Commitment To Family Quotes

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You can measure the happiness of a marriage by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry words.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.
Bethany Hamilton (Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board)
They'll say you are bad or perhaps you are mad or at least you should stay undercover. Your mind must be bare if you would dare to think you can love more than one lover.
David Rovics
All you have to do is speak up. Tell him straight up: "I need you here to protect and provide for us, to give us security in our lives, to help raise these children, to set an example for this boy, who needs to see what real men do, and for this girl, who needs to know what a real man is so she can find one of her own someday. I need you to be the head of this family." Lay it out like this, and your requirements will trump his mother's every time.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
Most murders are committed by someone who is known to the victim. In fact, you are most likely to be murdered by a member of your own family on Christmas day.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time)
It is not so incomprehensible as you pretend, sweet pea. Love is the feeling we have for those we care deeply about and hold in high regard. It can be light as the hug we give a friend or heavy as the sacrifices we make for our children. It can be romantic, platonic, familial, fleeting, everlasting, conditional, unconditional, imbued with sorrow, stoked by sex, sullied by abuse, amplified by kindness, twisted by betrayal, deepened by time, darkened by difficulty, leavened by generosity, nourished by humor and “loaded with promises and commitments” that we may or may not want or keep. The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
I’m revoking your warrior status,” he says as he watches Clara and her family. “I had warrior status?” “For about thirty seconds.” “What heinous crime did I commit to lose my exalted status?” “A true warrior would have retrieved her sword first before doing personal business.” “I’m all about personal business. Every battle I have is personal.” “Hmm. Good answer. Maybe you’ll eventually regain your status.” “I won’t hold my breath.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
every healthy marriage is composed of walls and windows. The windows are the aspects of your relationship that are open to the world—that is, the necessary gaps through which you interact with family and friends; the walls are the barriers of trust behind which you guard the most intimatesecrets of your marriage.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
We are a family, and the loyalty of the family must come before anything and everyone else. For if we honor that commitment, we will never be vanquished-but if we falter in that loyalty we will all be condemned.
Mario Puzo (The Family)
We know, for instance, that there is a direct, inverse relationship between frequency of family meals and social problems. Bluntly stated, members of families who eat together regularly are statistically less likely to stick up liquor stores, blow up meth labs, give birth to crack babies, commit suicide, or make donkey porn. If Little Timmy had just had more meatloaf, he might not have grown up to fill chest freezers with Cub Scout parts.
Anthony Bourdain (Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook)
In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit.
Marge Kennedy
Except for cases that clearly involve a homicidal maniac, the police like to believe murders are committed by those we know and love, and most of the time they're right - a chilling thought when you sit down to dinner with a family of five. All those potential killers passing their plates.
Sue Grafton (A Is for Alibi (Kinsey Millhone #1))
I realized right then and there, in that hallway, that I wanted no other... I became the man she needed me to be because she had sense enough to have requirements-standards that she needed in her relationship in order to make the relationship work for her. She knew she wanted a monogamous relationship-a partnership with a man who wanted to be a dedicated husband and father. She also knew this man had to be faithful, love God, and be willing to do what it took to keep this family together. On a smaller scale she also made it clear that she expected to be treated like a lady at every turn-I'm talking opening car doors for her, pulling out her seat when she's ready to sit at the table, coming correct on anniversary, Mother's Day, and birthday gifts, keeping the foul talk to a minimum. These requirements are important to her because they lay out a virtual map of what I need to do to make sure she gets what she needs and wants. After all, it's universal knowledge that when mama is happy, everybody is happy. And it is my sole mission in life to make sure Marjorie is happy.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
A lot of the stories were highly suspicious, in her opinion. There was the one that ended when the two good children pushed the wicked witch into her own oven...Stories like this stopped people thinking properly, she was sure. She'd read that one and thought, Excuse me? No one has an oven big enough to get a whole person in, and what made the children think they could just walk around eating people's houses in any case? And why does some boy too stupid to know a cow is worth a lot more than five beans have the right to murder a giant and steal all his gold? Not to mention commit an act of ecological vandalism? And some girl who can't tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother must either have been as dense as teak or come from an extremely ugly family.
Terry Pratchett
I Choose Love... No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves. I Choose Joy... I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God. I Choose Peace... I will live forgiven. I will forgive so I may live. I Choose Patience... I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so, Rather complain that the wait is to long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage. I Choose Kindness... I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for that is how God has treated me. I Choose Goodness... I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I accuse. I choose goodness. I Choose Faithfulness... Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My friends will not question my word. And my family will not question my love. I Choose Gentleness... Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it only be in praise. If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself. I Choose Self-Control... I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then when this day is done I will place my head on my pillow and rest.
Max Lucado
The first basic need of a male is sexual fulfillment; for a female, affection. The second most basic need of a male is recreational companionship; for a female, communication and conversation. The third basic need of a male in a relationship is an attractive woman; for a woman, honesty and openness. The fourth basic need of a male is domestic support; for a female, financial support. The fifth basic need of a male is admiration and respect; for a woman, family commitment.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
There is a significant moral difference between a person who commits a violent crime and a person who tries to cross a border illegally in order to put food on the family table. Such migrants may violate our laws against illicit entry, but if that's all they do they are trespassers, not criminals. They deserve to have their dignity respected.
Madeleine K. Albright (Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership)
Everything had changed suddenly--the tone, the moral climate; you didn't know what to think, whom to listen to. As if all your life you had been led by the hand like a small child and suddenly you were on your own, you had to learn to walk by yourself. There was no one around, neither family nor people whose judgment you respected. At such a time you felt the need of committing yourself to something absolute--life or truth or beauty--of being ruled by it in place of the man-made rules that had been discarded. You needed to surrender to some such ultimate purpose more fully, more unreservedly than you had ever done in the old familiar, peaceful days, in the old life that was now abolished and gone for good.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
Don’t waste your time trying to explain yourself to people that are committed to misunderstanding you. Instead, commit your time to explaining who they are to them. When you get a person to see the positive similarities you share, it begins to restore the loss of respect between you.
Shannon L. Alder
Behind every person who’s committed an unimaginable crime is an adult who committed unimaginable violence against them as a child. All of them, as if it was plotted that way. Violence begets violence, and that violence begets even more violence.
Gong Jiyoung
My passion. My commitment. This is the most important thing in my life other than my family.
Howard Schultz (Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul)
The Christian commitment is a journey inviting multiple conversions.
David A. Fiensy (The Journey: Spiritual Growth in Galatians and Philippians)
That’s how we both got committed to this enormous delusion—because that’s what it is, an enormous, obscene delusion—this idea that people have to resign from real life and ‘settle down’ when they have families.
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
Survivors often develop an exaggerated need for control in their adult relationships. It’s the only way they feel safe. They also struggle with commitment—saying yes in a relationship means being trapped in yet another family situation where abuse might take place. So the survivor panics as her relationship gets closer, certain that something terrible is going to happen. She pulls away, rejects, or tests her partner all the time.
Laura Davis (Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child)
If it is perfectly acceptable for a widow to disfigure herself or commit suicide to save face for her husband's family, why should a mother not be moved to extreme action by the loss of a child or children? We are their caretakers. We love them. We nurse them when they are sick. . . But no woman should live longer than her children. It is against the law of nature. If she does, why wouldn't she wish to leap from a cliff, hang from a branch, or swallow lye?
Lisa See (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)
Still it is true that many same-sex couples want nothing more than to join society as fully integrated socially responsible family-centered taxpaying Little League-coaching nation-serving respectably married citizens. So why not welcome them in Why not recruit them by the vanload to sweep in on heroic wings and save the flagging and battered old institution of matrimony from a bunch of apathetic ne'er-do-well heterosexual deadbeats like me
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
None of us lives in isolation. We're in it together. And some conflict along the way is inevitable. But our highest priority, when all is said and done, has to be commitment to each other –- sticking together.
Steve Goodier
There are those moments that you want to share with every single one around you. Then, there are those moments you wish not a single soul was a part of.
Pratibha Malav (If Tomorrow Comes (A Kind Of Commitment, #2))
A Master is not someone who merely revels in the benefits that he reaps from the power and control that he wields over his sub. A Master is not just an automaton who emotionally doles out orders and watches with amusement as his minions perform his bidding. A Master is not a person who only relishes the benefits that his superior status entitles him. Certainly all of these characteristics could and often do exist within a Master. He may be demanding and at times selfish. He may genuinely enjoy and even be aroused by the power that he has over a sub. He may be able to expertly control his emotions, issuing his commands and enforcing his discipline with stone-faced determination. But a true Master, a Master such as Matt, was so invested in his sub that he was actually in a way a slave himself. He was a slave to his love for me. He was a slave to his responsibility. He was a slave to the passion and the commitment. He was a slave to his overwhelming desire to protect his property at all costs. He was a slave to his slave. I knew without questions that he loved me so much he'd literally lay down his life for me. He owned me, and his ownership owned him
Jeff Erno (Building a Family (Puppy Love #2))
The Cobalt Empire is the largest, known for their regal poise, intellectual prowess, and fierce commitment to one another. Each Cobalt is prideful and passionately unique but when push comes to shove. They'll band together like an army of one.
Becca Ritchie (Damaged Like Us (Like Us, #1))
When you sacrifice everything for your family, and you’re committed to changing your lifestyle to secure a better future, it is not an act of greed, but rather an act of faith.
Celso Cukierkorn (Secrets of Jewish Wealth Revealed!)
But the gospel doesn’t need a coalition devoted to keeping the wrong people out. It needs a family of sinners, saved by grace, committed to tearing down the walls, throwing open the doors, and shouting, “Welcome! There’s bread and wine. Come eat with us and talk.” This isn’t a kingdom for the worthy; it’s a kingdom for the hungry.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
I've been accustomed to mysteries, holy and otherwise, since I was a child. Some of us care for orphans, amass fortunes, raise protests or Nielsen ratings; some of us take communion or whiskey or poison. Some of us take lithium and antidepressants, and most everyone believes these pills are fundamentally wrong, a crutch, a sign of moral weakness, the surrender of art and individuality. Bullshit. Such thinking guarantees tradgedy for the bipolar. Without medicine, 20 percent of us, one in five, will commit suicide. Six-gun Russian roulette gives better odds. Denouncing these medicines makes as much sense as denouncing the immorality of motor oil. Without them, sooner or later the bipolar brain will go bang. I know plenty of potheads who sermonize against the pharmaceutical companies; I know plenty of born-again yoga instructors, plenty of missionaries who tell me I'm wrong about lithium. They don't have a clue.
David Lovelace (Scattershot: My Bipolar Family)
Rule, she's always been an Archer. Putting a rock on her finger is just a formality. No one doubts how much you care about her, or that you are committed to her and her alone. Screw her obnoxious family and whatever headache Mom and Dad might want to cause, your want her forever, ask her.
Jay Crownover (Rome (Marked Men, #3))
I have a young friend who dreams of becoming a novelist, but he never seems to be able to complete his work. According to him, his job keeps him too busy, and he can never find enough time to write novels, and that's why he can't complete work and enter it for writing awards. But is that the real reason? No! It's actually that he wants to leave the possibility of "I can do it if I try" open, by not committing to anything. He doesn't want to expose his work to criticism, and he certainly doesn't want to face the reality that he might produce an inferior piece of writing and face rejection. He wants to live inside that realm of possibilities, where he can say that he could do it if he only had the time, or that he could write if he just had the proper environment, and that he really does have the talent for it. In another five or ten years, he will probably start using another excuses like "I'm not young anymore" or "I've got a family to think about now
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change Your Life, and Achieve Real Happiness)
It is not a single crime when a child is photographed while sexually assaulted (raped.) It is a life time crime that should have life time punishments attached to it. If the surviving child is, more often than not, going to suffer for life for the crime(s) committed against them, shouldn't the pedophiles suffer just as long? If it often takes decades for survivors to come to terms with exactly how much damage was caused to them, why are there time limits for prosecution?
Sierra D. Waters (Debbie.)
Religious folks are much happier. Regular church attendees commit fewer crimes, are in better health, live longer, make more money, drop out of high school less frequently, and finish college more frequently than those who don’t attend church at all.16
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Psychologists suggest that we must reach back at least three generations to look for clues whenever we begin untangling the emotional legacy of any one family's history.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
The difference between a ‘man’ and a ‘father’ is that the former shares his genes, but latter gives his life.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
What the hell does it all mean anyhow? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nothing comes to anything. And yet, there's no shortage of idiots to babble. Not me. I have a vision. I'm discussing you. Your friends. Your coworkers. Your newspapers. The TV. Everybody's happy to talk. Full of misinformation. Morality, science, religion, politics, sports, love, your portfolio, your children, health. Christ, if I have to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day to live, I don't wanna live. I hate goddamn fruits and vegetables. And your omega 3's, and the treadmill, and the cardiogram, and the mammogram, and the pelvic sonogram, and oh my god the-the-the colonoscopy, and with it all the day still comes where they put you in a box, and its on to the next generation of idiots, who'll also tell you all about life and define for you what's appropriate. My father committed suicide because the morning newspapers depressed him. And could you blame him? With the horror, and corruption, and ignorance, and poverty, and genocide, and AIDS, and global warming, and terrorism, and-and the family value morons, and the gun morons. "The horror," Kurtz said at the end of Heart of Darkness, "the horror." Lucky Kurtz didn't have the Times delivered in the jungle. Ugh... then he'd see some horror. But what do you do? You read about some massacre in Darfur or some school bus gets blown up, and you go "Oh my God, the horror," and then you turn the page and finish your eggs from the free range chickens. Because what can you do. It's overwhelming!
Woody Allen
In contrast, EMDR, as well as the treatments discussed in subsequent chapters—internal family systems, yoga, neurofeedback, psychomotor therapy, and theater—focus not only on regulating the intense memories activated by trauma but also on restoring a sense of agency, engagement, and commitment through ownership of body and mind.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
One student asks: Why should I live? Steven Pinker answers: In the very act of asking that question, you are seeking reasons for your convictions, and so you are committed to reason as the means to discover and justify what is important to you. And there are so many reasons to live! As a sentient being, you have the potential to flourish. You can refine your faculty of reason itself by learning and debating. You can seek explanations of the natural world through science, and insight into the human condition through the arts and humanities. You can make the most of your capacity for pleasure and satisfaction, which allowed your ancestors to thrive and thereby allowed you to exist. You can appreciate the beauty and richness of the natural and cultural world. As the heir to billions of years of life perpetuating itself, you can perpetuate life in turn. You have been endowed with a sense of sympathy—the ability to like, love, respect, help, and show kindness—and you can enjoy the gift of mutual benevolence with friends, family, and colleagues. And because reason tells you that none of this is particular to you, you have the responsibility to provide to others what you expect for yourself. You can foster the welfare of other sentient beings by enhancing life, health, knowledge, freedom, abundance, safety, beauty, and peace. History shows that when we sympathize with others and apply our ingenuity to improving the human condition, we can make progress in doing so, and you can help to continue that progress.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
The truth is women need men, we are neither superior nor inferior to men. We are better at some things and worse at other things. Mature people take the hard road and choose to delay quick gratification for true love. Mature people realize that the world does not revolve around them, and their desires, but around commitment. Mature people are committed to something beyond themselves; God, good, the good of society, family etc. If men are the source of your problems, then you are doomed to wait for eternity for them to fix it.
Osayi Emokpae Lasisi (Impossible Is Stupid)
I believe that many modern women, my mother included, carry within them a whole secret New England cemetery, wherein they have quietly buried- in neat little rows- the personal dreams they have given up for their families
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
In the end, it seems to me that forgiveness may be the only realistic antidote we are offered in love, to combat the inescapable disappointments of intimacy." “Women’s sense of integrity seems to be entwined with an ethic of care, so that to see themselves as women as to see themselves in a relationship of connection…I believe that many modern women, my mother included, carry within them a whole secret New England cemetery, wherein that have quietly buried in many neat rows– the personal dreams they have given up for their families…(Women) have a sort of talent for changing form, enabling them to dissolve and then flow around the needs of their partners, or the needs of their children, or the needs of mere quotidian reality. They adjust, adapt, glide, accept.” “The cold ugly fact is that marriage does not benefit women as much as it benefits men. From studies, married men perform dazzingly better in life, live longer, accumulate more, excel at careers, report to be happier, less likely to die from a violent death, suffer less from alcoholism, drug abuse, and depression than single man…The reverse is not true. In fact, every fact is reverse, single women fare much better than married women. On average, married women take a 7% pay cut. All of this adds up to what Sociologists called the “Marriage Benefit Imbalance”…It is important to pause here and inspect why so women long for it (marriage) so deeply.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
Love is the feeling we have for those we care deeply about and hold in high regard. It can be light as the hug we give a friend or heavy as the sacrifices we make for our children. It can be romantic, platonic, familial, fleeting, everlasting, conditional, unconditional, imbued with sorrow, stoked by sex, sullied by abuse, amplified by kindness, twisted by betrayal, deepened by time, darkened by difficulty, leavened by generosity, nourished by humor, and loaded with promises and commitments that we may or may not want or keep. The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.
Cheryl Strayed (Brave Enough: A Collection of Inspirational Quotes)
I am a person who feels guilty for crimes I have not committed, or have not committed in years. The police search the train station for a serial rapist and I cover my face with a newspaper, wondering if maybe I did it in my sleep. The last thing I stole was an eight-track tape, but to this day I'm unable to enter a store without feeling like a shoplifter. It's all the anxiety with none of the free stuff.
David Sedaris (Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim)
The way I treat my body is not disconnected from the way I treat my family or the commitment I have to peace on our earth.
Jack Kornfield (A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life)
And even in the fever of epidemic arrests, when people leaving for work said farewell to their families every day, because they could not be certain they would return at night, even then almost no one tried to run away and only in rare cases did people commit suicide. And that was exactly what was required. A submissive sheep is a find for a wolf.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
This is a simple study. Yet, you can use this book to see deeper into the personality of God. I find it heartwarming that God was like a concerned parent who continuously moved the dialogue forward. Notice that Jonah was like a rebellious and headstrong son committing an idolatry of law over justice.
Michael Ben Zehabe (A Commentary on Jonah)
Wedding vows are not a declaration of present love but a mutually binding promise of future love. A wedding should not be primarily a celebration of how loving you feel now—that can safely be assumed. Rather, in a wedding you stand up before God, your family, and all the main institutions of society, and you promise to be loving, faithful, and true to the other person in the future, regardless of undulating internal feelings or external circumstances.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
...the moment you begin to believe you're worthy of the good things in your life - God gets all Old Testament on your ass and does something vicious, something insane, something totally uncalled for. He gives you lupus or He allows Satan to slaughter your children and cattle or He delivers Ohio to George W. Bush.
Dan Savage (The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family)
Were these boys in their right minds? Here were two boys with good intellect, one eighteen and one nineteen. They had all the prospects that life could hold out for any of the young; one a graduate of Chicago and another of Ann Arbor; one who had passed his examination for the Harvard Law School and was about to take a trip in Europe,--another who had passed at Ann Arbor, the youngest in his class, with three thousand dollars in the bank. Boys who never knew what it was to want a dollar; boys who could reach any position that was to boys of that kind to reach; boys of distinguished and honorable families, families of wealth and position, with all the world before them. And they gave it all up for nothing, for nothing! They took a little companion of one of them, on a crowded street, and killed him, for nothing, and sacrificed everything that could be of value in human life upon the crazy scheme of a couple of immature lads. Now, your Honor, you have been a boy; I have been a boy. And we have known other boys. The best way to understand somebody else is to put yourself in his place. Is it within the realm of your imagination that a boy who was right, with all the prospects of life before him, who could choose what he wanted, without the slightest reason in the world would lure a young companion to his death, and take his place in the shadow of the gallows? ...No one who has the process of reasoning could doubt that a boy who would do that is not right. How insane they are I care not, whether medically or legally. They did not reason; they could not reason; they committed the most foolish, most unprovoked, most purposeless, most causeless act that any two boys ever committed, and they put themselves where the rope is dangling above their heads.... Why did they kill little Bobby Franks? Not for money, not for spite; not for hate. They killed him as they might kill a spider or a fly, for the experience. They killed him because they were made that way. Because somewhere in the infinite processes that go to the making up of the boy or the man something slipped, and those unfortunate lads sit here hated, despised, outcasts, with the community shouting for their blood. . . . I know, Your Honor, that every atom of life in all this universe is bound up together. I know that a pebble cannot be thrown into the ocean without disturbing every drop of water in the sea. I know that every life is inextricably mixed and woven with every other life. I know that every influence, conscious and unconscious, acts and reacts on every living organism, and that no one can fix the blame. I know that all life is a series of infinite chances, which sometimes result one way and sometimes another. I have not the infinite wisdom that can fathom it, neither has any other human brain
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
In sharp contrast with our culture, the Bible teaches that the essence of marriage is a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other. That means that love is more fundamentally action than emotion. But in talking this way, there is a danger of falling into the opposite error that characterized many ancient and traditional societies. It is possible to see marriage as merely a social transaction, a way of doing your duty to family, tribe and society. Traditional societies made the family the ultimate value in life, and so marriage was a mere transaction that helped your family's interest. By contrast, contemporary Western societies make the individual's happiness the ultimate value, and so marriage becomes primarily an experience of romantic fulfillment. But the Bible sees GOD as the supreme good - not the individual or the family - and that gives us a view of marriage that intimately unites feelings AND duty, passion AND promise. That is because at the heart of the Biblical idea of marriage is the covenant.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
If the people who said they loved you abused or neglected you, it can feel terrifying to love again…Commitment or love with a family feeling can be scarier still. The child in you still equates commitment with being locked into a situation where there’s no escape. So as you get closer, you may become paralyzed by all your old defenses & memories.
Ellen Bass (The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse)
A racist cop pulls over a black driver for little reason other than the fact that the driver is black and a recent robbery was committed by a couple of young black guys in a white community. The cop quickly realizes the driver is not one of the robbery suspects. He sees a man with a wife and two small children. They are not a couple of young punks. Still,he persists. Why? “He asks to see the driver’s license and registration. While locating the appropriate documents, the black driver respectfully volunteers that he is legally carrying a handgun. The cop panics—is it the image of a black man with a gun? He barks out conflicting orders and then shoots the man to death, in front of his family. Why? “Is it because the cop is an insensitive racist? Maybe he wasn’t trained or taught any better? Perhaps he lived a completely different life in a completely different world than that of the black man. In this cop’s world, were all black men potential criminals, people to be watched, people to be feared?
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal In Black (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #4))
The code-of-ethics playlist: o Treat your colleagues, family, and friends with respect, dignity, fairness, and courtesy. o Pride yourself in the diversity of your experience and know that you have a lot to offer. o Commit to creating and supporting a world that is free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. o Have balance in your life and help others to do the same. o Invest in yourself, achieve ongoing enhancement of your skills, and continually upgrade your abilities. o Be approachable, listen carefully, and look people directly in the eyes when speaking. o Be involved, know what is expected from you, and let others know what is expected from them. o Recognize and acknowledge achievement. o Celebrate, relive, and communicate your successes on an ongoing basis.
Lorii Myers (Targeting Success, Develop the Right Business Attitude to be Successful in the Workplace (3 Off the Tee, #1))
How did so many women get to this unhappy place of not understanding how truly "simple" men are in their requirements and how much benevolent power their wives have over them? Why did notions like assuaging "male ego" and using "feminine wiles" rocket into disrepute? How is it that so many women are angry with men in general yet expect to have a happy life married to one of them? There are a number of reasons for this, and I believe they all revolve around the assault upon, and virtual collapse of, the values of religious morality, modesty, fidelity, chastity, respect for life, and a commitment to family and child-rearing.
Laura Schlessinger
When God brought the first man his spouse, he brought him not just a lover but the friend his heart had been seeking. Proverbs 2:17 speaks of one's spouse as your "'allup," a unique word that the lexicons define as your "special confidant" or "best friend." In an age where women were often seen as the husband's property, and marriages were mainly business deals and transactions seeking to increase the family's social status and security, it was startling for the Bible to describe a spouse in this way. But in today's society, with its emphasis on romance and sex, it is just as radical to insist that your spouse should be your best friend, though for a different reason. In tribal societies, romance doesn't matter as much as social status, and in individualistic Western societies, romance and great sex matter far more than anything else. The Bible, however, without ignoring the importance of romance, puts great emphasis on marriage as companionship.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
Racism is both overt and covert. It takes two, closely related forms: individual whites acting against individual blacks, and acts by the total white community against the black community. We call these individual racism and institutional racism. The first consists of overt acts by individuals, which cause death, injury or the violent destruction of property. This type can be recorded by television cameras; it can frequently be observed in the process of commission. The second type is less overt, far more subtle, less identifiable in terms of specific individuals committing the acts. But it is no less destructive of human life. The second type originates in the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and thus receives far less public condemnation than the first type. When white terrorists bomb a black church and kill five black children, that is an act of individual racism, widely deplored by most segments of the society. But when in that same city - Birmingham, Alabama - five hundred black babies die each year because of the lack of proper food, shelter and medical facilities, and thousands more are destroyed and maimed physically, emotionally and intellectually because of conditions of poverty and discrimination in the black community, that is a function of institutional racism. When a black family moves into a home in a white neighborhood and is stoned, burned or routed out, they are victims of an overt act of individual racism which many people will condemn - at least in words. But it is institutional racism that keeps black people locked in dilapidated slum tenements, subject to the daily prey of exploitative slumlords, merchants, loan sharks and discriminatory real estate agents. The society either pretends it does not know of this latter situation, or is in fact incapable of doing anything meaningful about it.
Stokely Carmichael (Black Power: The Politics of Liberation)
You'd think (losing his job and degree for having made false claims as a researcher) would be a lesson to him," said Miss Hillyard. "It didn't pay, did it? Say he sacrificed his professional honour for the women and children we hear so much about -- but in the end it left him worse of." But that," said Peter, "was only because he committed the extra sin of being found out.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey, #10))
A NOTE TO BULLIES, Dear bullies, that boy you punched in the hall today committed suicide. The boy you called lame has to work every night to support his family. The girl you pushed down the other day, she’s already being abused at home. That girl you called fat, she’s starving herself. The old man you made fun of for his ugly scars, he fought for our country. The boy you made fun of for crying, his mother is dying. You think you know them, but guess what? You don’t. Repost this if you are against bullying. I bet 99% of you won’t. Repost if your that 1% with a heart.
ƬΉӨMΛƧ (Tɾυҽ ʅσʋҽ ιʂ υʂυαʅʅყ ƚԋҽ ɱσʂƚ ιɳƈσɳʋҽɳιҽɳƚ ƙιɳԃ)
If every Christian family in the United States would simply commit to pray and ask God if HE wants to use them to bless a child without a family, well, we'd change the world. If we can get the church to think about adoption not in terms of the desires of adults but in terms of the needs of children, I think we'd see on a much grander scale how God sets the lonely in families.
Kelly Rosati (Wait No More: One Family's Amazing Adoption Journey (Focus on the Family Books))
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings. I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
In our family "whim-wham" is code, a defanged reference to any number of moods and psychological disorders, be they depressive, manic, or schizoaffective. Back in the 1970s and '80s - when they were all straight depression - we called them "dark nights of the soul." St. John of the Cross's phrase ennobled our sickness, spiritualized it. We cut God out of it after the manic breaks started in 1986, the year my dad, brother, and I were all committed. Call it manic depression or by its new, polite name, bipolr disorder. Whichever you wish. We stick to our folklore and call it the whim-whams.
David Lovelace (Scattershot: My Bipolar Family)
The theatre is a tragic place, full of endings and partings and heartbreak. You dedicate yourself passionately to something, to a project, to people, to a family, you think of nothing else for weeks and months, then suddenly it's over, it's perpetual destruction, perpetual divorce, perpetual adieu. It's like éternel retour, it's a koan. It's like falling in love and being smashed over and over again.’ 'You do, then, fall in love.’ 'Only with fictions, I love players, but actors are so ephemeral. And then there’s waiting for the perfect part, and being offered it the day after you've committed yourself to something utterly rotten. The remorse, and the envy and the jealousy. An old actor told me if I wanted to stay in the trade I had better kill off envy and jealousy at the start.
Iris Murdoch (The Green Knight)
We'd like to think that it is not our fault that great men and women died fighting for the security of our nation and safety of our communities. But we know this not to be true. They commited their lives for us in instances where either we were too afraid to do it ourselves or failed to find alternate solutions on our own. We enjoy the fruits of their ultimate sacrifice and owe their families a heartfelt thanks and apology everyday.
D'Andre Lampkin
To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. The state has not produced one iota of medical evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place... It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses, whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross-examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. Now, there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewel was beaten - savagely, by someone who led exclusively with his left. And Tom Robinson now sits before you having taken the oath with the only good hand he possesses... his RIGHT. I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the State. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance. But my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man's life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say "guilt," gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She's committed no crime - she has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She must destroy the evidence of her offense. But what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was to her a daily reminder of what she did. Now, what did she do? She tempted a *****. She was white, and she tempted a *****. She did something that, in our society, is unspeakable. She kissed a black man. Not an old uncle, but a strong, young ***** man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards. The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the sheriff of Maycomb County have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption... the evil assumption that all Negroes lie, all Negroes are basically immoral beings, all ***** men are not to be trusted around our women. An assumption that one associates with minds of their caliber, and which is, in itself, gentlemen, a lie, which I do not need to point out to you. And so, a quiet, humble, respectable *****, who has had the unmitigated TEMERITY to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to put his word against TWO white people's! The defendant is not guilty - but somebody in this courtroom is. Now, gentlemen, in this country, our courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system - that's no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality! Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review, without passion, the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision and restore this man to his family. In the name of GOD, do your duty. In the name of God, believe... Tom Robinson
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Love is the feeling we have for those we care deeply about and hold in high regard. It can be light as the hug we give a friend or heavy as the sacrifices we make for our children. It can be romantic, platonic, familial, fleeting, everlasting, conditional, unconditional, imbued with sorrow, stoked by sex, sullied by abuse, amplified by kindness, twisted by betrayal, deepened by time, darkened by difficulty, leavened by generosity, nourished by humor, and “loaded with promises and commitments” that we may or may not want or keep.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
From the pocket of her robe she pulled out the ring he’d given her, she put it over her finger, sliding it back and forth over her knuckle. “Can I tell you something?” Dad asked. “Yes. Please.” “Any promise you make, whether it’s to your school, or your family, or to Billy, half of the promise is commitment and the other half, is faith. Faith that your commitment is enough. There’s no answer, honey. None.” She stared down at her ring, his words like bells ringing in her head.
Molly O'Keefe (Naughty & Nice: Room at the Inn / All I Want for Christmas is You / One Perfect Christmas)
More African American adults are under correctional control today—in prison or jail, on probation or parole—than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.7 The mass incarceration of people of color is a big part of the reason that a black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery.8 The absence of black fathers from families across America is not simply a function of laziness, immaturity, or too much time watching Sports Center. Thousands of black men have disappeared into prisons and jails, locked away for drug crimes that are largely ignored when committed by whites.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
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)
Would you - would you like to marry me, Kitty?' Lord Radcliffe - James - asked, voice like gravel. She gave a helpless little laugh at the absurdity of the question - as if he did not know. 'I would,' she said. 'But first, I feel I must inform you that I come with four sisters, a badly leaking roof, and a veritable ocean of debt.' He had started to smile now, and once begun it did not seem to stop, overtaking his whole face. “I thank you for your honesty,’ he said cordially, and she laughed. ‘May I reassure you that I am desperate to meet your other sisters, the roof sounds charmingly rustic, and the debt does not faze me.’ He paused. ‘Of course, I understand that you will need to see my accounts before committing yourself,’ he went on, and she laughed again, loud and bright. ‘I’m sure that won’t be necessary,’ she said. ‘As long as you can promise you’re absurdly rich and you’ll pay off all my family’s debts.’ ‘I am absurdly rich,’ he repeated. ‘And I will pay off all your family’s debts.’ ‘Why then by all means,’ she said, grinning up at him, ‘I would indeed like to marry you.
Sophie Irwin (A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting (A Lady's Guide, #1))
For most of my life, I would have automatically said that I would opt for conscientious objector status, and in general, I still would. But the spirit of the question is would I ever, and there are instances where I might. If immediate intervention would have circumvented the genocide in Rwanda or stopped the Janjaweed in Darfur, would I choose pacifism? Of course not. Scott Simon, the reporter for National Public Radio and a committed lifelong Quaker, has written that it took looking into mass graves in former Yugoslavia to convince him that force is sometimes the only option to deter our species' murderous impulses. While we're on the subject of the horrors of war, and humanity's most poisonous and least charitable attributes, let me not forget to mention Barbara Bush (that would be former First Lady and presidential mother as opposed to W's liquor-swilling, Girl Gone Wild, human ashtray of a daughter. I'm sorry, that's not fair. I've no idea if she smokes.) When the administration censored images of the flag-draped coffins of the young men and women being killed in Iraq - purportedly to respect "the privacy of the families" and not to minimize and cover up the true nature and consequences of the war - the family matriarch expressed her support for what was ultimately her son's decision by saying on Good Morning America on March 18, 2003, "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? I mean it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" Mrs. Bush is not getting any younger. When she eventually ceases to walk among us we will undoubtedly see photographs of her flag-draped coffin. Whatever obituaries that run will admiringly mention those wizened, dynastic loins of hers and praise her staunch refusal to color her hair or glamorize her image. But will they remember this particular statement of hers, this "Let them eat cake" for the twenty-first century? Unlikely, since it received far too little play and definitely insufficient outrage when she said it. So let us promise herewith to never forget her callous disregard for other parents' children while her own son was sending them to make the ultimate sacrifice, while asking of the rest of us little more than to promise to go shopping. Commit the quote to memory and say it whenever her name comes up. Remind others how she lacked even the bare minimum of human integrity, the most basic requirement of decency that says if you support a war, you should be willing, if not to join those nineteen-year-olds yourself, then at least, at the very least, to acknowledge that said war was actually going on. Stupid fucking cow.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
He is blinded and nothing will open his eyes,nothing can,after having had truths so long before him in vain.--He will marry her and poor and miserable.God grant that her influence do not make him cease to be respectable!"---She looked over the letter again."So very fond of me!tis"nonsense all.She loves nobody but herself and her brother.Her friends leading her astray for years!She is quite as likely to have led them astray. They have all,perhaps, been corrupting one another;but if they are so much fonder of her than she is of them,she is the less likely to have been hurt except by their flattery.The only woman in the world,whom he could ever think of as a wife.....I firmly believe it.It is an attachment to govern his whole life. Accepted or refused,his heart is wedded to her for ever.The loss of Mary,I must consider as comprehending the loss of Crawford and Fanny.Edmund you do not know me.The families would never be connected,if you did not connected them. Oh!write,write.Finish it at once.Let there be an end of this suspense.Fix, commit,condemn yourself."-Fanny Price
Jane Austen (Mansfield Park)
Just as the Savior stepped forward to fulfill His divine responsibilites, we have the challenge and responsibilty to do likewise. If you are wondering if you make a difference to the Lord, imagine the effect when you make such commitments as the following: "Father, if you need a woman to rear children in righteousness, Here and I, send me." "If you need a woman to make a house a home filled with love, Here and I, send me." if you need a woman who will shun vulgarity and dress modestly and speak with dignity and show the world how joyous it is to keep the commandments, Here am I, send me." "If you need a woman who can resist the alluring temptations of the world by keeping her eyes fixed on eternity, Here am I, send me." Between now and the day the Lord comes again, he needs women in every family, in every ward, in every community, in every nation who will step forward in righteousness and say by their words and thier actions, "Here am I, send me." My question is, Will you be one of those women?
M. Russell Ballard (Daughters of God)
Ask yourself . . . What are my goals when I converse with people? What kinds of things do I usually discuss? Are there other topics that would be more important given what’s actually going on? How often do I find myself—just to be polite—saying things I don’t mean? How many meetings have I sat in where I knew the real issues were not being discussed? And what about the conversations in my marriage? What issues are we avoiding? If I were guaranteed honest responses to any three questions, whom would I question and what would I ask? What has been the economical, emotional, and intellectual cost to the company of not identifying and tackling the real issues? What has been the cost to my marriage? What has been the cost to me? When was the last time I said what I really thought and felt? What are the leaders in my organization pretending not to know? What are members of my family pretending not to know? What am I pretending not to know? How certain am I that my team members are deeply committed to the same vision? How certain am I that my life partner is deeply committed to the vision I hold for our future? If nothing changes regarding the outcomes of the conversations within my organization, what are the implications for my own success and career? for my department? for key customers? for the organization’s future? What about my marriage? If nothing changes, what are the implications for us as a couple? for me? What is the conversation I’ve been unable to have with senior executives, with my colleagues, with my direct reports, with my customers, with my life partner, and most important, with myself, with my own aspirations, that, if I were able to have, might make the difference, might change everything? Are
Susan Scott (Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time)
A lot of the stories were highly suspicious, in her opinion. There was the one that ended when the two good children pushed the wicked witch into her own oven. Tiffany had worried about that after all that trouble with Mrs. Snapperly. Stories like this stopped people thinking properly, she was sure. She’d read that one and thought, Excuse me? No one has an oven big enough to get a whole person in, and what made the children think they could just walk around eating people’s houses in any case? And why does some boy too stupid to know a cow is worth a lot more than five beans have the right to murder a giant and steal all his gold? Not to mention commit an act of ecological vandalism? And some girl who can’t tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother must either have been as dense as teak or come from an extremely ugly family. The stories weren’t real.
Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30))
Why Does He Do That? That's the number one question, isn't it? Maybe it's his drinking, you say. Maybe it's his learning disabilities. It's his job; he hates it. He's stressed. I think he's bipolar. It's his mother's fault; she spoiled him rotten. It's the drugs. If only he didn't use. It's his temper. He's selfish. It's the pornography; he's obsessed. The list could go on and on. You could spend many years trying to pinpoint it and never get a definite answer. The fact is, many people have these problems and they aren't abusive. Just because someone is an alcoholic doesn't mean he is abusive. Men hate their jobs all the time and aren't abusive. Bipolar? Okay. Stressed? Who isn't! Do you see where I am going with this? Off the subject a bit, when someone commits a violent crime, they always report in the news about his possible motive. As human beings, we need to somehow make sense of things. If someone murders someone, do you think it makes the family of the victim feel better to know the murderer's motive? No. Except for self-defense, there really is no excuse for murder. Motive, if there is any, is irrelevant. The same is true of abuse. You could spend your whole life going round and round trying to figure out why. The truth is, the why doesn't matter. There are only two reasons why men commit abuse—because they want to do so and because they can. You want to know why. In many ways, you might feel like you need to know. But, if you could come up with a reason or a motive, it wouldn't help you. Maybe you believe that if you did this or that differently, he wouldn't have abused you. That is faulty thinking and won't help you get better. You didn't do anything to cause the abuse. No matter what you said, no matter what you did, you didn't deserve to be abused. You are the victim and it won't help you to know why he supposedly abused you. No matter what his reason, there is no excuse for abuse. You are not to blame.
Beth Praed (Domestic Violence: My Freedom from Abuse)
If I – as a beneficiary of that exact formula – will concede that my own life was indeed enriched by that precise familial structure, will the social conservatives please (for once!) concede that this arrangement has always put a disproportionately cumbersome burden on women? Such a system demands that mothers become selfless to the point of near invisibility in order to construct these exemplary encironments for their families. And might those same social conservatives – instead of just praising mothers as “sacred” and “noble” – be willing to someday join a larger conversation about how we might work together as a society to construct a world where healthy children can be raised and healthy families can prosper without women have to scrape bare the walls of their own souls to do so?
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
I know the formulahe wants her she refuses him he charms her she holds her ground he does something dramatic like saves her from a fire or reinstates her family's lost fortune or dies she realizes she loved him all along wedding bells ring or pirate flags unfurl or she joins a convent happily ever afterbut I don't expect to live that way. I've learned that life is not like novels. Especially not like novels with rippling muscles on paperback covers. After reading a couple hundred of those booksyou know hypothetically speakingyou start to see that there's not that much difference between a romance and an epic fantasy. You've got your quest sometimes it involves a ring and a hero who will stop at nothing to do what he has to. The difference is usually the girl. And I'm not that girl. I'm not the girl who inspires men to commit acts of heroism. In real life those girls speak much more quietly and breathe a lot louder than I do. I'm not the girl who strikes men speechless with her beauty. Really really not. I don't even know how to flutter my eyelashes. But that's life. Not romance-novel life just real life.
Becca Wilhite (My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions)
I stood by and spoke out for Amazon when Amazon was attacked by Hatchett and other traditional publishers in the early days. I also represented Amazon as an author spokesperson to the media during the Press Conference launch in Santa Monica for Kindle Family as well as at Book Expo America. Today, authors don't have that kind of loyalty to a distributor of their books. They don't have that kind of loyalty to the publishers of their books and jump around to find the best deal for each book and going back and forth between publishing with a big publisher and self-publishing. Publishing like any industry is built on relationships. When an author is published by multiple publishers and jumps around, it signals to her publishers her lack of commitment to them. It is only human to see this lack of trust. So, my advice to authors who jump around...find a good publisher to land with if you decide to go with a traditional publisher. Be committed to them or it will seem like a betrayal when you are published with another publisher in the same genre. - Advice to Authors by Kailin Gow
Kailin Gow
It just may be that the most radical act we can commit is to stay home. What does that mean to finally commit to a place, to a people, to a community? It doesn't mean it's easy, but it does mean you can live with patience, because you're not going to go away. It also means commitment to bear witness, and engaging in 'casserole diplomacy' by sharing food among neighbors, by playing with the children and mending feuds and caring for the sick. These kinds of commitment are real. They are tangible. They are not esoteric or idealistic, but rooted in the bedrock existence of where we choose to maintain our lives. That way we begin to know the predictability of a place. We anticipate a species long before we see them. We can chart the changes, because we have a memory of cycles and seasons; we gain a capacity for both pleasure and pain, and we find the strength within ourselves and each other to hold these lines. That's my definition of family. And that's my definition of love.
Terry Tempest Williams
The Whites always mean well when they take human fish out of the ocean and try to make them dry and warm and happy and comfortable in a chicken coop; but the kindest-hearted white man can always be depended on to prove himself inadequate when he deals with savages. He cannot turn the situation around and imagine how he would like it to have a well-meaning savage transfer him from his house and his church and his clothes and his books and his choice food to a hideous wilderness of sand and rocks and snow, and ice and sleet and storm and blistering sun, with no shelter, no bed, no covering for his and his family's naked bodies, and nothing to eat but snakes and grubs and offal. This would be a hell to him; and if he had any wisdom he would know that his own civilization is a hell to the savage - but he hasn't any, and has never had any; and for lack of it he shut up those poor natives in the unimaginable perdition of his civilization, committing his crime with the very best intentions, and saw those poor creatures waste away under his tortures; and gazed at it, vaguely troubled and sorrowful, and wondered what could be the matter with them.
Mark Twain (Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World)
We Americans often say that marriage is hard work. I'm not sure that the Hmong would understand this notion. Life is hard work, of course, and work is very hard work -- I'm quite certain they would agree with those statements - but how does marriage become hard work? Marriage becomes hard work once you have poured the entirety of your life's expectations for happiness into the hands of one mere person. Keeping that going is hard work. A recent survey of young American women found that what women are seeking these days in a husband - more than anything else - is a man who will "inspire" them, which is, by any measure, a tall order. As a point of comparison, young women of the same age, surveyed back in the 1920s, were more likely to choose a partner based on qualities such as "decency" or "honesty," or his ability to provide for a family. But that's not enough anymore. Now we want to be INSPIRED by our spouses! Daily! Step to it, honey!
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
Another sign of those with an “elder brother” spirit is joyless, fear-based compliance. The older son boasts of his obedience to his father, but lets his underlying motivation and attitude slip out when he says, “All these years I’ve been slaving for you.” To be sure, being faithful to any commitment involves a certain amount of dutifulness. Often we don’t feel like doing what we ought to do, but we do it anyway, for the sake of integrity. But the elder brother shows that his obedience to his father is nothing but duty all the way down. There is no joy or love, no reward in just seeing his father pleased. In the same way, elder brothers are fastidious in their compliance to ethical norms, and in fulfillment of all traditional family, community, and civic responsibilities. But it is a slavish, joyless drudgery. The word “slave” has strong overtones of being forced or pushed rather than drawn or attracted. A slave works out of fear—fear of consequences imposed by force. This gets to the root of what drives an elder brother. Ultimately, elder brothers live good lives out of fear, not out of joy and love.
Timothy J. Keller (The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith)
But each of us comes to marriage with a disordered inner being. Many of us have sought to overcome self-doubts by giving ourselves to our careers. That will mean we will choose our work over our spouse and family to the detriment of our marriage. Others of us hope that unending affection and affirmation from a beautiful, brilliant romantic partner will finally make us feel good about ourselves. That turns the relationship into a form of salvation, and no relationship can live up to that. Do you see why Paul introduces the subject of marriage with a summons to love one another “out of the fear of Christ”? We come into our marriages driven by all kinds of fears, desires, and needs. If I look to my marriage to fill the God-sized spiritual vacuum in my heart, I will not be in position to serve my spouse. Only God can fill a God-sized hole. Until God has the proper place in my life, I will always be complaining that my spouse is not loving me well enough, not respecting me enough, not supporting me enough.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
Who dies best, the soldier who falls for your sake, or the fly in my whiskey-glass? The happy agony of the fly is his reward for an adventurous dive in no cause but his own. Gorged and crazed, he touches bottom, knows he's gone as far as he can go, and bravely sticks. I sleep on. In the morning I pour new happiness upon the crust of the old, and only as I raise the glass to my lips descry through that rich brown double inch my flattened hero. I drink around his death, being no angler by any inclination, and leave him in the weird shallows. The glass set down, I idle beneath the fan, while beyond my window-bars a warm drizzle passes silently from clouds to leaves. How to die? How to live? These questions, if we ask the dead fly, are both answered thus: In a drunken state. But drunk on WHAT should we all be? Well, there's love to drink, of course, and death, which is the same thing, and whiskey, better still, and heroin, best of all—except maybe for holiness. Accordingly, let this book, like its characters, be devoted to Addiction, Addicts, Pushers, Prostitutes and Pimps. With upraised needles, Bibles, dildoes and shot glasses, let us now throw our condoms in the fire, unbutton our trousers, and happily commit THIS MULTITUDE OF CRIMES.
William T. Vollmann (The Royal Family)
It's a lot to live up to. These pressures of achieving. From the moment you're born, you're pounded with the expectations of what you need to actualize in order to become a success. Go to college. Get married. Raise a family. It's what you're supposed to do. The plans you're supposed to make. The life you're supposed to live. Diverge from the norm and you're frowned upon. Questioned. Shunned. There's something wrong with you if you're not interested in improving yourself. If you can't make a commitment of marriage. If you don't want to have children. So people earn a college degree so they can get a good job. They work at a job they hate just to earn a living. They spend two months' salary on an engagement ring. They pop out a couple of kids they don't really want just so they can fit in. Because it's what their parents did. Because it's what society expects you to do. Because it's safer to take the same path everyone else has traveled. Truth is, no one's listening to Robert Frost.
S.G. Browne (Big Egos)
Sooner or later, all talk among foreigners in Pyongyang turns to one imponderable subject. Do the locals really believe what they are told, and do they truly revere Fat Man and Little Boy? I have been a visiting writer in several authoritarian and totalitarian states, and usually the question answers itself. Someone in a café makes an offhand remark. A piece of ironic graffiti is scrawled in the men's room. Some group at the university issues some improvised leaflet. The glacier begins to melt; a joke makes the rounds and the apparently immovable regime suddenly looks vulnerable and absurd. But it's almost impossible to convey the extent to which North Korea just isn't like that. South Koreans who met with long-lost family members after the June rapprochement were thunderstruck at the way their shabby and thin northern relatives extolled Fat Man and Little Boy. Of course, they had been handpicked, but they stuck to their line. There's a possible reason for the existence of this level of denial, which is backed up by an indescribable degree of surveillance and indoctrination. A North Korean citizen who decided that it was all a lie and a waste would have to face the fact that his life had been a lie and a waste also. The scenes of hysterical grief when Fat Man died were not all feigned; there might be a collective nervous breakdown if it was suddenly announced that the Great Leader had been a verbose and arrogant fraud. Picture, if you will, the abrupt deprogramming of more than 20 million Moonies or Jonestowners, who are suddenly informed that it was all a cruel joke and there's no longer anybody to tell them what to do. There wouldn't be enough Kool-Aid to go round. I often wondered how my guides kept straight faces. The streetlights are turned out all over Pyongyang—which is the most favored city in the country—every night. And the most prominent building on the skyline, in a town committed to hysterical architectural excess, is the Ryugyong Hotel. It's 105 floors high, and from a distance looks like a grotesquely enlarged version of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (or like a vast and cumbersome missile on a launchpad). The crane at its summit hasn't moved in years; it's a grandiose and incomplete ruin in the making. 'Under construction,' say the guides without a trace of irony. I suppose they just keep two sets of mental books and live with the contradiction for now.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
Life is a series of problems to be analyzed and addressed. How do we fix our failing schools? How do we reduce violence? These problem-centered questions are usually the wrong ones to ask. They focus on deficits, not gifts. A problem conversation tends to focus on one moment in time—the moment when a student didn’t graduate from high school, the moment when a young person commits a crime, the moment when a person is homeless. But actual lives are lived cumulatively. It takes a whole series of shocks before a person becomes homeless—loss of a job, breakdown in family relationship, maybe car problems or some transportation issue. It takes a whole series of shocks before a kid drops out of school. If you abstract away from the cumulative nature of life and define the problem as one episode, you are abstracting away from how life is lived. All conversations are either humanizing or dehumanizing, and problem-centered conversations tend to be impersonal and dehumanizing. The better community-building conversations focus on possibilities, not problems. They are questions such as, What crossroads do we stand at right now? What can we build together? How can we improve our lives together? What talents do we have here that haven’t been fully expressed?
David Brooks (The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life)
When I behold other people, who are of course the children of some family or other, and think of my own children, and of myself...I am astonished at how sensible, well-behaved, practical, courteous, and predictable these other children are. The other children are so easy about the whole business of being who they are, being in the world, and getting along. Whereas with us it is an awful fight, all the way. I am left with the conclusion that we are quite probably crazy, but somehow not in a way that compels commitment. We get over our rampages before society or clinical insanity charges in on us. I can think of very few of us who are not nuts. And that's not at our worst, that's pretty much as we always are. We find fault with everything. The world stinks, and even long after we have reconciled ourselves to that truth, we still regret it, and now and then even rage against it. Running through the various branches of the family I fail to find one branch which might be said to be nice- ordinary, sober, adjusted, willing, courteous, undemanding, charming, practical, predictable, and all of the other things nice people are. Lunacy runs straight down the middle of every branch of my family. We have nobody who is not some kind of nut. What did it? How did it happen? Well, there's no answer, of course.
William Saroyan (Days Of Life And Death And Escape To The Moon)
I knew a young fellow once, who was studying to play the bagpipes, and you would be surprised at the amount of opposition he had to contend with. Why, not even from the members of his own family did he receive what you could call active encouragement. His father was dead against the business from the beginning, and spoke quite unfeelingly on the subject. My friend used to get up early in the morning to practise, but he had to give that plan up, because of his sister. She was somewhat religiously inclined, and she said it seemed such an awful thing to begin the day like that. So he sat up at night instead, and played after the family had gone to bed, but that did not do, as it got the house such a bad name. People, going home late, would stop outside to listen, and then put it about all over the town, the next morning, that a fearful murder had been committed at Mr. Jefferson's the night before; and would describe how they had heard the victim's shrieks and the brutal oaths and curses of the murderer, followed by the prayer for mercy, and the last dying gurgle of the corpse. So they let him practise in the day-time, in the back-kitchen with all the doors shut; but his more successful passages could generally be heard in the sitting-room, in spite of these precautions, and would affect his mother almost to tears. She said it put her in mind of her poor father (he had been swallowed by a shark, poor man, while bathing off the coast of New Guinea - where the connection came in, she could not explain). Then they knocked up a little place for him at the bottom of the garden, about quarter of a mile from the house, and made him take the machine down there when he wanted to work it; and sometimes a visitor would come to the house who knew nothing of the matter, and they would forget to tell him all about it, and caution him, and he would go out for a stroll round the garden and suddenly get within earshot of those bagpipes, without being prepared for it, or knowing what it was. If he were a man of strong mind, it only gave him fits; but a person of mere average intellect it usually sent mad.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
Well, let's consider the value of the dollar. Ultimately, logically, the dollar has no value at all. It's a piece of paper. It only has value because we say it has value, and because we agree on a system of bartering that maintains that value. Great care is taken to keep the value of the dollar strong. Smart guys in Washington and New York lose sleep over this. And we all watched what happend in Argentina a few years ago. We watched what happened when the value of currency declined rapidly. It's not a good thing. Sex is like that. God is concerned with the value of sex staying high. It's important to a person's health, a family's health, and a society's health. But like anything, sex can be cheapened in our minds, so we don't hold it in high esteem. God doesn't think this is a good thing. Stuff God doesn't think is good is called sin. "What happens when sex is cheaped?" somebody asked. A lot happens. The main thing is there is no sacred physical territory associated with commitment. There can still be emotional territory, but there isn't anything physical, experiential, that a man and a woman have only with each other. Sleeping around does something to the heart, to the mind. It leaves less commodity to spend on a sacred mate. But all of that sounds pretty fluffy. Let me break it down into practical stuff. Women saying no to men, not letting men have sex with them, causes men to step up. If, in order to have sex with them, women demanded you got a job and shaved every day and didn't dress like a dork or sit around playing video games, then all of us would do just that. We all want to have sex, right? ... And this in turn would be good for families, would be good for the communities.
Donald Miller (To Own a Dragon: Reflections On Growing Up Without A Father)
The face that Moses had begged to see – was forbidden to see – was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20) The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his brow… “On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on – he grants the warrior’s continued existence. The man swings. As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm – the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless – the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lift the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe. But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot. His Father! He must face his Father like this! From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes His mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross.Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes. “Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, over-spent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held a razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who moles young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath? Of course the Son is innocent He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed. The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction. “Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!” But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply. The Trinity had planned it. The Son had endured it. The Spirit enabled Him. The Father rejected the Son whom He loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted His sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.
Joni Eareckson Tada (When God Weeps Kit: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty)
All social orders command their members to imbibe in pipe dreams of posterity, the mirage of immortality, to keep them ahead of the extinction that would ensue in a few generations if the species did not replenish itself. This is the implicit, and most pestiferous, rationale for propagation: to become fully integrated into a society, one must offer it fresh blood. Naturally, the average set of parents does not conceive of their conception as a sacrificial act. These are civilized human beings we are talking about, and thus they are quite able to fill their heads with a panoply of less barbaric rationales for reproduction, among them being the consolidation of a spousal relationship; the expectation of new and enjoyable experiences in the parental role; the hope that one will pass the test as a mother or father; the pleasing of one’s own parents, not to forget their parents and possibly a great-grandparent still loitering about; the serenity of taking one’s place in the seemingly deathless lineage of a familial enterprise; the creation of individuals who will care for their paternal and maternal selves in their dotage; the quelling of a sense of guilt or selfishness for not having done their duty as human beings; and the squelching of that faint pathos that is associated with the childless. Such are some of the overpowering pressures upon those who would fertilize the future. These pressures build up in people throughout their lifetimes and must be released, just as everyone must evacuate their bowels or fall victim to a fecal impaction. And who, if they could help it, would suffer a building, painful fecal impaction? So we make bowel movements to relieve this pressure. Quite a few people make gardens because they cannot stand the pressure of not making a garden. Others commit murder because they cannot stand the pressure building up to kill someone, either a person known to them or a total stranger. Everything is like that. Our whole lives consist of metaphorical as well as actual bowel movements, one after the other. Releasing these pressures can have greater or lesser consequences in the scheme of our lives. But they are all pressures, all bowel movements of some kind. At a certain age, children are praised for making a bowel movement in the approved manner. Later on, the praise of others dies down for this achievement and our bowel movements become our own business, although we may continue to praise ourselves for them. But overpowering pressures go on governing our lives, and the release of these essentially bowel-movement pressures may once again come up for praise, congratulations, and huzzahs of all kinds.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
I ask him if he tried to rape Nyla. “Laws are silent in times of war,” Tactus drawls. “Don’t quote Cicero to me,” I say. “You are held to a higher standard than a marauding centurion.” “In that, you’re hitting the mark at least. I am a superior creature descended from proud stock and glorious heritage. Might makes right, Darrow. If I can take, I may take. If I do take, I deserve to have. This is what Peerless believe.” “The measure of a man is what he does when he has power,” I say loudly. “Just come off it, Reaper,” Tactus drawls, confident in himself as all like him are. “She’s a spoil of war. My power took her. And before the strong, bend the weak.” “I’m stronger than you, Tactus,” I say. “So I can do with you as I wish. No?” He’s silent, realizing he’s fallen into a trap. “You are from a superior family to mine, Tactus. My parents are dead. I am the sole member of my family. But I am a superior creature to you.” He smirks at that. “Do you disagree?” I toss a knife at his feet and pull my own out. “I beg you to voice your concerns.” He does not pick his blade up. “So, by right of power, I can do with you as I like.” I announce that rape will never be permitted, and then I ask Nyla the punishment she would give. As she told me before, she says she wants no punishment. I make sure they know this, so there are no recriminations against her. Tactus and his armed supporters stare at her in surprise. They don’t understand why she would not take vengeance, but that doesn’t stop them from smiling wolfishly at one another, thinking their chief has dodged punishment. Then I speak. “But I say you get twenty lashes from a leather switch, Tactus. You tried to take something beyond the bounds of the game. You gave in to your pathetic animal instincts. Here that is less forgivable than murder; I hope you feel shame when you look back at this moment fifty years from now and realize your weakness. I hope you fear your sons and daughters knowing what you did to a fellow Gold. Until then, twenty lashes will serve.” Some of the Diana soldiers step forward in anger, but Pax hefts his axe on his shoulder and they shrink back, glaring at me. They gave me a fortress and I’m going to whip their favorite warrior. I see my army dying as Mustang pulls off Tactus’s shirt. He stares at me like a snake. I know what evil thoughts he’s thinking. I thought them of my floggers too. I whip him twenty brutal times, holding nothing back. Blood runs down his back. Pax nearly has to hack down one of the Diana soldiers to keep them from charging to stop the punishment. Tactus barely manages to stagger to his feet, wrath burning in his eyes. “A mistake,” he whispers to me. “Such a mistake.” Then I surprise him. I shove the switch into his hand and bring him close by cupping my hand around the back of his head. “You deserve to have your balls off, you selfish bastard,” I whisper to him. “This is my army,” I say more loudly. “This is my army. Its evils are mine as much as yours, as much as they are Tactus’s. Every time any of you commit a crime like this, something gratuitous and perverse, you will own it and I will own it with you, because when you do something wicked, it hurts all of us.” Tactus stands there like a fool. He’s confused. I shove him hard in the chest. He stumbles back. I follow him, shoving. “What were you going to do?” I push his hand holding the leather switch back toward his chest. “I don’t know what you mean …” he murmurs as I shove him. “Come on, man! You were going to shove your prick inside someone in my army. Why not whip me while you’re at it? Why not hurt me too? It’ll be easier. Milia won’t even try to stab you. I promise.” I shove him again. He looks around. No one speaks. I strip off my shirt and go to my knees. The air is cold. Knees on stone and snow. My eyes lock with Mustang’s. She winks at me and I feel like I can do anything.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))
The Winding Stair My Soul. I summon to the winding ancient stair; Set all your mind upon the steep ascent, Upon the broken, crumbling battlement, Upon the breathless starlit air, 'Upon the star that marks the hidden pole; Fix every wandering thought upon That quarter where all thought is done: Who can distinguish darkness from the soul My Self. The consecretes blade upon my knees Is Sato's ancient blade, still as it was, Still razor-keen, still like a looking-glass Unspotted by the centuries; That flowering, silken, old embroidery, torn From some court-lady's dress and round The wodden scabbard bound and wound Can, tattered, still protect, faded adorn My Soul. Why should the imagination of a man Long past his prime remember things that are Emblematical of love and war? Think of ancestral night that can, If but imagination scorn the earth And intellect is wandering To this and that and t'other thing, Deliver from the crime of death and birth. My Self. Montashigi, third of his family, fashioned it Five hundred years ago, about it lie Flowers from I know not what embroidery - Heart's purple - and all these I set For emblems of the day against the tower Emblematical of the night, And claim as by a soldier's right A charter to commit the crime once more. My Soul. Such fullness in that quarter overflows And falls into the basin of the mind That man is stricken deaf and dumb and blind, For intellect no longer knows Is from the Ought, or knower from the Known - That is to say, ascends to Heaven; Only the dead can be forgiven; But when I think of that my tongue's a stone. II My Self. A living man is blind and drinks his drop. What matter if the ditches are impure? What matter if I live it all once more? Endure that toil of growing up; The ignominy of boyhood; the distress Of boyhood changing into man; The unfinished man and his pain Brought face to face with his own clumsiness; The finished man among his enemies? - How in the name of Heaven can he escape That defiling and disfigured shape The mirror of malicious eyes Casts upon his eyes until at last He thinks that shape must be his shape? And what's the good of an escape If honour find him in the wintry blast? I am content to live it all again And yet again, if it be life to pitch Into the frog-spawn of a blind man's ditch, A blind man battering blind men; Or into that most fecund ditch of all, The folly that man does Or must suffer, if he woos A proud woman not kindred of his soul. I am content to follow to its source Every event in action or in thought; Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot! When such as I cast out remorse So great a sweetness flows into the breast We must laugh and we must sing, We are blest by everything, Everything we look upon is blest
W.B. Yeats
But where should he begin? - Well, then, the trouble with the English was their: Their: In a word, Gibreel solemnly pronounced, their weather. Gibreel Farishta floating on his cloud formed the opinion that the moral fuzziness of the English was meteorologically induced. 'When the day is not warmer than the night,' he reasoned, 'when the light is not brighter than the dark, when the land is not drier than the sea, then clearly a people will lose the power to make distinctions, and commence to see everything - from political parties to sexual partners to religious beliefs - as much-the-same, nothing-to-choose, give-or-take. What folly! For truth is extreme, it is so and not thus, it is him and not her; a partisan matter, not a spectator sport. It is, in brief, heated. City,' he cried, and his voice rolled over the metropolis like thunder, 'I am going to tropicalize you.' Gibreel enumerated the benefits of the proposed metamorphosis of London into a tropical city: increased moral definition, institution of a national siesta, development of vivid and expansive patterns of behaviour among the populace, higher-quality popular music, new birds in the trees (macaws, peacocks, cockatoos), new trees under the birds (coco-palms, tamarind, banyans with hanging beards). Improved street-life, outrageously coloured flowers (magenta, vermilion, neon-green), spider-monkeys in the oaks. A new mass market for domestic air-conditioning units, ceiling fans, anti-mosquito coils and sprays. A coir and copra industry. Increased appeal of London as a centre for conferences, etc.: better cricketeers; higher emphasis on ball-control among professional footballers, the traditional and soulless English commitment to 'high workrate' having been rendered obsolete by the heat. Religious fervour, political ferment, renewal of interest in the intellegentsia. No more British reserve; hot-water bottles to be banished forever, replaced in the foetid nights by the making of slow and odorous love. Emergence of new social values: friends to commence dropping in on one another without making appointments, closure of old-folks' homes, emphasis on the extended family. Spicier foods; the use of water as well as paper in English toilets; the joy of running fully dressed through the first rains of the monsoon. Disadvantages: cholera, typhoid, legionnaires' disease, cockroaches, dust, noise, a culture of excess. Standing upon the horizon, spreading his arms to fill the sky, Gibreel cried: 'Let it be.
Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses)