Burden Of Responsibility Quotes

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The ability to dream is all I have to give. That is my responsibility; that is my burden. And even I grow tired.
Harlan Ellison (Stalking the Nightmare)
Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel.
G.K. Chesterton
A gentleman accepts the responsibility of his actions and bears the burden of their consequences.
William Faulkner
To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability, and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood, where finitude and mortality are only dimly comprehended. It means willingly undertaking the sacrifices necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality (it means acting to please God, in the ancient language).
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Brigan," she said, annoyed that he had not understood. "I’ll always be beautiful. Look at me. I have one hundred and sixty two bug bites, and has it made me any less beautiful? I’m missing two fingers and I have scars all over, but does anyone care? No! It just makes me more interesting! I’ll always be like this, stuck in this beautiful form, and you’ll have to deal with it." He seemed to sense that she expected a grave response, but for the moment, he was incapable. "I suppose it’s a burden I must bear," he said, grinning.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
Why, then, did I always feel as if his happiness was my responsibility? It wasn't fair for him to burden me with that. It had never been fair.
Melanie Benjamin (Alice I Have Been)
He [Brian Fraser] told me that a man must be responsible for any see he sows, for it's his duty to take care of a woman and protect her. And if I wasna prepared to do that, then I'd no right to burden a woman with the consequences of my own actions.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
You and I... We will always stand apart. We will always have..." She searched for the word. "Responsibilities. We will always have burdens that no one else can ever understand. That they"-she inclined her head toward Chaol and Celaena-"will never understand. And if they did, then they would not want them.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert R. McCammon (Boy's Life)
Lightness and weightiness are both linked to a philosophy of life. They are choices in life. Heaviness can be the embodiment of a sense of responsibility, the expression of maturity, the result of profound meditation or the emanation of a search for meaning in life. Weightiness, however, may also lead to a feeling of oppression, when it is felt as a burden, an unbearable burden. Then time has come to let loose and things can finally lose their gravity. ( "The unbearable heaviness of being" )
Erik Pevernagie
Better guilt than the terrible burden of freedom and responsibility.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Though no longer pregnant, she continues, at times, to mix Rice Krispies and peanuts and onions in a bowl. For being a foreigner Ashima is beginning to realize, is a sort of lifelong pregnancy -- a perpetual wait, a constant burden, a continuous feeling out of sorts. It is an ongoing responsibility, a parenthesis in what had once been an ordinary life, only to discover that previous life has vanished, replaced by something more complicated and demanding. Like pregnancy, being a foreigner, Ashima believes, is something that elicits the same curiosity of from strangers, the same combination of pity and respect.
Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)
His mind was freshly inclined toward sorrow; toward the fact that the world was full of sorrow; that everyone labored under some burden of sorrow; that all were suffering; that whatever way one took in this world, one must try to remember that all were suffering (none content; all wronged, neglected, overlooked, misunderstood), and therefore one must do what one could to lighten the load of those with whom one came into contact; that his current state of sorrow was not uniquely his, not at all, but, rather, its like had been felt, would be felt, by scores of others, in all times, in every time, and must not be prolonged or exaggerated, because, in this state, he could be of no help to anyone and, given that his position in the world situated him to be either of great help, or great harm, it would not do to stay low, if he could help it.
George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo)
There was no meaning in life, and man by living served no end. It was immaterial whether he was born or not born, whether he lived or ceased to live. Life was insignificant and death without consequence. Philip exulted, as he had exulted in his boyhood when the weight of a belief in God was lifted from his shoulders: it seemed to him that the last burden of responsibility was taken from him; and for the first time he was utterly free. His insignificance was turned to power, and he felt himself suddenly equal with the cruel fate which had seemed to persecute him; for, if life was meaningless, the world was robbed of its cruelty. What he did or left undone did not matter. Failure was unimportant and success amounted to nothing. He was the most inconsiderate creature in that swarming mass of mankind which for a brief space occupied the surface of the earth; and he was almighty because he had wrenched from chaos the secret of its nothingness. Thoughts came tumbling over one another in Philip's eager fancy, and he took long breaths of joyous satisfaction. He felt inclined to leap and sing. He had not been so happy for months. 'Oh, life,' he cried in his heart, 'Oh life, where is thy sting?
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
He seriously thought that there is less harm in killing a man than producing a child: in the first case you are relieving someone of life, not his whole life but a half or a quarter or a hundredth part of that existence that is going to finish, that would finish without you; but as for the second, he would say, are you not responsible to him for all the tears he will shed, from the cradle to the grave? Without you he would never have been born, and why is he born? For your amusement, not for his, that’s for sure; to carry your name, the name of a fool, I’ll be bound – you may as well write that name on some wall; why do you need a man to bear the burden of three or four letters?
Gustave Flaubert (November)
Responsibility is a unique concept... You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you... If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you have never had anyone really responsible.
Hyman G. Rickover
I will say this quite plainly, what truly human is -and don't be afraid of this word- love. And I mean it even with everything that burdens love or, i could say it better, responsibility is actually love, as Pascal said: 'without concupiscence' [without lust]... love exists without worrying being loved.
Emmanuel Levinas (Of God Who Comes to Mind)
It is a fundamental truth that the responsibilities of motherhood cannot be successfully delegated. No, not to day-care centers, not to schools, not to nurseries, not to babysitters. We become enamored with men’s theories such as the idea of preschool training outside the home for young children. Not only does this put added pressure on the budget, but it places young children in an environment away from mother’s influence. Too often the pressure for popularity, on children and teens, places an economic burden on the income of the father, so mother feels she must go to work to satisfy her children’s needs. That decision can be most shortsighted. It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character. Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness. How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected!
Ezra Taft Benson
Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions and will receive praise or blame for them. Liberty and responsibility are inseparable.
Friedrich A. Hayek (The Constitution of Liberty)
But what the evil people do, that's their responsibility. The burden they have to carry. Sure, when we see 'em starting on causing some hurt, we've got to try and stop 'em, but mostly what the rest of us should be concerning ourselves with is doing right by others. Every time you do a good turn, you shine the light a little further into the dark. And the thing is, even when we're gone, that light's going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back.
Charles de Lint (Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #5))
I saw a meme the other day with a picture of Marilyn Manson and Robin Williams. It said about the former, this isn’t the face of depression, and about the latter, this is. This really struck a chord and it’s been on my mind since then. As someone who has continuously dipped in and out of chronic depression and anxiety for close to three decades now, and I’ve never previously spoken about the subject, I finally thought it was time I did. These days it’s trendy for people to think they’re cool and understanding about mental illness, posting memes and such to indicate so. But the reality is far different to that. It seems most people think if they publicly display such understanding then perhaps a friend will come to them, open up, and calmly discuss their problems. This will not happen. For someone in that seemingly hopeless void of depression and anxiety the last thing they are likely to do is acknowledge it, let alone talk about it. Even if broached by a friend they will probably deny there is a problem and feel even more distanced from the rest of the world. So nobody can do anything to help, right? No. If right now you suspect one of your friends is suffering like this then you’re probably right. If right now you think that none of your friends are suffering like this then you’re probably wrong. By all means make your public affirmations of understanding, but at least take on board that an attempt to connect on this subject by someone you care about could well be cryptic and indirect. When we hear of celebrities who suffered and finally took their own lives the message tends to be that so many close friends had no idea. This is woeful, but it’s also great, right? Because by not knowing there was a problem there is no burden of responsibility on anyone else. This is another huge misconception, that by acknowledging an indirect attempt to connect on such a complex issue that somehow you are accepting responsibility to fix it. This is not the case. You don’t have to find a solution. Maybe just listen. Many times over the years I’ve seen people recoil when they suspect that perhaps that is the direct a conversation is about to turn, and they desperately scramble for anything that can immediately change the subject. By acknowledging you’ve heard and understood doesn’t mean you are picking up their burden and carrying it for them. Anyway, I’ve said my piece. And please don’t think this is me reaching out for help. If this was my current mindset the last thing I’d ever do is write something like this, let alone share it.
R.D. Ronald
Many of us have set out on the path of enlightenment. We long for a release of self-hood in some kind of mystical union with all things. But that moment of epiphany—when we finally see the whole pattern and sense our place in the cosmic web—can be a crushing experience from which we never fully recover. Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. You can not turn away. Your destiny is bound to the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors. To seek enlightenment is to seek annihilation, rebirth, and the taking up of burdens. You must come prepared to touch and be touched by each and every thing in heaven and hell. I am One with the Universe and it hurts.
Andrew Boyd (Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe)
At some point almost everyone makes a choice. Some of us don't even notice it happening, most don't get to plan it in advance, but there's always a moment when we take one path instead of another, which has consequences for the rest of our lives. It determines the people we will become, in other people's eyes as well as our own. Elizabeth Zackell may have been right when she said that anyone who feels responsibility isn't free. Because responsibility is a burden. Freedom is a pleasure.
Fredrik Backman (Us Against You (Beartown, #2))
He ran as he'd never run before, with neither hope nor despair. He ran because the world was divided into opposites and his side had already been chosen for him, his only choice being whether or not to play his part with heart and courage. He ran because fate had placed him in a position of responsibility and he had accepted the burden. He ran because his self-respect required it. He ran because he loved his friends and this was the only thing he could do to end the madness that was killing and maiming them.
Karl Marlantes (Matterhorn)
It may seem like a daunting—if not exhausting—task to establish a greater degree of order in your life. That may feel impossible if you feel you are already overstretched. But taking time to order your day should not be an additional burden or one more “to do” on your list of duties and responsibilities. Order will ease your load and free your mind for greater peace, joy, and creativity. By more effectively ordering your day, you will gain a sense of control, a sense of purpose, increased productivity, an environment of creativity, and a greater focus and flow of accomplishments.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Sometimes a King has to do terrible things in order to protect those he has sworn to look after. When the stakes are so high, dreadful decisions have to be taken. It is the responsibility of a King to take on that burden, that guilt.
Cressida Cowell (How to Betray a Dragon's Hero (How to Train Your Dragon, #11))
composure, n. You told me anyway, even though I didn’t want to know. A stupid drunken fling while you were visiting Toby in Austin. Months ago. And the thing I hate the most is knowing how much hinges on my reaction, how your unburdening can only lead to me being burdened. If I lose it now, I will lose you, too. I know that. I hate it. You wait for my response.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
You could go two ways from there. You could keep on marinating in blame, in helpless submission to your circumstance. Or you could stop, just clean stop, and take up the liberating burden of responsibility for yourself.
Olivia Laing (The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking)
No relationship is absolutely reciprocal. Sometimes, when couples try to split everything in half, they discover that the relationship is not a partnership but a bean counting exercise. Striving for reciprocity in a relationship can be unhealthy. On the other hand, striving to have a partnership in which each partner is valued equally and shares both burdens and responsibilities can be healthy.
Sylvain Reynard (Gabriel's Rapture (Gabriel's Inferno, #2))
And once I got old enough for such a thing to be a possibility, he told me that a man must be responsible for any seed he sows, for it's his duty to take care of a woman and protect her. And if I wasna prepared to do that, then I'd no right to burden a woman with the consequences of my own actions.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
This generation seems to see children as a financial burden and responsibility to be avoided.
Francine Rivers (The Atonement Child)
When her blue-black eyes lifted to his, everything disappeared. Their bodies dematerialized. The room they were in ceased to exist. Time became nothing. And in the void, in the wormhold, Wrath's chest opened up sure as if he'd been shot, a piercing pain licking over his nerve endings. He knew then that there are many ways for a heart to break. Sometimes it's from the crowding of life, the compression of responsibility and birthright and burden that just squeezed you until you couldn't breathe anymore. Even though your lungs were working just fine. And sometimes it's from the casual cruelty of a fate that took you far from where you had thought you would end up. And sometimes it's age in the face of youth. Or sickness in the face of health. But sometimes it's just because you're looking into the eyes of your lover, and your gratitude for having them in your life overflows...because you showed them what was on the inside and they didn't run scared or turn away: they accepted you and loved you and held you in the midst of your passion or your fear...or your combination of both. Wrath closed his eyes and focused on the soft pulls at his wrist. God, they were just like the beat of his heart. Which made sense. Because she was the center of his chest. And the center of his world.
J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide (Black Dagger Brotherhood))
A love that left people alone in their guilt would not have real people as its object. So, in vicarious responsibility for people, and in His love for real human beings, Jesus becomes the one burdened by guilt.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas)
Or consider a story in the Jewish Talmud left out of the Book of Genesis. (It is in doubtful accord with the account of the apple, the Tree of Knowledge, the Fall, and the expulsion from Eden.) In The Garden, God tells Eve and Adam that He has intentionally left the Universe unfinished. It is the responsibility of humans, over countless generations, to participate with God in a "glorious" experiment - the "completing of the Creation." The burden of such a responsibility is heavy, especially on so weak and imperfect a species as ours, one with so unhappy a history. Nothing remotely like "completion" can be attempted without vastly more knowledge than we have today. But, perhaps, if our very existence is at stake, we will find ourselves able to rise to this supreme challenge.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
There are none among us who have not been, even for a moment, cruel to those whom we love most, as if unable, in that moment, to shoulder any longer the magnificent weight and burden, the responsibility, of that love.
Rick Bass (The Sky, the Stars, the Wilderness)
It's special, grandparents and grandchldren. So much simpler. Is it always so, I wonder? I think perhaps it is. While one's child takes a part of one's heart to use and misuse as they please, a grandchild is different. Gone are the bonds of guilt and responsibility that burden the maternal relationship. The way to love is free.
Kate Morton (The House at Riverton)
Power, no matter what kind of power it is, without a foundation in truth, is a dictatorship, more or less and in one way or another, for it is always based on man's fear of the social responsibility and personal burden that "freedom" entails.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
A man accepts the thankless burden of responsibility. We women do not. To us, life is a game we play one day at a time.
Clive Cussler (Raise The Titanic! (Dirk Pitt #4))
The "pleasure" of being drunk is obviously the pleasure of escaping from the responsibility of consciousness. And so are the kind of social gatherings, held for no other purpose than the expression of hysterical chaos, where the guests wander around in an alcoholic stupor, prattling noisily and senselessly, and enjoying the illusion of a universe where one is not burdened with purpose, logic, reality or awareness.
Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
Life, however, was yet in my possession; with all its requirements, and pains, and responsibilities. The burden must be carried, and want provided for, the suffering endured, the responsibility fulfilled.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Abel lifted her up - another gesture from former times, from when she'd been smaller - and carried her to the bathroom to find the Band-aid. Suddenly, Anna thought, she's growing up. One day, she'll be too big to be carried around like that. One day, he won't be able to hold onto her, she'll move on, and he'll be left all alone. Maybe the responsibility for Micha is more of an anchor than a burden. A lifeboat. A wooden plank to hold onto so you don't drown.
Antonia Michaelis (The Storyteller)
The human heart needs to burden itself, to take responsibility for its losses, otherwise it will explode.
Charles Dubow (Indiscretion)
[How do I do it?] Well, it's always a mystery, because you don't know why you get depleted or recharged. But this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I've learned from the Bhagavad-Gita and other teachings of our culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don't cripple myself, I don't tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.
Vandana Shiva
In this stage, which I refer to as emotional slavery, we believe ourselves responsible for the feelings of others. We think we must constantly strive to keep everyone happy. If they don’t appear happy, we feel responsible and compelled to do something about it. This can easily lead us to see the very people who are closest to us as burdens.
Marshall B. Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life)
This "sir, yes sir" business, which would probably sound like horseshit to any civilian in his right mind, makes sense to Shaftoe and to the officers in a deep and important way. Like a lot of others, Shaftoe had trouble with military etiquette at first. He soaked up quite a bit of it growing up in a military family, but living the life was a different matter. Having now experienced all the phases of military existence except for the terminal ones (violent death, court-martial, retirement), he has come to understand the culture for what it is: a system of etiquette within which it becomes possible for groups of men to live together for years, travel to the ends of the earth, and do all kinds of incredibly weird shit without killing each other or completely losing their minds in the process. The extreme formality with which he addresses these officers carries an important subtext: your problem, sir, is deciding what you want me to do, and my problem, sir, is doing it. My gung-ho posture says that once you give the order I'm not going to bother you with any of the details--and your half of the bargain is you had better stay on your side of the line, sir, and not bother me with any of the chickenshit politics that you have to deal with for a living. The implied responsibility placed upon the officer's shoulders by the subordinate's unhesitating willingness to follow orders is a withering burden to any officer with half a brain, and Shaftoe has more than once seen seasoned noncoms reduce green lieutenants to quivering blobs simply by standing before them and agreeing, cheerfully, to carry out their orders.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
I had seen beauty, but the beauty had burdened me with responsibility.
Rudolfo Anaya (Bless Me, Ultima)
What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life--daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual. These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way. Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by sweeping statements. “Life” does not mean something vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life’s tasks are also very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual. No man and no destiny can be compared with any other man or any other destiny. No situation repeats itself, and each situation calls for a different response. Sometimes the situation in which a man finds himself may require him to shape his own fate by action. At other times it is more advantageous for him to make use of an opportunity for contemplation and to realize assets in this way. Sometimes man may be required simple to accept fate, to bear his cross. Every situation is distinguished by its uniqueness, and there is always only one right answer to the problem posed by the situation at hand. When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
Viktor E. Frankl
But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D. And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.
Milton Sanford Mayer (They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45)
Let me begin now, this very night, to emulate Christ. Cast off forever will be the old self and with it defeat, despair, doubt, and disbelief. To a newness of life I come--a life of faith, hope courage, and joy. No task looms too large; no responsibility too heavy; no duty is a burden. All things become possible.
Thomas S. Monson
our current mental-hygiene philosophy stresses the idea that people ought to be happy, that unhappiness is a symptom of maladjustment. Such a value system might be responsible for the fact that the burden of unavoidable unhappiness is increased by unhappiness about being unhappy.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
The best defenses against the terrors of existence are the homely comforts of love, work, and family life, which connect us to a world that is independent of our wishes yet responsive to our needs. It is through love and work, as Freud noted in a characteristically pungent remark, that we exchange crippling emotional conflict for ordinary unhappiness. Love and work enable each of us to explore a small corner of the world and to come to accept it on its own terms. But our society tends either to devalue small comforts or else to expect too much of them. Our standards of "creative, meaningful work" are too exalted to survive disappointment. Our ideal of "true romance" puts an impossible burden on personal relationships. We demand too much of life, too little of ourselves.
Christopher Lasch
We do not owe any soul, except that which played the most vital role in our lives.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Don't you feel that our brief hurried letters lack feeling and spirit, contain no whispers or dreams of love , that our responses are slow and burdened . . .
Samih Al-Qasim
The hallmark of a decision in line with one’s inner development is a feeling of having laid down a burden and picked up a more natural responsibility.
Anne Truitt (Daybook: The Journal of an Artist)
Clearly something had gone wrong, badly, only I wasn’t quite sure what—apart from knowing that I was responsible somehow, in the generalized miasma of shame and unworthiness and being-a-burden that never quite left me.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Duty is a good thing, a calling without which no civilization can survive, but it is also a weight and chain that sometimes seems sure to sink you to the airless bottom of a dark pool
Dean Koontz (Deeply Odd (Odd Thomas, #6))
He was not surly by temperment, and in fact did not find it difficult to form friendships, nor to allow those friendships to deepen, once they had been formed; he simply preferred to answer to himself. He disliked all burdens of responsibility, most especially when those responsibilities were expected, or enforced--and friendship nearly always devolved into matters of debt, guilt, and expectation.
Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries)
I realized that my mother had not taught us the tribal language because she knew her children would not be strong enough to carry the responsibility of being the last fluent speakers. She protected us from that spiritual burden. She protected us from that loneliness.
Sherman Alexie (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
Leadership is not about being appreciated; it is about responsibility. It does not matter that the burden is heavy; it matters that you carry it.
Master Splinter
Never blame men, they have too many responsibilities because they live in a country where they are being taught to take up the burden since they get an erection.
Himmilicious
We can’t expect one person — or even two — to take the entire burden of resisting on their shoulders. We all have to stand up and say no.
Dhonielle Clayton (The Everlasting Rose (The Belles, #2))
Americans, in foreign policy, are torn to the point of schizophrenia. They are reluctant, than aggressive; asleep at the switch, then quick on the trigger; indifferent, then obsessed, then indifferent again. They act out of a sense of responsibility and then resent and fear the burden of responsibility they have taken on themselves. Their effect on the world, not surprisingly, is often the opposite of what they intend. Americans say they want stability in the international system, but they are often the greates disrupters of stability. They extol the virtues of international laws and institutions but then violate and ignore them with barley a second thought. They are recolutionary power but think they are a status quo power. They want to be left alone but can't seem to leave anyone else alone. They are continually surprising the world with their behavior, but not nearly as much as they are continually surprising themselves.
Robert Kagan (The World America Made)
When you see a dandelion do you see a wish or a weed? When you hear a child cry do you hear a need or a demand? When you wash a sticky face do you feel blessed or burdened? As parents, our perspective determines our response, and our response determines our children's reality. So let's wish wishes, meet needs, and count blessings to make childhood a magical, peaceful, joy-filled reality for both our children and ourselves.
L.R. Knost
To join the company of women, to be adults, we go through a period of proudly boasting of having survived our own mother's indifference, anger, overpowering love, the burden of her pain, her tendency to drink or teetotal, her warmth or coldness, praise or criticism, sexual confusions or embarrassing clarity. It isn't enough that she sweat, labored, bore her daughters howling or under total anesthesia or both. No. She must be responsible for our psychic weaknesses the rest of her life. It is alright to feel kinship with your father, to forgive. We all know that. But your mother is held to a standard so exacting that it has no principles. She simply must be to blame.
Louise Erdrich (The Painted Drum)
I believe that all lives have equal value. That all men and women are created equal. That everyone belongs. That everyone has rights, and everyone has the right to flourish. I believe that when people who are bound by the rules have no role in shaping the rules, moral blind spots become law, and the powerless bear the burden. … I believe that entrenched social norms that shift society’s benefits to the powerful and its burdens to the powerless not only hurt the people pushed out but also always hurt the whole.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
I have met only a very few people - and most of these were not Americans - who had any real desire to be free. Freedom is hard to bear. It can be objected that I am speaking of political freedom in spiritual terms, but the political institutions of any nation are always menaced and are ultimately controlled by the spiritual state of that nation. We are controlled here by our confusion, far more than we know, and the American dream has therefore become something much more closely resembling a nightmare, on the private, domestic, and international levels. Privately, we cannot stand our lives and dare not examine them; domestically, we take no responsibility for (and no pride in) what goes on in our country; and, internationally, for many millions of people, we are an unmitigated disaster. Whoever doubts this last statement has only to open his ears, his heart, his mind, to the testimony of - for example - any Cuban peasant or any Spanish poet, and ask himself what he would feel about us if he were the victim of our performance in pre-Castro Cuba or in Spain. We defend our curious role in Spain by referring to the Russian menace and the necessity of protecting the free world. It has not occurred to us that we have simply been mesmerized by Russia, and that the only real advantage Russia has in what we think of as a struggle between the East and the West is the moral history of the Western world. Russia's secret weapon is the bewilderment and despair and hunger of millions of people of whose existence we are scarecely aware. The Russian Communists are not in the least concerned about these people. But our ignorance and indecision have had the effect, if not of delivering them into Russian hands, of plunging them very deeply in the Russian shadow, for which effect - and it is hard to blame them - the most articulate among them, and the most oppressed as well, distrust us all the more... We are capable of bearing a great burden, once we discover that the burden is reality and arrive where reality is. Anyway, the point here is that we are living in an age of revolution, whether we will or no, and that America is the only Western nation with both the power, and, as I hope to suggest, the experience that may help to make these revolutions real and minimize the human damage.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
if you truly want to live with peace in your heart and be free of the burdens of the past — you must be brave enough to be willing to look at yourself honestly, clearly, and without reservation. You must take responsibility for everything that’s ever happened to you. Not blame. Responsibility.
Laura McKowen (We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life)
When children are taught to be "good" and keep everyone happy, it teaches them that they have the impossible burden of being responsible for other people's happiness.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
It is in this sense that responsibility is liberty; the more decisions that you are forced to make alone, the more you are aware of your freedom to choose.
Thornton Wilder (The Ides of March)
You can surrender your day-to-day and the potential of your work to the burdens that surround you. Or, you can audit the way you work and own the responsibility of fixing it.
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
Being alone is easier than having a family. When you have a family, you are responsible to each other. It’s easier to navigate the world without that burden.
Zachary Jernigan (Shower of Stones (Jeroun, #2))
We bear responsibility for our tempers, most especially when someone is harmed by accident. Shorter tempers require greater care from those burdened with them.
Dot Hutchison (The Vanishing Season (The Collector, #4))
I take responsibility for the man I used to be, for I carry him with me. As strong as I am, he’s a heavy burden
Alice Hoffman (The Museum of Extraordinary Things)
Our political concepts, according to which we have to assume responsibility for all public affairs within our reach regardless of personal "guilt", because we are held responsible as citizens for everything that our government does in the name of the country, may lead us into an intolerable situation of global responsibility. The solidarity of mankind may well turn out to be an unbearable burden, and it is not surprising that the common reactions to it are political apathy, isolationist nationalism, or desperate rebellion against all powers that be rather than enthusiasm or a desire for a revival of humanism.
Hannah Arendt (Men in Dark Times)
The answer was obvious. Life had no meaning. On the earth, satellite of a star speeding through space, living things had arisen under the influence of conditions which were part of the planet's history; and as there had been a beginning of life upon it so, under the influence of other conditions, there would be an end: man, no more significant than other forms of life, had come not as the climax of creation but as a physical reaction to the environment. Philip remembered the story of the Eastern King who, desiring to know the history of man, was brought by a sage five hundred volumes; busy with affairs of state, he bade him go and condense it; in twenty years the sage returned and his history now was in no more than fifty volumes, but the King, too old then to read so many ponderous tomes, bade him go and shorten it once more; twenty years passed again and the sage, old and gray, brought a single book in which was the knowledge the King had sought; but the King lay on his death-bed, and he had no time to read even that; and then the sage gave him the history of man in a single line; it was this: he was born, he suffered, and he died. There was no meaning in life, and man by living served no end. It was immaterial whether he was born or not born, whether he lived or ceased to live. Life was insignificant and death without consequence. Philip exulted, as he had exulted in his boyhood when the weight of a belief in God was lifted from his shoulders: it seemed to him that the last burden of responsibility was taken from him; and for the first time he was utterly free. His insignificance was turned to power, and he felt himself suddenly equal with the cruel fate which had seemed to persecute him; for, if life was meaningless, the world was robbed of its cruelty. What he did or left undone did not matter. Failure was unimportant and success amounted to nothing. He was the most inconsiderate creature in that swarming mass of mankind which for a brief space occupied the surface of the earth; and he was almighty because he had wrenched from chaos the secret of its nothingness.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
He knew then that there are many ways for a heart to break. Sometimes it’s from the crowding of life, the compression of responsibility and birth right and burden that just squeezed you until you couldn’t breathe anymore. Even though your lungs were working just fine. And sometimes it’s from the casual cruelty of a fate that took you far from where you had thought you would end up. And sometimes it’s age in the face of youth. Or sickness in the face of health. But sometimes it’s just because you’re looking into the eyes of your lover and your gratitude for having them in your life overflows... because you showed them what was on the inside and they didn’t run scared or turn away, they accepted you and loved you and held you in the midst of your passion or your fear... or your combination of both.
J.R. Ward
Unless a man has the talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden. Of what avail is freedom to choose if the self be ineffectual? We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, ‘to be free from freedom.’ It was not sheer hypocrisy when the rank-and-file Nazis declared themselves not guilty of all the enormities they had committed. They considered themselves cheated and maligned when made to shoulder responsibility for obeying orders. Had they not joined the Nazi movement in order to be free from responsibility?
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements)
[...] the responsibility for their wellbeing and for the fundamental meaning they give to their own life must, in adulthood, be theirs. To accept the burden that someone 'can't live without you' is unrealistic. It infantilises that person and overburdens you. p.226
Stephanie Dowrick (Intimacy and Solitude: Balancing Closeness and Independence)
You cannot have my pain.” “Dalinar—” Dalinar forced himself to his feet. “You. Cannot. Have. My. Pain.” “Be sensible.” “I killed those children,” Dalinar said. “No, it—” “I burned the people of Rathalas.” “I was there, influencing you—” “YOU CANNOT HAVE MY PAIN!” Dalinar bellowed, stepping toward Odium. The god frowned. His Fused companions shied back, and Amaram raised a hand before his eyes and squinted. Were those gloryspren spinning around Dalinar? “I did kill the people of Rathalas,” Dalinar shouted. “You might have been there, but I made the choice. I decided!” He stilled. “I killed her. It hurts so much, but I did it. I accept that. You cannot have her. You cannot take her from me again.” “Dalinar,” Odium said. “What do you hope to gain, keeping this burden?” Dalinar sneered at the god. “If I pretend … If I pretend I didn’t do those things, it means that I can’t have grown to become someone else.” “A failure.” Something stirred inside of Dalinar. A warmth that he had known once before. A warm, calming light. Unite them. “Journey before destination,” Dalinar said. “It cannot be a journey if it doesn’t have a beginning.” A thunderclap sounded in his mind. Suddenly, awareness poured back into him. The Stormfather, distant, feeling frightened—but also surprised. Dalinar? “I will take responsibility for what I have done,” Dalinar whispered. “If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.
Brandon Sanderson (Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3))
There are times when the burden of need and our own limitations might tempt us to become discouraged. But precisely then we are helped by the knowledge that, in the end, we are only instruments in the Lord's hands; and this knowledge frees us from the presumption of thinking that we alone are personally responsible for building a better world. In all humility we will do what we can, and in all humility we will entrust the rest to the Lord. It is God who governs the world, not we. We offer him our service only to the extent that we can, and for as long as he grants us the strength. To do all we can with what strength we have, however, is the task which keeps the good servant of Jesus Christ always at work: “The love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor 5:14).
Benedict XVI (God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est)
What has been done to you is one thing. Yet to really suffer, to truly be burdened with guilt and shame, such pain always begins not with what has been done to you—but with what you have done. André Chevalier
Nikki Sex (Abuse (Abuse, #1))
Love always precedes repentance. Divine love is a catalyst for our turning, our healing. Where fear & threat may gain our compliance, love captures our heart. It changes the heavy burden of the "have-to's" of imposed obedience to the "get-to's", a joyful response to the genuine love of God. It is in the security of this love we find Sabbath (rest).
Michael M. Rose
I am responsible for my personal happiness. One of the characteristics of immaturity is the belief that it is someone else’s job to make me happy—much as it was once my parents’ job to keep me alive. If only someone would love me, then I would love myself. If only someone would take care of me, then I would be contented. If only someone would spare me the necessity of making decisions, then I would be carefree. If only someone would make me happy. Here’s a simple but powerful stem to wake one up to reality: If I take full responsibility for my personal happiness—. Taking responsibility for my happiness is empowering. It places my life back in my own hands. Ahead of taking this responsibility, I may imagine it will be a burden. What I discover is that it sets me free.
Nathaniel Branden (The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem)
For being a foreigner, Ashima is beginning to realize, is a sort of lifelong pregnancy—a perpetual wait, a constant burden, a continuous feeling out of sorts. It is an ongoing responsibility, a parenthesis in what had once been ordinary life, only to discover that that previous life has vanished, replaced by something more complicated and demanding. Like pregnancy, being a foreigner, Ashima believes, is something that elicits the same curiosity from strangers, the same combination of pity and respect.
Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)
It is imposible to understand sex as we see it nowadays - a mere response to a few physical stimuli. In reality, it is far more than that, and carries with it man's and humanity's entire cultural burden. Each time we face a new experience, we bring with us all past experiences - both good and bad - as well as those concepts which civilization has made into rules.
Paulo Coelho (Warrior of the Light)
The truth will set you free, but it doesn’t make truth hurt any less, nor does it make truth any prettier, and it certainly doesn’t absolve you of the responsibilities that truth requires. One of the biggest obstacles guys face in unplugging is accepting the hard truths that Game forces upon them. Among these is bearing the burden of realizing what you’ve been conditioned to believe for so long were comfortable ideals and loving expectations are really liabilities. Call them lies if you want, but there’s a certain hopeless nihilism that accompanies categorizing what really amounts to a system that you are now cut away from. It is not that you’re hopeless, it’s that you lack the insight at this point to see that you can create hope in a new system – one in which you have more direct control over.
Rollo Tomassi
If you feel like something is wrong, there's no always a chance to make things right, not matter who's to blame. But you should never feel responsible for other people's choices. That's too big a burden for anyone to carry.
Chris Colfer (Worlds Collide (The Land of Stories, #6))
I lied," I said. ... "I know it," he said. "Then do something about it. Do anything, just so it's something." "I cant," he said. "There aint anything to do? Not anything?" "I didn't say that," Grandfather said. "I said I couldn't. You can." "What?" I said. "How can I forget it? Tell me how to." "You cant," he said. "Nothing is ever forgotten. Nothing is ever lost. It's too valuable." "Then what can I do?" "Live with it," Grandfather said. "Live with it? You mean, forever? For the rest of my life? Not ever to get rid of it? Never? I cant. Dont you see that I cant?" "Yes you can," he said. "You will. A gentleman always does. A gentleman can live through anything. He faces anything. A gentleman accepts the responsibility of his actions and bears the burden of their consequences, even when he did not himself instigate them but only acquiesced to them, didn't say No though he knew he should.
William Faulkner (The Reivers)
Bear one another’s burdens, the Bible says. It is a lesson about pain that we all can agree on. Some of us will not see pain as a gift; some will always accuse God of being unfair for allowing it. But, the fact is, pain and suffering are here among us, and we need to respond in some way. The response Jesus gave was to bear the burdens of those he touched. To live in the world as his body, his emotional incarnation, we must follow his example. The image of the body accurately portrays how God is working in the world. Sometimes he does enter in, occasionally by performing miracles, and often by giving supernatural strength to those in need. But mainly he relies on us, his agents, to do his work in the world.We are asked to live out the life of Christ in the world, not just to refer back to it or describe it.We announce his message, work for justice, pray for mercy . . . and suffer with the sufferers.
Philip Yancey (Where Is God When It Hurts?)
I find myself taking responsibility for everyone's emotions, even though they are not my burden to carry. I somehow feel that it is up to me to make them happy, because no one else will. If my loved ones are not happy, neither am I.
Marissa Baker (The INFJ Handbook: A guide to and for the rarest Myers-Briggs personality type)
he told me that a man must be responsible for any seed he sows, for it’s his duty to take care of a woman and protect her. And if I wasna prepared to do that, then I’d no right to burden a woman with the consequences of my own actions.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
Young man, can you restore my eyesight?” “Sir? Why, no, sir!” “You would find it much easier than to instill moral virtue—social responsibility—into a person who doesn’t have it, doesn’t want it, and resents having the burden thrust on him.
Robert A. Heinlein (Starship Troopers)
She is in charge of everything, but no one knows. It is a tremendous burden, she says, to be responsible for every little thing, every infant born, every leaf falling from every tree, every wave that breaks onto the beach, every ant on its journey.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
in the academic literature, making children responsible for the emotional well-being of the parents was referred to as emotional incest. It is a heavy burden for young children because they do not even know how to look after their own emotions yet.
Diana Macey (Narcissistic Mothers and Covert Emotional Abuse: For Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents)
In earlier times, one had an easier conscience about being a person than one does today. People were like cornstalks in a field, probably more violently tossed back and forth by God, hail, fire, pestilence, and war than they are today, but as a whole, as a city, a region, a field, and as to what personal movement was left to the individual stalk – all this was clearly defined and could be answered for. But today responsibility’s center of gravity is not in people but in circumstances. Have we not noticed that experiences have made themselves independent of people? They have gone on the stage, into books, into the reports of research institutes and explorers, into ideological or religious communities, which foster certain kinds of experience at the expense of others as if they are conducting a kind of social experiment, and insofar as experiences are not actually being developed, they are simply left dangling in the air. Who can say nowadays that his anger is really his own anger when so many people talk about it and claim to know more about it than he does? A world of qualities without a man has arisen, of experiences without the person who experiences them, and it almost looks as though ideally private experience is a thing of the past, and that the friendly burden of personal responsibility is to dissolve into a system of formulas of possible meanings. Probably the dissolution of the anthropocentric point of view, which for such a long time considered man to be at the center of the universe but which has been fading away for centuries, has finally arrived at the “I” itself, for the belief that the most important thing about experience is the experiencing, or of action the doing, is beginning to strike most people as naïve. There are probably people who still lead personal lives, who say “We saw the So-and-sos yesterday” or “We’ll do this or that today” and enjoy it without its needing to have any content of significance. They like everything that comes in contact with their fingers, and are purely private persons insofar as this is at all possible. In contact with such people, the world becomes a private world and shines like a rainbow. They may be very happy, but this kind of people usually seems absurd to the others, although it is still not at all clear why. And suddenly, in view of these reflections, Ulrich had to smile and admit to himself that he was, after all, a character, even without having one.
Robert Musil (The Man Without Qualities: Volume I (1/2))
Edith Weisskopf-Joelson, before her death professor of psychology at the University of Georgia, contended, in her article on logotherapy, that “our current mental-hygiene philosophy stresses the idea that people ought to be happy, that unhappiness is a symptom of maladjustment. Such a value system might be responsible for the fact that the burden of unavoidable unhappiness is increased by unhappiness about being unhappy.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
Whenever I’m home for a few days, I start to feel this despair at being back in the place where I had spent so many afternoons dreaming of getting away, so many late nights fantasizing about who I would be once I was allowed to be someone apart from my family, once I was free to commit mistakes on my own. How strange it is to return to a place where my childish notions of freedom are everywhere to be found—in my journals and my doodles and the corners of the room where I sat fuming for hours, counting down the days until I could leave this place and start my real life. But now that trying to become someone on my own is no longer something to dream about but just my ever-present reality, now that my former conviction that I had been burdened with the responsibility of taking care of this household has been revealed to be untrue, that all along, my responsibilities had been negligible, illusory even, that all along, our parents had been the ones watching over us—me and my brother—and now that I am on my own, the days of resenting my parents for loving me too much and my brother for needing me too intensely have been replaced with the days of feeling bewildered by the prospect of finding some other identity besides “daughter” or “sister.” It turns out this, too, is terrifying, all of it is terrifying. Being someone is terrifying. I long to come home, but now, I will always come home to my family as a visitor, and that weighs on me, reverts me back into the teenager I was, but instead of insisting that I want everyone to leave me alone, what I want now is for someone to beg me to stay. Me again. Mememememememe.
Jenny Zhang (Sour Heart)
If we were all responsible for the misdeeds of the governments that represent us, thought Isabel, then the moral burden would be just too great.
Alexander McCall Smith (Friends, Lovers, Chocolate)
What if I was born into a normal life, one without a tortured childhood and without the weight of so many responsibilities and burdens?
Kelly St. Clare (Fantasy of Flight (The Tainted Accords, #2))
I held on to those other sources of income for so long because I never wanted to burden my writing with the responsibility of paying for my life.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
Everything is not your responsibility. Trees grow in jungle without your help. Birds fly high without your help. Universe takes care of everything.
Shunya
Think of responsibility as a blessing, not a burden.
Haresh Sippy
I don't really remember making a decision. I don't remember thinking to myself, "Yes, I will do this," or, "No, I will not do that." They tell you what to do, and you do it. You don't reflect on it. You don't ponder its meaning. You don't explore its ambiguities or consider its consequences. These burdens are removed from you. In theory. But you are still human. Eventually, you do reflect on it. The consequences make themselves known. The results of your actions persist. Eventually, you are struck by their meaning. At some point, an accounting is made. Eventually, if you are human, and sane, you examine what you have done.
Stephen Dau (The Book of Jonas)
My opinion is that it is a very extraordinary thing for anyone to be upset by such a topic. Why should anyone be shattered by the though of hell? It is not compulsory for anyone to go there. Those who do, do so by their own choice, and against the will of God, and they can only get into hell by defying and resisting all the work of Providence and grace. It is their own will that takes them there, not God's. In damning them He is only ratifying their own decision--a decision which He has left entirely to their own choice. Nor will He ever hold our weakness alone responsible for our damnation. Our weakness should not terrify us: it is the source of our strength. Libenter gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi. Power is made perfect in infirmity, and our very helplessness is all the more potent a claim on that Divine Mercy Who calls to Himself the poor, the little ones, the heavily burdened.
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
We all crave latitude in life, yet simultaneously dig ourselves deeper into domestic entrapment. We may dream of traveling light but accumulate as much as we can to keep us burdened and rooted to one spot. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. Because-though we all muse on the theme of escape-we stil find the notion of responsibility irresistible. The career, the house, the dependents, the debt-it grounds us. Provides us with a necessary security, a reason to get upin the morning. It narrows choice and ergo, gives us certainty. And though just about every man I know rails against being so cul-de-saced by domesic burden, we all embrace it. Embrace it with a vengeance.
Douglas Kennedy (The Big Picture)
Before she left She was gone before she left. Her heart started walking away long before she physically made her way out. She started leaving when you began to put her in the shadows, when you found more important things to invest your time in than being in her presence, when the things that made her smile became a burden you once carried for the sake of winning her heart, when her ears became a well that you dropped your promises in with no intention of picking them up and fulfilling them. She was gone mentally and emotionally. Her physically leaving was just a delayed response.
Pierre Jeanty (Ashes of Her Love)
What was needed, was not merely a resolute man, but a man who was also free from the net of legal controls. Such being the circumstances, Quinctius declared that he would nominate Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus as Dictator, convinced that in him were courage and resolution equal to the majestic authority of that office. The proposal was unanimously approved, but Cincinnatus, hesitating to accept the burden of responsibility, asked what the Senate was thinking of to wish to expose an old man like him to what must prove the sternest of struggles; but hesitation was in vain, for when from every corner of the House came the cry that in that aged heart lay more wisdom - yes, and courage too - than in all the rest put together, and when praises, well deserved, were heaped upon him and the consul refused to budge an inch from his purpose, Cincinnatus gave way and, with a prayer to God to save his old age from bringing loss or dishonor upon his country in her trouble, was named Dictator by the consul.
Livy (The History of Rome, Books 1-5: The Early History of Rome)
For every woman you know who has been given substandard treatment by her parents, used by her friend or boyfriend, abused by her husband, discriminated by her employers and ridiculed by society, I know a man who has been burdened with family responsibility since childhood, humiliated by his girlfriend, bullied by his employers, pushed by society and harassed by his wife. Everybody is fighting their own battle.
Sanjeev Himachali
People respond to struggles in different ways. Some feel defeated and beaten down by the burdens they are called to bear. Many begin to blame others for their difficulties and defeats, and they fail to follow the counsel of the Lord. It is a natural tendency to seek the easy road on life’s journey and to become discouraged, filled with doubt, and even depressed when facing life’s struggles. Elder Neal A. Maxwell, then an Assistant to the Twelve, distinguished the difference in responses to difficulties: ‘The winds of tribulation, which blow out some men’s candles of commitment, only fan the fires of faith of [others]’.
L. Lionel Kendrick
There are usually enough tragedies in life that we are genuinely responsible for. Feel guilty about them, for sure. But there is no point in burdening your heart with guilt over events that are not your fault.
Amish Tripathi (The Oath of the Vayuputras (Shiva Trilogy, #3))
Contrast toxic religion with the pure gospel. Religion is all about what I do. The gospel is all about what Jesus has done. Religion is about me. The gospel is about Jesus. Religion highlights my efforts to do what is right. The gospel highlights what Christ has already done. Religion lures me to believe that if I obey God, he will love me. But the gospel shows me that because God loves me, I get to obey him. Religion puts the burden on us. We have to do what is right. A relationship with Christ puts the burden on him. And because of what he did for us, we get to do what is right. Instead of an obligation, our right living is a response to his gift. Giving Christ our whole lives is the only reasonable response to such love. There nothing more we need to do. Nothing...
Craig Groeschel (Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World)
that a man must be responsible for any seed he sows, for it’s his duty to take care of a woman and protect her. And if I wasna prepared to do that, then I’d no right to burden a woman with the consequences of my own actions.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you’ll come to realize how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with you. You’ll see that no one else other than you was responsible. The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival.
Osho
In so much firm, pleasure-loving flesh, we cannot find the merest trace of a moral nervous system. That explains the whole enigma of Casanova's subtle genius. Lucky man that he is, he has only sensuality, and lacks the first beginnings of a soul. Bound by no ties, having no fixed aim, restrained by no prudent considerations, he can move at a different tempo from his fellow mortals, who are burdened with moral scruples, who aim at an ethical goal, who are tied by notions of social responsibility. That is the secret of his unique impetus, of his incomparable energy.
Stefan Zweig (Casanova: A Study in Self-Portraiture)
Love embraces the totality of the other person. It is impossible to completely and effectively love someone without being included in that other person’s history. Our history has made us who we are. The images, scars, and victories that we live with have shaped us into the people we have become. We will never know who a person is until we understand where they have been. The secret of being transformed from a vulnerable victim to a victorious, loving person is found in the ability to open your past to someone responsible enough to share your weaknesses and pains. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). You don’t have to keep reliving it. You can release it.
T.D. Jakes (Healing the Wounds of the Past)
It is difficult for you to dream,” Barrouck said, “because your shoulders are heavy with responsibility. Mine are light. If you permit me, I will hold a portion of your burden in the peace talks, if you will take a portion of my hope.
Jennifer Valoppi (Certain Cure: Where Science Meets Religion)
Without the burdens and problems associated with fame and fortune, Lieh-tzu could live leisurely and be free to do what he liked and go where he wanted. To Lieh-tzu, being an unknown citizen was better than being a person of power and responsibility. In a time when politicians played games of intrigue, Lieh-tzu felt it was better to remain silent and be truthful to oneself.
Eva Wong (Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living (Shambhala Dragon Editions))
If "the Nature Cruise of the Century" had come off as planned, the division of duties would have been typical of the management of so many organizations a million years ago, with the nominal leader specializing in sociable balderdash, and with the supposed second-in-command burdened with the responsibility of understanding how things really worked, and what was really going on.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Galápagos)
Three things make people want to change. One is that they hurt sufficiently. They have beat their heads against the same wall so long that they decide they have had enough. They have invested in the same slot machines without a pay-off for so long that they finally are willing either to stop playing, or to move on to others. Their migraines hurt, their ulcers bleed. They are alcoholic. They have hit the bottom. They beg for relief. They want to change. Another thing that makes people want to change is a slow type of despair called ennui, or boredom. This is what the person has who goes through life saying, "So what?" until he finally asks the ultimate big "So What?" He is ready to change. A third thing that makes people want to change is the sudden discovery that they can. This has been an observable effect of Transactional Analysis. Many people who have shown no particular desire to change have been exposed to Transactional Analysis through lectures or by hearing about it from someone else. This knowledge has produced an excitement about new possibilities, which has led to their further inquiry and a growing desire to change. There is also the type of patient who, although suffering from disabling symptoms, still does not really want to change. His treatment contract reads, "I'll promise to let you help me if I don't have to get well." This negative attitude changes, however, as the patient begins to see that there is indeed another way to live. A working knowledge of P-A-C makes it possible for the Adult to explore new and exciting frontiers of life, a desire which has been there all along but has been buried under the burden of the NOT OK.
Thomas A. Harris (I'm OK - You're OK)
We have taken many paths we would not have chosen, and we have done many jobs we did not want to do. We have carried burdens we did not want to carry and dealt with impossible people we did not like. It is strange that the road we did not want to take is the one that brought us more quickly to the place we wanted to be. At times, the waywas hostile, but when we needed a hand there was one. When we needed courage, it was there. What we call problems and unjust circumstances have away of teaching us integrity and how to be peaceful. It makes us wonder how many other rewards we have missed because we resisted something that looked like too much responsibility.
Joyce Sequichie Hifler (Cherokee Feast of Days: Daily Meditations: 1)
What you carry is what defines you. It can be the burden of feeding your family, the responsibility of caring for patients, the good that you feel you must do for others, or the sins that you will not release. Whatever it is, we all carry something, every day. And for all your time with us—as you so defiantly stated, Chika—my job was carrying you. My job was—and is—carrying your brothers and sisters in the orphanage. My job, it turns out, after so many years without them, is carrying children. It is the most wonderful weight to bear.
Mitch Albom (Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family)
In thousands of little ways, we pull and push our children to grow up, hurrying them along instead of inviting them to rest. We could never court each other as adults by resisting dependance...Perhaps we feel free to invite the dependance of adults becuase we are not responsible for their growth and maturity. We don't bear the burden of getting them to be independant. Here is the core of the problem: we are assuming too much responsiblity for the maturation of our children. We have forgotten that we are not alone - we have nature as our ally. Independance is the fruit of maturation; our job in raising children is to look after their dependance needs. When we do our job of meeting genuine dependance needs, nature is free to do its job of promoting maturity. In the same way, we don't have to make our children grow taller; we just need to give them food. By forgetting that growth, development and maturation are natural processes, we lose perspective. We become afraid our children will get stuck and never grow up. Perhaps we think that if we don't push a little, they will never leave the nest. Human beings are not like birds in this respect. The more children are pushed, the tighter they cling - or, failing that, they nest with someone else.
Gordon Neufeld
I am not interested in having freedom from burdens. I don't need any authority to free me from responsibility. I am not interested in having freedoms within an authoritarian's parameters. I am only interested in self-determination. I have only respect for liberty as I am a libertarian.
A.E. Samaan
Drama usually bases itself on the bedrock of original sin, whether the writer thinks in theological terms or not. Then, too, any character in a serious novel is supposed to carry a burden of meaning larger than himself. The novelist doesn’t write about people in a vacuum; he writes about people in a world where something is obviously lacking, where there is the general mystery of incompleteness and the particular tragedy of our own times to be demonstrated, and the novelist tries to give you, within the form of the book, a total experience of human nature at any time. For this reason, the greatest dramas naturally involve the salvation or loss of the soul. Where there is no belief in the soul, there is very little drama. The Christian novelist is distinguished from his pagan colleagues by recognizing sin as sin. According to his heritage, he sees it not as a sickness or an accident of the environment, but as a responsible choice of offense against God which involves his eternal future. Either one is serious about salvation or one is not. And it is well to realize that the maximum amount of seriousness admits the maximum amount of comedy. Only if we are secure in our beliefs can we see the comical side of the universe. One reason a great deal of our contemporary fictions is humorless is because so many of these writers are relativists and have to be continually justifying the actions of their characters on a sliding scale of values.
Flannery O'Connor (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose)
Well, the good news is it's never too late to rewrite your own story,' he said. 'If you feel like something is wrong, there's always a chance to make things right, no matter who's to blame. But you should never feel responsible for other people's choices. That's too big a burden for anyone to carry.
Chris Colfer (Worlds Collide (The Land of Stories, #6))
His response was that it was a burden doing what he knew to be correct, to be sound and logical.’ Erskine ran one hand across the pod as if he could touch his daughter within. ‘And how much simpler things would be, how much better for us all, if we had people brave enough to do what was right, instead.
Hugh Howey (Shift (Shift, #1-3; Silo, #2))
I used to think that the term inner child was a ridiculous metaphor invented to remind responsibility-burdened adults to lighten up occasionally and just have fun. But it turns out that the inner child is very real. It is our past. And the only way to escape the past is to embrace it. So before going to bed that night, I put the photo in a frame and place it next to my bed. And I vow that from this day forward, that child will be protected. He will be loved. He will be accepted. He will be trusted. And all this will be given unconditionally. He will not be taught to hate and fear. He will not be criticized for failing to live up to unrealistic expectations. He will not be used as a Kleenex or aspirin for someone else’s feelings of loneliness, fear, depression, or anxiety.
Neil Strauss (The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book about Relationships)
This is thought to reflect the killer combination that these folks are often burdened with, namely, high work demands but little autonomy—responsibility without control.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
Growing up as a miniature adult, burdened with duties, he developed an exaggerated sense of responsibility that would be evident throughout his life.
Ron Chernow (Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.)
RESPONSIBILITY Taking on responsibility is not a burden, but a proclamation of freedom.
Sirshree (365 HAPPY QUOTES – DAILY INSPIRATIONS FROM SIRSHREE)
Toxic stress response can occur when a child experiences strong, frequent, and/or prolonged adversity—such as physical or emotional abuse, neglect, caregiver substance abuse or mental illness, exposure to violence, and/or the accumulated burdens of family economic hardship—without adequate adult support. This kind of prolonged activation of the stress-response systems can disrupt the development of brain architecture and other organ systems, and increase the risk for stress-related disease and cognitive impairment, well into the adult years.
Nadine Burke Harris (The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity)
As Tick writes in War and the Soul, “Our society must accept responsibility for its warmaking. To the returning veterans, our leaders and people must say, ‘you did this in our name and because you were subject to our orders, we lift the burden of your actions from you and take it onto our shoulders. We are responsible for you, for what you did and the consequences.
Kevin Sites (The Things They Cannot Say: Stories Soldiers Won't Tell You About What They've Seen, Done or Failed to Do in War)
Man, who has not been granted the gift of undoing, who is always an un-consulted heir of other men’s deeds, and who is always burdened with a responsibility that appears to be the consequence of an unending chain of events rather than conscious acts, demands an explanation and interpretation of the past in which the mysterious key to his future destiny seems to be concealed.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
If we tolerate vulgarity our future will sway and fall under a burden of ignorance. It need not be so. We have the brains and the heart to face our futures bravely. Taking responsibility for the time we take up and the space we occupy. To respect our ancestors and out of concern for our descendants, we must show ourselves as courteous and courageous well-meaning Americans. Now.
Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
What rules, then, can one follow if one is dedicated to the truth? First, never speak falsehood. Second, bear in mind that the act of withholding the truth is always potentially a lie, and that in each instance in which the truth is withheld a significant moral decision is required. Third, the decision to withhold the truth should never be based on personal needs, such as a need for power, a need to be liked or a need to protect one’s map from challenge. Fourth, and conversely, the decision to withhold the truth must always be based entirely upon the needs of the person or people from whom the truth is being withheld. Fifth, the assessment of another’s needs is an act of responsibility which is so complex that it can only be executed wisely when one operates with genuine love for the other. Sixth, the primary factor in the assessment of another’s needs is the assessment of that person’s capacity to utilize the truth for his or her own spiritual growth. Finally, in assessing the capacity of another to utilize the truth for personal spiritual growth, it should be borne in mind that our tendency is generally to underestimate rather than overestimate this capacity. All this might seem like an extraordinary task, impossible to ever perfectly complete, a chronic and never-ending burden, a real drag. And it is indeed a never-ending burden of self-discipline, which is why most people opt for a life of very limited honesty and openness and relative closedness, hiding themselves and their maps from the world. It is easier that way. Yet the rewards of the difficult life of honesty and dedication to the truth are more than commensurate with the demands. By virtue of the fact that their maps are continually being challenged, open people are continually growing people. Through their openness they can establish and maintain intimate relationships far more effectively than more closed people. Because they never speak falsely they can be secure and proud in the knowledge that they have done nothing to contribute to the confusion of the world, but have served as sources of
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
From the will of a freedom-fighter, Farzad Kamangar: "Is it possible to be a teacher and not show the path to the sea to the little fish of the country? Is it possible to carry the heavy burden of being a teacher and be responsible for spreading the seeds of knowledge and still be silent? Is it possible to see the lumps in the throats of the students and witness their thin and malnourished faces and keep quiet? … I cannot imagine witnessing the pain and poverty of the people of this land and fail to give our hearts to the river and the sea, to the roar and the flood.
Samad Behrangi
Life had no meaning. On the earth, satellite of a star speeding through space, living things had arisen under the influence of conditions which were part of the planet's history; and as there had been a beginning of life upon it so, under the influence of other conditions, there would be an end: man, no more significant than other forms of life, had come not as the climax of creation but as a physical reaction to the environment. Philip remembered the story of the Eastern King who, desiring to know the history of man, was brought by a sage five hundred volumes; busy with affairs of state, he bade him go and condense it; in twenty years the sage returned and his history now was in no more than fifty volumes, but the King, too old then to read so many ponderous tomes, bade him go and shorten it once more; twenty years passed again and the sage, old and gray, brought a single book in which was the knowledge the King had sought; but the King lay on his death-bed, and he had no time to read even that; and then the sage gave him the history of man in a single line; it was this: he was born, he suffered, and he died. There was no meaning in life, and man by living served no end. It was immaterial whether he was born or not born, whether he lived or ceased to live. Life was insignificant and death without consequence. Philip exulted, as he had exulted in his boyhood when the weight of a belief in God was lifted from his shoulders: it seemed to him that the last burden of responsibility was taken from him; and for the first time he was utterly free.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
THE POWER TO CHOOSE Choice implies consciousness — a high degree of consciousness. Without it, you have no choice. Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present. Until you reach that point, you are unconscious, spiritually speaking. This means that you are compelled to think, feel, and act in certain ways according to the conditioning of your mind. Nobody chooses dysfunction, conflict, pain. Nobody chooses insanity. They happen because there is not enough presence in you to dissolve the past, not enough light to dispel the darkness. You are not fully here. You have not quite woken up yet. In the meantime, the conditioned mind is running your life. Similarly, if you are one of the many people who have an issue with their parents, if you still harbor resentment about something they did or did not do, then you still believe that they had a choice — that they could have acted differently. It always looks as if people had a choice, but that is an illusion. As long as your mind with its conditioned patterns runs your life, as long as you are your mind, what choice do you have? None. You are not even there. The mind-identified state is severely dysfunctional. It is a form of insanity. Almost everyone is suffering from this illness in varying degrees. The moment you realize this, there can be no more resentment. How can you resent someone's illness? The only appropriate response is compassion. If you are run by your mind, although you have no choice you will still suffer the consequences of your unconsciousness, and you will create further suffering. You will bear the burden of fear, conflict, problems, and pain. The suffering thus created will eventually force you out of your unconscious state.
Eckhart Tolle (Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now)
Sometimes, after counseling sessions, I desperately wanted to buy vodka, lots of it, take it home and drink it down, but in the end I never did. I couldn’t, for lots of reasons, one of which was that if I wasn’t fit to, then who would feed Glen? She isn’t able to take care of herself. She needs me. It isn’t annoying, her need—it isn’t a burden. It’s a privilege. I’m responsible. I chose to put myself in a situation where I’m responsible. Wanting to look after her, a small, dependent, vulnerable creature, is innate, and I don’t even have to think about it. It’s like breathing. For some people.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
Will we trust that God is good even when life is not? Our response to pain and challenges determines so much about our future. If we decide to trust, we will grow in our faith, deepen in our intimacy with God, and be conformed to the image of Christ. But if we allow our hearts to drift, we’ll wake up one day drowning in doubts, buried in burdens, and feeling far from the only one who can help us heal.
Craig Groeschel (Divine Direction: 7 Decisions That Will Change Your Life)
Without the power to put them into practice, truths are of no use. They remain academic. Power, no matter what kind of power it is, without a foundation in truth, is a dictatorship, more or less and in one way or another, for it is always based on man's fear of the social responsibility and personal burden that "freedom" entails. Dictatorial power and truth do not go together. They are mutually exclusive.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
I’m a bit psychic.” She glances up at him, measuring the impact of her words, then returns her gaze to the fire. “It left me wide open to people’s emotions when I was younger. I didn’t know how to shield myself. I didn’t believe what I’m telling you now, that people have to carry their own burdens, that they’re responsible for their own emotional journeys. I sank under the weight of it all. And so I started drinking.
Kerry Anne King (Everything You Are)
These ideas can be made more concrete with a parable, which I borrow from John Fowles’s wonderful novel, The Magus. Conchis, the principle character in the novel, finds himself Mayor of his home town in Greece when the Nazi occupation begins. One day, three Communist partisans who recently killed some German soldiers are caught. The Nazi commandant gives Conchis, as Mayor, a choice — either Conchis will execute the three partisans himself to set an example of loyalty to the new regime, or the Nazis will execute every male in the town. Should Conchis act as a collaborator with the Nazis and take on himself the direct guilt of killing three men? Or should he refuse and, by default, be responsible for the killing of over 300 men? I often use this moral riddle to determine the degree to which people are hypnotized by Ideology. The totally hypnotized, of course, have an answer at once; they know beyond doubt what is correct, because they have memorized the Rule Book. It doesn’t matter whose Rule Book they rely on — Ayn Rand’s or Joan Baez’s or the Pope’s or Lenin’s or Elephant Doody Comix — the hypnosis is indicated by lack of pause for thought, feeling and evaluation. The response is immediate because it is because mechanical. Those who are not totally hypnotized—those who have some awareness of concrete events of sensory space-time, outside their heads— find the problem terrible and terrifying and admit they don’t know any 'correct' answer. I don’t know the 'correct' answer either, and I doubt that there is one. The universe may not contain 'right' and 'wrong' answers to everything just because Ideologists want to have 'right' and 'wrong' answers in all cases, anymore than it provides hot and cold running water before humans start tinkering with it. I feel sure that, for those awakened from hypnosis, every hour of every day presents choices that are just as puzzling (although fortunately not as monstrous) as this parable. That is why it appears a terrible burden to be aware of who you are, where you are, and what is going on around you, and why most people would prefer to retreat into Ideology, abstraction, myth and self-hypnosis. To come out of our heads, then, also means to come to our senses, literally—to live with awareness of the bottle of beer on the table and the bleeding body in the street. Without polemic intent, I think this involves waking from hypnosis in a very literal sense. Only one individual can do it at a time, and nobody else can do it for you. You have to do it all alone.
Robert Anton Wilson (Natural Law: or Don't Put a Rubber on Your Willy)
In two of your poems you called that central Passage of womanhood a wound, Instead of a curtain guarding a silken Trail of sighs. How many men, Upon regarding such beauty, helplessly Touching it, recklessly needing To enter its warmth again and again, Have assumed it embodies their own ache Of absence, the personal Gash that has punished their lives. So endowed of anatomy, any woman Who has been loved Knows that her tenderest blush Of tissue is a luxe burden of have. Although it bleeds, this is only to cleanse, To prepare yet another nesting for love. It is not a wound, friend. It is a home for you. It is a way into the world.
Michele Wolf
In the world of eternal return the weight of unbearable responsibility lies heavy on every move we make. That is why Nietzsche called the idea of eternal return the heaviest of burdens. If eternal return is the heaviest of burdens, then our lives can stand out against it in all their splendid lightness. But is heaviness truly deplorable and lightness splendid? The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in the love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man's body. The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life's most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of a burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into the heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness? ...That is the question. The only certainty is: the lightness/weight opposition is the most mysterious, most ambiguous of all.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
He saw a figure in white robes near the bridge entrance and turned the tape over in his hand. He approached the woman and said, his tone respectful, "Your Highness. The transmission we received..." The woman looked toward him. He'd seen her face many times before, knew it well. She was young, seemed younger every day, even as her responsibilities grew and grew. He held out his hand. Childlike fingers took the tape. "What is it they've sent us?" he asked. Prince Leia Organa looked at him as if he'd placed another burden on her shoulders - another responsibility to add to a count of thousands - and she was proud to bear it. "Hope," she said. Raymus believed her.
Alexander Freed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Star Wars: Novelizations, #3.5))
But the evil people do, that's their responsibility. The burden they have to carry. Sure, when we see 'em starting on causing some hurt, we've got to try and stop 'em, but mostly what the rest of us should be concerning ourselves with is doing right by others. Every time you do a good turn, you shine the light a little farther into the dark. And the thing is, even when we're gone, that light's going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back.
Charles de Lint (Someplace to Be Flying)
According to bourgeois standards, those who are completely unlucky and unsuccessful are automatically barred from competition, which is the life of society. Good fortune is identified with honor, and bad luck with shame. By assigning his political rights to the state the individual also delegates his social responsibilities to it: he asks the state to relieve him of the burden of caring for the poor precisely as he asks for protection against criminals. The difference between pauper and criminal disappears—both stand outside society. The unsuccessful are robbed of the virtue that classical civilization left them; the unfortunate can no longer appeal to Christian charity.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
What is there about fire that's so lovely? No matter what age we are, what draws us to it?" Beatty blew out the flame and lit it again. "It's perpetual motion; the thing man wanted to invent but never did. Or almost perpetual motion. If you let it go on, it'd burn our lifetimes out. What is fire? It's a mystery. Scientists give us gobbledegook about friction and molecules. But they don't really know. Its real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences. A problem gets too burdensome, then into the furnace with it. Now, Montag, you're a burden. And fire will lift you off my shoulders, clean, quick, sure; nothing to rot later. Antibiotic, aesthetic, practical.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Wir lernen aus unserer eigenen Geschichte, wozu der Mensch fähig ist. Deshalb dürfen wir uns nicht einbilden, wir seien nun als Menschen anders und besser geworden. Es gibt keine endgültig errungene moralische Vollkommenheit - für niemanden und kein Land! Wir haben als Menschen gelernt, wir bleiben als Menschen gefährdet. Aber wir haben die Kraft, Gefährdungen immer von neuem zu überwinden." [Ansprache am 8. Mai 1985 in der Gedenkstunde im Plenarsaal des Deutschen Bundestages]
Richard von Weizsäcker
It left me wide open to people’s emotions when I was younger. I didn’t know how to shield myself. I didn’t believe what I’m telling you now, that people have to carry their own burdens, that they’re responsible for their own emotional journeys.
Kerry Anne King (Everything You Are)
freedom the masses crave is not freedom of self-expression and self-realization, but freedom from the intolerable burden of an autonomous existence. They want freedom from “the fearful burden of free choice,”19 freedom from the arduous responsibility of realizing their ineffectual selves and shouldering the blame for the blemished product. They do not want freedom of conscience, but faith—blind, authoritarian faith. They sweep away the old order not to create a society of free and independent men, but to establish uniformity, individual anonymity and a new structure of perfect unity. It is not the wickedness of the old regime they rise against but its weakness; not its oppression, but its failure to hammer them together into one solid, mighty whole.
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements)
Rhodes Must Fall was a small-scale example of what racial injustice looks like in Britain. It looks normal. It is pedestrian. It is unquestioned. It's just a part of the landscape, you might walk past it every day. For people who oppose anti-racism on the grounds of freedom of speech, opposition to gross racial disparities is about 'offence', rather than the heavily unequal material conditions that people affected by it carry as burden. Being in a position where their lives are so comfortable that they don't really have anything material to oppose, faux 'free speech' defenders spend all their spare time railing against 'offence culture'. When they make it about offence rather than their own complicity in a drastically unjust system, they successfully transfer the responsibility of fixing the system from the benefactors of it to those who are likely to lose out because of it. Tackling racism moves from conversations about justice to conversations about sensitivity. Those who are repeatedly struck by racism's tendency to hinder their life chances are told to toughen up and grow a thicker skin.
Reni Eddo-Lodge (Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race)
Dogmatic belief in the central axioms of Christianity (that Christ’s crucifixion redeemed the world; that salvation was reserved for the hereafter; that salvation could not be achieved through works) had three mutually reinforcing consequences: First, devaluation of the significance of earthly life, as only the hereafter mattered. This also meant that it had become acceptable to overlook and shirk responsibility for the suffering that existed in the here-and-now; Second, passive acceptance of the status quo, because salvation could not be earned in any case through effort in this life (a consequence that Marx also derided, with his proposition that religion was the opiate of the masses); and, finally, third, the right of the believer to reject any real moral burden (outside of the stated belief in salvation through Christ), because the Son of God had already done all the important work. It was for such reasons that Dostoevsky, who was a great influence on Nietzsche, also criticized institutional Christianity (although he arguably managed it in a more ambiguous but also more sophisticated manner).
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Ultimately, if the Lord doesn’t build the house (or the Sunday school class, or the church, or the family, or the business, or the relationship, or ), we are laboring in vain anyway (Psalm 127:1). We release the burden of stress when we release the responsibilities for the outcome to the Lord.
Paul Chappell (The Burden Bearer: Who’s Carrying Your Load?)
Jesus was speaking to His disciples, but He was also speaking to you when He asked, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Trust is a primary component of faith, but too often fear is a first response, not faith. Burdens become personal, not shared. Outcomes include best efforts, not God’s help.
Barbour Staff (Daily Wisdom for Men 2019 Devotional Collection)
Analysis, when seen as limited and never final, helps force the question of human responsibility, human judgment, and the suffering that accompanies the assumption of the burden they impose. It is our willingness to assume this burden of suffering that is the only salvation we have, in the end, against evil.
O.C. McSwite
We have become so accustomed to seeing compassion as a duty, almost as a burden, she says, that we fail to see it essentially as a benediction.12 Compassion can free us from the prison of the ego, whether our individual ego or that of our family, community, or nation. To want to bear responsibility for the needs
John Philip Newell (The Rebirthing of God: Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings)
In many ways, the emotional and economic self-sufficiency of unmarried life is more demanding than the state we have long acknowledged as (married) maturity. Being on one’s own means shouldering one’s own burdens in a way that being coupled rarely demands. It means doing everything—making decisions, taking responsibility, paying bills, cleaning the refrigerator—without the benefits of formal partnership. But we’ve still got a lot of hardwired assumptions that the successful female life is measured not in professional achievements or friendships or even satisfying sexual relationships, but by whether you’re legally coupled.
Rebecca Traister (All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation)
All agree that, the first responsibility for the alleviation of poverty and distress and for the care of the victims of the depression rests upon the locality — its individuals, organizations and Government. It rests, first of all, perhaps, upon the private agencies of philanthropy, secondly, other social organizations, and last, but not least, the Church. Yet all agree that to leave to the locality the entire responsibility would result in placing the heaviest burden in most cases upon those who are the least able to bear it. In other words, the communities that have the most difficult problem, like Detroit, would be the communities that would have to bear the heaviest of the burdens. And so the State should step in to equalize the burden by providing for a large portion of the care of the victims of poverty and by providing assistance and guidance for local communities. Above and beyond that duty of the States the national Government has a responsibility.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
A very distinct pattern has emerged repeatedly when policies favored by the anointed turn out to fail. This pattern typically has four stages: STAGE 1. THE “CRISIS”: Some situation exists, whose negative aspects the anointed propose to eliminate. Such a situation is routinely characterized as a “crisis,” even though all human situations have negative aspects, and even though evidence is seldom asked or given to show how the situation at hand is either uniquely bad or threatening to get worse. Sometimes the situation described as a “crisis” has in fact already been getting better for years. STAGE 2. THE “SOLUTION”: Policies to end the “crisis” are advocated by the anointed, who say that these policies will lead to beneficial result A. Critics say that these policies will lead to detrimental result Z. The anointed dismiss these latter claims as absurd and “simplistic,” if not dishonest. STAGE 3. THE RESULTS: The policies are instituted and lead to detrimental result Z. STAGE 4. THE RESPONSE: Those who attribute detrimental result Z to the policies instituted are dismissed as “simplistic” for ignoring the “complexities” involved, as “many factors” went into determining the outcome. The burden of proof is put on the critics to demonstrate to a certainty that these policies alone were the only possible cause of the worsening that occurred. No burden of proof whatever is put on those who had so confidently predicted improvement. Indeed, it is often asserted that things would have been even worse, were it not for the wonderful programs that mitigated the inevitable damage from other factors. Examples of this pattern are all too abundant. Three will be considered here. The first and most general involves the set of social welfare policies called “the war on poverty” during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, but continuing under other labels since then. Next is the policy of introducing “sex education” into the public schools, as a means of reducing teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases. The third example will be policies designed to reduce crime by adopting a less punitive approach, being more concerned with preventive social policies beforehand and rehabilitation afterwards, as well as showing more concern with the legal rights of defendants in criminal cases.
Thomas Sowell (The Thomas Sowell Reader)
I hope you see the thing as I do, and think that I have done well, being without responsibilities and with no one to suffer materially by my decision, in taking upon my shoulders, too, the burden that so much of humanity is suffering under, and, rather than stand ingloriously aside when the opportunity was given me, doing my share for the side that I think right. . . .
Alan Seeger (Letters and Diary of Alan Seeger - Scholar's Choice Edition)
Principles of Liberty 1. The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law. 2. A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong. 3. The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally strong people is to elect virtuous leaders. 4. Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained. 5. All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible. 6. All men are created equal. 7. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things. 8. Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. 9. To protect man's rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law. 10. The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people. 11. The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical. 12. The United States of America shall be a republic. 13. A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers. 14. Life and Liberty are secure only so long as the Igor of property is secure. 15. The highest level of securitiy occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations. 16. The government should be separated into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. 17. A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power. 18. The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution. 19. Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to the government, all others being retained by the people. 20. Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority. 21. Strong human government is the keystone to preserving human freedom. 22. A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men. 23. A free society cannot survive a republic without a broad program of general education. 24. A free people will not survive unless they stay strong. 25. "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." 26. The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity. 27. The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest. 28. The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race.
Founding Fathers
We understand deeply that until all women are free no man can be free. Even when we believe that we've taken everything into consideration we acknowledge that we may be behaving as badly and as snoolishly as our forefathers. We are learning to recognize this as a culturally inherited blind spot that leads inevitably to the destruction of women and all life on Earth, including ourselves. Moreover: We resolve to accept counsel when criticism is offered regarding our deficiencies and to make every effort to improve. We resolve not to unduly burden our Sisters by insisting that they teach us, correct us, and explain to us. We resolve to respect Women's Space. We resolve to encourage all women to activate the fullness of their potential and never stand in the way. We resolve to take responsibility for our share of domestic chores and childcare. We resolve to meet together regularly as men to learn how to transform our violent tendencies. We resolve to eradicate all eroticism that depends upon a paradigm of dominance and submission. We resolve to continue diligently the process of forgetting “how to be a man.” Statement from the Biophilic Brotherhood, dated January 1, 2019 BE
Mary Daly (Quintessence...Realizing the Archaic Future)
The notion that boys are unable to control themselves is a scary message. If men can’t control themselves, they must be dangerous. This negative perception is a heavy burden for young women. Young men may also learn to doubt whether they really can control their sexual feelings. In this way, well-intentioned teachers and leaders remove from these young men the responsibility that is rightfully theirs. Modesty
Laura M. Brotherson (And They Were Not Ashamed: Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment)
If you do not, when you return you will have to carry that trait, as well as another one, into your next life. The burdens will become greater. With each life that you go through and you did not fulfill these debts, the next one will be harder. If you fulfill them, you will be given an easy life. So you choose what life you will have. In the next phase, you are responsible for the life you have. You choose it.
Brian L. Weiss (Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives)
If “the Nature Cruise of the Century” had come off as planned, the division of duties between the Captain and his first mate would have been typical of the management of so many organizations a million years ago, with the nominal leader specializing in sociable balderdash, and with the supposed second-in-command burdened with the responsibility of understanding how things really worked, and what was really going on.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Galápagos)
Production is carried on for profit, not for use. There is no provision that all those able and willing to work will always be in a position to find employment; an “army of unemployed” almost always exists. The worker is constantly in fear of losing his job. Since unemployed and poorly paid workers do not provide a profitable market, the production of consumers’ goods is restricted, and great hardship is the consequence. Technological progress frequently results in more unemployment rather than in an easing of the burden of work for all. The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, is responsible for an instability in the accumulation and utilization of capital which leads to increasingly severe depressions. Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.
Albert Einstein (Why Socialism?)
How could the world be freed from the terrible dilemma of conflict, on the one hand, and psychological and social dissolution, on the other? The answer was this: through the elevation and development of the individual, and through the willingness of everyone to shoulder the burden of Being and to take the heroic path. We must each adopt as much responsibility as possible for individual life, society and the world. We must each tell the truth and repair what is in disrepair and break down and recreate what is old and outdated. It is in this manner that we can and must reduce the suffering that poisons the world. It’s asking a lot. It’s asking for everything. But the alternative—the horror of authoritarian belief, the chaos of the collapsed state, the tragic catastrophe of the unbridled natural world, the existential angst and weakness of the purposeless individual—is clearly worse.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
The guy smiled at me, and I glanced at him again just in time to look directly into his eyes. My mistake. Sight was a common Talent, but my magic went beyond seeing the world with crystal clarity or being able to navigate through the dark like it was daylight. Because I could also see into people. All I had to do was stare into someone’s eyes, and I knew exactly what they were feeling at that moment, whether it was love, hate, anger, or something else. Not only that, but I could actually feel the emotion in my own heart, just like the person who was experiencing it. Soulsight, it was called. A major Talent and one that I could have done without. Most people didn’t have a lot of nice thoughts, feelings, or emotions, not even toward their own so-called friends and family. But this guy . . . he radiated cold sorrow, as though he was carrying around a heavy burden that he could never, ever be free from. Still, there was a rock-hard strength mixed in with his sorrow, along with a flicker of something else buried deep, deep down . . . a hot spark that I couldn’t quite identify. I knew in an instant that he was the sort of guy who was exceedingly loyal to his friends. Who felt responsible for others. Who tried to help people as much as he could even if they didn’t deserve it, and he ended up being the one who got hurt instead. The sort of guy that others saw as a leader and naturally flocked to. The sort of guy who was just so disgustingly fascinating that you couldn’t help wanting to know more about him. The guy kept smiling, although his expression grew thinner and fainter the longer I stared. But I couldn’t help it. For the first time in a long time, I was completely captivated by another person. In that moment, all I wanted to do was peel back the cool exterior of his emotions and see what really lay beneath—and especially see what would happen when that hot spark inside him flared to life and he finally let out his true feelings. But there was also something disturbingly . . . familiar about him. As though I’d met him someplace before, although I couldn’t quite remember where. I kept staring into his green eyes, hoping that my soulsight would kick in a tiny bit more and bring the knowledge, the memory, along with it . . .
Jennifer Estep (Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, #1))
I am a man and what I have to recapture is the whole past of the world, I am not responsible only for the slavery involved in Santo Domingo, every time man has contributed to the victory of the dignity of the spirit, every time a man has said no to an attempt to subjugate his fellows, I have felt solidarity with his act. In no way does my basic vocation have to be drawn from the past of peoples of color. In no way do I have to dedicate myself to reviving some black civilization unjustly ignored. I will not make myself the man of any past. My black skin is not a repository for specific values. Haven’t I got better things to do on this earth than avenge the blacks of the 17th century? I as a man of color do not have the right to hope that in the white man there will be a crystallization of guilt towards the past of my race. I as a man of color do not have the right of stamping down the pride of my former master. I have neither the right nor the duty to demand reparations for my subjugated ancestors. There is no black mission. There is no white burden. I do not want to be victim to the rules of a black world. Am I going to ask this white man to answer for the slave traders of the 17th century? Am I going to try by every means available to cause guilt to burgeon in their souls? I am not a slave to slavery that dehumanized my ancestors. It would be of enormous interest to discover a black literature or architecture from the 3rd century B.C, we would be overjoyed to learn of the existence of a correspondence between some black philosopher and Plato, but we can absolutely not see how this fact would change the lives of 8 year old kids working the cane fields of Martinique or Guadeloupe. I find myself in the world and I recognize I have one right alone: of demanding human behavior from the other.
Frantz Fanon
The Fool in the Tarot deck frequently depicted a boy with a dog at his heels, staring at the sky while he walked blithely off a cliff, burdened only by a bundle on a stick. The diabolist had admitted a relationship to the card. No single detail was quite right, but much as something might appear similar if one were to unfocus their vision… The young diabolist walked with the sparrow at his shoulder, eyes on the windows without looking through the windows, walking forward as if he were afraid to stop. His burden here was the gas containers. No, he was burdened not just by the gas containers, but by some notion of responsibility. A man, when facing death, aspires to finish what he started. What had the custodian of the Thorburn estate started? What drove him? She knew he sought to do good and to vanquish evil, and she could surmise that both good acts and the existence of evil had touched him deeply. The Fool card was akin to the ace. Depending on the game being played, it was often the lowest card or the highest. Valueless or highly valued. Powerless or powerful. It all depended on context. He sought to kill the demon, and he would either catastrophically fail or succeed. This Fool sought to slay the metaphorical dragon. He felt his own mortality, which was quite possibly her fault, in part, and now he rushed to finish the task he’d set for himself. To better the world. The Fool was wrought with air – the clouds he gazed at, the void beyond the cliff, the feather in his cap, even the dog could often be found mid-step, bounding, just above the ground. He was a Fool wrought with a different element. The familiar didn’t quite fit for the departure from the air, but the traditional dog didn’t conjure ideas of air right off the bat either. What was he wrought with? That was another question that begged an answer.
Wildbow (Pact)
Dogmatic theology is, by its very nature, unchangeable. The same can be said in regard to the spirit of the law. Law was and is to protect the past and present status of society and, by its very essence, must be very conservative, if not reactionary. Theology and law are both of them static by their nature. Philosophy, law and ethics, to be effective in a dynamic world must be dynamic; they must be made vital enough to keep pace with the progress of life and science. In recent civilization ethics, because controlled by theology and law, which are static, could not duly influence the dynamic, revolutionary progress of technic and the steadily changing conditions of life; and so we witness a tremendous downfall of morals in politics and business. Life progresses faster than our ideas, and so medieval ideas, methods and judgments are constantly applied to the conditions and problems of modern life. This discrepancy between facts and ideas is greatly responsible for the dividing of modern society into different warring classes, which do not understand each other. Medieval legalism and medieval morals- the basis of the old social structure-being by their nature conservative, reactionary, opposed to change, and thus becoming more and more unable to support the mighty social burden of the modern world, must be adjudged responsible in a large measure for the circumstances which made the World War inevitable.
Alfred Korzybski (Manhood of Humanity)
When God gives you understanding, life hands you mysteries. When He gives you insight, life hands you enigmas. When He gives you wisdom, life hands you problems. When He gives you strength, life hands you tasks. When He gives you courage, life hands you tests. When He gives you faith, life hands you trials. When He gives you passion, life hands you chores. When He gives you talent, life hands you assignments. When He gives you genius, life hands you obligations. When He gives you joy, life hands you burdens. When He gives you patience, life hands you troubles. When He gives you love, life hands you heartaches. When He gives you wealth, life hands you stress. When He gives you possessions, life hands you duties. When He gives you power, life hands you responsibilities. When He gives you friends, life hands you demands. When He gives you children, life hands you commitments. When He gives you relationships, life hands you inconveniences.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Nature knows nothing about right and wrong, good and evil, pleasure and pain; she simply acts. She creates a beautiful woman, and places a cancer on her cheek. She may create an idealist, and kill him with a germ. She creates a fine mind, and then burdens it with a deformed body. And she will create a fine body, apparently for no use whatever. She may destroy the most wonderful life when its work has just commenced. She may scatter tubercular germs broadcast throughout the world. She seemingly works with no method, plan or purpose. She knows no mercy nor goodness. Nothing is so cruel and abandoned as Nature. To call her tender or charitable is a travesty upon words and a stultification of intellect. No one can suggest these obvious facts without being told that he is not competent to judge Nature and the God behind Nature. If we must not judge God as evil, then we cannot judge God as good. In all the other affairs of life, man never hesitates to classify and judge, but when it comes to passing on life, and the responsibility of life, he is told that it must be good, although the opinion beggars reason and intelligence and is a denial of both. Emotionally, I shall no doubt act as others do to the last moment of my existence. With my last breath I shall probably try to draw another, but, intellectually, I am satisfied that life is a serious burden, which no thinking, humane person would wantonly inflict on some one else.
Clarence Darrow (The Story of My Life)
Worship is God's gift of grace to us before it's our offering to God. We simply benefit from the perfect offering of the Son to the Father through the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18). Worship is our humble, constant, appropriate, glad response to God's self-revelation and his enabling invitation. Apart from this perspective, leading worship can become self-motivated and self-exalting. We can become burdened by the responsibility to lead others and can think that we might not be able to deliver the goods. We subtly take pride in our worship, our singing, our playing, our planning, our performance, our leadership. Ultimately we separate ourselves from the God who drew us to worship him in the first place. That's why biblical worship is God-focused (God is clearly seen), God-centered (God is clearly the priority), and God-exalting (God is clearly honored). Gathering to praise God can't be a means to some "greater" end, such as church growth, evangelism, or personal ministry. God isn't a genie we summon by rubbing the bottle called "worship." He doesn't exist to help us get where we really want to go. God is where we want to go. So God's glory is the end of our worship, and not simply a means to something else. In the midst of a culture that glorifies our pitiful accomplishments in countless ways, we gather each week to proclaim God's wondrous deeds and to glory in his supreme value. He is holy, holy, holy. There is no one, and nothing, like the Lord.
Bob Kauflin (Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God)
When Christianity says that God loves man it means that God LOVES man: not that He has some 'disinterested'; because really indifferent, concern for our welfare, but that in awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love. You asked for a loving God: you have one. The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the 'lord of terrible aspect', is present: not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate, nor the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds... ...How this should be, I do not know: it passes reason to explain why any creatures, not to say creatures such as we should have a value so prodigious in their Creator's eyes. It is certainly a burden of glory, not only beyond our deserts but also, except in rare moments of grace, beyond our desiring; we are inclined, like the maidens in the old play, to deprecate the love of Zeus.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
Madam, My sincere thanks for your offer to speak to the tenants regarding the drainage issues. However, since you are already burdened with many demands, I have sent my brother, Weston, to handle the problem. He will arrive at Eversby Priory on Wednesday, and stay for a fortnight. I have lectured him at length about gentlemanly conduct. If he causes you a moment’s distress, wire me and it will be resolved immediately. My brother will arrive at the Alton rail station at noon on Saturday. I do hope you’ll send someone to collect him, since I feel certain no one else will want him. Trenear P.S. Did you really dye the shawl black? My Lord, Amid the daily tumult of construction, which is louder than an army corps of drums, your brother’s presence will likely go unnoticed. We will fetch him on Wednesday. Lady Trenear P.S. Why did you send me a shawl so obviously unsuitable for mourning? In response to Kathleen’s letter, a telegram was delivered from the village post office on the morning of West’s scheduled arrival. Madam, You won’t be in mourning forever. Trenear
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
What if, rather than asking women to bear the burden of responsibility for our nation’s health and intelligence, governments invested money in research for better formulas that can improve health? If what we feed our babies in the first year really has that much of an impact on lifelong health, this should be a priority. Because in reality, not all babies are going to be able to be breastfed, as long as we want to live in a world where women have the freedom to decide how to use their bodies; whether to work or stay home; whether to be a primary caregiver or not. In reality, there are going to be children raised by single dads; there are going to be children raised by grandparents; there are going to be children who are adopted by parents who aren’t able to induce lactation; there are going to be children whose mothers don’t produce enough milk, or who are on drugs not compatible with breastfeeding. Rather than demanding that every mother should be able to—should want to—breastfeed, we should be demanding better research, better resources, better options. We should be demanding better.
Suzanne Barston (Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn't)
And yet, as I was returning in the car to Florence, I had the impression that there in the neighborhood, between backwardness and modernity, she had more history than I did. How much I had lost by leaving, believing I was destined for who knows what life. Lila, who had remained, had a very new job, she earned a lot of money, she acted in absolute freedom and according to schemes that were indecipherable. She was very attached to her son, she had been extremely devoted to him in the first years of his life, and she still kept an eye on him; but she seemed capable of being free of him as and when she wanted, he didn’t cause her the anxieties my daughters caused me. She had broken with her family, and yet she took on their burden and the responsibility for them whenever she could. She took care of Stefano who was in trouble, but without getting close to him. She hated the Solaras and yet she submitted to them. She was ironic about Alfonso and was his friend. She said she didn’t want to see Nino again, but I knew it wasn’t so, that she would see him. Hers was a life in motion, mine was stopped.
Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay)
Wir alle, ob schuldig oder nicht, ob alt oder jung, müssen die Vergangenheit annehmen. Wir alle sind von ihren Folgen betroffen und für sie in Haftung genommen. [...] Es geht nicht darum, Vergangenheit zu bewältigen. Das kann man gar nicht. Sie läßt sich ja nicht nachträglich ändern oder ungeschehen machen. Wer aber vor der Vergangenheit die Augen verschließt, wird blind für die Gegenwart. Wer sich der Unmenschlichkeit nicht erinnern will, der wird wieder anfällig für neue Ansteckungsgefahren." [Ansprache am 8. Mai 1985 in der Gedenkstunde im Plenarsaal des Deutschen Bundestages]
Richard von Weizsäcker
prophecy directed at the past, the yearning for ancestors projected into the future – that is Nietzsche's divine feeling of humanity. the mature individual who, conscious of of his responsability, shoulders the entire burden of human tradition, who is the highest point in the arch of the bridge spanning what was and what will be, the divine moment "on the high pass" – like Zarathustra "between two oceans, traveling between the past and the future like a heavy cloud" – that is Nietzsche's man of the future humanity. the poet is, in his view, the creator of the past, the founder of "all that remains". the philosopher, however, and the sage are preachers and seekers of the future: "whoever has became wise reflecting on old origins" Zarathustra says "will eventually look for sources of the future and for new origins". to redeem the Past by interpreting it affirmatively as the cradle of the Future. to work at constructing the future by building a vaulted crypt that will provide a permanent sanctuary for the powers of belief throught centuries – with that, the grand fusion takes place that merges Nietzsche's early "philological" ideals and the Dionysian ecstatic dream of Zarathustra's demanding Will.
Ernst Bertram (Nietzsche: Attempt at a Mythology)
Illness in this society, physical or mental, they are not abnormalities. They are normal responses to an abnormal culture. This culture is abnormal when it comes to real human needs. And.. it is in the nature of the system to be abnormal, because if we had a society geared to meet human needs.. would we be destroying the Earth through climate change? Would we be putting extra burden on certain minority people? Would we be selling people a lot of goods that they don't need, and, in fact, are harmful for them? Would there be mass industries based on manufacturing, designing and mass-marketing toxic food to people? So we do all that for the sake of profit. That's insanity. It is not insanity from the point of view of profit, but it is insanity from the point of view of human need. And so, in so many ways this culture denies and even runs against counter to human needs. When you mentioned trauma.. given how important trauma is in human life and what an impact it has.. why have we ignored it for so long? Because that denial of reality is built in into this system. It keeps the system alive. So it is not a mistake, it is a design issue. Not that anybody consciously designed it, but that's just how the system survives. Now.. the average medical student to THIS DAY (I say the average.. there are exceptions) still doesn't get a single lecture on trauma in 4 years of medical school. They should have a whole course on it, Because I can tell you that trauma is related to addiction, all kinds of mental illness and most physical health conditions as well. And there is a whole lot of science behind that, but they don't study that science. Now that reflects this society's denial of trauma, the medical system simply reflects the needs of the larger society, I should say, the dominant needs of the larger society.
Gabor Maté
Much of what it takes to succeed in school, at work, and in one’s community consists of cultural habits acquired by adaptation to the social environment. Such cultural adaptations are known as “cultural capital.” Segregation leads social groups to form different codes of conduct and communication. Some habits that help individuals in intensely segregated, disadvantaged environments undermine their ability to succeed in integrated, more advantaged environments. At Strive, a job training organization, Gyasi Headen teaches young black and Latino men how to drop their “game face” at work. The “game face” is the angry, menacing demeanor these men adopt to ward off attacks in their crime-ridden, segregated neighborhoods. As one trainee described it, it is the face you wear “at 12 o’clock at night, you’re in the ‘hood and they’re going to try to get you.”102 But the habit may freeze it into place, frightening people from outside the ghetto, who mistake the defensive posture for an aggressive one. It may be so entrenched that black men may be unaware that they are glowering at others. This reduces their chance of getting hired. The “game face” is a form of cultural capital that circulates in segregated underclass communities, helping its members survive. Outside these communities, it burdens its possessors with severe disadvantages. Urban ethnographer Elijah Anderson highlights the cruel dilemma this poses for ghetto residents who aspire to mainstream values and seek responsible positions in mainstream society.103 If they manifest their “decent” values in their neighborhoods, they become targets for merciless harassment by those committed to “street” values, who win esteem from their peers by demonstrating their ability and willingness to insult and physically intimidate others with impunity. To protect themselves against their tormentors, and to gain esteem among their peers, they adopt the game face, wear “gangster” clothing, and engage in the posturing style that signals that they are “bad.” This survival strategy makes them pariahs in the wider community. Police target them for questioning, searches, and arrests.104 Store owners refuse to serve them, or serve them brusquely, while shadowing them to make sure they are not shoplifting. Employers refuse to employ them.105 Or they employ them in inferior, segregated jobs. A restaurant owner may hire blacks as dishwashers, but not as wait staff, where they could earn tips.
Elizabeth S. Anderson (The Imperative of Integration)
The core of the anarchist tradition, as I understand it, is that power is always illegitimate, unless it proves itself to be legitimate. So the burden of proof is always on those who claim that some authoritarian hierarchic relation is legitimate. If they can't prove it, then it should be dismantled. Can you ever prove it? Well, it's a heavy burden of proof to bear, but I think sometimes you can bear it. So to take a homely example, if I'm walking down the street with my four-year-old granddaughter, and she starts to run into the street, and I grab her arm and pull her back, that's an exercise of power and authority, but I can give a justification for it, and it's obvious what the justification would be. And maybe there are other cases where you can justify it. But the question that always should be asked uppermost in our mind is, 'Why should I accept it?' It's the responsibility of those who exercise power to show that somehow it's legitimate. It's not the responsibility of anyone else to show that it's illegitimate. It's illegitimate by assumption, if it's a relation of authority among human beings which places some above others. That's illegitimate by assumption. Unless you can give a strong argument to show that it's right, you've lost.
Noam Chomsky (Chomsky On Anarchism)
They would know he was a burden, they could read the struggle in your face, they would watch as you passed and nod, knowing that around the next corner your father had fallen and pissed himself. And they would watch you watch him, note the days you simply kept walking, as if you didn't see, note the days you knelt beside him, tried to get him to rise, to prop him up. [...] you might get the sense that to leave the village would be [...] to become open to speculation that you'd abandoned your father to his fate, turned your back, left him to die. Taken and not given back. For if you are not responsible for your own father, who is? Who is going to pick him up off the ground if not you?
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
Tengo had no particular desire for other women. What he wanted most of all was uninterrupted free time. If he could have sex on a regular basis, he had nothing more to ask of a woman. He did not welcome the unavoidable responsibility that came with dating a woman his own age, falling in love, and having a sexual relationship. The psychological stages through which one had to pass, the hints regarding various possibilities, the unavoidable collisions of expectations: Tengo hoped to get by without taking on such burdens. The concept of duty always made Tengo cringe. He had lived his life thus far skillfully avoiding any position that entailed responsibility, and to do so, he was prepared to endure most forms of deprivation.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 Book 1 (1Q84, #1))
We become better conversationalists when we employ two primary objectives. Number one: Take the risk. It is up to us to take the risk of starting a conversation with a stranger. We cannot hope that others will approach us; instead, even if we are shy, it is up to us to make the first move. We all fear rejection at some level. Just remind yourself that there are more dire consequences in life than a rejection by someone at a networking event, singles function, back-to-school night, or association meeting. Number two: Assume the burden. It is up to each and every one of us to assume the burden of conversation. It is our responsibility to come up with topics to discuss; it is up to us to remember people’s names and to introduce them to others; it is up to us to relieve the awkward moments or fill the pregnant pause.
Debra Fine (The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills -- and Leave a Positive Impression!)
That women bring home the bacon, fry it up, serve it for breakfast, and use its greasy remains to make candles for their children’s science projects is hardly news. Yet how parenting responsibilities get sorted out under these conditions remains unresolved. Neither government nor private business has adapted to this reality, throwing the burden back onto individual families to cope. And while today’s fathers are more engaged with their children than fathers in any previous generation, they’re charting a blind course, navigating by trial and, just as critically, error. Many women can’t tell whether they’re supposed to be grateful for the help they’re getting or enraged by the help they’re failing to receive; many men, meanwhile, are struggling to adjust to the same work-life rope-a-dope as their wives, now that they too are expected to show up for Gymboree.
Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood)
While the exact changes Muhammad made to this tradition are far too complex to discuss in detail here, it is sufficient to note that women in the Ummah were, for the first time, given the right both to inherit the property of their husbands and to keep their dowries as their own personal property throughout their marriage. Muhammad also forbade a husband to touch his wife’s dowry, forcing him instead to provide for his family from his own wealth. If the husband died, his wife would inherit a portion of his property; if he divorced her, the entire dowry was hers to take back to her family. As one would expect, Muhammad’s innovations did not sit well with the male members of his community. If women could no longer be considered property, men complained, not only would their wealth be drastically reduced, but their own meager inheritances would now have to be split with their sisters and daughters—members of the community who, they argued, did not share an equal burden with the men. Al-Tabari recounts how some of these men brought their grievances to Muhammad, asking, “How can one give the right of inheritance to women and children, who do not work and do not earn their living? Are they now going to inherit just like men who have worked to earn that money?” Muhammad’s response to these complaints was both unsympathetic and shockingly unyielding. “Those who disobey God and His Messenger, and who try to overstep the boundaries of this [inheritance] law will be thrown into Hell, where they will dwell forever, suffering the most shameful punishment” (4:14). If Muhammad’s male followers were disgruntled about the new inheritance laws, they must have been furious when, in a single revolutionary move, he both limited how many wives a man could marry and granted women the right to divorce their husbands.
Reza Aslan (No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam)
The Yasuní plan was based on the premise that Ecuador, like all developing countries, is owed a debt for the inherent injustice of climate change—the fact that wealthy countries had used up most of the atmospheric capacity for safely absorbing CO2 before developing countries had a chance to industrialize. And since the entire world would reap the benefits of keeping that carbon in the ground (since it would help stabilize the global climate), it is unfair to expect Ecuador, as a poor country whose people had contributed little to the climate crisis, to shoulder the economic burden for giving up those potential petro dollars. Instead, that burden should be shared between Ecuador and the highly industrialized countries most responsible for the buildup of atmospheric carbon. This is not charity, in other words: if wealthy countries do not want poorer ones to pull themselves out of poverty in the same dirty way that we did, the onus is on Northern governments to help foot the bill.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
How develop the psychic forces? So live in body, in mind, that self may be a channel through which the Creative Forces may run. How is the current of life or of modern science used in the commercial world? By preparing a channel through which same may run into, or through, that necessary for the use in the material things. So with the body mentally, physically, spiritually, so make the body, the mind, the spiritual influences, a channel-and the natural consequence will be the manifestations. How best, then, to develop those latent forces in one now, those who have reached the years of maturity or responsibility in self? Let that mind be in you as was in Him who thought it not robbery to make Himself equal with God, yet took on Himself the burden of all, that through His physical suffering, His privation in body, in mind, there might come the blessings to others. Not self, but others. He, or she, that may lose self, then, for others, may develop those faculties that will give the greater expression of psychic forces in their experience.
Edgar Cayce
There is some concern among the Brethren that some of you who are still single may not be moving in the direction of preparing yourselves to seek out and commit to an eternal companion. This applies both to young men and to young women. The greater burden, however, rests upon the young men because in our society it is a responsibility of young men to initiate activities that lead to courtship and to marriage. The doctrine of the Church is very clear and it anticipates that individuals will be married in the temple and rear a righteous family as guided by the inspired document we call "The Proclamation on the Family." . . . Speaking of the obligation of men to marry, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught as follows: "Any young man who carelessly neglects this great commandment to marry, or who does not marry because of a selfish desire to avoid the responsibilities which married life will bring, is taking a course which is displeasing in the sight of God. Exaltation means responsibility. There can be no exaltation without it. "If a man refuses to take upon himself the responsibilities of married life, because he desires to avoid the cares and troubles which naturally will follow, he is taking a course which may bar him forever from the responsibilities which are held in reserve for those who are willing to keep in full the commandments of the Lord. . . . "According to modern custom, it is the place of the man to take the initiative in the matter of a marriage contract. Women are, by force of such custom, kept in reserve. . . . The responsibility . . . rests upon the man." President Smith continued with the following advice to young women: "If in her heart the young woman accepts fully the word of the Lord, and under proper conditions would abide by the law, but refuses an offer when she fully believes that the conditions would not justify her in entering a marriage contract, which would bind her forever to one she does not love, she shall not lose her reward. The Lord will judge her by the desires of the heart, and the day will come when the blessings withheld shall be given, though it be postponed until the life to come.
Earl C. Tingey
Aim small. You don’t want to shoulder too much to begin with, given your limited talents, tendency to deceive, burden of resentment, and ability to shirk responsibility. Thus, you set the following goal: by the end of the day, I want things in my life to be a tiny bit better than they were this morning. Then you ask yourself, “What could I do, that I would do, that would accomplish that, and what small thing would I like as a reward?” Then you do what you have decided to do, even if you do it badly. Then you give yourself that damn coffee, in triumph. Maybe you feel a bit stupid about it, but you do it anyway. And you do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. And, with each day, your baseline of comparison gets a little higher, and that’s magic. That’s compound interest. Do that for three years, and your life will be entirely different. Now you’re aiming for something higher. Now you’re wishing on a star. Now the beam is disappearing from your eye, and you’re learning to see. And what you aim at determines what you see. That’s worth repeating. What you aim at determines what you see.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Naturally, society has an indisputable right to protect itself against arrant subjectivisms, but, in so far as society is itself composed of de-individualized human beings, it is completely at the mercy of ruthless individualists. Let it band together into groups and organizations as much as it likes – it is just this banding together and the resultant extinction of the individual personality that makes it succumb so readily to a dictator. A million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one. Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual, but our fatally short-sighted age thinks only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations, though one would think that the world had seen more than enough of what a well-disciplined mob can do in the hand of a single madman. Unfortunately, this realization does not seem to have penetrated very far - and our blindness is extremely dangerous. People go on blithely organizing and believing in the remedy of mass action, without the least consciousness of the fact that the most powerful organizations can be maintained only by the greatest ruthlessness of their leaders and the cheapest of slogans. Curiously enough, the Churches too want to avail themselves of mass action in order to cast out the devil with Beelzebub – the very Churches whose care is the salvation of the individual soul. They too do not appear to have heard anything of the elementary axiom of mass psychology, that the individual becomes morally and spiritually inferior in the mass, and for this reason they do not burden themselves overmuch with their real task of helping the individual to achieve a metanoia, or rebirth of the spirit – deo concedente. It is, unfortunately, only too clear that if the individual is not truly regenerated in spirit, society cannot be either, for society is the sum total of individuals in need of redemption. I can therefore see it only as a delusion when the Churches try – as they apparently do – to rope the individual into a social organization and reduce him to a condition of diminished responsibility, instead of raising him out of the torpid, mindless mass and making clear to him that he is the one important factor and that the salvation of the world consists in the salvation of the individual soul.
C.G. Jung
The Flash of Understanding I do not know if you have noticed that there is understanding when the mind is very quiet, even for a second; there is the flash of understanding when the verbalization of thought is not. Just experiment with it and you will see for yourself that you have the flash of understanding, that extraordinary rapidity of insight, when the mind is very still, when thought is absent, when the mind is not burdened with its own noise. So, the understanding of anything—of a modern picture, of a child, of your wife, of your neighbor, or the understanding of truth, which is in all things—can only come when the mind is very still. But such stillness cannot be cultivated because if you cultivate a still mind, it is not a still mind, it is a dead mind. The more you are interested in something, the more your intention to understand, the more simple, clear, free the mind is. Then verbalization ceases. After all, thought is word, and it is the word that interferes. It is the screen of words, which is memory, that intervenes between the challenge and the response. It is the word that is responding to the challenge, which we call intellection. So, the mind that is chattering, that is verbalizing, cannot understand truth—truth in relationship, not an abstract truth. There is no abstract truth. But truth is very subtle…. Like a thief in the night, it comes darkly, not when you are prepared to receive it.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti)
It was by preference, and not by necessity, that Sook Yongsheng lived and worked alone. He was not surly by temperament, and in fact did not find it difficult to form friendships, nor to allow those friendships to deepen, once they had been formed; he simply preferred to answer to himself. He disliked all burdens of responsibility, most especially when those responsibilities were expected, or enforced--and friendship, in his experience, nearly always devolved into matters of debt, guilt, and expectation. Those men he did choose to call his intimates were those who demanded nothing, and gave much; as a consequence, there were many charitable figures in Ah Sook's past, and very few upon whom he had expressly doted. He had the sensibility of a social vanguard, unattached, full of conviction, and, in his own perception at least, almost universally misunderstood. The sense of being constantly undervalued by the world at large would develop, over time, into a kind of private demagoguery; he was certain of the comprehensive scope of his own vision, and rarely thought it necessary to explain himself to other men. In general his believes were a projection of a simpler, better world, in which he like, fantastically, to dwell--for he preferred the immaculate fervor of his own solitude to all other social obligations, and tended, when in company, to hold himself aloof. Of this propensity, he was not at all unaware, for he was highly reflexive, and give to extensive self-analysis of the most rigorous and contemplative kind. But he analyzed his own mind as a prophet analyzes his own strange visions--that is, with reverence, and believing always that he was destined to be the herald of a cosmic raison d'être, a universal plan.
Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries)
Dear Mother, . . . We have been putting in our time here at very hard drilling, and are supposed to have learned in six weeks what the ordinary recruit, in times of peace, takes all his two years at. We rise at 5, and work stops in the afternoon at 5. A twelve hours day at one sou a day. I hope to earn higher wages than this in time to come, but I never expect to work harder. The early rising hour is splendid for it gives one the chance to see the most beautiful part of these beautiful autumn days in the South. We march up to a lovely open field on the end of the ridge behind the barracks, walking right into the rising sun. From this panorama, spread about on three sides is incomparably fine—yellow cornfields, vineyards, harvest-fields where the workers and their teams can be seen moving about in tiny figures—poplars, little hamlets and church-towers, and far away to the south the blue line of the Pyrenees, the high peaks capped with snow. It makes one in love with life, it is all so peaceful and beautiful. But Nature to me is not only hills and blue skies and flowers, but the Universe, the totality of things, reality as it most obviously presents itself to us; and in this universe strife and sternness play as big a part as love and tenderness, and cannot be shirked by one whose will it is to rule his life in accordance with the cosmic forces he sees in play about him. I hope you see the thing as I do, and think that I have done well, being without responsibilities and with no one to suffer materially by my decision, in taking upon my shoulders, too, the burden that so much of humanity is suffering under, and, rather than stand ingloriously aside when the opportunity was given me, doing my share for the side that I think right. . . .
Alan Seeger
Unconditional blame is the tendency to explain all difficulties exclusively as the consequence of forces beyond your influence, to see yourself as an absolute victim of external circumstances. Every person suffers the impact of factors beyond his control, so we are all, in a sense, victims. We are not, however, absolute victims. We have the ability to respond to our circumstances and influence how they affect us. In contrast, the unconditional blamer defines his victim-identity by his helplessness, disowning any power to manage his life and assigning causality only to that which is beyond his control. Unconditional blamers believe that their problems are always someone else’s fault, and that there’s nothing they could have done to prevent them. Consequently, they believe that there’s nothing they should do to address them. Unconditional blamers feel innocent, unfairly burdened by others who do things they “shouldn’t” do because of maliciousness or stupidity. According to the unconditional blamer, these others “ought” to fix the problems they created. Blamers live in a state of self-righteous indignation, trying to control people around them with their accusations and angry demands. What the unconditional blamer does not see is that in order to claim innocence, he has to relinquish his power. If he is not part of the problem, he cannot be part of the solution. In fact, rather than being the main character of his life, the blamer is a spectator. Watching his own suffering from the sidelines, he feels “safe” because his misery is always somebody else’s fault. Blame is a tranquilizer. It soothes the blamer, sheltering him from accountability for his life. But like any drug, its soothing effect quickly turns sour, miring him in resignation and resentment. In order to avoid anxiety and guilt, the blamer must disown his freedom and power and see himself as a plaything of others. The blamer feels victimized at work. His job is fraught with letdowns, betrayals, disappointments, and resentments. He feels that he is expected to fix problems he didn’t create, yet his efforts are never recognized. So he shields himself with justifications. Breakdowns are never his fault, nor are solutions his responsibility. He is not accountable because it is always other people who failed to do what they should have done. Managers don’t give him direction as they should, employees don’t support him as they should, colleagues don’t cooperate with him as they should, customers demand much more than they should, suppliers don’t respond as they should, senior executives don’t lead the organization as they should, administration systems don’t work as they should—the whole company is a mess. In addition, the economy is weak, the job market tough, the taxes confiscatory, the regulations crippling, the interest rates exorbitant, and the competition fierce (especially because of those evil foreigners who pay unfairly low wages). And if it weren’t difficult enough to survive in this environment, everybody demands extraordinary results. The blamer never tires of reciting his tune, “Life is not fair!
Fred Kofman (Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values)
Two kinds of development help explain how a readiness built up to kill all Jews, including women and children. One is a series of “dress rehearsals” that served to lower inhibitions and provided trained personnel hardened for anything. First came the euthanasia of incurably ill and insane Germans, begun on the day when World War II began. Nazi eugenics theory had long provided a racial justification for getting rid of “inferior” persons. War provided a broader justification for reducing the drain of “useless mouths” on scarce resources. The “T-4” program killed more than seventy thousand people between September 1939 and 1941, when, in response to protests from the victims’ families and Catholic clergy, the matter was left to local authorities. Some of the experts trained in this program were subsequently transferred to the occupied east, where they applied their mass killing techniques to Jews. This time, there was less opposition. The second “dress rehearsal” was the work of the Einsatzgruppen, the intervention squads specially charged with executing the political and cultural elite of invaded countries. In the Polish campaign of September 1939 they helped wipe out the Polish intelligentsia and high civil service, evoking some opposition within the military command. In the Soviet campaign the Einsatzgruppen received the notorious “Commissar Order” to kill all Communist Party cadres as well as the Jewish leadership (seen as identical in Nazi eyes), along with Gypsies. This time the army raised no objections. The Einsatzgruppen subsequently played a major role, though they were far from alone, in the mass killings of Jewish women and children that began in some occupied areas in fall 1941. A third “dress rehearsal” was the intentional death of millions of Soviet prisoners of war. It was on six hundred of them that the Nazi occupation authorities first tested the mass killing potential of the commercial insecticide Zyklon-B at Auschwitz on September 3, 1941. Most Soviet prisoners of war, however, were simply worked or starved to death. The second category of developments that helped prepare a “willingness to murder” consisted of blockages, emergencies, and crises that made the Jews become a seemingly unbearable burden to the administrators of conquered territories. A major blockage was the failure to capture Moscow that choked off the anticipated expulsion of all the Jews of conquered eastern Europe far into the Soviet interior. A major emergency was shortages of food supplies for the German invasion force. German military planners had chosen to feed the invasion force with the resources of the invaded areas, in full knowledge that this meant starvation for local populations. When local supplies fell below expectations, the search for “useless mouths” began. In the twisted mentality of the Nazi administrators, Jews and Gypsies also posed a security threat to German forces. Another emergency was created by the arrival of trainloads of ethnic Germans awaiting resettlement, for whom space had to be made available. Faced with these accumulating problems, Nazi administrators developed a series of “intermediary solutions.” One was ghettos, but these proved to be incubators for disease (an obsession with the cleanly Nazis), and a drain on the budget. The attempt to make the ghettos work for German war production yielded little except another category of useless mouths: those incapable of work. Another “intermediary solution” was the stillborn plan, already mentioned, to settle European Jews en masse in some remote area such as Madagascar, East Africa, or the Russian hinterland. The failure of all the “intermediary solutions” helped open the way for a “final solution”: extermination.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)