Choices Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Choices. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
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You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.
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John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
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Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind. Nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste; Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste: And therefore is love said to be a child, Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd.
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William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
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I finally understood what true love meant...love meant that you care for another person's happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be.
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Nicholas Sparks (Dear John)
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Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
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Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.
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Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
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We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Mother Night)
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Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.
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Gayle Forman (If I Stay (If I Stay, #1))
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I've got a stele we can use. Who wants to do me?" "A regrettable choice of words," muttered Magnus.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
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Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author's words reverberating in your head.
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Paul Auster (The Brooklyn Follies)
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I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.
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Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
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If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible. If he has to make a choice, may he make it now. Then I will either wait for him or forget him.
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Paulo Coelho (By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept)
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Basically, I have two speeds.... Hostile or smart-aleck. Your choice.
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James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
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When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.
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Nelson Mandela
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All your life, you will be faced with a choice. You can choose love or hate…I choose love.
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Johnny Cash
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A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.
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Hunter S. Thompson (The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967)
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You cannot control the behavior of others, but you can always choose how you respond to it.
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Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
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Nobody gets everything in this life. You decide your priorities and you make your choices. I'd decided long ago that any cake I had would be eaten.
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Donald E. Westlake (Two Much)
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But until a person can say deeply and honestly, "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday," that person cannot say, "I choose otherwise.
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Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
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I guess that's what saying good-bye is always like--like jumping off an edge. The worst part is making the choice to do it. Once you're in the air, there's nothing you can do but let go.
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Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
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In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn't matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
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It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.
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Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
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You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice.
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John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
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Once you realize you deserve a bright future, letting go of your dark past is the best choice you will ever make.
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Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
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We are the choices we make.
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Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1))
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But the Hebrew word, the word timshelβ€”β€˜Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if β€˜Thou mayest’—it is also true that β€˜Thou mayest not.
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John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
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Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, "Is life a multiple choice test or is it a true or false test?" ...Then a voice comes to me out of the dark and says, "We hate to tell you this but life is a thousand word essay.
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Charles M. Schulz
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If conversation was the lyrics, laughter was the music, making time spent together a melody that could be replayed over and over without getting stale.
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Nicholas Sparks
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Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance, determines your destiny.
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Aristotle
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The course of true love never did run smooth; But, either it was different in blood, O cross! too high to be enthrall’d to low. Or else misgraffed in respect of years, O spite! too old to be engag’d to young. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends, O hell! to choose love by another’s eye.
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William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
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That's the choice. I love him, with all that, because of all that. On purpose. I love him on purpose.
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Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
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We are our choices.
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Jean-Paul Sartre
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The fate of your heart is your choice and no one else gets a vote
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Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
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The Road Not Taken Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and Iβ€” I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
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Robert Frost
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One Choice One Choice, decided your friends. One Choice, defines your beliefs. One Choice, determines your loyalties - Forever. ONCE CHOICE CAN TRANSFORM YOU
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Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
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Some mistakes... Just have greater consequences than others. But you don't have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen.
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Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
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Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
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William Jennings Bryan
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But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don't you do the same?
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Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
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Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.
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William Faulkner (The Wild Palms)
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Sometimes we can choose the paths we follow. Sometimes our choices are made for us. And sometimes we have no choice at all.
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Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists)
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The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
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Robert Frost
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She's strong! And scary...I bet she's single...I'd put money on it..
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Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto, Vol. 18: Tsunade's Choice (Naruto, #18))
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Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.
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Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
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I don’t belong to anyone. I make my own choices." "And you’re with Adrian," said Dimitri. "But I was meant for you.
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Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
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I'm single because I was born that way.
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Mae West
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And as hard as this choice is, we break the pattern before the pattern breaks us.
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Colleen Hoover (It Ends with Us (It Ends with Us, #1))
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Spending time with you showed me what I’ve been missing in my life.
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Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
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The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
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Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.
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Baltasar GraciΓ‘n (The Art of Worldly Wisdom: A Pocket Oracle)
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I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.
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Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
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MR. BROWNE'S SEPTEMBER PRECEPT: WHEN GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN BEING RIGHT OR BEING KIND, CHOOSE KIND.
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R.J. Palacio (Wonder)
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You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
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Franz Kafka
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Sometimes there won’t be a right choice, just the best of several bad options.
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Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
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I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.
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Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
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I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and then make the choice to share it with other people. Maybe that is what makes people "participate.
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Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
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To say you have no choice is to relieve yourself of responsibility.
