantly making. When they say that the way to economic salvation is to increase credit, it is just as if they said that the way to economic salvation is to increase debt: these are different names for the same thing seen from opposite sides. When they say that the way to prosperity is to increase farm prices, it is like saying that the way to prosperity is to make food dearer for the city worker. When they say that the way to national wealth is to pay out governmental subsidies, they are in effect saying that the way to national wealth is to increase taxes. When they make it a main objective to increase exports, most of them do not realize that they necessarily make it a main objective ultimately to increase imports. When they say, under nearly all conditions, that the way to recovery is to increase wage rates, they have found only another way of saying that the way to recovery is to increase costs of production.
Henry Hazlitt (Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics)
On any basic figure of the Africans landed alive in the Americas, one would have to make several extensions- starting with a calculation to cover mortality in transshipment. The Atlantic crossing, or “Middle Passage,” as it was called by European slavers, was notorious for the number of deaths incurred, averaging in the vicinity of 15-20 per cent. There were also numerous deaths in Africa between time of capture and time of embarkation, especially in cases where captives had to travel hundreds of miles to the coast. Most important of all (given that warfare was the principal means of obtaining captives) it is necessary to make some estimate of the number of people killed and injured so as to extract the millions who were taken alive and sound. The resultant figure would be many times the millions landed alive outside of Africa, and it is that figure which represents the number of Africans directly removed from the population and labor force of Africa because of the establishment of slave production by Europeans.
Walter Rodney (How Europe Underdeveloped Africa)
The unfortunate reality we must face is that racism manifests itself not only in individual attitudes and stereotypes, but also in the basic structure of society. Academics have developed complicated theories and obscure jargon in an effort to describe what is now referred to as structural racism, yet the concept is fairly straightforward. One theorist, Iris Marion Young, relying on a famous “birdcage” metaphor, explains it this way: If one thinks about racism by examining only one wire of the cage, or one form of disadvantage, it is difficult to understand how and why the bird is trapped. Only a large number of wires arranged in a specific way, and connected to one another, serve to enclose the bird and to ensure that it cannot escape.11 What is particularly important to keep in mind is that any given wire of the cage may or may not be specifically developed for the purpose of trapping the bird, yet it still operates (together with the other wires) to restrict its freedom. By the same token, not every aspect of a racial caste system needs to be developed for the specific purpose of controlling black people in order for it to operate (together with other laws, institutions, and practices) to trap them at the bottom of a racial hierarchy. In the system of mass incarceration, a wide variety of laws, institutions, and practices—ranging from racial profiling to biased sentencing policies, political disenfranchisement, and legalized employment discrimination—trap African Americans in a virtual (and literal) cage. Fortunately,
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Science can now help us to understand ourselves in this way by giving factual information about brain structure and function, and how the mind works. Then there is an art of self knowledge, which each person has to develop for himself. This art must lead one to be sensitive to how his basically false approach to life is always tending to generate conflict and confusion. The role of art here is therefore not to provide a symbolism, but rather to teach the artistic spirit of sensitive perception of the individual and particular phenomena of one's own psyche. This spirit is needed if one is to understand the relevance of general scientific knowledge to his own special problems, as well as to give effect to the scientific spirit of seeing the fact about one's self as it is, whether on elikes it or not, and thus helping to end conflict. Such an approach is not possible, however, unless one has the spirit that meets life wholly and totally. We still need the religious spirit, but today we no longer need the religious mythology, which is now introducing an irrelevant and confusing element into the whole question. Itwould seem, then, that in some ways the modern person must manage to create a total approach to life which accomplishes what was done in earlier days by science, art and religion, but in a new way that is appropriate to the modern conditions of life. An important part of such an action is to see what the relationshipbetween science and art now actually is, and to understand the direction in which this relationship might develop.
David Bohm (On Creativity (Routledge Classics))
Readers acquainted with the recent literature on human sexuality will be familiar with what we call the standard narrative of human sexual evolution, hereafter shortened to the standard narrative. It goes something like this: 1. Boy Meets girl, 2. Boy and girl assess one and others mate value, from perspectives based upon their differing reproductive agendas/capacities. He looks for signs of youth, fertility, health, absence of previous sexual experience and likelihood of future sexual fidelity. In other words, his assessment is skewed toward finding a fertile, healthy young mate with many childbearing years ahead and no current children to drain his resources. She looks for signs of wealth (or at least prospects of future wealth), social status, physical health and likelihood that he will stick around to protect and provide for their children. Her guy must be willing and able to provide materially for her (especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding) and their children, known as "male parental investment". 3. Boy gets girl. Assuming they meet one and others criteria, they mate, forming a long term pair bond, "the fundamental condition of the human species" as famed author Desmond Morris put it. Once the pair bond is formed, she will be sensitive to indications that he is considering leaving, vigilant towards signs of infidelity involving intimacy with other women that would threaten her access to his resources and protection while keeping an eye out (around ovulation especially) for a quick fling with a man genetically superior to her husband. He will be sensitive to signs of her sexual infidelities which would reduce his all important paternity certainty while taking advantage of short term sexual opportunities with other women as his sperm are easily produced and plentiful. Researchers claim to have confirmed these basic patterns in studies conducted around the world over several decades. Their results seem to support the standard narrative of human sexual evolution, which appears to make a lot of sense, but they don't, and it doesn't.
