Destroying Other People's Lives Quotes

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Now here's somebody who wants to smoke a marijuana cigarette. If he's caught, he goes to jail. Now is that moral? Is that proper? I think it's absolutely disgraceful that our government, supposed to be our government, should be in the position of converting people who are not harming others into criminals, of destroying their lives, putting them in jail. That's the issue to me. The economic issue comes in only for explaining why it has those effects. But the economic reasons are not the reasons
Milton Friedman
This was what people fought wars over, she thought, and killed each other over, and destroyed their lives for: this nerve-shredding mixture of longing and pleasure.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
People living in the vanity of their own mind not only destroy themselves, but far too often, they bring destruction to others around them.
Joyce Meyer (Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind)
But where was God now, with heaven full of astronauts, and the Lord overthrown? I miss God. I miss the company of someone utterly loyal. I still don't think of God as my betrayer. The servants of God, yes, but servants by their very nature betray. I miss God who was my friend. I don't even know if God exists, but I do know that if God is your emotional role model, very few human relationships will match up to it. I have an idea that one day it might be possible, I thought once it had become possible, and that glimpse has set me wandering, trying to find the balance between earth and sky. If the servants hadn't rushed in and parted us, I might have been disappointed, might have snatched off the white samite to find a bowl of soup. As it is, I can't settle, I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me. There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other's names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name. Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone. I would cross seas and suffer sunstroke and give away all I have, but not for a man, because they want to be the destroyer and never the destroyed.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
Dear Child, Sometimes on your travel through hell, you meet people that think they are in heaven because of their cleverness and ability to get away with things. Travel past them because they don't understand who they have become and never will. These type of people feel justified in revenge and will never learn mercy or forgiveness because they live by comparison. They are the people that don't care about anyone, other than who is making them feel confident. They don’t understand that their deity is not rejoicing with them because of their actions, rather he is trying to free them from their insecurities, by softening their heart. They rather put out your light than find their own. They don't have the ability to see beyond the false sense of happiness they get from destroying others. You know what happiness is and it isn’t this. Don’t see their success as their deliverance. It is a mask of vindication which has no audience, other than their own kind. They have joined countless others that call themselves “survivors”. They believe that they are entitled to win because life didn’t go as planned for them. You are not like them. You were not meant to stay in hell and follow their belief system. You were bound for greatness. You were born to help them by leading. Rise up and be the light home. You were given the gift to see the truth. They will have an army of people that are like them and you are going to feel alone. However, your family in heaven stands beside you now. They are your strength and as countless as the stars. It is time to let go! Love, Your Guardian Angel
Shannon L. Alder
Human passions have mysterious ways, in children as well as grown-ups. Those affected by them can't explain them, and those who haven't known them have no understanding of them at all. Some people risk their lives to conquer a mountain peak. No one, not even they themselves, can really explain why. Others ruin themselves trying to win the heart of a certain person who wants nothing to do with them. Still others are destroyed by their devotion to the pleasures of the table. Some are so bent on winning a game of chance that they lose everything they own, and some sacrafice everything for a dream that can never come true. Some think their only hope of happiness lies in being somewhere else, and spend their whole lives traveling from place to place. And some find no rest until they have become powerful. In short, there are as many different passions as there are people.
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
Our greatest power as nations and individuals is not the ability to employ assault weapons, suicide bombers, and drones to destroy each other. The greater more creative powers with which we may arm ourselves are grace and compassion sufficient enough to love and save each other.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
As it is, I can't settle, I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me. There are many forms of love and affection, some people spend their whole lives together without knowing each other's names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can you call home? Only the one who knows your name.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
They tell us we must learn to live with less, and teach our children that their lives will be less full and prosperous than ours have been; that the America of the coming years will be a place where — because of our past excesses — it will be impossible to dream and make those dreams come true. I don't believe that. And, I don't believe you do either. That is why I am seeking the presidency. I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country destroy itself. Our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on false estimates by unknown, unidentifiable experts who rewrite modern history in an attempt to convince us our high standard of living, the result of thrift and hard work, is somehow selfish extravagance which we must renounce as we join in sharing scarcity. I don't agree that our nation must resign itself to inevitable decline, yielding its proud position to other hands. I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world.
Ronald Reagan
The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God. It is one's attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective. This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining. He lives outside the shelter of the Most High God. Perhaps the worst enemy we have is not the devil but our own tongue. James tells us, "The tongue is set among our members as that which . . . sets on fire the course of our life" (James 3:6). He goes on to say this fire is ignited by hell. Consider: with our own words we can enter the spirit of heaven or the agonies of hell! It is hell with its punishments, torments and misery that controls the life of the grumbler and complainer! Paul expands this thought in 1 Corinthians 10:10, where he reminds us of the Jews who "grumble[d] . . . and were destroyed by the destroyer." The fact is, every time we open up to grumbling and complaining, the quality of our life is reduced proportionally -- a destroyer is bringing our life to ruin! People often ask me, "What is the ruling demon over our church or city?" They expect me to answer with the ancient Aramaic or Phoenician name of a fallen angel. What I usually tell them is a lot more practical: one of the most pervasive evil influences over our nation is ingratitude! Do not minimize the strength and cunning of this enemy! Paul said that the Jews who grumbled and complained during their difficult circumstances were "destroyed by the destroyer." Who was this destroyer? If you insist on discerning an ancient world ruler, one of the most powerful spirits mentioned in the Bible is Abaddon, whose Greek name is Apollyon. It means "destroyer" (Rev. 9:11). Paul said the Jews were destroyed by this spirit. In other words, when we are complaining or unthankful, we open the door to the destroyer, Abaddon, the demon king over the abyss of hell! In the Presence of God Multitudes in our nation have become specialists in the "science of misery." They are experts -- moral accountants who can, in a moment, tally all the wrongs society has ever done to them or their group. I have never talked with one of these people who was happy, blessed or content about anything. They expect an imperfect world to treat them perfectly. Truly, there are people in this wounded country of ours who need special attention. However, most of us simply need to repent of ingratitude, for it is ingratitude itself that is keeping wounds alive! We simply need to forgive the wrongs of the past and become thankful for what we have in the present. The moment we become grateful, we actually begin to ascend spiritually into the presence of God. The psalmist wrote, "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. . . . Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 100:2, 4-5). It does not matter what your circumstances are; the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not changed, you begin to change. The key that unlocks the gates of heaven is a thankful heart. Entrance into the courts of God comes as you simply begin to praise the Lord.
Francis Frangipane
...in a brutal country like ours where human life is cheap, it's stupid to destroy yourself for the sake of your beliefs. Beliefs, high ideals--only people living in rich countries can enjoy such luxuries.' 'Actually, it's the other way round. In a poor country the only consolation people can have is the one that comes from their beliefs.
Orhan Pamuk (Snow)
People who exist at the margins of society are very much like Alice in Wonderland. They are not required to make the tough decision to risk their lives by embarking on an adventure of self-discovery. They have already been thrust beyond the city’s walls that keep ordinary people at a safe distance from the unknown. For at least some outsiders, “alienation” has destroyed traditional presumptions of identity and opened up the mythic hero’s path to the possibility of discovery. What outsiders discover in their adventures on the other side of the looking glass is the courage to repudiate self-contempt and recognise their “alienation” as a precious gift of freedom from arbitrary norms that they did not make and did not sanction. At the moment a person questions the validity of the rules, the victim is no longer a victim.
Jamake Highwater (The Mythology of Transgression: Homosexuality As Metaphor)
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.... Is there no other way the world may live?
Dwight D. Eisenhower
The gut is the seat of all feeling. Polluting the gut not only cripples your immune system, but also destroys your sense of empathy, the ability to identify with other humans. Bad bacteria in the gut creates neurological issues. Autism can be cured by detoxifying the bellies of young children. People who think that feelings come from the heart are wrong. The gut is where you feel the loss of a loved one first. It's where you feel pain and a heavy bulk of your emotions. It's the central base of your entire immune system. If your gut is loaded with negative bacteria, it affects your mind. Your heart is the seat of your conscience. If your mind is corrupted, it affects your conscience. The heart is the Sun. The gut is the Moon. The pineal gland is Neptune, and your brain and nervous system (5 senses) are Mercury. What affects the moon or sun affects the entire universe within. So, if you poison the gut, it affects your entire nervous system, your sense of reasoning, and your senses.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The problem is that contemporary people think life is all about finding happiness. We decide what conditions will make us happy and then we work to bring those conditions about. To live for happiness means that you are trying to get something out of life. But when suffering comes along, it takes the conditions for happiness away, and so suffering destroys all your reason to keep living. But to “live for meaning” means not that you try to get something out of life but rather that life expects something from us. In other words, you have meaning only when there is something in life more important than your own personal freedom and happiness, something for which you are glad to sacrifice your happiness.129
Timothy J. Keller (Walking with God through Pain and Suffering)
We say that the most dangerous criminal now is the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Compared to him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men; my heart goes out to them. They accept the essential ideal of man; they merely seek it wrongly. Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it. But philosophers dislike property as property; they wish to destroy the very idea of personal possession. Bigamists respect marriage, or they would not go through the highly ceremonial and even ritualistic formality of bigamy. But philosophers despise marriage as marriage. Murderers respect human life; they merely wish to attain a greater fulness of human life in themselves by the sacrifice of what seems to them to be lesser lives. But philosophers hate life itself, their own as much as other people's.
G.K. Chesterton (The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare)
When we ask we are owning our needs. Asking for love, comfort or understanding is a transaction between two people. You are saying: I have a need. It's not your problem. It's not your responsibility. You don't have to respond, but I'd like something from you. This frees the other person to connect with you freely and without obligation. When we own that our needs are our responsibility we allow others to love us because we have something to offer. Asking is a far cry from demanding. When we demand love, we destroy it.
Henry Cloud
Journalists can sound grandiose when they talk about their profession. Some of us are adrenaline junkies; some of us are escapists; some of us do wreck our personal lives and hurt those who love us most. This work can destroy people. I have seen so many friends and colleagues become unrecognizable from trauma: short-tempered, sleepless, and alienated from friends. But after years of witnessing so much suffering in the world, we find it hard to acknowledge that lucky, free, prosperous people like us might be suffering, too. We feel more comfortable in the darkest places than we do back home, where life seems too simple and too easy. We don’t listen to that inner voice that says it is time to take a break from documenting other people’s lives and start building our own. Under it all, however, are the things that sustain us and bring us together: the privilege of witnessing things that others do not; an idealistic belief that a photograph might affect people’s souls; the thrill of creating art and contributing to the world’s database of knowledge. When I return home and rationally consider the risks, the choices are difficult. But when I am doing my work, I am alive and I am me. It’s what I do. I am sure there are other versions of happiness, but this one is mine.
Lynsey Addario (It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War)
There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other's names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name. Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone. I would cross seas and suffer sunstroke and give away all I have, but not for a man, because they want to be the destroyer and never the destroyed. That is why they are unfit for romantic love. There are exceptions and I hope they are happy. The unknownness of my needs frightens me. I do not know how huge they are, or how high they are, I only know that they are not being met.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
And so we know the satisfaction of hate. We know the sweet joy of revenge. How it feels good to get even. Oh, that was a nice idea Jesus had. That was a pretty notion, but you can't love people who do evil. It's neither sensible or practical. It's not wise to the world to love people who do such terrible wrong. There is no way on earth we can love our enemies. They'll only do wickedness and hatefulness again. And worse, they'll think they can get away with this wickedness and evil, because they'll think we're weak and afraid. What would the world come to? But I want to say to you here on this hot July morning in Holt, what if Jesus wasn't kidding? What if he wasn't talking about some never-never land? What if he really did mean what he said two thousand years ago? What if he was thoroughly wise to the world and knew firsthand cruelty and wickedness and evil and hate? Knew it all so well from personal firsthand experience? And what if in spite of all that he knew, he still said love your enemies? Turn your cheek. Pray for those who misuse you. What if he meant every word of what he said? What then would the world come to? And what if we tried it? What if we said to our enemies: We are the most powerful nation on earth. We can destroy you. We can kill your children. We can make ruins of your cities and villages and when we're finished you won't even know how to look for the places where they used to be. We have the power to take away your water and to scorch your earth, to rob you of the very fundamentals of life. We can change the actual day into actual night. We can do these things to you. And more. But what if we say, Listen: Instead of any of these, we are going to give willingly and generously to you. We are going to spend the great American national treasure and the will and the human lives that we would have spent on destruction, and instead we are going to turn them all toward creation. We'll mend your roads and highways, expand your schools, modernize your wells and water supplies, save your ancient artifacts and art and culture, preserve your temples and mosques. In fact, we are going to love you. And again we say, no matter what has gone before, no matter what you've done: We are going to love you. We have set our hearts to it. We will treat you like brothers and sisters. We are going to turn our collective national cheek and present it to be stricken a second time, if need be, and offer it to you. Listen, we-- But then he was abruptly halted.
Kent Haruf (Benediction (Plainsong, #3))
Naruto… I now remember the words you once said to me. That when you're with me, you finally understand what it's like to have a brother… And when I think of it that way… That feeling… I finally get it now. I've been travelling around the world and I seem to recall these memories a lot. We were alone and starved of love. Kids that lived in a world full of hate. And from that point on, we went our separate ways… and fought. But time has passed and now I'm thinking… Could it be that… just like how the hope and and pain from my father, mother and my brother, Itachi flowed into me… I'd understand your pain and hopes too, Naruto? You never abandoned me, no matter what. And you never gave up on me, coming closer when I pulled away. It wouldn't have surprised me if you hated me, but you didn't… You kept insisting that we were friends. And even that, I nearly destroyed. You fought to stop me… to the point you lost an arm. All because you were my friend. You saved me. The us that quarrelled over the smallest things… are now able to share the pain in each other's hearts. On my journey around the world, I noticed… That all these feelings of mine aren't just about us, I'm sure it's the same for everything else. But… there aren't a lot of people like you. And things won't go as planned, look at us. It's especially true when it comes to bigger things. I think it's the same as praying. And until I can do it, I'll stay strong. The beings that have been entrusted with hope… that's us. That's what makes us shinobi.
Masashi Kishimoto
Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you’re on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far. The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them. I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children’s books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. I’ve seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy. It’s tosh. It’s snobbery and it’s foolishness. There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea isn’t hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you. Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant. We need our children to get onto the reading ladder: anything that they enjoy reading will move them up, rung by rung, into literacy. [from, Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming]
Neil Gaiman
If you want to feel sorry for yourself,then do it in a way that isn’t going to destroy other people’s lives.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
The only thing I could figure was most people were so fucking self-righteous they liked to destroy others’ wills so they felt like their own petty lives had some sense of purpose.
Andersen Prunty (Fuckness)
It’s OK if the world is destroyed,” he said. “There are a thousand million other worlds for us to create and choose from. As long as people want planets, there will be planets to live on.
Richard Bach (Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah)
In God's scheme what is a few billion years here and there. Perhaps there have come and gone a dozen human civilizations in the past billion years that we know nothing about. And after this civilization we are living in destroys itself, it will all start up again in a million years when the planet has all its messes cleaned up. Then, finally, one of these civilizations, say five billion years from now, will last because people treat each other the way they ought to.
Leon Uris (QB VII)
According to my grandmother’s people, two wolves live inside every creature: one evil and the other good. They spend all their time trying to destroy each other.” It was, Matthew thought, as good a description of blood rage as he was ever likely to hear from someone not afflicted with the disease. “My bad wolf is winning.” Jack looked sad. “He doesn’t have to,” Chris promised. “Nana Bets said the wolf who wins is the wolf you feed. The evil wolf feeds on anger, guilt, sorrow, lies, and regret. The good wolf needs a diet of love and honesty, spiced up with big spoonfuls of compassion and faith. So if you want the good wolf to win, you’re going to have to starve the other one.