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Patrick Ness (Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3))
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Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.
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BrenΓ© Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
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No one is born evil, just like no one is born alone. They become that way, through choice and circumstance.
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Victoria Aveyard (Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2))
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Until we invent telepathy, books are our best choice for understanding the rest of humanity.
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Christopher Paolini
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Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you'll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you'll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.
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Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
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There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.
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C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
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Choose your love. Love your choice.
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Thomas S. Monson
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Homework is not an option. My bed is sending out serious nap rays. I can't help myself. The fluffy pillows and warm comforter are more powerful than I am. I have no choice but to snuggle under the covers.
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
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In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
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Eleanor Roosevelt
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Maturity is when you stop complaining and making excuses, and start making changes.
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Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
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True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice on the matter.
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John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
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I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic β€” on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg β€” or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
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C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
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You don’t take away my choices. You are my choice.
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Colleen Houck
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When you love someone, you don't have a choice. Love takes your choices away. - Clary Fray
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Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
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You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. Every time you don't throw yourself down the stairs, that's a choice. Every time you don't crash your car, you re-enlist.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
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You know how sometimes you tell yourself that you have a choice, but really you don't have a choice? Just because there are alternatives doesn't mean they apply to you.
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Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
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Make your choice, adventurous Stranger, Strike the bell and bide the danger, Or wonder, till it drives you mad, What would have followed if you had.
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C.S. Lewis (The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #1))
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I demolish my bridges behind me...then there is no choice but to move forward
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Fridtjof Nansen
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Holy [Insert your choice of a swear word here]," said Fang stunned.
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James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
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What’s the difference?” I asked him. β€œBetween the love of your life, and your soulmate?” β€œOne is a choice, and one is not.
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Tarryn Fisher (Mud Vein)
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I don't think we get a choice in who we fall for," Ian whispers. "I think we just do.
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Jodi Picoult (Keeping Faith)
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Where do you think the money went?” he repeated. β€œGuns?” asked Jesper. β€œShips?” queried Inej. β€œBombs?” suggested Wylan. β€œPolitical bribes?” offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. β€œThis is where you tell us how awful we are,” she whispered. He shrugged. β€œThey all seem like practical choices.
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Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
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When I lost my sight, Werner, people said I was brave. When my father left, people said I was brave. But it is not bravery; I have no choice. I wake up and live my life. Don't you do the same?
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Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
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It is not for me to judge another man's life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.
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Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
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I can do anything I want. Be with anyone I want. And it'll be my choice.
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Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
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But no matter what choices we make - solo or together - our finish line remains the same … No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.
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Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End)
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My heart made it's choice, and it chose you.
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Colleen Hoover (Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1))
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As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all - the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
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I knew they would kill me when they found out, but…” He struggled for words, releasing a sharp breath. β€œI think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.
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Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
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Nothing was ever in tune. People just blindly grabbed at whatever there was: communism, health foods, zen, surfing, ballet, hypnotism, group encounters, orgies, biking, herbs, Catholicism, weight-lifting, travel, withdrawal, vegetarianism, India, painting, writing, sculpting, composing, conducting, backpacking, yoga, copulating, gambling, drinking, hanging around, frozen yogurt, Beethoven, Back, Buddha, Christ, TM, H, carrot juice, suicide, handmade suits, jet travel, New York City, and then it all evaporated and fell apart. People had to find things to do while waiting to die. I guess it was nice to have a choice.
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Charles Bukowski (Women)
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Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.
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Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
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But you'll be killed!" "I'll be fine. Besides, we've got no choice." Annabeth glared at me like she was going to punch me. And then she did something that surprised me even more. She kissed me.
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Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
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There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.
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Shannon L. Alder
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Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.
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Ronald Reagan
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An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.
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Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
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Was it really that simple? Choosing a life? ... Maybe you don't fall in love. Maybe you jump. Maybe, just maybe, it's all a choice. (Josh Matteson)
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Sarah Addison Allen (First Frost (Waverley Family, #2))
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There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. But sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. That is the sort of bravery I must have now.
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Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
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Beliefs are choices. First you choose your beliefs. Then your beliefs affect your choices.
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Roy T. Bennett
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Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people,” I say. β€œMaybe we’re accumulating these new selves all the time.” Hauling them in as we make choices, good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things.
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Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
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Sleep my little baby-oh Sleep until you waken When you wake you'll see the world If I'm not mistaken... Kiss a lover Dance a measure, Find your name And buried treasure... Face your life Its pain, Its pleasure, Leave no path untaken.
