Defense Done Quotes

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People can have their opinions about everything in the world, but people's opinions end where the tip of my nose begins. Your opinions of others can only go so far as to where their own shoreline is. The world is for your taking, but other people are not. One is only allowed to have an opinion of me, if that person is done educating him/herself on everything about me. Before people educate themselves on everything about you, they're not allowed to open their venomous mouthes and have an opinion about you.
C. JoyBell C.
It's always better to attack than to defend," Coram had told her when they talked about fencing late at night. "Always. Ye don't win with defense--ye only hold the other feller off, or wear him down. Attack and have done with it!
Tamora Pierce (Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1))
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
I have no idea who you even are and now you're my damn girlfriend. What the hell have you done to me?" She holds her palms up defensively. "Hey, don't blame me. I've gone eighteen years swearing off boyfriends and then you show up out of the blue with your vulgar mouth and terribly awkward first kisses and now look at me. I'm a hypocrite." "I don't even know your phone number," I say. "I don't even know your birthday," she says. "You're the worst girlfriend I've ever had.
Colleen Hoover (Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5))
You know that feeling at the end of the day, when the anxiety of that-which-I-must-do falls away and, for maybe the first time that day, you see, with some clarity, the people you love and the ways you have, during that day, slightly ignored them, turned away from them to get back to what you were doing, blurted out some mildly hurtful thing, projected, instead of the deep love you really feel, a surge of defensiveness or self-protection or suspicion? That moment when you think, Oh God, what have I done with this day? And what am I doing with my life? And how must I change to avoid catastrophic end-of-life regrets? I feel like that now: tired of the Me I've always been, tired of making the same mistakes, repetitively stumbling after the same small ego strokes, being caught in the same loops of anxiety and defensiveness. At the end of my life, I know I won't be wishing I'd held more back, been less effusive, more often stood on ceremony, forgiven less, spent more days oblivious to the secret wishes and fears of the people around me... --"Buddha Boy
George Saunders (The Braindead Megaphone)
While this is all very amusing, the kiss that will free the girl is the kiss that she most desires,” she said. “Only that and nothing more.” Jace’s heart started to pound. He met the Queen’s eyes with his own. “Why are you doing this?” … “Desire is not always lessened by disgust…And as my words bind my magic, so you can know the truth. If she doesn’t desire your kiss, she won’t be free.” “You don’t have to do this, Clary, it’s a trick—” (Simon) ...Isabelle sounded exasperated. ‘Who cares, anyway? It’s just a kiss.” “That’s right,” Jace said. Clary looked up, then finally, and her wide green eyes rested on him. He moved toward her... and put his hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him… He could feel the tension in his own body, the effort of holding back, of not pulling her against him and taking this one chance, however dangerous and stupid and unwise, and kissing her the way he had thought he would never, in his life, be able to kiss her again. “It’s just a kiss,” he said, and heard the roughness in his own voice, and wondered if she heard it, too. Not that it mattered—there was no way to hide it. It was too much. He had never wanted like this before... She understood him, laughed when he laughed, saw through the defenses he put up to what was underneath. There was no Jace Wayland more real than the one he saw in her eyes when she looked at him… All he knew was that whatever he had to owe to Hell or Heaven for this chance, he was going to make it count. He...whispered in her ear. “You can close your eyes and think of England, if you like,” he said. Her eyes fluttered shut, her lashes coppery lines against her pale, fragile skin. “I’ve never even been to England,” she said, and the softness, the anxiety in her voice almost undid him. He had never kissed a girl without knowing she wanted it too, usually more than he did, and this was Clary, and he didn’t know what she wanted. Her eyes were still closed, but she shivered, and leaned into him — barely, but it was permission enough. His mouth came down on hers. And that was it. All the self-control he’d exerted over the past weeks went, like water crashing through a broken dam. Her arms came up around his neck and he pulled her against him… His hands flattened against her back... and she was up on the tips of her toes, kissing him as fiercely as he was kissing her... He clung to her more tightly, knotting his hands in her hair, trying to tell her, with the press of his mouth on hers, all the things he could never say out loud... His hands slid down to her waist... he had no idea what he would have done or said next, if it would have been something he could never have pretended away or taken back, but he heard a soft hiss of laughter — the Faerie Queen — in his ears, and it jolted him back to reality. He pulled away from Clary before he it was too late, unlocking her hands from around his neck and stepping back... Clary was staring at him. Her lips were parted, her hands still open. Her eyes were wide. Behind her, Alec and Isabelle were gaping at them; Simon looked as if he was about to throw up. ...If there had ever been any hope that he could have come to think of Clary as just his sister, this — what had just happened between them — had exploded it into a thousand pieces... He tried to read Clary’s face — did she feel the same? … I know you felt it, he said to her with his eyes, and it was half bitter triumph and half pleading. I know you felt it, too…She glanced away from him... He whirled on the Queen. “Was that good enough?” he demanded. “Did that entertain you?” The Queen gave him a look: special and secretive and shared between the two of them. “We are quite entertained," she said. “But not, I think, so much as the both of you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Goldstone has done terrible damage to the cause of truth and justice and the rule of law. He has poisoned Jewish-Palestinian relations, undermined the courageous work of Israeli dissenters and—most unforgivably—increased the risk of another merciless IDF assault.
Norman G. Finkelstein (Goldstone Recants: Richard Goldstone Renews Israel's License to Kill)
He sighed heavily. "You pissed me off." Well, that was totally unexpected....sort of. "Hey, I said I was sorry about hitting Mitch with that sword. How was I supposed to know the thing would leave a welt?" she said defensively. "That's not what I'm talking about. That didn't bother me." "Is it because I kicked your ass at skee ball?" "No! And that game is rigged anyway so it doesn't count." "Riigghhht," she said, drawing out the word. She thought over the rest of the night and couldn't figure out what she'd done. "Okay, you're gonna have to help me out here because I'm drawing a blank." "I'm pissed because all those men hit on you and not once did you tell any of them to f*ck off because you had a boyfriend!" he yelled. Her face went expressionless. She blinked once and then again. Then she burst into uncontrollable laughter.
R.L. Mathewson (Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell, #1))
Did you mean it? What you said.” He held her stare. Let some inner wall within him come crumbling down. Only for her. For this sharp-eyed, cunning little liar who had slipped through every defense and ironclad rule he’d ever made for himself. He let her see that in his face. Let her see all of it, as no one had ever done before. “Yes.” Her mouth tightened, but not in displeasure. So Lorcan said softly, “I meant every word.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
No. I took this job in self-defense. Quain burns everything. Belen thinks jerky is all we need to survive. Flea's idea of a good meal is something that hasn't been in a garbage can first. And Kerrick poisoned us-' 'Not on purpose,' Kerrick said. 'The meat looked done.
Maria V. Snyder (Touch of Power (Healer, #1))
If abuses are destroyed, man must destroy them. If slaves are freed, man must free them. If new truths are discovered, man must discover them. If the naked are clothed; if the hungry are fed; if justice is done; if labor is rewarded; if superstition is driven from the mind; if the defenseless are protected and if the right finally triumphs, all must be the work of man. The grand victories of the future must be won by man, and by man alone.
Robert G. Ingersoll (On the Gods and Other Essays)
Tom became distracted by the sight of his own boobs. He reached down to grab them. Wyatt cleared her throat. "What?" Tom said defensively. "They're mine." "You aren't seriously planning to just sit there groping yourself in front of me, are you? That's kind of rude." Tom dropped his hands, a bit sheepish. "What, come on. You've got some new equipment, too. You're not curious?" Wyatt's armor clanked as she shifted awkwardly in her seat. "It's not like I haven't played sims as men before." "Right." Tom grinned. "So you've already done the groping thing." "That's not what I said!
S.J. Kincaid (Insignia (Insignia, #1))
You’re a slave? (Eleni) I was. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come here. (Acheron) Take your cloak off and sit, Acheron. You’ve done nothing to apologize for. I admire you all the more for stopping to help us. It’s nothing for a nobleman to do so, yet they seldom bother to help those less fortunate. For a freedman to speak up in defense of another takes great courage and character. What you did is all the more noble and kind, and I would be honored to have you sit at my table with us. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
You need to come with us right now," one of the queen's guards said. "If you resist, we'll take you by force." "Leave him alone!" I yelled, looking from face to face. That angry darkness exploded within me. How could they still not believe? Why were they still coming after him? "He hasn't done anything! Why can't you guys accept that he's really a dhampir now?" The man who'd spoken arched an eyebrow. "I wasn't talking to him." "You're...you're here for me?" I asked. I tried to think of any new spectacles I might have caused recently. I considered the crazy idea that the queen had found out I'd spent the night with Adrian and was pissed off about it. That was hardly enough to send the palace guard for me, though...or was it? Had I really gone too far with my antics? "What for?" demanded Dimitri. That tall, wonderful bod of his—the one that could be so sensual sometimes—was filled with tension and menace now. The man kept his gaze on me, ignoring Dimitri. "Don't make me repeat myself: Come with us quietly, or we will make you." The glimmer of handcuffs showed in his hands. My eyes went wide. "That's crazy! I'm not going anywhere until you tel me how the hell this—" That was the point at which they apparently decided I wasn't coming quietly. Two of the royal guardians lunged for me, and even though we technically worked for the same side, my instincts kicked in. I didn't understand anything here except that I would not be dragged away like some kind of master criminal. I shoved the chair I'd been sitting in earlier at the one of the guardians and aimed a punch at the other. It was a sloppy throw, made worse because he was taller than me. That height difference allowed me to dodge his next grab, and when I kicked hard at his legs, a grunt told me I'd hit home. [...] Meanwhile, other guardians were joining the fray. Although I got a couple of good punches in, I knew the numbers were too overwhelming. One guardian caught hold of my arm and began trying to put the cuffs on me. He stopped when another set of hands grabbed me from the other side and jerked me away. Dimitri. "Don't touch her," he growled. There was a note in his voice that would have scared me if it had been directed toward me. He shoved me behind him, putting his body protectively in front of mine with my back to the table. Guardians came at us from all directions, and Dimitri began dispatching them with the same deadly grace that had once made people call him a god. [...] The queen's guards might have been the best of the best, but Dimitri...well, my former lover and instructor was in a category all his own. His fighting skills were beyond anyone else's, and he was using them all in defense me. "Stay back," he ordered me. "They aren't laying a hand on you.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Getting defensive doesn't hide the fact that you know you could have done better. Stop putting your energy into your excuses.
Tony Curl
My Heart’s Own Blood, I dance to you in a body built for sweetness, a body that tears itself apart in defense of what it loves. This letter will sting you when it’s done. Let it, and read a postscript in its death throes.
Amal El-Mohtar (This is How You Lose the Time War)
I’m just not, okay? Can we please drop it? I’m done working on the experiment for the day. We’re supposed to be helping Grayson with his physics too, and he’s got a make up quiz tomorrow on Newton’s Laws.” This seemed to stop everyone. I wasn’t sure why they were suddenly all staring at me until Brandon said, “Did you really fail a quiz on Newton’s Laws?” Okay. So they were staring at me because they all thought I was a moron. “What?” I asked a little defensively. “Like it’s easy? ‘Don’t steal’ I get. ‘Red means stop’ makes perfect sense. That Newton guy was smoking some serious crack when he made up his laws. When the hell will I ever use that stuff anyway?