Deborah Harkness (The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3))
At this stage of the game, I don’t have the time for patience and tolerance. Ten years ago, even five years ago, I would have listened to people ask their questions, explained to them, mollified them. No more. That time is past. Now, as Norman Mailer said in Naked and the Dead, ‘I hate everything which is not in myself.’ If it doesn’t have a direct bearing on what I’m advocating, if it doesn’t augment or stimulate my life and thinking, I don’t want to hear it. It has to add something to my life. There’s no more time for explaining and being ecumenical anymore. No more time. That’s a characteristic I share with the new generation of Satanists, which might best be termed, and has labeled itself in many ways, an ‘Apocalypse culture.’ Not that they believe in the biblical Apocalypse—the ultimate war between good and evil. Quite the contrary. But that there is an urgency, a need to get on with things and stop wailing and if it ends tomorrow, at least we’ll know we’ve lived today. It’s a ‘fiddle while Rome burns’ philosophy. It’s the Satanic philosophy. If the generation born in the 50’s grew up in the shadow of The Bomb and had to assimilate the possibility of imminent self destruction of the entire planet at any time, those born in the 60’s have had to reconcile the inevitability of our own destruction, not through the bomb but through mindless, uncontrolled overpopulation. And somehow resolve in themselves, looking at what history has taught us, that no amount of yelling, protesting, placard waving, marching, wailing—or even more constructive avenues like running for government office or trying to write books to wake people up—is going to do a damn bit of good. The majority of humans have an inborn death wish—they want to destroy themselves and everything beautiful. To finally realize that we’re living in a world after the zenith of creativity, and that we can see so clearly the mechanics of our own destruction, is a terrible realization. Most people can’t face it. They’d rather retreat to the comfort of New Age mysticism. That’s all right. All we want, those few of us who have the strength to realize what’s going on, is the freedom to create and entertain and share with each other, to preserve and cherish what we can while we can, and to build our own little citadels away from the insensitivity of the rest of the world.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey)
Think about what it would mean to fight," he said. "Say we barricade ourselves here in the hotel and refuse to leave. They come at us with their Weapon, whatever it is. Some of us are hurt, some die. We go out to meet them with whatever weapons we can find - sticks, maybe, or pieces of broken glass. We battle each other. Maybe they set fire to the hotel. Maybe we march into the village and steal food from them nad they come after us and beat us. We beat them back. In the end, maybe we damage them so badly that they're too weak to make us leave. What do we have? Friends and neighbors and families dead. A place half destroyed, and those left in it full of hatred for us. And we ourselves will have to live with the memory of the terrible things we have done.
Jeanne DuPrau (The People of Sparks (Book of Ember, #2))
There are people,' he said, 'who give, and there are people who take. There are people who create, people who destroy, and people who don't do anything and drive the other two kinds crazy. It's born in you, whether you give or take, and that's the way you are. Ravens bring things to people. We're like that. It's our nature. We don't like it. We'd much rather be eagles, or swans, or even one of those moronic robins, but we're ravens and there you are. Ravens don't feel right without somebody to bring things to, and when we do find somebody we realize what a silly business it was in the first place." He made a sound between a chuckle and a cough. "Ravens are pretty neurotic birds. We're closer to people than any other bird, and we're bound to them all our lives, but we don't have to like them. You think we brought Elijah food because we liked him? He was an old man with a dirty beard.
Peter S. Beagle (A Fine and Private Place)
We all carry around baskets of eggs, and these eggs are precious, they represent information about us, our concerns, our needs, our lives, our downfalls, everything. As we meet people and become more comfortable with them, we toss some of our eggs to these people and they, in turn, place those eggs in their baskets. But, there are times, when out of desperation, or immaturity, or whatever, we throw too many eggs at once, and the recipient can't catch them all, and a few get broken, and we then find out that this other person knows too much about us, or at least more than they wanted to know, and that then destroys the ability to truly be friends.
Julie Wright
Can it be, thought I, that my sole mission on earth is to destroy the hopes of others? Ever since I began to live and act, fate has somehow associated me with the last act of other people's tragedies, as if without me no one could either die or give way to despair! I have been the inevitable character who comes in at the final act, involuntarily playing the detestable role of the hangman or the traitor. What has been fate's object in all this? Has it destined me to be the author of middle-class tragedies and family romances--or a purveyor of tales for, say, the Reader's Library? Who knows? Are there not many who begin life by aspiring to end it like Alexander the Great, or Lord Byron, and yet remain petty civil servants all their lives?
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
But, my friends, we must resist this evil. We must never be idle while it destroys lives and hope around us. If we don’t stand, who will? Everywhere, people will be choosing whether to stand up or bow to the emperor’s wishes. Most will bow, but if we stand, we can give hope to those who may feel they’re standing alone. “We will stand for what is right, and good, and true. We will protect and aid each other and all those Elôm brings into our path. We will remain faithful to Him, even when it may cost us our lives, and we will stand firm against the evil that will soon surround us. We will not back down. Each of us, right here, right now—we are the resistance.
Jaye L. Knight (Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles, #1))
... And suddenly he thought, I'm the abnormal one now. Normalcy was a majority concept, the standard of many and not the standard of just one man. Abruptly that realization joined with what he saw on their faces -- awe, fear, shrinking horror -- and he knew that they were afraid of him. To them he was some terrible scourge they had never seen, a scourge even worse than the disease they had come to live with. He was an invisible spectre who had left for evidence of his existence the bloodless bodies of their loved ones. And he understood what they felt and did not hate them. His right hand tightened on the tiny envelope of pills. So long as the end did not come with violence, so long as it did not have to be a butchery before their eyes... Robert Neville looked out over the new people of the earth. He knew he did not belong to them; he knew that, like the vampires, he was anathema and black terror to be destroyed. And, abruptly, the concept came, amusing to him even in his pain. A coughing chuckle filled his throat. He turned and leaned against the wall while he swallowed the pills. Full circle, he thought while the final lethargy crept into his limbs. Full circle. A new terror born in death, a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever. I am legend.
Richard Matheson (I Am Legend and Other Stories)
The all-powerful Zahir seemed to be born with every human being and to gain full strength in childhood, imposing rules that would thereafter always be respected: People who are different are dangerous; they belong to another tribe; they want our lands and our women. We must marry, have children, reproduce the species. Love is only a small thing, enough for one person, and any suggestion that the heart might be larger than this may seem perverse. When we are married we are authorised to take possession of the other person, body and soul. We must do jobs we detest because we are part of an organised society, and if everyone did what they wanted to do, the world would come to a standstill. We must buy jewelry; it identifies us with our tribe. We must be amusing at all times and sneer at those who express their real feelings; it's dangerous for a tribe to allow its members to show their feelings. We must at all costs avoid saying no because people prefer those who always say yes, and this allows us to survive in hostile territory. What other people think is more important than what we feel. Never make a fuss--it might attract the attention of an enemy tribe. If you behave differently you will be expelled from the tribe because you could infect others and destroy something that was extremely difficult to organise in the first place. We must always consider the look of our new cave, and if we don't have a clear idea of our own, then we must call a decorator who will do his best to show others what good taste we have. We must eat three meals a day, even if we're not hungry, and when we fail to fit the current ideal of beauty we must fast, even if we're starving. We must dress according to the dictates of fashion, make love whether we feel like it or not, kill in the name of our country, wish time away so that retirement comes more quickly, elect politicians, complain about the cost of living, change our hair-style, criticise anyone who is different, go to a religious service on Sunday, Saturday or Friday, depending on our religion, and there beg forgiveness for our sins and puff ourselves up with pride because we know the truth and despise he other tribe, who worship false gods. Our children must follow in our footsteps; after all we are older and know more about the world. We must have a university degree even if we never get a job in the area of knowledge we were forced to study. We must never make our parents sad, even if this means giving up everything that makes us happy. We must play music quietly, talk quietly, weep in private, because I am the all-powerful Zahir, who lays down the rules and determines the meaning of success, the best way to love, the importance of rewards.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
I wonder what people talk about who've destroyed their lives with addictions other than books and politics and money and war.
Charles Frazier (Varina)
Thank you for inviting me here today " I said my voice sounding nothing like me. "I'm here to testify about things I've seen and experienced myself. I'm here because the human race has become more powerful than ever. We've gone to the moon. Our crops resist diseases and pests. We can stop and restart a human heart. And we've harvested vast amounts of energy for everything from night-lights to enormous super-jets. We've even created new kinds of people, like me. "But everything mankind" - I frowned - "personkind has accomplished has had a price. One that we're all gonna have to pay." I heard coughing and shifting in the audience. I looked down at my notes and all the little black words blurred together on the page. I just could not get through this. I put the speech down picked up the microphone and came out from behind the podium. "Look " I said. "There's a lot of official stuff I could quote and put up on the screen with PowerPoint. But what you need to know what the world needs to know is that we're really destroying the earth in a bigger and more catastrophic was than anyone has ever imagined. "I mean I've seen a lot of the world the only world we have. There are so many awesome beautiful tings in it. Waterfalls and mountains thermal pools surrounded by sand like white sugar. Field and field of wildflowers. Places where the ocean crashes up against a mountainside like it's done for hundreds of thousands of years. "I've also seen concrete cities with hardly any green. And rivers whose pretty rainbow surfaces came from an oil leak upstream. Animals are becoming extinct right now in my lifetime. Just recently I went through one of the worst hurricanes ever recorded. It was a whole lot worse because of huge worldwide climatic changes caused by... us. We the people." .... "A more perfect union While huge corporations do whatever they want to whoever they want and other people live in subway tunnels Where's the justice of that Kids right here in America go to be hungry every night while other people get four-hundred-dollar haircuts. Promote the general welfare Where's the General welfare in strip-mining toxic pesticides industrial solvents being dumped into rivers killing everything Domestic Tranquility Ever sleep in a forest that's being clear-cut You'd be hearing chain saws in your head for weeks. The blessings of liberty Yes. I'm using one of the blessings of liberty right now my freedom of speech to tell you guys who make the laws that the very ground you stand on the house you live in the children you tuck in at night are all in immediate catastrophic danger.
James Patterson (The Final Warning (Maximum Ride, #4))
As long as we share our stories, as long as our stories reveal our strengths and vulnerabilities to each other, we reinvigorte our understanding and tolerance for the little quirks of personality that in other circumstances would drive us apart. When we live in a family, a community, a country where we know each other's true stories, we remember our capacity to lean in and love each other into wholeness. I have read the story of a tribe in southern Africa called the Babemba in which a person doing something wrong, something that destroys this delicate social net, brings all work in the village to a halt. The people gather around the "offender," and one by one they begin to recite everything he has done right in his life: every good deed, thoughtful behavior, act of social responsibility. These things have to be true about the person, and spoken honestly, but the time-honored consequence of misbehavior is to appreciate that person back into the better part of himself. The person is given the chance to remember who he is and why he is important to the life of the village. I want to live under such a practice of compassion. When I forget my place, when I lash out with some private wounding in a public way, I want to be remembered back into alignment with my self and my purpose. I want to live with the opportunity for reconciliation. When someone around me is thoughtless or cruel, I want to be given the chance to respond with a ritual that creates the possibility of reconnection. I want to live in a neighborhood where people don't shoot first, don't sue first, where people are Storycatchers willing to discover in strangers the mirror of themselves.
Christina Baldwin (Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story)
I said that my current feelings of powerlessness had changed the way I looked at what happens and why, to the extent that I was beginning to see what other people called fate in the unfolding of events, as though living were merely an act of reading to find out what happens next. That idea – of one’s own life as something that had already been dictated – was strangely seductive, until you realised that it reduced other people to the moral status of characters and camouflaged their capacity to destroy. Yet the illusion of meaning recurred, much as you tried to resist it: like childhood, I said, which we treat as an explanatory text rather than merely as a formative experience of powerlessness.
Rachel Cusk (Transit)
According to legend, Father Earth did not originally hate life. In fact, as the lorists tell it, once upon a time Earth did everything he could to facilitate the strange emergence of life on his surface. He crafted even, predictable seasons; kept changes of wind and wave and temperature slow enough that every living being could adapt, evolve; summoned waters that purified themselves, skies that always cleared after a storm. He did not create life—that was happenstance—but he was pleased and fascinated by it, and proud to nurture such strange wild beauty upon his surface. Then people began to do horrible things to Father Earth. They poisoned waters beyond even his ability to cleanse, and killed much of the other life that lived on his surface. They drilled through the crust of his skin, past the blood of his mantle, to get at the sweet marrow of his bones. And at the height of human hubris and might, it was the orogenes who did something that even Earth could not forgive: They destroyed his only child.
N.K. Jemisin (The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1))
I believe in Free Will, the Force Almighty by which we conduct ourselves as if we were the sons and daughters of a just and wise God, even if there is no such Supreme Being. And by free will, we can choose to do good on this earth, no matter that we all die, and do not know where we go when we die, or if a justice or explanation awaits us. I believe that we can, through our reason, know what good is, and in the communion of men and women, in which the forgiveness of wrongs will always be more significant than the avenging of them, and that in the beautiful natural world that surrounds us, we represent the best and the finest of beings, for we alone can see that natural beauty, appreciate it, learn from it, weep for it, and seek to conserve it and protect it. I believe finally that we are the only true moral force in the physical world, the makers of, ethics and moral ideas, and that we must be as good as the gods we created in the past to guide us. I believe that through our finest efforts, we will succeed finally in creating heaven on earth, and we do it every time that we love, every time that we embrace, every time that we commit to create rather than destroy, every time that we place life over death, and the natural over what is unnatural, insofar as we are able to define it. And I suppose I do believe in the final analysis that a peace of mind can be obtained in the face of the worst horrors and the worst losses. It can be obtained by faith in change and in will and in accident and by faith in ourselves, that we will do the right thing, more often than not, in the face of adversity. For ours is the power and the glory, because we are capable of visions and ideas which are ultimately stronger and more enduring than we are. That is my credo. That is my belief, for what it's worth, and it sustains me. And if I were to die right now, I wouldn't be afraid. Because I can't believe that horror or chaos awaits us. If any revelation awaits us at all, it must be as good as our ideals and our philosophy. For surely nature must embrace the visible and the invisible, and it couldn't fall short of us. The thing that makes the flowers open and the snowflakes fall must contain a wisdom and a final secret as intricate and beautiful as the blooming camellia or the clouds gathering above, so white and so pure in the blackness. If that isn't so, then we are in the grip of a staggering irony. And all the spooks of hell might as well dance. There could be a devil. People who burn other people to death are fine. There could be anything. But the world is simply to beautiful for that. At least it seems that way to me.
Anne Rice (The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches, #1))
Coming under others has a power to do what laws and bullets and bombs can never do—namely, bring about transformation in an enemy’s heart. This is the unique “Lamb power” of the kingdom of God, and indeed, this is the power of God Almighty. When God flexes his omnipotent muscle, it doesn’t look like Rambo or the Terminator—it looks like Calvary! And living in this Calvary-like love moment by moment, in all circumstances and in relation to all people, is the sole calling of those who are aligned with the kingdom that Jesus came to bring.
Gregory A. Boyd (The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church)
We search our entire lives to create a genuine and reliable self that can relate with other people and faithfully express our artistic temperament. Our battle for personal authenticity requires us to penetrate layers of self-deception, conquer ego defense mechanism, and destroy a false self that is intent upon meeting other people’s expectations.