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Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
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We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (We Should All Be Feminists)
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Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.
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Barbara De Angelis
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Clarissa," he said, "here with the vampire, I see. When things have settled a bit, we really must discuss you choice in pets..
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Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
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I find the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind. - Dr Wayne W. Dyer
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R.J. Palacio (Wonder (Wonder, #1))
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Look, the point is there's no way to be a hundred percent sure about anyone or anything. So you're left with a choice. Either hope for the best or just expect the worst.
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Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
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Someone else’s choice doesn’t change who you are.
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Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
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Let’s start with this statistic: You are delicious. Be brave, my sweet. I know you can get lonely. I know you can crave companionship and sex and love so badly that it physically hurts. But I truly believe that the only way you can find out that there’s something better out there is to first believe there’s something better out there. What other choice is there?
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Greg Behrendt (He's Just Not That Into You)
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I want to say yes, but I don't want to be with a boy whose heart belongs to somebody else. Just once, I want to be somebody else's first choice
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Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
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I have seen the best of you, and the worst of you, and I choose both.
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Sarah Kay
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You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
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Robert A. Heinlein
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When you make a choice, you change the future.
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Deepak Chopra
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Honestly, if you're given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don't say 'what kind of tea?
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Neil Gaiman
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The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.
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Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
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Because growing up means making tough choices, and doing the right thing doesn’t necessarily mean doing the thing that feels good.
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Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
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If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn't walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don't need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.
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Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements)
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But a knife ain't just a thing, is it? It's a choice, it's something you do. A knife says yes or no, cut or not, die or don't. A knife takes a decision out of your hand and puts it in the world and it never goes back again.
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Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1))
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It's much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn't stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and than make the choice to share it with other people. You can't just sit their and put everybody's lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can't. You have to do things. I'm going to do what I want to do. I'm going to be who I really am. And I'm going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn't do or what they didn't know. I don't know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It's just different. Maybe it's good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it's okay to feel things. I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite.
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Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
β€œ
Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping... waiting... and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir... open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us... guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love... the clarity of hatred... the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we'd be truly dead.
”
”
Joss Whedon
β€œ
One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.
”
”
Shannon L. Alder
β€œ
To stand in front of a person who is your whole world and be told you are not enough. You are not the choice. You are a shadow to the person who is your sun.
”
”
Victoria Aveyard (King's Cage (Red Queen, #3))
β€œ
I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn't end up with you.
”
”
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Maybe in Another Life)
β€œ
They say that a person’s personality is the sum of their experiences. But that isn’t true, at least not entirely, because if our past was all that defined us, we’d never be able to put up with ourselves. We need to be allowed to convince ourselves that we’re more than the mistakes we made yesterday. That we are all of our next choices, too, all of our tomorrows.
”
”
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
β€œ
I believe feminism is grounded in supporting the choices of women even if we wouldn’t make certain choices for ourselves.
”
”
Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist: Essays)
β€œ
The choices you make now, the people you surround yourself with, they all have the potential to affect your life, even who you are, forever.
”
”
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
β€œ
Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself β€” educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.
”
”
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
β€œ
When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.
”
”
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
β€œ
You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.
”
”
Rabindranath Tagore
β€œ
We have a choice. We have two options as human beings. We have a choice between conversation and war. That's it. Conversation and violence. And faith is a conversation stopper.
”
”
Sam Harris
β€œ
I heard every word between you. I knew you could take care of yourself, and yet … ” He went back to his pie, swallowing a bite before continuing. β€œAnd yet I found myself deciding that if you took his hand, I would find a way to live with it. It would be your choice.” I sipped from my wine. β€œAnd if he had grabbed me?” There was nothing but uncompromising will in his eyes. β€œThen I would have torn apart the world to get you back.
”
”
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
β€œ
Life isn't easy, no matter where you are. You'll make choices you think are right, and then suffer for them.
”
”
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5))
β€œ
The only thing we're allowed to believe is that we won't regret the choice we made.
”
”
Hajime Isayama
β€œ
You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choiceβ€”well, then you’re going to get fucked.
”
”
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
β€œ
The problem, simply put, is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously. So we live in danger of becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified that every choice might be the wrong choice.
”
”
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
β€œ
In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We’ve got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there is a lot of grey to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.
”
”
Libba Bray
β€œ
Love is the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth... Love is as love does. Love is an act of will -- namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.
