Crisis And Opportunity Quotes

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The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity.
John F. Kennedy
Our crisis is no longer material; it’s existential, it’s spiritual. We have so much fucking stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t even know what to give a fuck about anymore.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.
Rahm Emanuel
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for crisis.
Seneca
In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway. So it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly that it put off enjoying those things for which we were designed in the first place: the opportunity to do good work, to enjoy friends, to fall in love, to hit a ball, and to bounce a baby.
Alistair Cooke
Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his life,the idea came to him of what he called 'the love of your fate.' Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, 'This is what I need.' It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment--not discouragement--you will find the strength is there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.
Joseph Campbell (A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living)
In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.
Albert Einstein
As many know, the Chinese expression for "crisis" consists of two characters side by side. The first is the symbol for "danger," the second the symbol for "opportunity."
Al Gore (An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It)
A Visionaire always takes a step back during a crisis to get out of their own way.
Curtis L. Jenkins (Vision to Reality: Stop Working, Start Living)
I remember watching an episode of The West Wing about education in America, which the majority of people rightfully believe is the key to opportunity. In it, the fictional president debates whether he should push school vouchers (giving public money to schoolchildren so that they escape failing public schools) or instead focus exclusively on fixing those same failing schools. That debate is important, of course—for a long time, much of my failing school district qualified for vouchers—but it was striking that in an entire discussion about why poor kids struggled in school, the emphasis rested entirely on public institutions. As a teacher at my old high school told me recently, “They want us to be shepherds to these kids. But no one wants to talk about the fact that many of them are raised by wolves.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
A crisis creates the opportunity to dip deep into the reservoirs of our very being, to rise to levels of confidence, strength, and resolve that otherwise we didn't think we possessed.
Jon M. Huntsman Sr. (Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times)
How as a young girl, Ismat Chugtai convinced her father to excuse her from learning how to cook, and give her instead the opportunity to go to school and get an education: “Women cook food Ismat. When you go to your in-laws what will you feed them?” he asked gently after the crisis was explained to him. “If my husband is poor, then we will make khichdi and eat it and if he is rich, we will hire a cook,” I answered. My father realised his daughter was a terror and that there wasn’t a thing he could do about it.
Ismat Chughtai
When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
John F. Kennedy
Close scrutiny will show that most "crisis situations" are opportunities to either advance, or stay where you are.
Maxwell Maltz (Conquest of Frustration)
Deep within every crisis is an opportunity for something beautiful.
Kate McGahan
The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word crisis. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognize the opportunity.
Richard M. Nixon
Keep in mind that whenever you are in a crisis, you are in the midst of danger as well as opportunity.
Adeline Yen Mah (Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter)
The test of a progressive policy is not private but public, not just rising income and consumption for individuals, but widening the opportunities and what Amartya Sen calls the 'capabilities' of all through collective action. But that means, it must mean, public non-profit initiative, even if only in redistributing private accumulation. Public decisions aimed at collective social improvement from which all human lives should gain. That is the basis of progressive policy—not maximising economic growth and personal incomes. Nowhere will this be more important than in tackling the greatest problem facing us this century, the environmental crisis. Whatever ideological logo we choose for it, it will mean a major shift away from the free market and towards public action, a bigger shift than the British government has yet envisaged. And, given the acuteness of the economic crisis, probably a fairly rapid shift. Time is not on our side.
Eric J. Hobsbawm
...our free will could convert a curse into a blessing or a blessing into a curse...To transform a crisis into an opportunity was true wisdom
Radhanath Swami (The Journey Home)
I've got some bad news and I've got some good news. Nothing lasts forever.
Kate McGahan
I am a firm believer in preordination—everything happens for a reason. Hence, the logic behind the Chinese symbol for crisis, danger and opportunity. Facing a crisis may present hazards of all kinds, but it also presents opportunities. During a crisis, you learn to survive outside the norm. When you face adversity, see it as an opportunity to learn novel ways to cope.
Art Rios (Let's Talk: ...About Making Your Life Exciting, Easier, And Exceptional)
Poor kids, through no fault of their own, are less prepared by their families, their schools, and their communities to develop their God-given talents as fully as rich kids. For economic productivity and growth, our country needs as much talent as we can find, and we certainly can’t afford to waste it. The opportunity gap imposes on all of us both real costs and what economists term “opportunity costs.
Robert D. Putnam (Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis)
Where one person sees a crisis, another can see opportunity. Where one is blinded by success, another sees reality with ruthless objectivity. Where one loses control of emotions, another can remain calm. Desperation, despair, fear, powerlessness—these reactions are functions of our perceptions. You must realize: Nothing makes us feel this way; we choose to give in to such feelings.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
a strategic inflection point is a time in the life of business when its fundamentals are about to change. that change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end
Andrew S. Grove (Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points that Challenge Every Company and Career)
Reform is usually possible only once a sense of crisis takes hold.... In fact, crises are such valuable opportunities that a wise leader often prolongs a sense of emergency on purpose.
Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business)
Challenging injustice means standing up for the weak, the vulnerable, the abused, and the forgotten—be it in health, employment, education, or the environment. It means being vigilant on behalf of people who are treated as pariahs and scapegoats, populations that are dehumanized, displaced, and treated as disposable. It means fighting oppression at every opportunity—no matter the place or country.
Mona Hanna-Attisha (What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City)
The Chinese word for “crisis” also means “opportunity.
Marian Keyes (The Brightest Star in the Sky)
A step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction. —Kurt Vonnegut
Scott Galloway (Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity)
We like to position education as the great leveler. But in fact it has become a caste system, a means of passing privilege on to the next generation.
Scott Galloway (Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity)
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for crisis.” “We
Seneca (On The Shortness Of Life (illustrated): & other life lessons for the 21st century)
In the Chinese language, do you know what the characters for ‘crisis’ are? ‘Danger’ plus ‘opportunity.
Isabel Allende (City of the Beasts)
Crisis is almost a blessing providing cessation of a kind, and with it, the opportunity for change.
Russell Brand (Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions)
Our crisis is no longer material; it’s existential, it’s spiritual. We have so much fucking stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t even know what to give a fuck about anymore. Because
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
The end of an age is always a time of turmoil, war, economic catastrophe, cynicism, lawlessness and distress. But it is also an era of heightened challenge and creativity, of issues, and their world-wide scope, never has an era faced a more demanding and exciting crisis. This then, above all else, is the great and glorious era to live in, a time of of opportunity, one requiring fresh and vigorous thinking, indeed, a glorious time to be alive.