Kilroy J. Oldster
I think about the sheer number of people who pulled together just to save my sorry ass, and I can barely comprehend it. My crewmates sacrificed a year of their lives to come back for me. Countless people at NASA worked day and night to invent rover and MAV modifications. All of JPL busted their asses to make a probe that was destroyed on launch. Then, instead of giving up, they made another probe to resupply Hermes. The China National Space Administration abandoned a project they'd worked on for years just to provide a booster. The cost for my survival must have been hundreds of millions of dollar. All to save one dorky botanist. Why bother? Well, okay. I know the answer to that. Part of it might be what I represent: progress, science, and the interplanetary future we've dreamed of for centuries. But really, they did it because every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out. It might not seem that way sometimes, but it's true. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it's found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don't care, but they're massively outnumbered by the people who do. And because of that, I had billions of people on my side. Pretty cool, eh?
Andy Weir (The Martian)
...when President Clinton, on the anniversary of his election, spoke in the church in Tennessee where Martin Luther King, Jr., had delivered his last sermon. Inspired by the place and the occasion, he made one of the most eloquent speeches of his presidency. What would King have said, he asked, had he lived to see this day? "He would say, I did not live and die to see the American family destroyed. I did not live and die to see thirteen-year-old boys get automatic weapons and gun down nine-year-olds just for the kick of it. I did not live and die to see young people destroy their lives with drugs and then build fortunes destroying the lives of others. This is not what I came here to do. I fought for freedom, he would say, but not for the freedom of people to kill each other with reckless abandon; not for the freedom of children to have children and the fathers of the children walk away from them and abandon them as if they don't amount to anything. I fought for people to have the right to work, but not have whole communities and people abandoned. This is not what I lived and died for." After describing what his administration was doing to curb drugs and violence, the President concluded that the government alone could not do the job. The problem was caused by "the breakdown of the family, the community and the disappearance of jobs," and unless we "reach deep inside to the values, the spirit, the soul and the truth of human nature, none of the other things we seek to do will ever take us where we need to go.
Gertrude Himmelfarb (The De-moralization Of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values)
Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently from the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it. What makes us human is precisely this freedom of choice.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith)
I hope I’m being clear, I didn’t say I hate feminists, that would be weird. I said I hate feminist. I’m talking about the word. I have the privilege living my life inside of words and part of being a writer is creating entire universes, and that's beautiful, but part of being a writer is also living in the very smallest part of every word. ...But the word feminist, it doesn't sit with me, it doesn't add up. I want to talk about my problem that I have with it. ...Ist in it's meaning is also a problem for me. Because you can't be born an ist. It's not natural... So feminist includes the idea that believing men and women to be equal, believing all people to be people, is not a natural state. That we don't emerge assuming that everybody in the human race is a human, that the idea of equality is just an idea that's imposed on us. That we are indoctrinated with it, that it's an agenda... ...My problem with feminist is not the word. It's the question. "Are you now, or have you ever been, a feminist?" The great Katy Perry once said—I'm paraphrasing—"I'm not a feminist but I like it when women are strong."...Don't know why she feels the need to say the first part, but listening to the word and thinking about it, I realize I do understand. This question that lies before us is one that should lie behind us. The word is problematic for me because there's another word that we're missing... ...When you say racist, you are saying that is a negative thing. That is a line that we have crossed. Anything on the side of that line is shameful, is on the wrong side of history. And that is a line that we have crossed in terms of gender but we don't have the word for it... ...I start thinking about the fact that we have this word when we're thinking about race that says we have evolved beyond something and we don't really have this word for gender. Now you could argue sexism, but I'd say that's a little specific. People feel removed from sexism. ‘I'm not a sexist, but I'm not a feminist.' They think there's this fuzzy middle ground. There's no fuzzy middle ground. You either believe that women are people or you don't. It's that simple. ...You don’t have to hate someone to destroy them. You just have to not get it. ...My pitch is this word. ‘Genderist.’ I would like this word to become the new racist. I would like a word that says there was a shameful past before we realized that all people were created equal. And we are past that. And every evolved human being who is intelligent and educated and compassionate and to say I don't believe that is unacceptable. And Katy Perry won't say, "I'm not a feminist but I like strong women," she'll say, "I'm not a genderist but sometimes I like to dress up pretty." And that'll be fine. ...This is how we understand society. The word racism didn't end racism, it contextualized it in a way that we still haven't done with this issue. ...I say with gratitude but enormous sadness, we will never not be fighting. And I say to everybody on the other side of that line who believe that women are to be bought and trafficked or ignored...we will never not be fighting. We will go on, we will always work this issue until it doesn't need to be worked anymore. ...Is this idea of genderist going to do something? I don't know. I don't think that I can change the world. I just want to punch it up a little.
Joss Whedon
Why was it necessary for the flood to come? Why did the Lord permit the cities of the plains to be destroyed by fire? It was because the people would not take advantage of their opportunities. They were not only wasting their lives here upon the earth but were also bringing into the world another generation which would follow their bad example. . . . The cities of the plains were burned that their wickedness might not continue to jeopardize other communities and children as yet unborn.
George Albert Smith
In those days before the Great War when the events narrated in this book took place, it had not yet become a matter of indifference whether a man lived or died. When one of the living had been extinguished another did not at once take his place in order to obliterate him: there was a gap where he had been, and both close and distant witnesses of his demise fell silent whenever they became aware of his gap. When fire had eaten away a house from the row of others in a street, the burnt-out space remained long empty. Masons worked slowly and cautiously. Close neighbors and casual passers-by alike, when they saw the empty space, remembered the aspect and walls of the vanished house. That was how things were then. Everything that grew took its time in growing and everything that was destroyed took a long time to be forgotten. And everything that had once existed left its traces so that in those days people lived on memories, just as now they live by the capacity to forget quickly and completely.
Joseph Roth (The Radetzky March)
Nobody ever gets off easily when they destroy other people's lives....God always makes sure everyone gets what they deserve one way or another.
Shana Burton (Suddenly Single)
So long as people do not consider all men as their brothers and do not consider human life as the most sacred thing, which rather than destroy they must consider it their first and foremost duty to support; that is so long as people do not behave towards one another in a religious manner, they will always ruin one another’s lives for the sake of personal gain.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession and Other Religious Writings)
There was only one problem with hatred, Gabe thought. And it wasn't that it would eat you up or destroy you. That was bullshit. Hatred could fuel you through the worst of times. Grief, despair, terror. Live and forgiveness might keep you warm, but hatred would power your rocket all the way to the moon. No, the problem was that, eventually, hatred burned itself out.
C.J. Tudor (The Other People)
Six months ago when she first came up with the idea to kill Wilson, back when she was living in Memphis, she'd started going to church again. Since she was spending so much time thinking about sinister things, the least she could do, she reasoned, was to think about God and his love twice a week at church so that she wouldn't become a total sociopath. And rather than kill other people who were stand-ins for the person she really wanted to kill, like serial killers did, she'd be kind and generous to others and hone in on the one who deserved to die. And her plan had worked extremely well. Since she'd started planning to kill Wilson, and then decided to destroy his family instead, she felt no animosity toward anyone but him. Almost none at all!
Elizabeth Stuckey-French (The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady)
Man is made up of opposing characteristics. History demonstrates vividly the fact that it always moves in the worst possible direction. Either man is not capable of directing history, or else he does direct it, but only by pushing it down the most terrible, wrong path there is. There is not a single example to prove the opposite. People are not capable of governing others. They are only capable of destroying. And materialism—naked and cynical—is going to complete the destruction. Despite the fact that God lives in every soul, that every soul has the capacity to accumulate what is eternal and good, as a mass people can do nothing but destroy. For they have come together not in the name of an ideal, but simply for the sake of a material notion. Mankind has hurried to protect the body (perhaps on the strength of that natural and unconscious gesture which served as the beginning of what is called progress) and has given no thought to protecting the soul. The church (as opposed to religion) has not been able to do so. In the course of the history of civilization, the spiritual half of man has been separated further and further from the animal, the material, and now in an infinite expanse of darkness we can just make out, like the lights of a departing train, the other half of our being as it rushes away, irrevocably and for ever. Spirit and flesh, feeling and reason can never again be made one. It's too late. For the moment we are crippled by the appalling disease of spiritual deficiency; and the disease is fatal. Mankind has done everything possible to annihilate itself, starting with its own moral annihilation—physical death is merely the result. Everyone can be saved only if each saves himself.
Andrei Tarkovsky (Journal 1970-1986)
Maybe I'd absorbed the capacity to hurt someone by listening to my parents every night, who were under the impression that turning the volume on the television all the way up somehow drowned out the voices, when the truth was and is (and my father, of all people, should have known this about the physical properties of materials, about what goes through walls, what moves through houses, what is muffled and what makes it through): everything gets transmitted. Call it the law of conservation of parental anger. It may change forms, may appear to dissipate, but draw a big box around the whole space, and add up everything inside the box, and when you've accounted for everything you find that it's all there, in one phase or another, bouncing around, some of it reflected, some of it absorbed by the smaller bodies in the house. The edge in their voices and turning up the TV only meant that I listened to them destroy each other to a sound track of Fantasy Island or The Incredible Hulk or The Love Boat.
Charles Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe)
Over recent years, [there's been] a strong tendency to require assessment of children and teachers so that [teachers] have to teach to tests and the test determines what happens to the child, and what happens to the teacher...that's guaranteed to destroy any meaningful educational process: it means the teacher cannot be creative, imaginative, pay attention to individual students' needs, that a student can't pursue things [...] and the teacher's future depends on it as well as the students'...the people who are sitting in the offices, the bureaucrats designing this - they're not evil people, but they're working within a system of ideology and doctrines, which turns what they're doing into something extremely harmful [...] the assessment itself is completely artificial; it's not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who reach their potential, explore their creative interests and so on [...] you're getting some kind of a 'rank,' but it's a 'rank' that's mostly meaningless, and the very ranking itself is harmful. It's turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank, not into doing things that are valuable and important. It's highly destructive...in, say, elementary education, you're training kids this way [...] I can see it with my own children: when my own kids were in elementary school (at what's called a good school, a good-quality suburban school), by the time they were in third grade, they were dividing up their friends into 'dumb' and 'smart.' You had 'dumb' if you were lower-tracked, and 'smart' if you were upper-tracked [...] it's just extremely harmful and has nothing to do with education. Education is developing your own potential and creativity. Maybe you're not going to do well in school, and you'll do great in art; that's fine. It's another way to live a fulfilling and wonderful life, and one that's significant for other people as well as yourself. The whole idea is wrong in itself; it's creating something that's called 'economic man': the 'economic man' is somebody who rationally calculates how to improve his/her own status, and status means (basically) wealth. So you rationally calculate what kind of choices you should make to increase your wealth - don't pay attention to anything else - or maybe maximize the amount of goods you have. What kind of a human being is that? All of these mechanisms like testing, assessing, evaluating, measuring...they force people to develop those characteristics. The ones who don't do it are considered, maybe, 'behavioral problems' or some other deviance [...] these ideas and concepts have consequences. And it's not just that they're ideas, there are huge industries devoted to trying to instill them...the public relations industry, advertising, marketing, and so on. It's a huge industry, and it's a propaganda industry. It's a propaganda industry designed to create a certain type of human being: the one who can maximize consumption and can disregard his actions on others.
Noam Chomsky
All peoples think they are forever," he growled softly. "They do not believe they will ever not be. The Sinnissippi were that way. They did not think they would be eradicated. But that is what happened. Your people, Nest, believe this of themselves. They will survive forever, they think. Nothing can destroy them, can wipe them so completely from the earth and from history that all that will remain is their name and not even that will be known with certainty. They have such faith in their invulnerability. Yet already their destruction begins. It comes upon them gradually, in little ways. Bit by bit their belief in themselves erodes. A growing cynicism pervades their lives. Small acts of kindness and charity are abandoned as pointless and somehow indicative of weakness. Little failures of behavior lead to bigger ones. It is not enough to ignore the discourtesies of others; discourtesies must be repaid in kind. Men are intolerant and judgmental . They are without grace. If one man proclaims that God has spoken to him, another quickly proclaims that his God is false. If the homeless cannot find shelter, then surely they are to blame for their condition. If the poor do not have jobs, then surely it is because they will not work. If sickness strikes down those whose lifestyle differs from our own, then surely they have brought it on themselves. Look at your people, Nest Freemark. They abandon their old. They shun their sick. They cast off their children. They decry any who are different. They commit acts of unfaithfulness, betrayal, and depravity every day. They foster lies that undermine beliefs. Each small darkness breeds another. Each small incident of anger, bitterness, pettiness, and greed breeds others. A sense of futility consumes them. They feel helpless to effect even the smallest change. Their madness is of their own making, and yet they are powerless against it because they refuse to acknowledge its source. They are at war with themselves, but they do not begin to understand the nature of the battle being fought." -pages 96-97
Terry Brooks (Running with the Demon (Word & Void, #1))
I'm reading a book that actually scares me. It is not a form of fear that is embodied in some irrational phobia of a specific object, living being, or an event, but a fear of words, of actions of beings towards one another, how one word or command wrongly distributed can destroy someone or many people. How following blindly into the paths of something you truly believe is right without any rationale to back it up or the thought of the consequences it can cause may blindly lead others to their death. How in that moment, thinking you're doing it for the right reasons, you ignore all the laws of nature that tell you that human life is sacred and that no one man's ideals can ever compensate for its loss. To have the power to destroy and cause suffering without much care. This is a fear of what humanity is turning into, and such a future truly scares me.
Aliaa El-Nashar
Human passions have mysterious ways, in children as well as grown-ups. Those affected by them can't explain them, and those who haven't known them have no understanding of them at all. Some people risk their lives to conquer a mountain peak. No one, not even they themselves, can really explain why. Others ruin themselves trying to win the heart of a certain person who wants nothing to do with them. Still others are destroyed by their devotion to the pleasures of the table. Some are so bent on winning the game of chance that they lose everything they own, and some sacrifice everything for a dream that can never come true. Some think their only hope of happiness lies in being somewhere else, and spend their whole lives traveling from place to place. And some find no rest until they have become powerful. In short, there are as many passions as there are people.
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
Boro-babu, the world does not change, you destroy yourself trying to change it, but it remains as it is. The world is very big, and we are very small. Why cause people who love you to go through such misery because of it?
Neel Mukherjee (The Lives of Others)
[R]esitance is by nature reactive; it is not forward-looking. And anti-Trumpism is not a politics. My worry is that liberals will get so caught up in countering his every move, essentially playing his game, that they will fail to seize -- or even recognize -- the opportunity he has given them. Now that he has destroyed conventional Republicanism and what was left of principled conservatism, the playing field is empty. For the first time in living memory, we liberals have no ideological adversary worthy of the name. So it is crucial that we look beyond Trump. The only adversary left is ourselves. And we have mastered the art of self-sabotage. At a time when we liberals need to speak in a way that convinces people from very different walks of life, in every part of the country, that they share a common destiny and need to stand together, our rhetoric encourages self-righteous narcissism. At a moment when political consciousness and strategizing need to be developed, we are expending our energies on symbolic drama over identity. At a time when it is crucial to direct our efforts into seizing institutional power by winning elections, we dissipate them in expressive movements indifferent to the effects they may have on the voting public. In an age when we need to educate young people to think of themselves as citizens with duties toward each other, we encourage them instead to descend into the rabbit hole of the self. The frustrating truth is that we have no political vision to offer the nation, and we are thinking and speaking and acting in ways guaranteed to prevent one from emerging.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
Buddha used to say to his disciples: Take each step watchfully. He used to say: Watch your breath. And that is one of the most significant practices for watching because the breath is there, continuously available for twenty-four hours a day wherever you are. The birds may be singing one day, they may not be singing some other day, but breathing is always there. Sitting, walking, lying down, it is always there. Go on watching the breath coming in, the breath going out. Not that watching the breath is the point, the point is learning how to watch. Go to the river and watch the river. Sit in the marketplace and watch people passing by. Watch anything, just remember that you are a watcher. Don’t become judgmental, don’t be a judge. Once you start judging you have forgotten that you are a watcher, you have become involved, you have taken sides, you have chosen: “I am in favor of this thought and I am against that thought.” Once you choose, you become identified. Watchfulness is the method of destroying all identification. Hence Gurdjieff called his process the process of nonidentification. It is the same, his word is different. Don’t identify yourself with anything, and slowly one learns the ultimate art of watchfulness. That’s what meditation is all about. Through meditation one discovers one’s own light. That light you can call your soul, your self, your God, whatever word you choose—or you can remain just silent, because it has no name. It is a nameless experience, tremendously beautiful, ecstatic, utterly silent, but it gives you the taste of eternity, of timelessness, of something beyond death.