Kelly Oram (The Avery Shaw Experiment (Science Squad, #1))
Damon spoke without moving. “I’m not like you.” “You’re not as different from us as you want to think,” Matt said. “Look,” he added, an odd note of challenge in his voice, “I know you killed Mr. Tanner in self-defense, because you told me. And I know you didn’t come here to Fell’s Church because Bonnie’s spell dragged you here, because I sorted the hair and I didn’t make any mistakes. You’re more like us than you admit, Damon. The only thing I don’t know is why you didn’t go into Vickie’s house to help her.” Damon snapped, almost automatically, “Because I wasn’t invited!” Memory swept over Bonnie. Herself standing outside Vickie’s house, Damon standing beside her. Stefan’s voice: Vickie, invite me in. But no one had invited Damon. “But how did Klaus get in, then—?” she began, following her own thoughts. “That was Tyler’s job, I’m sure,” Damon said tersely. “What Tyler did for Klaus in return for learning how to reclaim his heritage. And he must have invited Klaus in before we ever started guarding the house—probably before Stefan and I came to Fell’s Church. Klaus was well prepared. That night he was in the house and the girl was dead before I knew what was happening.” “Why didn’t you call for Stefan?” Matt said. There was no accusation in his voice. It was a simple question. “Because there was nothing he could have done! I knew what you were dealing with as soon as I saw it. An Old One. Stefan would only have gotten himself killed—and the girl was past caring, anyway.” Bonnie heard the thread of coldness in his voice, and when Damon turned back to Stefan and Elena, his face had hardened. It was as if some decision had been made. “You see, I’m not like you,” he said. “It doesn’t matter.” Stefan had still not withdrawn his hand. Neither had Elena.
L.J. Smith (Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #4))
But conquering people is easy. You break past their defenses, seize their cities, burn their world to the ground. To annihilate us, though, is impossible. A seed will survive. I am not done. I will not forget.
Marie Lu (Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1))
I just don't understand what you see in her," Sim said carefully. "I know she's charming. Fascinating and all of that. But she seems rather," he hesitated, "cruel." I nodded. "She is." Simmon watched me expectantly, finally said. "What? No defense for her?" "No. Cruel is a good word for her. But I think you are saying cruel and thinking of something else. Denna is not wicked, or mean, or spiteful. She is cruel." Sim was quiet for a long while before responding. "I think she might be some of those things, and cruel as well." Good, honest gentle Sim. He could never bring himself to say bad things about another person, just imply them. Even that was hard for him. He looked up at me. "I talked with Savoy. He's still not over her. He really loved her, you know. Treated her like a princess. He would have done anything for her. But she left him anyway, no explanation." "Denna is a wild thing," I explained. "Like a hind or a summer storm. If a storm blows down your house, or breaks a tree, you don't say the storm was mean. It was cruel. It acted according to its nature and something unfortunately was hurt. The same is true of Denna." "What's a hind?" "A deer." "I thought that was a hart?" "A hind is a female deer. A wild deer. Do you know how much good it does you to chase a wild thing? None. It works against you. It startles the hind away. All you can do is stay gently where you are, and hope in time that the hind will come to you.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Nothing could be more important than that the work of a soldier is well done. No tools will make a man a skilled workmen, or master of defense, or be of any use to him who has not learned how to handle them and has never bestowed any attention on them.
Plato
I will not be someone who abandons my principles as soon as they become inconvenient. I will not be someone who says that certain things have to be done… as long as somebody else does them.
Zoe Cannon (The Torturer's Daughter (Internal Defense #1))
In alcohol’s defense, I’m done some pretty stupid shit while completely sober, too.” - kushandwizdom
Sara Ney (He Kissed Me First (Kiss and Make Up #2))
Theres nothing more efficient than honesty and nothing more powerful than vulnerability because, vulnerability reveals everyone in your life who will abuse power immediately and almost irrevocably. Theres nothing weaker than hiding your vulnerability because, it means a refusal to stare at those who abuse power and see them for who they are which means they still have power and control over you. Nothing is stronger than vulnerability. Nothing more clarifying. Nothing is clearer than vulnerability, and if you hide who you are you are just making a tombstone of your everyday actions because you dont exist in hiding and you're letting the past rob you. Exercise the power of vulnerability. When you are vulnerable you are signaling to your system that the past is over and done! That you're no longer a victim! That you're no longer trapped in a destructive and abusive environment! vulnerability means it's over, it's done. The war is over but, if you continue to use the same defenses that you had in the past all you're telling your whole body is that the past is not over. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Be open and show your heart. That's the best way of telling your heart that the tigers are no longer in the grass. I'm telling you, just take it for a spin. Vulnerability and openness will get you what you want in your life and hiding will only get you the feeling of being prey from here until the end of your life.
Stefan Molyneux
Like the character Moliere who discovered to his astonishment that he had been speaking prose all his life, I discovered to my astonishment that I had been immersed in philosophical problems all my life. And I had been drawn into the same problems as great philosophers by the same felt need to make sense of the world...The chief difference between me and them, of course, was that whereas they had something to offer by way of solutions to the problems, I had failed even to formulate very rich or sophistocated versions of the problems, let alone work my way through to defensible solutions for them. In consequence I fell on their work like a starving man on food, and it has done a geat deal to nourish and sustain me ever since.
Bryan Magee (Confessions of a Philosopher: A Personal Journey Through Western Philosophy from Plato to Popper (Modern Library (Paperback)))
When I come to the Lord after I’ve blown it, I’ve only one argument to make. It’s not the argument of the difficulty of the environment that I am in. It’s not the argument of the difficult people that I’m near. It’s not the argument of good intentions that were thwarted in some way. I come to the Lord with only one appeal; his mercy. I’ve no other defense. I’ve no other standing. I’ve no other hope. I can’t escape the reality of my biggest problem; me! So I appeal to the one thing in my life that’s sure and will never fail. I appeal to the one thing that guaranteed not only my acceptance with God, but the hope of new beginnings and fresh starts. I appeal on the basis of the greatest gift I ever have or ever will be given. I leave the courtroom of my own defense, I come out of hiding and I admit who I am. But I’m not afraid, because I’ve been personally and eternally blessed. Because of what Jesus has done, God looks on me with mercy. It’s my only appeal, it’s the source of my hope, it’s my life. Mercy, mercy me!
Paul David Tripp (Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy)
I would rather take a nap.” “How could you possibly want a nap?” Pandora demanded, incredulous. “We’ve done nothing but sit all day.” Cassandra was instantly defensive. “Doing nothing is exhausting. I need to rest in case we do nothing again later.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
I agree. The best defense is a good offense. I say we take Blake to task on some of the allegations of a cover-up and challenge him to reveal his sources or admit he has no evidence of church involvement,” a member recommended. “I concur.” “So do I.” “One word of warning, of course.” “What’s that?” “We’re lying,” a member warned. “Gerry has done this before, we did know about it, and we did cover it up after we botched the transfer. If Blake finds out and can prove it, we’ll have only made a terrible situation disastrous.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal of Faith (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #1))
My tried-and-true philosophy of keeping people at a distance was taking a beating lately. It wasn't working so well with Mircea, and Pritkin had somehow bulldozed past every defense I had before I'd even noticed. I still wasn't sure how he'd done it. He wasn't that good-looking, he had the social skills of a wet cat and the patience of a caffeinated hummingbird. In between crazy stunts and, okay, saving my life, he was just really annoying. When we'd started working together, I'd assumed it would be a question of putting up with Pritkin; then suddenly the stupid hair was making me smile, and the sporadic heroics were making my heart jump and the constant bitching had me wanting to kiss him quiet. And now I cared more than was good for me.
Karen Chance (Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, #4))
Pain....it let's you know your alive. It lets you know that you truly loved. Dealing with it is never easy. It breaks through your defenses and brings you crashing down. Cry the tears that need to come and once your done, pick up the pieces and try and put them back together. It will not be easy, but this is how life is.
Earle Adam Lindsay
To Paula in Late Spring" Let me imagine that we will come again when we want to and it will be spring we will be no older than we ever were the worn griefs will have eased like the early cloud through which the morning slowly comes to itself and the ancient defenses against the dead will be done with and left to the dead at last the light will be as it is now in the garden that we have made here these years together of our long evenings and astonishment
W.S. Merwin
To put it still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet. We look for this security by fortifying and enclosing ourselves in innumerable ways. We want the protection of being “exclusive” and “special,” seeking to belong to the safest church, the best nation, the highest class, the right set, and the “nice” people. These defenses lead to divisions between us, and so to more insecurity demanding more defenses. Of course it is all done in the sincere belief that we are trying to do the right things and live in the best way; but this, too, is a contradiction.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity)
[Adapted and condensed Valedictorian speech:] I'm going to ask that you seriously consider modeling your life, not in the manner of the Dalai Lama or Jesus - though I'm sure they're helpful - but something a bit more hands-on, Carassius auratus auratus, commonly known as the domestic goldfish. People make fun of the goldfish. People don't think twice about swallowing it. Jonas Ornata III, Princeton class of '42, appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for swallowing the greatest number of goldfish in a fifteen-minute interval, a cruel total of thirty-nine. In his defense, though, I don't think Jonas understood the glory of the goldfish, that they have magnificent lessons to teach us. If you live like a goldfish, you can survive the harshest, most thwarting of circumstances. You can live through hardships that make your cohorts - the guppy, the neon tetra - go belly-up at the first sign of trouble. There was an infamous incident described in a journal published by the Goldfish Society of America - a sadistic five-year-old girl threw hers to the carpet, stepped on it, not once but twice - luckily she'd done it on a shag carpet and thus her heel didn't quite come down fully on the fish. After thirty harrowing seconds she tossed it back into its tank. It went on to live another forty-seven years. They can live in ice-covered ponds in the dead of winter. Bowls that haven't seen soap in a year. And they don't die from neglect, not immediately. They hold on for three, sometimes four months if they're abandoned. If you live like a goldfish, you adapt, not across hundreds of thousands of years like most species, having to go through the red tape of natural selection, but within mere months, weeks even. You give them a little tank? They give you a little body. Big tank? Big body. Indoor. Outdoor. Fish tanks, bowls. Cloudy water, clear water. Social or alone. The most incredible thing about goldfish, however, is their memory. Everyone pities them for only remembering their last three seconds, but in fact, to be so forcibly tied to the present - it's a gift. They are free. No moping over missteps, slip-ups, faux pas or disturbing childhoods. No inner demons. Their closets are light filled and skeleton free. And what could be more exhilarating than seeing the world for the very first time, in all of its beauty, almost thirty thousand times a day? How glorious to know that your Golden Age wasn't forty years ago when you still had all you hair, but only three seconds ago, and thus, very possibly it's still going on, this very moment." I counted three Mississippis in my head, though I might have rushed it, being nervous. "And this moment, too." Another three seconds. "And this moment, too." Another. "And this moment, too.
Marisha Pessl
To be fair, you can tell me what you think of me,” Max offered. “I didn’t mean to offend you. I was just making a few observations.” “How could I possibly know enough about you to make a proper judgment?” His tone was harsher than he’d anticipated. “You’ve taken a stranger into your home without so much as a second thought and offered everything but your bed. Crazy comes to mind. Suicidal maybe.” Max leaned forward in her chair, readying her defenses. “Excuse me?” “I don’t mean to sound ungrateful here but please remember that you don’t know me. I appreciate all that you’ve done but that doesn’t entitle you to judge me.” “I wasn’t judging you,” she bit back. “But maybe you’re right. I don’t think I thought this through at all.
Shawn Maravel (The Wanderer)
Biden had fifty years, and he has never done anything to help minorities that didn’t make them more dependent on him and his fellow liberals.
Donald Trump Jr. (Liberal Privilege: Joe Biden And The Democrats' Defense Of The Indefensible)
Awesome,” I told him. “I felt defensive at first, like I hadn’t done anything worth apologizing for, but I recognized that it wasn’t about my intention; it was about how my action was received. That my action was unwelcome. I get that now, and it didn’t take long for it to click this time.
Chelsea Handler (Life Will Be the Death of Me: . . . and you too!)
I dance to you in a body built for sweetness, a body that tears itself apart in defense of what it loves. This letter will sting you when it’s done. Let it, and read a postscript in its death throes.
Amal El-Mohtar (This is How You Lose the Time War)
What is the proper justification of a mathematician’s life? My answers will be, for the most part, such as are expected from a mathematician: I think that it is worthwhile, that there is ample justification. But I should say at once that my defense of mathematics will be a defense of myself, and that my apology is bound to be to some extent egotistical. I should not think it worth while to apologize for my subject if I regarded myself as one of its failures. Some egotism of this sort is inevitable, and I do not feel that it really needs justification. Good work is no done by "humble" men. It is one of the first duties of a professor, for example, in any subject, to exaggerate a little both the importance of his subject and his own importance in it. A man who is always asking "Is what I do worth while?" and "Am I the right person to do it?" will always be ineffective himself and a discouragement to others. He must shut his eyes a little and think a little more of his subject and himself than they deserve. This is not too difficult: it is harder not to make his subject and himself ridiculous by shutting his eyes too tightly.
G.H. Hardy (A Mathematician's Apology)
I wrote about myself so I wouldn't become paralyzed by rumination—so I could stop thinking about what had happened and be done with it. More than that, I wrote so I could say I was truly paying attention. Experience in itself wasn't enough. The diary was my defense against waking up at the end of my life and realizing I'd missed it.
Sarah Manguso
I asked Mama was it a sin to do what I done, and she said no, it was the same as David slaying Goliath, it was only to save Ulyssa and the others, not because of meanness that I did it. I would do it again, too. I am not sorry, but this has hurt my heart and spirit more than all the other trials, for being forsaken is worse than being killed.
Nancy E. Turner (These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901, Arizona Territories (Sarah Agnes Prine, #1))
When the prosecution is confronted with concrete evidence of a defendant’s innocence during a trial or investigation, or even after a jury renders an erroneous guilty verdict, that prosecutor must come forward, as an officer of the court, to make sure that justice is done. Defense attorneys have no such obligation, even when they know their clients are guilty.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal In Blue (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #3))
The case for the humanities is not hard to make, though it can be difficult--to such an extent have we been marginalized, so long have we acceded to that marginalization--not to sound either defensive or naive. The humanities, done right, are the crucible in which our evolving notions of what it means to be fully human are put to the test; they teach us, incrementally, endlessly, not what to do, but how to be. Their method is confrontational, their domain unlimited, their "product" not truth but the reasoned search for truth, their "success" something very much like Frost's momentary stay against confusion.
Mark Slouka (Essays from the Nick of Time: Reflections and Refutations)
We look for this security by fortifying and enclosing ourselves in innumerable ways. We want the protection of being “exclusive” and “special,” seeking to belong to the safest church, the best nation, the highest class, the right set, and the “nice” people. These defenses lead to divisions between us, and so to more insecurity demanding more defenses. Of course it is all done in the sincere belief that we are trying to do the right things and live in the best way; but this, too, is a contradiction.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity)
I borrowed strength from my position and authority and forced her to do what I wanted her to do. But borrowing strength builds weakness. It builds weakness in the borrower because it reinforces dependence on external factors to get things done. It builds weakness in the person forced to acquiesce, stunting the development of independent reasoning, growth, and internal discipline. And finally, it builds weakness in the relationship. Fear replaces cooperation, and both people involved become more arbitrary and defensive.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
Jack?" "Mmmm?" The band was playing a softer song, mellow and slow. "Why did you ask me out when you did?" I tried to sound casual. "What do you mean?" "I mean,did something specific happen to make you ask me out?" "Yes," he said. "What was it?" Had I thrown myself at Jack Caputo? Had I done something to get in Lacey's way? "You remember the first game of the season?" "Yeah," I said. It was Jack's first game as starting quarterback, the youngest starter in school history. I remembered sitting in the second row, directly behind the team bench. "After I threw for the first touchdown of the game?" "Yes." I still couldn't figure out where he was going with this.Had I flashed him or something,and blocked it out of my memory? I was pretty sure I wasn't holding up any large signs declaring my love or anything. "Our defense took the field, and I was on the bench.When I turned around to look at the fans..." He paused. Oh,no. "What did I do?" He smiled. "You looked at me.Not the game." He sighed,as if reliving the memory. I felt my face scrunch up in confusion. "That's it?" "That's it." He shrugged. "It was the first time I thought there might be a chance. I asked Jules about it." I bit my lip. "Apparently she doesn't understand that trusty sidekicks aren't supposed to spill secrets." In a flash,I was suspended in air, the back of my head inches from the ground, Jack's face a breath away from mine, his lips in a wicked grin. I gasped,more from surprise at the sudden dip than from fear. "There are no secrets between us,Becks." His smile remained,but his eyes were intense.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
We like to keep separate the evils of our national past from the sacredness of our ideals. That separation allows us to maintain a pristine idea of America despite all of the ugly things we have done. Americans can celebrate the founding fathers even when we hear John Adams declare to King George, “We will not be your negroes” or learn that Thomas Jefferson wasn’t so consistent in his defense of freedom. We keep treating America like we have a great blueprint and we’ve just strayed from it. But the fact is that we’ve built the country true. Black folk were never meant to be full-fledged participants in this society. The ideas of freedom and equality, of liberty and citizenship did not apply to us, precisely because we were black. Hell, the ability to vote for the majority of black people wasn’t guaranteed until 1965. The value gap limited explicitly the scope and range of democratic life in this country. So when folks claim that American democracy stands apart from white supremacy, they are either lying or they have simply stuck their head in the sand.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul)
I manage. I manage because I have to. Because I've no other way out. Because I've overcome the vanity and pride defense against being different. Because I've understood that the sun shines differently when something changes. The sun shines differently, but it will continue to shine,
Andrzej Sapkowski (The Complete Witcher)
To put it still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet. We look for this security by fortifying and enclosing ourselves in innumerable ways. We want the protection of being “exclusive” and “special,” seeking to belong to the safest church, the best nation, the highest class, the right set, and the “nice” people. These defenses lead to divisions between us, and so to more insecurity demanding more defenses. Of course it is all done in the sincere belief that we are trying to do the right things and live in the best way; but this, too, is a contradiction. I can only think seriously of trying to live up to an ideal, to improve myself, if I am split in two pieces. There must be a good “I” who is going to improve the bad “me.” “I,” who has the best intentions, will go to work on wayward “me,” and the tussle between the two will very much stress the difference between them. Consequently “I” will feel more separate than ever, and so merely increase the lonely and cut-off feelings which make “me” behave so badly.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity)
INT. DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS CLASS—FOURTEEN YEARS PREVIOUSLY—DAY It is Boggart time. DUMBLEDORE supervises the line of teenagers advancing to try their luck. “Riddikulus”—“Riddikulus”—gusts of hilarity as a shark becomes a flotation device, a zombie’s head turns into a pumpkin, a vampire turns into a buck-toothed rabbit. DUMBLEDORE: All right, Newt. Be brave. 16-YEAR-OLD NEWT moves to the front of the queue. The Boggart turns into a Ministry desk. DUMBLEDORE: Mmm, that’s an unusual one. So Mr. Scamander fears what more than anything else in the world? 16-YEAR-OLD NEWT: Having to work in an office, sir. The class roars with laughter. DUMBLEDORE: Go ahead, Newt. 16-YEAR-OLD NEWT: Riddikulus! NEWT turns the desk into a gamboling wooden dragon and moves aside. DUMBLEDORE: Well done. Good job.
J.K. Rowling (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay (Fantastic Beasts: The Original Screenplay, #2))
somehow Acheson had been scarred during the McCarthy era; it was not so much that he had done anything wrong as the fact that he had been forced to defend himself. By that very defense, by all the publicity, he had become controversial. He had been in print too often, it was somehow indiscreet of Dean to be attacked by McCarthy.
David Halberstam (The Best and the Brightest)
The teasing would be fond and good-humored, but she no longer had the resilience for teasing. Marriage to Perry meant she was always ready to justify her actions, constantly monitoring what she’d just said or done, while simultaneously feeling defensive about the defensiveness, her thoughts and feelings twisting into impenetrable knots, so that sometimes, like right now, sitting in a room with normal people, all the things she couldn’t say rose in her throat and for a moment she couldn’t breathe.
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
Revolution thus ran its course from city to city, and the places which it arrived at last, from having heard what had been done before, carried to a still greater excess the refinement of their inventions, as manifested in the cunning of their enterprises and the atrocity of their reprisals. Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal supporter; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question incapacity to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting a justifiable means of self-defense. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries.
Thucydides (History of the Peloponnesian War)
was emotionally true because I had already grown to feel that there existed men against whom I was powerless, men who could violate my life at will. I resolved that I would emulate the black woman if I were ever faced with a white mob; I would conceal a weapon, pretend that I had been crushed by the wrong done to one of my loved ones; then, just when they thought I had accepted their cruelty as the law of my life, I would let go with my gun and kill as many of them as possible before they killed me. The story of the woman’s deception gave form and meaning to confused defensive feelings that had long been sleeping in me. My imaginings, of course, had no objective
Richard Wright (Black Boy)
This realization is much like Donald Miller's awakening after a day of protesting President Bush: "More than my questions about the efficacy of social action were my questions about my own motives. Do I want social justice for the oppressed, or do I just want to be known as a socially active person? I spend 95 percent of my time thinking about myself anyway. I don't have to watch the evening news to see that the world is bad, I only have to look at myself.... I was the very problem that I had been protesting. I wanted to make a sign that read "I AM THE PROBLEM!" " I cannot plead innocent. I have contributed to the sum total of misery in the world. ...Or, as Casey incisively remarks, "I have more evidence of crime against myself than I have for any other human being. My conscience accuses me directly of so much malice, whereas I know only by hearsay of the evil done by others. To be humble before God is to know that I am blameworthy." " Such Christian humility is not the same thing as low self-esteem or poor self-image. It is simply the refusal to be deluded by the lie that I am guiltless: "Empowered by the intensity of God's unconditional love for me, I find it possible to demolish my defenses and admit to the truth of my condition. There is nothing in my constitution or personal history that would give me any confidence in my own competence to bring my life to a happy conclusion.
Dennis Okholm
Are you prepared then, to shoot a human being?" he asked, trying not to let Jenny sense his own internal unease. "It's not the same as shooting a duck or gazelle." Jenny's violet eyes met his straight on. "If that human being was about to harm any one of us, I'd feel worse about shooting the duck. It, at least, would have done nothing to deserve a bullet.
Jane Lindskold (The Buried Pyramid)
Three things happen when you apologize sincerely. First, you acknowledge someone’s anger or sadness. You validate that they have reason to be angry or that their anger is real. This often disarms them. Research shows that, after the apology, they no longer see you as a threat or as someone who might again harm them. They drop their defensive posture. And finally, when you’re successful, their brain prepares to forgive. They may even be able to move on from the source of injury entirely. Beverly Engel, a psychotherapist who specializes in trauma recovery, writes in her book The Power of Apology, “While an apology cannot undo harmful past actions, if done sincerely and effectively, it can undo the negative effects of those actions.
Celeste Headlee (We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter)
. . . I may actually do what I’ve pretended many times to have done: use my judo in self-defense. To save my—virginity? My life, she thought. But more likely he is just some poor low-class wop laboring slob with delusions of glory; he wants to go on a grand spree, spend all his money, live it up—and then go back to his monotonous existence. And he needs a girl to do it.
Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle)
Everett and his mom broke up with me,thank you very much." "You shouldn't have made out with him in his mother's scrapbooking room," Liz said sagely. "We're seventeen,"I snapped, "and Everett and I had been dating for two months when that happened.What were we supposed to do,eat dinner with his family and keep our hands on the table where everyone could see them?I mean, you and Davis are Mr. and Mrs. Polite Reserve, and even you were macking in the hot tub an hour ago." I picked up a pink fuzzy pillow that had fallen from he bed and threw it at Liz. "You were?" Chloe gushed. "You what? Hello,I need the details of Liz and Davis." "Hayden!" Liz squealed, ducking behind Chloe. "I'm not saying you shouldn't have made out with Everett.I'm saying you shouldn't have done it in his mother's scrapbooking room.Location, location,location.You might have disorganized her supplies.Some people are very particular about their chipboard getting mixed up with their cardstock." I closed my eyes,inhaled through my nose,and felt my lungs fill with air. My blood spread the life-giving oxygen throughout my body. "Watch out,"Chloe whispered to Liz. "She's doing yoga." My eyes snapped open.So much for controlling my temper. "Why the hell didn't you tell me Nick's mother left before I went into the sauna with him?" I hollered at Chloe. "We didn't know he was here!" Liz came to Chloe's defense. "And if we'd warned you about him before he got here," Chloe explained, "You would have known he was coming.We didn't want you to leave.The two of you are surprisingly hard to throw together,let me tell you." "I'm not buying it," I informed Chloe. "You were distracted.You had your mind on taking inventory." Liz giggled,turned red, and fell back to the pillows. "Taking inventory requires enormous concentration!" Chloe said with a straight face,but she was blushing,too.
Jennifer Echols (The Ex Games)
Instead of expressing rage and sadness over a loss, the child accepts the blame for being rejected, and from that point on, relentlessly accuses him or herself of being unworthy of love from anyone. “No longer is the feeling of being loved the sole prerequisite for well-being, but the feeling of having done the right thing is now necessary.” (Fenichel, 1945, p. 388) Feelings of worthlessness, self-accusatory thoughts, and the erratic mood swings that characterize certain types of depressive states are controlled by an internal negative thought process or inner dialogue, the voice.
Robert W. Firestone (The Fantasy Bond: Structure of Psychological Defenses)
In the dark ages a vampire could live for decades unopposed, feeding nightly on people whose only defense was to bar their windows and lock their doors and always, always, be home before sundown. When it became necessary to slay a vampire there was only one way it could be done. There were no guns and certainly no jackhammers at the time. The vampire slayers would gather up every able-bodied male in the community. The mob of them would go against the vampire with torches and spears and sticks if they had to. Very many of them would die in the first onslaught but eventually enough of them would pile on top to hold the vampire down.
David Wellington (13 Bullets (Laura Caxton, #1))
My brave and bold journalists, rise and work with integrity, for now more than ever, the world faces an imminent information-catastrophe, and you are our first line of defense. So, be the shield against disinformation and go down to the deepest and darkest pit to rescue the human society, from the strangling tendrils of mal-content. There is a lot to be done my friend, so don't be silent - make journalism the vanguard of information.
Abhijit Naskar (The Constitution of The United Peoples of Earth)
had never heard a president explicitly frame a decision as a direct order. With the American military, it is completely unnecessary. As secretary of defense, I had never issued an “order” to get something done; nor had I heard any commander do so. Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell, in his book It Worked for Me, writes, “In my thirty-five years of service, I don’t ever recall telling anyone, ‘That’s an order.’ And now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever heard anyone else say it.” Obama’s “order,” at Biden’s urging, demonstrated, in my view, the complete unfamiliarity of both men with the American military culture. That order
Robert M. Gates (Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War)
I'm done doing this!' Obama said, finally erupting. 'We've all agreed on a plan. And we're all going to stick to that plan. I haven't agreed to anything beyond that.' The 30,000 was a 'hard cap,' he said forcefully. 'I don't want enablers to be used as wiggle room. The easy thing for me to do - politically - would actually be to say no' to the 30,000. Then he gestured out the Oval Office windows, across the Potomac, in the direction of the Pentagon. Referring to Gates and the uniformed military, he said. 'They think it's the opposite. I'd be perfectly happy -' He stopped mid-sentence. 'Nothing would make Rahm happier than if I said no to the 30,000.' There was some subdued laughter. 'Rahm would tell me it'd be much easier to do what I want to do by saying no,' the president said. He could then focus on the domestic agenda that he wanted to be the heart of his presidency. The military did not understand. 'Politically, what these guys don't get is it'd be a lot easier for me to go out and give a speech saying, 'You know what? The American people are sick of this war, and we're going to get out of there.
Bob Woodward (Obama's Wars)
I watched the light flicker on the limestone walls until Archer said, "I wish we could go to the movies." I stared at him. "We're in a creepy dungeon. There's a chance I might die in the next few hours. You are going to die in the next few hours. And if you had one wish, it would be to catch a movie?" He shook his head. "That's not what I meant. I wish we weren't like this. You know, demon, demon-hunter. I wish I'd met you in a normal high school, and taken you on normal dates, and like, carried your books or something." Glancing over at me, he squinted and asked, "Is that a thing humans actually do?" "Not outside of 1950s TV shows," I told him, reaching up to touch his hair. He wrapped an arm around me and leaned against the wall, pulling me to his chest. I drew my legs up under me and rested my cheek on his collarbone. "So instead of stomping around forests hunting ghouls, you want to go to the movies and school dances." "Well,maybe we could go on the occasional ghoul hunt," he allowed before pressing a kiss to my temple. "Keep things interesting." I closed my eyes. "What else would we do if we were regular teenagers?" "Hmm...let's see.Well,first of all, I'd need to get some kind of job so I could afford to take you on these completely normal dates. Maybe I could stock groceries somewhere." The image of Archer in a blue apron, putting boxes of Nilla Wafers on a shelf at Walmart was too bizarre to even contemplate, but I went along with it. "We could argue in front of our lockers all dramatically," I said. "That's something I saw a lot at human high schools." He squeezed me in a quick hug. "Yes! Now that sounds like a good time. And then I could come to your house in the middle of the night and play music really loudly under your window until you took me back." I chuckled. "You watch too many movies. Ooh, we could be lab partners!" "Isn't that kind of what we were in Defense?" "Yeah,but in a normal high school, there would be more science, less kicking each other in the face." "Nice." We spent the next few minutes spinning out scenarios like this, including all the sports in which Archer's L'Occhio di Dio skills would come in handy, and starring in school plays.By the time we were done, I was laughing, and I realized that, for just a little while, I'd managed to forget what a huge freaking mess we were in. Which had probably been the point. Once our laughter died away, the dread started seeping back in. Still, I tried to joke when I said, "You know, if I do live through this, I'm gonna be covered in funky tattoos like the Vandy. You sure you want to date the Illustrated Woman, even if it's just for a little while?" He caught my chin and raised my eyes to his. "Trust me," he said softly, "you could have a giant tiger tattooed on your face, and I'd still want to be with you." "Okay,seriously,enough with the swoony talk," I told him, leaning in closer. "I like snarky, mean Archer." He grinned. "In that case, shut up, Mercer.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
But let me cut the list even further: it’s best to start with “what,” “how,” and sometimes “why.” Nothing else. “Who,” “when,” and “where” will often just get your counterpart to share a fact without thinking. And “why” can backfire. Regardless of what language the word “why” is translated into, it’s accusatory. There are very rare moments when this is to your advantage. The only time you can use “why” successfully is when the defensiveness that is created supports the change you are trying to get them to see. “Why would you ever change from the way you’ve always done things and try my approach?” is an example. “Why would your company ever change from your long-standing vendor and choose our company?” is another. As always, tone of voice, respectful and deferential, is critical.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
Realism maintains that universal moral principles cannot be applied to the actions of states in their abstract universal formulation, but that they must be filtered through the concrete circumstances of time and place. The individual may say for himself: "Fiat justitia, pereat mundus (Let justice be done, even if the world perish)," but the state has no right to say so in the name of those who are in its care. Both individual and state must judge political action by universal moral principles, such as that of liberty. Yet while the individual has a moral right to sacrifice himself in defense of such a moral principle, the state has no right to let its moral disapprobation of the infringement of liberty get in the way of successful political action, itself inspired by the moral principle of national survival.
Hans J. Morgenthau (Politics Among Nations)
I had, by then, done my share of reading on Philadelphia, so I knew that, in another time, when the Task was here in Philadelphia, the city had fallen victim to a fever. And among the men who combatted this fever was Benjamin Rush, a famous doctor, which is hard to countenance given the theory he put forth in defense of the city. Colored people were immune to the fever, he told Philadelphia, and more than immune, their very presence could alter the air itself, sucking up the scourge and holding it captive in our fetid black bodies. And so tasking men were brought in by the hundreds on the alleged black magic of our bodies. They all died. And when the city began to fill with their corpses, its masters searched for a space far from the whites who were felled by the disease. And they chose a patch of land where no one lived, and tossed us into pits. Years later, after the fever had been forgotten, after the war had birthed this new country, they built rows and rows of well-appointed houses right on top of those people, and and named a square for their liberating general. It struck me that even here, in the free North, the luxuries of this world were built right on top of us.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer)
That done, a second list began to sketch itself from memory. Food, water, containers, blankets... I set three piles aside, starting with the blankets, then took what pillowcases I could find. They always made useful bags for carrying things when backpacks weren't available. One small pot for boiling, one small pan for cooking or additional self-defense. Knives, always good. One fork and a spoon for each of us. More than that, and they'd clatter inside our bags, keeping us from moving silently. No batteries. One flashlight that seemed to be working for now, even if the beam wasn't strong. The real coup would have been canned food or toilet paper, but those were truly one-in-a-million finds. "Did you forget to tell us that you're taking us camping?" I'm all four roughing it as long as that entails air-conditioning and a nice view." ... "Sorry," I muttered, forcing myself onto my feet. "Old habits.
Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2))
PROLOGUE Equinox: Whispers of Destiny Have you ever had the feeling that someone was playing with your destiny? If so, this book is for you. Destiny is certainly a topic people like to talk about. Wherever we go, we hear it mentioned in conversations or proverbs that seek to lay bare its mysteries. If we analyze people’s attitude towards destiny a little, we find straight away that at one extreme there are those who believe that everything in life is planned by a higher power and that therefore things always happen for a reason, even though our limited human understanding cannot comprehend why. In that perspective, everything is preordained, regardless of what we do or don’t do. At the other extreme we find the I can do it! Believers. These focus on themselves: anything is possible if done with conviction, as part of the plan that they have drawn up themselves as the architects of their own destiny. We can safely say that everything happens for a reason. Whether it’s because of decisions we take or simply because circumstances determine it, there is always more causation than coincidence in life. But sometimes such strange things happen. The most insignificant occurrence or decision can give way to the most unexpected futures. Indeed, such twists of fate may well be the reason why you are reading my book now. Do you have any idea of the number of events, circumstances and decisions that had to conspire for me to write this and for you to be reading it now? There are so many coincidences that had to come together that it might almost seem a whim of destiny that today we are connected by these words. One infinitesimal change in that set of circumstances and everything would have been quite different… All these fascinating ideas are to be found in Equinox. I am drawn to fantasy literature because of all the coincidences to reality. As a reader you’re relaxed, your defenses down, trusting the writer to take you on an adventure. This is the ideal space for you to allow yourself to be carried away to an imaginary world that, paradoxically, will leave you reflecting on life questions that have little to do with fiction, but I ask you that perhaps maybe they do.   Gonzalo Guma
Gonzalo Guma (Equinoccio. Susurros del destino)
Pandora, you're not living up to your reputation as the misbehaving twin. Take a risk. Have a little adventure with me." Pandora had never imagined being vulnerable to this kind of temptation, never guessed at how difficult it would be to resist. Meeting him in secret, at night, would be the most genuinely disgraceful thing she'd ever done, and she wasn't entirely certain that he would keep his promise. But conscience was putting up the flimsiest, most feeble possible defense against a desire that seemed shameful in its blind power. Weak with nerves and hunger and anger, she made her decision too quickly, the way she made most of her decisions.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
I pity the small creatures the most, he thought. Those who have done the least harm. They above all do not deserve this. The goat-thing will single them out for the greatest suffering; it will afflict them in proportion to their innocence...this is its method by which the great balance is tilted from rectitude, and the Plan undone. It will accuse the weak and destroy the helpless; it will use its power against those least able to defend themselves. And, most of all, it will devour the little hopes, the meager dreams of the small. Here we must intervene, he said to himself. To protect the small. This is our first task and the first line of our defense.
Philip K. Dick (The Divine Invasion)
Psychopaths are generally viewed as aggressive, insensitive, charismatic, irresponsible, intelligent, dangerous, hedonistic, narcissistic and antisocial. These are persons who can masterfully explain another person's problems and what must be done to overcome them, but who appear to have little or no insight into their own lives or how to correct their own problems. Those psychopaths who can articulate solutions for their own personal problems usually fail to follow them through. Psychopaths are perceived as exceptional manipulators capable of feigning emotions in order to carry out their personal agendas. Without remorse for the plight of their victims, they are adept at rationalization, projection, and other psychological defense mechanisms. The veneer of stability, friendliness, and normality belies a deeply disturbed personality. Outwardly there appears to be nothing abnormal about their personalities, even their behavior. They are careful to maintain social distance and share intimacy only with those whom they can psychologically control. They are noted for their inability to maintain long-term commitments to people or programs.
Eric W. Hickey (Serial Murderers and their Victims (The Wadsworth Contemporary Issues In Crime And Justice Series))
It was the Die Trying promotion tour, and I wasn't mugged. In fact, I mugged the other guy. Promotion tours are hard work, but the compensation is freebie visits to places you might not otherwise go, so I always make a habit, when the day is done, of taking a stroll, usually about midnight. I was in San Francisco, so figured I'd go look at the Tenderloin part of town, which is rough. This guy stepped out and basically said, "Give me your money." ... I was amazed how quickly I snapped back through almost 40 years and suddenly became that tough city kid again. I got right in the guy's face and told him he had to give me his money or I'd break his arms. Just a purely instinctive reaction from long ago. Never back down. Never show fear. He only had five bucks. I gave it to the next homeless person I saw.
Lee Child
Thanks to suffering and madness, I have had a finer, richer life than any of you, and I wish to go to my death with dignity, as befits the great moment after which all dignity and majesty cease. Let my body be my ark and my death a long floating on the waves of eternity. A nothing amid nothingness. What defense have I against nothingness but this ark in which I have tried to gather everything that was dear to me, people, birds, animals, and plants, everything that I carry in my eye and in my heart, in the triple-decked ark of my body and soul. Like the pharaohs in the majestic peace of their tombs, I wanted to have all those things with me in death, I wanted everything to be as it was before; I wanted the birds to sing for me forever, I wanted to exchange Charon's bark for another, less desolate and less empty; I wanted to ennoble eternity's unconscionable void with the bitter herbs that spring from the heart of man, to ennoble the soundless emptiness of eternity with the cry of the cuckoo and the song of the lark. All I have done is to develop that bitter poetic metaphor, carry it with passionate logic to its ultimate consequence, which transforms sleep into waking (and the converse); lucidity into madness (and the converse); life into death, as though there were no borderline, and the converse; death into eternity, as if they were not one and the same thing. Thus my egoism is only the egoism of human existence, the egoism of life, counterweight to the egoism of death, and, appearances to the contrary, my consciousness resists nothingness with an egoism that has no equal, resists the outrage of death with the passionate metaphor of the wish to reunite the few people and the bit of love that made up my life. I have wanted and still want to depart this life with specimens of people, flora and fauna, to lodge them all in my heart as in an ark, to shut them up behind my eyelids when they close for the last time. I wanted to smuggle this pure abstraction into nothingness, to sneak it across the threshold of that other abstraction, so crushing in its immensity: the threshold of nothingness. I have therefore tried to condense this abstraction, to condense it by force of will, faith, intelligence, madness, and love (self-love), to condense it so drastically that its specific weight will be such as to life it like a balloon and carry it beyond the reach of darkness and oblivion. If nothing else survives, perhaps my material herbarium or my notes or my letters will live on, and what are they but condensed, materialized idea; materialized life: a paltry, pathetic human victory over immense, eternal, divine nothingness. Or perhaps--if all else is drowned in the great flood--my madness and my dream will remain like a northern light and a distant echo. Perhaps someone will see that light or hear that distant echo, the shadow of a sound that was once, and will grasp the meaning of that light, that echo. Perhaps it will be my son who will someday publish my notes and my herbarium of Pannonian plants (unfinished and incomplete, like all things human). But anything that survives death is a paltry, pathetic victory over the eternity of nothingness--a proof of man's greatness and Yahweh's mercy. Non omnis moriar.
Danilo Kiš (Hourglass)
Marriage to Perry meant she was always ready to justify her actions, constantly monitoring what she’d just said or done, while simultaneously feeling defensive about the defensiveness, her thoughts and feelings twisting into impenetrable knots, so that sometimes, like right now, sitting in a room with normal people, all the things she couldn’t say rose in her throat and for a moment she couldn’t breathe.
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
I still found codependents hostile, controlling, manipulative, indirect, and all the things I had found them before. I still saw all the peculiar twists of personality I previously saw. But, I saw deeper. I saw people who were hostile; they had felt so much hurt that hostility was their only defense against being crushed again. They were that angry because anyone who had tolerated what they had would be that angry. They were controlling because everything around and inside them was out of control. Always, the dam of their lives and the lives of those around them threatened to burst and spew harmful consequences on everyone. And nobody but them seemed to notice or care. I saw people who manipulated because manipulation appeared to be the only way to get anything done. I worked with people who were indirect because the systems they lived in seemed incapable of tolerating honesty. I worked with people who thought they were going crazy because they had believed so many lies they didn’t know what reality was. I saw people who had gotten so absorbed in other people’s problems they didn’t have time to identify or solve their own. These were people who had cared so deeply, and often destructively, about other people that they had forgotten how to care about themselves. The codependents felt responsible for so much because the people around them felt responsible for so little; they were just taking up the slack. I saw hurting, confused people who needed comfort, understanding, and information. I saw victims of alcoholism who didn’t drink but were nonetheless victimized by alcohol. I saw victims struggling desperately to gain some kind of power over their perpetrators.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Your grandmother and I (and many others) would have had to be more extreme people than we were, during that critical period, to have done whatever it was we should have been doing. And our lives had not prepared us for extremity, to mobilize or to be as focussed and energized as I can see, in retrospect, we would have needed to be. We were not prepared to drop everything in defense of a system that was, to us, like oxygen: used constantly, never noted. We were spoiled, I think I am trying to say. As were those on the other side: willing to tear it all down because they had been so thoroughly nourished by the vacuous plenty in which we all lived, a bountiful condition that allowed people to thrive and opine and swagger around like kings and queens while remaining ignorant of their own history. What would you have had me do? What would you have done?
George Saunders (Liberation Day: Stories)
Poppy,” he said raggedly, “I thought about you every minute of that twelve-hour carriage drive. About how to make you come back with me. I’ll do anything. I’ll buy you half of bloody London, if that will suffice.” “I don’t want half of London,” she said faintly. Her fingers tightened on the waist of his trousers. This was Harry as she had never seen him before, all defenses down, speaking to her with raw honesty. “I know I should apologize for coming between you and Bayning.” “Yes, you should,” she said. “I can’t. I’ll never be sorry about it. Because if I hadn’t done it, you’d be his now. And he only wanted you if it was easy for him. But I want you any way I can get you. Not because you’re beautiful or clever or kind or adorable, although the devil knows you’re all those things. I want you because there’s no one else like you, and I don’t ever want to start a day without seeing you.” As Poppy opened her mouth to reply, he smoothed his thumb across her lower lip, coaxing her to wait until he had finished. “Do you know what a balance wheel is?” She shook her head slightly. “There’s one in every clock or watch. It rotates back and forth without stopping. It’s what makes the ticking sound . . . what makes the hands move forward to mark the minutes. Without it, the watch wouldn’t work. You’re my balance wheel, Poppy.” He paused, his fingers compulsively following the fine curve of her jaw up to the lobe of her ear. “I spent today trying to think of what I could apologize for and maybe sound at least half sincere. And I finally came up with something.” “What is it?” she whispered. “I’m sorry I’m not the husband you wanted.” His voice turned gravelly. “But I swear on my life, if you’ll tell me what you need, I’ll listen. I’ll do anything you ask. Just don’t leave me again.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
[Self]-distrust manifests blatantly in the judge's reaction to your experiences of expansion. 'Expansion' here refers to situations when you try something new, success at something you're never done before, stop a self-destructive habit, speak up in your own defense, recognize a truth about yourself, take on a new responsibility, and so on. The expansion is a shift in your sense of who you are or who you have taken yourself to be: who you are becomes a little bigger, includes a little more than it did before. What does the judge do with these moments? Most everyone has experienced some sort of contraction after they expand: some letdown, some fear creeping in, some shame about being bigger, some withdrawal from the expansion. In one sense, this is part of a natural cycle of expansion and contraction. However, the contraction is seldom seen as part of the normal flow of the unfolding soul.
Byron Brown (Soul Without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within)
The Pretender Keep you in the dark you know they all pretend Keep you in the dark and so it all began Send in your skeletons Sing as their bones come marching in again The need you buried deep The secrets that you keep are at the ready, are you ready? I'm finished making sense Done pleading ignorance that whole defense Spinning infinity, but the wheel is spinning me It's never ending, never ending Same old story What if I say I'm not like the others What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays You're the pretender What if I say I will never surrender What if I say I'm not like the others What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays You're the pretender What if I say that I'll never surrender In time or so I'm told I'm just another soul for sale, oh well The page is out of print We are not permanent, we're temporary, temporary Same old story What if I say I'm not like the others What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays You're the pretender What if I say that I'll never surrender What if I say I'm not like the others What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays You're the pretender What if I say I will never surrender I'm the voice inside your head, you refuse to hear I'm the face that you have to face, mirrored in your stare I'm what's left, I'm what's right, I'm the enemy I'm the hand that'll take you down, bring you to your knees So, who are you? Yeah, who are you? Yeah, who are you? Yeah, who are you? Keep you in the dark you know they all pretend What if I say I'm not like the others What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays You're the pretender What if I say I will never surrender What if I say I'm not like the others What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays You're the pretender What if I say that I'll never surrender What if I say I'm not like the others? (Keep you in the dark) What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays (You know they all) You're the pretender (Pretend) What if I say I will never surrender What if I say I'm not like the others? (Keep you in the dark) What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays (You know they all) You're the pretender (Pretend) What if I say I will never surrender So who are you Yeah who are you Yeah who are you!
Foo Fighters
Under the heading of "defense mechanisms,” psychoanalysis describes a number of ways in which a person becomes alienated from himself. For example, repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection. These "mechanisms" are often described in psychoanalytic terms as themselves "unconscious,” that is, the person himself appears to be unaware that he is doing this to himself. Even when a person develops sufficient insight to see that "splitting", for example, is going on, he usually experiences this splitting as indeed a mechanism, an impersonal process, so to speak, which has taken over and which he can observe but cannot control or stop. There is thus some phenomenological validity in referring to such "defenses" by the term "mechanism.” But we must not stop there. They have this mechanical quality because the person as he experiences himself is dissociated from them. He appears to himself and to others to suffer from them. They seem to be processes he undergoes, and as such he experiences himself as a patient, with a particular psychopathology. But this is so only from the perspective of his own alienated experience. As he becomes de-alienated he is able first of all to become aware of them, if he has not already done so, and then to take the second, even more crucial, step of progressively realizing that these are things he does or has done to himself. Process becomes converted back to praxis, the patient becomes an agent.
R.D. Laing (The Politics of Experience/The Bird of Paradise)
Satan so vehemently despises what Christ has done for mortals that one of his chief objectives is to make the clean feel unclean. Oh, how he desires to stain the beautiful bride of Christ. Satan can't make the bride do anything, so he does everything he can to get her to. How is this best accomplished? He tries to corrupt thoughts to manipulate feelings. Satan knows that the nature of humankind is to act out of how we feel rather than what we know. One of our most important defenses against satanic influence will be learning how to behave out of what we know is truth rather than what we feel. Satan's desire is to modify human behavior to accomplish his unholy purposes. Second Timothy 2:26 tells us that Satan's objective in taking people captive is to get them to do his will. If we have received Christ as our Savior, Satan is forced to work from the outside rather than the inside. Thus, he manipulates outside influences to affect the inside decision-makers of the heart and mind.
Beth Moore (When Godly People Do Ungodly Things: Finding Authentic Restoration in the Age of Seduction)
My real life work was done at Atlanta for thirteen years, from my twenty-ninth to my forty-second birthday. They were years of great spiritual upturning, of the making and unmaking of ideals, of hard work and hard play. Here I found myself. I lost most of my mannerisms. I grew more broadly human, made my closest and most holy friendships, and studied human beings. I became widely-acquainted with the real condition of my people. I realized the terrific odds which faced them. At Wilberforce I was their captious critic. In Philadelphia I was their cold and scientific investigator, with microscope and probe. It took but a few years of Atlanta to bring me to hot and indignant defense. I saw the race-hatred of the whites as I had never dreamed of it before,—naked and unashamed! The faint discrimination of my hopes and intangible dislikes paled into nothing before this great, red monster of cruel oppression. I held back with more difficulty each day my mounting indignation against injustice and misrepresentation.
W.E.B. Du Bois (Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil (Dover Thrift Editions))
I got up to get another glass of water when Zac asked from his spot still at the stove, breaking up the two pounds of ground beef he’d added to the vegetables. “Vanny, were you gonna want me to help you with your draft list again this year?” I groaned. “I forgot. My brother just messaged me about it. I can’t let him win again this year, Zac. I can’t put up with his crap.” He raised his hand in a dismissive gesture. “I got you. Don’t worry about it.” “Thank—what?” Aiden had his glass halfway to his mouth and was frowning. “You play fantasy football?” he asked, referring to the online role-playing game that millions of people participated in. Participants got to build imaginary teams during a mock draft, made up of players throughout the league. I’d been wrangled into playing against my brother and some of our mutual friends about three years ago and had joined in ever since. Back then, I had no idea what the hell a cornerback was, much less a bye week, but I’d learned a lot since then. I nodded slowly at him, feeling like I’d done something wrong. The big guy’s brow furrowed. “Who was on your team last year?” I named the players I could remember, wondering where this was going and not having a good feeling about it. “What was your defensive team?” There it went. I slipped my hands under the counter and averted my eyes to the man at the stove, cursing him silently. “So you see…” The noise Zac tried to muffle was the most obvious snicker in the world. Asshole. “Was I not on your team?” I gulped. “So you see—” “Dallas wasn’t your team?” he accused me, sounding… well, I didn’t know if it was hurt or outraged, but it was definitely something. “Ahh…” I slid a look at the traitor who was by that point trying to muffle his laugh. “Zac helped me with it.” It was the thump that said Zac’s knees hit the floor. “Look, it isn’t that I didn’t choose you specifically. I would choose you if I could, but Zac said Minnesota—” “Minne-sota.” Jesus, he’d broken the state in two. The big guy, honest to God, shook his head. His eyes went from me to Zac in… yep, that was outrage. Aiden held out his hand, wiggling those incredibly long fingers. “Let me see it.” “See what?” “Your roster from last year.” I sighed and pulled my phone out of the fanny pack I still had around my waist, unlocking the screen and opening the app. Handing it over, I watched his face as he looked through my roster and felt guilty as hell. I’d been planning on choosing Dallas just because Aiden was on the team, but I really had let Zac steer me elsewhere. Apparently, just because you had the best defensive end in the country on your team, didn’t mean everyone else held up their end of the bargain. Plus, he’d missed almost the entire season. He didn’t have to take it so personally.
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
The starting out so intense, in almost overdrive, and feeling as if everything depends on getting them to drop their defenses and plunge in and love me as totally as I love them, then the freaking-out thing kicks in and reverses thrust. I admit there’s a kind of dread at the idea of having a conscience in this area, as if it seems as if it’s going to take away all room to maneuver, somehow. Which is bizarre, I know, because at the beginning of the pattern I don’t want room to maneuver, the last thing I want is room to maneuver, what I want is to plunge in and get them to plunge in with me and believe in me and be together in it forever. I swear, I really almost every time seem to have believed that’s what I wanted. Which is why it doesn’t quite seem to me as if I was evil or anything, or as if I was actually lying to them or anything—even though at the end, when I seem to have reversed thrust and suddenly pulled totally out of it, they almost always all feel as if I’ve lied to them, as if if I meant what I said there’s no way I could be reversing thrust the way I’m doing now. Which I still, to be honest, don’t quite think I’ve ever done: lied. Unless I’m just rationalizing. Unless I’m some kind of psychopath who can rationalize anything and can’t even see the most obvious kinds of evil he’s perpetrating, or who doesn’t even care but wants to delude himself into believing he cares so that he can continue to see himself as a basically decent guy.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
An incredulous scowl crossed his face as he saw a gathering of dockworkers, porters, and cabmen near his wife. A navvy called out to her- "Gi' me a smile, ye sweet tidbit! One little smile! What's yer name?" Cassandra tried to ignore the catcalls, while the coast guard stood by, doing nothing to shield her. "Now, now, Mr. Severin-" the old harbormaster said, following as Tom headed toward Cassandra with swift, ground-eating strides. Tom reached his wife, blocked her from view, and sent a chilling glance at the navvy. "My wife doesn't feel like smiling. Is there something you'd like to say to me?" The catcalls faded, and the navvy met his gaze, taking his measure... deciding to back down. "Only that you're the luckiest bastard alive," the navvy said cheekily. The crowd broke up with a mixture of chuckles and guffaws. "On your way now, lads," the harbormaster said, briskly dispersing the gathering. "Time to go about your business." As Tom turned to Cassandra, he was relieved to see that she didn't seem upset. "Are you all right?" he asked. She nodded immediately. "No harm done." The officer looked sheepish. "I thought they would tire of their sport if we ignored them long enough." "Ignoring doesn't work," Tom said curtly. "It's the same as permission. Next time, pick the ringleader and go for him." "He was twice my size," the officer protested. Tom shot him an exasperated glance. "The world expects a man to have a backbone. Especially when a woman is being harassed.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
Remus,” said Hermione tentatively, “is everything all right . . . you know . . . between you and—” “Everything is fine, thank you,” said Lupin pointedly. Hermione turned pink. There was another pause, an awkward and embarrassed one, and then Lupin said, with an air of forcing himself to admit something unpleasant, “Tonks is going to have a baby.” “Oh, how wonderful!” squealed Hermione. “Excellent!” said Ron enthusiastically. “Congratulations,” said Harry. Lupin gave an artificial smile that was more like a grimace, then said, “So . . . do you accept my offer? Will three become four? I cannot believe that Dumbledore would have disapproved, he appointed me your Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, after all. And I must tell you that I believe that we are facing magic many of us have never encountered or imagined.” Ron and Hermione both looked at Harry. “Just—just to be clear,” he said. “You want to leave Tonks at her parents’ house and come away with us?” “She’ll be perfectly safe there, they’ll look after her,” said Lupin. He spoke with a finality bordering on indifference. “Harry, I’m sure James would have wanted me to stick with you.” “Well,” said Harry slowly, “I’m not. I’m pretty sure my father would have wanted to know why you aren’t sticking with your own kid, actually.” Lupin’s face drained of color. The temperature in the kitchen might have dropped ten degrees. Ron stared around the room as though he had been bidden to memorize it, while Hermione’s eyes swiveled backward and forward from Harry to Lupin. “You don’t understand,” said Lupin at last. “Explain, then,” said Harry. Lupin swallowed. “I—I made a grave mistake in marrying Tonks. I did it against my better judgment and I have regretted it very much ever since.” “I see,” said Harry, “so you’re just going to dump her and the kid and run off with us?” Lupin sprang to his feet: His chair toppled over backward, and he glared at them so fiercely that Harry saw, for the first time ever, the shadow of the wolf upon his human face. “Don’t you understand what I’ve done to my wife and my unborn child? I should never have married her, I’ve made her an outcast!” Lupin kicked aside the chair he had overturned. “You have only ever seen me amongst the Order, or under Dumbledore’s protection at Hogwarts! You don’t know how most of the Wizarding world sees creatures like me! When they know of my affliction, they can barely talk to me! Don’t you see what I’ve done? Even her own family is disgusted by our marriage, what parents want their only daughter to marry a werewolf? And the child—the child—” Lupin actually seized handfuls of his own hair; he looked quite deranged. “My kind don’t usually breed! It will be like me, I am convinced of it—how can I forgive myself, when I knowingly risked passing on my own condition to an innocent child? And if, by some miracle, it is not like me, then it will be better off, a hundred times so, without a father of whom it must always be ashamed!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
In Uprooting Racism, Paul Kivel makes a useful comparison between the rhetoric abusive men employ to justify beating up their girlfriends, wives, or children and the publicly traded justifications for widespread racism. He writes: During the first few years that I worked with men who are violent I was continually perplexed by their inability to see the effects of their actions and their ability to deny the violence they had done to their partners or children. I only slowly became aware of the complex set of tactics that men use to make violence against women invisible and to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. These tactics are listed below in the rough order that men employ them.… (1) Denial: “I didn’t hit her.” (2) Minimization: “It was only a slap.” (3) Blame: “She asked for it.” (4) Redefinition: “It was mutual combat.” (5) Unintentionality: “Things got out of hand.” (6) It’s over now: “I’ll never do it again.” (7) It’s only a few men: “Most men wouldn’t hurt a woman.” (8) Counterattack: “She controls everything.” (9) Competing victimization: “Everybody is against men.” Kivel goes on to detail the ways these nine tactics are used to excuse (or deny) institutionalized racism. Each of these tactics also has its police analogy, both as applied to individual cases and in regard to the general issue of police brutality. Here are a few examples: (1) Denial. “The professionalism and restraint … was nothing short of outstanding.” “America does not have a human-rights problem.” (2) Minimization. Injuries were “of a minor nature.” “Police use force infrequently.” (3) Blame. “This guy isn’t Mr. Innocent Citizen, either. Not by a long shot.” “They died because they were criminals.” (4) Redefinition. It was “mutual combat.” “Resisting arrest.” “The use of force is necessary to protect yourself.” (5) Unintentionality. “[O]fficers have no choice but to use deadly force against an assailant who is deliberately trying to kill them.…” (6) It’s over now. “We’re making changes.” “We will change our training; we will do everything in our power to make sure it never happens again.” (7) It’s only a few men. “A small proportion of officers are disproportionately involved in use-of-force incidents.” “Even if we determine that the officers were out of line … it is an aberration.” (8) Counterattack. “The only thing they understand is physical force and pain.” “People make complaints to get out of trouble.” (9) Competing victimization. The police are “in constant danger.” “[L]iberals are prejudiced against police, much as many white police are biased against Negroes.” The police are “the most downtrodden, oppressed, dislocated minority in America.” Another commonly invoked rationale for justifying police violence is: (10) The Hero Defense. “These guys are heroes.” “The police routinely do what the rest of us don’t: They risk their lives to keep the peace. For that selfless bravery, they deserve glory, laud and honor.” “[W]ithout the police … anarchy would be rife in this country, and the civilization now existing on this hemisphere would perish.” “[T]hey alone stand guard at the upstairs door of Hell.
Kristian Williams (Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America)
Once the habit is ingrained and you become the starter, the center of the circle, you will find more and more things to notice, to instigate, and to initiate. Momentum builds and you get better at generating it. If you go to bed at night knowing that people are expecting you to initiate things all day the next day, you’ll wake up with a list. And as you create a culture of people who are always seeking to connect and improve and poke, the bar gets raised. What might be considered a board-level decision at one of your competitors’ companies gets done as a matter of course. What might be reserved for a manager’s intervention gets handled at the customer level, saving you time and money (and generating customer joy). This incredibly prosaic idea, the very simple act of initiating, is actually profoundly transformative. Forward motion is a defensible business asset.
Seth Godin (Poke the Box)
■​A good negotiator prepares, going in, to be ready for possible surprises; a great negotiator aims to use her skills to reveal the surprises she is certain to find. ■​Don’t commit to assumptions; instead, view them as hypotheses and use the negotiation to test them rigorously. ■​People who view negotiation as a battle of arguments become overwhelmed by the voices in their head. Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible. ■​To quiet the voices in your head, make your sole and all-encompassing focus the other person and what they have to say. ■​Slow. It. Down. Going too fast is one of the mistakes all negotiators are prone to making. If we’re too much in a hurry, people can feel as if they’re not being heard. You risk undermining the rapport and trust you’ve built. ■​Put a smile on your face. When people are in a positive frame of mind, they think more quickly, and are more likely to collaborate and problem-solve (instead of fight and resist). Positivity creates mental agility in both you and your counterpart. There are three voice tones available to negotiators: 1.​The late-night FM DJ voice: Use selectively to make a point. Inflect your voice downward, keeping it calm and slow. When done properly, you create an aura of authority and trustworthiness without triggering defensiveness. 2.​The positive/playful voice: Should be your default voice. It’s the voice of an easygoing, good-natured person. Your attitude is light and encouraging. The key here is to relax and smile while you’re talking. 3.​The direct or assertive voice: Used rarely. Will cause problems and create pushback. ■​Mirrors work magic. Repeat the last three words (or the critical one to three words) of what someone has just said. We fear what’s different and are drawn to what’s similar. Mirroring is the art of insinuating similarity, which facilitates bonding. Use mirrors to encourage the other side to empathize and bond with you, keep people talking, buy your side time to regroup, and encourage your counterparts to reveal their strategy.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
I can’t imagine how I could help you in that regard, my lady.” The “my lady” particularly hurt. She’d thought that they’d moved past his acting like Proud Pinter, and her hurt made her peevish. “Well, you kept insisting when I hired you that there must be some suitable gentlemen out there who would marry me. So go find some, blast you. So far, all you’ve done is criticize the ones I found for myself.” He flashed her a small smile. “Excellent point.” “I know,” she shot back. Though now it occurred to her that his vehement protests over her choice of suitors were odd. Given his heated caresses yesterday, his behavior smacked of jealousy. So if he cared enough to be jealous of the other men, why didn’t he care enough to court her himself? I told her that there was nothing between us. Was that just his way of soothing Grans fears and protecting his pride? Or had their encounter yesterday truly been only a dalliance? “For a man whose task is to solve problems,” she grumbled, “you create more than you solve.” “In my defense , I’m not used to matchmaking work,” he pointed out. “Clearly.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
May I inquire what is the point?” he snapped impatiently. “Indeed you may,” Lucinda said, thinking madly for some way to prod him into remembering his long-ago desire for Elizabeth and to prick his conscience. “The point is that I am well apprised of all that transpired between Elizabeth and yourself when you were last together. I, however,” she decreed grandly, “am inclined to place the blame for your behavior not on a lack of character, but rather a lack of judgment.” He raised his brows but said nothing. Taking his silence as assent, she reiterated meaningfully, “A lack of judgment on both your parts.” “Really?” he drawled. “Of course,” she said, reaching out and brushing the dust from the back of a chair, then rubbing her fingers together and grimacing with disapproval. “What else except lack of judgment could have caused a seventeen-year-old girl to rush to the defense of a notorious gambler and bring down censure upon herself for doing it?” “What indeed?” he asked with growing impatience. Lucinda dusted off her hands, avoiding his gaze. “Who can possibly know except you and she? No doubt it was the same thing that prompted her to remain in the woodcutter’s cottage rather than leaving it the instant she discovered your presence.” Satisfied that she’d done the best she was able to on that score, she became brusque again-an attitude that was more normal and, therefore, far more convincing. “In any case, that is all water under the bridge. She has paid dearly for her lack of judgment, which is only right, and even though she is now in the most dire straits because of it, that, too, is justice.” She smiled to herself when his eyes narrowed with what she hoped was guilt, or at least concern. His next words disabused her of that hope: “Madam, I do not have all day to waste in aimless conversation. If you have something to say, say it and be done!” “Very well,” Lucinda said, gritting her teeth to stop herself from losing control of her temper. “My point is that it is my duty, my obligation to see to Lady Cameron’s physical well-being as well as to chaperon her. In this case, given the condition of your dwelling, the former obligation seems more pressing than the latter, particularly since it is obvious to me that the two of you are not in the least need of a chaperon to keep you from behaving with impropriety. You may need a referee to keep you from murdering each other, but a chaperon is entirely superfluous. Therefore, I feel duty-bound to now ensure that adequate servants are brought here at once. In keeping with that, I would like your word as a gentleman not to abuse her verbally or physically while I am gone. She has already been ill-used by her uncle. I will not permit anyone else to make this terrible time in her life more difficult than it already is.” “Exactly what,” Ian asked in spite of himself, “do you mean by a ‘terrible time’?” “I am not at liberty to discuss that, of course,” she said, fighting to keep her triumph from her voice. “I am merely concerned that you behave as a gentleman. Will you give me your word?” Since Ian had no intention of laying a finger on her, or even spending time with her, he didn’t hesitate to nod. “She’s perfectly safe from me.” “That is exactly what I hoped to hear,” Lucinda lied ruthlessly.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
New Rule: Democrats must get in touch with their inner asshole. I refer to the case of Van Jones, the man the Obama administration hired to find jobs for Americans in the new green industries. Seems like a smart thing to do in a recession, but Van Jones got fired because he got caught on tape saying Republicans are assholes. And they call it news! Now, I know I'm supposed to be all reinjected with yes-we-can-fever after the big health-care speech, and it was a great speech--when Black Elvis gets jiggy with his teleprompter, there is none better. But here's the thing: Muhammad Ali also had a way with words, but it helped enormously that he could also punch guys in the face. It bothers me that Obama didn't say a word in defense of Jones and basically fired him when Glenn Beck told him to. Just like dropped "end-of-life counseling" from health-care reform because Sarah Palin said it meant "death panels" on her Facebook page. Crazy morons make up things for Obama to do, and he does it. Same thing with the speech to schools this week, where the president attempted merely to tell children to work hard and wash their hands, and Cracker Nation reacted as if he was trying to hire the Black Panthers to hand out grenades in homeroom. Of course, the White House immediately capitulated. "No students will be forced to view the speech" a White House spokesperson assured a panicked nation. Isn't that like admitting that the president might be doing something unseemly? What a bunch of cowards. If the White House had any balls, they'd say, "He's giving a speech on the importance of staying in school, and if you jackasses don't show it to every damn kid, we're cutting off your federal education funding tomorrow." The Democrats just never learn: Americans don't really care which side of an issue you're on as long as you don't act like pussies When Van Jones called the Republicans assholes, he was paying them a compliment. He was talking about how they can get things done even when they're in the minority, as opposed to the Democrats , who can't seem to get anything done even when they control both houses of Congress, the presidency, and Bruce Springsteen. I love Obama's civility, his desire to work with his enemies; it's positively Christlike. In college, he was probably the guy at the dorm parties who made sure the stoners shared their pot with the jocks. But we don't need that guy now. We need an asshole. Mr. President, there are some people who are never going to like you. That's why they voted for the old guy and Carrie's mom. You're not going to win them over. Stand up for the seventy percent of Americans who aren't crazy. And speaking of that seventy percent, when are we going to actually show up in all this? Tomorrow Glenn Beck's army of zombie retirees descending on Washington. It's the Million Moron March, although they won't get a million, of course, because many will be confused and drive to Washington state--but they will make news. Because people who take to the streets always do. They're at the town hall screaming at the congressman; we're on the couch screaming at the TV. Especially in this age of Twitters and blogs and Snuggies, it's a statement to just leave the house. But leave the house we must, because this is our last best shot for a long time to get the sort of serious health-care reform that would make the United States the envy of several African nations.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Tobias takes me to the atrium near the hotel dormitory, and we spend some time there, talking and kissing and pointing out the strangest plants. It feels like something that normal people do--go on dates, talk about small things, laugh. We have had so few of those moments. Most of our time together has been spent running from one threat or another, or running toward one threat or another. But I can see a time on the horizon when that won’t need to happen anymore. We will reset the people in the compound, and work to rebuild this place together. Maybe then we can find out if we do as well with the quiet moments as we have with the loud ones. I am looking forward to it. Finally the time comes for Tobias to leave. I stand on the higher step in the atrium and he stands on the lower one, so we’re on the same plane. “I don’t like that I can’t be with you tonight,” he says. “It doesn’t feel right to leave you alone with something this huge.” “What, you don’t think I can handle it?” I say, a little defensive. “Obviously that is not what I think.” He touches his hands to my face and leans his forehead against mine. “I just don’t want you to have to bear it alone.” “I don’t want you to have to bear Uriah’s family alone,” I say softly. “But I think these are things we have to do separately. I’m glad I’ll get to be with Caleb before…you know. It’ll be nice not having to worry about you at the same time.” “Yeah.” He closes his eyes. “I can’t wait until tomorrow, when I’m back and you’ve done what you set out to do and we can decide what comes next.” “I can tell you it will involve a lot of this,” I say, and I press my lips to his. His hands shift from my cheeks to my shoulders and then slide painstakingly down my back. His fingers find the hem of my shirt, then slip under it, warm and insistent. I feel aware of everything at once, of the pressure of his mouth and the taste of our kiss and the texture of his skin and the orange light glowing against my closed eyelids and the smell of green things, growing things, in the air. When I pull away, and he opens his eyes, I see everything about them, the dart of light blue in his left eye, the dark blue that makes me feel like I am safe inside it, like I am dreaming. “I love you,” I say. “I love you, too,” he says. “I’ll see you soon.” He kisses me again, softly, and then leaves the atrium. I stand in that shaft of sunlight until the sun disappears. It’s time to be with my brother now.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
The story of Adam and Eve, as used by the Eastern church to account for our inherited weakness to withstand temptation as an effect of Adam and Eve's sin, can fruitfully be understood today without a historical Adam and Eve but instead with an evolutionary and social understanding of human beings. In the course of biological and social evolution, any group of creatures capable of any degree of relationship to God that fails to be properly related to God commensurate with their stage of development-any such group will have some network or other of social relations that are not as God intends. People born into a particular social group inherit that social network and act more or less in accord with it, and so inherit the effects of its sin. By being formed and shaped by the inherited social network, each individual is "weakened" in its ability to wrestle with the temptations to which its ontological nature as finite creature is subject. When a fall occurred, when a prepeople or people did not live up to the intentions of God in their common life commensurate to their stage of development, it was probably not at any one specific time; it may have occurred at different times for different groups until failure to be properly related to God was universal in all societies. But by historic times, human development is at a stage that the story of Adam and Eve is a fitting type or model of our situation in relation to God: human beings seeking to provide for themselves apart from God and God's purposes. This ancient understanding of original sin and evil seems to me both illuminating and, with the evolutionary understanding that I have added to it, thoroughly defensible. I can easily apply it to myself and also use it to understand other people, as I have done in presenting Pascal's analysis of our condition. Some theologians are willing to grant that the story of an actual Adam and Eve is not necessary for Christian theology, but they still hold that there had to have been a historical situation of original righteousness or innocence and an actual fall from this state. Otherwise, God, not human beings, would be responsible for our condition, and the goodness of creation would be fatally compromised.' My account does have a temporal dimension. All of us are born without an awareness of God in our lives. God is near us as our creator, generating us each moment of time; but it is as if God is, so to speak, behind us, and we, by looking only in front of us, do not perceive God in our world at all. So we do not take God into account in our lives. This is when distortion in our hearts, minds, and desires begins to occur. Our de facto personality, with our self at the center of all reality, is innocent when we are an infant but ceases to be innocent as it is reinforced by society's way of life, encouraging us to walk away from God and so into evil. We walk away from God by pursuing earthly goods and in
Diogenes Allen (Theology for a Troubled Believer: An Introduction to the Christian Faith)
A Favorite start to a book [sorry it's long!]: "In yesterday’s Sunday Times, a report from Francistown in Botswana. Sometime last week, in the middle of the night, a car, a white American model, drove up to a house in a residential area. Men wearing balaclavas jumped out, kicked down the front door, and began shooting. When they had done with shooting they set fire to the house and drove off. From the embers the neighbors dragged seven charred bodies: two men, three women, two children. Th killers appeared to be black, but one of the neighbors heard them speaking Afrikaans among themselves. And was convinced they were whites in blackface. The dead were South Africans, refugees who had moved into the house mere weeks ago. Approached for comment, the SA Minister of Foreign Affairs, through a spokesman, calls the report ‘unverified’. Inquiries will be undertaken, he says, to determine whether the deceased were indeed SA citizens. As for the military, an unnamed source denies that the SA Defence Force had anything to do with the matter. The killings are probably an internal ANC matter, he suggests, reflecting ‘ongoing tensions between factions. So they come out, week after week, these tales from the borderlands, murders followed by bland denials. He reads the reports and feels soiled. So this is what he has come back to! Yet where in the world can one hide where one will not feel soiled? Would he feel any cleaner in the snows of Sweden, reading at a distance about his people and their latest pranks? How to escape the filth: not a new question. An old rat-question that will not let go, that leaves its nasty, suppurating wound. Agenbite of inwit. ‘I see the Defense Force is up to its old tricks again,’ he remarks to his father. ‘In Botswana this time.’ But his father is too wary to rise to the bait. When his father picks up the newspaper, he cares to skip straight to the sports pages, missing out the politics—the politics and the killings. His father has nothing but disdain for the continent to the north of them. Buffoons is the word he uses to dismiss the leaders of African states: petty tyrants who can barely spell their own names, chauffeured from one banquet to another in their Rolls-Royces, wearing Ruritanian uniforms festooned with medals they have awarded themselves. Africa: a place of starving masses with homicidal buffoons lording over them. ‘They broke into a house in Francistown and killed everyone,’ he presses on nonetheless. ‘Executed them .Including the children. Look. Read the report. It’s on the front page.’ His father shrugs. His father can find no form of words spacious enough to cover his distaste for, on one hand, thugs who slaughter defenceless women and children and, on the other, terrorists who wage war from havens across the border. He resolves the problem by immersing himself in the cricket scores. As a response to moral dilemma it is feeble; yet is his own response—fits of anger and despair—any better?" Summertime, Coetzee
J.M. Coetzee
Rider's head snapped up at the sound of gravel crunching under Willow's boots. The sight of the girl in boy's garb birthed an oath. Beneath her cotton shirt, her breasts bounced freely with each step. And within the tight mannish pants, her hips swung in an unconscious rhythm, clearly proclaiming her all woman. Hell, she might as well be naked! His body's reaction was immediate. Cursing his lack of control, he turned sideways, facing her horse, and pretended to adjust the saddle straps. Willow took Sugar's reins and waited for Rider to move aside. He didn't budge an inch. Instead, he tipped his hat back on his head, revealing undisguised disapproval. "Is that the way you always dress?" he bit out. Willow stiffened, immediately defensive. Criticizing herself was one thing; putting up with Sinclair's disdain was another! "If you were expecting a dress, you're crazy!" she snapped. "It would be suicide in this country." "Haven't you ever heard of riding skirts?" "Yes. I'm not as dumb as you seem to think. But fancy riding skirts cost money I don't have. 'Sides, pants are a hell of a lot more useful on the ranch than some damn riding skirt! Now, if you're done jawing about my clothes, I'd like to get a move on before dark." "Somebody ought to wash that barnyard mouth of yours,woman." Willow rested her hand on her gun. "You can try, if you dare." As if I'd draw on a woman, Rider cursed silently, stepping out of her way. As she hoisted herself into the saddle, he was perversely captivated by the way the faded demin stretched over her round bottom. He imagined her long slender legs wrapped around him and how her perfect heart-shaped buttocks would fill his hands and...Oh,hell, what was he doing standing here, gaping like some callow youth? Maybe the girl was right.Maybe he was crazy. One moment he was giving the little witch hell for wearing men's pants; the next he was ogling her in them. He started to turn away, then reached out and gave her booted ankle an angry jerk. "Now what?" Icy turquoise eyes met his, dark and searing. "Do you have any idea what you look like in that get-up? No self-respecting lady would dress like that. It's an open invitation to a man. And if you think that gun you're wearing is going to protect you, you're badly mistaken." Willow gritted her teeth in mounting ire. "So what's it to you, Sinclair? You ain't my pa and you ain't my brother. Hell,my clothes cover me just as good as yours cover you!" She slapped his hand from her ankle, jerked Sugar around, and spurred the mare into a brisk gallop. Before the fine red dust settled, Rider was on his horse, racing after her. Dammit, she's right.Why should I care how she dresses? Heaven knows it certainly has no bearing on my mission. No, agreed a little voice in his head, but it sure is distacting as hell! He'd always prided himself on his cool control; it had saved his backside more than once. But staying in any kind of control around Willow Vaughn was like trying to tame a whimsical March wind-impossible!
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
So, Cameron," Steph continued, "auditions for the school play are next week. You should come. We need more males of the species to try out." "Not my thing," Cameron said. "okay, so you don't want to be onstage. You could be backstage." "With Jenna," Gil said helpfully. "She's the stage manager-" Ethan talked over Gil. "But if it's not our thing," he said, "it's not your thing. You don't even have to have a thing if you don't want." "Right," Katy said, "no thing required." Cameron didn't respond, didn't even act like anyone was waiting for him to say anything. He just ate his lunch, scooping spaghetti onto a piece of bread and folding the bread over into a sort of sandwich before putting it in his mouth. I was fascinated by the most mundane little details of him-how he held his paper napkin in his left hand while he ate with his right, the space he took up when both his elbows were on the table. I was suddenly aware that I'd been staring at him, and everyone else at the table was staring at me. They were all done with their lunches. I wondered how much time had passed. "Um," Katy said to me, "are you all right?" Steph caught my eye and smiled slowly. "Oh,yeah." I concentrated on my half sandwich trying to think of something witty to say, but I was in total Jennifer Harris territory now, spacing out and forgetting how to make simple conversation. Cameron picked up his empty tray. "Nice to meet you all. See you later." He lifted a finger toward me. "Bye, Jennifer." We watched him leave, then Gil said, "How come he calls you Jennifer?" I crumpled up my lunch bag. "because that used to be my name." "Really?" Ethan said. "I didn't know that." "I changed it a long time ago." "He's shy," Steph said, still watching the spot where Cameron had been sitting. Katy smirked. "Not with Jenna." Ethan surprised me by coming to Cameron's defense. "That's because they've known each other forever. I'd be nervous, too, if I were meeting all you retards for the first time." "Good point," Junior Dave said.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
Our team’s vision for the facility was a cross between a shooting range and a country club for special forces personnel. Clients would be able to schedule all manner of training courses in advance, and the gear and support personnel would be waiting when they arrived. There’d be seven shooting ranges with high gravel berms to cut down noise and absorb bullets, and we’d carve a grass airstrip, and have a special driving track to practice high-speed chases and real “defensive driving”—the stuff that happens when your convoy is ambushed. There would be a bunkhouse to sleep seventy. And nearby, the main headquarters would have the feel of a hunting lodge, with timber framing and high stone walls, with a large central fireplace where people could gather after a day on the ranges. This was the community I enjoyed; we never intended to send anyone oversees. This chunk of the Tar Heel State was my “Field of Dreams.” I bought thirty-one hundred acres—roughly five square miles of land, plenty of territory to catch even the most wayward bullets—for $900,000. We broke ground in June 1997, and immediately began learning about do-it-yourself entrepreneurship. That land was ugly: Logging the previous year had left a moonscape of tree stumps and tangled roots lorded over by mosquitoes and poisonous creatures. I killed a snake the first twelve times I went to the property. The heat was miserable. While a local construction company carved the shooting ranges and the lake, our small team installed the culverts and forged new roads and planted the Southern pine utility poles to support the electrical wiring. The basic site work was done in about ninety days—and then we had to figure out what to call the place. The leading contender, “Hampton Roads Tactical Shooting Center,” was professional, but pretty uptight. “Tidewater Institute for Tactical Shooting” had legs, but the acronym wouldn’t have helped us much. But then, as we slogged across the property and excavated ditches, an incessant charcoal mud covered our boots and machinery, and we watched as each new hole was swallowed by that relentless peat-stained black water. Blackwater, we agreed, was a name. Meanwhile, within days of being installed, the Southern pine poles had been slashed by massive black bears marking their territory, as the animals had done there since long before the Europeans settled the New World. We were part of this land now, and from that heritage we took our original logo: a bear paw surrounded by the stylized crosshairs of a rifle scope.
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