Rousas John Rushdoony (Intellectual Schizophrenia: Culture, Crisis and Education)
It’s not by accident that people talk of a state of confusion as not being able to see the wood for the trees, or of being out of the woods when some crisis is surmopunted. It is a place of loss, confusion, terror and anger, a place where you can, like Dante, find yourself going down into Hell. But if it’s any comfort, the dark wood isn’t just that. It’s also a place of opportunity and adventure. It is the place in which fortunes can be reversed, hearts mended, hopes reborn.
Amanda Craig
What you see as a crisis, God sees as an opportunity for growth. What you see as humiliating, He sees as an occasion for the development of humble leadership. It is all in how you see it. What is your perspective?
Myles Munroe (Overcoming Crisis Expanded Edition: The Secrets to Thriving in Challenging Times)
what I remember most of all is that I was happy—I no longer feared the school bell at the end of the day, I knew where I’d be living the next month, and no one’s romantic decisions affected my life. And out of that happiness came so many of the opportunities I’ve had for the past twelve years.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
We cannot grow without challenge. Challenges routinely produce crises that severely test us. However, crises also offer us the greatest opportunities. People going through tough times typically feel isolated, and unsure what to do. When I face a crisis, I try to keep in mind a few simple concepts: we cannot control our destinies, but we can help to shape them; we must try to make life hop a bit, but we must also accept that we can only do the best we can.
Steven Callahan (Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea)
The world is going through a period of crisis, but whether we look at it as a crisis or as an opportunity to reshape our thinking, depends on us. So use this period as a lesson on how to live life with a concern for all of humankind.
Abhijit Naskar
…the things that interrupt our lives, that stop us in our track, can also be catalysts for the emerging self, tools that show us a new way to be, that endow us with new vision. This is why I say that in every crisis there is a transition. Awful things happen and they hurt like hell. And these devastating experiences are also opportunities to regroup and decide what we want for our lives.
Edith Eger (The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life)
You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with. [A] crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
This is the challenge with owning a restaurant. A large fixed cost—your lease—and little or nothing you can do about it, and because it’s a low-margin business with few sources of funding, there’s typically no capital cushion to survive lean times.
Scott Galloway (Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity)
The gap between financial capital of US$190 trillion looking for highly profitable investment opportunities and a real economy and social sector without access to the financial capital needed to operate and grow is at the heart of the worldwide economic crisis.
C. Otto Scharmer (Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies)
The good news is that crisis is filled with opportunity.
Joy Balma (Rock Your Feminine Type To Rock Your Business: Discover Your Unique Feminine Power With The Feminine Type Success System)
No matter what, its always an opportunity.
Todd Stocker (Leading From The Gut: 3 Power Principles of Effective Leaders)
There was always an opportunity in crisis, however desperate things seemed.
Gemma Malley (The Legacy (The Declaration, #3))
In some languages, the word for “crisis” is also the word for “opportunity.
Scott Kenemore (The Zen of Zombie: Better Living Through the Undead (Zen of Zombie Series))
Crisis is opportunity.
Barbara Kingsolver (Unsheltered)
Just remember that crisis leads to opportunity.
Nick Drnaso (Sabrina)
Every crisis offers an opportunity to grow stronger and wiser; to reach deep within and discover a better you that will create a better outcome.
Jon Gordon (The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy (Jon Gordon))
Where one person sees a crisis, another can see opportunity.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
In every crisis lies opportunity.
Lindsay Buroker (Dark Currents (The Emperor's Edge, #2))
The challenges we face in life are not meant to be some sort of punishment; rather, they are an invitation to change — and an opportunity to create something even better than before.
Sam Cawthorn (Bounce Forward: How to Transform Crisis into Success)
Schools themselves aren't creating the opportunity gap: the gap is already large by the time children enter kindergarten and does not grow as children progress through school. The gaps in cognitive achievement by level of maternal education that we observe at age 18-powerful predictors of who goes to college and who does not - are mostly present at age 6when children enter school. Schooling plays only a minor role in alleviating or creating test score gaps.
Robert D. Putnam (Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis)
As can be seen, ‘crisis’, in its proper sense, expresses something positive, creative and optimistic, because it involves a change, and may be a rebirth after a break-up. It indicates separation, certainly, but also choice, decisions and therefore the opportunity to express an opinion.
Zygmunt Bauman (State of Crisis)
What we experience is change, not time. Aristotle observed that time does not exist without change, because what we call time is simply our measurement of the difference between “before” and “after.
Scott Galloway (Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity)
Stress-related health issues, anxiety disorders, and cases of depression have skyrocketed over the past thirty years, despite the fact that everyone has a flat-screen TV and can have their groceries delivered. Our crisis is no longer material; it’s existential, it’s spiritual. We have so much fucking stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t even know what to give a fuck about anymore. Because
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Families in crisis have wrongly been labeled dysfunctional families. Families are not the problem—they are the opportunity. When we understand ourselves as the opportunity, we see our world with a new vision. We dare to hope for our dreams to materialize. We imagine once again what it will be like to be happy
Debra Jay (Love First: A Family's Guide to Intervention)
Like all of us, Boaz must have suffered a crisis of meaning that comes with the financial setbacks of a famine. His community watched him face, and sometimes get defeated by weather and ever decreasing opportunities. But, Boaz stayed. Real men stay. Michael Ben Zehabe, Ruth: a woman’s guide to husband material, pg 51
Michael Ben Zehabe (Ruth: A Woman's Guide to Husband Material)
Eldridge misunderstood the white radical movement. He exploited their alienation and encouraged young whites to think of themselves as “bad” Blacks, thus driving them ever further away from their own community. At the same time, he seduced young Blacks into picturing themselves as bohemian expatriates from middle-class “Babylon” (as he poetically but mistakenly analogized superindustrial America). So we became temporarily alien to the Black community, while the white radicals were plunged deeper into their peculiar identity crisis. Cleaver’s genius for political and cultural schizophrenia infected us all, Black and white, and the opportunity was missed for youth of both races to express and make concrete their authentic underlying solidarity and love. This still remains to be done.
Huey P. Newton (Revolutionary Suicide)
In the past decade, we have transitioned from an innovation economy to an exploitation economy. Innovation is dangerous and unpredictable. It changes market dynamics and creates opportunities for nimble new players to steal share from established players.
Scott Galloway (Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity)
We’re clearly heading into a period of prolonged emergency, although the crisis will vary between chronic and acute over time. That increases the prospects for revolutionary—or rather, devolutionary—struggle, especially if radical organizations are able to anticipate and effectively seize opportunities offered by particular crises. It’s unlikely that mass support will be rallied for anticivilizational causes in the foreseeable future, because most people are happy to get the material benefits of this culture and ignore the consequences. However, an increase in political discontent can be beneficial even if it doesn’t create a majority.
Derrick Jensen (Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet)
Illness especially, may be a blessed forerunner of the individual’s conversion. Not only does it prevent him from realizing his desires; it even reduces his capacity for sin, his opportunities for vice. In that enforced detachment from evil, which is a Mercy of God, he has time to search himself, to appraise his life, to interpret it in terms of larger reality. He considers God, and, at that moment, there is a sense of duality, a confronting of personality with Divinity, a comparison of the facts of his life with the ideal from which he fell. The soul is forced to look inside itself, to inquire whether there is more peace in this suffering than in sinning. Once a sick man, in his passivity, begins to ask, “What is the purpose of my life? Why am I here?” the crisis has already begun. Conversion becomes possible the very moment a man ceases to blame God or life and begins to blame himself; by doing so, he becomes able to distinguish between his sinful barnacles and the ship of his soul. A crack has appeared in the armor of his egotism; now the sunlight of God’s grace can pour in. But until that happens, catastrophes can teach us nothing but despair.
Fulton J. Sheen (Peace of Soul: Timeless Wisdom on Finding Serenity and Joy by the Century's Most Acclaimed Catholic Bishop)
It was not only for Americans that he was concerned, or primarily the older generation of any land. The thought that disturbed him the most, and that made the prospect of war much more fearful than it would otherwise have been, was the specter of the death of the children of this country and all the world—the young people who had no role, who had no say, who knew nothing even of the confrontation, but whose lives would be snuffed out like everyone else’s. They would never have a chance to make a decision, to vote in an election, to run for office, to lead a revolution, to determine their own destinies. Our generation had. But the great tragedy was that, if we erred, we erred not only for ourselves, our futures, our hopes, and our country, but for the lives, futures, hopes, and countries of those who had never been given an opportunity to play a role, to vote aye or nay, to make themselves felt.
Robert F. Kennedy (Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis)
While Arab governments and Palestinian leaders were willing to participate in a new and more reasonable UN peace initiative in 1948, the Israelis assassinated the UN peace mediator, Count Bernadotte, and rejected the suggestion of the Palestine Conciliation Commission (PCC), a UN body, to reopen negotiations. This intransigent view would continue; Avi Shlaim has shown in The Iron Wall that, contrary to the myth that the Palestinians never missed an opportunity to miss peace, it was Israel that constantly rejected the peace offers that were on the table.
Noam Chomsky (Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on the U.S.-Israeli War on the Palestinians)
Don’t strive to be a well-rounded leader. Instead, discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else. Admitting a weakness is a sign of strength. Acknowledging weakness doesn’t make a leader less effective. Everybody in your organization benefits when you delegate responsibilities that fall outside your core competency. Thoughtful delegation will allow someone else in your organization to shine. Your weakness is someone’s opportunity. Leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people. The people who follow us are exactly where we have led them. If there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is our own fault. As a leader, gifted by God to do a few things well, it is not right for you to attempt to do everything. Upgrade your performance by playing to your strengths and delegating your weaknesses. There are many things I can do, but I have to narrow it down to the one thing I must do. The secret of concentration is elimination. Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing. My competence in these areas defines my success as a pastor. A sixty-hour workweek will not compensate for a poorly delivered sermon. People don’t show up on Sunday morning because I am a good pastor (leader, shepherd, counselor). In my world, it is my communication skills that make the difference. So that is where I focus my time. To develop a competent team, help the leaders in your organization discover their leadership competencies and delegate accordingly. Once you step outside your zone, don’t attempt to lead. Follow. The less you do, the more you will accomplish. Only those leaders who act boldly in times of crisis and change are willingly followed. Accepting the status quo is the equivalent of accepting a death sentence. Where there’s no progress, there’s no growth. If there’s no growth, there’s no life. Environments void of change are eventually void of life. So leaders find themselves in the precarious and often career-jeopardizing position of being the one to draw attention to the need for change. Consequently, courage is a nonnegotiable quality for the next generation leader. The leader is the one who has the courage to act on what he sees. A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It is not his insight that sets the leader apart from the crowd. It is his courage to act on what he sees, to speak up when everyone else is silent. Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside. The first person to step out in a new direction is viewed as the leader. And being the first to step out requires courage. In this way, courage establishes leadership. Leadership requires the courage to walk in the dark. The darkness is the uncertainty that always accompanies change. The mystery of whether or not a new enterprise will pan out. The reservation everyone initially feels when a new idea is introduced. The risk of being wrong. Many who lack the courage to forge ahead alone yearn for someone to take the first step, to go first, to show the way. It could be argued that the dark provides the optimal context for leadership. After all, if the pathway to the future were well lit, it would be crowded. Fear has kept many would-be leaders on the sidelines, while good opportunities paraded by. They didn’t lack insight. They lacked courage. Leaders are not always the first to see the need for change, but they are the first to act. Leadership is about moving boldly into the future in spite of uncertainty and risk. You can’t lead without taking risk. You won’t take risk without courage. Courage is essential to leadership.
Andy Stanley (Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future)
Times of crisis and chaos present us with the opportunity to do the best work of our lives. People use words that they pull from the depths of their spirits. People paint with strokes that they summon from their souls. People sing notes that come from the cosmos. People innovate. We must keep doing that.
Luvvie Ajayi Jones (Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual)
But what Torschlusspanik is intended to describe is that anxious, claustrophobic feeling that avenues and opportunities are shutting down. The notion that you haven’t done very much with your life, that you’ve missed the boat, that you’ve left it too late. Probably the closest term we have in English is mid-life crisis.
Fran Littlewood (Amazing Grace Adams)
Most people know that when we are faced with an immediate perceived “threat,” adrenaline kicks in and we experience the “fight or flight syndrome”. Well, the brain also works the same at higher levels of processing. When we perceive a “crisis”, even if we have time to think about it, our brain will perceive it as a “danger” or as an “opportunity”. And… we will act accordingly. And… we will have an outcome based on that perception- danger or opportunity. I try to choose “opportunity” every time.
José N. Harris (MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love)
Communities need tensions if they are to grow and deepen. Tensions come from conflicts within each person - conflicts born out of a refusal of personal and community growth, conflicts between individual egoisms, conflicts arising from a diminishing gratuite, from a class of temperaments and from individual psychological difficulties. These are natural tensions. Anguish is the normal reaction to being brought up against our own limitations and darkness, to the discovery of our deep wound. Tension is the normal reaction to responsibilities we find hard because they make us feel insecure. We all weep and grieve inwardly at the successive deaths of our own interests. . . . When everything is going well, when the community feels it is living successfully, its members tend to let their energies dissipate, and to listen less carefully to each other. Tensions bring people back to the reality of their helplessness; obliging them to spend more time in prayer and dialogue, to work patiently to overcome the crisis and refind lost unity; making them understand that the community is more than just a human reality, that it also needs the spirit of God if it is to live and deepen. I am told that there is a Chinese word for 'crisis' which means 'opportunity and danger'. Every tension, every crisis can become a source of new life if we approach it wisely, or it can bring death and division.
Jean Vanier (Community and Growth)
To keep the ugly cry-face on lock down, I directed my attention to my polished gold Krugerrand coin, which hung against my chest by a thin, twisted gold chain and flashed against my black blouse. It was my Batman signal, alerting the universe that I was in crisis and in desperate need of being rescued immediately, if not sooner. The coin's weight was also a reminder of the reason I'd moved to Gotham City. After all, it was a result of my great-aunt and her one-ounce gold-coin collection that afforded me the opportunity of the life I was leading.
Cari Kamm (Fake Perfect Me)
You will come across obstacles in life -- fair and unfair. And you will discover, time and time again, that what matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure. You will learn that this reaction determines how successful we will be in overcoming -- or possibly thriving because of -- them. Where one person sees a crisis, another can see opportunity. Where one is blinded by success, another sees reality with ruthless objectivity. Where one loses control of emotions, another can remain calm.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
Anchor Your Stories in Redemptive Themes So We Are Moved to Live Up to Them: Rather than making yourself the victim or the hero in the stories you tell, describe a daunting time of loss, crisis, or criticism or where you made a mistake or acted badly, yet you were eventually able to learn from it. Such stories show vulnerability and a desire to grow and live fully rather than in fear. Then that facet of you can be the place where others can positively and productively connect with you, hard-earned strengths firmly attached together. You can support each other in reinforcing redemptive characterizations and action.
Kare Anderson (Mutuality Matters How You Can Create More Opportunity, Adventure & Friendship With Others)
It was this intense self-discipline and objectivity that allowed Rockefeller to seize advantage from obstacle after obstacle in his life, during the Civil War, and the panics of 1873, 1907, and 1929. As he once put it: He was inclined to see the opportunity in every disaster. To that we could add: He had the strength to resist temptation or excitement, no matter how seductive, no matter the situation. Within twenty years of that first crisis, Rockefeller would alone control 90 percent of the oil market. His greedy competitors had perished. His nervous colleagues had sold their shares and left the business. His weak-hearted doubters had missed out.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
what makes the choice pressing for us now is the absence of any viable middle way. We owe the dearth of alternatives to neoliberalism: that exceptionally predatory, financialized form of capitalism that has held sway across the globe for the last forty years. Having poisoned the atmosphere, mocked every pretense of democratic rule, stretched our social capacities to their breaking point, and worsened living conditions generally for the vast majority, this iteration of capitalism has raised the stakes for every social struggle, transforming sober efforts to win modest reforms into pitched battles for survival. Under such conditions, the time for fence-sitting is past, and feminists must take a stand: Will we continue to pursue “equal opportunity domination” while the planet burns? Or will we reimagine gender justice in an anticapitalist form—one that leads beyond the present crisis to a new society?
Nancy Fraser (Feminism for the 99%)
Life crises, as we pass through them, confront us with polar opposites. Shall we hate or forgive that person? Shall we learn from this experience and grow, or resent it and become bitter? Do we choose to overlook the other person’s shortcomings and our own, or instead do we resent and mentally attack them? Shall we withdraw from a similar situation in the future with greater fear, or shall we transcend this crisis and master it once and for all? Do we choose hope or discouragement? Can we use the experience as an opportunity to learn how to share, or shall we withdraw into a shell of fear and bitterness? Every emotional experience is an opportunity to go up or down. Which do we choose? That is the confrontation.
David R. Hawkins (Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender)
We joke online about “first-world problems,” but we really have become victims of our own success. Stress-related health issues, anxiety disorders, and cases of depression have skyrocketed over the past thirty years, despite the fact that everyone has a flat-screen TV and can have their groceries delivered. Our crisis is no longer material; it’s existential, it’s spiritual. We have so much fucking stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t even know what to give a fuck about anymore.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
What we feel and how we feel is far more important than what we think and how we think. Feeling is the stuff of which our consciousness is made, the atmosphere in which all our thinking and all our conduct is bathed. All the motives which govern and drive our lives are emotional. Love and hate, anger and fear, curiosity and joy are the springs of all that is most noble and most detestable in the history of men and nations. The opening sentence of a sermon is an opportunity. A good introduction arrests me. It handcuffs me and drags me before the sermon, where I stand and hear a Word that makes me both tremble and rejoice. The best sermon introductions also engage the listener immediately. It’s a rare sermon, however, that suffers because of a good introduction. Mysteries beg for answers. People’s natural curiosity will entice them to stay tuned until the puzzle is solved. Any sentence that points out incongruity, contradiction, paradox, or irony will do. Talk about what people care about. Begin writing an introduction by asking, “Will my listeners care about this?” (Not, “Why should they care about this?”) Stepping into the pulpit calmly and scanning the congregation to the count of five can have a remarkable effect on preacher and congregation alike. It is as if you are saying, “I’m about to preach the Word of God. I want all of you settled. I’m not going to begin, in fact, until I have your complete attention.” No sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as crystal. The getting of that sentence is the hardest, most exacting, and most fruitful labor of study. We tend to use generalities for compelling reasons. Specifics often take research and extra thought, precious commodities to a pastor. Generalities are safe. We can’t help but use generalities when we can’t remember details of a story or when we want anonymity for someone. Still, the more specific their language, the better speakers communicate. I used to balk at spending a large amount of time on a story, because I wanted to get to the point. Now I realize the story gets the point across better than my declarative statements. Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. Limits—that is, form—challenge the mind, forcing creativity. Needless words weaken our offense. Listening to some speakers, you have to sift hundreds of gallons of water to get one speck of gold. If the sermon is so complicated that it needs a summary, its problems run deeper than the conclusion. The last sentence of a sermon already has authority; when the last sentence is Scripture, this is even more true. No matter what our tone or approach, we are wise to craft the conclusion carefully. In fact, given the crisis and opportunity that the conclusion presents—remember, it will likely be people’s lasting memory of the message—it’s probably a good practice to write out the conclusion, regardless of how much of the rest of the sermon is written. It is you who preaches Christ. And you will preach Christ a little differently than any other preacher. Not to do so is to deny your God-given uniqueness. Aim for clarity first. Beauty and eloquence should be added to make things even more clear, not more impressive. I’ll have not praise nor time for those who suppose that writing comes by some divine gift, some madness, some overflow of feeling. I’m especially grim on Christians who enter the field blithely unprepared and literarily innocent of any hard work—as though the substance of their message forgives the failure of its form.
