Customs Change Quotes

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The world had changed a great deal, but the little rules, contracts and customs had not, which meant the world hadn't actually changed at all.
Cho Nam-Joo (82년생 김지영)
How is it that, a full two centuries after Jane Austen finished her manuscript, we come to the world of Pride and Prejudice and find ourselves transcending customs, strictures, time, mores, to arrive at a place that educates, amuses, and enthralls us? It is a miracle. We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming, our own consciousness in someone else's mind.
Anna Quindlen (How Reading Changed My Life)
People adjust their behavior to fit the society they live in. They integrate because they have to. But what they are on the inside doesn't change.
Sandra Brown (Tough Customer (Mitchell & Associates #2))
Customs change with time, so it isn't fair to permit change only when you happen to approve of it but condemn change citing biblical authority when you don't.
Deepak Chopra (The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore)
Since we are living in an open society with a space for tolerance and indulgence, we must monitor assiduously the permanent changes of habits and customs and the "normality barometer" should be determined and adjusted, time after time. ("On a doggy day”)
Erik Pevernagie
Rules. Custom. Danger. It’s dangerous to be with me.” “It’s dangerous to be without you.” I nudge closer to the fire. He reaches out and adjusts my blanket around my shoulders. “That doesn’t change the rules, though.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
When life hasn’t got a swing anymore, people may give in to obsessive oniomaniac compulsions, in as much as they are going out of their way to construct a flamboyant life style and change their identity from “don’t-need” to “must-have” consumers, so as to satisfy their gripping buying desire. ("Buying now. Dying later")
Erik Pevernagie
To survive, Let the past Teach you-- Past customs, Struggles, Leaders and thinkers. Let These Help you. Let them inspire you, Warn you, Give you strength. But beware: God is Change. Past is past. What was Cannot Come again. To survive, know the past. Let it touch you. Then let The past Go.
Octavia E. Butler (Parable of the Talents (Earthseed, #2))
But change proves that you are still alive. Change often measures our tolerance for folk different from ourselves. Can we accept their languages, their customs, their garments, and their foods into our own lives? If we can, then we form bonds, bonds that make wars less likely. If we cannot, if we believe that we must do things as we have always done them, then we must either fight to remain as we are, or die
Robin Hobb (Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2))
Assume a virtue, if you have it not. That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat, Of habits devil, is angel yet in this, That to the use of actions fair and good He likewise gives a frock or livery That aptly is put on. Refrain tonight, And that shall lend a kind of easiness To the next abstinence; the next more easy; For use almost can change the stamp of nature.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
Remember your customers appreciate efficiency and convenience and those two become achievable through innovation and willingness to change with time.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
Fighting a change and clinging to the same old ways of doing things have never proved to be productive for anyone - you or your customers.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
Your customers are always changing and so are their values, perceptions, and needs. Having up-to-date knowledge about them will help you in satisfying their needs as well as delighting them.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
Everything around your customers is shaping those needs and wants. We can’t stop this change from happening, but we can listen.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
Art isn't only a painting. Art is anything that's creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator. What makes someone an artist? I don't think is has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards, or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while swell people, aren't artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artists who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is about intent and communication, not substances. An artists is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally. That's why Bob Dylan is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on the other side of the glass is merely a marketer. That's why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artists, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam. Tom Peters, corporate gadfly and writer, is an artists, even though his readers are businesspeople. He's an artists because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally, and he doesn't care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it's important, not because he expects you to pay him for it. Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn't matter. The intent does. Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.
Seth Godin (Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?)
When you depersonalize abrasive behavior and see it as a call for help you become a catalyst for the best kind of change.
Marilyn Suttle
on the phone Bookseller: Hello Ripping Yarns. Customer: Do you have any mohair wool? Bookseller: Sorry, we're not a yarns shop, we're a bookshop. Customer: You're called Ripping Yarns. Bookseller: Yes, that's 'yarns' as in stories. Customer: Well it's a stupid name. Bookseller: It's a Monty Python reference. Customer: So you don't sell wool? Bookseller: No. Customer: Hmf. Ridiculous. Bookseller: ...but we do sell dead parrots. Customer: What? Bookseller: Parrots. Dead. Extinct. Expired. Would you like one? Customer: Erm, no. Bookseller: Ok, well if you change your mind, do call back.
Jen Campbell (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
In History, stagnant waters, whether they be stagnant waters of custom or those of despotism, harbour no life; life is dependent on the ripples created by a few eccentric individuals. In homage to that life and vitality, the community has to brave certain perils and must countenance a measure of heresy. One must live dangerously if one wants to live at all.
Herbert Read
Laws change more slowly than custom, and though dangerous when they fall behind the times are more dangerous still when the presume to anticipate custom.
Marguerite Yourcenar (Memoirs of Hadrian)
If you want your customers to start eating spinach flavored ice cream, your idea won’t need as much cultural change as it will if you want your customers to start taking a coffee pill in the morning instead of fresh brewed coffee. Obviously, the latter will require more efforts and more marketing.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
The economy is always changing. Therefore, business strategy should change to adapt. And the way to adapt is to find new ways to add value to the customers lives. At Mayflower-Plymouth, we're here to help your business thrive in this way.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr. (The Wealth Reference Guide: An American Classic)
People of this world are deluded. They’re always longing for something-always, in a word, seeking. But the wise wake up. They choose reason over custom. They fix their minds on the sublime and let their bodies change with the seasons. All phenomena are empty. They contain nothing worth desiring.
Bodhidharma (The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma (English and Chinese Edition))
I very frequently get the question: 'What's going to change in the next 10 years?' And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: 'What's not going to change in the next 10 years?' And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two -- because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. ... [I]n our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that's going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It's impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, 'Jeff I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher,' [or] 'I love Amazon; I just wish you'd deliver a little more slowly.' Impossible. And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers 10 years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.
Jeff Bezos
One of the essential problems for education is that most countries subject their schools to the fast-food model of quality assurance when they should be adopting the Michelin model instead. The future for education is not in standardizing but in customizing; not in promoting groupthink and “deindividuation” but in cultivating the real depth and dynamism of human abilities of every sort.
Ken Robinson (The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)
Disrespect for women grows when religions are dominated by men. … I believe without question that the disrespect for women embodied male-dominated religion is a factor in laws and customs that keep women down.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
The company that writes your paycheck every two weeks is not your employer; they are your customer. Adopt this mind-set and everything changes. You are free from the daily grind—free to grow your business and serve your customers, your fellow man.
Daniel Lapin (Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance)
To-day the woman is Mrs. Richard Roe, to-morrow Mrs. John Doe, and again Mrs. James Smith according as she changes masters, and she has so little self-respect that she does not see the insult of the custom.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (The Woman's Bible: A Classic Feminist Perspective)
The world had changed a great deal, but the little rules, contracts, and customs had not, which meant the world hadn’t actually changed at all. She mulled over Daehyun’s idea that registering as legally married changes the way you feel about each other. Do laws and institutions change values, or do values drive laws and institutions?
Cho Nam-Joo (Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982)
men live peacefully as long as their old way of life is maintained and there is no change in customs.
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
CUSTOMER: Do you have any of those books where you can change the names of the main character to the name of the person you're giving the book to? Do you have Alice in Wonderland, but not Alice, I'd like Sarah in Wonderland. BOOKSELLER: I'm afraid you have to buy those from the publisher, as they're a print on demand service. CUSTOMER: Yeah, I don't really have time to do that. Do you have a copy of Alice? Then I can buy some Tipp-ex or something, and edit it.