”
”
M. Scott Peck
β€œ
In the space between yes and no, there's a lifetime. It's the difference between the path you walk and the one you leave behind; it's the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; its the legroom for the lies you'll tell yourself in the future.
”
”
Jodi Picoult (Change of Heart)
β€œ
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
”
”
Theodore Roosevelt
β€œ
Curiosity killed the cat,” Fesgao remarked, his dark eyes unreadable. Aly rolled her eyes. Why did everyone say that to her? β€œPeople always forget the rest of the saying,” she complained. β€œβ€˜And satisfaction brought it back.
”
”
Tamora Pierce (Trickster's Choice (Daughter of the Lioness, #1))
β€œ
Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?' 'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat. 'I don't much care where -' said Alice. 'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat. '- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation. 'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.
”
”
Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)
β€œ
It's not about you, okay? This time, it's about me. Not you. All my life, Lissa... all my life, it's been the same. They come first. I've lived my life for you. I've trained to be your shadow, but you know what? I want to come first. I need to take care of myself for once. I'm tired of looking out for everyone else and having to put aside what I want. Dimitri and I did that, and look what happened. He's gone. I will never hold him again. Now I owe it to him to do this. I'm sorry if it hurts you, but it's my choice!
”
”
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
β€œ
I'm so sorry," I whisper. I lean forward and kiss him. His eyelashes flutter and he looks at me through a haze of opiates. "Hey, Catnip." "Hey, Gale," I say. "Thought you'd be gone by now," He says. My choices are simple. I can die like a quarry in the woods or I can die here beside Gale. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to stay right here and cause all kinds of trouble." "Me, too," Gale says. He just manages a smile before the drugs pull him back under.
”
”
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
β€œ
Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.
”
”
Shannon L. Alder
β€œ
A man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions.... He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer--because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement.
”
”
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
β€œ
The question,’ she replied, β€˜is not whether you will love, hurt, dream, and die. It is what you will love, why you will hurt, when you will dream, and how you will die. This is your choice. You cannot pick the destination, only the path.
”
”
Brandon Sanderson (Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3))
β€œ
People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.
”
”
James Baldwin
β€œ
Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. The road goes upward towards the light; but the laden traveler may never reach the end of it.
”
”
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2))
β€œ
Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person's sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves. No matter what corruption they're taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment - just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! - an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience - or to fake - a sense of self-esteem .. Love is our response to our highest values - and can be nothing else.
”
”
Ayn Rand
β€œ
I'll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don't choose. We'll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn't carry us. There's nothing to do but salute it from the shore.
”
”
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
β€œ
Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.
”
”
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
β€œ
Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without traveling.
”
”
Roman Payne (The Wanderess)
β€œ
We all get lost once in a while, sometimes by choice, sometimes due to forces beyond our control. When we learn what it is our soul needs to learn, the path presents itself. Sometimes we see the way out but wander further and deeper despite ourselves; the fear, the anger or the sadness preventing us returning. Sometimes we prefer to be lost and wandering, sometimes it's easier. Sometimes we find our own way out. But regardless, always, we are found.
”
”
Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)
β€œ
Clary, Despite everything, I can't bear the thought of this ring being lost forever, any more then I can bear the thought of leaving you forever. And though I have no choice about the one, at least I can choose about the other. I'm leaving you our family ring because you have as much right to it as I do. I'm writing this watching the sun come up. You're asleep, dreams moving behind your restless eyelids. I wish I knew what you were thinking. I wish I could slip into your head and see the world the way you do. I wish I could see myself the way you do. But maybe I dont want to see that. Maybe it would make me feel even more than I already do that I'm perpetuating some kind of Great Lie on you, and I couldn't stand that. I belong to you. You could do anything you wanted with me and I would let you. You could ask anything of me and I'd break myself trying to make you happy. My heart tells me this is the best and greatest feeling I have ever had. But my mind knows the difference between wanting what you can't have and wanting what you shouldn't want. And I shouldn't want you. All night I've watched you sleeping, watched the moonlight come and go, casting its shadows across your face in black and white. I've never seen anything more beautiful. I think of the life we could have had if things were different, a life where this night is not a singular event, separate from everything else that's real, but every night. But things aren't different, and I can't look at you without feeling like I've tricked you into loving me. The truth no one is willing to say out loud is that no one has a shot against Valentine but me. I can get close to him like no one else can. I can pretend I want to join him and he'll believe me, up until that last moment where I end it all, one way or another. I have something of Sebastian's; I can track him to where my father's hiding, and that's what I'm going to do. So I lied to you last night. I said I just wanted one night with you. But I want every night with you. And that's why I have to slip out of your window now, like a coward. Because if I had to tell you this to your face, I couldn't make myself go. I don't blame you if you hate me, I wish you would. As long as I can still dream, I will dream of you. _Jace
”
”
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
β€œ
In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.