Osho (Living on Your Own Terms: What Is Real Rebellion?)
Listen to me, Defecates-with-Pigeons. Long before any of you came here, we dream'd of you. All the people, even Nations far to the South and the West, dreamt you before ever we saw you,— we believ'd that you came from some other World, or the Sky. You had Powers and we respected them. Yet you never dream'd of us, and when at last you saw us, wish'd only to destroy us. Then the killing started,— some of you, some of us,— but not nearly as many as we'd been expecting. You could not be the Giants of long ago, who would simply have wip'd us away, and for less. Instead, you sold us your Powers,— your Rifles,— as if encouraging us to shoot at you,— and so we did, tho' not hitting as many of you, as you were expecting. Now you begin to believe that we have come from elsewhere, possessing Powers you do not— Those of us who knew how, have fled into Refuge in your Dreams, at last. Tho' we now pursue real lives no different at their Hearts from yours, we are also your Dreams.
Thomas Pynchon (Mason & Dixon)
Because a bunch of dudes beating on one dude who was already on the ground until he's brain damaged and broken is wrong. Because prosecuting people differently for the same exact crimes because of skin color is wrong. Because some people being able to buy private islands while other people sleep outside on the ground is wrong. Because knowingly destroying poor communities with drugs let in to fund wars against foreign regimes is fundamentally wrong. Because even though you finally enact a Civil Rights Act not even thirty years ago, it doesn't erase centuries of unequal wealth, unequal access, unequal schooling, unequal living conditions, unequal policing. You can't tell people to pull up on bootstraps when half of them never had any boots to begin with, never even had the chance to get them. Or when you let people burn whole, thriving black communities to the ground and conveniently forget about it. Because maybe the problem isn't only with "bad" people, maybe the problem is with the whole system.
Christina Hammonds Reed (The Black Kids)
The insanity of the human race had reached its historical zenith. The Cold War was at its height. Nuclear missiles capable of destroying the Earth ten times over could be launched at a moment’s notice, spread out among the countless missile silos dotting two continents and hidden within ghostlike nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines patrolling deep under the sea. A single Lafayette- or Yankee-class submarine held enough warheads to destroy hundreds of cities and kill hundreds of millions, but most people continued their lives as if nothing was wrong. As an astrophysicist, Ye was strongly against nuclear weapons. She knew this was a power that should belong only to the stars. She knew also that the universe had even more terrible forces: black holes, antimatter, and more. Compared to those forces, a thermonuclear bomb was nothing but a tiny candle. If humans obtained mastery over one of those other forces, the world might be vaporized in a moment. In the face of madness, rationality was powerless. *
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
The Dark Angel had seen much over the course of the past millennia, the passing of hundreds of thousands of mortal lives. He felt neither remorse nor mercy for the enemies he had felled in the course of wars and battles. He did what he had to do and believed that the people of Earth did not deserve all the good things they had received. For him, most people were harmful parasites who, in the process of their brief mortal lives, tried to get ahead by climbing over each other and destroying their own homes. He looked down on them and their love of material things. He believed that the star of humankind was waning, and that its brief stay on Earth would serve, at most, to swell the ranks of slaves in the underworld, where eventually darkness would eat them away.
A.O. Esther (Elveszett lelkek (Összetört glóriák, #1))
Three things are required at a university: professional training, education of the whole man, research. For the university is simultaneously a professional school, a cultural center and a research institute. People have tried to force the university to choose between these three possibilities. They have asked what it is that we really expect the university to do. Since, so they say, it cannot do everything it ought to decide upon one of these three alternatives. It was even suggested that the university as such be dissolved, to be replaced by three special types of school: institutes for professional training, institutes for general education possibly involving a special staff, and research institutes. In the idea of the university, however, these three are indissolubly united. One cannot be cut off from the others without destroying the intellectual substance of the university, and without at the same time crippling itself. All three are factors of a living whole. By isolating them, the spirit of the university perishes.
Karl Jaspers (The Idea of the University)
A cult is a group of people who share an obsessive devotion to a person or idea. The cults described in this book use violent tactics to recruit, indoctrinate, and keep members. Ritual abuse is defined as the emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive acts performed by violent cults. Most violent cults do not openly express their beliefs and practices, and they tend to live separately in noncommunal environments to avoid detection. Some victims of ritual abuse are children abused outside the home by nonfamily members, in public settings such as day care. Other victims are children and teenagers who are forced by their parents to witness and participate in violent rituals. Adult ritual abuse victims often include these grown children who were forced from childhood to be a member of the group. Other adult and teenage victims are people who unknowingly joined social groups or organizations that slowly manipulated and blackmailed them into becoming permanent members of the group. All cases of ritual abuse, no matter what the age of the victim, involve intense physical and emotional trauma. Violent cults may sacrifice humans and animals as part of religious rituals. They use torture to silence victims and other unwilling participants. Ritual abuse victims say they are degraded and humiliated and are often forced to torture, kill, and sexually violate other helpless victims. The purpose of the ritual abuse is usually indoctrination. The cults intend to destroy these victims' free will by undermining their sense of safety in the world and by forcing them to hurt others. In the last ten years, a number of people have been convicted on sexual abuse charges in cases where the abused children had reported elements of ritual child abuse. These children described being raped by groups of adults who wore costumes or masks and said they were forced to witness religious-type rituals in which animals and humans were tortured or killed. In one case, the defense introduced in court photographs of the children being abused by the defendants[.1] In another case, the police found tunnels etched with crosses and pentacles along with stone altars and candles in a cemetery where abuse had been reported. The defendants in this case pleaded guilty to charges of incest, cruelty, and indecent assault.[2] Ritual abuse allegations have been made in England, the United States, and Canada.[3] Many myths abound concerning the parents and children who report ritual abuse. Some people suggest that the tales of ritual abuse are "mass hysteria." They say the parents of these children who report ritual abuse are often overly zealous Christians on a "witch-hunt" to persecute satanists. These skeptics say the parents are fearful of satanism, and they use their knowledge of the Black Mass (a historically well-known, sexualized ritual in which animals and humans are sacrificed) to brainwash their children into saying they were abused by satanists.[4] In 1992 I conducted a study to separate fact from fiction in regard to the disclosures of children who report ritual abuse.[5] The study was conducted through Believe the Children, a national organization that provides support and educational sources for ritual abuse survivors and their families.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What it is, Why it Happens, and How to Help)
Then too, you're constantly being bumped against by those of poor vision. Or again, you doubt if you really exist. You wonder whether you aren't simply a phantom in other people's minds. Say, a figure in a nightmare which the sleeper tries with all his strength to destroy.
Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man)
You really know how to stir up the hornets’ nest with the women, do you not? Mikhail demanded, even though he understood Gregori completely and felt him justified. Gregori did not look at him but stared out into the storm. The child she carries if my lifemate. It is female and belongs to me. There was an unmistakable warning note, an actual threat. In all their centuries together, such a thing had never happened. In all their centuries together, such a thing had never happened. Mikhail immediately closed his mind to Raven. She could never hope to understand how Gregori felt. Without a lifemate, the healer had no choice but to eventually destroy himself or become the very epitome of evil. The vampire. The walking dead. Gregori had spent endless centuries waiting for his lifemate, holding on when those younger than he had given in. Gregori had defended their people, living a solitary existence so that he might keep race safe. He was far more alone than the others of his kind, and far more susceptible to the call of power as he had to hunt and kill often. Mikhail could not blame his oldest friend for his possessive, protective streak toward the unborn child. He spoke calmly and firmly, hoping to avoid a confrontation. Gregori had held on for so long, this promise of a lifemate could send him careening over the edge into the dark madness if he felt there was a danger to the female child. Raven is not like Carpathian women. You have always known and accepted that. She will not remain in seclusion during this time. She would wither and die. Gregori actually snarled, a menacing rumble that froze Shea in place, put Jacques into a crouch, and had Mikhail shifting position for a better defense.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
He had wondered, as had most people at one time or another, precisely why an android bounced helplessly about when confronted by an empathy-measuring test. Empathy, evidently, existed only within the human community, whereas intelligence to some degree could be found throughout every phylum and order including the arachnida. For one thing, the empathic faculty probably required an unimpaired group instinct; a solitary organism, such as a spider, would have no use for it; in fact it would tend to abort a spider’s ability to survive. It would make him conscious of the desire to live on the part of his prey. Hence all predators, even highly developed mammals such as cats, would starve. Empathy, he once had decided, must be limited to herbivores or anyhow omnivores who could depart from a meat diet. Because, ultimately, the empathic gift blurred the boundaries between hunter and victim, between the successful and the defeated. As in the fusion with Mercer, everyone ascended together or, when the cycle had come to an end, fell together into the trough of the tomb world. Oddly, it resembled a sort of biological insurance, but double-edged. As long as some creature experienced joy, then the condition for all other creatures included a fragment of joy. However, if any living being suffered, then for all the rest the shadow could not be entirely cast off. A herd animal such as man would acquire a higher survival factor through this; an owl or a cobra would be destroyed. Evidently the humanoid robot constituted a solitary predator.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner, #1))
I once saw a woman wearing a low-cut dress; she had a glazed look in her eyes, and she was walking the streets of Ljubljana when it was five degrees below zero. I thought she must be drunk, and I went to help her, but she refused my offer to lend her my jacket. Perhaps in her world it was summer and her body was warmed by the desire of the person waiting for her. Even if that person only existed in her delirium, she had the right to live and die as she wanted, don’t you think?” Veronika didn’t know what to say, but the madwoman’s words made sense to her. Who knows; perhaps she was the woman who had been seen half-naked walking the streets of Ljubljana? “I’m going to tell you a story,” said Zedka. “A powerful wizard, who wanted to destroy an entire kingdom, placed a magic potion in the well from which all the inhabitants drank. Whoever drank that water would go mad. “The following morning, the whole population drank from the well and they all went mad, apart from the king and his family, who had a well set aside for them alone, which the magician had not managed to poison. The king was worried and tried to control the population by issuing a series of edicts governing security and public health. The policemen and the inspectors, however, had also drunk the poisoned water, and they thought the king’s decisions were absurd and resolved to take no notice of them. “When the inhabitants of the kingdom heard these decrees, they became convinced that the king had gone mad and was now giving nonsensical orders. They marched on the castle and called for his abdication. “In despair the king prepared to step down from the throne, but the queen stopped him, saying: ‘Let us go and drink from the communal well. Then we will be the same as them.’ “And that was what they did: The king and the queen drank the water of madness and immediately began talking nonsense. Their subjects repented at once; now that the king was displaying such wisdom, why not allow him to continue ruling the country? “The country continued to live in peace, although its inhabitants behaved very differently from those of its neighbors. And the king was able to govern until the end of his days.” Veronika laughed. “You don’t seem crazy at all,” she said. “But I am, although I’m undergoing treatment since my problem is that I lack a particular chemical. While I hope that the chemical gets rid of my chronic depression, I want to continue being crazy, living my life the way I dream it, and not the way other people want it to be. Do you know what exists out there, beyond the walls of Villete?” “People who have all drunk from the same well.” “Exactly,” said Zedka. “They think they’re normal, because they all do the same thing. Well, I’m going to pretend that I have drunk from the same well as them.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
Other than that , he knew scarcely anyone well, nor they him. Gypsies make difficult friends for ordinary people, and he was something of a gypsy. Like two solitary birds flying the great prairies by celestial reckoning, all of these years and lifetimes we have been moving toward one another. Analysis destroys wholes. Some things, magic things, are meant to stay whole. If you look at their pieces, they go away. And he whispered to her, I have one thing to say, one thing only, I´ll never say it another time, to anyone, and I ask you to remember it: In a universe of ambiguity, this kind of certainty comes only once, and never again, no matter how many lifetimes you live. Since he had driven away from her .., she realized, in spite of how much she thought she´d care for him then, she had nonetheless badly underestimated her feelings. That didn´t seem possible, but it was true. She had begun to understand what he already understood.
Robert James Waller (The Bridges of Madison County)
I wanted to throw up. But I would have had to get out of bed to run to the bathroom. And I felt like I never wanted to leave that bed again. I love animals. I've been raised all my life around them. I love nature. But what did I really know about it? I have been more animals than many people ever see in a lifetime. I have flown with the wings of an osprey. I've raced through the ocean in the body of a dolphin. I've seen the world through the eyes of an owl at night, and smelled the wind with all the keen senses of a wolf. I've flown upside down and backward in the body of a fly. Sometimes I go out into the far fields at night and become a horse and run through the grass. And everything I've been, every animal, is either killer or killed. In a million, million battles all around the world, on every continent, in every square inch of space, there was killing. From the great cats in Africa that cold-bloodedly search out the young and weak gazelles, to the terrible wars that are fought out in anthills and termite colonies. All of nature was at war. And, at the top of all that destruction, humans killed each other as well as other species, and now those same people have been enslaved and destroyed by the Yeerks. Nature at its finest. Cute, cuddly animals who slaughtered to live. The color of nature wasn't green. It was red. Blood-red.
K.A. Applegate (The Secret (Animorphs, #9))
Anticipating their calamity and fright when deportation day came (August 6, 1942) he [Henryk Goldszmit, pen name: Janusz Korczak] joined them aboard the train bound for Treblinka, because, he said, he knew his presence would calm them—“You do not leave a sick child in the night, and you do not leave children at a time like this.” A photograph taken at the Umschlagplatz (Transshipment Square) shows him marching, hatless, in military boots, hand in hand with several children, while 192 other children and ten staff members follow, four abreast, escorted by German soldiers. Korczak and the children boarded red boxcars not much larger than chicken coops, usually stuffed with seventy-five vertical adults, though all the children easily fit. In Joshua Perle’s eyewitness account in The Destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, he describes the scene: “A miracle occurred, two hundred pure souls, condemned to death, did not weep. Not one of them ran away. None tried to hide. Like stricken swallows they clung to their teacher and mentor, to their father and brother, Janusz Korczak.” In 1971, the Russians named a newly discovered asteroid after him, 2163 Korczak, but maybe they should have named it Ro, the planet he dreamed of. The Poles claim Korczak as a martyr, and the Israelis revere him as one of the Thirty-Six Just Men, whose pure souls make possible the world’s salvation. According to Jewish legend, these few, through their good hearts and good deeds, keep the too-wicked world from being destroyed. For their sake alone, all of humanity is spared. The legend tells that they are ordinary people, not flawless or magical, and that most of them remain unrecognized throughout their lives, while they choose to perpetuate goodness, even in the midst of inferno.
Diane Ackerman
We are dealing, then, with an absurdity that is not a quirk or an accident, but is fundamental to our character as people. The split between what we think and what we do is profound. It is not just possible, it is altogether to be expected, that our society would produce conservationists who invest in strip-mining companies, just as it must inevitably produce asthmatic executives whose industries pollute the air and vice-presidents of pesticide corporations whose children are dying of cancer. And these people will tell you that this is the way the "real world" works. The will pride themselves on their sacrifices for "our standard of living." They will call themselves "practical men" and "hardheaded realists." And they will have their justifications in abundance from intellectuals, college professors, clergymen, politicians. The viciousness of a mentality that can look complacently upon disease as "part of the cost" would be obvious to any child. But this is the "realism" of millions of modern adults. There is no use pretending that the contradiction between what we think or say and what we do is a limited phenomenon. There is no group of the extra-intelligent or extra-concerned or extra-virtuous that is exempt. I cannot think of any American whom I know or have heard of, who is not contributing in some way to destruction. The reason is simple: to live undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive would require of any one of us, or of any small group of us, a great deal more work than we have yet been able to do. How could we divorce ourselves completely and yet responsibly from the technologies and powers that are destroying our planet? The answer is not yet thinkable, and it will not be thinkable for some time -- even though there are now groups and families and persons everywhere in the country who have begun the labor of thinking it. And so we are by no means divided, or readily divisible, into environmental saints and sinners. But there are legitimate distinctions that need to be made. These are distinctions of degree and of consciousness. Some people are less destructive than others, and some are more conscious of their destructiveness than others. For some, their involvement in pollution, soil depletion, strip-mining, deforestation, industrial and commercial waste is simply a "practical" compromise, a necessary "reality," the price of modern comfort and convenience. For others, this list of involvements is an agenda for thought and work that will produce remedies. People who thus set their lives against destruction have necessarily confronted in themselves the absurdity that they have recognized in their society. They have first observed the tendency of modern organizations to perform in opposition to their stated purposes. They have seen governments that exploit and oppress the people they are sworn to serve and protect, medical procedures that produce ill health, schools that preserve ignorance, methods of transportation that, as Ivan Illich says, have 'created more distances than they... bridge.' And they have seen that these public absurdities are, and can be, no more than the aggregate result of private absurdities; the corruption of community has its source in the corruption of character. This realization has become the typical moral crisis of our time. Once our personal connection to what is wrong becomes clear, then we have to choose: we can go on as before, recognizing our dishonesty and living with it the best we can, or we can begin the effort to change the way we think and live.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
You seem disappointed that I am not more responsive to your interest in "spiritual direction". Actually, I am more than a little ambivalent about the term, particularly in the ways it is being used so loosely without any sense of knowledge of the church's traditions in these matters. If by spiritual direction you mean entering into a friendship with another person in which an awareness and responsiveness to God's Spirit in the everydayness of your life is cultivated, fine. Then why call in an awkward term like "spiritual direction"? Why not just "friend"? Spiritual direction strikes me as pretentious in these circumstances, as if there were some expertise that can be acquired more or less on its own and then dispensed on demand. The other reason for my lack of enthusiasm is my well-founded fear of professionalism in any and all matters of the Christian life. Or maybe the right label for my fear is "functionalism". The moment an aspect of Christian living (human life, for that matter) is defined as a role, it is distorted, debased - and eventually destroyed. We are brothers and sisters with one another, friends and lovers, saints and sinners. The irony here is that the rise of interest in spiritual direction almost certainly comes from the proliferation of role-defined activism in our culture. We are sick and tired of being slotted into a function and then manipulated with Scripture and prayer to do what someone has decided (often with the help of some psychological testing) that we should be doing to bring glory to some religious enterprise or other. And so when people begin to show up who are interested in us just as we are - our souls - we are ready to be paid attention to in this prayerful, listening, non-manipulative, nonfunctional way. Spiritual direction. But then it begins to develop a culture and language and hierarchy all its own. It becomes first a special interest, and then a specialization. That is what seems to be happening in the circles you are frequenting. I seriously doubt that it is a healthy (holy) line to be pursuing. Instead, why don't you look over the congregation on Sundays and pick someone who appears to be mature and congenial. Ask her or him if you can meet together every month or so - you feel the need to talk about your life in the company of someone who believes that Jesus is present and active in everything you are doing. Reassure the person that he or she doesn't have to say anything "wise". You only want them to be there for you to listen and be prayerful in the listening. After three or four such meetings, write to me what has transpired, and we'll discuss it further. I've had a number of men and women who have served me in this way over the years - none carried the title "spiritual director", although that is what they have been. Some had never heard of such a term. When I moved to Canada a few years ago and had to leave a long-term relationship of this sort, I looked around for someone whom I could be with in this way. I picked a man whom I knew to be a person of integrity and prayer, with seasoned Christian wisdom in his bones. I anticipated that he would disqualify himself. So I pre-composed my rebuttal: "All I want you to do is two things: show up and shut up. Can you do that? Meet with me every six weeks or so, and just be there - an honest, prayerful presence with no responsibility to be anything other than what you have become in your obedient lifetime." And it worked. If that is what you mean by "spiritual director," okay. But I still prefer "friend". You can see now from my comments that my gut feeling is that the most mature and reliable Christian guidance and understanding comes out of the most immediate and local of settings. The ordinary way. We have to break this cultural habit of sending out for an expert every time we feel we need some assistance. Wisdom is not a matter of expertise. The peace of the Lord, Eugene
Eugene H. Peterson (The Wisdom of Each Other)
As Christians we face two tasks in our evangelism: saving the soul and saving the mind, that is to say, not only converting people spiritually, but converting them intellectually as well. And the Church is lagging dangerously behind with regard to this second task. If the church loses the intellectual battle in one generation, then evangelism will become immeasurably more difficult in the next. The war is not yet lost, and it is one which we must not lose: souls of men and women hang in the balance. For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ Himself, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence. Thinking about your faith is indeed a virtue, for it helps you to better understand and defend your faith. But thinking about your faith is not equivalent to doubting your faith. Doubt is never a purely intellectual problem. There is a spiritual dimension to the problem that must be recognized. Never lose sight of the fact that you are involved in spiritual warfare and there is an enemy of your soul who hates you intensely, whose goal is your destruction, and who will stop at nothing to destroy you. Reason can be used to defend our faith by formulating arguments for the existence of God or by refuting objections. But though the arguments so developed serve to confirm the truth of our faith, they are not properly the basis of our faith, for that is supplied by the witness of the Holy Spirit Himself. Even if there were no arguments in defense of the faith, our faith would still have its firm foundation. The more I learn, the more desperately ignorant I feel. Further study only serves to open up to one's consciousness all the endless vistas of knowledge, even in one's own field, about which one knows absolutely nothing. Don't let your doubts just sit there: pursue them and keep after them until you drive them into the ground. We should be cautious, indeed, about thinking that we have come upon the decisive disproof of our faith. It is pretty unlikely that we have found the irrefutable objection. The history of philosophy is littered with the wrecks of such objections. Given the confidence that the Holy Spirit inspires, we should esteem lightly the arguments and objections that generate our doubts. These, then, are some of the obstacles to answered prayer: sin in our lives, wrong motives, lack of faith, lack of earnestness, lack of perseverance, lack of accordance with God’s will. If any of those obstacles hinders our prayers, then we cannot claim with confidence Jesus’ promise, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it”. And so I was led to what was for me a radical new insight into the will of God, namely, that God’s will for our lives can include failure. In other words, God’s will may be that you fail, and He may lead you into failure! For there are things that God has to teach you through failure that He could never teach you through success. So many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is and always will be the true priority for every human being — that is, learning to know God in Christ. My greatest fear is that I should some day stand before the Lord and see all my works go up in smoke like so much “wood, hay, and stubble”. The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God. People tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God’s pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfilment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God.
William Lane Craig (Hard Questions, Real Answers)
I propose the following definition of the nation: it is an imagined political community—and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign. It is imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion… The nation is imagined as limited because even the largest of them, encompassing perhaps a billion living human beings, has finite, if elastic, boundaries, beyond which lie other nations… It is imagined as sovereign because the concept was born in an age in which Enlightenment and Revolution were destroying the legitimacy of the divinely-ordained, hierarchical dynastic realm… Finally, it is imagined as a community, because, regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship. Ultimately it is this fraternity that makes it possible, over the past two centuries, for so many millions of people, not so much to kill, as willingly die for such limited imaginings. —Benedict Anderson
Min Jin Lee (Pachinko)
No, he would never know his father, who would continue to sleep over there, his face for ever lost in the ashes. There was a mystery about that man, a mystery he had wanted to penetrate. But after all there was only the mystery of poverty that creates beings without names and without a past, that sends them into the vast throng of the nameless dead who made the world while they themselves were destroyed for ever. For it was just that that his father had in common with the men of the Labrador. The Mahon people of the Sahel, the Alsatians on the high plateaus, with this immense island between sand and sea, which the enormous silence was now beginning to envelop: the silence of anonymity; it enveloped blood and courage and work and instinct, it was at once cruel and compassionate. And he who had wanted to escape from the country without name, from the crowd and from a family without a name, but in whom something had gone on craving darkness and anonymity - he too was a member of the tribe, marching blindly into the night near the old doctor who was panting at his right, listening to the gusts of music coming from the square, seeing once more the hard inscrutable faces of the Arabs around the bandstands, Veillard's laughter and his stubborn face - also seeing with a sweetness and a sorrow that wrung his heart the deathly look on his mother's face at the time of the bombing - wandering though the night of the years in the land of oblivion where each one is the first man, where he had to bring himself up, without a father, having never known those moments when a father would call his son, after waiting for him to reach the age of listening, to tell him the family's secret, or a sorrow of long ago, or the experience of his life, those moments when even the ridiculous and hateful Polonius all of a sudden becomes great when he is speaking to Laertes; and he was sixteen, then he was twenty, and no one had spoken to him, and he had to learn by himself, to grow alone, in fortitude, in strength, find his own morality and truth, at last to be born as a man and then to be born in a harder childbirth, which consists of being born in relation to others, to women, like all the men born in this country who, one by one, try to learn without roots and without faith, and today all of them are threatened with eternal anonymity and the loss of the only consecrated traces of their passage on this earth, the illegible slabs in the cemetery that the night has now covered over; they had to learn how to live in relation to others, to the immense host of the conquerors, now dispossessed, who had preceded them on this land and in whom they now had to recognise the brotherhood of race and destiny.
Albert Camus (The First Man)
We can combat existential anguish – the unbearable lightness of our being – in a variety of ways. We can choose to work, play, destroy, or create. We can allow a variety of cultural factors or other people to define who we are, or we can create a self-definition. We decide what to monitor in the environment. We regulate how much attention we pay to nature, other people, or the self. We can watch and comment upon current cultural events and worldly happenings or withdraw and ignore the external world. We can drink alcohol, dabble with recreational drugs, play videogames, or watch television, films, and sporting events. We can travel, go on nature walks, camp, fish, and hunt, climb mountains, or take whitewater-rafting trips. We can build, paint, sing, create music, write poetry, or read and write books. We can cook, barbeque, eat fine cuisine at restaurants or go on fasts. We can attend church services, worship and pray, or chose to embrace agnosticism or atheism. We can belong to charitable organizations or political parties. We can actively or passively support or oppose social and ecological causes. We can share time with family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances or live alone and eschew social intermixing.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
have always been fascinated by relationships. I grew up in Britain, where my dad ran a pub, and I spent a lot of time watching people meeting, talking, drinking, brawling, dancing, flirting. But the focal point of my young life was my parents’ marriage. I watched helplessly as they destroyed their marriage and themselves. Still, I knew they loved each other deeply. In my father’s last days, he wept raw tears for my mother although they had been separated for more than twenty years. My response to my parents’ pain was to vow never to get married. Romantic love was, I decided, an illusion and a trap. I was better off on my own, free and unfettered. But then, of course, I fell in love and married. Love pulled me in even as I pushed it away. What was this mysterious and powerful emotion that defeated my parents, complicated my own life, and seemed to be the central source of joy and suffering for so many of us? Was there a way through the maze to enduring love? I followed my fascination with love and connection into counseling and psychology. As part of my training, I studied this drama as described by poets and scientists. I taught disturbed children who had been denied love. I counseled adults who struggled with the loss of love. I worked with families where family members loved each other, but could not come together and could not live apart. Love remained a mystery. Then, in the final phase of getting my doctorate in counseling psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, I started to work with couples. I was instantly mesmerized by the intensity of their struggles and the way they often spoke of their relationships in terms of life and death.
Sue Johnson (Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love)
The news filled me with such euphoria that for an instant I was numb. My ingrained self-censorship immediately started working: I registered the fact that there was an orgy of weeping going on around me, and that I had to come up with some suitable performance. There seemed nowhere to hide my lack of correct emotion except the shoulder of the woman in front of me, one of the student officials, who was apparently heartbroken. I swiftly buried my head in her shoulder and heaved appropriately. As so often in China, a bit of ritual did the trick. Sniveling heartily she made a movement as though she was going to turn around and embrace me I pressed my whole weight on her from behind to keep her in her place, hoping to give the impression that I was in a state of abandoned grief. In the days after Mao's death, I did a lot of thinking. I knew he was considered a philosopher, and I tried to think what his 'philosophy' really was. It seemed to me that its central principle was the need or the desire? for perpetual conflict. The core of his thinking seemed to be that human struggles were the motivating force of history and that in order to make history 'class enemies' had to be continuously created en masse. I wondered whether there were any other philosophers whose theories had led to the suffering and death of so many. I thought of the terror and misery to which the Chinese population had been subjected. For what? But Mao's theory might just be the extension of his personality. He was, it seemed to me, really a restless fight promoter by nature, and good at it. He understood ugly human instincts such as envy and resentment, and knew how to mobilize them for his ends. He ruled by getting people to hate each other. In doing so, he got ordinary Chinese to carry out many of the tasks undertaken in other dictatorships by professional elites. Mao had managed to turn the people into the ultimate weapon of dictatorship. That was why under him there was no real equivalent of the KGB in China. There was no need. In bringing out and nourishing the worst in people, Mao had created a moral wasteland and a land of hatred. But how much individual responsibility ordinary people should share, I could not decide. The other hallmark of Maoism, it seemed to me, was the reign of ignorance. Because of his calculation that the cultured class were an easy target for a population that was largely illiterate, because of his own deep resentment of formal education and the educated, because of his megalomania, which led to his scorn for the great figures of Chinese culture, and because of his contempt for the areas of Chinese civilization that he did not understand, such as architecture, art, and music, Mao destroyed much of the country's cultural heritage. He left behind not only a brutalized nation, but also an ugly land with little of its past glory remaining or appreciated. The Chinese seemed to be mourning Mao in a heartfelt fashion. But I wondered how many of their tears were genuine. People had practiced acting to such a degree that they confused it with their true feelings. Weeping for Mao was perhaps just another programmed act in their programmed lives. Yet the mood of the nation was unmistakably against continuing Mao's policies. Less than a month after his death, on 6 October, Mme Mao was arrested, along with the other members of the Gang of Four. They had no support from anyone not the army, not the police, not even their own guards. They had had only Mao. The Gang of Four had held power only because it was really a Gang of Five. When I heard about the ease with which the Four had been removed, I felt a wave of sadness. How could such a small group of second-rate tyrants ravage 900 million people for so long? But my main feeling was joy. The last tyrants of the Cultural Revolution were finally gone.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Iehuda allowed his mind to follow, across the map of the wide world, across the empires and kingdoms that fought and tried to rule and subdue each other. And he imagined what might happen if these words traveled from mouth to mouth, from mind to mind, from one city to the next to the next, if this simple message- love your enemy- were the accepted creed of all the world. He did not see how it could happen. "If one man went against it," he said at last, "the whole thing would be broken. In a world like that, a world of peace, a world of soft people with no knives, one man could destroy everything." "Then we cannot rest until every man has heard it. Think," said Yehoshuah softly, "what shall we use up our lives for? More war, like our fathers and their fathers, more of that? Or shall we use ourselves for a better purpose? Is this not worth your life?
Naomi Alderman (The Liars' Gospel)
An artistic life is closely associated with a spiritual life as both represent an attempt to withdraw into enforced solitude in order to experience a person’s innermost self and to imbue the personal spirit with will and energy, virtue and purity. Both an artist and a spiritual seeker must possess an appreciation for beauty, the courage to confront personal demons, intellectual integrity to express truth, the self-discipline to labor endlessly, and the capacity to endure hardships that might break or destroy other people. Through protracted self-examination of and extensive contemplation of the gifts of nature an artistic and spiritual person overcomes their sense of desperation and feelings of isolation and aloneness, realizes oneness with the universe, becomes enlightened and free, lives humbly in a state of grace, and faces the future with curiosity and optimism.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today. Of course not all of them are radicals. The majority of them are peaceful people. The radicals are estimated to be between 15-25%, according to all intelligence services around the world. That leaves 75% of them - peaceful people. But when you look at 15-25% of the world Muslim population, you're looking at 180 million to 300 million people dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization. That is as big as the United States. So why should we worry about the radical 15-25%? Because it is the radicals that kill. Because it is the radicals that behead and massacre. When you look throughout history, when you look at all the lessons of history, most Germans were peaceful. Yet the Nazis drove the agenda. And as a result, 60 million people died, almost 14 million in concentration camps. 6 million were Jews. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at Russia, most Russians were peaceful as well. Yet the Russians were able to kill 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at China for example, most Chinese were peaceful as well. Yet the Chinese were able to kill 70 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at Japan prior to World War II, most Japanese were peaceful as well. Yet, Japan was able to butcher its way across Southeast Asia, killing 12 million people, mostly killed by bayonets and shovels. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. On September 11th in the United States we had 2.3 million Arab Muslims living in the United States. It took 19 hijackers - 19 radicals - to bring America down to its knees, destroy the World Trade Center, attack the Pentagon and kill almost 3000 Americans that day. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. So for all our power of reason, and for all us talking about moderate and peaceful Muslims, I'm glad you're here. But where are the others speaking out? And since you are the only Muslim representative in here, you took the limelight instead of speaking about why our government - I assume you're an American (the Muslim says yes) - As an American citizen, you sat in this room, and instead of standing up and saying a question, or asking something about our four Americans that died and what our government is doing to correct the problem, you stood there to make a point about peaceful, moderate Muslims. I wish you had brought ten with you to question about how we could hold our government responsible. It is time we take political correctness and throw it in the garbage where it belongs.” - Brigette Gabriel (transcript from Benghazi Accountability Coalition - Heritage Foundation)
J.K. Sheindlin (The People vs Muhammad - Psychological Analysis)
Witchcraft is part of a living web of species and relationships, a world which we have forgotten to observe, understand or inhabit. Many people reading this paragraph will not know even the current phase of the moon, and if asked for it will not instinctively look up to the current quarter of the sky, but down to their computers. Neither will they be able to name the plants, birds or animals within a metre or mile radius of their door. Witchcraft asks that we do these first things, this is presence. Animism is not embedded in the natural world, it is the natural world. Our witchcraft is that spirit of place, which is made from a convergence of elements and inhabitants. Here I include animals, both living and dead, human and inhuman. Our helpers are mammals, reptiles, fish, birds and insects. Some can be counted allies, others are more ambivalent. Predator and prey are interdependent. These all have the same origin and ancestry, they from from plants, from copper green life. Bones become soil. The plants have been nourished on the minerals drawn up from the bowels of the earth. These are the living tools of the witch's craft. The cycle of the elements and seasons is read in this way. Flux, life and death are part of this, as are extinctions, catastrophe, fire and flood. We avail ourselves of these, and ultimately a balance is sought. Our ritual space is written in starlight, watched over by sun and moon. So this leaves us with a simple question. How can there be any Witchcraft if this is all destroyed? It is not a rhetorical question. Our land, our trees, animals and elements hold spirit. Will we let our familiars, literally our family be destroyed? If we hold any real belief and experience of spirit, then it does not ask, it demands us to fight for it.
Peter Grey (Apocalyptic Witchcraft)
Not only did I believe that humans were selfish and base, I also knew that plenty of them were actually bad – content to destroy lives for their own gain. I’d seen Korean-Chinese expose North Korean escapees to the police in return for money. I’d known people who’d been trafficked by other humans as if they were livestock. That world was familiar to me. All my life, random acts of kindness had been so rare that they’d stick in my memory, and I’d think: how strange.
Hyeonseo Lee (The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector's Story)
Her hope was to preserve what she called The Way, to keep it alive, for that future moment when the current obsession with excess and hierarchy imploded. Wilma said many Native people believed that the earth as a living organism would just one day shrug off the human species that was destroying it—and start over. In a less cataclysmic vision, humans would realize that we are killing our home and each other, and seek out The Way. That’s why Native people were guarding it.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
What you describe is parasitism, not love. When you require another individual for your survival, you are a parasite on that individual. There is no choice, no freedom involved in your relationship. It is a matter of necessity rather than love. Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other. We all-each and every one of us-even if we try to pretend to others and to ourselves that we don't have dependency needs and feelings, all of us have desires to be babied, to be nurtured without effort on our parts, to be cared for by persons stronger than us who have our interests truly at heart. No matter how strong we are, no matter how caring and responsible and adult, if we look clearly into ourselves we will find the wish to be taken care of for a change. Each one of us, no matter how old and mature, looks for and would like to have in his or her life a satisfying mother figure and father figure. But for most of us these desires or feelings do not rule our lives; they are not the predominant theme of our existence. When they do rule our lives and dictate the quality of our existence, then we have something more than just dependency needs or feelings; we are dependent. Specifically, one whose life is ruled and dictated by dependency needs suffers from a psychiatric disorder to which we ascribe the diagnostic name "passive dependent personality disorder." It is perhaps the most common of all psychiatric disorders. People with this disorder, passive dependent people, are so busy seeking to be loved that they have no energy left to love…..This rapid changeability is characteristic of passive dependent individuals. It is as if it does not matter whom they are dependent upon as long as there is just someone. It does not matter what their identity is as long as there is someone to give it to them. Consequently their relationships, although seemingly dramatic in their intensity, are actually extremely shallow. Because of the strength of their sense of inner emptiness and the hunger to fill it, passive dependent people will brook no delay in gratifying their need for others. If being loved is your goal, you will fail to achieve it. The only way to be assured of being loved is to be a person worthy of love, and you cannot be a person worthy of love when your primary goal in life is to passively be loved. Passive dependency has its genesis in lack of love. The inner feeling of emptiness from which passive dependent people suffer is the direct result of their parents' failure to fulfill their needs for affection, attention and care during their childhood. It was mentioned in the first section that children who are loved and cared for with relative consistency throughout childhood enter adulthood with a deep seated feeling that they are lovable and valuable and therefore will be loved and cared for as long as they remain true to themselves. Children growing up in an atmosphere in which love and care are lacking or given with gross inconsistency enter adulthood with no such sense of inner security. Rather, they have an inner sense of insecurity, a feeling of "I don't have enough" and a sense that the world is unpredictable and ungiving, as well as a sense of themselves as being questionably lovable and valuable. It is no wonder, then, that they feel the need to scramble for love, care and attention wherever they can find it, and once having found it, cling to it with a desperation that leads them to unloving, manipulative, Machiavellian behavior that destroys the very relationships they seek to preserve. In summary, dependency may appear to be love because it is a force that causes people to fiercely attach themselves to one another. But in actuality it is not love; it is a form of antilove. Ultimately it destroys rather than builds relationships, and it destroys rather than builds people.
M. Scott Peck
This is a radical, even distasteful image for modern people. Servant? When Paul uses this metaphor, he is not saying that we are to relate to one another in every way that literal bond-servants served their masters in ancient times. What he is saying is this: A servant puts someone else’s needs ahead of his or her own. That is how all believers should live with each other. And if all believers are to serve each other in this way, how much more intentionally and intensely should husbands and wives have this attitude toward one another? This principle cannot be dismissed, however we define the husband’s role. While Paul writes that the husband is “head” of his wife, whatever it means cannot negate the fact that he is also his wife’s Christian brother and bond-servant, according to Galatians 5:13. Husbands and wives must serve each other, must “give themselves up” for one another. That does not destroy the exercise of authority within a human relationship, but it does radically transform it.3
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
You have read Darwin," I said. "But you read him misunderstandingly when you conclude that the struggle for existence sanctions your wanton destruction of life." He shrugged his shoulders. "You know you only mean that in relation to human life, for of the flesh and the fowl and the fish you destroy as much as I or any other man. And human life is in no wise different, though you feel it is and think that you reason why it is. Why should I be parsimonious with this life which is cheap and without value? There are more sailors than there are ships on the sea for them, more workers than there are factories or machines for them. Why, you who live on the land know that you house your poor people in the slums of cities and loose famine and pestilence upon them, and that there still remain more poor people, dying for want of a crust of bread and a bit of meat (which is life destroyed), than you know what to do with. Have you ever seen the London dockers fighting like wild beasts for a chance to work?
Jack London (The Sea Wolf By Jack London)
Receiving forgiveness when we know we’ve truly blown it is a humbling and growth-producing experience. It’s the only thing better than forgiving someone else. On the other hand, an unsafe person who is unable to forgive can be very destructive. Instead of forgiving, she condemns: She centers on my failings. She won’t let go of the past, even when I’ve confessed, repented, and made restitution. She uses my weaknesses to avoid looking at hers. She sees me as morally inferior to her. She desires justice more than intimacy. Unsafe people are often good at identifying your weaknesses. They can quote the minute and hour you hurt them, and recall the scene in intimate detail and living color. Like a good attorney, they have the entire case mapped out. And you are judged “guilty.” Yes, we need to be confronted with our weaknesses. Unsafe people, however, confront us not to forgive us, but to condemn and punish us. They remove their love until we are appropriately chastened. This, obviously, destroys any chance for connection or safety.
Henry Cloud (Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't)
(...) You Sophotechs are smarter than I am; why did you let me do such a foolish thing?” “We answer every question our resources and instruction parameters allow; we are more than happy to advise you, when and if we are asked.” “That’s not what I’m thinking of, and you know it.” “You are thinking we should use force to defend you against yourself against your will? That is hardly a thought worth thinking, sir. Your life has exactly the value you yourself place on it. It is yours to damage or ruin as you wish.” (...) “Is that another hint? Are you saying I’m destroying my life? People at the party, twice now, have said or implied that I’m going to endanger the Oecumene itself. Who stopped me?” “Not I. While life continues, it cannot be made to be without risk. The assessment of whether or not a certain risk is worth taking depends on subjective value-judgments. About such judgments even reasonable men can differ. We Sophotechs will not interfere with such decisions. (...) If we were to overrule your ownership of your own life, your life, would, in effect, become our property, and you, in effect, would become merely the custodian or trustee of that life. Do you think you would value it more in such a case, or less? And if you valued it less, would you not take greater risks and behave more self-destructively? If, on the other hand, each man’s life is his own, he may experiment freely, risking only what is his, till he find his best happiness.” “I see the results of failed experiments all around us, in these cylinders. I see wasted lives, and people trapped in mind sets and life forms which lead nowhere.” “While life continues, experimentation and evolution must also. The pain and risk of failure cannot be eliminated. The most we can do is maximize human freedom, so that no man is forced to pay for another man’s mistakes, so that the pain of failure falls only on he who risks it. And you do not know which ways of life lead nowhere. Even we Sophotechs do not know where all paths lead.” “How benevolent of you! We will always be free to be stupid.” “Cherish that freedom, young master; it is basic to all others.
John C. Wright (The Golden Age (Golden Age #1))
The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists. Ernest Hemingway War, Political, Both Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. Ernest Hemingway War, Justified, Matter Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war. Ernest Hemingway War, Once, Happen The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it. Ernest Hemingway Hate, Leave, Worth Personal columnists are jackals and no jackal has been known to live on grass once he had learned about meat - no matter who killed the meat for him. Ernest Hemingway Once, Matter, Learned The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself. Ernest Hemingway Happiness, Good, Few But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated. Ernest Hemingway Defeat, Defeated, Destroyed You're beautiful, like a May fly. Ernest Hemingway Beauty, Beautiful, Fly His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Ernest Hemingway Time, Natural, Talent The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life and one is as good as the other.
Ernest Hemingway
A. There are people who collect elements. These collectors try to gather physical samples of as many of the elements as possible into periodic-table-shaped display cases.1 Of the 118 elements, 30 of them—like helium, carbon, aluminum, and iron—can be bought in pure form in local retail stores. Another few dozen can be scavenged by taking things apart (you can find tiny americium samples in smoke detectors). Others can be ordered over the Internet. All in all, it’s possible to get samples of about 80 of the elements—90, if you’re willing to take some risks with your health, safety, and arrest record. The rest are too radioactive or short-lived to collect more than a few atoms of them at once. But what if you did? The periodic table of the elements has seven rows.2 You could stack the top two rows without much trouble. The third row would burn you with fire. The fourth row would kill you with toxic smoke. The fifth row would do all that stuff PLUS give you a mild dose of radiation. The sixth row would explode violently, destroying the building in a cloud of radioactive, poisonous fire and dust. Do not build the seventh row.
Randall Munroe (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)
People judge the unknown with their knowledge of the known. . Fear is the most prized illusion that we create for ourselves. . Human beings are designed in a way that they always live with one half of their self in the past and the other half in the present. . Love doesn't always happen to strengthen our beliefs. Sometimes it happens to destroy all our previous beliefs and faith and gives us a chance to re-look at our own conclusions. . We all are designed to remember things. So, if you try to forget, you will suffer. Accept and you shall shine like never before. The greatest lesson love can give you is how to live a complete life by accepting its incomplete ways. If you can’t hope in love, you can’t live. . Accidents happen Mini but that doesn't mean you stop travelling. . Sometimes we confuse need and necessity, I guess. Necessity is common to all but need is person-specific. . What to do when you are in love with the journey but at the same time scared of the undesirable destination which you know is going to arrive sooner or later? . Sometimes we lie not to cover the truth but to cover that side of us which the truth may strip to bareness.
Novoneel Chakraborty (Marry Me, Stranger)
He had lived by ironclad rules for so long. Protect Tavvy, protect Livvy and Ty, protect Dru. Protect Emma. Recently that he widened out slightly- he would protect Mark, because Mark had come back, and he would protect Cristina, because Emma loved her. It was a sort of love few other people could understand. It was total and it was overwhelming and it could be cruel. He would destroy a whole city if he thought that city posed some threat to his family. When you were twelve years old and you were all that stood between your family and annihilation, you didn't learn moderation.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
The Dragon of Bad Emotions: … One of the most difficult (but utterly important) things to manage in life is to “KILL THE DRAGON” inside of ourselves—a strong, aggressive, negative “dragon” of nasty emotions that lives inside of you, me. . . everybody! Probably this type of negativity can sometimes even be helpful in business, but it can also destroy any love or closeness, if you let it reach into your private life. You have to kill this “dragon” every day, because it comes back again and again, trying to destroy your happiness and the good, close relationships you have with your partner, and with other people.
Sahara Sanders
White supremacists are the ones supporting policies that benefit racist power against the interests of the majority of White people. White supremacists claim to be pro-White but refuse to acknowledge that climate change is having a disastrous impact on the earth White people inhabit. They oppose affirmative-action programs, despite White women being their primary beneficiaries. White supremacists rage against Obamacare even as 43 percent of the people who gained lifesaving health insurance from 2010 to 2015 were White. They heil Adolf Hitler’s Nazis, even though it was the Nazis who launched a world war that destroyed the lives of more than forty million White people and ruined Europe. They wave Confederate flags and defend Confederate monuments, even though the Confederacy started a civil war that ended with more than five hundred thousand White American lives lost—more than every other American war combined. White supremacists love what America used to be, even though America used to be—and still is—teeming with millions of struggling White people. White supremacists blame non-White people for the struggles of White people when any objective analysis of their plight primarily implicates the rich White Trumps they support.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
DBT works on the premise that people who have lives that include meaningful relationships, activities, and purpose do not attempt suicide. In other words, to be less suicidal, people have to have a life worth living. I have never met someone who said, “I have people I love and who love me, a job I enjoy, and hobbies that keep me engaged, and I want to die.” People become suicidal or engage in problem behaviors because they do not believe they have love or meaning and often because they are consumed by overwhelming despair about what has happened in their lives and hopelessness about what will happen in the future. People
Shari Y. Manning (Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder: How to Keep Out-of-Control Emotions from Destroying Your Relationship)
We do not own the land we abuse, or the lakes and streams we pollute or the raccoons and the otters we persecute. Those who play God in destroying any form of life are tampering with a master plan too intricate for any of us to understand. All that we can do is to aid that great plan and to keep part of our planet habitable. The greatest predator on earth is man himself, and we must look inward to destroy the killer instinct which may yet atomize the human race. Our morality must be extended to every living thing upon our globe, and we must amend the Golden Rule to read: ’ Do unto other creatures as you would have them do unto you!
Sterling North (Raccoons Are the Brightest People)
We have not thoroughly assessed the bodies snatched from dirt and sand to be chained in a cell. We have not reckoned with the horrendous, violent mass kidnapping that we call the Middle Passage. We have not been honest about all of America's complicity - about the wealth the South earned on the backs of the enslaved, or the wealth the North gained through the production of enslaved hands. We have not fully understood the status symbol that owning bodies offered. We have not confronted the humanity, the emotions, the heartbeats of the multiple generations who were born into slavery and died in it, who never tasted freedom on America's land. The same goes for the Civil War. We have refused to honestly confront the fact that so many were willing to die in order to hold the freedom of others in their hands. We have refused to acknowledge slavery's role at all, preferring to boil things down to the far more palatable "state's rights." We have not confessed that the end of slavery was so bitterly resented, the rise of Jim Crow became inevitable - and with it, a belief in Black inferiority that lives on in hearts and minds today. We have painted the hundred-year history of Jim Crow as little more than mean signage and the inconvenience that white people and Black people could not drink from the same fountain. But those signs weren't just "mean". They were perpetual reminders of the swift humiliation and brutal violence that could be suffered at any moment in the presence of whiteness. Jim Crow meant paying taxes for services one could not fully enjoy; working for meager wages; and owning nothing that couldn't be snatched away. For many black families, it meant never building wealth and never having legal recourse for injustice. The mob violence, the burned-down homes, the bombed churches and businesses, the Black bodies that were lynched every couple of days - Jim Crow was walking through life measuring every step. Even our celebrations of the Civil Rights Movement are sanitized, its victories accentuated while the battles are whitewashed. We have not come to grips with the spitting and shouting, the pulling and tugging, the clubs, dogs, bombs, and guns, the passion and vitriol with which the rights of Black Americans were fought against. We have not acknowledged the bloodshed that often preceded victory. We would rather focus on the beautiful words of Martin Luther King Jr. than on the terror he and protesters endured at marches, boycotts, and from behind jail doors. We don't want to acknowledge that for decades, whiteness fought against every civil right Black Americans sought - from sitting at lunch counters and in integrated classrooms to the right to vote and have a say in how our country was run. We like to pretend that all those white faces who carried protest signs and batons, who turned on their sprinklers and their fire hoses, who wrote against the demonstrations and preached against the changes, just disappeared. We like to pretend that they were won over, transformed, the moment King proclaimed, "I have a dream." We don't want to acknowledge that just as Black people who experienced Jim Crow are still alive, so are the white people who vehemently protected it - who drew red lines around Black neighborhoods and divested them of support given to average white citizens. We ignore that white people still avoid Black neighborhoods, still don't want their kids going to predominantly Black schools, still don't want to destroy segregation. The moment Black Americans achieved freedom from enslavement, America could have put to death the idea of Black inferiority. But whiteness was not prepared to sober up from the drunkenness of power over another people group. Whiteness was not ready to give up the ability to control, humiliate, or do violence to any Black body in the vicinity - all without consequence.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
None of these men will bring about your death any time sooner, but rather they will teach you how to die. None of them will shorten your lifespan, but each will add the wisdom of his years to yours. In other words, there is nothing dangerous about talking to these people and it won’t cost you a penny. Take from them as much as you wish. It’s up to you to squeeze the most you can from their wisdom. What bliss, what a glorious old age awaits the man who has offered himself as a mate to these intellects! He will have mentors and colleagues from whom he may seek advice on the smallest of matters, companions ever ready with counsel for his daily life, from whom he may hear truth without judgment, praise without flattery, and after whose likeness he may fashion himself. They say ‘you can’t choose your parents,’ that they have been given to us by chance; but the good news is we can choose to be the sons of whomever we desire. There are many respectable fathers scattered across the centuries to choose from. Select a genius and make yourself their adopted son. You could even inherit their name and make claim to be a true descendant and then go forth and share this wealth of knowledge with others. These men will show you the way to immortality, and raise you to heights from which no man can be cast down. This is the only way to extend mortality – truly, by transforming time into immortality. Honors, statues and all other mighty monuments to man’s ambition carved in stone will crumble but the wisdom of the past is indestructible. Age cannot wither nor destroy philosophy which serves all generations. Its vitality is strengthened by each new generation’s contribution to it. The Philosopher alone is unfettered by the confines of humanity. He lives forever, like a god. He embraces memory, utilizes the present and anticipates with relish what is to come. He makes his time on Earth longer by merging past, present and future into one.
Seneca (Stoic Six Pack 2 - Consolations From A Stoic, On The Shortness of Life, Musonius Rufus, Hierocles, Meditations In Verse and The Stoics (Illustrated) (Stoic Six Packs))
Now, I appeal to the consciences of those that persecute, torment, destroy, and kill other men upon pretence of religion, whether they do it out of friendship and kindness towards them or no? And I shall then indeed, and not until then, believe they do so, when I shall see those fiery zealots correcting, in the same manner, their friends and familiar acquaintance for the manifest sins they commit against the precepts of the Gospel; when I shall see them persecute with fire and sword the members of their own communion that are tainted with enormous vices and without amendment are in danger of eternal perdition; and when I shall see them thus express their love and desire of the salvation of their souls by the infliction of torments and exercise of all manner of cruelties. For if it be out of a principle of charity, as they pretend, and love to men's souls that they deprive them of their estates, maim them with corporal punishments, starve and torment them in noisome prisons, and in the end even take away their lives — I say, if all this be done merely to make men Christians and procure their salvation, why then do they suffer whoredom, fraud, malice, and such-like enormities, which… manifestly relish of heathenish corruption, to predominate so much and abound amongst their flocks and people?
John Locke (A Letter Concerning Toleration)
We have always called ourselves a tax-exempt 501c3 antiprofit organization. We wrestle to free ourselves from macrocharity and distant acts of charity that serve to legitimize apathetic lifestyles of good intentions but rob us of the gift of community. We visit rich people and have them visit us. We preach, prophesy, and dream together about how to awaken the church from her violent slumber. Sometimes we speak to change the world; other times we speak to keep the world from changing us. We are about ending poverty, not simply managing it. We give people fish. We teach them to fish. We tear down the walls that have been built up around the fish pond. And we figure out who polluted it. We fight terrorism—the terrorism within each of us, the terrorism of corporate greed, of American consumerism, of war. We are not pacifist hippies but passionate lovers who abhor passivity and violence. We spend our lives actively resisting everything that destroys life, whether that be terrorism or the war on terrorism. We try to make the world safe, knowing that the world will never be safe as long as millions live in poverty so the few can live as they wish. We believe in another way of life—the kingdom of God—which stands in opposition to the principalities, powers, and rulers of this dark world (Eph. 6:12).3
Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)
Mature adults find ways to free themselves from exploding off irregular behavior. I try to change from being critical of the difficult person to feeling sorry for him. Isn’t it sad that someone you care about is limiting, possibly destroying, relationships by behavior that causes chaos? How awful to be so insecure, so cocksure, so caught in compulsive behaviors, so unwilling to change destructive patterns that a person stands as alone as an island, rather than joining hands in an alliance. Pity the person who drives others away by feigned illness, clinging dependency, fears, or efforts to control. Feeling sorrow instead of hurt turns angry fists into compassionate hands.
Elizabeth B. Brown (Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People)
As it is, I can't settle, I want someone who is fierce and will love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me. There are many forms of love and affection, some people can spend their whole lives together without knowing each other's names. Naming is a difficult and time-consuming process; it concerns essences, and it means power. But on the wild nights who can call you home? Only the one who knows your name. Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
Lefebvre’s concept of heterotopia (radically different from that of Foucault) delineates liminal social spaces of possibility where “something different” is not only possible, but foundational for the defining of revolutionary trajectories. This “something different” does not necessarily arise out of a conscious plan, but more simply out of what people do, feel, sense, and come to articulate as they seek meaning in their daily lives. Such practices create heterotopic spaces all over the place. We do not have to wait upon the grand revolution to constitute such spaces. Lefebvre’s theory of a revolutionary movement is the other way round: the spontaneous coming together in a moment of “irruption,” when disparate heterotopic groups suddenly see, if only for a fleeting moment, the possibilities of collective action to create something radically different. That coming together is symbolized by Lefebvre in the quest for centrality. The traditional centrality of the city has been destroyed. But there is an impulse towards and longing for its restoration which arises again and again to produce far-reaching political effects, as we have recently seen in the central squares of Cairo, Madrid, Athens, Barcelona, and even Madison, Wisconsin and now Zuccotti Park in New York City. How else and where else can we come together to articulate our collective cries and demands?
David Harvey (Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution)
...Obduracy can be overcome by determination. More insidious, and far harder to destroy, was women's internalizing of the notion that they were somehow inferior to men, a complementary species designed (in W.R. Greg's words) to 'complet[e], sweeten, and embellish the existence of others'. [Women] still chose to become nurses rather than doctors, secretaries rather than bosses: to be ill-paid facilitators for people no more talented nor, in many cases, better educated than themselves, but who simply happened to be men. The notion that they might be their bosses' equals penetrated only very slowly; the possibility that they might even be their superiors, though accepted in theory, has perhaps still not wholly sunk in.
Ruth Brandon (Governess: The Lives and Times of the Real Jane Eyres)
13. Fear Fear can be real or imaginary. Fear makes people do strange things. It primarily comes from a lack of understanding. To live in fear is to live in an emotional prison. Fear paralyses and immobilises people. Fear results in insecurity, lack of confidence and procrastination. Fear destroys our potential and ability. We cannot think straight. Fear ruins relationships and health. Some common fears are:    • Fear of failing    • Fear of the unknown    • Fear of being unprepared    • Fear of making the wrong decision    • Fear of rejection Some fears can be described, others can only be felt. Fear leads to anxiety which in turn leads to irrational thinking and this actually sabotages our ability to solve the problem. The normal response to fear is escape. Escape puts us in a comfort zone and reduces the impact of fear temporarily while the cause remains. Imaginary fears magnify the problem. Fear can get out of hand and destroy happiness and relationships. Think of fear as meaning: F     A     L     S      E E     V     I      D     E     N     C     E A     P     P     E     A     R      I      N      G      R     E     A     L Fear of failure is often worse than failure itself. Failure is not the worst thing that can happen to someone. People who don’t try have failed even before attempting. When infants learn to walk, they keep falling; but to them it is not failing, it is learning. If they became disheartened, they would never walk.
Shiv Khera (You Can Win: A Step-by-Step Tool for Top Achievers)
Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace him. If he were to quit, he might help himself, but he would not help his company, society, or country. I urged him to remain the director of his firm, to bring mindfulness into his daily work, and to use his position to communicate his concerns and doubts about the production of atomic bombs. In the Sutra on Happiness, the Buddha says it is great fortune to have an occupation that allows us to be happy, to help others, and to generate compassion and understanding in this world. Those in the helping professions have occupations that give them this wonderful opportunity. Yet many social workers, physicians, and therapists work in a way that does not cultivate their compassion, instead doing their job only to earn money. If the bomb designer practises and does his work with mindfulness, his job can still nourish his compassion and in some way allow him to help others. He can still influence his government and fellow citizens by bringing greater awareness to the situation. He can give the whole nation an opportunity to question the necessity of bomb production. Many people who are wealthy, powerful, and important in business, politics, and entertainment are not happy. They are seeking empty things - wealth, fame, power, sex - and in the process they are destroying themselves and those around them. In Plum Village, we have organised retreats for businesspeople. We see that they have many problems and suffer just as others do, sometimes even more. We see that their wealth allows them to live in comfortable conditions, yet they still suffer a great deal. Some businesspeople, even those who have persuaded themselves that their work is very important, feel empty in their occupation. They provide employment to many people in their factories, newspapers, insurance firms, and supermarket chains, yet their financial success is an empty happiness because it is not motivated by understanding or compassion. Caught up in their small world of profit and loss, they are unaware of the suffering and poverty in the world. When we are not int ouch with this larger reality, we will lack the compassion we need to nourish and guide us to happiness. Once you begin to realise your interconnectedness with others, your interbeing, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to see, 'I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources.' Entire companies can also adopt this way of thinking. Companies have the right to pursue economic growth, but not at the expense of other life. They should respect the life and integrity of people, animals, plants and minerals. Do not invest your time or money in companies that deprive others of their lives, that operate in a way that exploits people or animals, and destroys nature. Businesspeople who visit Plum Village often find that getting in touch with the suffering of others and cultivating understanding brings them happiness. They practise like Anathapindika, a successful businessman who lived at the time of the Buddha, who with the practise of mindfulness throughout his life did everything he could to help the poor and sick people in his homeland.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World)
I think as feminists we have a way of looking at problems that other people appear not to understand. To name names, the right and the left appear not to understand what it is that feminists are trying to do. Feminists are trying to destroy a sex hierarchy, a race hierarchy, an economic hierarchy, in which women are hurt, are disempowered, and in which society celebrates cruelty over us and refuses us the integrity of our own bodies and the dignity of our own lives. ... So feminists look at the society we live in and try to understand how we are going to fight male power. And in order to try to figure out how we're going to fight it, we have to figure out how it's organized, how it works. How does it survive? How does it work itself out? How does it maintain itself as a system of power? ... So feminists come along, and we say: Well, we are going to understand how it is that these people do what they do. We are going to approach the problem politically. That means that we are going to try to isolate and describe systems of exploitation as they work on us, from our point of view as the people who are being hurt by them. It means that even though we're on the bottom and they're on the top, we are examining them for points of vulnerability. And as we find those points of vulnerability—and you might locate them anatomically, as well as any other way—we are going to move whatever muscles we have, from whatever positions we are in, and we are going to get that bastard in his collective manifestation off of us. And that means we are politically organizing a resistance to male supremacy.