Jen Campbell (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
Profitability. Growth. Quality. Exceeding customer expectations. These are not examples of values. These are examples of corporate strategies being sold to you as values.
Stan Slap
Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives. Tell them.
Donald Miller (Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen)
It's a scary thing, a life-changing, paradigm-shifting thing, to honestly ask yourself this question: Am I moving with God to rescue, restore, and redeem humanity? Or am I clinging fast, eyeteeth clenched, to an imperfect world's habits and cultural customs, in full knowledge of injustice or imperfections, living at odds with God's dream for his daughters and sons?
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
The role of the CEO is to enable people to excel, help them discover their own wisdom, engage themselves entirely in their work, and accept responsibility for making change. (164)
Vineet Nayar (Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down)
Sinuhe, my friend, we have been born into strange times. Everything is melting – changing its shape – like clay on a potter’s wheel. Dress is changing, words, customs are changing, and people no longer believe in the gods – though they may fear them. Sinuhe, my friend, perhaps we were born to see the sunset of the world, for the world is already old, and twelve hundred years have passed since the building of the pyramids. When I think of this, I want to bury my head in my hands and cry like a child.
Mika Waltari (سینوهه)
One reason that the task of inventing manners is so difficult is that etiquette is folk custom, and people have emotional ties to the forms of their youth. That is why there is such hostility between generations in times of rapid change; their manners being different, each feels affronted by the other, taking even the most surface choices for challenges.
Judith Martin (Common Courtesy: In Which Miss Manners Solves the Problem That Baffled Mr. Jefferson)
Changes in a person's feelings aren't regulated by custom, logic, or the law. They're fluid, unstable, free to spread their wings and fly away. Like migratory birds have no concept of borders between countries.
Haruki Murakami (Killing Commendatore)
The old order changes, giving place to the new... least on good custom should corrupts the world.
Alfred Tennyson
It felt like being shot with an arrow, and Will jerked back. His wineglass crashed to the floor and shattered. He lurched to his feet, leaning both hands on the table. He was vaguely aware of stares, and the landlords anxious voice in his ear, but the pain was too great to think through, almost too great to breathe through. The tightness in his chest, the one he had thought of as one end of a cord tying him to Jem, had pulled so taut that it was strangling his heart. He stumbled away from his table, pushing through a knot of customers near the bar, and passed to the front door of the inn. All he could think of was air, getting air into his lungs to breathe. He pushed the doors open and half-tumbled out into the night. For a moment the pain in his chest eased, and he fell back against the wall of the inn. Rain was sheeting down, soaking his hair and clothes. He gasped, his heart stuttering with a misture of terror and desperation. Was this just the distance from Jem affecting him? He had never felt anything like this, even when Jem was at his worst, even when he'd been injured and Will had ached with sympathetic pain. The cord snapped. For a moment everything went white, the courtyard bleeching through as if with acid. Will jackknifed to his knees, vomiting up his supper into the mud. When the spasms had passed , he staggard to his feet and blindly away from the inn, as if trying to outpace his own pain. He fetched up against the wall of the stables, beside the horse trough. He dropped to his knees to plunge his hands into the icy water-and saw his own reflection. There was his face, as white as death, and his shirt, and a spreading stain of red across the front. With wet hands he siezed at his lapels and jerked the shirt open. In the dim light that spilled from the inn, he could see that his parabati rune, just over his heart, was bleeding. His hands were covered in blood, blood mixed with rain, the same ran that was washing the blood away from his chest, showing the rune as it began to fade from black to silver, changing all that had been sense in Will's life into nonsense. Jem was dead.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
The farther I travel, the less I wonder at anything: a few days reconcile one to a new spot, or an unseen custom; and men are so much the same everywhere, that one scare perceives a change in situation.
Horace Walpole (The Letters of Horace Walpole)
If a gift, favor, or service incorporates all three features of meaningfulness, unexpectedness, and customization, it can become a formidable source of change.
Robert B. Cialdini (Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade)
Everything is always changing in business, except the essentials. Markets change, platforms change, customers change, owners change, trends change.... But the essentials remain constant.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
You have to spend a lot of time with your customers and competitors to know what’s going on in their lives. You don’t want to be the last one to know that your customers’ needs have changed and now they want to break up with your brand.
Pooja Agnihotri (Market Research Like a Pro)
First, disruptive products are simpler and cheaper; they generally promise lower margins, not greater profits. Second, disruptive technologies typically are first commercialized in emerging or insignificant markets. And third, leading firms’ most profitable customers generally don’t want, and indeed initially can’t use, products based on disruptive technologies.
Clayton M. Christensen (The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change))
The reason is that good management itself was the root cause. Managers played the game the way it was supposed to be played. The very decision-making and resource-allocation processes that are key to the success of established companies are the very processes that reject disruptive technologies: listening carefully to customers; tracking competitors’ actions carefully; and investing resources to design and build higher-performance, higher-quality products that will yield greater profit. These are the reasons why great firms stumbled or failed when confronted with disruptive technological change.
Clayton M. Christensen (The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change))
Even in engineering-driven Silicon Valley, the buzzwords of the moment call for building a “lean startup” that can “adapt” and “evolve” to an ever-changing environment. Would-be entrepreneurs are told that nothing can be known in advance: we’re supposed to listen to what customers say they want, make nothing more than a “minimum viable product,” and iterate our way to success. But leanness is a methodology, not a goal. Making small changes to things that already exist might lead you to a local maximum, but it won’t help you find the global maximum. You could build the best version of an app that lets people order toilet paper from their iPhone. But iteration without a bold plan won’t take you from 0 to 1. A company is the strangest place of all for an indefinite optimist: why should you expect your own business to succeed without a plan to make it happen? Darwinism may be a fine theory in other contexts, but in startups, intelligent design works best.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
And here you see me working out, as cheerfully and thankfully as I may, my doom of sharing in the glass a constant change of customers, and of lying down and rising up with the skeleton allotted to me for my mortal companion.
Charles Dickens (The Haunted House)
Attention, shoppers! Discount specials on Harry Dresden’s life. Slightly used, no refunds, limit one per customer. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.
Jim Butcher (Changes (The Dresden Files, #12))
It was generally agreed that a coffin-size studio on Avenue D was preferable to living in one of the boroughs. Moving from one Brooklyn or Staten Island neighborhood to another was fine, but unless you had children to think about, even the homeless saw it as a step down to leave Manhattan. Customers quitting the island for Astoria or Cobble Hill would claim to welcome the change of pace, saying it would be nice to finally have a garden or live a little closer to the airport. They’d put a good face one it, but one could always detect an underlying sense of defeat. The apartments might be bigger and cheaper in other places, but one could never count on their old circle of friend making the long trip to attend a birthday party. Even Washington Heights was considered a stretch. People referred to it as Upstate New York, though it was right there in Manhattan.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
Because in [Lenin's] eyes the workers were only workers and not also customers, he believed they were already slaves under capitalism, and that one did not change their status when nationalizing all plants and shops. Socialism substitutes the sovereignty of a dictator, or committee of dictators, for the sovereignty of the consumers. Along with the economic sovereignty of the citizens disappears also their political sovereignty. To the unique production plan that annuls any planning on the part of the consumers corresponds in the constitutional sphere the one party principle that deprives the citizens of any opportunity to plan the course of public affairs. Freedom is indivisible. He who has not the faculty to choose among various brands of canned food or soap, is also deprived of the power to choose between various political parties and programs and to elect the officeholders. He is no longer a man; he becomes a pawn in the hands of the supreme social engineer. Even his freedom to rear progeny will be taken away by eugenics.