”
”
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
β€œ
Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.
”
”
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
β€œ
And on that evening when we grow older still we'll speak about these two young men as though they were two strangers we met on the train and whom we admire and want to help along. And we'll want to call it envy, because to call it regret would break our hearts.
”
”
AndrΓ© Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
β€œ
In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation.
”
”
Simone de Beauvoir
β€œ
We tell ourselves stories in order to live...We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the "ideas" with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.
”
”
Joan Didion (The White Album)
β€œ
Kiss a lover, Dance a measure, Find your name And buried treasure. Face your life, It's pain, It's pleasure, Leave no path untaken.
”
”
Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
β€œ
Just keep asking yourself: What would Jesus not do?
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
β€œ
Equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who's confronted with it. We need equality. Kinda now.
”
”
Joss Whedon
β€œ
We don't get to chose what is true. We only get to choose what we do about it.
”
”
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2))
β€œ
The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way.
”
”
Heraclitus
β€œ
You are fettered," said Scrooge, trembling. "Tell me why?" "I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.
”
”
Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
β€œ
The truth is messy. It's raw and uncomfortable. You can't blame people for preferring lies.
”
”
Holly Black (Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2))
β€œ
Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.
”
”
Andrzej Sapkowski (The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5))
β€œ
It must be because you're so approachable,' I say flatly. 'You know. Like a bed of nails.' He stares at me, and I don't look away. He isn't a dog but the same rules apply. Looking away is submissive. Looking him in the eye is a challenge. It's my choice. Heat rushes into my cheeks. What will happen when this tension breaks? But he just says, 'Careful, Tris.
”
”
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
β€œ
Changing is what people do when they have no options left.
”
”
Holly Black (Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2))
β€œ
For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.
”
”
Audre Lorde
β€œ
Learning how to think" really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to chooseΒ how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot or will not exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.
”
”
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
β€œ
Anger is just anger. It isn't good. It isn't bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It's like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice." Constructive anger," the demon said, her voice dripping sarcasm. Also known as passion," I said quietly. "Passion has overthrown tyrants and freed prisoners and slaves. Passion has brought justice where there was savagery. Passion has created freedom where there was nothing but fear. Passion has helped souls rise from the ashes of their horrible lives and build something better, stronger, more beautiful.
”
”
Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
β€œ
What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?
”
”
Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
β€œ
I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done in life, any choice that I’ve made. But I’m consumed with regret for the things I didn’t do, the choices I didn’t make, the things I didn’t say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to. β€œWhat if…” β€œIf only…” β€œI wonder what would have…” You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.
”
”
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
I’m the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I’m the type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone. I find spending an hour or two every day running alone, not speaking to anyone, as well as four or five hours alone at my desk, to be neither difficult nor boring. I’ve had this tendency ever since I was young, when, given a choice, I much preferred reading books on my own or concentrating on listening to music over being with someone else. I could always think of things to do by myself.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
β€œ
Choosing a path meant having to miss out on others. She had a whole life to live, and she was always thinking that, in the future, she might regret the choices she made now. β€œI’m afraid of committing myself,” she thought to herself. She wanted to follow all possible paths and so ended up following none. Even in that most important area of her life, love, she had failed to commit herself. After her first romantic disappointment, she had never again given herself entirely. She feared pan, loss, and separation. These things were inevitable on the path to love, and the only way of avoiding them was by deciding not to take that path at all. In order not to suffer, you had to renounce love. It was like putting out your own eyes not to see the bad things in life.
”
”
Paulo Coelho (Brida)
β€œ
It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.
”
”
Roy Disney
β€œ
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
”
”
Steve Jobs
β€œ
Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worshipβ€”be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principlesβ€”is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichΓ©s, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.
”
”
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
β€œ
Love is a commitment that will be tested in the most vulnerable areas of spirituality, a commitment that will force you to make some very difficult choices. It is a commitment that demands that you deal with your lust, your greed, your pride, your power, your desire to control, your temper, your patience, and every area of temptation that the Bible clearly talks about. It demands the quality of commitment that Jesus demonstrates in His relationship to us.
”
”
Ravi Zacharias (I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah)
β€œ
The man that I named the Giver passed along to the boy knowledge, history, memories, color, pain, laughter, love, and truth. Every time you place a book in the hands of a child, you do the same thing. It is very risky. But each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere. It gives him choices. It gives him freedom. Those are magnificent, wonderfully unsafe things. [from her Newberry Award acceptance speech]
”
”
Lois Lowry
β€œ
And while I could sit here and feel sorry for myself, wondering why all of this happened to me..I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to wish for a perfect life. The things that knock you down in life are tests, forcing you to make a choice between giving in and remaining on the ground or wiping the dirt off and standing up even taller than you did before you were knocked down. I'm choosing to stand taller. I'll probably get kicked down a few more times before this life is through with me, but I can guarantee you I'll never stay on the ground.
”
”
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
β€œ
It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it. We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.
”
”
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia)
β€œ
I love you. I hate you. I like you. I hate you. I love you. I think you’re stupid. I think you’re a loser. I think you’re wonderful. I want to be with you. I don’t want to be with you. I would never date you. I hate you. I love you…..I think the madness started the moment we met and you shook my hand. Did you have a disease or something?
”
”
Shannon L. Alder
β€œ
Most of us can't help but live as though we've got two lives to live, one is the mockup, the other the finished version, and then there are all those versions in between. But there's only one, and before you know it, your heart is worn out, and, as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now there's sorrow. I don't envy the pain. But I envy you the pain. (p. 225)
”
”
AndrΓ© Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
β€œ
It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.
”
”
Pope John Paul II
β€œ
I won't tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world's voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completelyβ€”or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose!
”
”
Oscar Wilde
β€œ
A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.
”
”
James Allen (As a Man Thinketh)
β€œ
It is easy to mourn the lives we aren't living. Easy to wish we'd developed other other talents, said yes to different offers. Easy to wish we'd worked harder, loved better, handled our finances more astutely, been more popular, stayed in the band, gone to Australia, said yes to the coffee or done more bloody yoga. It takes no effort to miss the friends we didn't make and the work we didn't do the people we didn't do and the people we didn't marry and the children we didn't have. It is not difficult to see yourself through the lens of other people, and to wish you were all the different kaleidoscopic versions of you they wanted you to be. It is easy to regret, and keep regretting, ad infinitum, until our time runs out. But it is not lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It's the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people's worst enemy. We can't tell if any of those other versions would of been better or worse. Those lives are happening, it is true, but you are happening as well, and that is the happening we have to focus on.
”
”
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
β€œ
It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realised, somehow, through the screaming of my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn’t sound like much, I know. But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when it’s all you’ve got, that freedom is an universe of possibility. And the choice you make between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.
”
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Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
β€œ
Belief, like fear or love, is a force to be understood as we understand the theory of relativity and principals of uncertainty. Phenomena that determine the course of our lives. Yesterday, my life was headed in one direction. Today, it is headed in another. Yesterday, I believe I would never have done what I did today. These forces that often remake time and space, that can shape and alter who we imagine ourselves to be, begin long before we are born and continue after we perish. Our lives and our choices, like quantum trajectories, are understood moment to moment. That each point of intersection, each encounter, suggest a new potential direction. Proposition, I have fallen in love with Luisa Rey. Is this possible? I just met her and yet, I feel like something important has happened to me.
”
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David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
β€œ
Everyone goes through a period of Traviamento - when we take, say, a different turn in life, the other via. Dante himself did. Some recover, some pretend to recover, some never come back, some chicken out before even starting, and some, for fear of taking any turns, find themselves leading the wrong life all life long.
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AndrΓ© Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
β€œ
Wellβ€”I have to say I personally have never drawn such a sharp line between β€˜good’ and β€˜bad’ as you. For me: that line is often false. The two are never disconnected. One can’t exist without the other. As long as I am acting out of love, I feel I am doing best I know how. But youβ€”wrapped up in judgment, always regretting the past, cursing yourself, blaming yourself, asking β€˜what if,’ β€˜what if.’ β€˜Life is cruel.’ β€˜I wish I had died instead of.’ Wellβ€”think about this. What if all your actions and choices, good or bad, make no difference to God? What if the pattern is pre-set? No noβ€”hang onβ€”this is a question worth struggling with. What if our badness and mistakes are the very thing that set our fate and bring us round to good? What if, for some of us, we can’t get there any other way?
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Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
β€œ
I really wondered why people were always doing what they didn't like doing. It seemed like life was a sort of narrowing tunnel. Right when you were born, the tunnel was huge. You could be anything. Then, like, the absolute second after you were born, the tunnel narrowed down to about half that size. You were a boy, and already it was certain you wouldn't be a mother and it was likely you wouldn't become a manicurist or a kindergarten teacher. Then you started to grow up and everything you did closed the tunnel in some more. You broke your arm climbing a tree and you ruled out being a baseball pitcher. You failed every math test you ever took and you canceled any hope of being a scientist. Like that. On and on through the years until you were stuck. You'd become a baker or a librarian or a bartender. Or an accountant. And there you were. I figured that on the day you died, the tunnel would be so narrow, you'd have squeezed yourself in with so many choices, that you just got squashed.
”
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Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
β€œ
Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make; you can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you won't know for twenty years. And you'll never ever trace it to its source. And you only get one chance to play it out. Just try and figure out your own divorce. And they say there is no fate, but there is: it's what you create. Even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes or it seems to but doesn't really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope for something good to come along. Something to make you feel connected, to make you feel whole, to make you feel loved.
”
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Charlie Kaufman (Synecdoche, New York: The Shooting Script)
β€œ
To my babies, Merry Christmas. I'm sorry if these letters have caught you both by surprise. There is just so much more I have to say. I know you thought I was done giving advice, but I couldn't leave without reiterating a few things in writing. You may not relate to these things now, but someday you will. I wasn't able to be around forever, but I hope that my words can be. -Don't stop making basagna. Basagna is good. Wait until a day when there is no bad news, and bake a damn basagna. -Find a balance between head and heart. Hopefully you've found that Lake, and you can help Kel sort it out when he gets to that point. -Push your boundaries, that's what they're there for. -I'm stealing this snippet from your favorite band, Lake. "Always remember there is nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name." -Don't take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it. -And Laugh a lot. Never go a day without laughing at least once. -Never judge others. You both know good and well how unexpected events can change who a person is. Always keep that in mind. You never know what someone else is experiencing within their own life. -Question everything. Your love, your religion, your passions. If you don't have questions, you'll never find answers. -Be accepting. Of everything. People's differences, their similarities, their choices, their personalities. Sometimes it takes a variety to make a good collection. The same goes for people. -Choose your battles, but don't choose very many. -Keep an open mind; it's the only way new things can get in. -And last but not least, not the tiniest bit least. Never regret. Thank you both for giving me the best years of my life. Especially the last one. Love, Mom
”
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Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
β€œ
I will go,” he said. β€œI will go to Troy.” The rosy gleam of his lip, the fevered green of his eyes. There was not a line anywhere on his face, nothing creased or graying; all crisp. He was spring, golden and bright. Envious death would drink his blood, and grow young again. He was watching me, his eyes as deep as earth. β€œWill you come with me?” he asked. The never-ending ache of love and sorrow. Perhaps in some other life I could have refused, could have torn my hair and screamed, and made him face his choice alone. But not in this one. He would sail to Troy and I would follow, even into death. β€œYes,” I whispered. β€œYes.” Relief broke in his face, and he reached for me. I let him hold me, let him press us length to length so close that nothing might fit between us. Tears came, and fell. Above us, the constellations spun and the moon paced her weary course. We lay stricken and sleepless as the hours passed.
”
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Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
β€œ
The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world. Reality is an absolute, existence is an absolute, a speck of dust is an absolute and so is a human life. Whether you live or die is an absolute. Whether you have a piece of bread or not, is an absolute. Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute. There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromise is the transmitting rubber tube.
”
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Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
β€œ
He came up and kissed me on my forehead, and before he stepped away, I closed my eyes and tried hard to memorize this moment. I wanted to remember him exactly as he was right then, how his arms looked brown against his white shirt, the way his hair was cut a little too short in the front. Even the bruise, there because of me. Then he was gone. Just for that moment, the thought that I might never see him again… it felt worse than death. I wanted to run after him. Tell him anything, everything. Just don’t go. Please just never go. Please just always be near me, so I can at least see you. Because it felt final. I always believed that we would find our way back to each other every time. That no matter what, we would be connectedβ€”by our history, by this house. But this time, this last time, it felt final. Like I would never see him again, or that when I did, it would be different, there would be a mountain between us. I knew it in my bones. That this time was it. I had finally made my choice, and so had he. He let me go. I was relieved, which I expected. What I didn’t expect was to feel so much grief. Bye bye, Birdie.