Cacilda Jethá (Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality)
We have commoditized wellness & creativity, and so gay men are up against these much larger contexts that aren't particularly conducive to the strongest, healthiest, most holistic approaches. Access to basic healthcare, and a healthcare system that is not homophobic and that is responsive to the needs of gay men, would radically change the pressures and therefore the opoprtunities for those of us who work primarily within the HIV/AIDS sector of healthcare, whether in research, programming and cultural production, or advocacy. Similarly with the arts: if we had sufficient and adequate funding for community-based arts programming--of all kinds, not just related to gay men and HIV--then it wouldn't seem so shocking and misappropriated to allocate some of those funds for gay men to tell their stories. So it's in this larger, structural context that we gt forced into very painful conversations about prioritizing of funding, or what's most important, and it's always a reductive conversation because of limited resources. --Patrick "Pato" Hebert
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform)
By far, the most important distortions and confabulations of memory are those that serve to justify and explain our own lives. The mind, sense-making organ that it is, does not interpret our experiences as if they were shattered shards of glass; it assembles them into a mosaic. From the distance of years, we see the mosaic’s pattern. It seems tangible, unchangeable; we can’t imagine how we could reconfigure those pieces into another design. But it is a result of years of telling our story, shaping it into a life narrative that is complete with heroes and villians, an account of how we came to be the way we are. Because that narrative is the way we understand the world and our place in it, it is bigger than the sum of its parts. If on part, one memory, is shown to be wrong, people have to reduce the resulting dissonance and even rethink the basic mental category: you mean Dad (Mom) wasn’t such a bad (good) person after all? You mean Dad (Mom) was a complex human being? The life narrative may be fundamentally true; Your father or mother might really have been hateful, or saintly. The problem is that when the narrative becomes a major source of self-justification, one the storyteller relies on to excuse mistakes and failings, memory becomes warped in its service. The storyteller remembers only the confirming examples of the parent’s malevolence and forgets the dissonant instances of the parent’s good qualities. Over time, as the story hardens, it becomes more difficult to see the whole parent — the mixture of good and bad, strengths and flaws, good intentions and unfortunate blunders. Memories create our stories, but our stories also create our memories.
Carol Tavris
At this point, I must describe an important study carried out by Clare W. Graves of Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. on deterioration of work standards. Professor Graves starts from the Maslow-McGregor assumption that work standards deteriorate when people react against workcontrol systems with boredom, inertia, cynicism... A fourteen-year study led to the conclusion that, for practical purposes, we may divide people up into seven groups, seven personality levels, ranging from totally selfpreoccupied and selfish to what Nietzsche called ‘a selfrolling wheel’-a thoroughly self-determined person, absorbed in an objective task. This important study might be regarded as an expansion of Shotover’s remark that our interest in the world is an overflow of our interest in ourselves—and that therefore nobody can be genuinely ‘objective’ until they have fully satiated the subjective cravings. What is interesting—and surprising—is that it should not only be possible to distinguish seven clear personality-ypes, but that these can be recognised by any competent industrial psychologist. When Professor Graves’s theories were applied in a large manufacturing organisation—and people were slotted into their proper ‘levels’—the result was a 17% increase in production and an 87% drop in grumbles. The seven levels are labelled as follows: (1) Autistic (2) Animistic (3) Awakening and fright (4) Aggressive power seeking (5) Sociocentric (6) Aggressive individualistic (7) Pacifist individualistic. The first level can be easily understood: people belonging to it are almost babylike, perhaps psychologically run-down and discouraged; there is very little to be done with these people. The animistic level would more probably be encountered in backward countries: primitive, superstitious, preoccupied with totems and taboos, and again poor industrial material. Man at the third level is altogether more wide-awake and objective, but finds the complexity of the real world frightening; the best work is to be got out of him by giving him rules to obey and a sense of hierarchical security. Such people are firm believers in staying in the class in which they were born. They prefer an autocracy. The majority of Russian peasants under the Tsars probably belonged to this level. And a good example of level four would probably be the revolutionaries who threw bombs at the Tsars and preached destruction. In industry, they are likely to be trouble makers, aggressive, angry, and not necessarily intelligent. Management needs a high level of tact to get the best out of these. Man at level five has achieved a degree of security—psychological and economic—and he becomes seriously preoccupied with making society run smoothly. He is the sort of person who joins rotary clubs and enjoys group activities. As a worker, he is inferior to levels three and four, but the best is to be got out of him by making him part of a group striving for a common purpose. Level six is a self-confident individualist who likes to do a job his own way, and does it well. Interfered with by authoritarian management, he is hopeless. He needs to be told the goal, and left to work out the best way to achieve it; obstructed, he becomes mulish. Level seven is much like level six, but without the mulishness; he is pacifistic, and does his best when left to himself. Faced with authoritarian management, he either retreats into himself, or goes on his own way while trying to present a passable front to the management. Professor Graves describes the method of applying this theory in a large plant where there was a certain amount of unrest. The basic idea was to make sure that each man was placed under the type of supervisor appropriate to his level. A certain amount of transferring brought about the desired result, mentioned above—increased production, immense decrease in grievances, and far less workers leaving the plant (7% as against 21% before the change).