Mark Galli (Preaching that Connects)
I cannot shun the past because it contains information that is useful to script future goals. Looking back into the opaque window of reductive retrospect, what essential opportunities exist today that beckon one to seek with unrestrained enthusiasm? What iridescent signals flare from our conceptual self that if we heedlessly ignore their luminous summons, such deliberate acts of omission will suture the apex of our souls, relegating us to the dreaded curse of mucking along in an ordinary life stalled out by our overweening fear of estrangement?
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Costco is well positioned to buck the ugly trends in retail for a number of reasons, including 11 billion of them sitting in its bank account. Honeywell’s $15 billion will likely carry it into a post-corona land of milk and honey. Johnson & Johnson has nearly $20 billion—it’s not going anywhere. Every one of these companies will have their pick of the assets and customers left behind when their weaker competitors shut down. In every category, there will be more concentration of power in the two or three companies with the strongest balance sheets.
Scott Galloway (Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity)
Frosh (2002) has suggested that therapeutic spaces provide children and adults with the rare opportunity to articulate experiences that are otherwise excluded from the dominant symbolic order. However, since the 1990s, post-modern and post-structural theory has often been deployed in ways that attempt to ‘manage’ from; afar the perturbing disclosures of abuse and trauma that arise in therapeutic spaces (Frosh 2002). Nowhere is this clearer than in relation to organised abuse, where the testimony of girls and women has been deconstructed as symptoms of cultural hysteria (Showalter 1997) and the colonisation of women’s minds by therapeutic discourse (Hacking 1995). However, behind words and discourse, ‘a real world and real lives do exist, howsoever we interpret, construct and recycle accounts of these by a variety of symbolic means’ (Stanley 1993: 214). Summit (1994: 5) once described organised abuse as a ‘subject of smoke and mirrors’, observing the ways in which it has persistently defied conceptualisation or explanation. Explanations for serious or sadistic child sex offending have typically rested on psychiatric concepts of ‘paedophilia’ or particular psychological categories that have limited utility for the study of the cultures of sexual abuse that emerge in the families or institutions in which organised abuse takes pace. For those clinicians and researchers who take organised abuse seriously, their reliance upon individualistic rather than sociological explanations for child sexual abuse has left them unable to explain the emergence of coordinated, and often sadistic, multi—perpetrator sexual abuse in a range of contexts around the world.
Michael Salter (Organised Sexual Abuse)
Psalm 111:10. The fear of God. The awe and dread of all that spooky action at a distance. And the Devil was understood to be less an adversary than a particularly evil employee of God. He was that bastard in the Human Resources Department who looks for ways to screw with your life. Satan was real. And he wandered around each day with an eye out for opportunities to tempt ordinary people into sinning. And God allowed it. There was presumably a housing crisis in Heaven or something, and he let Satan roam the earth, tricking people out of their renting privileges in the afterlife.
Warren Ellis (CUNNING PLANS: Talks By Warren Ellis)
—so much more opportunity now." Her voice trails off. "Hurrah for women's lib, eh?" "The lib?" Impatiently she leans forward and tugs the serape straight. "Oh, that's doomed." The apocalyptic word jars my attention. "What do you mean, doomed?" She glances at me as if I weren't hanging straight either and says vaguely, "Oh …" "Come on, why doomed? Didn't they get that equal rights bill?" Long hesitation. When she speaks again her voice is different. "Women have no rights, Don, except what men allow us. Men are more aggressive and powerful, and they run the world. When the next real crisis upsets them, our so-called rights will vanish like—like that smoke. We'll be back where we always were: property. And whatever has gone wrong will be blamed on our freedom, like the fall of Rome was. You'll see." Now all this is delivered in a gray tone of total conviction. The last time I heard that tone, the speaker was explaining why he had to keep his file drawers full of dead pigeons. "Oh, come on. You and your friends are the backbone of the system; if you quit, the country would come to a screeching halt before lunch." No answering smile. "That's fantasy." Her voice is still quiet. "Women don't work that way. We're a—a toothless world." She looks around as if she wanted to stop talking. "What women do is survive. We live by ones and twos in the chinks of your world-machine." "Sounds like a guerrilla operation." I'm not really joking, here in the 'gator den. In fact, I'm wondering if I spent too much thought on mahogany logs. "Guerrillas have something to hope for." Suddenly she switches on a jolly smile. "Think of us as opossums, Don. Did you know there are opossums living all over? Even in New York City." I smile back with my neck prickling. I thought I was the paranoid one. "Men and women aren't different species, Ruth. Women do everything men do." "Do they?" Our eyes meet, but she seems to be seeing ghosts between us in the rain. She mutters something that could be "My Lai" and looks away. "All the endless wars …" Her voice is a whisper. "All the huge authoritarian organizations for doing unreal things. Men live to struggle against each other; we're just part of the battlefield. It'll never change unless you change the whole world. I dream sometimes of—of going away—" She checks and abruptly changes voice. "Forgive me, Don, it's so stupid saying all this." "Men hate wars too, Ruth," I say as gently as I can. "I know." She shrugs and climbs to her feet. "But that's your problem, isn't it?" End of communication. Mrs. Ruth Parsons isn't even living in the same world with me.
James Tiptree Jr.
Where one person sees a crisis, another can see opportunity. Where one is blinded by success, another sees reality with ruthless objectivity. Where one loses control of emotions, another can remain calm. Desperation, despair, fear, powerlessness—these reactions are functions of our perceptions. You must realize: Nothing makes us feel this way; we choose to give in to such feelings. Or, like Rockefeller, choose not to. And it is precisely at this divergence—between how Rockefeller perceived his environment and how the rest of the world typically does—that his nearly incomprehensible success was born.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
I venture to say Kierkegaard meant that truth has lost its force with us and horrible pain and evil must teach it to us again, the eternal punishments of Hell will have to regain their reality before mankind turns serious once more. I do not see this. Let us set aside the fact that such convictions in the mouths of safe, comfortable people playing at crisis, alienation, apocalypse and desperation, make me sick. We must get it out of our heads that this is a doomed time, that we are waiting for the end, and th rest of it, mere junk from fashionable magazines. Things are grim enough without these shivery games. People frightening one another--a poor sort of moral exercise. But, to get to the main point, the advocacy and praise of suffering take us in the wrong direction and those of us who remain loyal to civilization must not go for it. You have to have the power to employ pain, to repent, to be illuminated, you must have the opportunity and even the time.
Saul Bellow (Herzog)
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)
The con is in the DNA of this country, which was founded on the idea that it is good, important, and even noble to see an opportunity to profit and take whatever you can. The story is as old as the first Thanksgiving. Both the con man and his target want to take advantage of a situation; the difference between them is that the con man succeeds. The financial crisis of 2008 was an extended, flamboyant demonstration of the fact that one of the best bids a person can make for financial safety in America is to get really good at exploiting other people. This has always been true, but it is becoming all-encompassing. And it’s a bad lesson to learn the way millennials did--just as we were becoming adults.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion)
On a personal level, to think in time is to accept the uncertainty of life as the necessary price of being alive. To rebel against the precariousness of life, to reject uncertainty, to adopt a zero tolerance to risk, to imagine that life can be organized to completely eliminate danger, is to think outside time. To be human is to live suspended between danger and opportunity.
Lee Smolin (Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe)
remember watching an episode of The West Wing about education in America, which the majority of people rightfully believe is the key to opportunity. In it, the fictional president debates whether he should push school vouchers (giving public money to schoolchildren so that they escape failing public schools) or instead focus exclusively on fixing those same failing schools. That debate is important, of course—for a long time, much of my failing school district qualified for vouchers—but it was striking that in an entire discussion about why poor kids struggled in school, the emphasis rested entirely on public institutions. As a teacher at my old high school told me recently, “They want us to be shepherds to these kids. But no one wants to talk about the fact that many of them are raised by wolves.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Sweezy argued on the basis of Marx and Keynes that “accumulation is the primary factor” in capitalist development, yet noted that its influence was waning. “There is no mechanism in the system,” he explained, “for adjusting investment opportunities to the way capitalists want to accumulate and no reason to suppose that if investment opportunities are inadequate capitalists will turn to consumption—quite the contrary.
John Bellamy Foster (The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China)
Neoliberalism is a driving force causing the climate crisis. This is because neoliberalism is a variant of classic liberalism, and classical liberalism builds from the idea that everyone should be granted maximum freedom to pursue their self-interest within capitalist market settings. But neoliberalism also diverges substantially from classical liberalism, and therefore also from the basic premises of orthodox economics that free markets, left to their own devices, will produce outcomes that are superior to government interventions. Here is the problem with neoliberalism, when counterposed against a purely free market model celebrated by economic orthodoxy. That is, what really occurs in practice under neoliberalism is that governments allow giant corporations to freely pursue profit opportunities to the maximum extent. But then government fixers arrive on the scene to bail out the corporations whenever their profits might be threatened. This amounts to socialism for capitalists, and harsh, free market capitalism for everyone else.
Noam Chomsky (The Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet)
Even so, the advance of the far right in Europe and the United States reveals the need to rethink memory work, to adapt it to new generations for whom the Second World War feels like a long-ago crisis. It's important to tell a story people can identify with, a story of ordinary people, the Mitlaufer, and not only of heroes, victims, or monsters. To raise awareness that, if history as such does not repeat itself, sociological and psychological mechanisms do, which push individuals and societies to make irrational choices by supporting regimes and leaders who are opposed to their interests, by becoming complicit in criminal ideas and actions. The most dangerous monster is not a megalomaniacal and violent leader, but us, the people who make him possible, who give him the power to lead. By our opportunism, by our conformity to all-powerful capitalism, which places money and consumption over education, intelligence, and culture, we are in danger of losing the democracy, peace, and freedom that so many of our predecessors have fought to preserve.
Géraldine Schwarz (Those Who Forget: My Family's Story in Nazi Europe – A Memoir, A History, A Warning)
In retrospect, it is easy to see that Hitler's successful gamble in the Rhineland brought him a victory more staggering and more fatal in its immense consequences than could be comprehended at the time. At home it fortified his popularity and his power, raising them to heights which no German ruler of the past had ever enjoyed. It assured his ascendancy over his generals, who had hesitated and weakened at a moment of crisis when he had held firm. It taught them that in foreign politics and even in military affairs his judgment was superior to theirs. They had feared that the French would fight; he knew better. And finally, and above all, the Rhineland occupation, small as it was as a military operation, opened the way, as only Hitler (and Churchill, alone, in England) seemed to realize, to vast new opportunities in a Europe which was not only shaken but whose strategic situation was irrevocably changed by the parading of three German battalions across the Rhine bridges. Conversely, it is equally easy to see, in retrospect, that France's failure to repel the Wehrmacht battalions and Britain's failure to back her in what would have been nothing more than a police action was a disaster for the West from which sprang all the later ones of even greater magnitude. In March 1936 the two Western democracies were given their last chance to halt, without the risk of a serious war, the rise of a militarized, aggressive, totalitarian Germany and, in fact - as we have seen Hitler admitting - bring the Nazi dictator and his regime tumbling down. They let the chance slip by. For France, it was the beginning of the end. Her allies in the East, Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Rumania and Yugoslavia, suddenly were faced with the fact that France would not fight against German aggression to preserve the security system which the French government itself had taken the lead in so laboriously building up. But more than that. These Eastern allies began to realize that even if France were not so supine, she would soon not be able to lend them much assistance because of Germany's feverish construction of a West Wall behind the Franco-German border. The erection of this fortress line, they saw, would quickly change the strategic map of Europe, to their detriment. They could scarcely expect a France which did not dare, with her one hundred divisions, to repel three German battalions, to bleed her young manhood against impregnable German fortifications which the Wehrmacht attacked in the East. But even if the unexpected took place, it would be futile. Henceforth the French could tie down in the West only a small part of the growing German Army. The rest would be free for operations against Germany's Eastern neighbors.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Contemporary discussion of inequality in America often conflates two related but distinct issues: • Equality of income and wealth. The distribution of income and wealth among adults in today’s America—framed by the Occupy movement as the 1 percent versus the 99 percent—has generated much partisan debate during the past several years. Historically, however, most Americans have not been greatly worried about that sort of inequality: we tend not to begrudge others their success or care how high the socioeconomic ladder is, assuming that everyone has an equal chance to climb it, given equal merit and energy. • Equality of opportunity and social mobility. The prospects for the next generation—that is, whether young people from different backgrounds are, in fact, getting onto the ladder at about the same place and, given equal merit and energy, are equally likely to scale it—pose an altogether more momentous problem in our national culture. Beginning with the “all men are created equal” premise of our national independence, Americans of all parties have historically been very concerned about this issue.
Robert D. Putnam (Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis)
How has my industry raised prices at this rate without improving the product? At a few elite institutions, including NYU, we’ve leveraged scarcity. More than a business strategy, it’s become a fetish—believing you are a luxury brand instead of a public servant. Ivy Leagues have acceptance rates of 4–10%. A university president bragging about rejecting 90% of applicants is tantamount to a homeless shelter taking pride in turning away 90% of the needy that arrive each night. And this is not about standards or brand dilution. In an essay explaining his decision to stop conducting application interviews for his alma mater, Princeton, journalist Bryan Walsh observed, “The secret of elite college admissions is that far more students deserve to attend these colleges than are admitted, and there is virtually no discernible difference between those who make it and the many more who just miss out.” In support, he offered this statement from Princeton’s own dean of admissions: “We could have admitted five or six classes to Princeton from the [applicant] pool.”4 So, with a $26 billion endowment, the question becomes, Why wouldn’t you?
Scott Galloway (Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity)
A wide diversity of treatment and social support models needs to be made available to drug users, ranging from one-strike-you’re-out abstinence to harm reduction, methadone maintenance, buprenorphine detox, heroin prescription, and subsidized employment initiatives. Treatment programs also need to take advantage of the moments of life crisis that drive long-term injectors to seek treatment. Most of the spur of the moment, crisis-driven windows of opportunity for changing the lives of street addicts are missed because underfunding, exacerbated by neoliberal audit culture, forces treatment programs to exclude risky patients.
Philippe Bourgois (Righteous Dopefiend (California Series in Public Anthropology Book 21))
How are we going to bring about these transformations? Politics as usual—debate and argument, even voting—are no longer sufficient. Our system of representative democracy, created by a great revolution, must now itself become the target of revolutionary change. For too many years counting, vast numbers of people stopped going to the polls, either because they did not care what happened to the country or the world or because they did not believe that voting would make a difference on the profound and interconnected issues that really matter. Now, with a surge of new political interest having give rise to the Obama presidency, we need to inject new meaning into the concept of the “will of the people.” The will of too many Americans has been to pursue private happiness and take as little responsibility as possible for governing our country. As a result, we have left the job of governing to our elected representatives, even though we know that they serve corporate interests and therefore make decisions that threaten our biosphere and widen the gulf between the rich and poor both in our country and throughout the world. In other words, even though it is readily apparent that our lifestyle choices and the decisions of our representatives are increasing social injustice and endangering our planet, too many of us have wanted to continue going our merry and not-so-merry ways, periodically voting politicians in and out of office but leaving the responsibility for policy decisions to them. Our will has been to act like consumers, not like responsible citizens. Historians may one day look back at the 2000 election, marked by the Supreme Court’s decision to award the presidency to George W. Bush, as a decisive turning point in the death of representative democracy in the United States. National Public Radio analyst Daniel Schorr called it “a junta.” Jack Lessenberry, columnist for the MetroTimes in Detroit, called it “a right-wing judicial coup.” Although more restrained, the language of dissenting justices Breyer, Ginsberg, Souter, and Stevens was equally clear. They said that there was no legal or moral justification for deciding the presidency in this way.3 That’s why Al Gore didn’t speak for me in his concession speech. You don’t just “strongly disagree” with a right-wing coup or a junta. You expose it as illegal, immoral, and illegitimate, and you start building a movement to challenge and change the system that created it. The crisis brought on by the fraud of 2000 and aggravated by the Bush administration’s constant and callous disregard for the Constitution exposed so many defects that we now have an unprecedented opportunity not only to improve voting procedures but to turn U.S. democracy into “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” instead of government of, by, and for corporate power.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
It is already the fashion to diminish Eliot by calling him derivative, the mouthpiece of Pound, and so forth; and yet if one wanted to understand the apocalypse of early modernism in its true complexity it would be Eliot, I fancy, who would demand one's closest attention. He was ready to rewrite the history of all that interested him in order to have past and present conform; he was a poet of apocalypse, of the last days and the renovation, the destruction of the earthly city as a chastisement of human presumption, but also of empire. Tradition, a word we especially associate with this modernist, is for him the continuity of imperial deposits; hence the importance in his thought of Virgil and Dante. He saw his age as a long transition through which the elect must live, redeeming the time. He had his demonic host, too; the word 'Jew' remained in lower case through all the editions of the poems until the last of his lifetime, the seventy-fifth birthday edition of 1963. He had a persistent nostalgia for closed, immobile hierarchical societies. If tradition is, as he said in After Strange Gods--though the work was suppressed--'the habitual actions, habits and customs' which represent the kinship 'of the same people living in the same place' it is clear that Jews do not have it, but also that practically nobody now does. It is a fiction, a fiction cousin to a myth which had its effect in more practical politics. In extenuation it might be said that these writers felt, as Sartre felt later, that in a choice between Terror and Slavery one chooses Terror, 'not for its own sake, but because, in this era of flux, it upholds the exigencies proper to the aesthetics of Art.' The fictions of modernist literature were revolutionary, new, though affirming a relation of complementarity with the past. These fictions were, I think it is clear, related to others, which helped to shape the disastrous history of our time. Fictions, notably the fiction of apocalypse, turn easily into myths; people will live by that which was designed only to know by. Lawrence would be the writer to discuss here, if there were time; apocalypse works in Woman in Love, and perhaps even in Lady Chatterley's Lover, but not n Apocalypse, which is failed myth. It is hard to restore the fictive status of what has become mythical; that, I take it, is what Mr. Saul Bellow is talking about in his assaults on wastelandism, the cant of alienation. In speaking of the great men of early modernism we have to make very subtle distinctions between the work itself, in which the fictions are properly employed, and obiter dicta in which they are not, being either myths or dangerous pragmatic assertions. When the fictions are thus transformed there is not only danger but a leak, as it were, of reality; and what we feel about. all these men at times is perhaps that they retreated inso some paradigm, into a timeless and unreal vacuum from which all reality had been pumped. Joyce, who was a realist, was admired by Eliot because he modernized myth, and attacked by Lewis because he concerned himself with mess, the disorders of common perception. But Ulysses ,alone of these great works studies and develops the tension between paradigm and reality, asserts the resistance of fact to fiction, human freedom and unpredictability against plot. Joyce chooses a Day; it is a crisis ironically treated. The day is full of randomness. There are coincidences, meetings that have point, and coincidences which do not. We might ask whether one of the merits of the book is not its lack of mythologizing; compare Joyce on coincidence with the Jungians and their solemn concordmyth, the Principle of Synchronicity. From Joyce you cannot even extract a myth of Negative Concord; he shows us fiction fitting where it touches. And Joyce, who probably knew more about it than any of the others, was not at tracted by the intellectual opportunities or the formal elegance of fascism.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
My Voice by Paul Stephen Lynch Why was I born? What is my purpose here on this earth? Is there more out there after this life ends? At some point we all ask ourselves these questions. I can tell you with absolute certainty that for me, the answer to all three of these questions is… “I don’t know”. However, what I do know is that while I am here I am meant to learn from my mistakes, to grow through my pain, and to evolve. What will I be changed into? Again, I do not know. Perhaps I will become someone who is more courageous, more charitable, more peaceful, more dignified, more honest and more loving. I am very hopeful but nothing in life is guaranteed. Although, I have discovered that speaking from my heart and telling my truth is an integral part of my transformation. It is my voice. In those times in my life when I have experienced great pain – sadness, loss, conflict or depression – those have been the times that have brought me closest to this transformation. I recently realized that pain is one of the few things that seems to really get my attention and that I have spent a lot of my time just coasting down life’s path. Perhaps this is the reason why I seem to grow the most during the hard times, even though it often takes all the energy I can muster just to get through them. Quite a few years ago, while I was visiting a friend who was dying from AIDS, I saw a tapestry on the hospital wall that read: The Chinese word for “crisis” has two characters. One stands for danger; the other for opportunity. The times in my life that have been the most difficult have quite often proven to be my best opportunities for growth; to get closer to becoming the person I am meant to be. Of course, this doesn’t mean that painful circumstances ~ like HIV and AIDS ~ are good things or that they are in any way “all for the best” ~ or, that they even make any kind of sense. It just means that I know that there is always the possibility that something positive can ultimately come out of that which is incredibly bad. However, change does not happen in seclusion and I will likely need help from friends, family, teachers and even from people I do not know at all For me to continue moving closer to becoming the person I was born to be, I first needed to accept who I am. For me, that was relatively easy (easy does not mean painless mind you) and it happened at the unusually young age of twelve. The second step to transforming my life means I need to tell others the truth about who I am. I have been doing this ever since my personal acceptance occurred. As a result, I have learned that there will always be those people who cannot be trusted with the truth. There are also those who will simply never be able to understand my truth no matter what anyone says to them. However, others will hear the truth very clearly, understand it completely, and even care greatly. Moreover, I can hear, I understand, and I care. I have also learned that there are times when it is better to be silent. Sometimes words are just not necessary… Like when I am sharing with someone who already knows my heart. And then there are times when words are pointless… like when I have already spoken my truth to someone, yet they are simply not capable of hearing what it is that I am saying. This is when I need to find other ears. Sometimes, a silent sign of love is the best way, or even the only way that I can express myself. However, at those times, my silence is a choice that I am making. It is not being forced on me by fear or shame… and I will never let it be because… it is MY voice!
Paul S. Lynch
My interest in comics was scribbled over with a revived, energized passion for clothes, records, and music. I'd wandered in late to the punk party in 1978, when it was already over and the Sex Pistols were history. I'd kept my distance during the first flush of the new paradigm, when the walls of the sixth-form common room shed their suburban-surreal Roger Dean Yes album covers and grew a fresh new skin of Sex Pistols pictures, Blondie pinups, Buzzcocks collages, Clash radical chic. As a committed outsider, I refused to jump on the bandwagon of this new musical fad, which I'd written off as some kind of Nazi thing after seeing a photograph of Sid Vicious sporting a swastika armband. I hated the boys who'd cut their long hair and binned their crappy prog albums in an attempt to join in. I hated pretty much everybody without discrimination, in one way or another, and punk rockers were just something else to add to the shit list. But as we all know, it's zealots who make the best converts. One Thursday night, I was sprawled on the settee with Top of the Pops on the telly when Poly Styrene and her band X-Ray Spex turned up to play their latest single: an exhilarating sherbet storm of raw punk psychedelia entitled "The Day the World Turned Day-Glo" By the time the last incandescent chorus played out, I was a punk. I had always been a punk. I would always be a punk. Punk brought it all together in one place for me: Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius novels were punk. Peter Barnes's The Ruling Class, Dennis Potter, and The Prisoner were punk too. A Clockwork Orange was punk. Lindsay Anderson's If ... was punk. Monty Python was punk. Photographer Bob Carlos Clarke's fetish girls were punk. Comics were punk. Even Richmal Crompton's William books were punk. In fact, as it turned out, pretty much everything I liked was punk. The world started to make sense for the first time since Mosspark Primary. New and glorious constellations aligned in my inner firmament. I felt born again. The do-your-own-thing ethos had returned with a spit and a sneer in all those amateurish records I bought and treasured-even though I had no record player. Singles by bands who could often barely play or sing but still wrote beautiful, furious songs and poured all their young hearts, experiences, and inspirations onto records they paid for with their dole money. If these glorious fuckups could do it, so could a fuckup like me. When Jilted John, the alter ego of actor and comedian Graham Fellows, made an appearance on Top of the Pops singing about bus stops, failed romance, and sexual identity crisis, I was enthralled by his shameless amateurism, his reduction of pop music's great themes to playground name calling, his deconstruction of the macho rock voice into the effeminate whimper of a softie from Sheffield. This music reflected my experience of teenage life as a series of brutal setbacks and disappointments that could in the end be redeemed into art and music with humor, intelligence, and a modicum of talent. This, for me, was the real punk, the genuine anticool, and I felt empowered. The losers, the rejected, and the formerly voiceless were being offered an opportunity to show what they could do to enliven a stagnant culture. History was on our side, and I had nothing to lose. I was eighteen and still hadn't kissed a girl, but perhaps I had potential. I knew I had a lot to say, and punk threw me the lifeline of a creed and a vocabulary-a soundtrack to my mission as a comic artist, a rough validation. Ugly kids, shy kids, weird kids: It was okay to be different. In fact, it was mandatory.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)