Ludwig von Mises
Coordination' occurred with astonishing speed, even in sectors of life not directly targeted by specific laws, as Germans willingly placed themselves under the sway of Nazi rule, a phenomenon that became known as Selbtsgleichschaltung, or 'self-coordination.' Change came to Germany so quickly and across such a wide front that German citizens who left the country for business or travel returned to find everything around them altered, as if they were characters in a horror movie who come back to find that people who once were their friends, clients, patients, and customers have become different in ways hard to discern.
Erik Larson (In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin)
For myth changes while custom remains constant; men continue to do what their did before them, though the reasons on which their fathers acted have been long forgotten. The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.
James George Frazer (The Golden Bough)
Excerpt from Ursula K Le Guin's speech at National Book Awards Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality. Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write. Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words. I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Transitioning a company from present state to future state is not just about the company at large, but also about every single employee and customer and partner also transitioning from present state to future state. We have to consider the macro and the micro if the transition is going to be successful.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
The problem with success, even a little success, is that it changes you. You are no longer walking along the same precipice that drove you to do great work in the first place. Now you have something to defend: a reputation, money in the bank, a brand, real customer expectations. Success can take the edge away.
Lawrence Levy (To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History)
We have to change the culture from one in which people simply do their own job in their own function to make their own numbers look good (a vertical focus) to one in which people are focused horizontally on the customer and on improving value streams that deliver value across functions.
Jeffrey K. Liker (The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership: Achieving and Sustaining Excellence Through Leadership Development)
Custom is a shroud that conceals everything. Not without first encountering the uncustomary will we be able to recognize what is customary and, more importantly, to change it. Such is the impulse behind our conversation with the vampryoteuthis
Vilém Flusser (Vampyroteuthis Infernalis: A Treatise, with a Report by the Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste, Vol. 23)
One of the most important elements in the evolution of human institutions is the emergence of the difficult customer within the system itself, the radical who starts to question its very being, the reformer who calls for changes in the way it runs.
Richard Holloway (Doubts and Loves: What is Left of Christianity)
In completing your civilization, the causes changed, but you maintained the custom: no longer did you sacrifice victims to gods athirst for human blood, but to laws, which you deem sage because you found in them a specious reason to indulge your former habits, together with the semblance of a justice which was, at bottom, nothing other than the desire to preserve those horrid practices which you could not abjure.
Marquis de Sade
Once sin is allowed to settle in your heart, it will not be turned out at your bidding. Custom becomes second nature, and its chains are not easily broken. The prophet has well said, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil" (Jeremiah 13:23). Habits are like stones rolling down hill--the further they roll, the faster and more ungovernable is their course. Habits, like trees, are strengthened by age. A boy may bend an oak when it is a sapling--a hundred men cannot root it up, when it is a full grown tree. A child can wade over the Thames River at its fountain-head--the largest ship in the world can float in it when it gets near the sea. So it is with habits: the older the stronger--the longer they have held possession, the harder they will be to cast out.
J.C. Ryle (Thoughts For Young Men)
Seafood Newburg is a dish with a history. Well, of course MOST dishes have some kind of “history,” but this particular dish is sort of a history celebrity. It all began around 1876 when an “epicurean” named Ben Wenberg (or Wenburg) demonstrated the dish at Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City. After some “tweaking” by the Delmonico chef, Charles Ranhofer, the dish was added to the menu under the name “Lobster Wenburg.” It proved to be very popular. But sometime later, Wenburg got involved in a dispute with the Delmonico’s management and the dish was subsequently removed from the menu. But customers still requested it. So, the name was changed to “Lobster Newburg” and reappeared to the delight of restaurant customers. So, that’s the story. Probably. One can never be sure about these origin myths.
Mallory M. O'Connor (The Kitchen and the Studio: A Memoir of Food and Art)
When we're talking about implementing change in business, it's good have a holistic view and to consider all of the dynamics, including: What is the scope of the change? Who is being impacted (customers, employees, others)? How are people being impacted, and in what way? Are there different perspectives regarding the experience of the change? What exactly is being changed (systems, processes, jobs)? What is the expected timeline for the change?
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
I fell in love with the idea that a story could have places of origin and its own lineage, not entirely unlike a person. A fairy tale could move from one region to another, and it would change clothes. It could adopt the customs and beliefs of its new home, and it would still retain much of its core. The notion that a story could adjust to suit a new home was such a hopeful one for an immigrant kid who grew up knowing that he and his parents didn't come from the same places.
Trung Le Nguyen
Society is a machine of machines, a system that runs on precondition, customs, rules and laws that are either expressed openly or maintained in the closet, one, like the one in the United States that is constantly changing to accommodate some variations of the machinated selves and its affections as in race, gender, sexual orientations etc which are also mostly preconditions of the machine. Again, I ask. Who are you?
Dew Platt (Failure&solitude)
The philosophical assumptions, underlying values, social relations, customs, and overall outlooks on life differ significantly among civilizations. The revitalization of religion throughout much of the world is reinforcing these cultural differences. Cultures can change, and the nature of their impact on politics and economics can vary from one period to another. Yet the major differences in political and economic development among civilizations are clearly rooted in their different cultures. East Asian economic success has its source in East Asian culture, as do the difficulties East Asian societies have had in achieving stable democratic political systems. Islamic culture explains in large part the failure of democracy to emerge in much of the Muslim world.
Samuel P. Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order)
There are six canons of conservative thought: 1) Belief in a transcendent order, or body of natural law, which rules society as well as conscience. Political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems. A narrow rationality, what Coleridge called the Understanding, cannot of itself satisfy human needs. "Every Tory is a realist," says Keith Feiling: "he knows that there are great forces in heaven and earth that man's philosophy cannot plumb or fathom." True politics is the art of apprehending and applying the Justice which ought to prevail in a community of souls. 2) Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of human existence, as opposed to the narrowing uniformity, egalitarianism, and utilitarian aims of most radical systems; conservatives resist what Robert Graves calls "Logicalism" in society. This prejudice has been called "the conservatism of enjoyment"--a sense that life is worth living, according to Walter Bagehot "the proper source of an animated Conservatism." 3) Conviction that civilized society requires orders and classes, as against the notion of a "classless society." With reason, conservatives have been called "the party of order." If natural distinctions are effaced among men, oligarchs fill the vacuum. Ultimate equality in the judgment of God, and equality before courts of law, are recognized by conservatives; but equality of condition, they think, means equality in servitude and boredom. 4) Persuasion that freedom and property are closely linked: separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all. Economic levelling, they maintain, is not economic progress. 5) Faith in prescription and distrust of "sophisters, calculators, and economists" who would reconstruct society upon abstract designs. Custom, convention, and old prescription are checks both upon man's anarchic impulse and upon the innovator's lust for power. 6) Recognition that change may not be salutary reform: hasty innovation may be a devouring conflagration, rather than a torch of progress. Society must alter, for prudent change is the means of social preservation; but a statesman must take Providence into his calculations, and a statesman's chief virtue, according to Plato and Burke, is prudence.
Russell Kirk (The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot)
It is my job to create universes, as the basis of one novel after another. And I have to build them in such a way that they do not fall apart two days later. Or at least that is what my editors hope. However, I will reveal a secret to you: I like to build universes which do fall apart. I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe — and I am dead serious when I say this — do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.
Philip K. Dick
In modern affluent societies it is customary to take a shower and change your clothes every day. Medieval peasants went without washing for months on end, and hardly ever changed their clothes. The very thought of living like that, filthy and reeking to the bone, is abhorrent to us. Yet medieval peasants seem not to have minded. They were used to the feel and smell of a long-unlaundered shirt. It’s not that they wanted a change of clothes but couldn’t get it – they had what they wanted. So, at least as far as clothing goes, they were content. That’s not so surprising, when you think of it. After all, our chimpanzee cousins seldom wash and never change their clothes. Nor are we disgusted by the fact that our pet dogs and cats don’t shower or change their coats daily. We pat, hug and kiss them all the same. Small children in affluent societies often dislike showering, and it takes them years of education and parental discipline to adopt this supposedly attractive custom. It is all a matter of expectations.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Ask yourself . . . What are my goals when I converse with people? What kinds of things do I usually discuss? Are there other topics that would be more important given what’s actually going on? How often do I find myself—just to be polite—saying things I don’t mean? How many meetings have I sat in where I knew the real issues were not being discussed? And what about the conversations in my marriage? What issues are we avoiding? If I were guaranteed honest responses to any three questions, whom would I question and what would I ask? What has been the economical, emotional, and intellectual cost to the company of not identifying and tackling the real issues? What has been the cost to my marriage? What has been the cost to me? When was the last time I said what I really thought and felt? What are the leaders in my organization pretending not to know? What are members of my family pretending not to know? What am I pretending not to know? How certain am I that my team members are deeply committed to the same vision? How certain am I that my life partner is deeply committed to the vision I hold for our future? If nothing changes regarding the outcomes of the conversations within my organization, what are the implications for my own success and career? for my department? for key customers? for the organization’s future? What about my marriage? If nothing changes, what are the implications for us as a couple? for me? What is the conversation I’ve been unable to have with senior executives, with my colleagues, with my direct reports, with my customers, with my life partner, and most important, with myself, with my own aspirations, that, if I were able to have, might make the difference, might change everything? Are
Susan Scott (Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time)
Animals are property. There are laws that supposedly protect animal interests in being treated “humanely,” but that term is interpreted in large part to mean that we cannot impose “unnecessary” harm on animals, and that is measured by what treatment is considered as necessary within particular industries, and according to customs of use, to exploit animals. The bottom line is that animals do not have any respect-based rights in the way that humans have, because we do not regard animals as having any moral value. They have only economic value. We value their interests economically, and we ignore their interests when it is economically beneficial for us to do so. At this point in time, it makes no sense to focus on the law, because as long as we regard animals as things, as a moral matter, the laws will necessarily reflect that absence of moral value and continue to do nothing to protect animals. We need to change social and moral thinking about animals before the law is going to do anything more.
Gary L. Francione
Sometimes I forget this insoluble mess and dream: he’ll save me, we’ll travel; we’ll hunt in the deserts, we’ll sleep on the pavements of strange cities, carelessly, without his guilt, without my pain. Or else I’m going to wake up and all the human laws and customs of this world will have changed—thanks to some magical power—or this world, without changing, will let me feel desire and be happy and carefree. What did I want from him who hurt me more than I thought it was possible for two people to hurt each other? I wanted the adventures found in kids’ books. He couldn’t give me these because he wasn’t able to. Whatever did he want from me? I never understood. He told me he was just average: average regrets, average hopes. What do I care about all that average shit that has nothing to do with adventure?
Kathy Acker (In Memoriam to Identity)
Do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.
Philip K. Dick
In the market economy the consumers are supreme. Consumers determine, by their buying or abstention from buying, what should be produced, by whom and how, of what quality and in what quantity. The entrepreneurs, capitalists, and landowners who fail to satisfy in the best possible and cheapest way the most urgent of the not yet satisfied wishes of the consumers are forced to go out of business and forfeit their preferred position. In business offices and in laboratories the keenest minds are busy fructifying the most complex achievements of scientific research for the production of ever better implements and gadgets for people who have no inkling of the scientific theories that make the fabrication of such things possible. The bigger an enterprise is, the more it is forced to adjust its production activities to the changing whims and fancies of the masses, its masters. The fundamental principle of capitalism is mass production to supply the masses. It is the patronage of the masses that makes enterprises grow into bigness. The common man is supreme in the market economy. He is the customer “who is always right.
Ludwig von Mises (Economic Freedom and Interventionism: An Anthology of Articles and Essays (Liberty Fund Library of the Works of Ludwig von Mises))
The word ‘crisis’ is of Greek origin, meaning a point of culmination and separation, an instant when change one way or another is impending.” He compares the crisis in an individual life to that of a society in disaster: “Life becomes like molten metal. It enters a state of flux from which it must reset upon a principle, a creed, or purpose. It is shaken perhaps violently out of rut and routine. Old customs crumble, and instability rules.” That is, disasters open up societies to change, accelerate change that was under way, or break the hold of whatever was preventing change.
Rebecca Solnit (A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster)
I am not sure prayer puts us in touch with God the way many people think it does--that we approach God as a supplicant, a beggar asking for favors, or as a customer presenting Him with a shopping list and asking what it will cost. Prayer is not primarily a matter of asking God to change things. If we come to understand what prayer can and should be, and rid ourselves of some unrealistic expectations, we will be better able to call on prayer, and on God, when we need them most.
Harold S. Kushner (When Bad Things Happen to Good People)
The kingdoms of kings are confined, either by mountains or rivers, or by a change in customs or by a difference of language; but my kingdom is as great as the world, because I am neither Italian, nor French, nor Hindu, nor American, nor a Spaniard; I am a cosmopolitan. No country can claim to be my birthplace, God alone knows in which region I shall die. I adopt every custom, I speak every tongue [... ] In this way, you see, being of no country, asking for the protection of no goverment and acknowledging no man as my brother, I am not restrained or hampered by a single one of the scruples that tie the hands of the powerful or the obstacles that block the path of the weak.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
Maureen O'Brien's Bakery Lingo: A Partial Glossary • 9 donuts - A shutout • 2 croissants - A full moon • 3 croissants - A ménage à trois • 4 bear claws - Full smokey • 2 bear claws - Half smokey • The last one of any item - The gift of the Magi • A baker's dozen of doughnut holes - a PG-13 • Anything in the unlikely quantity of 36 or a lot of something - A Wu-Tang • Blueberry muffin - Chubby Checker • Bran muffin - Warren G the regulator • Any customer who left no tip - A libertarian • Any customer who only tipped the coins from their change - A couch shaker • Any person who requested a substitution - Master and demander • Any person who requested TWO substitutions - Demander in chief • Any person who requested MORE than two substitutions - The new executive chef and finally.... • Any vegan customer - A Morrissey
J. Ryan Stradal (The Lager Queen of Minnesota)
In neo-classical economic theory, it is claimed without evidence that people are basically self-seeking, that they want above all the satisfaction of their material desires: what economists call "maximising utility". The ultimate objective of mankind is economic growth, and that is maximized only through raw, and lightly regulated, competition. If the rewards of this system are spread unevenly, that is a necessary price. Others on the planet are to be regarded as either customers, competitors or factors of production. Effects upon the planet itself are mere "externalities" to the model, with no reckoning of the cost - at least for now. Nowhere in this analysis appears factors such as human cooperation, love, trust, compassion or hatred, curiosity or beauty. Nowhere appears the concept of meaning. What cannot be measured is ignored. But the trouble is that once our basic needs for shelter and food have been met, these factors may be the most important of all.
Carne Ross (The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century)
Nerds are used to transparency. They add value by becoming expert at a technical skill like computer programming. In engineering disciplines, a solution either works or it fails. You can evaluate someone else’s work with relative ease, as surface appearances don’t matter much. Sales is the opposite: an orchestrated campaign to change surface appearances without changing the underlying reality. This strikes engineers as trivial if not fundamentally dishonest. They know their own jobs are hard, so when they look at salespeople laughing on the phone with a customer or going to two-hour lunches, they suspect that no real work is being done. If anything, people overestimate the relative difficulty of science and engineering, because the challenges of those fields are obvious. What nerds miss is that it takes hard work to make sales look easy. SALES
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
People will look different when I see them with God. People are a huge part of the “with God” life, because we have to live with people. We have to interact with them. How we get along with people says a lot about where our soul rests. When we are living with God, we will see people as God sees them. If I’m aware God is here with me, and God is looking at you at the same moment I’m looking at you, it will change how I respond to you. Instead of seeing you as the annoying server at McDonald’s who messed up my order, I will see you as someone God loved enough to send his Son to die on your behalf. I will see you as a real person who got up dreading going to work, dealing with impatient customers, being on her feet all day. In other words, I will no longer see you as everyone else sees you. This is exactly what Paul is after when he says, “From now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.” From now on, now that my soul is centered with God in Jesus, I won’t look at people the same way.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
It is the custom on the stage: in all good, murderous melodramas: to present the tragic and the comic scenes, in as regular alternation, as the layers of red and white in a side of streaky, well-cured bacon. The hero sinks upon his straw bed, weighed down by fetters and misfortunes; and, in the next scene, his faithful but unconscious squire regales the audience with a comic song. We behold, with throbbing bosoms, the heroine in the grasp of a proud and ruthless baron: her virtue and her life alike in danger; drawing forth a dagger to preserve the one at the cost of the other; and, just as our expectations are wrought up to the highest pitch, a whistle is heard: and we are straightway transported to the great hall of the castle: where a grey-headed seneschal sings a funny chorus with a funnier body of vassals, who are free of all sorts of places from church vaults to palaces, and roam about in company, carolling perpetually. Such changes appear absurd; but they are not so unnatural as they would seem at first sight. The transitions in real life from well-spread boards to death-beds, and from mourning weeds to holiday garments, are not a whit less startling; only, there, we are busy actors, instead of passive lookers-on; which makes a vast difference. The actors in the mimic life of the theatre, are blind to violent transitions and abrupt impulses of passion or feeling, which, presented before the eyes of mere spectators, are at once condemned as outrageous and preposterous.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
True love is first, love which does not conceal, and it does not conceal in two senses. First, it does not conceal because it has nothing to hide. It has nothing shameful which has to be hidden. It does not shun the light. It is willing, and is such that it is always willing to show itself in front of witnesses. It is also a love which does not conceal its aims. True love does not hide the true objective that it seeks to obtain from the one it loves. it is without subterfuge and does not employ roundabout means with its partner. It does not keep itself out of sight of witnesses, or of its partner. True love is love without disguise. Second, true love is an unalloyed love, that is to say, without mixture of pleasure and displeasure. It is also a love in which sensual pleasure and the friendship of souls do not intermingle. To that extend it is therefore a pure love because unalloyed. Third, true love (alethes eros) is love which is in line with what is right, what is correct. It is a direct (euthus) love. It has nothing contrary to the rule or custom. And finally, true love is love which is never subject to change or becoming. It is an incorruptible love which remains always the same.
Michel Foucault (The Courage of Truth: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1983-1984)
There is one aspect of the change in moral values brought about by the advance of collectivism which at the present time provides special food for thought. It is that the virtues which are held less and less in esteem and which consequently become rarer and precisely those on which the British people justly prided themselves and in which they were generally agreed to excel. The virtues possessed by Anglo-Saxons in a higher degree than most other people, excepting only a few of the smaller nations, like the Swiss and the Dutch, were independence and self-reliance, individual initiative and local responsbility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, noninterference with one's neighbor and tolerance of the different and queer, respect for custom and tradition, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.
Friedrich A. Hayek
Modernity is the condition a society reaches when life is no longer conceived as cyclical. In a premodern society, where the purpose of life is understood to be the reproduction of the customs and practices of the group, and where people are expected to follow the life path their parents followed, the ends of life are given at the beginning of life. People know what their life's task is, and they know when it has been completed. In modern societies, the reproduction of the custom is no longer understood to be one of the chief purposes of existence, and the ends of life are not thought to be given; they are thought to be discovered or created. Individuals are not expected to follow the life path of their parents, and the future of the society is not thought to be dictated entirely by its past. Modern societies do not simply repeat and extend themselves; they change in unforeseeable directions, and the individual's contributions to these changes is unspecifiable in advance. To devote oneself to the business of preserving and reproducing the culture of one's group is to risk one of the most terrible fates in modern societies, obsolescence.
Louis Menand (The Metaphysical Club : A Story of Ideas in America)
Villanelle It is the pain, it is the pain endures. Your chemic beauty burned my muscles through. Poise of my hands reminded me of yours. What later purge from this deep toxin cures? What kindness now could the old salve renew? It is the pain, it is the pain endures. The infection slept (custom or changes inures) And when pain's secondary phase was due Poise of my hands reminded me of yours. How safe I felt, whom memory assures, Rich that your grace safely by heart I knew. It is the pain, it is the pain endures. My stare drank deep beauty that still allures. My heart pumps yet the poison draught of you. Poise of my hands reminded me of yours. You are still kind whom the same shape immures. Kind and beyond adieu. We miss our cue. It is the pain, it is the pain endures. Poise of my hands reminded me of yours.
William Empson (The Complete Poems)
The sun is sitting on whom I was in order that I can become the type of person that I wish to be. The beauty of twilight is that it enhances everything. Personal change requires the courage to let go of personal security and venture into a new worlds. I look forward exploring personal thoughts and behaviors, and probing community customs and rituals. I hope to meet new people, expand knowledge of the world, eclipse my egoistical way of living, and devolve a lifestyle that in is synch with the natural rhythmic flow of that governs all lifeforms that inhabit this crusty rock and the watery world of rivers, seas, and oceans. I resolve to accept witnessing the splendor of nature as sufficient to satisfy all my wants and desires while also seeking to increase self-control, and attempt to sprinkle kindness upon the doorsteps leading to other people’s hearts.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Trust does not emerge simply because a seller makes a rational case why the customer should buy a product or service, or because an executive promises change. Trust is not a checklist. Fulfilling all your responsibilities does not create trust. Trust is a feeling, not a rational experience. We trust some people and companies even when things go wrong, and we don’t trust others even though everything might have gone exactly as it should have. A completed checklist does not guarantee trust. Trust begins to emerge when we have a sense that another person or organization is driven by things other than their own self-gain. With trust comes a sense of value—real value, not just value equated with money. Value, by definition, is the transference of trust. You can’t convince someone you have value, just as you can’t convince someone to trust you. You have to earn trust by communicating and demonstrating that you share the same values and beliefs. You have to talk about your WHY and prove it with WHAT you do.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
Catherine had to treat the church hierarchy carefully. She had always exercised a rational flexibility in matters of religious dogma and policy. Brought up in an atmosphere of strict Lutheranism, she had as a child expressed enough skepticism about religion to worry her deeply conventional father. As a fourteen-year-old in Russia, she had been required to change her religion to Orthodoxy. In public, she scrupulously observed all forms of this faith, attending church services, observing religious holidays, and making pilgrimages. Throughout her reign, she never underestimated the importance of religion. She knew that the name of the autocrat and the power of the throne were embodied in the daily prayers of the faithful, and that the views of the clergy and the piety of the masses were a power to be reckoned with. She understood that the sovereign, whatever his or her private views of religion, must find a way to make this work. When Voltaire was asked how he, who denied God, could take Holy Communion, he replied that he “breakfasted according to the custom of the country.” Having observed the disastrous effect of her husband’s contemptuous public rejection of the Orthodox Church, Catherine chose to emulate Voltaire.
Robert K. Massie (Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman)
But this was not enough on its own to generate the kind of terror that Mao wanted. On 18 August, a mammoth rally was held in Tiananmen Square in the center of Peking, with over a million young participants. Lin Biao appeared in public as Mao's deputy and spokesman for the first time. He made a speech calling on the Red Guards to charge out of their schools and 'smash up the four olds' defined as 'old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits." Following this obscure call, Red Guards all over China took to the streets, giving full vent to their vandalism, ignorance, and fanaticism. They raided people's houses, smashed their antiques, tore up paintings and works of calligraphy. Bonfires were lit to consume books. Very soon nearly all treasures in private collections were destroyed. Many writers and artists committed suicide after being cruelly beaten and humiliated, and being forced to witness their work being burned to ashes. Museums were raided. Palaces, temples, ancient tombs, statues, pagodas, city walls anything 'old' was pillaged. The few things that survived, such as the Forbidden City, did so only because Premier Zhou Enlai sent the army to guard them, and issued specific orders that they should be protected. The Red Guards only pressed on when they were encouraged. Mao hailed the Red Guards' actions as "Very good indeed!" and ordered the nation to support them. He encouraged the Red Guards to pick on a wider range of victims in order to increase the terror. Prominent writers, artists, scholars, and most other top professionals, who had been privileged under the Communist regime, were now categorically condemned as 'reactionary bourgeois authorities." With the help of some of these people's colleagues who hated them for various reasons, ranging from fanaticism to envy, the Red Guards began to abuse them. Then there were the old 'class enemies': former landlords and capitalists, people with Kuomintang connections, those condemned in previous political campaigns like the 'rightists' and their children.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
And so all the time the European brain has held onto two contradictory things. The first is the dominant established narrative of a generation: that anyone in the world can come to Europe and become a European, and that in order to become a European you merely need to be a person in Europe. The other part of the European brain has spent these years watching and waiting. This part could always recognise that the new arrivals were not only coming in unprecedented numbers but were bringing with them customs that, if not all unprecedented, had certainly not existed in Europe for a long time. The first part of the brain insists that the newcomers will assimilate and that, given time, even the most hard-to-swallow aspects of the culture of the new arrivals will become more recognisably European. Optimism favours the first part of the brain. Events favour the second, which increasingly begins to wonder whether anyone has the time for the changes that are meant to happen.
Douglas Murray (The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam)
I had no particular problem about getting divorced. For all intents and purposes we already were divorced. And I had no emotional hang up about signing and sealing the official documents. If that's what she wanted, fine. It was a legal formality, nothing more. But when it came to why, and how, things had turned out this way, the sequence of events was beyond me. I understood, of course, that over time, and as circumstances changed, a couple could grow closer, or move apart. Changes in a person's feelings aren't regulated by custom, logic, or the law. They're fluid, unstable, free to spread their wings and fly away. Like migratory birds have no concept of borders between countries. But these were all just generalizations, and I couldn't easily grasp the individual case here-that this woman, Yuzu, refused to love this man, me, and chose instead to be loved by someone else. It felt terribly absurd, a horribly ugly way to be treated. There wasn't any anger involved (I think). I mean, what was I supposed to be angry with? What I was feeling was a fundamental numbness. The numbness your heart automatically activates to lessen the awful pain when you want some-body desperately and they reject you. A kind of emotional morphine.
Haruki Murakami (Killing Commendatore)
The advantages of a hereditary Monarchy are self-evident. Without some such method of prescriptive, immediate and automatic succession, an interregnum intervenes, rival claimants arise, continuity is interrupted and the magic lost. Even when Parliament had secured control of taxation and therefore of government; even when the menace of dynastic conflicts had receded in to the coloured past; even when kingship had ceased to be transcendental and had become one of many alternative institutional forms; the principle of hereditary Monarchy continued to furnish the State with certain specific and inimitable advantages. Apart from the imponderable, but deeply important, sentiments and affections which congregate around an ancient and legitimate Royal Family, a hereditary Monarch acquires sovereignty by processes which are wholly different from those by which a dictator seizes, or a President is granted, the headship of the State. The King personifies both the past history and the present identity of the Nation as a whole. Consecrated as he is to the service of his peoples, he possesses a religious sanction and is regarded as someone set apart from ordinary mortals. In an epoch of change, he remains the symbol of continuity; in a phase of disintegration, the element of cohesion; in times of mutability, the emblem of permanence. Governments come and go, politicians rise and fall: the Crown is always there. A legitimate Monarch moreover has no need to justify his existence, since he is there by natural right. He is not impelled as usurpers and dictators are impelled, either to mesmerise his people by a succession of dramatic triumphs, or to secure their acquiescence by internal terrorism or by the invention of external dangers. The appeal of hereditary Monarchy is to stability rather than to change, to continuity rather than to experiment, to custom rather than to novelty, to safety rather than to adventure. The Monarch, above all, is neutral. Whatever may be his personal prejudices or affections, he is bound to remain detached from all political parties and to preserve in his own person the equilibrium of the realm. An elected President – whether, as under some constitutions, he be no more than a representative functionary, or whether, as under other constitutions, he be the chief executive – can never inspire the same sense of absolute neutrality. However impartial he may strive to become, he must always remain the prisoner of his own partisan past; he is accompanied by friends and supporters whom he may seek to reward, or faced by former antagonists who will regard him with distrust. He cannot, to an equal extent, serve as the fly-wheel of the State.
Harold Nicholson
Time can lessen the hurt; the empty place we have can seem smaller as other things and experiences fill our life; we can forget for periods and feel as if our loved one didn't die; we can find sense in the death and understand that perhaps this death does fit into a bigger design in the world; we can learn to remember the good and hold on to that. But we cannot 'get over it,' because to get over it would mean we were not changed by the experience. It would mean we did not grow by the experience. It would mean that our loved one's death made no difference in our life. There is an interesting discussion in the Talmud, an ancient Jewish writing. Those Jews had the custom of rending their garments - literally tearing their clothes —to symbolize the ripping apart that death brings. But the question was raised, after the period of mourning, could you sew the garment up and use it again? The teachers answered yes, but when you mended it, you should not tuck the edges under so it would look as if it had never been torn. This symbolized the fact that life after grief is not the same as before. The rent will show.
Deborah Spungen (And I Don't Want to Live This Life: A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder)
Sunday night is my personal weekly Halloween. I walk along slowly and drag my fingertips along the bars of chocolate. Goddamn, you sexy little squares. Dark, milk, white, I do not discriminate. I eat it all. Those fluorescent sour candies that only obnoxious little boys like. I suck candy apples clean. If an envelope seal is sweet, I’ll lick it twice. Growing up, I was that kid who would easily get lured into a van with the promise of a lollipop. Sometimes, I let the retail seduction last for twenty minutes, ignoring Marco and feeling up the merchandise, but I’m so tired of male voices. “Five bags of marshmallows,” Marco says in a resigned tone. “Wine. And a can of cat food.” “Cat food is low carb.” He makes no move to scan anything, so I scan each item myself and unroll a few notes from my tips. “Your job involves selling things. Sell them. Change, please.” “I just don’t know why you do this to yourself.” Marco looks at the register with a moral dilemma in his eyes. “Every week you come and do this.” He hesitates and looks over his shoulder where his sugar book sits under a layer of dust. He knows not to try to slip it into my bag with my purchases. “I don’t know why you care, dude. Just serve me. I don’t need your help.” He’s not entirely wrong about my being an addict. I would lick a line of icing sugar off this counter right now if no one were around. I would walk into a cane plantation and bite right in... “Give me my change or I swear to God …” I squeeze my eyes shut and try to tamp down my temper. “Just treat me like any other customer.” He gives me a few coins’ change and bags my sweet, spongy drugs.
Sally Thorne (99 Percent Mine)
Every pregnancy results in roughly two years of lost menstruation. If you are a manufacturer of menstrual pads, this is bad for business. So you ought to know about, and be so happy about, the drop in babies per woman across the world. You ought to know and be happy too about the growth in the number of educated women working away from home. Because these developments have created an exploding market for your products over the last few decades among billions of menstruating women now living on Levels 2 and 3. But, as I realized when I attended an internal meeting at one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of sanitary wear, most Western manufacturers have completely missed this. Instead, when hunting for new customers they are often stuck dreaming up new needs among the 300 million menstruating women on Level 4. “What if we market an even thinner pad for bikinis? What about pads that are invisible, to wear under Lycra? How about one pad for each kind of outfit, each situation, each sport? Special pads for mountain climbers!” Ideally, all the pads are so small they need to be replaced several times a day. But like most rich consumer markets, the basic needs are already met, and producers fight in vain to create demand in ever-smaller segments. Meanwhile, on Levels 2 and 3, roughly 2 billion menstruating women have few alternatives to choose from. These women don’t wear Lycra and won’t spend money on ultrathin pads. They demand a low-cost pad that will be reliable throughout the day so they don’t have to change it when they are out at work. And when they find a product they like, they will probably stick to that brand for their whole lives and recommend it to their daughters.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
I know you,” he added, helping to arrange the blanket over my shoulders. “You won’t drop the subject until I agree to check on your cousin, so I’ll do it. But only under one condition.” “John,” I said, whirling around to clutch his arm again. “Don’t get too excited,” he warned. “You haven’t heard the condition.” “Oh,” I said, eagerly. “Whatever it is, I’ll do it. Thank you. Alex has never had a very good life-his mother ran away when he was a baby, and his dad spent most of his life in jail…But, John, what is all this?” I swept my free hand out to indicate the people remaining on the dock, waiting for the boat John had said was arriving soon. I’d noticed some of them had blankets like the one he’d wrapped around me. “A new customer service initiative?” John looked surprised at my change of topic…then uncomfortable. He stooped to reach for the driftwood Typhon had dashed up to drop at his feet. “I don’t know what you mean,” he said, stiffly. “You’re giving blankets away to keep them warm while they wait. When did this start happening?” “You mentioned some things when you were here the last time….” He avoided meeting my gaze by tossing the stick for his dog. “They stayed with me.” My eyes widened. “Things I said?” “About how I should treat the people who end up here.” He paused at the approach of a wave-though it was yards off-and made quite a production of moving me, and my delicate slippers, out of its path. “So I decided to make a few changes.” It felt as if one of the kind of flowers I liked-a wild daisy, perhaps-had suddenly blossomed inside my heart. “Oh, John,” I said, and rose onto my toes to kiss his cheek. He looked more than a little surprised by the kiss. I thought I might actually have seen some color come into his cheeks. “What was that for?” he asked. “Henry said nothing was the same after I left. I assumed he meant everything was much worse. I couldn’t imagine it was the opposite, that things were better.” John’s discomfort at having been caught doing something kind-instead of reckless or violet-was sweet. “Henry talks too much,” he muttered. “But I’m glad you like it. Not that it hasn’t been a lot of added work. I’ll admit it’s cut down on the complaints, though, and even the fighting amongst our rowdier passengers. So you were right. Your suggestions helped.” I beamed up at him. Keeper of the dead. That’s how Mr. Smith, the cemetery sexton, had referred to John once, and that’s what he was. Although the title “protector of the dead” seemed more applicable. It was totally silly how much hope I was filled with by the fact that he’d remembered something I’d said so long ago-like maybe this whole consort thing might work out after all. I gasped a moment later when there was a sudden rush of white feathers, and the bird he’d given me emerged from the grizzly gray fog seeming to engulf the whole beach, plopping down onto the sand beside us with a disgruntled little humph. “Oh, Hope,” I said, dashing tears of laughter from my eyes. Apparently I had only to feel the emotion, and she showed up. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to leave you behind. It was his fault, you know.” I pointed at John. The bird ignored us both, poking around in the flotsam washed ashore by the waves, looking, as always, for something to eat. “Her name is Hope?” John asked, the corners of his mouth beginning to tug upwards. “No.” I bristled, thinking he was making fun of me. Then I realized I’d been caught. “Well, all right…so what if it is? I’m not going to name her after some depressing aspect of the Underworld like you do all your pets. I looked up the name Alastor. That was the name of one of the death horses that drew Hades’s chariot. And Typhon?” I glanced at the dog, cavorting in and out of the waves, seemingly oblivious of the cold. “I can only imagine, but I’m sure it means something equally unpleasant.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Roman Centurion's Song" LEGATE, I had the news last night - my cohort ordered home By ships to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome. I've marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below: Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go! I've served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall, I have none other home than this, nor any life at all. Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here. Here where men say my name was made, here where my work was done; Here where my dearest dead are laid - my wife - my wife and son; Here where time, custom, grief and toil, age, memory, service, love, Have rooted me in British soil. Ah, how can I remove? For me this land, that sea, these airs, those folk and fields suffice. What purple Southern pomp can match our changeful Northern skies, Black with December snows unshed or pearled with August haze - The clanging arch of steel-grey March, or June's long-lighted days? You'll follow widening Rhodanus till vine and olive lean Aslant before the sunny breeze that sweeps Nemausus clean To Arelate's triple gate; but let me linger on, Here where our stiff-necked British oaks confront Euroclydon! You'll take the old Aurelian Road through shore-descending pines Where, blue as any peacock's neck, the Tyrrhene Ocean shines. You'll go where laurel crowns are won, but -will you e'er forget The scent of hawthorn in the sun, or bracken in the wet? Let me work here for Britain's sake - at any task you will - A marsh to drain, a road to make or native troops to drill. Some Western camp (I know the Pict) or granite Border keep, Mid seas of heather derelict, where our old messmates sleep. Legate, I come to you in tears - My cohort ordered home! I've served in Britain forty years. What should I do in Rome? Here is my heart, my soul, my mind - the only life I know. I cannot leave it all behind. Command me not to go!
Rudyard Kipling
When Elizabeth finally descended the stairs on her way to the dining room she was two hours late. Deliberately. “Good heavens, you’re tardy, my dear!” Sir Francis said, shoving back his chair and rushing to the doorway where Elizabeth had been standing, trying to gather her courage to do what needed to be done. “Come and meet my guests,” he said, drawing her forward after a swift, disappointed look at her drab attire and severe coiffure. “We did as you suggested in your note and went ahead with supper. What kept you abovestairs so long?” “I was at prayer,” Elizabeth said, managing to look him straight in the eye. Sir Francis recovered from his surprise in time to introduce her to the three other people at the table-two men who resembled him in age and features and two women of perhaps five and thirty who were both attired in the most shockingly revealing gowns Elizabeth had ever seen. Elizabeth accepted a helping of cold meat to silence her protesting stomach while both women studied her with unhidden scorn. “That is a most unusual ensemble you’re wearing, I must say,” remarked the woman named Eloise. “Is it the custom where you come from to dress so…simply?” Elizabeth took a dainty bite of meat. “Not really. I disapprove of too much personal adornment.” She turned to Sir Francis with an innocent stare. “Gowns are expensive. I consider them a great waste of money.” Sir Francis was suddenly inclined to agree, particularly since he intended to keep her naked as much as possible. “Quite right!” he beamed, eyeing the other ladies with pointed disapproval. “No sense in spending all that money on gowns. No point in spending money at all.” “My sentiments exactly,” Elizabeth said, nodding. “I prefer to give every shilling I can find to charity instead.” “Give it away?” he said in a muted roar, half rising out of his chair. Then he forced himself to sit back down and reconsider the wisdom of wedding her. She was lovely-her face more mature then he remembered it, but not even the black veil and scraped-back hair could detract from the beauty of her emerald-green eyes with their long, sooty lashes. Her eyes had dark circles beneath them-shadows he didn’t recall seeing there earlier in the day. He put the shadows down to her far-too-serious nature. Her dowry was creditable, and her body beneath that shapeless black gown…he wished he could see her shape. Perhaps it, too, had changed, and not for the better, in the past few years. “I had hoped, my dear,” Sir Francis said, covering her hand with his and squeezing it affectionately, “that you might wear something else down to supper, as I suggested you should.” Elizabeth gave him an innocent stare. “This is all I brought.” “All you brought?” he uttered. “B-But I definitely saw my footmen carrying several trunks upstairs.” “They belong to my aunt-only one of them is mine,” she fabricated hastily, already anticipating his next question and thinking madly for some satisfactory answer. “Really?” He continued to eye her gown with great dissatisfaction, and then he asked exactly the question she’d expected: “What, may I ask, does your one truck contain if not gowns?” Inspiration struck, and Elizabeth smiled radiantly. “Something of great value. Priceless value,” she confided. All faces at the table watched her with alert fascination-particularly the greedy Sir Francis. “Well, don’t keep us in suspense, love. What’s in it?” “The mortal remains of Saint Jacob.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Thank you Neil, and to the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks from the heart. My family, my agent, editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as mine, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice at accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who were excluded from literature for so long, my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction—writers of the imagination, who for the last 50 years watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists. I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality. Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between the production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not quite the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. (Thank you, brave applauders.) Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial; I see my own publishers in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an ebook six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience and writers threatened by corporate fatwa, and I see a lot of us, the producers who write the books, and make the books, accepting this. Letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish and what to write. (Well, I love you too, darling.) Books, you know, they’re not just commodities. The profit motive often is in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words. I have had a long career and a good one. In good company. Now here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want—and should demand—our fair share of the proceeds. But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom. Thank you.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Sheepwalking I define “sheepwalking” as the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a brain-dead job and enough fear to keep them in line. You’ve probably encountered someone who is sheepwalking. The TSA “screener” who forces a mom to drink from a bottle of breast milk because any other action is not in the manual. A “customer service” rep who will happily reread a company policy six or seven times but never stop to actually consider what the policy means. A marketing executive who buys millions of dollars’ worth of TV time even though she knows it’s not working—she does it because her boss told her to. It’s ironic but not surprising that in our age of increased reliance on new ideas, rapid change, and innovation, sheepwalking is actually on the rise. That’s because we can no longer rely on machines to do the brain-dead stuff. We’ve mechanized what we could mechanize. What’s left is to cost-reduce the manual labor that must be done by a human. So we write manuals and race to the bottom in our search for the cheapest possible labor. And it’s not surprising that when we go to hire that labor, we search for people who have already been trained to be sheepish. Training a student to be sheepish is a lot easier than the alternative. Teaching to the test, ensuring compliant behavior, and using fear as a motivator are the easiest and fastest ways to get a kid through school. So why does it surprise us that we graduate so many sheep? And graduate school? Since the stakes are higher (opportunity cost, tuition, and the job market), students fall back on what they’ve been taught. To be sheep. Well-educated, of course, but compliant nonetheless. And many organizations go out of their way to hire people that color inside the lines, that demonstrate consistency and compliance. And then they give these people jobs where they are managed via fear. Which leads to sheepwalking. (“I might get fired!”) The fault doesn’t lie with the employee, at least not at first. And of course, the pain is often shouldered by both the employee and the customer. Is it less efficient to pursue the alternative? What happens when you build an organization like W. L. Gore and Associates (makers of Gore-Tex) or the Acumen Fund? At first, it seems crazy. There’s too much overhead, there are too many cats to herd, there is too little predictability, and there is way too much noise. Then, over and over, we see something happen. When you hire amazing people and give them freedom, they do amazing stuff. And the sheepwalkers and their bosses just watch and shake their heads, certain that this is just an exception, and that it is way too risky for their industry or their customer base. I was at a Google conference last month, and I spent some time in a room filled with (pretty newly minted) Google sales reps. I talked to a few of them for a while about the state of the industry. And it broke my heart to discover that they were sheepwalking. Just like the receptionist at a company I visited a week later. She acknowledged that the front office is very slow, and that she just sits there, reading romance novels and waiting. And she’s been doing it for two years. Just like the MBA student I met yesterday who is taking a job at a major packaged-goods company…because they offered her a great salary and promised her a well-known brand. She’s going to stay “for just ten years, then have a baby and leave and start my own gig.…” She’ll get really good at running coupons in the Sunday paper, but not particularly good at solving new problems. What a waste. Step one is to give the problem a name. Done. Step two is for anyone who sees themselves in this mirror to realize that you can always stop. You can always claim the career you deserve merely by refusing to walk down the same path as everyone else just because everyone else is already doing it.
Seth Godin (Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations, 2006-2012)