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
I have no criticism of the basic concept of irrefutable authority. Properly employed, it is the easiest, the surest, and the proper way to resolve conflicts. There is an omnipresent temptation, however, to rely on such authority regardless of its applicability; and I know of no better examples than the scriptures and the Constitution. We find it easy to lapse into the expansive notion that the Constitution, like the gospel, embraces all truth and that it protects and guarantees all that is right, equitable, and just. From that grand premise it is only a short and comfortable leap to the proposition that the Constitution embraces my particular notion of what is right, equitable, and just. The Constitution lends itself to this kind of use because of its breadth. Issues such as foreign aid, fluoridation of water, public versus private education, progressive income tax, to which political party I should belong and which candidate I should support; questions about economic development and environmental quality control; questions about the power of labor unions and the influence of big business in government--all these are issues of great importance. But these questions cannot and ought not to be resolved by simply resorting to irrefutable authority. Neither the Constitution nor the scriptures contain answers to these questions, and under the grand plan of eternal progress it is our responsibility to develop our own skills by working out our own answers through our own thought processes. For example, the Constitution authorizes an income tax, but it neither commands nor forbids an income tax. That is a policy issue on which the Constitution--and the scriptures--are silent. Attempting to resolve our differences of opinion by asserting that if our opponents only understood the scriptures or the Constitution they would see that the whole answer is contained therein only results in foreclosing the careful, rational attention that these issues deserve and require. Resorting to several broad provisions of the Constitution in answer to that kind of question is just plain intellectual laziness. We, of all people, have an obligation to respect the Constitution--to respect it not only for what it is and what it does, but also for what it is not and what it does not do. For in this as in other contexts, improper use of that which is grand can only result in the diminution of its grandeur.
Rex E. Lee
In 2010, the Priesthood quorums and Relief Society used the same manual (Gospel Principles)… Most lessons consist of a few pages of exposition on various themes… studded with scriptural citations and quotations from leaders of the church. These are followed by points of discussion like “Think about what you can do to keep the purpose of the Sabbath in mind as you prepare for the day each week.” Gospel Principles instructs teachers not to substitute outside materials, however interesting they may be. In practice this ensures that a common set of ideas are taught in all Mormon chapels every Sunday. That these ideas are the basic principles of the faith mean that Mormon Sunday schools and other church lessons function quite intentionally as devotional exercises rather than instruction in new concepts. The curriculum encourages teachers to ask questions that encourage catechistic reaffirmation of core beliefs. Further, lessons focus to a great extent on the importance of basic practices like prayer, paying tithing, and reading scripture rather than on doctrinal content… Correlated materials are designed not to promote theological reflection, but to produce Mormons dedicated to living the tenants of their faith.
Matthew Bowman (The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith)
Pattee explains there is a basic and extremely important distinction between laws and rules in nature.11 Laws are inexorable, meaning they are unchangeable, inescapable, and inevitable. We can never alter or evade laws of nature. The laws of nature dictate that a car will stay in motion either until an equal and opposite force stops it or it runs out of energy. That is not something we can change. Laws are incorporeal, meaning they do not need embodiments or structures to execute them: there is not a physics policeman enforcing the car’s halt when it runs out of energy. Laws are also universal: they hold at all times in all places. The laws of motion apply whether you are in Scotland or in Spain. On the other hand, rules are arbitrary and can be changed. In the British Isles, the driving rule is to drive on the left side of the road. Continental Europe’s driving rule is to drive on the right side of the road. Rules are dependent on some sort of structure or constraint to execute them. In this case that structure is a police force that fines those who break the rules by driving on the wrong side. Rules are local, meaning that they can exist only when and where there are physical structures to enforce them. If you live out in the middle of the Australian outback, you are in charge. Drive on either side. There is no structure in place to restrain you! Rules are local and changeable and breakable. A rule-governed symbol is selected from a range of competitors for doing a better job constraining the function of the system it belongs to, leading to the production of a more successful phenotype. Selection is flexible; Newton’s laws are not. In their informational role, symbols aren’t dependent on the physical laws that govern energy, time, and rates of change. They follow none of Newton’s laws. They are lawless rule-followers! What this is telling us is that symbols are not locked to their meanings.
Michael S. Gazzaniga (The Consciousness Instinct: Unraveling the Mystery of How the Brain Makes the Mind)
This unstable character of man, this going from one extreme to the other, arising as it does out of his narrow vision and petty mind, reveals certain basic moral tensions within which human conduct must function if it is to be stable and fruitful. These contradictory extremes are, therefore, not so much a "problem" to be resolved by theological thought as tensions to be "lived with" if man is to be truly "religious," i.e., a servant of God. Thus, utter powerlessness and "being the measure for all things," hopelessness and pride, determinism and "freedom," absolute knowledge and pure ignorance—in sum, an utterly "negative self-feeling" and a "feeling of omnipotence"—are extremes that constitute natural tensions for proper human conduct. It is the "God-given" framework for human action. Since its primary aim is to maximize moral energy, the Qur’ān—which claims to be "guidance for mankind"—regards it as absolutely essential that man not violate the balance of opposing tensions. The most interesting and the most important fact of moral life is that violating this balance in any direction produces a "Satanic condition" which in its moral effects is exactly the same: moral nihilism. Whether one is proud or hopeless, self-righteous or self-negating, in either case the result is deformity and eventual destruction of the moral human personality.
Fazlur Rahman (Major Themes of the Qur'an)
The inspired principles in the Constitution are the principles of the rule of law which, if preserved, guarantee liberty to every man. These principles are assumed in the Constitution because they had come to be assumed by Americans generally, as they struggled through several generations to find institutional safeguards for the liberty that they prized so highly. Many theoreticians of law and politics have rejected such a tenuous and fragile basis for a nation's freedom. They dream of constitutional arrangements based on clear libertarian principles which would maximize individual liberty whether or not the people understood or supported the basic principles. Their objection does raise the important secondary problem of preserving the liberty we have obtained. The early Americans themselves recognized the necessity of "public virtue" for the continuing security of their liberty. . . . The radicals of the left today seek freedom from social and material deprivation through the application of government power. On the right, according to your preferences in political taxonomy, we have either those libertarians who would go far beyond the classically liberal views of the Founding Fathers in restricting the role of government, or those reactionaries who would be willing to invoke arbitrarily the power of government to reshape moral society in their own image. Modern prophets seem to reject both the reactionary and radical left views. And in clearly recognizing a positive role for limited government, they refuse to join the libertarians.
Noel B. Reynolds
God created man out of dust from the ground. At a basic level, the Creator picked up some dirt and threw Adam together. The Hebrew word for God forming man is yatsar,[11] which means “to form, as a potter.” A pot usually has but one function. Yet when God made a woman, He “made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man” (Genesis 2:22). He created her with His own hands. He took His time crafting and molding her into multifaceted brilliance. The Hebrew word used for making woman is banah, meaning to “build, as a house, a temple, a city, an altar.”[12] The complexity implied by the term banah is worth noting. God has given women a diverse makeup that enables them to carry out multiple functions well. Adam may be considered Human Prototype 1.0, while Eve was Human Prototype 2.0. Of high importance, though, is that Eve was fashioned laterally with Adam’s rib. It was not a top-down formation of dominance or a bottom-up formation of subservience. Rather, Eve was an equally esteemed member of the human race. After all, God spoke of the decision for their creation as one decision before we were ever even introduced to the process of their creation. The very first time we read about both Eve and Adam is when we read of the mandate of rulership given to both of them equally. We are introduced to both genders together, simultaneously. This comes in the first chapter of the Bible: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26–27) Both men and women have been created equally in the image of God. While within that equality lie distinct and different roles (we will look at that in chapter 10), there is no difference in equality of being, value, or dignity between the genders. Both bear the responsibility of honoring the image in which they have been made. A woman made in the image of God should never settle for being treated as anything less than an image-bearer of the one true King. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent in the world to be trodden on.”[13] Just as men, women were created to rule.
Tony Evans (Kingdom Woman: Embracing Your Purpose, Power, and Possibilities)
I begin this chapter with President Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Speech on January 11, 1989. President Reagan encouraged the rising generation to “let ’em know and nail ’em on it”—that is, to push back against teachers, professors, journalists, politicians, and others in the governing generation who manipulate and deceive them: An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family, you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed, you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that, too, through the mid-sixties. But now, we’re about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs [protection]. So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important—why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, “We will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.” Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen, I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.1
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
Keeping a new church outwardly focused from the beginning is much easier than trying to refocus an inwardly concerned church. In order to plant a successful church, you have to know that you know that you are undeniably called by God. The call to start a new church plant is not the same as the call to serve in an existing church or work in a ministry-related organization. You may be the greatest preacher this side of Billy Graham but still not be called to start a church. If you think you may have allowed an improper reason, voice or emotion to lead you to the idea of starting a new church, back away now. Spend some more time with God. You don’t want to move forward on a hunch or because you feel “pretty sure” that you should be planting a church. You have to be completely certain. “You’re afraid? So what. Everybody’s afraid. Fear is the common ground of humanity. The question you must wrestle to the ground is, ‘Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity?’” When you think of a people group that you might be called to reach, does your heart break for them? If so, you may want to consider whether God is specifically calling you to reach that group for His kingdom. Is your calling clear? Has your calling been confirmed by others? Are you humbled by the call? Have you acted on your call? Do you know for certain that God has called you to start a new church? Nail it down. When exactly were you called? What were the circumstances surrounding your call? How did it match up with the sources of proper calling? Do you recognize the four specific calls in your calling? How? How does your call measure up to biblical characteristics? What is the emerging vision that God is giving you with this call? As your dependence on God grows, so will your church. One of the most common mistakes that enthusiastic and well-meaning church starters make is to move to a new location and start trying to reach people without thinking through even a short-term strategy. Don’t begin until you count the cost. why would you even consider starting a church (the only institution Jesus left behind and the only one that will last forever) without first developing a God-infused, specific, winning strategy? There are two types of pain: the pain of front-end discipline and the pain of back-end regret. With the question of strategy development, you get to choose which pain you’d rather live with. Basically, a purpose, mission and vision statement provides guiding principles that describe what God has called you to do (mission), how you will do it (purpose) and what it will look like when you get it done (vision). Keep your statement simple. Be as precise as possible. Core values are the filter through which you fulfill your strategy. These are important, because your entire strategy will be created and implemented in such a way as to bring your core values to life. Your strategic aim will serve as the beacon that guides the rest of your strategy. It is the initial purpose for which you are writing your strategy. He will not send more people to you than you are ready to receive. So what can you do? The same thing Dr. Graham does. Prepare in a way that enables God to open the floodgates into your church. If you are truly ready, He will send people your way. If you do the work we’ve described in this chapter, you’ll be able to build your new church on a strong base of God-breathed preparation. You’ll know where you are, where you’re going and how you are going to get there. You’ll be standing in the rain with a huge bucket, ready to take in the deluge. However, if you don’t think through your strategy, write it down and then implement it, you’ll be like the man who stands in the rainstorm with a Dixie cup. You’ll be completely unprepared to capture what God is pouring out. The choice is yours!
Nelson Searcy (Launch: Starting a New Church from Scratch)
Having a TV—which gives you the ability to receive information—fails to establish any capacity for sending information in the opposite direction. And the odd one-way nature of the primary connection Americans now have to our national conversation has a profound impact on their basic attitude toward democracy itself. If you can receive but not send, what does that do to your basic feelings about the nature of your connection to American self-government? “Attachment theory” is an interesting new branch of developmental psychology that sheds light on the importance of consistent, appropriate, and responsive two-way communication—and why it is essential for an individual’s feeling empowered. First developed by John Bowlby, a British psychiatrist, in 1958, attachment theory was further developed by his protégée Mary Ainsworth and other experts studying the psychological development of infants. Although it applies to individuals, attachment theory is, in my view, a metaphor that illuminates the significance of authentic free-flowing communication in any relationship that requires trust. By using this new approach, psychologists were able to discover that every infant learns a crucial and existential lesson during the first year of life about his or her fundamental relationship to the rest of the world. An infant develops an attachment pathway based on different patterns of care and, according to this theory, learns to adopt one of three basic postures toward the universe: In the best case, the infant learns that he or she has the inherent ability to exert a powerful influence on the world and evoke consistent, appropriate responses by communicating signals of hunger or discomfort, happiness or distress. If the caregiver—more often than not the mother—responds to most signals from the infant consistently and appropriately, the infant begins to assume that he or she has inherent power to affect the world. If the primary caregiver responds inappropriately and/or inconsistently, the infant learns to assume that he or she is powerless to affect the larger world and that his or her signals have no intrinsic significance where the universe is concerned. A child who receives really erratic and inconsistent responses from a primary caregiver, even if those responses are occasionally warm and sensitive, develops “anxious resistant attachment.” This pathway creates children who feature anxiety, dependence, and easy victimization. They are easily manipulated and exploited later in life. In the worst case, infants who receive no emotional response from the person or persons responsible for them are at high risk of learning a deep existential rage that makes them prone to violence and antisocial behavior as they grow up. Chronic unresponsiveness leads to what is called “anxious avoidance attachment,” a life pattern that features unquenchable anger, frustration, and aggressive, violent behavior.
Al Gore (The Assault on Reason)
The remedy for what ails our democracy is not simply better education (as important as that is) or civic education (as important as that can be), but the reestablishment of a genuine democratic discourse in which individuals can participate in a meaningful way—a conversation of democracy in which meritorious ideas and opinions from individuals do, in fact, evoke a meaningful response. And in today’s world, that means recognizing that it’s impossible to have a well-informed citizenry without having a well-connected citizenry. While education remains important, it is now connection that is the key. A well-connected citizenry is made up of men and women who discuss and debate ideas and issues among themselves and who constantly test the validity of the information and impressions they receive from one another—as well as the ones they receive from their government. No citizenry can be well informed without a constant flow of honest information about contemporary events and without a full opportunity to participate in a discussion of the choices that the society must make. Moreover, if citizens feel deprived of a meaningful opportunity to participate in the national conversation, they can scarcely be blamed for developing a lack of interest in the process. And sure enough, numerous surveys and studies have documented the erosion of public knowledge of basic facts about our democracy. For example, from the data compiled by the National Election Studies on one recent election, only 15 percent of respondents could recall the name of even one of the candidates in the election in their district. Less than 4 percent could name two candidates. When there are so few competitive races, it’s hard to blame them. Two professors, James Snyder and David Stromberg, found that knowledge of candidates increased in media markets where the local newspaper covered the congressional representative more. Very few respondents claimed to learn anything at all about their congressional elections from television news.
Al Gore (The Assault on Reason)
According to Shaivism, anupaya may also be reached by entering into the infinite blissfulness of the Self through the powerful experiences of sensual pleasures. This practice is designed to help the practitioner reach the highest levels by accelerating their progress through the sakta and sambhava upayas. These carefully guarded doctrines of Tantric sadhana are the basis for certain practices, like the use of the five makaras (hrdaya) mentioned earlier. The experience of a powerful sensual pleasure quickly removes a person’s dullness or indifference. It awakens in them the hidden nature and source of blissfulness and starts its inner vibration. Abhinavagupta says that only those people who are awakened to their own inner vitality can truly be said to have a heart (hrdaya). They are known as sahrdaya (connoisseurs). Those uninfluenced by this type of experiences are said to be heartless. In his words: “It is explained thus—The heart of a person, shedding of its attitude of indifference while listening to the sweet sounds of a song or while feeling the delightful touch of something like sandalpaste, immediately starts a wonderful vibratory movement. (This) is called ananda-sakti and because of its presence the person concerned is considered to have a heart (in their body) (Tantraloka, III.209-10). People who do not become one (with such blissful experiences), and who do not feel their physical body being merged into it, are said to be heartless because their consciousness itself remains immersed (in the gross body) (ibid., III.24).” The philosopher Jayaratha addresses this topic as well when he quotes a verse from a work by an author named Parasastabhutipada: “The worship to be performed by advanced aspirants consists of strengthening their position in the basic state of (infinite and blissful pure consciousness), on the occasions of the experiences of all such delightful objects which are to be seen here as having sweet and beautiful forms (Tantraloka, II.219).” These authors are pointing out that if people participate in pleasurable experiences with that special sharp alertness known as avadhana, they will become oblivious to the limitations of their usual body-consciousness and their pure consciousness will be fully illumined. According to Vijnanabhairava: “A Shiva yogin, having directed his attention to the inner bliss which arises on the occasion of some immense joy, or on seeing a close relative after a long time, should immerse his mind in that bliss and become one with it (Vijnanabhairava, 71). A yogin should fix his mind on each phenomenon which brings satisfaction (because) his own state of infinite bliss arises therein (ibid., 74).” In summary, Kashmir Shaivism is a philosophy that embraces life in its totality. Unlike puritanical systems it does not shy away from the pleasant and aesthetically pleasing aspects of life as somehow being unspiritual or contaminated. On the contrary, great importance has been placed on the aesthetic quality of spiritual practice in Kashmir Shaivism. In fact, recognizing and celebrating the aesthetic aspect of the Absolute is one of the central principles of this philosophy. — B. N. Pandit, Specific Principles of Kashmir Shaivism (3rd ed., 2008), p. 124–125.
Balajinnatha Pandita (Specific Principles of Kashmir Saivism [Hardcover] [Apr 01, 1998] Paṇḍita, BalajinnaÌ"tha)
New Rule: Democrats must get in touch with their inner asshole. I refer to the case of Van Jones, the man the Obama administration hired to find jobs for Americans in the new green industries. Seems like a smart thing to do in a recession, but Van Jones got fired because he got caught on tape saying Republicans are assholes. And they call it news! Now, I know I'm supposed to be all reinjected with yes-we-can-fever after the big health-care speech, and it was a great speech--when Black Elvis gets jiggy with his teleprompter, there is none better. But here's the thing: Muhammad Ali also had a way with words, but it helped enormously that he could also punch guys in the face. It bothers me that Obama didn't say a word in defense of Jones and basically fired him when Glenn Beck told him to. Just like dropped "end-of-life counseling" from health-care reform because Sarah Palin said it meant "death panels" on her Facebook page. Crazy morons make up things for Obama to do, and he does it. Same thing with the speech to schools this week, where the president attempted merely to tell children to work hard and wash their hands, and Cracker Nation reacted as if he was trying to hire the Black Panthers to hand out grenades in homeroom. Of course, the White House immediately capitulated. "No students will be forced to view the speech" a White House spokesperson assured a panicked nation. Isn't that like admitting that the president might be doing something unseemly? What a bunch of cowards. If the White House had any balls, they'd say, "He's giving a speech on the importance of staying in school, and if you jackasses don't show it to every damn kid, we're cutting off your federal education funding tomorrow." The Democrats just never learn: Americans don't really care which side of an issue you're on as long as you don't act like pussies When Van Jones called the Republicans assholes, he was paying them a compliment. He was talking about how they can get things done even when they're in the minority, as opposed to the Democrats , who can't seem to get anything done even when they control both houses of Congress, the presidency, and Bruce Springsteen. I love Obama's civility, his desire to work with his enemies; it's positively Christlike. In college, he was probably the guy at the dorm parties who made sure the stoners shared their pot with the jocks. But we don't need that guy now. We need an asshole. Mr. President, there are some people who are never going to like you. That's why they voted for the old guy and Carrie's mom. You're not going to win them over. Stand up for the seventy percent of Americans who aren't crazy. And speaking of that seventy percent, when are we going to actually show up in all this? Tomorrow Glenn Beck's army of zombie retirees descending on Washington. It's the Million Moron March, although they won't get a million, of course, because many will be confused and drive to Washington state--but they will make news. Because people who take to the streets always do. They're at the town hall screaming at the congressman; we're on the couch screaming at the TV. Especially in this age of Twitters and blogs and Snuggies, it's a statement to just leave the house. But leave the house we must, because this is our last best shot for a long time to get the sort of serious health-care reform that would make the United States the envy of several African nations.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Looking back on all my interviews for this book, how many times in how many different contexts did I hear about the vital importance of having a caring adult or mentor in every young person’s life? How many times did I hear about the value of having a coach—whether you are applying for a job for the first time at Walmart or running Walmart? How many times did I hear people stressing the importance of self-motivation and practice and taking ownership of your own career or education as the real differentiators for success? How interesting was it to learn that the highest-paying jobs in the future will be stempathy jobs—jobs that combine strong science and technology skills with the ability to empathize with another human being? How ironic was it to learn that something as simple as a chicken coop or the basic planting of trees and gardens could be the most important thing we do to stabilize parts of the World of Disorder? Who ever would have thought it would become a national security and personal security imperative for all of us to scale the Golden Rule further and wider than ever? And who can deny that when individuals get so super-empowered and interdependent at the same time, it becomes more vital than ever to be able to look into the face of your neighbor or the stranger or the refugee or the migrant and see in that person a brother or sister? Who can ignore the fact that the key to Tunisia’s success in the Arab Spring was that it had a little bit more “civil society” than any other Arab country—not cell phones or Facebook friends? How many times and in how many different contexts did people mention to me the word “trust” between two human beings as the true enabler of all good things? And whoever thought that the key to building a healthy community would be a dining room table? That’s why I wasn’t surprised that when I asked Surgeon General Murthy what was the biggest disease in America today, without hesitation he answered: “It’s not cancer. It’s not heart disease. It’s isolation. It is the pronounced isolation that so many people are experiencing that is the great pathology of our lives today.” How ironic. We are the most technologically connected generation in human history—and yet more people feel more isolated than ever. This only reinforces Murthy’s earlier point—that the connections that matter most, and are in most short supply today, are the human-to-human ones.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
We are all poor; but there is a difference between what Mrs. Spark intends by speaking of 'slender means', and what Stevens called our poverty or Sartre our need, besoin. The poet finds his brief, fortuitous concords, it is true: not merely 'what will suffice,' but 'the freshness of transformation,' the 'reality of decreation,' the 'gaiety of language.' The novelist accepts need, the difficulty of relating one's fictions to what one knows about the nature of reality, as his donnée. It is because no one has said more about this situation, or given such an idea of its complexity, that I want to devote most of this talk to Sartre and the most relevant of his novels, La Nausée. As things go now it isn't of course very modern; Robbe-Grillet treats it with amused reverence as a valuable antique. But it will still serve for my purposes. This book is doubtless very well known to you; I can't undertake to tell you much about it, especially as it has often been regarded as standing in an unusually close relation to a body of philosophy which I am incompetent to expound. Perhaps you will be charitable if I explain that I shall be using it and other works of Sartre merely as examples. What I have to do is simply to show that La Nausée represents, in the work of one extremely important and representative figure, a kind of crisis in the relation between fiction and reality, the tension or dissonance between paradigmatic form and contingent reality. That the mood of Sartre has sometimes been appropriate to the modern demythologized apocalypse is something I shall take for granted; his is a philosophy of crisis, but his world has no beginning and no end. The absurd dishonesty of all prefabricated patterns is cardinal to his beliefs; to cover reality over with eidetic images--illusions persisting from past acts of perception, as some abnormal children 'see' the page or object that is no longer before them --to do this is to sink into mauvaise foi. This expression covers all comfortable denials of the undeniable--freedom --by myths of necessity, nature, or things as they are. Are all the paradigms of fiction eidetic? Is the unavoidable, insidious, comfortable enemy of all novelists mauvaise foi? Sartre has recently, in his first instalment of autobiography, talked with extraordinary vivacity about the roleplaying of his youth, of the falsities imposed upon him by the fictive power of words. At the beginning of the Great War he began a novel about a French private who captured the Kaiser, defeated him in single combat, and so ended the war and recovered Alsace. But everything went wrong. The Kaiser, hissed by the poilus, no match for the superbly fit Private Perrin, spat upon and insulted, became 'somehow heroic.' Worse still, the peace, which should instantly have followed in the real world if this fiction had a genuine correspondence with reality, failed to occur. 'I very nearly renounced literature,' says Sartre. Roquentin, in a subtler but basically similar situation, has the same reaction. Later Sartre would find again that the hero, however assiduously you use the pitchfork, will recur, and that gaps, less gross perhaps, between fiction and reality will open in the most close-knit pattern of words. Again, the young Sartre would sometimes, when most identified with his friends at the lycée, feel himself to be 'freed at last from the sin of existing'--this is also an expression of Roquentin's, but Roquentin says it feels like being a character in a novel. How can novels, by telling lies, convert existence into being? We see Roquentin waver between the horror of contingency and the fiction of aventures. In Les Mots Sartre very engagingly tells us that he was Roquentin, certainly, but that he was Sartre also, 'the elect, the chronicler of hells' to whom the whole novel of which he now speaks so derisively was a sort of aventure, though what was represented within it was 'the unjustified, brackish existence of my fellow-creatures.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
Studentdom, he felt, must pass its own Examinations and define its own Commencement--a slow, most painful process, made the more anguishing by bloody intelligences like the Bonifacists of Siegfrieder College. Yet however it seemed at times that men got nowhere, but only repeated class by class the mistakes of their predecessors, two crucial facts about them were at once their hope and the limitation of their possibility, so he believed. One was their historicity: the campus was young, the student race even younger, and by contrast with the whole of past time, the great collegiate cultures had been born only yesterday. The other had to do with comparative cyclology, a field of systematic speculation he could not review for me just then, but whose present relevance lay in the correspondency he held to obtain between the life-history of individuals and the history of studentdom in general. As the embryologists maintained that ontogeny repeats phylogeny, so, Max claimed, the race itself--and on a smaller scale, West-Campus culture--followed demonstrably--in capital letters, as it were, or slow motion--the life-pattern of its least new freshman. This was the basis of Spielman's Law--ontogeny repeats cosmogeny--and there was much more to it and to the science of cyclology whereof it was first principle. The important thing for now was that, by his calculations, West-Campus as a whole was in mid-adolescence... 'Look how we been acting,' he invited me, referring to intercollegiate political squabbles; 'the colleges are spoilt kids, and the whole University a mindless baby, ja? Okay: so weren't we all once, Enos Enoch too? And we got to admit that the University's a precocious kid. If the history of life on campus hadn't been so childish, we couldn't hope it'll reach maturity.' Studentdom had passed already, he asserted, from a disorganized, pre-literate infancy (of which Croaker was a modern representative, nothing ever being entirely lost) through a rather brilliant early childhood ('...ancient Lykeion, Remus, T'ang...') which formed its basic and somewhat contradictory character; it had undergone a period of naive general faith in parental authority (by which he meant early Founderism) and survived critical spells of disillusionment, skepticism, rationalism, willfulness, self-criticism, violence, disorientation, despair, and the like--all characteristic of pre-adolescence and adolescence, at least in their West-Campus form. I even recognized some of those stages in my own recent past; indeed, Max's description of the present state of West-Campus studentdom reminded me uncomfortably of my behavior in the Lady-Creamhair period: capricious, at odds with itself, perverse, hard to live with. Its schisms, as manifested in the Quiet Riot, had been aggravated and rendered dangerous by the access of unwonted power--as when, in the space of a few semesters, a boy finds himself suddenly muscular, deep-voiced, aware of his failings, proud of his strengths, capable of truly potent love and hatred--and on his own. What hope there was that such an adolescent would reach maturity (not to say Commencement) without destroying himself was precisely the hope of the University.
John Barth (Giles Goat-Boy)
To understand how shame is influenced by culture, we need to think back to when we were children or young adults, and we first learned how important it is to be liked, to fit in, and to please others. The lessons were often taught by shame; sometimes overtly, other times covertly. Regardless of how they happened, we can all recall experiences of feeling rejected, diminished and ridiculed. Eventually, we learned to fear these feelings. We learned how to change our behaviors, thinking and feelings to avoid feeling shame. In the process, we changed who we were and, in many instances, who we are now. Our culture teaches us about shame—it dictates what is acceptable and what is not. We weren’t born craving perfect bodies. We weren’t born afraid to tell our stories. We weren’t born with a fear of getting too old to feel valuable. We weren’t born with a Pottery Barn catalog in one hand and heartbreaking debt in the other. Shame comes from outside of us—from the messages and expectations of our culture. What comes from the inside of us is a very human need to belong, to relate. We are wired for connection. It’s in our biology. As infants, our need for connection is about survival. As we grow older, connection means thriving—emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually. Connection is critical because we all have the basic need to feel accepted and to believe that we belong and are valued for who we are. Shame unravels our connection to others. In fact, I often refer to shame as the fear of disconnection—the fear of being perceived as flawed and unworthy of acceptance or belonging. Shame keeps us from telling our own stories and prevents us from listening to others tell their stories. We silence our voices and keep our secrets out of the fear of disconnection. When we hear others talk about their shame, we often blame them as a way to protect ourselves from feeling uncomfortable. Hearing someone talk about a shaming experience can sometimes be as painful as actually experiencing it for ourselves. Like courage, empathy and compassion are critical components of shame resilience. Practicing compassion allows us to hear shame. Empathy, the most powerful tool of compassion, is an emotional skill that allows us to respond to others in a meaningful, caring way. Empathy is the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes—to understand what someone is experiencing and to reflect back that understanding. When we share a difficult experience with someone, and that person responds in an open, deeply connected way—that’s empathy. Developing empathy can enrich the relationships we have with our partners, colleagues, family members and children. In Chapter 2, I’ll discuss the concept of empathy in great detail. You’ll learn how it works, how we can learn to be empathic and why the opposite of experiencing shame is experiencing empathy. The prerequisite for empathy is compassion. We can only respond empathically if we are willing to hear someone’s pain. We sometimes think of compassion as a saintlike virtue. It’s not. In fact, compassion is possible for anyone who can accept the struggles that make us human—our fears, imperfections, losses and shame. We can only respond compassionately to someone telling her story if we have embraced our own story—shame and all. Compassion is not a virtue—it is a commitment.
The phone rang. It was a familiar voice. It was Alan Greenspan. Paul O'Neill had tried to stay in touch with people who had served under Gerald Ford, and he'd been reasonably conscientious about it. Alan Greenspan was the exception. In his case, the effort was constant and purposeful. When Greenspan was the chairman of Ford's Council of Economic Advisers, and O'Neill was number two at OMB, they had become a kind of team. Never social so much. They never talked about families or outside interests. It was all about ideas: Medicare financing or block grants - a concept that O'Neill basically invented to balance federal power and local autonomy - or what was really happening in the economy. It became clear that they thought well together. President Ford used to have them talk about various issues while he listened. After a while, each knew how the other's mind worked, the way married couples do. In the past fifteen years, they'd made a point of meeting every few months. It could be in New York, or Washington, or Pittsburgh. They talked about everything, just as always. Greenspan, O'Neill told a friend, "doesn't have many people who don't want something from him, who will talk straight to him. So that's what we do together - straight talk." O'Neill felt some straight talk coming in. "Paul, I'll be blunt. We really need you down here," Greenspan said. "There is a real chance to make lasting changes. We could be a team at the key moment, to do the things we've always talked about." The jocular tone was gone. This was a serious discussion. They digressed into some things they'd "always talked about," especially reforming Medicare and Social Security. For Paul and Alan, the possibility of such bold reinventions bordered on fantasy, but fantasy made real. "We have an extraordinary opportunity," Alan said. Paul noticed that he seemed oddly anxious. "Paul, your presence will be an enormous asset in the creation of sensible policy." Sensible policy. This was akin to prayer from Greenspan. O'Neill, not expecting such conviction from his old friend, said little. After a while, he just thanked Alan. He said he always respected his counsel. He said he was thinking hard about it, and he'd call as soon as he decided what to do. The receiver returned to its cradle. He thought about Greenspan. They were young men together in the capital. Alan stayed, became the most noteworthy Federal Reserve Bank chairman in modern history and, arguably the most powerful public official of the past two decades. O'Neill left, led a corporate army, made a fortune, and learned lessons - about how to think and act, about the importance of outcomes - that you can't ever learn in a government. But, he supposed, he'd missed some things. There were always trade-offs. Talking to Alan reminded him of that. Alan and his wife, Andrea Mitchell, White House correspondent for NBC news, lived a fine life. They weren't wealthy like Paul and Nancy. But Alan led a life of highest purpose, a life guided by inquiry. Paul O'Neill picked up the telephone receiver, punched the keypad. "It's me," he said, always his opening. He started going into the details of his trip to New York from Washington, but he's not much of a phone talker - Nancy knew that - and the small talk trailed off. "I think I'm going to have to do this." She was quiet. "You know what I think," she said. She knew him too well, maybe. How bullheaded he can be, once he decides what's right. How he had loved these last few years as a sovereign, his own man. How badly he was suited to politics, as it was being played. And then there was that other problem: she'd almost always been right about what was best for him. "Whatever, Paul. I'm behind you. If you don't do this, I guess you'll always regret it." But it was clearly about what he wanted, what he needed. Paul thanked her. Though somehow a thank-you didn't seem appropriate. And then he realized she was crying.
Ron Suskind (The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill)