Continued Strength Quotes

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Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
Bob Marley
Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
Winston S. Churchill
Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.
J.D. Stroube (Caged by Damnation (Caged, #2))
You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them
Iyanla Vanzant (Yesterday, I Cried)
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Hermann Hesse (Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
This book is for anyone who has ever lost a loved one, for anyone who has woken up crying and gone to bed the same way, for anyone who has had to learn that it’s okay to not be okay. Surviving isn’t strength, it’s continuing to breathe one day at a time; strength is learning to live despite the pain.
Jasinda Wilder (Falling into You (Falling, #1))
Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark ... In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed." [Still in Melbourne January 1987]
Germaine Greer (Daddy, We Hardly Knew You)
Women Are Not Roses Women have no beginning only continual flows. Though rivers flow women are not rivers. Women are not roses they are not oceans or stars. i would like to tell her this but i think she already knows.
Ana Castillo (Women Are Not Roses)
We love being mentally strong, but we hate situations that allow us to put our mental strength to good use.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Once you pass a certain age, life becomes nothing more than a process of continual loss. Things that are important to your life begin to slip out of your grasp, one after another, like a come losing teeth. And the only things that come to take their place are worthless imitations. Your physical strength, your hopes, your dreams, your ideals, your convictions, all meaning, or then again, the people you love: one by one, they fade away. Some announce their departure before they leave, while others just disappear all of a sudden without warning one day. And once you lose them you can never get them back. Your search for replacements never goes well. It’s all very painful – as painful as actually being cut with a knife.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
In the book Soldiers on the Home Front, I was greatly struck by the fact that in childbirth alone, women commonly suffer more pain, illness and misery than any war hero ever does. An what's her reward for enduring all that pain? She gets pushed aside when she's disfigured by birth, her children soon leave, hear beauty is gone. Women, who struggle and suffer pain to ensure the continuation of the human race, make much tougher and more courageous soldiers than all those big-mouthed freedom-fighting heroes put together.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
You must purge yourself before finding faults in others. When you see a mistake in somebody else, try to find if you are making the same mistake. This is the way to take judgment and to turn it into improvement. Do not look at others' bodies with envy or with superiority. All people are born with different constitutions. Never compare with others. Each one's capacities are a function of his or her internal strength. Know your capacities and continually improve upon them.
B.K.S. Iyengar (Light on Life)
There is nothing dreary or doubtful about (the life). It is meant to be continually joyful...We are called to a settled happiness in the Lord whose joy is our strength.
Amy Carmichael
These were the companions who justified my principles, who gave me the strength to continue against any foe, real or imagined. These were the companions who fought the helplessness, the rage, and frustration. These were the friends who gave me my life.
R.A. Salvatore
Getting over it so soon? But the words are ambiguous. To say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendicitis is one thing; after he’s had his leg off is quite another. After that operation either the wounded stump heals or the man dies. If it heals, the fierce, continuous pain will stop. Presently he’ll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. He has ‘got over it.’ But he will probably have recurrent pains in the stump all his life, and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one-legged man. There will be hardly any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. At present I am learning to get about on crutches. Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. But I shall never be a biped again.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
You are that to me, an oasis. You drug me and at the same time you give me strength.
Anaïs Nin (The Four-Chambered Heart: V3 in Nin's Continuous Novel)
When we cannot find joy in our circumstances, we can find joy in God who is unchanged and unchanging. We can rejoice, not in what is going on around or within us, but because God is our strength and He will continue to be.
Katie Davis Majors (Daring to Hope: Finding God's Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful)
There are but two roads that lead to an important goal and to the doing of great things: strength and perseverance. Strength is the lot of but a few priveledged men; but austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the smallest of us and rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistibly greater with time.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust, First Part)
Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry... no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Thomas Hobbes
But, I believe," I continue, "I know what true love is - or what it should be." "What should it be?" Tristan asks, his voice soft now. "It should be a friendship and truly knowing who a person is, knowing his flaws and hopes and strengths and fears, knowing all of it. And admiring and caring for - loving the person because of those things.
Lisa Ann Sandell (Song of the Sparrow)
People often admire physical strength, but I believe it's the simple things one does after a tragedy that defines them. There is no greater show of power than continuing to live when you'd like nothing more than to lie down and let the world fade.
Kerri Maniscalco (Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3))
The crazy creatives are the creatives who never go completely mad. They aren't so easily disheartened by the seemingly endless amounts of scrutiny that creative individuals tend to receive because they, like insanity, are the ones who feed off of opposition and negative feedback and manage to continue along with a healthy ambition. It is the crazy that teaches us to use our gifts wisely and own all the attackers.
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
God plants dreams in people's hearts. But many people do not continue all the way to the end in order to follow Him to the fulfillment of that dream. Many get started and quit get started and quit get started and quit. They do not continue because their broken heart overwhelms their hope. They do not have any inner strength to carry them through to the end. Jesus will bind up your wounds and heal your bruises. His Word is the medicine for your soul.
Joyce Meyer (Beauty for Ashes: Receiving Emotional Healing)
While the introvert is reflecting on the question (thinking first), the extrovert takes this as an invitation to fill the void (talking first). As long as the introvert doesn’t interrupt, the extrovert continues to fill the interpersonal space with talk. But as long as the extrovert talks, the introvert can’t think and stays mute. Mute means the invitation is still open, and continued talk assures that the introvert remains mute. By the time the extrovert pauses to ask, the introvert’s head is pounding and he or she just wants to get out so she can think. The extrovert just assumes the introvert had nothing to say, and moves on.
Laurie A. Helgoe (Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength)
Strength is Happiness. Strength is itself victory. In weakness and cowardice there is no happiness. When you wage a struggle, you might win or you might lose. But regardless of the short-term outcome, the very fact of your continuing to struggle is proof of your victory as a human being.
Daisaku Ikeda
Your mission: May you continue to shine no matter the storms you have been through.
Karen Salmansohn
Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy, neither warm nor cold, light nor dark.... In any library in the world, I am at home, unselfconscious, still and absorbed. ~Germaine Greer
Andrew Carnegie
Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations, and say continually: The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart has trusted in Him and I am helped. He is not only with me, but in me and I in Him.
Francis de Sales
The human spirit is as expansive as the cosmos. This is why it is so tragic to belittle yourself or to question your worth. No matter what happens, continue to push back the boundaries of your inner life. The confidence to prevail over any problem, the strength to overcome adversity and unbounded hope — all reside within you.
Daisaku Ikeda
Your emotional state has a tremendous amount to do with sickness, health and well-being. For years, my husband and I lived on -- and because of -- hope. Hope continues to give me the mental strength to carry on.
Dana Reeve
A mother’s love is like an everlasting bed of roses, that continues to blossom. A mother’s love bears strength, comfort, healing and warmth. Her beauty is compared to a sunny day that shines upon each rose petal and inspires hope.
Ellen J. Barrier
Surrender is the ultimate sign of strength and the foundation for a spiritual life. Surrendering affirms that we are no longer willing to live in pain. It expresses a deep desire to transcend our struggles and transform our negative emotions. It commands a life beyond our egos, beyond that part of ourselves that is continually reminding us that we are separate, different and alone. Surrendering allows us to return to our true nature and move effortlessly through the cosmic dance called life. It's a powerful statement that proclaims the perfect order of the universe. When you surrender your will, you are saying, "Even though things are not exactly how I'd like them to be, I will face my reality. I will look it directly in the eye and allow it to be here." Surrender and serenity are synonymous; you can't experience one without the other. So if it's serenity you're searching for, it's close by. All you have to do is resign as General Manager of the Universe. Choose to trust that there is a greater plan for you and that if you surrender, it will be unfolded in time. Surrender is a gift that you can give yourself. It's an act of faith. It's saying that even though I can't see where this river is flowing, I trust it will take me in the right direction.
Debbie Ford (Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life)
Scientists and inventors of the USA (especially in the so-called "blue state" that voted overwhelmingly against Trump) have to think long and hard whether they want to continue research that will help their government remain the world's superpower. All the scientists who worked in and for Germany in the 1930s lived to regret that they directly helped a sociopath like Hitler harm millions of people. Let us not repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
Piero Scaruffi
All the managers I interviewed had the same sense of identity and self-assurance. None of them were arrogant. Instead, they were clear about who they were and what needed accomplishing. They used that sense of self to engage their team and learn each team member’s strengths and contributions. Their courage and confidence were infectious to their team and to anyone who crossed their paths.
Raymond Wheeler (Lift: Five Practices Great Managers Do Consistently: Raise Performance and Morale - See Your Employees Thrive)
Perhaps the ultimate test of a leader is not what you are able to do in the here and now - but instead what continues to grow long after you're gone
Tom Rath (Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow: A Landmark Study of Great Leaders, Teams, and the Reasons Why We Follow)
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.
Hermann Hesse (Wandering)
Healing hurts. If you break your leg, there is no stage in the healing process when your leg feels better than it does after it has healed. There is pain and itching and loss of strength. From the moment your leg is broken, it continues to feel bad … until, gradually, it starts to feel less bad. It's appropriate that it hurts.
Emily Nagoski (Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life)
I have neither one nor the other, and that has been going on for so long now that I have stopped wondering whether it is hate or love which gives us the strength to continue this life of lies, which provides the formidable energy that allows us to go on suffering, and hoping.
Georges Perec (Life: A User's Manual)
Fulfillment, Shevek thought, is a function of time. The search for pleasure is circular, repetitive, atemporal, The variety seeking of the spectator, the thrill hunter, the sexually promiscuous, always ends in the same place. It has an end. It comes to the end and has to start over. It is not a journey and return, but a closed cycle, a locked room, a cell. Outside the locked room is the landscape of time, in which the spirit may, with luck and courage, construct the fragile, makeshift, improbable roads and cities of fidelity: a landscape inhabitable by human beings. It is not until an act occurs within the landscape of the past and the future that it is a human act. Loyalty, which asserts the continuity of past and future, binding time into a whole, is the root of human strength; there is no good to be done without it.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #6))
Sir, people never wanted me to make it to squire. They won't like it any better if I become a knight. I doubt I'll ever get to command a force larger than, well, just me.' Raoul shook his head. 'You're wrong.' As she started to protest, he raised a hand. 'Hear me out. I have some idea of what you've had to bear to get this far, and it won't get easier. But there are larger issues than your fitness for knighthood, issues that involve lives and livelihoods. Attend,' he said, so much like Yayin, one of her Mithran teachers, that Kel had to smile. 'At our level, there are four kids of warrior,' he told Kel. He raised a fist and held up one large finger. 'Heroes, like Alanna the Lioness. Warriors who find dark places and fight in them alone. This is wonderful, but we live in the real world. There aren't many places without any hope or light.' He raised a second finger. 'We have knights- plain, everyday knights, like your brothers. They patrol their borders and protect their tenants, or they go into troubled areas at the king's command and sort them out. They fight in battles, usually against other knights. A hero will work like an everyday knight for a time- it's expected. And most knights must be clever enough to manage alone.' Kel nodded. 'We have soldiers,' Raoul continued, raising a third finger. 'Those warriors, including knights, who can manage so long as they're told what to do. These are more common, thank Mithros, and you'll find them in charge of companies in the army, under the eye of a general. Without people who can take orders, we'd be in real trouble. 'Commanders.' He raised his little finger. 'Good ones, people with a knack for it, like, say, the queen, or Buri, or young Dom, they're as rare as heroes. Commanders have an eye not just for what they do, but for what those around them do. Commanders size up people's strengths and weaknesses. They know where someone will shine and where they will collapse. Other warriors will obey a true commander because they can tell that the commander knows what he- or she- is doing.' Raoul picked up a quill and toyed with it. 'You've shown flashes of being a commander. I've seen it. So has Qasim, your friend Neal, even Wyldon, though it would be like pulling teeth to get him to admit it. My job is to see if you will do more than flash, with the right training. The realm needs commanders. Tortall is big. We have too many still-untamed pockets, too curse many hideyholes for rogues, and plenty of hungry enemies to nibble at our borders and our seafaring trade. If you have what it takes, the Crown will use you. We're too desperate for good commanders to let one slip away, even a female one. Now, finish that'- he pointed to the slate- 'and you can stop for tonight.
Tamora Pierce (Squire (Protector of the Small, #3))
I'm all these words, all these strangers, this dust of words, with no ground for their settling, no sky for their dispersing, coming together to say, fleeing one another to say, that I am they, all of them, those that merge, those that part, those that never meet, and nothing else, yes, something else, that I'm something quite different, a quite different thing, a wordless thing in an empty place, a hard shut dry cold black place, where nothing stirs, nothing speaks, and that I listen, and that I seek, like a caged beast born of caged beasts born of caged beasts born of caged beasts born in a cage and dead in a cage, born and then dead, born in a cage and then dead in a cage, in a word like a beast, in one of their words, like such a beast, and that I seek, like such a beast, with my little strength, such a beast, with nothing of its species left but fear and fury, no, the fury is past, nothing but fear, nothing of all its due but fear centupled, fear of its shadow, no, blind from birth, of sound then, if you like, we'll have that, one must have something, it's a pity, but there it is, fear of sound, fear of sounds, the sounds of beasts, the sounds of men, sounds in the daytime and sounds at night, that's enough, fear of sounds all sounds, more or less, more or less fear, all sounds, there's only one, continuous, day and night, what is it, it's steps coming and going, it's voices speaking for a moment, it's bodies groping their way, it's the air, it's things, it's the air among the things, that's enough, that I seek, like it, no, not like it, like me, in my own way, what am I saying, after my fashion, that I seek, what do I seek now, what it is, it must be that, it can only be that, what it is, what it can be, what what can be, what I seek, no, what I hear, I hear them, now it comes back to me, they say I seek what it is I hear, I hear them, now it comes back to me, what it can possibly be, and where it can possibly come from, since all is silent here, and the walls thick, and how I manage, without feeling an ear on me, or a head, or a body, or a soul, how I manage, to do what, how I manage, it's not clear, dear dear, you say it's not clear, something is wanting to make it clear, I'll seek, what is wanting, to make everything clear, I'm always seeking something, it's tiring in the end, and it's only the beginning.
Samuel Beckett (The Unnamable)
I refused to continue to trip over hurdles that I knew I could jump over. I had to ask God to give me a tad bit more height, strength, determination, and endurance to jump over the hurdles and complete this journey.
Charlena E. Jackson (No Cross No Crown)
Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. We know worry is destructive, and yet we continue to be choked by anxiety over what might happen.
Linda Dillow (Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment with Bonus Content)
They can stop a river by building a dam, but I will be damned if they can stop my river of blood flowing through my veins and heart.
Anthony Liccione
I learned that I was never alone, that there was Someone always very close by and, indeed, within me, giving me strength in times of weakness and desolation, light in times of darkness, joy in times of great sorrow and pain, and the will to struggle on when continuing seemed futile.
Joseph F. Girzone (My Struggle with Faith)
A woman with a strong sense of personal power, is self confident enough to accurately identify her strengths as well as her blind spots, which she is continually working to improve.
Stacey Radin (Brave Girls: Raising Young Women with Passion and Purpose to Become Powerful Leaders)
I have the right to try to overcome the challenges in my own life, she continued fiercely. Who's to say that's not what makes as strong and decent? How much character and strength do you think someone who's never had any sorrow or loss of hardship possesses, My lord?
Joey W. Hill (A Mermaid's Kiss (Daughters of Arianne, #1))
And here are trees and I know their gnarled surface, water and I feel its taste. These scents of grass and stars at night, certain evenings when the heart relaxes-how shall I negate this world whose power and strength I feel? Yet all the knowledge on earth will give me nothing to assure me that this world is mine. You describe it to me and you teach me to classify it. You enumerate its laws and in my thirst for knowledge I admit that they are true. You take apart its mechanism and my hope increases. At the final stage you teach me that this wondrous and multicolored universe can be reduced to the atom and that the atom itself can be reduced to the electron. All this is good and I wait for you to continue. But you tell me of an invisible planetary system in which electrons gravitate around a nucleus. You explain this world to me with an image. I realize then that you have been reduced to poetry: I shall never know.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus)
Do not be afraid to color outside the lines. Take risks and do not be afraid to fail. Know that when the world knocks you down, the best revenge is to get up and continue forging ahead.Do not be afraid to be different or to stand up for what's right. Never quiet your voice to make someone else feel comfortable. No one remembers the person that fits in. It's the one who stands out that people will not be able to forget.
Nancy Arroyo Ruffin (Letters to My Daughter: A collection of short stories and poems about Love, Pride, and Identity)
Many people define beauty as skin deep, but I’ve found the beauty in physical and superficial changes that continue throughout the life of a woman.
Alyscia Cunningham
The ability to continue moving when you are feeling scared, fearful or lazy is the sign of true mental strength.
Matthew Donnelly
You'll want all your strength for the wedding night." I cannot think why I should need strength," she said, ignoring a host of spine-tingling images rising in her mind's eye. "All I have to do is lie there." "Naked," he said grimly. "Truly?" She shot him a glance from under her lashes. "Well, if I must, I must, for you have the advantage of experience in these matters. Still, I do wish you'd told me sooner. I should not have put the modiste to so much trouble about the negligee." "The what?" "It was ghastly expensive," she said, "but the silk is as fine as gossamer, and the eyelet work about the neckline is exquisite. Aunt Louisa was horrified. She said only Cyprians wear such things, and it leaves nothing to the imagination." Jessica heard him suck in his breath, felt the muscular thigh tense against hers. "But if it were left to Aunt Louisa," she went on,"I should be covered from my chin to my toes in thick cotton ruffled with monstrosities with little bows and rosebuds. Which is absurd, when an evening gown reveals far more, not to mention--" "What color?" he asked. His low voice had roughened. "Wine red," she said, "With narrow black ribbons threaded through the neckline. Here." She traced a plunging U over her bosom. "And there's the loveliest openwork over my...well, here." She drew her finger over the curve of her breast a bare inch above the nipple. "And openwork on the right side of the skirt. From here" --she pointed to her hip--"down to the hem. And I bought---" "Jess." Her name was a strangled whisper. "--slippers to match," she continued." Black mules with--" "Jess." In one furious flurry of motion he threw down the reins and hauled her into his lap.
Loretta Chase (Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3))
Taking cruelty for strength is the most common mistake of youth. Youth only knows life by the intensity of its own feelings—a continuous explosive fortissimo with a foot on the pedal. Youth knows nothing of that supreme sensitivity, the true sensitivity of the strong that denies cruelty; youth has no inkling of the force with which a barely audible pianissimo can strike under your heart.
Oksana Zabuzhko (The Museum of Abandoned Secrets)
Another year of life is a gift from God. May He continue to bless you with strength to conquer your challenges, wisdom to choose your battles carefully, faith that your steps have already been ordered and confidence to trust that no one person or situation can undo what He has already set in motion. - Happy Birthday!
Carlos Wallace
We have the greatest power through love that can be known. It overcomes everything with its fierce and steady truth, if you can continue to stand in it. You can call love to you, directly from the original stream of consciousness, anytime you feel weak or fearful, and you will be given strength and courage. You can call love to you, directly from the original stream of consciousness, anytime you feel sad or alone, and you will feel embraced and comforted. Call love to you if you feel vulnerable. Feel its purity come to you from the universe and flow round you like a miraculous mother cradling its innocent child. Breathe love in. Say to yourself as you breathe deeply “I love. I am loved.” Say it over and over as you breathe it into yourself and out to the universe, until you really feel and believe that you ARE LOVE. Feel love pour into your lungs as you breathe. Feel it circulate round your body to fill every organ, every limb, and every cell. Vibrate with its radiance, and share it.
Jay Woodman
Continuous effort--not strength or intelligence--is the key to unlocking our potential.
Winston S. Churchill
Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.” — Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
I'm no more ashamed of my weaknesses. The more you embrace them, the more you free up your energy and time to focus on your strengths...
Assegid Habtewold (The 9 Cardinal Building Blocks: For continued success in leadership)
Ah, Robert?” “Shhhh, not while I’m praying,” he said, momentarily losing his place before he started again, “thank you for letting us survive that trip from hell. Thank you for ignoring my prayers for a quick death when I didn’t think that I’d be able to survive another day of starvation,” he said, making her roll her eyes in annoyance. “You were given three full meals a day just like everyone else,” she pointed out, not bothering to mention the fact that, on most days, he’d received second helpings. She sat down on a bench near their luggage, wondering just how much longer he was going to keep this up. “I’m sorry for all the cursing that my wife forced me to do while I was on that boat,” he continued, ignoring her even as he amused her. “As you know, she’s been such a bad influence on me. Thank you for pulling me from near death and somehow giving me the strength to survive.” “Near death?” she asked, frowning. “When were you near death?” “When was I near death?” he asked in stunned disbelief as he opened his eyes so that he could glare at her. “How could you forget all those times that I could barely move? When I struggled to find the will to live so that I wouldn’t leave you a young widow? Did my struggle for survival mean nothing to you?” he demanded in outrage, terrifying the people that were forced to walk past him to get to the docks and making her wrack her brain as she struggled to figure out what he was talking about. “Do you mean those few times when you had a touch of seasickness?” she asked, unable to think of anything else that he could be talking about since he’d been the picture of health during the majority of the trip. “A touch?” he repeated in disbelief. “I nearly died!
R.L. Mathewson (Truce (Neighbor from Hell, #4))
While we may continue to use the words smart and stupid, and while IQ tests may persist for certain purposes, the monopoly of those who believe in a single general intelligence has come to an end. Brain scientists and geneticists are documenting the incredible differentiation of human capacities, computer programmers are creating systems that are intelligent in different ways, and educators are freshly acknowledging that their students have distinctive strengths and weaknesses.
Howard Gardner (Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century)
Explaining one's recent loss as more of a continuous journey rather than a dead end, giving one of the invaluable opportunity to gain strength and learn about oneself, and thereby turning this terribly tragic affair into something hugely positive.
Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)
I vowed that I would never tell anyone of my shame. They say that when you kept a secret, it eats you up inside, but I felt it was better that way. I wanted to appear strong in front of my children and my family. I didn't want anybody to know. And I would maintain my persona as Jenni, the Rivera Rebel who had never lost a fight. But deep down inside I knew I had lost a piece of myself that I would never recover. My soul had been shattered, but to the outside world I did just as I had been taught since I was a little girl; I kept my head up and continued forward. It is, after all, the Rivera way.
Jenni Rivera (Unbreakable: My Story, My Way)
Thresholds don’t exist in terms of our bodies. Our speed and strength depend on our body, but the real thresholds, those that make us give up or continue the struggle, those that enable us to fulfill our dreams, depend not on our bodies but on our minds and the hunger we feel to turn dreams into reality.
Kilian Jornet (Run or Die: The Inspirational Memoir of the World's Greatest Ultra-Runner)
Then what do you want?" she asked softly. He shook his head without answering. But Sara knew. He wanted to be safe. If he were rich and powerful enough, he would never be hurt, lonely, or abandoned. He would never have to trust anyone. She continued to stroke his hair, playing lightly with the thick raven locks. 'Take a chance on me," she urged. "Do you really have so much to lose?" He gave a harsh laugh and loosened his arms to release her. "More than you know." Clinging to him desperately, Sara kept her mouth at his ear. "Listen to me." All she could do was play her last card. Her voice trembled with emotion. "You can't change the truth. You can act as though you're deaf and blind, you can walk away from me forever, but the truth will still be there, and you can't make it go away. I love you." She felt an involuntary tremor run through him. "I love you," she repeated. "Don't lie to either of us by pretending you're leaving for my good. All you'll do is deny us both a chance at happiness. I'll long for you every day and night, but at least my conscience will be clear. I haven't held anything back from you, out of fear or pride or stubbornness." She felt the incredible tautness of his muscles, as if he were carved from marble. "For once have the strength not to walk away," she whispered. "Stay with me. Let me love you, Derek." He stood there frozen in defeat, with all the warmth and promise of her in his arms ... and he couldn't allow himself to take what she offered. He'd never felt so worthless, so much a fraud. Perhaps for a day, a week, he could be what she wanted. But no longer than that. He had sold his honor, his conscience, his body, anything he could use to escape the lot he'd been given in life. And now, with all his great fortune, he couldn't buy back what he'd sacrificed. Were he capable of tears, he would have shed them. Instead he felt numbing coldness spread through his body, filling up the region where his heart should have been. It wasn't difficult to walk away from her. It was appallingly easy. Sara made an inarticulate sound as he extricated himself from her embrace. He left her as he had left the others, without looking back.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
Nothing will make a better impression on your leader than your ability to manage yourself. If your leader must continually expend energy managing you, then you will be perceived as someone who drains time and energy. If you manage yourself well, however, your boss will see you as someone who maximizes opportunities and leverages personal strengths. That will make you someone your leader turns to when the heat is on.
John C. Maxwell (The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization)
The meetings continued on, each one with the same grueling pace. The participants kept repeating the same information. What to do if the Vittra reneged on the deal. What to do if the Vittra attacked. What to do if the Vittra tried to kidnap me. And it all boiled down to one answer-fight back. Tove and I would use our abilities,the trackers would use their strength and skill,and the Chancellor would cower in the corner.
Amanda Hocking (Torn (Trylle, #2))
Society shall never make progress unless it changes its basic objective of making things easier;instead our main objective should be to make men stronger!I say "men" as women have always had and shall continue to have all the strength needed!!-Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad(Woods oration-2008)
Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad
At night I would return home, set out a lamp before me, and devote myself to reading and writing. Whenever sleep overcame me or I became conscious of weakening, I would turn aside to drink a cup of wine, so that my strength would return to me. Then I would return to reading. And whenever sleep seized me I would see those very problems in my dream; and many questions became clear to me in my sleep. I continued in this until all of the sciences were deeply rooted within me and I understood them as is humanly possible. Everything which I knew at the time is just as I know it now; I have not added anything to it to this day. Thus I mastered the logical, natural, and mathematical sciences, and I had now reached the science.
Avicenna Ibn Sina
In the world of my imagination, Esther was still my companion, and her love gave me the strength to go forward and explore all my frontiers. In the real world, she was pure obsession, sapping my energy, taking up all the available space, and obliging me to make an enormous effort just to continue with my life. How was it possible that, even after two years, I had still not managed to forget her? I could not bear having to think about it anymore, analyzing all the possibilities, and trying various ways out: deciding simply to accept the situation, writing a book, practicing yoga, doing some charity work, seeing friends, seducing women, going out to supper, to the cinema (always avoiding adaptations of books, of course, and seeking out films that had been specially written for the screen), to the theater, the ballet, to soccer games. The Zahir always won, though; it was always there, making me think, "I wish she was here with me.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
I’m not okay with that at all,” I continued, speaking only to Adeline. “She sounds irresponsible, with her … name. It’s an irresponsible name. She shouldn’t be in charge of the cup. Sienna,” I mocked, making a face. “Terrible name. Never trust a Sienna.
Jane Washington (Strength (Curse of the Gods, #4))
The word he chose to express “fragile” was filled with the intricacies of a continuing process, and with a strength inherent in spider webs woven across paths through sand hills where early in the morning the sun becomes entangled in each filament of web.
Leslie Marmon Silko (Ceremony)
I was the lion." And as Shasta gasped with open mouth and said nothing the Voice continued. "I was the lion who forced you to join with Avaris. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.
C.S. Lewis (The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5))
Science is a continual exploration of ways of thinking. Its strength is its visionary capacity to demolish preconceived ideas, to reveal new regions of reality, and to construct new and more effective images of the world. This adventure rests upon the entirety of past knowledge, but at its heart is change.
Carlo Rovelli (Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Elusive Structure of the Universe and the Journey to Quantum Gravity)
You may turn every house in your neighborhood into a charity center, you may fill the land with soup-kitchens, but the misery of humans will still continue to exist until the character of humanity changes.
Abhijit Naskar (Principia Humanitas (Humanism Series))
I have heard of a man lost in the woods and dying of famine and exhaustion at the foot of a tree, whose loneliness was relieved by the grotesque visions with which, owing to bodily weakness, his diseased imagination surrounded him, and which he believed to be real. So also, owing to bodily and mental health and strength, we may be continually cheered by a like but more normal and natural society, and come to know that we are never alone.
Henry David Thoreau
I became quiet! I used to think you got to express whatever you feel, but when life hits you hard, you go into your tranquility mode. You stop telling people, build huge walls all around you, start hiding your true sentiments, and become heartless. In the end, you become numb. It's just a continuous cycle of your chord towards deeds of people that have become a reason for your woe. First things bother you & aftermath situations stop bugging you. The "I'm used to it" phase comes, in which how much erroneous occurs you just take this as a normal event. You don't realize but you become so weak that you don't care about yourself. You just quit your life & become quiet.
Hareem Ch (Another World)
There are at the present time two great nations in the world, which started from different points, but seem to tend towards the same end. I allude to the Russians and the Americans. Both of them have grown up unnoticed; and whilst the attention of mankind was directed elsewhere, they have suddenly placed themselves in the front rank among the nations, and the world learned their existence and their greatness at almost the same time. All other nations seem to have nearly reached their natural limits, and they have only to maintain their power; but these are still in the act of growth. All the others have stopped, or continue to advance with extreme difficulty; these alone are proceeding with ease and celerity along a path to which no limit can be perceived. The American struggles against the obstacles which nature opposes to him; the adversaries of the Russian are men. The former combats the wilderness and savage life; the latter, civilization with all its arms. The conquests of the American are therefore gained with the ploughshare; those of the Russian by the sword. The Anglo-American relies upon personal interest to accomplish his ends, and gives free scope to the unguided strength and common sense of the people; the Russian centres all the authority of society in a single arm. The principal instrument of the former is freedom; of the latter, servitude. Their starting-point is different, and their courses are not the same; yet each of them seems marked out by the will of Heaven to sway the destinies of half the globe.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
One fine day you decide to talk less and less about the things you care most about, and when you have to say something, it costs you an effort . . . You’re good and sick of hearing yourself talk . . . you abridge . . . You give up … For thirty years you’ve been talking . . . You don’t care about being right anymore. You even lose your desire to keep hold of the small place you’d reserved yourself among the pleasures of life . . . You’re fed up … From that time on you’re content to eat a little something, cadge a little warmth, and sleep as much as possible on the road to nowhere. To rekindle your interest, you’d have to think up some new grimaces to put on in the presence of others . . . But you no longer have the strength to renew your repertory. You stammer. Sure, you still look for excuses for hanging around with the boys, but death is there too, stinking, right beside you, it’s there the whole time, less mysterious than a game of poker. The only thing you continue to value is petty regrets, like not finding time to run out to Bois-Colombes to see your uncle while he was still alive, the one whose little song died forever one afternoon in February. That horrible little regret is all we have left of life, we’ve vomited up the rest along the way, with a good deal of effort and misery. We’re nothing now but an old lamppost with memories on a street where hardly anyone passes anymore.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
The Christian often tries to forget his weakness; God wants us to remember it, to feel it deeply. The Christian wants to conquer his weakness and to be freed from it; God wants us to rest and even rejoice in it. The Christian mourns over his weakness; Christ teaches His servant to say, 'I take pleasure in infirmities. Most gladly ...will I...glory in my infirmities' (2 Cor. 12:9)' The Christian thinks his weaknesses are his greatest hindrance in the life and service of God; God tells us that it is the secret of strength and success. It is our weakness, heartily accepted and continually realized, that gives our claim and access to the strength of Him who has said, 'My strength is made perfect in weakness
Andrew Murray (Abide in Christ: The Joy of Being in God's Presence)
Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.
Napoleon Hill
I’ve had many doors closed in my face. More, in fact, than I can count. I hit rock bottom, but got back up and continued. I had no other choice; I had people depending on me.
Hagir Elsheikh (Through Tragedy and Triumph: A Life Well Traveled)
Durability is one of the chief elements of strength. Nothing is either loved or feared but that which is likely to endure.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
You will be perpetually unhappy if you continue to refuse to walk in your calling.
Brandi L. Bates (Moonshine For The Soul: A Path to Strength, Wisdom, Growth, Health & Happiness)
When you become self aware, you know your uniqueness, strengths, and limitations too. You become easy to work with others. You also avoid competing with others unhealthily.
Assegid Habtewold (The 9 Cardinal Building Blocks: For continued success in leadership)
Decide that no matter what happens, you will do what you set out to do. If you are determined, possible distractions will still be there—but you will continue on your path and remain undisturbed. Sankalpa (determination) is very important. You cannot change your circumstances, the world, or your society to suit you. But if you have strength and determination you can go through this procession of life very successfully.
Swami Rama (Living with the Himalayan Masters)
Joy, sadness, confidence, anxiety, love, hatred, fear-all of these feelings and thousands more that make up the human "heart" are as useless to the living dead as the organ of the same name. Who knows if this is humanity's greatest weakness or strength? The debate continues, and probably will forever.
Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead)
The sun continued to rise, casting its light over the earth, brightening the darkness and chasing away the shadows of what had been. And every single day, it reminded me that though life could be lonely and painful, it was also filled with rainbows on water, with fields of daffodils, and angels that emerged from rock. It was filled with delicate flowers that, against all odds, found the strength to turn their faces to the sunshine and thrive. It was filled with miracles that arrived when you least expected them and the hard-won knowledge that healing, like stone, is just sand and pressure and time.
Mia Sheridan (Most of All You)
There are those people who try to elevate their souls like someone who continually jumps from a standing position in the hope that forcing oneself to jump all day— and higher every day— they would no longer fall back down, but rise to heaven. Thus occupied, they no longer look to heaven. We cannot even take one step toward heaven. The vertical direction is forbidden to us. But if we look to heaven long-term, God descends and lifts us up. God lifts us up easily. As Aeschylus says, ‘That which is divine is without effort.’ There is an ease in salvation more difficult for us than all efforts. In one of Grimm’s accounts, there is a competition of strength between a giant and a little tailor. The giant throws a stone so high that it takes a very long time before falling back down. The little tailor throws a bird that never comes back down. That which does not have wings always comes back down in the end.
Simone Weil (Waiting for God)
Since I and so many brave survivors have come forward, titans of every industry have toppled. We survivors have gained our power. We survivors are using our voices in record numbers. We cannot let up, and as hard as it is, we must continue to get even louder, to push even harder. We all count. We all matter. Here’s to freedom, yours and mine. Now go breathe fire.
Rose McGowan (Brave)
We need to simplify life. Do you think grass thinks about who trod on it yesterday? No... It just continues to grow. And so should you. You cannot control who treads on you, but you do control your own growth. Don't ever let others inhibit you!
Tony Curl
The lover I am; it befits me to burn; but what is the reason for your weeping and burning? The candle replied: ‘Oh my ill-fated lover, a honey-sweet [shirin] friend went away from me. Someone like Shirin has deserted me; there is fire on my head, as it was on Farhad’s.’ The candle continued, while a painful flood each moment gushed down on his yellow cheeks: 'Pretender, this love is not your game, as you have no patience, no strength to stand. Untouched you shrink from a single flame, whereas I stand still until I am consumed. If the fire of love has scorched your wings, look at me: it burned me from head to foot.
Saadi (Golestan)
I shall be obliged if you will send Nora and the girls to church every Sunday for the next month to pray for the continued health and strength of the messrs. gilliam, reese, snider, campanella, robinson, hodges, furillo, podres, necombe and labine, collectively known as the The Brooklyn Dodgers. If they lose this World Series I shall Do Myself In and then where will you be?
Helene Hanff (84, Charing Cross Road)
God has never promised a life without suffering, but He has promised to comfort us and give us the strength to carry on. He has also promised to work good out of everything that happens to us if we love Him and continue wanting His will in our lives (Rom. 8:28).
Joyce Meyer (Do Yourself a Favor...Forgive: Learn How to Take Control of Your Life Through Forgiveness)
Your weaknesses are the key to the unimaginable bigger future that God has envisioned for you. Your strengths are probably already bearing all the fruit they can. They will continue to bear those good fruits in your life, but at some point they will begin to plateau. Your richer, more abundant future is intimately linked to your weaknesses.
Matthew Kelly
If you are not in the habit of being active, you are at risk for a number of ailments that would probably not be an issue if you just moved. Moving your body on a daily basis, continually throughout the day, is your body’s instinct because it is essential to its well-being.
Cameron Díaz (The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body)
How you deal with life’s trials is part of the development of your faith. Strength comes when you remember that you have a divine nature, an inheritance of infinite worth. The Lord has reminded you, your children, and your grandchildren that you are lawful heirs, that you have been reserved in heaven for your specific time and place to be born, to grow and become His standard bearers and covenant people. As you walk in the Lord’s path of righteousness, you will be blessed to continue in His goodness and be a light and a savior unto His people.
Russell M. Nelson
Gratitude pours forth continually, as if the unexpected had just happened—the gratitude of a convalescent—for convalescence was unexpected…. The rejoicing of strength that is returning, of a reawakened faith in a tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, of a sudden sense and anticipation of a future, of impending adventures, of seas that are open again.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
It is also true that one satiric stunt on US television featured a fake severed head of Trump himself, but in that case the (female) comedian concerned lost her job as a consequence. By contrast, this scene of Perseus-Trump brandishing the dripping, oozing head of Medusa-Clinton was very much part of the everyday, domestic American decorative world. You could buy it on T-shirts and tank tops, on coffee mugs, on laptop sleeves and tote bags (sometimes with the logo TRIUMPH, sometimes TRUMP). It may take a moment or two to take in that normalisation of gendered violence, but if you were ever doubtful about the extent to which the exclusion of women from power is culturally embedded or unsure of the continued strength of classical ways of formulating and justifying it – well, I give you Trump and Clinton, Perseus and Medusa, and rest my case.
Mary Beard (Women & Power: A Manifesto)
I waver, continually fly to the summit of the mountain, but cannot stay up there for more than a moment. Others waver too, but in lower regions, with greater strength; if they are in danger of falling, they are caught up by the kinsman who walks beside them for that purpose. But I waver on the heights; it is not death, alas, but the eternal torments of dying.
Franz Kafka
Honour'd Sir— Look to your Wife if you do love her as much as she do love you. For she is sore put to by an Enemy in the shape of a Friend. Sir, there is one near her who ought to be Away. A woman should not be try'd beyond her Strength, and continual dropping will wear away a Stone—ay, more—a Diamond.                                              From Two Well-Wishers
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D'Urbervilles)
I am asked what strength is. Strength is the ability to not do to others only the things that were done to you. It is said, that you should “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, but strength takes that even further and says, “I can give more than what I received in life, I can be more than those who gave me little, I can do more for others than what was done for me.” Strength, though well aware of the pain that is aroused by drawing from a well that is not naturally replenished by others, continues to replenish that well so that it may draw from those beautiful innate waters, so that it may give to others even those things that were not given unto it.
C. JoyBell C.
This book is for anyone who has ever lost a loved one, for anyone who has woken up crying and gone to bed the same way, for anyone who has had to learn that it’s okay to be not okay. Surviving isn’t strength, it’s continuing to breathe one day at a time; strength is learning to live despite the pain.
Jasinda Wilder (Falling Into You (Falling, #1))
The spiritual freedom we seek cannot be found by grasping at, retreating to, or protecting our perceived safe spaces. Our freedom lies in remaining open continuously, not only to Life’s changes but also to the Divine Light within us and others. This is our choice. Although often perceived as a weakness, being open and surrendering to the experience of the present moment is our greatest strength. By authentically living Life in the Now, we submit to Divine guidance where we find the freedom to see everything equally and sacred in Truth.
Peter Santos (Everything I Wanted To Know About Spirituality But Didn't Know How To Ask: A Spiritual Seekers Guidebook)
An attachment grew up. What is an attachment? It is the most difficult of all the human interrelationships to explain, because it is the vaguest, the most impalpable. It has all the good points of love, and none of its drawbacks. No jealousy, no quarrels, no greed to possess, no fear of losing possession, no hatred (which is very much a part of love), no surge of passion and no hangover afterward. It never reaches the heights, and it never reaches the depths. As a rule it comes on subtly. As theirs did. As a rule the two involved are not even aware of it at first. As they were not. As a rule it only becomes noticeable when it is interrupted in some way, or broken off by circumstances. As theirs was. In other words, its presence only becomes known in its absence. It is only missed after it stops. While it is still going on, little thought is given to it, because little thought needs to be. It is pleasant to meet, it is pleasant to be together. To put your shopping packages down on a little wire-backed chair at a little table at a sidewalk cafe, and sit down and have a vermouth with someone who has been waiting there for you. And will be waiting there again tomorrow afternoon. Same time, same table, same sidewalk cafe. Or to watch Italian youth going through the gyrations of the latest dance craze in some inexpensive indigenous night-place-while you, who come from the country where the dance originated, only get up to do a sedate fox trot. It is even pleasant to part, because this simply means preparing the way for the next meeting. One long continuous being-together, even in a love affair, might make the thing wilt. In an attachment it would surely kill the thing off altogether. But to meet, to part, then to meet again in a few days, keeps the thing going, encourages it to flower. And yet it requires a certain amount of vanity, as love does; a desire to please, to look one's best, to elicit compliments. It inspires a certain amount of flirtation, for the two are of opposite sex. A wink of understanding over the rim of a raised glass, a low-voiced confidential aside about something and the smile of intimacy that answers it, a small impromptu gift - a necktie on the one part because of an accidental spill on the one he was wearing, or of a small bunch of flowers on the other part because of the color of the dress she has on. So it goes. And suddenly they part, and suddenly there's a void, and suddenly they discover they have had an attachment. Rome passed into the past, and became New York. Now, if they had never come together again, or only after a long time and in different circumstances, then the attachment would have faded and died. But if they suddenly do come together again - while the sharp sting of missing one another is still smarting - then the attachment will revive full force, full strength. But never again as merely an attachment. It has to go on from there, it has to build, to pick up speed. And sometimes it is so glad to be brought back again that it makes the mistake of thinking it is love. ("For The Rest Of Her Life")
Cornell Woolrich (Angels of Darkness)
Only when I grew, did I understand what that strength was: the willpower, that ardent force only human souls can possess – the power to continue on one’s path no matter the mistakes and obstacles, and never give up on one’s true essence.
Tamuna Tsertsvadze (Galaxy Pirates)
…When you’re in the darkness, know that the light will come. We are light and dark, sun and moon, male and female, yin and yang; life is composed of opposites, in a continuing cycle of change…. When you are in the light, don’t step back into the darkness. Live in that light, and breathe it in fully. I’ve spent so much of my life going over and over the sadness and fear of the past. But we don’t need to go there when we’re not there. When we are in the light, be here, now.
Kathryn E. Livingston (Yin, Yang, Yogini: A Woman's Quest for Balance, Strength, and Inner Peace)
Bitterness is a root. If roots are nursed—watered, protected, fed, and given attention—they increase in depth and strength. If not dealt with quickly, roots are hard to pull up. The strength of the offense will continue to grow. We are therefore exhorted not to let the sun go down on our wrath. (See Ephesians 4:26.) Now instead of the fruit of righteousness being produced, we will see a harvest of anger, resentment, jealousy, hatred, strife, and discord. Jesus called these evil fruits.
John Bevere (Bait Of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense)
Despair is not for the living but for those unable to rise and continue; they are the only souls with a right to it. It is an end where breath and strength and will have vanished, leaving no way to persevere. To sink into the abyss that is despair is to suffer an existence far worse than death; therefore, cling to its enemy, our ally—hope. For life goes on, and we must not live in despair. We must not.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Two Sisters (The Harrowbethian Saga #4))
For those who have been affected physically, emotionally, and financially by this terrible pandemic, I pray that your spirit stays strong enough, so you may continue to see a dim light peaking through the darkness that will soon shine brightly again.
Charles F Glassman
Six people went into the house of a sick man to pray for him. He was an Episcopalian vicar, and lay in his bed utterly helpless, without even strength to help himself. He had read a little tract about healing and had heard about people praying for the sick, and sent for these friends, who, he thought, could pray the prayer of faith. He was anointed according to James 5:14, but, because he had no immediate manifestation of healing, he wept bitterly. The six people walked out of the room, somewhat crestfallen to see the man lying there in an unchanged condition. When they were outside, one of the six said, “There is one thing we might have done. I wish you would all go back with me and try it.” They went back and all got together in a group. This brother said, “Let us whisper the name of Jesus.” At first when they whispered this worthy name nothing seemed to happen. But as they continued to whisper, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” the power began to fall. As they saw that God was beginning to work, their faith and joy increased; and they whispered the name louder and louder. As they did so the man arose from his bed and dressed himself. The secret was just thus, those six people had gotten their eyes off the sick man, and they were just taken up with the Lord Jesus Himself, and their faith grasped the power that there is in His name. O, if people would only appreciate the power that there is in this name, there is no telling what would happen.
Smith Wigglesworth (The Teachings of Smith Wigglesworth)
But she could not breathe long on the heights; there had been nothing in her training to develop any continuity of moral strength: what she craved, and really felt herself entitled to, was a situation in which the noblest attitude should also be the easiest. Hitherto her intermittent impulses of resistance had sufficed to maintain her self-respect.
Edith Wharton (The House of Mirth)
Margery," I blurted out in a passion of frustration. "I don't know what to make of you!" Nor I you, Mary. Frankly, I cannot begin to comprehend the motives of a person who dedicates a large portion of her life to the contemplation of a God in whom she only marginally believes." I felt stunned, as if she had struck me in the diaphragm. She looked down at me, trying to measure the effect of her words. Mary, you believe in the power that the idea of God has on the human mind. You believe in the way human beings talk about the unknowable, reach for the unattainable, pattern their imperfect lives and offer their paltry best up to the beingless being that created the universe and powers its continuation. What you balk as it believing the evidence of your eyes, that God can reach out and touch a single human life in a concrete way." She smiled a sad, sad smile. "You mustn't be so cold, Mary. If you are, all you will see is a cold God, cold friends, cold love. God is not cold-never cold. God sears with heat, not ice, the heat of a thousand suns, heat that inflames but does not consume. You need warmth, Mary-you, Mary, need it. You fear it, you flirt with it, you imagine that you can stand in its rays and retain your cold intellectual attitude towards it. You imagine that you can love with your brain. Mary, oh my dear Mary, you sit in the hall and listen to me like some wild beast staring at a campfire, unable to leave, fearful of losing your freedom if you come any closer. It won't consume you; I won't capture you. Love does not do either. It only brings life. Please, Mary, don't let yourself be tied up by the bonds of cold academia." Her words, the power of her conviction, broke over me like a great wave, inundating me, robbing me of breath, and, as they receded in the room, they pulled hard at me to folllow. I struggled to keep my footing against the wash of Margery's vision, and only when it began to lose its strength, dissipated against the silence in the room, was I seized by a sudden terror at the nearness of my escape.
Laurie R. King (A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, #2))
Resolve to remain as strong, as determined, and as highly enthused during the darkest night of adversity as you are during the sunniest day of prosperity. Do not feel disappointed when things seem disappointing. Keep the eye single upon the same brilliant future regardless of circumstances, conditions, or events. Do not lose heart when things go wrong. Continue undisturbed in your original resolve to make all things go right... “The man who never weakens when things are against him will grow stronger and stronger until all things will delight to be for him. He will finally have all the strength he may desire or need. Be always strong and you will always be stronger.
Rhonda Byrne (The Secret Daily Teachings)
In the beginning of this record i tried to explore the nature of journeys, how they are things in themselves, each one an individual and no two alike. I speculated with a kind of wonder on the strength of the individuality of journeys and stopped on the postulate that people don't take trips--trips take people. That discussion, however, did not go into the life span of journeys. This seems to be variable and unpredictable. Who has not known a journey to be over and dead before the traveler returns? The reverse is also true: many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
It is lonely behind these boundaries. Some people-particularly those whom psychiatrists call schizoid-because of unpleasant, traumatizing experiences in childhood, perceive the world outside of themselves as unredeemably dangerous, hostile, confusing and unnurturing. Such people feel their boundaries to be protecting and comforting and find a sense of safety in their loneliness. But most of us feel our loneliness to be painful and yearn to escape from behind the walls of our individual identities to a condition in which we can be more unified with the world outside of ourselves. The experience of falling in love allows us this escapetemporarily. The essence of the phenomenon of falling in love is a sudden collapse of a section of an individual's ego boundaries, permitting one to merge his or her identity with that of another person. The sudden release of oneself from oneself, the explosive pouring out of oneself into the beloved, and the dramatic surcease of loneliness accompanying this collapse of ego boundaries is experienced by most of us as ecstatic. We and our beloved are one! Loneliness is no more! In some respects (but certainly not in all) the act of falling in love is an act of regression. The experience of merging with the loved one has in it echoes from the time when we were merged with our mothers in infancy. Along with the merging we also reexperience the sense of omnipotence which we had to give up in our journey out of childhood. All things seem possible! United with our beloved we feel we can conquer all obstacles. We believe that the strength of our love will cause the forces of opposition to bow down in submission and melt away into the darkness. All problems will be overcome. The future will be all light. The unreality of these feelings when we have fallen in love is essentially the same as the unreality of the two-year-old who feels itself to be king of the family and the world with power unlimited. Just as reality intrudes upon the two-year-old's fantasy of omnipotence so does reality intrude upon the fantastic unity of the couple who have fallen in love. Sooner or later, in response to the problems of daily living, individual will reasserts itself. He wants to have sex; she doesn't. She wants to go to the movies; he doesn't. He wants to put money in the bank; she wants a dishwasher. She wants to talk about her job; he wants to talk about his. She doesn't like his friends; he doesn't like hers. So both of them, in the privacy of their hearts, begin to come to the sickening realization that they are not one with the beloved, that the beloved has and will continue to have his or her own desires, tastes, prejudices and timing different from the other's. One by one, gradually or suddenly, the ego boundaries snap back into place; gradually or suddenly, they fall out of love. Once again they are two separate individuals. At this point they begin either to dissolve the ties of their relationship or to initiate the work of real loving.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Philosophy goes into the problem deeply, without changing being at all. Religion tells me that I have been created; that I am continuously receiving myself from divine hands, that I am free yet living from God’s strength. Try to feel your way into this truth, and your whole attitude towards life will change. You will see yourself in an entirely new perspective. What once seemed self-understood becomes questionable. Where once you were indifferent, you become reverent; where self-confident, you learn to know “fear and trembling.” But where formerly you felt abandoned, you will now feel secure, living as a child of the Creator-Father, and the knowledge that this is precisely what you are will alter the very tap-root of your being
Romano Guardini
Your life will contribute to a grand and wonderful story no matter what you do. You have been spoken. You are here, existing, choosing, living, shaping the future and carving the past. Your physical matter and your soul exist, not out of necessity, not voluntarily, and not under their own strength. There is absolutely nothing that you or I can do to guarantee that we will continue to exist. You aren't doing anything that makes you be. We aren't the Author. You and I are spoken. We have been called into this art as characters, born into this thread of occurrence tumbling downstream in the long Niagara of loss set in motion by the trouble that faced our first father and first mother. We will contribute to this narrative. But how?
N.D. Wilson (Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent)
There is a tree. At the downhill edge of a long, narrow field in the western foothills of the La Sal Mountains -- southeastern Utah. A particular tree. A juniper. Large for its species -- maybe twenty feet tall and two feet in diameter. For perhaps three hundred years this tree has stood its ground. Flourishing in good seasons, and holding on in bad times. "Beautiful" is not a word that comes to mind when one first sees it. No naturalist would photograph it as exemplary of its kind. Twisted by wind, split and charred by lightning, scarred by brushfires, chewed on by insects, and pecked by birds. Human beings have stripped long strings of bark from its trunk, stapled barbed wire to it in using it as a corner post for a fence line, and nailed signs on it on three sides: NO HUNTING; NO TRESPASSING; PLEASE CLOSE THE GATE. In commandeering this tree as a corner stake for claims of rights and property, miners and ranchers have hacked signs and symbols in its bark, and left Day-Glo orange survey tape tied to its branches. Now it serves as one side of a gate between an alfalfa field and open range. No matter what, in drought, flood heat and cold, it has continued. There is rot and death in it near the ground. But at the greening tips of its upper branches and in its berrylike seed cones, there is yet the outreach of life. I respect this old juniper tree. For its age, yes. And for its steadfastness in taking whatever is thrown at it. That it has been useful in a practical way beyond itself counts for much, as well. Most of all, I admire its capacity for self-healing beyond all accidents and assaults. There is a will in it -- toward continuing to be, come what may.
Robert Fulghum (Uh-oh: Some Observations from Both Sides of the Refrigerator Door)
It isn’t that I’m a weak person. I’m a product of self-destruction, or so my therapist tells me. I’m a battlefield of strength versus weakness and reality versus my own mind. I don’t look in the mirror and hate myself because I’m weak. No, I hate myself because even though my clothes and the scale tell me one thing, I can’t see it. It takes all the strength a person can muster to continue fighting his or her own self-image. Fighting to find their way back from the damage they’ve done to themselves physically and mentally.
Harper Sloan (Perfectly Imperfect)
We have time for everything: to sleep, to run from one place to another, to regret having mistaken and to mistake again, to judge the others and to forgive ourselves we have time for reading and writing, for making corrections to our texts, to regret ever having written we have time to make plans and time not to respect them, we have time for ambitions and sicknesses, time to blame the destiny and the details, we have time to watch the clouds, advertisements or some ordinary accident, we have time to chase our wonders away and to postpone the answers, we have time to break a dream to pieces and then to reinvent it, we have time to make friends, to lose friends, we have time to receive lessons and forget them afterwards, we have time to receive gifts and not to understand them. We have time for them all. There is no time for just a bit of tenderness. When we are aware about to do this we die. I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you; All you can do is to be a loved person. the rest … depends on the others. I’ve learned that as much as I care others might not care. I’ve learned that it takes years to earn trust and just a few seconds to lose it. I’ve learned that it does not matter WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have. I’ve learned that your charm is useful for about 15 minutes Afterwards, you should better know something. I’ve learned that no matter how you cut it, everything has two sides! I’ve learned that you should separate from your loved ones with warm words It might be the last time you see them! I’ve learned that you can still continue for a long time after saying you cannot continue anymore I’ve learned that heroes are those who do what they have to do, when they have to do it, regardless the consequences I’ve learned that there are people who love But do not know how to show it ! I’ve learned that when I am upset I have the RIGHT to be upset But not the right to be bad! I’ve learned that real friendship continues to exist despite the distance And this is true also for REAL LOVE !!! I’ve learned that if someone does not love you like you want them to It does not mean that they do not love you with all their heart. I’ve learned that no matter how good of a friend someone is for you that person will hurt you every now and then and that you have to forgive him. I’ve learned that it is not enough to be forgiven by others Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. I’ve learned that no matter how much you suffer, The world will not stop for your pain. I’ve learned that the past and the circumstances might have an influence on your personality But that YOU are responsible for what you become !!! I’ve learned that if two people have an argument it does not mean that they do not love each other I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put on the first place the person, not the facts I’ve learned that two people can look at the same thing and can see something totally different I’ve learned that regardless the consequences those WHO ARE HONEST with themselves go further in life. I’ve learned that life can be changed in a few hours by people who do not even know you. I’ve learned that even when you think there is nothing more you can give when a friend calls you, you will find the strength to help him. I’ve learned that writing just like talking can ease the pains of the soul ! I’ve learned that those whom you love the most are taken away from you too soon … I’ve learned that it is too difficult to realise where to draw the line between being friendly, not hurting people and supporting your oppinions. I’ve learned to love to be loved.
Octavian Paler
She’s an angel, Justin. Someone fashioned in the heavens. Women will continue to enter your life for as long as you live, but few will turn heads like Ali does. Fewer still will have her spiritus. Take it from someone who has been down this path many times, seen a great deal, and failed more often than not. Hold on to what is precious in your life with the strength needed to resist a gale-force wind. And never, ever let go.
Richard Harris (A Father's Son)
You are not your past,” Kyra continued. “You are your future. Horrible things happen to us not to trap us in the past, but to help us decide on our future. They make us stronger. They teach us we have more power than we knew. They show us how strong we are. The question is: what will you choose to do with that strength?
Morgan Rice (Kings and Sorcerers Bundle (Books 1, 2, and 3))
The fundamental problem here is the continued over-identification with doing. By attempting to “do” The Leap, the practitioner is attempting the impossible (as doing and being point to two different realms). Thus far your training has been largely if not entirely immersed in the relative domain. With Being, your training is stepping beyond this domain into the transcendent. Fundamentally, there is nothing you can “do” to “be.
Rob McNamara (Strength to Awaken)
Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For every thing that is given, something is taken. Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts. What a contrast between the well-clad, reading, writing, thinking American, with a watch, a pencil, and a bill of exchange in his pocket, and the naked New Zealander, whose property is a club, a spear, a mat, and an undivided twentieth of a shed to sleep under! But compare the health of the two men, and you shall see that the white man has lost his aboriginal strength. If the traveller tell us truly, strike the savage with a broad axe, and in a day or two the flesh shall unite and heal as if you struck the blow into soft pitch, and the same blow shall send the white to his grave. The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of muscle. He has a fine Geneva watch, but he fails of the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His note-books impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance-office increases the number of accidents; and it may be a question whether machinery does not encumber; whether we have not lost by refinement some energy, by a Christianity entrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue. For every Stoic was a Stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christian?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Who can be sure that Jean Valjean had not been on the verge of losing heart and giving up the struggle? In loving he recovered his strength. But the truth is that he was no less vulnerable than Cosette. He protected her and she sustained him. Thanks to him she could go forward into life, and thanks to her he could continue virtous. He was the child's support and she his mainstay. Sublime, unfathomable marvel of the balance of destiny!
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Memory, connecting inconceivable mystery to inconceivable mystery, performs the impossible by the strength of her divine arms; holds together past and present,—beholding both,—existing in both . . . and gives continuity and dignity to human life. It holds us to our family, to our friends. Hereby a home is possible. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Anil Ananthaswamy (The Man Who Wasn't There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self)
Rama continued: “I do not know whether there are men born outside humanity, or whether some men are so human as to make others seem unreal. Perhaps a godling lives on earth now and then. Joseph has strength beyond vision of shattering, he has the calm of mountains, and his emotion is as wild and fierce and sharp as the lightning and just as reasonless as far as I can see or know. When you are away from him, try thinking of him and you’ll see what I mean. His figure will grow huge, until it tops the mountains, and his force will be like the irresistible plunging of the wind. Benjy is dead. You cannot think of Joseph dying. He is eternal. His father died, and it was not a death.” Her mouth moved helplessly, searching for words. She cried as though in pain, “I tell you this man is not a man, unless he is all men. The strength, the resistance, the long and stumbling thinking of all men, and all the joy and suffering, too, cancelling each other out and yet remaining in the contents. He is all these, a repository for a little piece of each man’s soul, and more than that, a symbol of the earth’s soul.” Her eyes dropped and her hand withdrew. “I said a door was open.
John Steinbeck (To a God Unknown)
I think about all of the times I’ve knocked on death’s door. The flashbacks give me the strength to want to fight, but they always make me realize I was given chance after chance to change my life. I guess I thought I was untouchable, and life would continue to toss a coin— when I tossed a coin in the air, I always use to say heads, and there it was—I won. Therefore, I always gambled with my life, and now I do not have room to gamble anymore, because I am here. Life is kicking my ass because the only thing I can do is think of the past and think about the what-ifs.” ~Love is respect ♥~
Charlena E. Jackson (In Love With Blindfolds On)
I have never forgotten these visitors, or ceased to marvel at them, at how they have gone on from strength to strength, continuing to lighten our darkness, and to guide, counsel and instruct us; on occasion, momentarily abashed, but always ready to pick themselves up, put on their cardboard helmets, mount Rosinante, and go galloping off on yet another foray on behalf of the down-trodden and oppressed. They are unquestionably one of the wonders of the age, and I shall treasure till I die as a blessed memory the spectacle of them travelling with radiant optimism through a famished countryside, wandering in happy bands about squalid, over-crowded towns, listening with unshakeable faith to the fatuous patter of carefully trained and indoctrinated guides, repeating like schoolchildren a multiplication table, the bogus statistics and mindless slogans endlessly intoned to them. There, I would think, an earnest office-holder in some local branch of the League of Nations Union, there a godly Quaker who once had tea with Gandhi, there an inveigher against the Means Test and the Blasphemy Laws, there a staunch upholder of free speech and human rights, there an indomitable preventer of cruelty to animals; there scarred and worthy veterans of a hundred battles for truth, freedom and justice--all, all chanting the praises of Stalin and his Dictatorship of the Proletariat. It was as though a vegetarian society had come out with a passionate plea for cannibalism, or Hitler had been nominated posthumously for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Malcolm Muggeridge
Feelings of any kind are not known to the walking dead. Every form of psychological warfare, from attempts at enraging the undead to provoking pity have all met with disaster. Joy, sadness, confidence, anxiety, love, hatred, fear—all of these feelings and thousands more that make up the human “heart” are as useless to the living dead as the organ of the same name. Who knows if this is humanity’s greatest weakness or strength? The debate continues, and probably will forever.
Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead)
I told you,lifemate, you're always taking off my clothes." "Then stop wearing the damn things," he responded gruffly,his hands at her tiny waist, his mouth finding her flat stomach. "Someday my child will be growing right here," he said softly, kissing her belly. His hands pinned her thighs so that he could explore easily without interruption. "A beautiful little girl with your looks and my disposition." Savannah laughed softly, her arms cradling his head lovingly. "That should be quite a combination. What's wrong with my disposition?" She was writhing under the onslaught of his hands and mouth,arcing her body more fully into his ministrations. "You are a wicked woman," he whispered. "I would have to kill any man who treated my daughter the way I am treating you." She cried out,her body rippling with pleasure. "I happen to love the way you treat me,lifemate," she answered softly and cried out again when he merged their bodies, their minds, their hearts and souls. The future might be uncertain, with the society dogging the footsteps of their people,but their combined strength was more than enough to see them through. And together they could face any enemy to ensure the continuation of their race.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
The men digging in on both sides of me cursed the stench and the mud. I began moving the heavy, sticky clay mud with my entrenching shovel to shape out the extent of the foxhole before digging deeper. Each shovelful had to be knocked off the spade, because it stuck like glue. I was thoroughly exhausted and thought my strength wouldn’t last from one sticky shovelful to the next. Kneeling on the mud, I had dug the hole no more than six or eight inches deep when the odor of rotting flesh got worse. There was nothing to do but continue to dig, so I closed up my mouth and inhaled with short shallow breaths. Another spadeful of soil out of the hole released a mass of wriggling maggots that came welling up as though those beneath were pushing them out. I cursed and told the NCO as he came by what a mess I was digging into. ‘You heard him, he said put the holes five yards apart.’ In disgust, I drove the spade into the soil, scooped out the insects, and threw them down the front of the ridge. The next stroke of the spade unearthed buttons and scraps of cloth from a Japanese army jacket in the mud—and another mass of maggots. I kept on doggedly. With the next thrust, metal hit the breastbone of a rotting Japanese corpse. I gazed down in horror and disbelief as the metal scraped a clean track through the mud along the dirty whitish bone and cartilage with ribs attached. The shoved skidded into the rotting abdomen with a squishing sound. The odor nearly overwhelmed me as I rocked back on my heels. I began choking and gagging as I yelled in desperation, ‘I can’t dig in here! There’s a dead Nip here!’ The NCO came over, looked down at my problem and at me, and growled, ‘You heard him; he said put the holes five yards apart.
Eugene B. Sledge (With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa)
It became clearer and clearer to me that I had found a woman who possessed the strength and like-mindedness I'd been hoping to locate my entire adult life. 'In marriage, choose someone you're comfortable solving problems with' was an aphorism I'd been acquainted with. I had long ago concocted my own turbocharged version, which better fit my own history and worldview. The blessing to be carefully preserved, I'd concluded, is a partner with whom you're not only be able to endure a crisis but whose companionship you could continue to enjoy in spite of the crisis. It became apparent that I might have found exactly that.
Evan Handler (It's Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive)
Of course, it would be much easier if we could all continue to think in traditional political patterns—of liberalism and conservatism, as Republicans and Democrats, from the viewpoint of North and South, management and labor, business and consumer or some equally narrow framework. It would be more comfortable to continue to move and vote in platoons, joining whomever of our colleagues are equally enslaved by some current fashion, raging prejudice or popular movement. But today this nation cannot tolerate the luxury of such lazy political habits. Only the strength and progress and peaceful change that come from independent judgment and individual ideas—and even from the unorthodox and the eccentric—can enable us to surpass that foreign ideology that fears free thought more than it fears hydrogen bombs. We shall need compromises in the days ahead, to be sure. But these will be, or should be, compromises of issues, not of principles. We can compromise our political positions, but not ourselves.
John F. Kennedy (Profiles in Courage: Deluxe Modern Classic (Harper Perennial Modern Classics))
Rake,” came the succinct reply. “Oh, all right,” Lillian grumbled. “I suppose he is a rake. But that may not be an impediment to his courtship of Lady Natalie. Some women like rakes. Look at Evie.” Evie continued to snip doggedly through the brocade ribbon, while a smile curved her lips. “I don’t l-like all rakes,” she said, her gaze on her work. “Just one.” Evie, the gentlest and most soft-spoken of them all, had been the one least likely to capture the heart of the notorious Lord St. Vincent, who had been the definitive rake. Although Evie, with her round blue eyes and blazing red hair, possessed a rare and unconventional beauty, she was unbearably shy. And there was the stammer. But Evie also had a reserve of quiet strength and a gallant spirit that seemed to have seduced her husband utterly. “And that former rake obviously adores you beyond reason,” Annabelle said.
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
Don’t try to talk—just breathe. Another long, slow one…another. Good girl.” As Annabelle gradually recovered her breath, the panic began to fade. He was right…it was easier if she didn’t struggle. The sound of her fitful gasping was underlaid by the mesmerizing softness of his voice. “That’s right,” he murmured. “That’s the way of it.” His hand continued to move in a slow, easy rotation over her chest. There was nothing sexual in his touch—in fact, she might have been a child he was trying to soothe. Annabelle was amazed. Who would have ever dreamed that Simon Hunt could be so kind? Filled with equal parts of confusion and gratitude, Annabelle fumbled for the large hand that moved so gently on her chest. She was so feeble that the gesture required all her strength. Assuming that she was trying to push him away, Hunt began to withdraw, but as he felt her fingers curl around two of his, he went very still. “Thank you,” she whispered. The touch made Hunt tense visibly, as if the contact had sent a shock through his body. He stared not at her face but at the delicate fingers entwined with his, in the manner of a man who was trying to solve a complex puzzle. Remaining motionless, he prolonged the moment, his lashes lowering to conceal his expression.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
If you want knowledge, read daily. If you want understanding, study regularly. If you want wisdom, reason continually. If you want kindness, give constantly. If you want joy, laugh frequently. If you want faith, believe firmly. If you want peace, meditate consistently. If you want mercy, forgive unconditionally. If you want love, give charitably. If you want equality, object intelligently. If you want freedom, protest strongly. If you want justice, fight forcefully. If you want morals, live religiously. If you want strength, excersise vigorously. If you want power, plot brilliantly. If you want fame, shine resiliently. If you want riches, strive habitually. If you want success, work diligently. If you want fufilment, love abundantly. If you want God, pray purposefully. If you want life, grow spiritually.
Matshona Dhliwayo
I don’t love those who love me. I love those whom I love. Do you know why?” He did not wait for a response but continued as if to himself: “Whoever loves me places fetters around my neck. Anyone I love gets shackles around his neck.” “Amazing! I’ve always thought we fell captive to those we love, not to those who love us.” “That’s the logic of the masses. That’s the language of weaklings, who don’t know why they love the ones they love. They have no strength or ability to stop loving those they loved when they realize the truth about them.
Ibrahim al-Koni (The Seven Veils of Seth (Arab Writers in Translation))
Equality is a lie,” Bane told her. “A myth to appease the masses. Simply look around and you will see the lie for what it is! There are those with power, those with the strength and will to lead. And there are those meant to follow—those incapable of anything but servitude and a meager, worthless existence. “Equality is a perversion of the natural order!” he continued, his voice rising as he shared the fundamental truth that lay at the core of his beliefs. “It binds the strong to the weak. They become anchors that drag the exceptional down to mediocrity. Individuals destined and deserving of greatness have it denied them. They suffer for the sake of keeping them even with their inferiors.
Drew Karpyshyn (Rule of Two (Star Wars: Darth Bane, #2))
How, then, can terrorists hope to achieve much? Following an act of terrorism, the enemy continues to have the same number of soldiers, tanks and ships as before. The enemy’s communication network, roads and railways are largely intact. His factories, ports and bases are hardly touched. However, the terrorists hope that even though they can barely dent the enemy’s material power, fear and confusion will cause the enemy to misuse his intact strength and overreact. Terrorists calculate that when the enraged enemy uses his massive power against them, he will raise a much more violent military and political storm than the terrorists themselves could ever create. During every storm, many unforeseen things happen. Mistakes are made, atrocities are committed, public opinion wavers, neutrals change their stance, and the balance of power shifts.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
The desire for my "rights" in order to preserve my individuality (rather than allowing God the full right to take over my life and to perfect my personality) has to be stripped away. I have to learn to persevere in the race He has set before me, drawing strength only from Him, and not relying at all on what I may consider any natural abilities I may have. I have to let God take from me even that strength which I thought I had in order that He may more fully reveal His own strength: in order that He may continue in me the work of conforming me to the image of His Son.
Helen Roseveare
There are parts of me that are broken. Thank you, they don't need fixing. There are places and people that I don't 'fit in' with. Thank you, I don't belong. There are words that have a comletely different meaning to me than for others. Thank you, I appreciate my own unique values. There are moments that I feel all alone in the world. Thank you, I rather enjoy and appreciate my solitude. There are people who judge me because they find me to be too shallow or too deep. Thank you, I love exploring the entirety of the ocean. There are people who truly love and value me just as I am. Thank you, you enrich my life profoundly. There is always room for expansion to grow, grace for every mistake, strength made perfect in every weakness and highest kudos for the courage to continue this adventurous soul mission called Life. Thank you, I am truly happy to be here.
Mishi McCoy
As John Bruer describes in The Myth of the First Three Years, nature has developed three ways for you to learn as an adult: Continue to strengthen your existing synaptic connections (as happens when you perfect a talent with relevant skills and knowledge), keep losing more of your extraneous connections (as also happens when you focus on your talents and allow other connections to deteriorate), or develop a few more synaptic connections.
Donald O. Clifton (Now, Discover Your Strengths: The revolutionary Gallup program that shows you how to develop your unique talents and strengths)
Classic Ballet, Keep away, keep building your creaky fairy castles, keep cloning clones and meaningless manners, hang on to your beanstalk ballerinas and their midget male shadows, run yourself out of business with your tons of froufrou and costly clattery toe shoes that ruin all chances for illusions of lightness, keep on crowding the minds of blind balletomanes who prefer dainty poses to the eloquent strength of momentum, who have forgotten or never known the manings of gesture, who would nod their noses to barefoot embargos ("so grab me" spelt backwards). Continue to repolish your stiff technique and to ignore a public that hungers for something other than a bag of tricks and the empty-headedness of surface patterns. Just keep it up, keep imitating yourself, and, , go grow your own dance makers. Come on, don't keep trying to filter modern ones through your so-safe extablishment. We're to be seen undiluted, undistorted, not absorbed by your hollow world like blood into a sponge. Yours truly, A Different Leaf on Our Family Tree
Paul Taylor (Private Domain: An Autobiography)
Life batters and shapes us in all sorts of ways before it's done, but those original selves which we were born with, and which I believe we continue in some measure to be no matter what, are selves which still echo with the holiness of their origin. I believe that what Genesis suggests is that this original self, with the print of God's thumb still upon it, is the most essential part of who we are and is buried deep in all of us as a source of wisdom and strength and healing which we can draw upon or, with our terrible freedom, not draw upon as we choose. I think that among other things all real art comes from that deepest self – painting, writing music, dance, all of it that in some way nourishes the spirit and enriches the understanding. I think that our truest prayers come from there too, the often unspoken, unbidden prayers that can rise out of the lives of unbelievers as well as believers whether they recognize them as prayers or not. And I think that from there also come our best dreams and our times of gladdest playing and taking it easy and all those moments when we find ourselves being better or stronger or braver or wiser than we are.
Frederick Buechner (Telling Secrets)
Right here let me make as vigorous a plea as I know how in favor of saying nothing that we do not mean, and of acting without hesitation up to whatever we say. A good many of you are probably acquainted with the old proverb: 'Speak softly and carry a big stick -- you will go far.' If a man continually blusters, if he lacks civility, a big stick will not save him from trouble; and neither will speaking softly avail, if back of the softness there does not lie strength, power. In private life there are few beings more obnoxious than the man who is always loudly boasting; and if the boaster is not prepared to back up his words his position becomes absolutely contemptible. So it is with the nation. It is both foolish and undignified to indulge in undue self-glorification, and, above all, in loose-tongued denunciation of other peoples.
Theodore Roosevelt
Sarah paused for a moment then said, "I don't care about being happy." Deya's surprise must have been written across her face because Sarah continued, "Too often being happy means being passive or playing it safe. There's no skill required in happiness, no strength of character, nothing extraordinary. It's discontent that drives creation the most—passion, desire, defiance. Revolutions don't come from a place of happiness. If anything, I think it's sadness, or discontent at least, that's at the root of everything beautiful.
Etaf Rum (A Woman Is No Man)
Takamasa Saegusa: 'Seigen, a mere member of the Toudouza, had the effrontery to sully the sacred dueling ground. For that reason, our lord had already decided to subject him to tu-uchi before long. Cut off his head immediately, and stick it on a pike!' Gennosuke could hardly believe his ears. Such an insult to Irako Seigen was unwarranted. It was pride. For Gennosuke, Irako Seigen was pride itself. Takamasa Saegusa: 'Fujiki Gennosuke! It is the way of the samurai to take the head of the defeated enemy on the battleground. Do not hesitate! If you are a samurai, you must carry out the duty of a samurai!' Samurai... Saegusa, Lord of Izu, continued shouting, but Gennosuke did not attend. That word 'samurai' alone reverberated through his body. If one aims at the juncture between the base of the skull and the spine, decapitation is not that difficult, but Gennosuke could muster no more strength than a baby. He grew pale and trembled with the strain. He could only hack with his sword as if he were sawing wood. He felt nauseated, as if his own cells one after another were being annihilated. But this... Lord Tokugawa Tadanaga: 'I approve.' Takamasa Saegusa: 'Fujiki Gennosuke, for this splendid action you have received words of thanks from our lord. As a sign of his exceptional approval, you shall be given employment at Sunpu Castle. This great debt will by no means be forgotten. From this day forward you must offer your life to our lord!' Prostrating himself, Gennosuke vomited.
Takayuki Yamaguchi (シグルイ 15(Shigurui, #15))
Nina continued staring at Carrie but didn’t say anything. How was it that this woman could shout out every thought running through her head? Why was it that Carrie Soto felt so entitled to scream? In that moment, Nina was not mad or jealous or embarrassed or anything else she might have expected. Nina was sad. Sad that she’d never lived a fraction of a second like Carrie Soto. What a world she must live in, Nina thought, where you can piss and moan and stomp your feet and cry in public and yell at the people who hurt you. That you can dictate what you will and will not accept. Nina, her entire life, had been programmed to accept. Accept that your father left. Accept that your mother is gone. Accept that you must take care of your siblings. Accept that the world wants to lust after you. Accept accept accept. For so long, Nina believed it was her greatest strength - that she could withstand, that she could endure, that she would accept it all and keep going. It was so foreign to her, the idea of declaring that something was unacceptable. Nina thought of herself driving to someone else’s house to scream on their front lawn while a whole party’s worth of people watched. It was so impossible that she couldn’t even summon a mental picture. But Carrie had this fire within her. Where was Nina’s fire? Had it ever been there? And if so, when did it go out? Her husband had slept with Carrie last night and then Nina had taken him back this evening. What was wrong with her? Was she just going to accept it all? Just accept every piece of bullshit thrown at her for the rest of her life?
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Malibu Rising)
And, 'Getting over it so soon?' But the words are ambiguous. To say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendicitis is one thing; after he's had his leg off it is quite another. After that operation either the wounded stump heals or the man dies. If it heals, the fierce, continuous pain will stop. Presently he'll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. He has 'got over it.' But he will probably have recurrent pains in the stump all his life, and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one-legged man. There will be hardly any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. At present I am learning to get about on crutches. Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. But I shall never be a biped again.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
If you have ever belonged to such a community, however, you may have discovered that the trouble starts when darkness falls on your life, which can happen in any number of unsurprising ways: you lose your job, your marriage falls apart, your child acts out in some attention getting way, you pray hard for something that does not happen, you begin to doubt some of the things you have been taught about what the Bible says. The first time you speak of these things in a full solar church, you can usually get a hearing. Continue to speak of them and you may be reminded that God will not let you be tested beyond your strength. All that is required of you is to have faith. If you still do not get the message, sooner or later it will be made explicit for you: the darkness is your own fault, because you do not have enough faith.
Barbara Brown Taylor
Be vulnerable. I have tried forever to stop being vulnerable. It’s not going to happen, so, fuck it, I’ll just embrace it. And how many times have I let myself be overwhelmed by fear, I can’t even count. But always, I have found the courage to overcome those two and make it. Being vulnerable has made me the artist I am and continues to be a part of my daily existence. How else could I open my heart and create? Worrying about not being good enough or being terrified to start a new project brings out the fear. So, fuck it, I’ll embrace the fear too. Being courageous has brought me rewards I should never forget. From accomplishing my first gallery exhibitions to realizing I could handle trauma in my family with strength I didn’t know I had. All I can hope for is that I continue to allow myself to be vulnerable, face my fears and go on with courage. Maybe when facing our very human vulnerability and fear, we should take off the armor and adopt those two with an open heart. Maybe that is the ultimate act of courage. Be vulnerable.
Riitta Klint
[To be a master] means that he must renounce everything personal, that he must be alone, that he must have no friends, that he must be inscrutable and inaccessible even at home among his family, even at parties and dinners. All that remains for him is music; it always helps when he feels tired; it offers peace and contentment; the tensions of the day melt away in it. He remembers listening to Beethoven's Fourth after the Night of the Long Knives, remembers how it gave him strength to carry on, to continue interrogating enemies and beating confessions out of them. The music cleansed everything that time, even the blood.
Jiří Weil (Mendelssohn is on the Roof)
The Native Americans, whose wisdom Thoreau admired, regarded the Earth itself as a sacred source of energy. To stretch out on it brought repose, to sit on the ground ensured greater wisdom in councils, to walk in contact with its gravity gave strength and endurance. The Earth was an inexhaustible well of strength: because it was the original Mother, the feeder, but also because it enclosed in its bosom all the dead ancestors. It was the element in which transmission took place. Thus, instead of stretching their hands skyward to implore the mercy of celestial divinities, American Indians preferred to walk barefoot on the Earth: The Lakota was a true Naturist – a lover of Nature. He loved the earth and all things of the earth, the attachment growing with age. The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest on the earth and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing. That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life-giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly; he can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him. Walking, by virtue of having the earth’s support, feeling its gravity, resting on it with every step, is very like a continuous breathing in of energy. But the earth’s force is not transmitted only in the manner of a radiation climbing through the legs. It is also through the coincidence of circulations: walking is movement, the heart beats more strongly, with a more ample beat, the blood circulates faster and more powerfully than when the body is at rest. And the earth’s rhythms draw that along, they echo and respond to each other. A last source of energy, after the heart and the Earth, is landscapes. They summon the walker and make him at home: the hills, the colours, the trees all confirm it. The charm of a twisting path among hills, the beauty of vine fields in autumn, like purple and gold scarves, the silvery glitter of olive leaves against a defining summer sky, the immensity of perfectly sliced glaciers … all these things support, transport and nourish us.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
You’re still young and healthy. Maybe that’s why you don’t understand what I am saying. Let me give you an example. Once you pass a certain age, life becomes nothing more than a process of continual loss. Things that are important to your life begin to slip out of your grasp, one after another, like a comb losing teeth. And the only things that come to take their place are worthless imitations. Your physical strength, your hopes, your dreams, your ideals, your convictions, all meaning, or, then again, the people you love: one by one, they fade away. Some announce their departure before they leave, while others just disappear all of a sudden without warning one day. And once you lose them you can never get them back. Your search for replacements never goes well. It’s all very painful—as painful as actually being cut with a knife. You will be turning thirty soon, Mr. Kawana, which means that, from now on, you will gradually enter that twilight portion of life—you will be getting older. You are probably beginning to grasp that painful sense that you are losing something, are you not?
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
Unless a theologian has the inner fortitude of a desert saint, he has only one effective remedy against the threat of cognitive collapse in the face of these pressures: he must huddle together with like-minded fellow deviants⁠—and huddle very closely indeed. Only in a countercommunity of considerable strength does cognitive deviance have a chance to maintain itself. The countercommunity provides continuing therapy against the creeping doubt as to whether, after all, one may not be wrong and the majority right. To fulfill its functions of providing social support for the deviant body of "knowledge," the countercommunity must provide a strong sense of solidarity among its members (a "fellowship of the saints" in a world rampant with devils) and it must be quite closed vis-à-vis the outside ("Be not yoked together with unbelievers"); in sum, it must be a kind of ghetto.
Peter L. Berger (A Rumor of Angels: Modern Society and the Rediscovery of the Supernatural)
To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language; for his gayer hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence of beauty, and she glides Into his darker musings, with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;— Go forth, under the open sky, and list To Nature’s teachings, while from all around— Earth and her waters, and the depths of air— Comes a still voice— Yet a few days, and thee The all-beholding sun shall see no more In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground, Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again, And, lost each human trace, surrendering up Thine individual being, shalt thou go To mix for ever with the elements, To be a brother to the insensible rock And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. Yet not to thine eternal resting-place Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings, The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good, Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,—the vales Stretching in pensive quietness between; The venerable woods—rivers that move In majesty, and the complaining brooks That make the meadows green; and, poured round all, Old Ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,— Are but the solemn decorations all Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun, The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, Are shining on the sad abodes of death, Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread The globe are but a handful to the tribes That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness, Or lose thyself in the continuous woods Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound, Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there: And millions in those solitudes, since first The flight of years began, have laid them down In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone. So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw In silence from the living, and no friend Take note of thy departure? All that breathe Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care Plod on, and each one as before will chase His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave Their mirth and their employments, and shall come And make their bed with thee. As the long train Of ages glide away, the sons of men, The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes In the full strength of years, matron and maid, The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man— Shall one by one be gathered to thy side, By those, who in their turn shall follow them. So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan, which moves To that mysterious realm, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
William Cullen Bryant (Thanatopsis)
I thought you had to go to The Hall?" she said. "To learn?" Dar looked genuinely surprised. "No, Kale, Wulder is everywhere, therefore His lessons are everywhere." "I know Wulder made all things, and Pretender tried to copy His work. But I didn't know Wulder is everywhere. How could that be?" "You're thinking of Wulder as having a body and moving from place to place." Dar stood and pivoted in a circle with his arms outstretched. "Wulder is everywhere. You can see His power by recognizing His work. When a flower opens, that's His work. When the stars twinkle at night, that's His work." He paused, facing her. He let his arms fall to his sides. "Look at me, Kale. Right now, I am standing with Wulder all around me. I'm under His protection, within His will, standing on His pledge. And Wulder is, at the very same moment, in me." "Me, too?" asked Kale. "Yes." Dar knelt in front of her, his earnest face only inches away. She looked into his dark brown eyes and saw strength and peace. She wondered at his patience with her. Often her marione masters gruffly explained things they thought she should already understand. Dar winked before he continued, his funny face serious and yet cheerful at imparting what must be old knowledge to him. "So many people don't know who Wulder is or what He's capable of doing. Their ignorance doesn't make Wulder less of a being; it makes them less. Until they know, they can't be whole." He leaned back and sighed, spread his arms out in a gesture of explanation, and continued, "It's so simple, Kale. Everything hinges on His willingness to be involved with our world. When a mountain stands instead of tumbling down. He's holding it there. If He were to leave..." Dar shook his head. "If He were to leave, all that He holds in order would spin out of control. But He will never leave.
Donita K. Paul (DragonSpell (DragonKeeper Chronicles, #1))
We have reached the end of one era, and now we don't know what is all around us. Because we're already in a new era, and it is very different from the old one. Science and the world of technology are both changing everything so quickly, even our bodies. So the original ancient culture was present here, but to no avail, at this point in history it has come to stop. It still has some effect, some kind of continuity, but it cannot analyse and reformulate things, it cannot impact things with absolute strength. The age to follow will be full of dangers. It will be full of difficulties. In all likelihood, it will not be a good future for mankind. It is even possible this new era will mean the end of mankind.
László Krasznahorkai (Destruction and Sorrow beneath the Heavens: Reportage)
Often, our relationships become an unrealized quest for what is perfect, unfettered, and free of flaws. We expect our partners, spouses, and our friends to avoid missteps and to be magical mind readers. These secret expectations play a sinister part in many of the great tragedies of our lives: failed marriages, dissipated dreams, abandoned careers, outcast family, deserted children, and discarded friendships. We readily forget what we once knew as children: our flaws are not only natural but integral to our beings. They are interwoven into our soul’s DNA and yet we continually reject the crooked, wrinkled, mushy parts of our life rather than embrace them as the very essence of our beings. I once believed that aiming for perfection would land me in the realm of excellence. This, however, may not be the trajectory of how things happen. In fact, the pursuit of perfection may be the biggest obstacle to becoming whole. It seems essential to value hard work and determination and yet recognize that the road to excellence is littered with mistakes and subsequent lessons. Imperfection and excellence are intertwined. There is joy in our pain, strength in weakness, courage in compassion, and power in forgiveness.
Ann Brasco
The drug dealer, the ducking and diving political leader, the wife beater, the chronically “crabby” boss, the “hot shot” junior executive, the unfaithful husband, the company “yes man,” the indifferent graduate school adviser, the “holier than thou” minister, the gang member, the father who can never find the time to attend his daughter’s school programs, the coach who ridicules his star athletes, the therapist who unconsciously attacks his clients’ “shining” and seeks a kind of gray normalcy for them, the yuppie—all these men have something in common. They are all boys pretending to be men. They got that way honestly, because nobody showed them what a mature man is like. Their kind of “manhood” is a pretense to manhood that goes largely undetected as such by most of us. We are continually mistaking this man’s controlling, threatening, and hostile behaviors for strength. In reality, he is showing an underlying extreme vulnerability and weakness, the vulnerability of the wounded boy.
Robert L. Moore (King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine)
On the train I saw that world passing my window. It was when I came to see it was I who was passing that my self-centered childhood was over. But it was not until I began to write, that I found the world out there revealing, because memory had become attached to seeing, love had added itself to discovery, and because I recognized in my own continuing longing to keep going, the need I carried inside myself to know - the apprehension, first, and then the passion, to connect myself to it. Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it. This is, of course, simply saying that the outside world is the vital component of my inner life. My imagination takes its strength and guides its direction from what I see and hear and learn and feel and remember of my living world. But I was to learn slowly that both these worlds, outer and inner, were different from what they seemed to me in the beginning.
Eudora Welty (On Writing)
Why would a person prefer the accusations of guilt, unworthiness, ineptitude-even dishonor and betrayal-to real possibility? This may not seem to be the choice, but it is: complete self-effacement, surrender to the "others," disavowal of any personal dignity or freedom-on the one hand; and freedom and independence, movement away from the others, extrication of oneself from the binding links of family and social duties-on the other hand. This is the choice that the depressed person actually faces and that he avoids partly by his guilty self-accusation. The answer is not far to seek: the depressed person avoids the possibility of independence and more life precisely because there are what threaten him with destruction and death. He holds on to the people who have enslaved him in a network of crushing obligations, belittling interaction, precisely because these people are his shelter, his strength, his protection against the world. Like most everyone else the depressed person is a coward who will not stand alone on his own center, who cannot draw from within himself the necessary strength to face up to life. So he embeds himself in others; he is sheltered by the necessary and willingly accepts it. But now his tragedy is plain to see: his necessity has become trivial, and so his slavish, dependent, depersonalized life has lost its meaning. It is frightening to be in such a bind. One chooses slavery because it is safe and meaningful; then one loses the meaning of it, but fears to move out of it. One has literally died to life but must remain physically in this world. And thus the torture of depressive psychosis: to remain steeped in one's failure and yet to justify it, to continue to draw a sense of worthwhileness out of it.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
In a flash I had a change of heart. Even one precious life was worth saving. Japan was defeated; but the wounded were still alive. The war was over; but the work of our relief team remained. Our country was destroyed; but medical science still existed. Wasn't our work only beginning? Irrespective of the rise and fall of our country, wasn't our main duty to attend to the life and death of each single person? the very basis of the Red Cross was to attend to the wounded, be they friend or foe. Precisely because we Japanese had treated human life so simply and so carelessly--precisely for this reason we were reduced to our present miserable plight. Respect for the life of every person--this must be the foundation stone on which we would built a new society. Our people had been told that they must suffer these terrible wounds to win the war; but in fact they had suffered in order to lose. Now they were thrown into the most pitiable and desperate situation. And there was no one to console them, no one to help them except us. We must stand and come to their aid. I stood there unsteadily on my tottering legs. And then the whole group stood up beside me. Our courage came back. The determination to continue our work gave us strength and joy.
Takashi Nagai (The Bells of Nagasaki)
WHAT DOES AN OLD MAN GAIN BY EXERCISING what will he gain by talking on the phone what will he gain by going after fame, tell me what does he gain by looking in the mirror Nothing each time he just sinks deeper in the mud It’s already three or four in the morning why doesn’t he try to go to sleep but no--he won’t stop doing exercise won’t stop with his famous long-distance calls won’t stop with Bach with Beethoven with Tchaikovsky won’t stop with the long looks in the mirror won’t stop with the ridiculous obsession about continuing to breathe pitiful--it would be better if he turned out the light Ridiculous old man his mother says to him you and your father are exactly alike he didn’t want to die either may God grant you the strength to drive a car may God grant you the strength to talk on the phone may God grant you the strength to breathe may God grant you the strength to bury your mother You fell asleep, you ridiculous old man! but the poor wretch does not intend to sleep Let’s not confuse crying with sleeping
Nicanor Parra (Antipoems: How to Look Better and Feel Great)
AM YOUR STRENGTH AND SHIELD. I plan out each day and have it ready for you long before you arise from bed. I also provide the strength you need each step of the way. Instead of assessing your energy level and wondering about what’s on the road ahead, concentrate on staying in touch with Me. My Power flows freely into you through our open communication. Refuse to waste energy worrying, and you will have strength to spare. Whenever you start to feel afraid, remember that I am your Shield. But unlike inanimate armor, I am always alert and active. My Presence watches over you continually, protecting you from both known and unknown dangers. Entrust yourself to My watchcare, which is the best security system available. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. PSALM 28:7; MATTHEW 6:34; PSALM 56:3–4; GENESIS 28:15
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
Sparks come from the very source of light and are made of the purest brightness—so say the oldest legends. When a human Being is to be born, a spark begins to fall. First it flies through the darkness of outer space, then through galaxies, and finally, before it falls here, to Earth, the poor thing bumps into the orbits of planets. Each of them contaminates the spark with some Properties, while it darkens and fades. First Pluto draws the frame for this cosmic experiment and reveals its basic principles—life is a fleeting incident, followed by death, which will one day let the spark escape from the trap; there’s no other way out. Life is like an extremely demanding testing ground. From now on everything you do will count, every thought and every deed, but not for you to be punished or rewarded afterward, but because it is they that build your world. This is how the machine works. As it continues to fall, the spark crosses Neptune’s belt and is lost in its foggy vapors. As consolation Neptune gives it all sorts of illusions, a sleepy memory of its exodus, dreams about flying, fantasy, narcotics and books. Uranus equips it with the capacity for rebellion; from now on that will be proof of the memory of where the spark is from. As the spark passes the rings of Saturn, it becomes clear that waiting for it at the bottom is a prison. A labor camp, a hospital, rules and forms, a sickly body, fatal illness, the death of a loved one. But Jupiter gives it consolation, dignity and optimism, a splendid gift: things-will-work-out. Mars adds strength and aggression, which are sure to be of use. As it flies past the Sun, it is blinded, and all that it has left of its former, far-reaching consciousness is a small, stunted Self, separated from the rest, and so it will remain. I imagine it like this: a small torso, a crippled being with its wings torn off, a Fly tormented by cruel children; who knows how it will survive in the Gloom. Praise the Goddesses, now Venus stands in the way of its Fall. From her the spark gains the gift of love, the purest sympathy, the only thing that can save it and other sparks; thanks to the gifts of Venus they will be able to unite and support each other. Just before the Fall it catches on a small, strange planet that resembles a hypnotized Rabbit, and doesn’t turn on its own axis, but moves rapidly, staring at the Sun. This is Mercury, who gives it language, the capacity to communicate. As it passes the Moon, it gains something as intangible as the soul. Only then does it fall to Earth, and is immediately clothed in a body. Human, animal or vegetable. That’s the way it is. —
Olga Tokarczuk (Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead)
Reclaiming the sacred... is not simply a new linguistic or symbolic strategy for feminism. It goes to the heart of feminist struggles for social justice and can provide a critical foundation for social transformation. At one level, feminism becomes a means for the decolonization of the divine. At another level, the provision of spiritual strength to individuals deeply committed to social justice is more necessary than ever in a world racked by immense hatreds that feed on each other in endless cycles of retribution, always in the name of 'justice.' Finally, a spiritualization of social movements can provide a means with which to break from these cycles of retribution which perpetrate multiple and linked forms of oppression so that social movements continually find themselves appropriated by or circumscribed within the very structures they have tried wholeheartedly to resist.
Leela Fernandes (Transforming Feminist Practice: Non-Violence, Social Justice and the Possibilities of a Spiritualized Feminism)
The strength of one’s courage,” he repeated quietly, nodding and smiling. He held up his right hand like he was counting off. “Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness. And this is what the Henry Ward Beecher medal is about: recognizing greatness. “But how do we do that? How do we measure something like greatness? Again, there’s no yardstick for that kind of thing. How do we even define it? Well, Beecher actually had an answer for that.” He put his reading glasses on again, leafed through a book, and started to read. “ ‘Greatness,’ wrote Beecher, ‘lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength.… He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts …’ ” And again, out of the blue, he got all choked up. He put his two index fingers over his mouth for a second before continuing.
R.J. Palacio (Wonder)
Secondly, it is the very nature of spiritual life to grow. Wherever they principle of this life is to be found, it can be no different for it must grow. "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18); "The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger" (Job 17:9). This refers to the children of GOd, who are compared to palm and cedar trees (Psa. 92:12). As natural as it is for children and trees to grow, so natural is growth for the regenerated children of God. Thirdly, the growth of His children is the goal and objective God has in view by administering the means of grace to them. "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints...that we henceforth be no more children...but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head" (Eph. 4:11-15). This is also to be observed in 1 Peter 2:2: "as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby, " God will reach His goal and His word will not return to Him void; thus God's children will grow in grace. Fourthly, is is the duty to which God's children are continually exhorted, and their activity is to consist in a striving for growth. That it is their duty is to be observed in the following passages: "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18); "He that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still" (Rev. 22:11). The nature of this activity is expressed as follows: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after" (Phil. 3:12). If it were not necessary for believers to grow the exhortations to that end would be in vain. Some remain feeble, having but little life and strength. this can be due to a lack of nourishment, living under a barren ministry, or being without guidance. It can also be that they naturally have a slow mind and a lazy disposition; that they have strong corruptions which draw them away; that they are without much are without much strife; that they are too busy from early morning till late evening, due to heavy labor, or to having a family with many children, and thus must struggle or are poverty-stricken. Furthermore, it can be that they either do not have the opportunity to converse with the godly; that they do not avail themselves of such opportunities; or that they are lazy as far as reading in God's Word and prayer are concerned. Such persons are generally subject to many ups and downs. At one time they lift up their heads out of all their troubles, by renewal becoming serious, and they seek God with their whole heart. It does not take long, however , and they are quickly cast down in despondency - or their lusts gain the upper hand. Thus they remain feeble and are, so to speak, continually on the verge of death. Some of them occasionally make good progress, but then grieve the Spirit of God and backslide rapidly. For some this lasts for a season, after which they are restored, but others are as those who suffer from consumption - they languish until they die. Oh what a sad condition this is! (Chapter 89. Spiritual Growth, pg. 140, 142-143)
Wilhelmus à Brakel (The Christian's Reasonable Service, Vol. 4)
Finally there are those who saw at once that the question was a trap. There is no answer. Instead of wasting time grappling with that trap. They decide to act. They look to their childhood and look for what filled them with enthusiasm then and disregarding the advice of their elders, devote their life to it. Because enthusiasm is the sacred fire. They slowly discover, their actions are linked to a mysterious impulse beyond human knowledge. And they bow their heads as a sign of respect for that mystery and pray that they will not be diverted from a path they do not know, a path which they have chosen to travel because of the flame burning in their hearts. They use their intuition when they can and resort to discipline when intuition fails them. They seem quite mad. And sometimes they behave like mad people. But they are not mad. They have discovered true love and will. And those two things reveal the goal and the direction that they should follow. Their will is crystalline, their love is pure and their steps determined. In moments of doubt or sadness they never forget: I am an instrument, allow me to be an instrument capable of manifesting your will. They have chosen their road, and they may understand what their goal is only when they find themselves before the unwanted visitor. That is the beauty of the person who continues onward with enthusiasm and respect for the mystery of life as his only guide. His road is beautiful, and his burden light. The goal will be large or small, it can be far away or right next door. He goes in search of it with respect and honor. He knows what each step means, and how much it costs in effort and training and intuition. He focuses not just on the goal to be reached but on everything happening around him. He often has to stop because his strength fails him. At such moments, love appears and says: You think you're heading toward a specific point, but the whole justification for the goals existence lies in your love for it. Rest a little. But as soon as you can, get up and carry on. Because ever since your goal found out that you were traveling toward it, it has been running to meet you.
Paulo Coelho
In human affairs of danger and delicacy successful conclusion is sharply limited by hurry. So often men trip by being in a rush. If one were properly to perform a difficult and subtle act, he should first inspect the end to be achieved and then, once he had accepted the end as desirable, he should forget it completely and concentrate solely on the means. By this method he would not be moved to false action by anxiety or hurry or fear. Very few people learn this. What made Kate so effective was the fact that she had either learned it or had been born with the knowledge. Kate never hurried. If a barrier arose, she waited until it had disappeared before continuing. She was capable of complete relaxation between the times for action. Also, she was mistress of a technique which is the basis of good wrestling—that of letting your opponent do the heavy work toward his own defeat, or of guiding his strength toward his weaknesses.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
I consider a tree. I can look on it as a picture: stiff column in a shock of light, or splash of green shot with the delicate blue and silver of the background. I can perceive it as movement: flowing veins on clinging, pressing pith, suck of the roots, breathing of the leaves, ceaseless commerce with earth and air—and the obscure growth itself. I can classify it in a species and study it as a type in its structure and mode of life. I can subdue its actual presence and form so sternly that I recognise it only as an expression of law — of the laws in accordance with which a constant opposition of forces is continually adjusted, or of those in accordance with which the component substances mingle and separate. I can dissipate it and perpetuate it in number, in pure numerical relation. In all this the tree remains my object, occupies space and time, and has its nature and constitution. It can, however, also come about, if I have both will and grace, that in considering the tree I become bound up in relation to it. The tree is now no longer It. I have been seized by the power of exclusiveness. To effect this it is not necessary for me to give up any of the ways in which I consider the tree. There is nothing from which I would have to turn my eyes away in order to see, and no knowledge that I would have to forget. Rather is everything, picture and movement, species and type, law and number, indivisibly united in this event. Everything belonging to the tree is in this: its form and structure, its colours and chemical composition, its intercourse with the elements and with the stars, are all present in a single whole. The tree is no impression, no play of my imagination, no value depending on my mood; but it is bodied over against me and has to do with me, as I with it — only in a different way. Let no attempt be made to sap the strength from the meaning of the relation: relation is mutual.
Martin Buber (I and Thou)
The Onondaga Nation schools recite the Thanksgiving Address, a river of words as old as the people themselves, known in Onondaga language as the Words That Come Before All Else. This ancient order of protocol sets gratitude as the highest priority. The gratitude is directed straight to the ones who share their gifts with the world. (excerpt) ‘Today we have gathered and when we look upon the faces around us we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. Now our minds are one. We are thankful to our Mother the Earth, for she gives us everything that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she still continues to care for us, just as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send thanksgiving, love, and respect. Now our minds are one. We give thanks to all of the waters of the world for quenching our thirst, for providing strength and nurturing life for all beings. We know its power in many forms—waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans, snow and ice. We are grateful that the waters are still here and meeting their responsibility to the rest of Creation. Can we agree that water is important to our lives and bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to the Water? Now our minds are one. Standing around us we see all the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who each have their own instructions and uses. Some provide shelter and shade, others fruit and beauty and many useful gifts. The Maple is the leader of the trees, to recognize its gift of sugar when the People need it most. Many peoples of the world recognize a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind we greet and thank the Tree life. Now our minds are one.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants)
Mountains have long been a geography for pilgrimage, place where people have been humbled and strengthened, they are symbols of the sacred center. Many have traveled to them in order to find the concentrated energy of Earth and to realize the strength of unimpeded space. Viewing a mountain at a distance or walking around its body we can see its shape, know its profile, survey its surrounds. The closer you come to the mountain the more it disappears, the mountain begins to lose its shape as you near it, its body begins to spread out over the landscape losing itself to itself. On climbing the mountain the mountain continues to vanish. It vanishes in the detail of each step, its crown is buried in space, its body is buried in the breath. On reaching the mountain summit we can ask, “What has been attained?” - The top of the mountain? Big view? But the mountain has already disappeared. Going down the mountain we can ask, “What has been attained?” Going down the mountain the closer we are to the mountain the more the mountain disappears, the closer we are to the mountain the more the mountain is realized. Mountain’s realization comes through the details of the breath, mountain appears in each step. Mountain then lives inside our bones, inside our heart-drum. It stands like a huge mother in the atmosphere of our minds. Mountain draws ancestors together in the form of clouds. Heaven, Earth and human meet in the raining of the past. Heaven, Earth and human meet in the winds of the future. Mountain mother is a birth gate that joins the above and below, she is a prayer house, she is a mountain. Mountain is a mountain.
Joan Halifax (The Fruitful Darkness: A Journey Through Buddhist Practice and Tribal Wisdom)
My position was terrible. I knew that I could find nothing in the way of rational knowledge except a denial of life; and in faith I could find nothing except a denial of reason, and this was even more impossible than a denial of life. According to rational knowledge, it followed that life is evil, and people know it. They do not have to live, yet they have lived and they do live, just as I myself had lived, even though I had known for a long time that life is meaningless and evil. Try as he might, Tolstoy could identify only four means of escaping from such thoughts. One was retreating into childlike ignorance of the problem. Another was pursuing mindless pleasure. The third was “continuing to drag out a life that is evil and meaningless, knowing beforehand that nothing can come of it.” He identified that particular form of escape with weakness: “The people in this category know that death is better than life, but they do not have the strength to act rationally and quickly put an end to the delusion by killing themselves….” Only the fourth and final mode of escape involved “strength and energy. It consists of destroying life, once one has realized that life is evil and meaningless.” Tolstoy relentlessly followed his thoughts: Only unusually strong and logically consistent people act in this manner. Having realized all the stupidity of the joke that is being played on us and seeing that the blessings of the dead are greater than those of the living and that it is better not to exist, they act and put an end to this stupid joke; and they use any means of doing it: a rope around the neck, water, a knife in the heart, a train.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
I feel as if it were not for me to record, even though this manuscript is intended for no eyes but mine, how hard I worked at that tremendous short-hand, and all improvement appertaining to it, in my sense of responsibility to Dora and her aunts. I will only add, to what I have already written of my perseverance at this time of my life, and of a patient and continuous energy which then began to be matured within me, and which I know to be the strong part of my character, if it have any strength at all, that there, on looking back, I find the source of my success. I have been very fortunate in worldly matters; many men have worked much harder, and not succeeded half so well; but I never could have done what I have done, without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one object at a time, no matter how quickly its successor should come upon its heels, which I then formed. Heaven knows I write this, in no spirit of self-laudation. The man who reviews his own life, as I do mine, in going on here, from page to page, had need to have been a good man indeed, if he would be spared the sharp consciousness of many talents neglected, many opportunities wasted, many erratic and perverted feelings constantly at war within his breast, and defeating him. I do not hold one natural gift, I dare say, that I have not abused. My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest. I have never believed it possible that any natural or improved ability can claim immunity from the companionship of the steady, plain, hard-working qualities, and hope to gain its end. There is no such thing as such fulfilment on this earth. Some happy talent, and some fortunate opportunity, may form the two sides of the ladder on which some men mount, but the rounds of that ladder must be made of stuff to stand wear and tear; and there is no substitute for thorough-going, ardent, and sincere earnestness. Never to put one hand to anything, on which I could throw my whole self; and never to affect depreciation of my work, whatever it was; I find, now, to have been my golden rules.
Charles Dickens (David Copperfield)
My initiation into the true philosophical method began the moment I threw overboard verbal solutions, having found in the inner life an important field of experiment. After that, all progress was an enlarging of this field. It is an inclination natural to the human mind to extend a conclusion logically, to apply it to other objects without actually having enlarged the circle of its investigations, but it is one to which we must never yield. But that is what philosophy does quite ingenuously when it is pure dialectic, that is, when it attempts to construct a metaphysics with the rudimentary knowledge one finds stored up in language. It continues to do so when it sets up certain facts as “general principles” applicable to all things outside those facts. All my philosophical activity was a protestation against this way of philosophizing. I thus had to put aside important questions, which I could easily have made a show of answering by extending to them the results of my preceding works. I shall answer certain of these questions only if I am granted time and strength to solve them in themselves, for themselves. If not, grateful to my method for having given me what I believe to be the precise solution of a certain number of problems, finding that as far as I am concerned, I cannot get more out of it, I shall be content to stop where I am.
Henri Bergson (The Creative Mind: An Introduction to Metaphysics)
No, he would never know his father, who would continue to sleep over there, his face for ever lost in the ashes. There was a mystery about that man, a mystery he had wanted to penetrate. But after all there was only the mystery of poverty that creates beings without names and without a past, that sends them into the vast throng of the nameless dead who made the world while they themselves were destroyed for ever. For it was just that that his father had in common with the men of the Labrador. The Mahon people of the Sahel, the Alsatians on the high plateaus, with this immense island between sand and sea, which the enormous silence was now beginning to envelop: the silence of anonymity; it enveloped blood and courage and work and instinct, it was at once cruel and compassionate. And he who had wanted to escape from the country without name, from the crowd and from a family without a name, but in whom something had gone on craving darkness and anonymity - he too was a member of the tribe, marching blindly into the night near the old doctor who was panting at his right, listening to the gusts of music coming from the square, seeing once more the hard inscrutable faces of the Arabs around the bandstands, Veillard's laughter and his stubborn face - also seeing with a sweetness and a sorrow that wrung his heart the deathly look on his mother's face at the time of the bombing - wandering though the night of the years in the land of oblivion where each one is the first man, where he had to bring himself up, without a father, having never known those moments when a father would call his son, after waiting for him to reach the age of listening, to tell him the family's secret, or a sorrow of long ago, or the experience of his life, those moments when even the ridiculous and hateful Polonius all of a sudden becomes great when he is speaking to Laertes; and he was sixteen, then he was twenty, and no one had spoken to him, and he had to learn by himself, to grow alone, in fortitude, in strength, find his own morality and truth, at last to be born as a man and then to be born in a harder childbirth, which consists of being born in relation to others, to women, like all the men born in this country who, one by one, try to learn without roots and without faith, and today all of them are threatened with eternal anonymity and the loss of the only consecrated traces of their passage on this earth, the illegible slabs in the cemetery that the night has now covered over; they had to learn how to live in relation to others, to the immense host of the conquerors, now dispossessed, who had preceded them on this land and in whom they now had to recognise the brotherhood of race and destiny.
Albert Camus (The First Man)
The story must not be neglected by any modern, who may think in error that the East has finally fallen before the West, that Islam is now enslaved — to our political and economic power at any rate if not to our philosophy. It is not so. Islam essentially survives, and Islam would not have survived had the Crusade made good its hold upon the essential point of Damascus. Islam survives. Its religion is intact; therefore its material strength may return. Our religion is in peril, and who can be confident in the continued skill, let alone the continued obedience, of those who make and work our machines? ... There is with us a complete chaos in religious doctrine.... We worship ourselves, we worship the nation; or we worship (some few of us) a particular economic arrangement believed to be the satisfaction of social justice.... Islam has not suffered this spiritual decline; and in the contrast between [our religious chaos and Islam's] religious certitudes still strong throughout the Mohammedan world lies our peril.
Hilaire Belloc (The Crusades)
DEAR MAMA, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write. Every time I try to write to you and Papa I realize I’m not saying the things that are in my heart. That would be O.K., if I loved you any less than I do, but you are still my parents and I am still your child. I have friends who think I’m foolish to write this letter. I hope they’re wrong. I hope their doubts are based on parents who loved and trusted them less than mine do. I hope especially that you’ll see this as an act of love on my part, a sign of my continuing need to share my life with you. I wouldn’t have written, I guess, if you hadn’t told me about your involvement in the Save Our Children campaign. That, more than anything, made it clear that my responsibility was to tell you the truth, that your own child is homosexual, and that I never needed saving from anything except the cruel and ignorant piety of people like Anita Bryant. I’m sorry, Mama. Not for what I am, but for how you must feel at this moment. I know what that feeling is, for I felt it for most of my life. Revulsion, shame, disbelief—rejection through fear of something I knew, even as a child, was as basic to my nature as the color of my eyes. No, Mama, I wasn’t “recruited.” No seasoned homosexual ever served as my mentor. But you know what? I wish someone had. I wish someone older than me and wiser than the people in Orlando had taken me aside and said, “You’re all right, kid. You can grow up to be a doctor or a teacher just like anyone else. You’re not crazy or sick or evil. You can succeed and be happy and find peace with friends—all kinds of friends—who don’t give a damn who you go to bed with. Most of all, though, you can love and be loved, without hating yourself for it.” But no one ever said that to me, Mama. I had to find it out on my own, with the help of the city that has become my home. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but San Francisco is full of men and women, both straight and gay, who don’t consider sexuality in measuring the worth of another human being. These aren’t radicals or weirdos, Mama. They are shop clerks and bankers and little old ladies and people who nod and smile to you when you meet them on the bus. Their attitude is neither patronizing nor pitying. And their message is so simple: Yes, you are a person. Yes, I like you. Yes, it’s all right for you to like me too. I know what you must be thinking now. You’re asking yourself: What did we do wrong? How did we let this happen? Which one of us made him that way? I can’t answer that, Mama. In the long run, I guess I really don’t care. All I know is this: If you and Papa are responsible for the way I am, then I thank you with all my heart, for it’s the light and the joy of my life. I know I can’t tell you what it is to be gay. But I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not hiding behind words, Mama. Like family and decency and Christianity. It’s not fearing your body, or the pleasures that God made for it. It’s not judging your neighbor, except when he’s crass or unkind. Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility. It has shown me the limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion and kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength. It has brought me into the family of man, Mama, and I like it here. I like it. There’s not much else I can say, except that I’m the same Michael you’ve always known. You just know me better now. I have never consciously done anything to hurt you. I never will. Please don’t feel you have to answer this right away. It’s enough for me to know that I no longer have to lie to the people who taught me to value the truth. Mary Ann sends her love. Everything is fine at 28 Barbary Lane. Your loving son, MICHAEL
Armistead Maupin (More Tales of the City (Tales of the City #2))
There have been ample opportunities since 1945 to show that material superiority in war is not enough if the will to fight is lacking. In Algeria, Vietnam and Afghanistan the balance of economic and military strength lay overwhelmingly on the side of France, the United States, and the Soviet Union, but the will to win was slowly eroded. Troops became demoralised and brutalised. Even a political solution was abandoned. In all three cases the greater power withdrew. The Second World War was an altogether different conflict, but the will to win was every bit as important - indeed it was more so. The contest was popularly perceived to be about issues of life and death of whole communities rather than for their fighting forces alone. They were issues, wrote one American observer in 1939, 'worth dying for'. If, he continued, 'the will-to-destruction triumphs, our resolution to preserve civilisation must become more implacable...our courage must mount'. Words like 'will' and 'courage' are difficult for historians to use as instruments of cold analysis. They cannot be quantified; they are elusive of definition; they are products of a moral language that is regarded sceptically today, even tainted by its association with fascist rhetoric. German and Japanese leaders believed that the spiritual strength of their soldiers and workers in some indefinable way compensate for their technical inferiority. When asked after the war why Japan lost, one senior naval officer replied that the Japanese 'were short on spirit, the military spirit was weak...' and put this explanation ahead of any material cause. Within Germany, belief that spiritual strength or willpower was worth more than generous supplies of weapons was not confined to Hitler by any means, though it was certainly a central element in the way he looked at the world. The irony was that Hitler's ambition to impose his will on others did perhaps more than anything to ensure that his enemies' will to win burned brighter still. The Allies were united by nothing so much as a fundamental desire to smash Hitlerism and Japanese militarism and to use any weapon to achieve it. The primal drive for victory at all costs nourished Allied fighting power and assuaged the thirst for vengeance. They fought not only because the sum of their resources added up to victory, but because they wanted to win and were certain that their cause was just. The Allies won the Second World War because they turned their economic strength into effective fighting power, and turned the moral energies of their people into an effective will to win. The mobilisation of national resources in this broad sense never worked perfectly, but worked well enough to prevail. Materially rich, but divided, demoralised, and poorly led, the Allied coalition would have lost the war, however exaggerated Axis ambitions, however flawed their moral outlook. The war made exceptional demands on the Allied peoples. Half a century later the level of cruelty, destruction and sacrifice that it engendered is hard to comprehend, let alone recapture. Fifty years of security and prosperity have opened up a gulf between our own age and the age of crisis and violence that propelled the world into war. Though from today's perspective Allied victory might seem somehow inevitable, the conflict was poised on a knife-edge in the middle years of the war. This period must surely rank as the most significant turning point in the history of the modern age.
Richard Overy (Why the Allies Won)
Social democracy as we now know it underwent its moment of speciation when Eduard Bernstein began to question the orthodoxy of revolution. His essential postulate was the absence of crises. The Steven Pinker of socialism, he pointed to the empirical fact that no serious crisis had rocked the capitalist economy for the past two or three decades, which invalidated the Marxian prophecy of a system trending towards collapse. Since it was not prone to malfunctioning, the idea of seizing power, smashing decrepit capitalism and installing a completely different order had become redundant; instead social democracy could continue to grow in strength, extract piecemeal reforms and gradually lift the working class out of the mire. Rosa Luxemburg very famously objected that the crisis tendencies had merely been postponed. In the near future, they would burst forth with even more dreadful violence. Ignoring her prognosis, the social democrats in the making went ahead and presently gave their first demonstration of how they dealt with catastrophe: by expediting it through consent.
Andreas Malm (Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the Twenty-First Century)
All great, simple images reveal a psychic state. The house, even more than the landscape, is a "psychic state," and even when reproduced as it appears from the outside, it bespeaks intimacy. Psychologists generally, and Francoise Minkowska in particular, together with those whom she has succeeded interesting in the subject, have studied the drawing of houses made by children, and even used them for testing. Indeed, the house-test has the advantage of welcoming spontaneity, for many children draw a house spontaneously while dreaming over their paper and pencil. To quote Anne Balif: "Asking a child to draw his house is asking him to reveal the deepest dream shelter he has found for his happiness. If he is happy, he will succeed in drawing a snug, protected house which is well built on deeply-rooted foundations." It will have the right shape, and nearly always there will be some indication of its inner strength. In certain drawings, quite obviously, to quote Mme. Balif, "it is warm indoors, and there is a fire burning, such a big fire, in fact, that it can be seen coming out of the chimney." When the house is happy, soft smoke rises in gay rings above the roof. If the child is unhappy, however, the house bears traces of his distress. In this connection, I recall that Francoise Minkowska organized an unusually moving exhibition of drawings by Polish and Jewish children who had suffered the cruelties of the German occupation during the last war. One child, who had been hidden in a closet every time there was an alert, continued to draw narrow, cold, closed houses long after those evil times were over. These are what Mme. Minkowska calls "motionless" houses, houses that have become motionless in their rigidity. "This rigidity and motionlessness are present in the smoke as well as in the window curtains. The surrounding trees are quite straight and give the impression of standing guard over the house". Mme. Minkowska knows that a live house is not really "motionless," that, particularly, it integrates the movements by means of which one accedes to the door. Thus the path that leads to the house is often a climbing one. At times, even, it is inviting. In any case, it always possesses certain kinesthetic features. If we were making a Rorschach test, we should say that the house has "K." Often a simple detail suffices for Mme. Minkowska, a distinguished psychologist, to recognize the way the house functions. In one house, drawn by an eight-year-old child, she notes that there is " a knob on the door; people go in the house, they live there." It is not merely a constructed house, it is also a house that is "lived-in." Quite obviously the door-knob has a functional significance. This is the kinesthetic sign, so frequently forgotten in the drawings of "tense" children. Naturally, too, the door-knob could hardly be drawn in scale with the house, its function taking precedence over any question of size. For it expresses the function of opening, and only a logical mind could object that it is used to close as well as to open the door. In the domain of values, on the other hand, a key closes more often than it opens, whereas the door-knob opens more often than it closes. And the gesture of closing is always sharper, firmer, and briefer than that of opening. It is by weighing such fine points as these that, like Francoise Minkowska, one becomes a psychologist of houses.
Gaston Bachelard (The Poetics of Space)
A woman named Cynthia once told me a story about the time her father had made plans to take her on a night out in San Francisco. Twelve-year-old Cynthia and her father had been planning the “date” for months. They had a whole itinerary planned down to the minute: she would attend the last hour of his presentation, and then meet him at the back of the room at about four-thirty and leave quickly before everyone tried to talk to him. They would catch a tram to Chinatown, eat Chinese food (their favourite), shop for a souvenir, see the sights for a while and then “catch a flick” as her dad liked to say. Then they would grab a taxi back to the hotel, jump in the pool for a quick swim (her dad was famous for sneaking in when the pool was closed), order a hot fudge sundae from room service, and watch the late, late show. They discussed the details over and over again before they left. The anticipation was part of the whole experience. This was all going according to plan until, as her father was leaving the convention centre, he ran into an old college friend and business associate. It had been years since they had seen each other, and Cynthia watched as they embraced enthusiastically. His friend said, in effect: “I am so glad you are doing some work with our company now. When Lois and I heard about it we thought it would be perfect. We want to invite you, and of course Cynthia, to get a spectacular seafood dinner down at the Wharf!” Cynthia’s father responded: “Bob, it’s so great to see you. Dinner at the wharf sounds great!” Cynthia was crestfallen. Her daydreams of tram rides and ice cream sundaes evaporated in an instant. Plus, she hated seafood and she could just imagine how bored she would be listening to the adults talk all night. But then her father continued: “But not tonight. Cynthia and I have a special date planned, don’t we?” He winked at Cynthia and grabbed her hand and they ran out of the door and continued with what was an unforgettable night in San Francisco. As it happens, Cynthia’s father was the management thinker Stephen R. Covey (author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) who had passed away only weeks before Cynthia told me this story. So it was with deep emotion she recalled that evening in San Francisco. His simple decision “Bonded him to me forever because I knew what mattered most to him was me!” she said.5 One simple answer is we are unclear about what is essential. When this happens we become defenceless. On the other hand, when we have strong internal clarity it is almost as if we have a force field protecting us from the non-essentials coming at us from all directions. With Rosa it was her deep moral clarity that gave her unusual courage of conviction. With Stephen it was the clarity of his vision for the evening with his loving daughter. In virtually every instance, clarity about what is essential fuels us with the strength to say no to the non-essentials. Stephen R. Covey, one of the most respected and widely read business thinkers of his generation, was an Essentialist. Not only did he routinely teach Essentialist principles – like “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – to important leaders and heads of state around the world, he lived them.6 And in this moment of living them with his daughter he made a memory that literally outlasted his lifetime. Seen with some perspective, his decision seems obvious. But many in his shoes would have accepted the friend’s invitation for fear of seeming rude or ungrateful, or passing up a rare opportunity to dine with an old friend. So why is it so hard in the moment to dare to choose what is essential over what is non-essential?
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
Close your eyes and stare into the dark. My father's advice when I couldn't sleep as a little girl. He wouldn't want me to do that now but I've set my mind to the task regardless. I'm staring beyond my closed eyelids. Though I lie still on the ground, I feel perched at the highest point I could possibly be; clutching at a star in the night sky with my legs dangling above cold black nothingness. I take one last look at my fingers wrapped around the light and let go. Down I go, falling, then floating, and, falling again, I wait for the land of my life. I know now, as I knew as that little girl fighting sleep, that behind her gauzed screen of shut-eye, lies colour. It taunts me, dares me to open my eyes and lose sleep. Flashes of red and amber, yellow and white speckle my darkness. I refuse to open them. I rebel and I squeeze my eyelids together tighter to block out the grains of light, mere distractions that keep us awake but a sign that there's life beyond. But there's no life in me. None that I can feel, from where I lie at the bottom of the staircase. My heart beats quicker now, the lone fighter left standing in the ring, a red boxing glove pumping victoriously into the air, refusing to give up. It's the only part of me that cares, the only part that ever cared. It fights to pump the blood around to heal, to replace what I'm losing. But it's all leaving my body as quickly as it's sent; forming a deep black ocean of its own around me where I've fallen. Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Never have enough time here, always trying to make our way there. Need to have left here five minutes ago, need to be there now. The phone rings again and I acknowledge the irony. I could have taken my time and answered it now. Now, not then. I could have taken all the time in the world on each of those steps. But we're always rushing. All, but my heart. That slows now. I don't mind so much. I place my hand on my belly. If my child is gone, and I suspect this is so, I'll join it there. There.....where? Wherever. It; a heartless word. He or she so young; who it was to become, still a question. But there, I will mother it. There, not here. I'll tell it; I'm sorry, sweetheart, I'm sorry I ruined your chances - our chances of a life together.But close your eyes and stare into the darkness now, like Mummy is doing, and we'll find our way together. There's a noise in the room and I feel a presence. 'Oh God, Joyce, oh God. Can you hear me, love? Oh God. Oh God, please no, Hold on love, I'm here. Dad is here.' I don't want to hold on and I feel like telling him so. I hear myself groan, an animal-like whimper and it shocks me, scares me. I have a plan, I want to tell him. I want to go, only then can I be with my baby. Then, not now. He's stopped me from falling but I haven't landed yet. Instead he helps me balance on nothing, hover while I'm forced to make the decision. I want to keep falling but he's calling the ambulance and he's gripping my hand with such ferocity it's as though I'm all he has. He's brushing the hair from my forehead and weeping loudly. I've never heard him weep. Not even when Mum died. He clings to my hand with all of his strength I never knew his old body had and I remember that I am all he has and that he, once again just like before, is my whole world. The blood continues to rush through me. Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Maybe I'm rushing again. Maybe it's not my time to go. I feel the rough skin of old hands squeezing mine, and their intensity and their familiarity force me to open my eyes. Lights fills them and I glimpse his face, a look I never want to see again. He clings to his baby. I know I lost mind; I can't let him lose his. In making my decision I already begin to grieve. I've landed now, the land of my life. And still my heart pumps on. Even when broken it still works.
Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)
I had ceased to be a writer of tolerably poor tales and essays, and had become a tolerably good Surveyor of the Customs. That was all. But, nevertheless, it is any thing but agreeable to be haunted by a suspicion that one's intellect is dwindling away; or exhaling, without your consciousness, like ether out of a phial; so that, at every glance, you find a smaller and less volatile residuum. Of the fact, there could be no doubt; and, examining myself and others, I was led to conclusions in reference to the effect of public office on the character, not very favorable to the mode of life in question. In some other form, perhaps, I may hereafter develop these effects. Suffice it here to say, that a Custom-House officer, of long continuance, can hardly be a very praiseworthy or respectable personage, for many reasons; one of them, the tenure by which he holds his situation, and another, the very nature of his business, which—though, I trust, an honest one—is of such a sort that he does not share in the united effort of mankind. An effect—which I believe to be observable, more or less, in every individual who has occupied the position—is, that, while he leans on the mighty arm of the Republic, his own proper strength departs from him. He loses, in an extent proportioned to the weakness or force of his original nature, the capability of self-support. If he possess an unusual share of native energy, or the enervating magic of place do not operate too long upon him, his forfeited powers may be redeemable. The ejected officer—fortunate in the unkindly shove that sends him forth betimes, to struggle amid a struggling world—may return to himself, and become all that he has ever been. But this seldom happens. He usually keeps his ground just long enough for his own ruin, and is then thrust out, with sinews all unstrung, to totter along the difficult footpath of life as he best may. Conscious of his own infirmity,—that his tempered steel and elasticity are lost,—he for ever afterwards looks wistfully about him in quest of support external to himself. His pervading and continual hope—a hallucination, which, in the face of all discouragement, and making light of impossibilities, haunts him while he lives, and, I fancy, like the convulsive throes of the cholera, torments him for a brief space after death—is, that, finally, and in no long time, by some happy coincidence of circumstances, he shall be restored to office. This faith, more than any thing else, steals the pith and availability out of whatever enterprise he may dream of undertaking. Why should he toil and moil, and be at so much trouble to pick himself up out of the mud, when, in a little while hence, the strong arm of his Uncle will raise and support him? Why should he work for his living here, or go to dig gold in California, when he is so soon to be made happy, at monthly intervals, with a little pile of glittering coin out of his Uncle's pocket? It is sadly curious to observe how slight a taste of office suffices to infect a poor fellow with this singular disease. Uncle Sam's gold—meaning no disrespect to the worthy old gentleman—has, in this respect, a quality of enchantment like that of the Devil's wages. Whoever touches it should look well to himself, or he may find the bargain to go hard against him, involving, if not his soul, yet many of its better attributes; its sturdy force, its courage and constancy, its truth, its self-reliance, and all that gives the emphasis to manly character.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
See!” she snapped at him. “You men are all brutish. You force your strength and will on us as if we matter for naught and then you wonder why we don’tlike ”—she spat the word at him—“you. Really? Is it any wonder? Why would any woman want to subject herself to the male ego? Why?” She looked down at his body as a sudden heat came into her gaze that made him instantly nervous. “Sure, you’re a handsome beastie with kissable lips when they’re not bleeding. You’re fair in form with big, bulging—” He actually cringed in fear of the word “cock” coming out of her mouth again, but luckily she averted her thoughts as her gaze met his. For the first time the despair left her voice. “Your eyes are so beautiful.” She ran one finger over his brow, making him instantly hard for her. “Did you know that?” Then the gloomy tone returned as she dropped her hand from his face. “Of course you do. You’re a worthless man. Just like all the others.” “Yeah,” Blaise teased. “You’re worthless, Varian. And what on him bulges again, Merewyn?” Varian glared at the mandrake, who merely continued to laugh at him. “Everything. His arms, his legs, his—” “Enough, Merewyn,” Varian said from between clenched teeth. “Well, you do bulge. I’ve seen it.” “We’ve all seen it,” Merrick said, his voice filled with humor, “And it’s sickening.” Varian glared at the triplets, especially the ferret, who was laughing and rolling around his brother’s neck. “When she is over this, I’m going to kill all of you.” Merewyn let out a long-suffering sigh. “Of course you will. That’s what men do. They destroy everything. Everything. Because you’re all worthless whoremongers.” Varian winced at her choice of words. “Whoremongers?” Blaise repeated with a laugh. “Yes. You all go out with your giant lances, spearing anything you can find. Nailing your targets against trees and walls, while you gallop from field to field, bragging over your conquests, uncaring of who you’ve hurt while you quest for more glory.” “Good gods,” Merrick said, his face horrified. “Is she speaking of what I think she is?” “Do you mean warmongers?” Varian asked her. “No! Whoremongers. All of you.” She looked over at the triplets. “Especially them.
Kinley MacGregor (Knight of Darkness (Lords of Avalon, #2))
All human life, we may say, consists solely of these two activities: (1) bringing one’s activities into harmony with conscience, or (2) hiding from oneself the indications of conscience in order to be able to continue to live as before. Some do the first, others the second. To attain the first there is but one means: moral enlightenment — the increase of light in oneself and attention to what it shows. To attain the second — to hide from oneself the indications of conscience—there are two means: one external and the other internal. The external means consists in occupations that divert one’s attention from the indications given by conscience; the internal method consists in darkening conscience itself. As a man has two ways of avoiding seeing an object that is before him: either by diverting his sight to other more striking objects, or by obstructing the sight of his own eyes—just so a man can hide from himself the indications of conscience in two ways: either by the external method of diverting his attention to various occupations, cares, amusements, or games; or by the internal method of obstructing the organ of attention itself. For people of dull, limited moral feeling, the external diversions are often quite sufficient to enable them not to perceive the indications conscience gives of the wrongness of their lives. But for morally sensitive people those means are often insufficient. The external means do not quite divert attention from the consciousness of discord between one’s life and the demands of conscience. This consciousness hampers one’s life; and in order to be able to go on living as before, people have recourse to the reliable, internal method, which is that of darkening conscience itself by poisoning the brain with stupefying substances. One is not living as conscience demands, yet lacks the strength to reshape one’s life in accord with its demands. The diversions which might distract attention from the consciousness of this discord are insufficient, or have become stale, and so—in order to be able to live on, disregarding the indications conscience gives of the wrongness of their life—people (by poisoning it temporarily) stop the activity of the organ through which conscience manifests itself, as a man by covering his eyes hides from himself what he does not wish to see.
Leo Tolstoy (Why Do Men Stupefy Themselves?: And Other Writings)
The English word Atonement comes from the ancient Hebrew word kaphar, which means to cover. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit and discovered their nakedness in the Garden of Eden, God sent Jesus to make coats of skins to cover them. Coats of skins don’t grow on trees. They had to be made from an animal, which meant an animal had to be killed. Perhaps that was the very first animal sacrifice. Because of that sacrifice, Adam and Eve were covered physically. In the same way, through Jesus’ sacrifice we are also covered emotionally and spiritually. When Adam and Eve left the garden, the only things they could take to remind them of Eden were the coats of skins. The one physical thing we take with us out of the temple to remind us of that heavenly place is a similar covering. The garment reminds us of our covenants, protects us, and even promotes modesty. However, it is also a powerful and personal symbol of the Atonement—a continuous reminder both night and day that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are covered. (I am indebted to Guinevere Woolstenhulme, a religion teacher at BYU, for insights about kaphar.) Jesus covers us (see Alma 7) when we feel worthless and inadequate. Christ referred to himself as “Alpha and Omega” (3 Nephi 9:18). Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Christ is surely the beginning and the end. Those who study statistics learn that the letter alpha is used to represent the level of significance in a research study. Jesus is also the one who gives value and significance to everything. Robert L. Millet writes, “In a world that offers flimsy and fleeting remedies for mortal despair, Jesus comes to us in our moments of need with a ‘more excellent hope’ (Ether 12:32)” (Grace Works, 62). Jesus covers us when we feel lost and discouraged. Christ referred to Himself as the “light” (3 Nephi 18:16). He doesn’t always clear the path, but He does illuminate it. Along with being the light, He also lightens our loads. “For my yoke is easy,” He said, “and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). He doesn’t always take burdens away from us, but He strengthens us for the task of carrying them and promises they will be for our good. Jesus covers us when we feel abused and hurt. Joseph Smith taught that because Christ met the demands of justice, all injustices will be made right for the faithful in the eternal scheme of things (see Teachings, 296). Marie K. Hafen has said, “The gospel of Jesus Christ was not given us to prevent our pain. The gospel was given us to heal our pain” (“Eve Heard All These Things,” 27). Jesus covers us when we feel defenseless and abandoned. Christ referred to Himself as our “advocate” (D&C 29:5): one who believes in us and stands up to defend us. We read, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler” (Psalm 18:2). A buckler is a shield used to divert blows. Jesus doesn’t always protect us from unpleasant consequences of illness or the choices of others, since they are all part of what we are here on earth to experience. However, He does shield us from fear in those dark times and delivers us from having to face those difficulties alone. … We’ve already learned that the Hebrew word that is translated into English as Atonement means “to cover.” In Arabic or Aramaic, the verb meaning to atone is kafat, which means “to embrace.” Not only can we be covered, helped, and comforted by the Savior, but we can be “encircled about eternally in the arms of his love” (2 Nephi 1:15). We can be “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mormon 5:11). In our day the Savior has said, “Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love” (D&C 6:20). (Brad Wilcox, The Continuous Atonement, pp. 47-49, 60).
Brad Wilcox
I do not know whether it is an act of faithfulness to her or a betrayal of the dignity she never lost, to say that she had bitten her tongue, to say that there was blood flowing across her mouth and lips which my brother kept wiping away. I do not know whether I have the right to say, though I will do so, that her body was shaken with epileptic tremors and that she took enormous, terrifying breaths that went on and on until you could not believe she had the strength for them. I do not know whether, as we thought at the time, she could feel our hands on her forehead and cheek, or whether she had waited until we were both there to die. I did not say 'I am here'. I did not say anything. Her mouth was open wide, as in those portraits by Francis Bacon of caged prisoners in their final extremity. I watched and listened to those terrifying, rattling, hoarse breaths, wondering at the strength remaining in her aged body and at the violence it still had to endure. I looked over at my brother as if he might know, as if he might understand whether she had the strength to continue. He was stroking her forehead, whispering soundlessly to her, attempting even at this moment to reach behind the veil and find her. If you believe that she knew we were there, if you believe--I cannot be sure--that she understood what her sons needed at that instant, her eyes which had been shut and which, by being closed, made her seem completely out of our reach, suddenly opened. Blue-grey eyes, staring up into the ceiling above her sons' heads, upwards, ever upwards, fixed like an exhausted swimmer on the shore. Then her eyes closed and she took the largest, most violent breath of all, and we watched and waited, stood and looked at each other, felt for her pulse and slowly, as seconds turned into minutes, realized that she would never breathe again. There is only one reason to tell you this, to present the scene. It is to say that what happens can never be anticipated. What happens escapes anything you can ever say about it. What happens cannot be redeemed. It can never be anything other than what it is. We tell stories as if to refuse this truth, as if to say that we make our fate, rather than simply endure it. But in truth we make nothing. We live, and we cannot shape life. It is much too great for us, too great for any words. A writer must refuse to believe this, must believe there is nothing that cannot somehow be said. Yet there at last in her presence, in the unending unfolding of that silence, which still goes on, which I still expect to be broken by another drawing in of breath, I knew that all my words could only be in vain, and that all that I had feared and all that I had anticipated could only be lived--without their help or hers.
Michael Ignatieff (Scar Tissue)
The intelligent want self-control; children want candy. —RUMI INTRODUCTION Welcome to Willpower 101 Whenever I mention that I teach a course on willpower, the nearly universal response is, “Oh, that’s what I need.” Now more than ever, people realize that willpower—the ability to control their attention, emotions, and desires—influences their physical health, financial security, relationships, and professional success. We all know this. We know we’re supposed to be in control of every aspect of our lives, from what we eat to what we do, say, and buy. And yet, most people feel like willpower failures—in control one moment but overwhelmed and out of control the next. According to the American Psychological Association, Americans name lack of willpower as the number-one reason they struggle to meet their goals. Many feel guilty about letting themselves and others down. Others feel at the mercy of their thoughts, emotions, and cravings, their lives dictated by impulses rather than conscious choices. Even the best-controlled feel a kind of exhaustion at keeping it all together and wonder if life is supposed to be such a struggle. As a health psychologist and educator for the Stanford School of Medicine’s Health Improvement Program, my job is to help people manage stress and make healthy choices. After years of watching people struggle to change their thoughts, emotions, bodies, and habits, I realized that much of what people believed about willpower was sabotaging their success and creating unnecessary stress. Although scientific research had much to say that could help them, it was clear that these insights had not yet become part of public understanding. Instead, people continued to rely on worn-out strategies for self-control. I saw again and again that the strategies most people use weren’t just ineffective—they actually backfired, leading to self-sabotage and losing control. This led me to create “The Science of Willpower,” a class offered to the public through Stanford University’s Continuing Studies program. The course brings together the newest insights about self-control from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine to explain how we can break old habits and create healthy habits, conquer procrastination, find our focus, and manage stress. It illuminates why we give in to temptation and how we can find the strength to resist. It demonstrates the importance of understanding the limits of self-control,
Kelly McGonigal (The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It)
Now,” Samite continued, “after Essel has just spent time warning you about generalities and how they often don’t apply, I’m going to use some. Because some generalities are true often enough that we have to worry about them. So here’s one: men will physically fight for status. Women, generally, are more clever. The why of it doesn’t matter: learned, innate, cultural, who cares? You see the chest-bumping, the name-calling, performing for their fellows, what they’re really doing is getting the juices flowing. That interval isn’t always long, but it’s long enough for men to trigger the battle juice. That’s the terror or excitation that leads people to fight or run. It can be useful in small doses or debilitating in large ones. Any of you have brothers, or boys you’ve fought with?” Six of the ten raised their hands. “Have you ever had a fight with them—verbal or physical—and then they leave and come back a little later, and they’re completely done fighting and you’re just fully getting into it? They look like they’ve been ambushed, because they’ve come completely off the mountain already, and you’ve just gotten to the top?” “Think of it like lovemaking,” Essel said. She was a bawdy one. “Breathe in a man’s ear and tell him to take his trousers off, and he’s ready to go before you draw your next breath. A woman’s body takes longer.” Some of the girls giggled nervously. “Men can switch on very, very fast. They also switch off from that battle readiness very, very fast. Sure, they’ll be left trembling, sometimes puking from it, but it’s on and then it’s off. Women don’t do that. We peak slower. Now, maybe there are exceptions, maybe. But as fighters, we tend to think that everyone reacts the way we do, because our own experience is all we have. In this case, it’s not true for us. Men will be ready to fight, then finished, within heartbeats. This is good and bad. “A man, deeply surprised, will have only his first instinctive response be as controlled and crisp as it is when he trains. Then that torrent of emotion is on him. We spend thousands of hours training that first instinctive response, and further, we train to control the torrent of emotion so that it raises us to a heightened level of awareness without making us stupid.” “So the positive, for us Archers: surprise me, and my first reaction will be the same as my male counterpart’s. I can still, of course, get terrified, or locked into a loop of indecision. But if I’m not, my second, third, and tenth moves will also be controlled. My hands will not shake. I will be able to make precision movements that a man cannot. But I won’t have the heightened strength or sensations until perhaps a minute later—often too late. “Where a man needs to train to control that rush, we need to train to make it closer. If we have to climb a mountain more slowly to get to the same height to get all the positives, we need to start climbing sooner. That is, when I go into a situation that I know may be hazardous, I need to prepare myself. I need to start climbing. The men may joke to break the tension. Let them. I don’t join in. Maybe they think I’m humorless because I don’t. Fine. That’s a trade I’m willing to make.” Teia and the rest of the girls walked away from training that day somewhat dazed, definitely overwhelmed. What Teia realized was that the women were deeply appealing because they were honest and powerful. And those two things were wed inextricably together. They said, I am the best in the world at what I do, and I cannot do everything. Those two statements, held together, gave them the security to face any challenge. If her own strengths couldn’t surmount an obstacle, her team’s strengths could—and she was unembarrassed about asking for help where she needed it because she knew that what she brought to the team would be equally valuable in some other situation.
Brent Weeks (The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2))
I have spent these last two days in concentrated introspection," said Cutie, "and the results have been most interesting. I began at the one sure assumption I felt permitted to make.I, myself, exist, because I think-" Powell groaned, "Oh, Jupiter, a robot Descartes!" "Who's Descartes?" demanded Donovan. "Listen, do we have to sit here and listen to this metal maniac-" "Keep quiet, Mike!" Cutie continued imperturbably, "And the question that immediately arose was: Just what is the cause of my existence?" Powell's jaw set lumpily. "You're being foolish. I told you already that we made you." "And if you don't believe us," added Donovan, "we'll gladly take you apart!" The robot spread his strong hands in a deprecatory gesture, "I accept nothing on authority. A hypothesis must be backed by reason, or else it is worthless - and it goes against all the dictates of logic to suppose that you made me." Powell dropped a restraining arm upon Donovan's suddenly unched fist. "Just why do you say that?" Cutie laughed. It was a very inhuman laugh - the most machine-like utterance he had yet given vent to. It was sharp and explosive, as regular as a metronome and as uninflected. "Look at you," he said finally. "I say this in no spirit of contempt, but look at you! The material you are made of is soft and flabby, lacking endurance and strength, depending for energy upon the inefficient oxidation of organic material - like that." He pointed a disapproving finger at what remained of Donovan's sandwich. "Periodically you pass into a coma and the least variation in temperature, air ressure, humidity, or radiation intensity impairs your efficiency. You are _makeshift_. "I, on the other hand, am a finished product. I absorb electrical energy directly and utilize it with an almost one hundred percent efficiency. I am composed of strong metal, am continuously conscious, and can stand extremes of environment easily. These are facts which, with the self-evident proposition that no being can create another being superior to itself, smashes your silly hypothesis to nothing.
Isaac Asimov
{From Luther Burbank's funeral. He was loved until he revealed he was an atheist, then he began to receive death threats. He tried to amiably answer them all, leading to his death} It is impossible to estimate the wealth he has created. It has been generously given to the world. Unlike inventors, in other fields, no patent rights were given him, nor did he seek a monopoly in what he created. Had that been the case, Luther Burbank would have been perhaps the world's richest man. But the world is richer because of him. In this he found joy that no amount of money could give. And so we meet him here today, not in death, but in the only immortal life we positively know--his good deeds, his kindly, simple, life of constructive work and loving service to the whole wide world. These things cannot die. They are cumulative, and the work he has done shall be as nothing to its continuation in the only immortality this brave, unselfish man ever sought, or asked to know. As great as were his contributions to the material wealth of this planet, the ages yet to come, that shall better understand him, will give first place in judging the importance of his work to what he has done for the betterment of human plants and the strength they shall gain, through his courage, to conquer the tares, the thistles and the weeds. Then no more shall we have a mythical God that smells of brimstone and fire; that confuses hate with love; a God that binds up the minds of little children, as other heathen bind up their feet--little children equally helpless to defend their precious right to think and choose and not be chained from the dawn of childhood to the dogmas of the dead. Luther Burbank will rank with the great leaders who have driven heathenish gods back into darkness, forever from this earth. In the orthodox threat of eternal punishment for sin--which he knew was often synonymous with yielding up all liberty and freedom--and in its promise of an immortality, often held out for the sacrifice of all that was dear to life, the right to think, the right to one's mind, the right to choose, he saw nothing but cowardice. He shrank from such ways of thought as a flower from the icy blasts of death. As shown by his work in life, contributing billions of wealth to humanity, with no more return than the maintenance of his own breadline, he was too humble, too unselfish, to be cajoled with dogmatic promises of rewards as a sort of heavenly bribe for righteous conduct here. He knew that the man who fearlessly stands for the right, regardless of the threat of punishment or the promise of reward, was the real man. Rather was he willing to accept eternal sleep, in returning to the elements from whence he came, for in his lexicon change was life. Here he was content to mingle as a part of the whole, as the raindrop from the sea performs its sacred service in watering the land to which it is assigned, that two blades may grow instead of one, and then, its mission ended, goes back to the ocean from whence it came. With such service, with such a life as gardener to the lilies of the field, in his return to the bosoms of infinity, he has not lost himself. There he has found himself, is a part of the cosmic sea of eternal force, eternal energy. And thus he lived and always will live. Thomas Edison, who believes very much as Burbank, once discussed with me immortality. He pointed to the electric light, his invention, saying: 'There lives Tom Edison.' So Luther Burbank lives. He lives forever in the myriad fields of strengthened grain, in the new forms of fruits and flowers, plants, vines, and trees, and above all, the newly watered gardens of the human mind, from whence shall spring human freedom that shall drive out false and brutal gods. The gods are toppling from their thrones. They go before the laughter and the joy of the new childhood of the race, unshackled and unafraid.
Benjamin Barr Lindsey
My ideal was contained within the word beauty, so difficult to define despite all the evidence of our senses. I felt responsible for sustaining and increasing the beauty of the world. I wanted the cities to be splendid, spacious and airy, their streets sprayed with clean water, their inhabitants all human beings whose bodies were neither degraded by marks of misery and servitude nor bloated by vulgar riches; I desired that the schoolboys should recite correctly some useful lessons; that the women presiding in their households should move with maternal dignity, expressing both vigor and calm; that the gymnasiums should be used by youths not unversed in arts and in sports; that the orchards should bear the finest fruits and the fields the richest harvests. I desired that the might and majesty of the Roman Peace should extend to all, insensibly present like the music of the revolving skies; that the most humble traveller might wander from one country, or one continent, to another without vexatious formalities, and without danger, assured everywhere of a minimum of legal protection and culture; that our soldiers should continue their eternal pyrrhic dance on the frontiers; that everything should go smoothly, whether workshops or temples; that the sea should be furrowed by brave ships, and the roads resounding to frequent carriages; that, in a world well ordered, the philosophers should have their place, and the dancers also. This ideal, modest on the whole, would be often enough approached if men would devote to it one part of the energy which they expend on stupid or cruel activities; great good fortune has allowed me a partial realization of my aims during the last quarter of a century. Arrian of Nicomedia, one of the best minds of our time, likes to recall to me the beautiful lines of ancient Terpander, defining in three words the Spartan ideal (that perfect mode of life to which Lacedaemon aspired without ever attaining it): Strength, Justice, the Muses. Strength was the basis, discipline without which there is no beauty, and firmness without which there is no justice. Justice was the balance of the parts, that whole so harmoniously composed which no excess should be permitted to endanger. Strength and justice together were but one instrument, well tuned, in the hands of the Muses. All forms of dire poverty and brutality were things to forbid as insults to the fair body of mankind, every injustice a false note to avoid in the harmony of the spheres.
Marguerite Yourcenar (Memoirs of Hadrian)
Chapter I. Ignorance is Strength.   Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle and the Low. They have been subdivided in many ways, they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude towards one another, have varied from age to age: but the essential structure of society has never altered. Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other.   ‘Julia, are you awake?’ said Winston. ‘Yes, my love, I’m listening. Go on. It’s marvellous.’ He continued reading:   The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable. The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The aim of the Low, when they have an aim—for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives—is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal. Thus throughout history a struggle which is the same in its main outlines recurs over and over again. For long periods the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later there always comes a moment when they lose either their belief in themselves or their capacity to govern efficiently, or both. They are then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the Low on their side by pretending to them that they are fighting for liberty and justice. As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old position of servitude, and themselves become the High. Presently a new Middle group splits off from one of the other groups, or from both of them, and the struggle begins over again. Of the three groups, only the Low are never even temporarily successful in achieving their aims. It would be an exaggeration to say that throughout history there has been no progress of a material kind. Even today, in a period of decline, the average human being is physically better off than he was a few centuries ago. But no advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimetre nearer. From the point of view of the Low, no historic change has ever meant much more than a change in the name of their masters.
George Orwell (1984)
Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God. My beloved brethren and sisters, I accept this opportunity in humility. I pray that I may be guided by the Spirit of the Lord in that which I say. I have just been handed a note that says that a U.S. missile attack is under way. I need not remind you that we live in perilous times. I desire to speak concerning these times and our circumstances as members of this Church. You are acutely aware of the events of September 11, less than a month ago. Out of that vicious and ugly attack we are plunged into a state of war. It is the first war of the 21st century. The last century has been described as the most war-torn in human history. Now we are off on another dangerous undertaking, the unfolding of which and the end thereof we do not know. For the first time since we became a nation, the United States has been seriously attacked on its mainland soil. But this was not an attack on the United States alone. It was an attack on men and nations of goodwill everywhere. It was well planned, boldly executed, and the results were disastrous. It is estimated that more than 5,000 innocent people died. Among these were many from other nations. It was cruel and cunning, an act of consummate evil. Recently, in company with a few national religious leaders, I was invited to the White House to meet with the president. In talking to us he was frank and straightforward. That same evening he spoke to the Congress and the nation in unmistakable language concerning the resolve of America and its friends to hunt down the terrorists who were responsible for the planning of this terrible thing and any who harbored such. Now we are at war. Great forces have been mobilized and will continue to be. Political alliances are being forged. We do not know how long this conflict will last. We do not know what it will cost in lives and treasure. We do not know the manner in which it will be carried out. It could impact the work of the Church in various ways. Our national economy has been made to suffer. It was already in trouble, and this has compounded the problem. Many are losing their employment. Among our own people, this could affect welfare needs and also the tithing of the Church. It could affect our missionary program. We are now a global organization. We have members in more than 150 nations. Administering this vast worldwide program could conceivably become more difficult. Those of us who are American citizens stand solidly with the president of our nation. The terrible forces of evil must be confronted and held accountable for their actions. This is not a matter of Christian against Muslim. I am pleased that food is being dropped to the hungry people of a targeted nation. We value our Muslim neighbors across the world and hope that those who live by the tenets of their faith will not suffer. I ask particularly that our own people do not become a party in any way to the persecution of the innocent. Rather, let us be friendly and helpful, protective and supportive. It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down. We of this Church know something of such groups. The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation.
Gordon B. Hinckley
the following prayer by Dr. Jane Goodall, who was named a UN Messenger of Peace for her continued world efforts, she seems to touch on most aspects of world conflict as we know them today and as they pertain to all living things. Prayer for World Peace We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being. We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma; that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world; that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life; that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children; that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within,knowing the power of each individual to change the world. We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery—hungry, sick, and utterly without hope. We pray for the children who are starving,who are condemned to homelessness, slave labor, and prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family. We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind. We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment. We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more. We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms. We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving; that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life; that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts; that we may learn to rejoice in our being. We pray for these things with humility; We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit; We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God. We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world. I love this beautiful and magnanimous prayer. Each request is spelled out clearly and specifically, and it asks that love, peace, and kindness be shown to all of earth’s creatures, not just its human occupants.
Joe Vitale (The Secret Prayer: The Three-Step Formula for Attracting Miracles)
A rattle of dishes warned of a servant’s entry into the hall, but Christopher was incensed, and half turning with a growl, he gestured Paine back. “Get out of here, man!” “Christopher!” Erienne gasped and took two halting steps to follow the befuddled servant, but Christopher came around to face her with a glare. “Stay where you are, madam! I am not finished with you.” “You have no right to give orders here,” she protested, her own ire growing. “This is my husband’s house!” “I’ll give orders when and where I damn well please, and for once, you will stand and listen until I’m through!” More than a trifle outraged herself, Erienne hurled back her answer. “You may command the men on your ship to your will, Mister Seton, but you have no such authority here! Good day to you!” Catching up her skirts, she whirled and stalked toward the tower until she heard the sound of rapid footsteps coming behind her, then a sudden panic seized her that he would make such a scene that she would not be able to face the servants… or her husband. She raced into the entry, stepping over the puddle, and took to the stairs, forcing every bit of strength she could into her limbs. She had barely gained the fourth step when she heard sliding feet, a loud thump, and then a painful grunt followed by an angry curse. When she whirled, Christopher was just coming to rest in a heap against the wall after sliding across the floor, partway on his back. For a moment she stared aghast at the dignified man sprawled in a most undignified manner, but when he raised his head to look at her with barely contained rage, she was struck by the humor of it all. Bubbling laughter broke forth, winning from him a dark scowl of exasperation. “Are you hurt, Christopher?” she asked sweetly. “Aye! My pride has been mightily bruised!” “Oh, that will mend, sir,” she chuckled, spreading her skirts to perch primly on the step above him. Her eyes danced with a lively light that was simply dazzling to behold. “But you should take care. If such a modest spot of water can bring you down so abruptly, I would not advise sailing beyond these shores.” “ ’Tis not a spot of water that’s brought me down, but a waspish wench who sets her barbs against me at every turn.” “You dare accuse me when you come in here huffing and snorting like a raging bull?” She gave a throaty, skeptical laugh. “Really, Christopher, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You frightened Paine and nearly made me swallow my heart.” “That’s an impossibility, madam, for that thing is surely made of cold, hard steel.” “You’re pouting,” she chided flippantly, “because I have not fallen swooning at your feet.” “I’m angry because you continually deny the fact that you should be my wife!” he stated emphatically. Footsteps on the stairs behind Erienne made them glance up. Aggie came nonchalantly down the steps, seeming unaware of Christopher’s storm-dark frown. Excusing herself, she stepped past her mistress. Finally, on reaching level footing, she contemplated the man, a twinkle of mischief in her eye. “Aren’t ye a wee bit old ter be takin’ yer leisure on the floor, sir?” He raised a brow at Erienne as that one smothered a giggle, and with a snort, got to his feet and brushed off his breeches and coatsleeve. -Christopher, Erienne, and Aggie
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)