”
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Jenny Han (We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3))
β€œ
The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it's not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person--without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.
”
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Osho
β€œ
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
”
”
Bill Hicks
β€œ
Chiron had said once that nations were the most foolish of mortal inventions. β€œNo man is worth more than another, wherever he is from.” β€œBut what if he is your friend?” Achilles had asked him, feet kicked up on the wall of the rose-quartz cave. β€œOr your brother? Should you treat him the same as a stranger?” β€œYou ask a question that philosophers argue over,” Chiron had said. β€œHe is worth more to you, perhaps. But the stranger is someone else’s friend and brother. So which life is more important?” We had been silent. We were fourteen, and these things were too hard for us. Now that we are twenty-seven, they still feel too hard. He is half of my soul, as the poets say. He will be dead soon, and his honor is all that will remain. It is his child, his dearest self. Should I reproach him for it? I have saved Briseis. I cannot save them all. I know, now, how I would answer Chiron. I would say: there is no answer. Whichever you choose, you are wrong.
”
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Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
β€œ
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.
”
”
Mary Schmich (Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life)
β€œ
I mean, d'you know what eternity is? There's this big mountain, see, a mile high, at the end of the universe, and once every thousand years there's this little bird-" -"What little bird?" said Aziraphale suspiciously. -"This little bird I'm talking about. And every thousand years-" -"The same bird every thousand years?" -Crowley hesitated. "Yeah," he said. -"Bloody ancient bird, then." -"Okay. And every thousand years this bird flies-" -"-limps-" -"-flies all the way to this mountain and sharpens its beak-" -"Hold on. You can't do that. Between here and the end of the universe there's loads of-" The angel waved a hand expansively, if a little unsteadily. "Loads of buggerall, dear boy." -"But it gets there anyway," Crowley persevered. -"How?" -"It doesn't matter!" -"It could use a space ship," said the angel. Crowley subsided a bit. "Yeah," he said. "If you like. Anyway, this bird-" -"Only it is the end of the universe we're talking about," said Aziraphale. "So it'd have to be one of those space ships where your descendants are the ones who get out at the other end. You have to tell your descendants, you say, When you get to the Mountain, you've got to-" He hesitated. "What have they got to do?" -"Sharpen its beak on the mountain," said Crowley. "And then it flies back-" -"-in the space ship-" -"And after a thousand years it goes and does it all again," said Crowley quickly. There was a moment of drunken silence. -"Seems a lot of effort just to sharpen a beak," mused Aziraphale. -"Listen," said Crowley urgently, "the point is that when the bird has worn the mountain down to nothing, right, then-" Aziraphale opened his mouth. Crowley just knew he was going to make some point about the relative hardness of birds' beaks and granite mountains, and plunged on quickly. -"-then you still won't have finished watching The Sound of Music." Aziraphale froze. -"And you'll enjoy it," Crowley said relentlessly. "You really will." -"My dear boy-" -"You won't have a choice." -"Listen-" -"Heaven has no taste." -"Now-" -"And not one single sushi restaurant." A look of pain crossed the angel's suddenly very serious face.
”
”
Neil Gaiman (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
β€œ
Van Houten, I’m a good person but a shitty writer. You’re a shitty person but a good writer. We’d make a good team. I don’t want to ask you any favors, but if you have time – and from what I saw, you have plenty – I was wondering if you could write a eulogy for Hazel. I’ve got notes and everything, but if you could just make it into a coherent whole or whatever? Or even just tell me what I should say differently. Here’s the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, β€œThey’ll remember me now,” but (a) they don’t remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion. (Okay, maybe I’m not such a shitty writer. But I can’t pull my ideas together, Van Houten. My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.) We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can’t stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it’s silly and useless – epically useless in my current state – but I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either. People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invented anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox. After my PET scan lit up, I snuck into the ICU and saw her while she was unconscious. I just walked in behind a nurse with a badge and I got to sit next to her for like ten minutes before I got caught. I really thought she was going to die, too. It was brutal: the incessant mechanized haranguing of intensive care. She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. A nurse guy came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, β€œShe’s still taking on water.” A desert blessing, an ocean curse. What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
”
”
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)