Andrea Dworkin
Everything we do and say will either underline or undermine our discipleship process. As long as there is one unsaved person on my campus or in my city, then my church is not big enough. One of the underlying principles of our discipleship strategy is that every believer can and should make disciples. When a discipleship process fails, many times the fatal flaw is that the definition of discipleship is either unclear, unbiblical, or not commonly shared by the leadership team. Write down what you love to do most, and then go do it with unbelievers. Whatever you love to do, turn it into an outreach. You have to formulate a system that is appropriate for your cultural setting. Writing your own program for making disciples takes time, prayer, and some trial and error—just as it did with us. Learn and incorporate ideas from other churches around the world, but only after modification to make sure the strategies make sense in our culture and community. Culture is changing so quickly that staying relevant requires our constant attention. If we allow ourselves to be distracted by focusing on the mechanics of our own efforts rather than our culture, we will become irrelevant almost overnight. The easiest and most common way to fail at discipleship is to import a model or copy a method that worked somewhere else without first understanding the values that create a healthy discipleship culture. Principles and process are much more important than material, models, and methods. The church is an organization that exists for its nonmembers. Christianity does not promise a storm-free life. However, if we build our lives on biblical foundations, the storms of life will not destroy us. We cannot have lives that are storm-free, but we can become storm-proof. Just as we have to figure out the most effective way to engage our community for Christ, we also have to figure out the most effective way to establish spiritual foundations in each unique context. There is really only one biblical foundation we can build our lives on, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Pastors, teachers, and church staff believe their primary role is to serve as mentors. Their task is to equip every believer for the work of the ministry. It is not to do all the ministry, but to equip all the people to do it. Their top priority is to equip disciples to do ministry and to make disciples. Do you spend more time ministering to people or preparing people to minister? No matter what your church responsibilities are, you can prepare others for the same ministry. Insecurity in leadership is a deadly thing that will destroy any organization. It drives pastors and presidents to defensive positions, protecting their authority or exercising it simply to show who is the boss. Disciple-making is a process that systematically moves people toward Christ and spiritual maturity; it is not a bunch of randomly disconnected church activities. In the context of church leadership, one of the greatest and most important applications of faith is to trust the Holy Spirit to work in and through those you are leading. Without confidence that the Holy Spirit is in control, there is no empowering, no shared leadership, and, as a consequence, no multiplication.
Steve Murrell (WikiChurch: Making Discipleship Engaging, Empowering, and Viral)
Because you deserve a duke, damn it!” A troubled expression furrowed his brow. “You deserve a man who can give you the moon. I can’t. I can give you a decent home in a decent part of town with decent people, but you…” His voice grew choked. “You’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. It destroys me to think of what you’ll have to give up to be with me.” “I told you before-I don’t care!” she said hotly. “Why can’t you believe me?” He hesitated a long moment. “The truth?” “Always.” “Because I can’t imagine why you’d want me when you have men of rank and riches at your fingertips.” She gave a rueful laugh. “You grossly exaggerate my charms, but I can’t complain. It’s one of many things I adore about you-that you see a better version of me than I ever could.” Remembering the wonderful words he’d said last night when she’d been so self-conscious, she left the bed to walk up to him. “Do you know what I see when I look at you?” His wary gaze locked with hers. “Proper Pinter. Proud Pinter.” “Yes, but that’s just who you show to the world to protect yourself.” She reached up to stroke his cheek, reveling in the ragged breath that escaped him. “When you let down your guard, however, I see Jackson-who ferrets out the truth, no matter how hard. Who risks his own life to protect the weak. Who’d sacrifice anything to prevent me from having to sacrifice everything.” Catching her hand, he halted its path. “You see a saint,” he said hoarsely. “I’m not a saint; I’m a man with needs and desires and a great many rough edges.” “I like your rough edges,” she said with a soft smile. “If I’d really wanted a man of rank and riches, I probably would have married long ago. I always told myself I couldn’t marry because no one wanted me, but the truth was, I didn’t want any of them.” She fingered a lock of hair. “Apparently I was waiting for you, rough edges and all.” His eyes turned hot with wanting. Drawing her hand to his lips, he kissed the palm so tenderly that her heart leapt into her throat. When he lifted his head, he said, “Then marry me, rough edges and all.” She swallowed. “That’s what you say now, when we’re alone and you’re caught up in-“ He covered her mouth with his, kissing her so fervently that she turned into a puddle of mush. Blast him-he always did that, too, when they were alone; it was when they were with others that he reconsidered their being together forever. And he still had said nothing of live. “That’s enough of that,” she warned, drawing back from him. “Until you make a proper proposal, before my family, you’re not sharing my bed.” “Sweeting-“ “Don’t you ‘sweeting’ me, Jackson Pinter.” She edged away from him. “I want Proper Pinter back now.” A mocking smile crossed his lips. “Sorry, love. I threw him out when I saw how he was mucking up my private life.” Love? No, she wouldn’t let that soften her. Not until she was sure he wouldn’t turn cold later. “You told Oliver you’d behave like a gentleman.” “To hell with your brother.” He stalked her with clear intent. Even as she darted behind a chair to avoid him, excitement tore through her. “Aren’t you still worried Gran will cut me off, and you’ll be saddled with a spoiled wife and not enough money to please her?” “To hell with your grandmother, too. For that matter, to hell with the money.” He tossed the chair aside as if it were so much kindling; it clattered across the floor. “It’s you I want.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
While it has been clear that right and wrong is nonexistent, I can't say that the concept of 'right or wrong' isn't needed. Because of ignorance, we still need authorities to set up rules and say 'vandalism is wrong, killing is wrong, et cetera.' People ask, "So, vandalism isn't wrong? Killing isn't wrong?" I answer, "Uneducated people say that vandalism is wrong. More educated people say that vandalism destroys the things that many people have spent their lives making. Uneducated people say that killing is wrong. More educated people say that killing takes away the only thing that matters which is lives." The more educated people are, the freer they will be, and the words 'right or wrong' won't be needed anymore. There was a bomb again in Brussels yesterday. I laughed. In the past, we had tyrannies because people didn't know what they could do and what they couldn't do. Now, we have democracy. Do we deserve democracy? Do we deserve freedom? No, we don't deserve freedom. We certainly don't deserve democracy. People are still voting for Donald Trump. And people still bomb other people. And socioeconomic gap is still high. Ignorance is still prevalent, so, if you ask me, "Do we deserve democracy? Do we deserve freedom? Do we deserve the world without authority, the world of truth, the world of peace?" I answer, "No, we don't." So, when you hear your president shouting 'Peace!', your government speaking 'Freedom!', ask them 'Are you educated?' Someone asks, "So, instead of 'right or wrong', you will now set up the rules about what we can do and we can't do?" I answer, "No. When will you understand? I stand for the world without authority, the world of truth, the world of peace. OK, forget the truth, forget my book, forget my paper. Let me expand science for you. You will let your fellow humans who are more educated than you set up the rules for you. When all the people are finally educated, please come back and reread my book and my paper, and when you finally understand them, please live in the world of no authority, the world of truth, the world of peace. Me? I probably have been gone by then." There is, however, a problem with how many educated people there are in the world. In my paper, I prove that right and wrong is nonexistent by showing that everything that exists is not wrong and is not right because everything that exists is the result of the thing(s) that happened before it and everything that exists can’t be right because future doesn’t exist. I wrote that terrorism is caused by capitalism (democracy) and capitalism (democracy) is caused by death. This paper was rejected. When educated people fail, there goes all your hope in the world.
Andreas Laurencius (Genesis)
At first glance, a militant conception of revolution seems more impractical than a nonviolent conception, but this is because it is realistic. People need to understand that capitalism, the state, white supremacy, imperialism, and patriarchy all constitute a war against the people of this planet. And revolution is an intensification of that war. We cannot liberate ourselves and create the worlds we want to live in if we think of fundamental social change as shining a light in the darkness, winning hearts and minds, speaking truth to power, bearing witness, capturing people’s attention, or any other passive parade. Millions of people die every year on this planet for no better reason than a lack of clean drinking water. Because the governments and corporations that have usurped control of the commons have not found a way to profit from those people’s lives, they let them die. Millions of people die every year because a few corporations and their allied governments do not want to allow the production of generic AIDS drugs and other medicine. Do you think the institutions and the elite individuals who hold the power of life or death over millions give a fuck about our protests? They have declared war on us, and we need to take it back to them. Not because we are angry (though we should be), not to get revenge, and not because we are acting impulsively, but because we have weighed the possibility of freedom against the certainty of shame from living under whatever form of domination we are faced with in our particular corner of the globe; because we realize that some people are already fighting, often alone, for their liberation, and that they have a right to and we should support them; and because we understand that the overlapping prisons that entomb our world have by now been so cleverly constructed that the only way to free ourselves is to fight and destroy these prisons and defeat the jailers by whatever means necessary.
Peter Gelderloos (How Nonviolence Protects the State)
Holgrave, a daguerreotypist (the technology was brand new then, suggesting a cutting-edge man of the future), opines that we shall soon live to see the day “when no man shall build his house for posterity.” He instead imagines a country in which “each generation were allowed and expected to build its own houses,” a simple change that would ameliorate most of society’s ills. “I doubt whether even our public edifices,” he concludes, meaning capitols, courthouses, and other government buildings, “ought to be built of such permanent materials as stone or brick. It were better that they should crumble to ruin once in twenty years, or thereabouts, as a hint to the people to examine into and reform the institutions which they symbolize.” As the ill-gotten remnants of the past, the buildings that have borne witness to the sins of the fathers, the houses we inherit must be destroyed. If we want to truly be free of the past, we must first start by destroying our ancestral homes.
Colin Dickey (Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places)
My family is a classic American-dream story. My great-grandparents fled Russia to avoid being murdered for their religion. Just two generations later, my parents fled New York City weekends for their country house. I never felt guilty about this. I was raised to believe America rewards hard work. But I was also raised to understand that luck plays a role in even the bootstrappiest success story. The cost of living the dream, I was taught, is the responsibility to expand it for others. It’s a more than fair price. Yet the people running the country didn’t see it that way. With George W. Bush in the White House, millionaires and billionaires were showered with tax cuts. Meanwhile, schools went underfunded. Roads and bridges deteriorated. Household incomes languished. Deficits ballooned. And America went to war. President Bush invaded Iraq to destroy weapons of mass destruction, a campaign which hit a snag when it turned out those weapons didn’t exist. But by then it was too late. We had broken a country and owned the resulting mess. Colin Powell called this “the Pottery Barn rule,” which, admittedly, was cute. Still, it’s hard to imagine a visit to Pottery Barn that costs trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives. Our leaders, in other words, had made bad choices. They would therefore be replaced with better ones. That’s how AP Government told me the system worked. In the real world, however, the invasion of Iraq became an excuse for a dark and antidemocratic turn. Those who questioned the war, the torture of prisoners—or even just the tax cuts—found themselves accused of something barely short of treason. No longer was a distinction made between supporting the president’s policies and America’s troops. As an electoral strategy, this was dangerous and cynical. Also, it worked. So no, I didn’t grow up with a high opinion of politicians. But I did grow up in the kind of environment where people constantly told me I could change the world. In 2004, eager to prove them right, I volunteered for John Kerry’s presidential campaign.
David Litt (Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years)
With the exception of Nuukaru and Escute, I had no doubts about my loyalties. Which were in the following order: to any other Ranger, and then to myself. Toshaway had been right: you had to love others more than you loved your own body, otherwise you would be destroyed, whether from the inside or out, it didn't matter. You could butcher and pillage but as long as you did it for people you loved, it never mattered. You did not see any Comanches with the long stare – there was nothing they did that was not to protect their friends, their families, or their band. The war sickness was a disease of the white man, who fought in armies far from his home, for men he didn’t know, and there is a myth about the West, that it was founded and ruled by loners, while the truth is just the opposite; the loner is a mental weakling, and was seen as such, and treated with suspicion. You did not live long without someone watching your back and there were very few people, white or Indian, who did not see a stranger in the night and invite him to join the campfire.
Philipp Meyer
Jesus in the Temple of God in Jerusalem Matthew 21 12: AND JESUS WENT INTO THE TEMPLE OF GOD, AND CAST OUT ALL THEM THAT SOLD AND BOUGHT IN THE TEMPLE, AND OVERTHROW THE TABLES OF THE MONEY-CHANGERS, AND THE SEATS OF THEM THAT SOLD DOVES Rebellion is individual. It comes out of the truth of one being. Revolutions are organized, but you can not organize a rebellion. Revolutions becomes establishment, and then they fail. Rebellion comes out of the truth and authenticity of one being's heart. Revolution is organized and political, rebellion is spiritual. A revolution is of the future, rebellion is here and now. In revolution, you try to change others, in rebellion you change yourself. Jesus is a rebel. Christianity is the organized religion, which appeared after Jesus was murdered. Christianity is established by the same establishment that Jesus rebelled against. Jesus is a rebel, who lived out of his own love, truth and understanding. AND HE SAID TO THEM, IT IS WRITTEN, MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED THE HOUSE OF PRAYER Jesus entered the temple of God in Jerusalem, and saw that the temple had been destryed. It was not a house of prayer. People were not meditating, people were not praying. The temple was no longer the abode of God. Priests have always been against God. The talk about God, but they are basically against God. They do not teach truth. The temple of God in Jerusalem had been destroyed by the priests. Christianity is based on one simple word: love. But the result of Christianity is wars, murder and crusades. The priests go on talking about love, but he does not live in love. AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, IT IS WRITTEN, MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED THE HOUSE OF PRAYER; BUT YE HAVE MADE IT A DEN OF THIEVES Jesus says that the temple of God, is not longer a house of prayer. It is a house of thieves. AND WHEN HE WAS COME INTO THE TEMPLE, THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND THE ELDERS OF THE PEOPLE CAME UNTO HIM AS HE WAS TEACHING AND SAID, BY WHAT AUTHORITY DOES THOU THESE THINGS? AND WHO GAVE THEE THIS AUTHORITY? Organized religion always asks about authority, status, as if truth needs some authority, some licensing from the outside. The priests talks the language of the establishment, even while meeting a mystic like Jesus. Truth arises from your own being, this is the inner authority. Truth is born out of your own being. The priests asks Jesus who has given him the authority to overthrow the tables of the money-changers? Who has given him the authority to change the rules of the temple? But Jesus did not answer the priests. He remained silent. Jesus is his own authority. Jesus whole message is to be your own authority. You are not here to follow anybody. You are here to be yourself. Your life is yours. Your love is your inner being. The priests wanted to arrest Jesus and throw him into prison, but they were afraid of the masses of people who listened to Jesus. They had to wait for the right moment to arrest him. The authentic mystic is always a danger to the priests and the organized religion. When you can allow the yes to be born in you, there is no need to go to a temple. Then God desends in you. Whenever a man is ready, God finds him.
Swami Dhyan Giten
There are certain encounters that one knows will never be repeated so long as one lives. The firstborn child can't be born twice; one's virginity, once lost, can never be found again; the sheer awe one feels when laying hand on a giant sequoia cannot be rivaled. Other times escape our notice, slipping by while we are preoccupied, and we do not appreciate their enormity until it's too late to do anything but regret that we had not paid more attention in the present. For me, the times I always regret are missed opportunities to say farewell to good people, to wish them long life and say to them in all sincerity, "You build and do not destroy; you sow goodwill and read it; smiles bloom in the wake of your passing, and I will keep your kindness in trust and share it as occasion arises, so that your life will be a quenching draught of clam in a land of drought and stress." Too often I never get to say that when it should be said. Instead, I leave them with the equivalent of a "Later, dude!" only to discover some time afterward that there would never be a later for us.
Kevin Hearne (Hammered (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #3))
Religious intolerance is an idea that found its earliest expression in the Old Testament, where the Hebrew tribe depicts itself waging a campaign of genocide on the Palestinian peoples to steal their land. They justified this heinous behavior on the grounds that people not chosen by their god were wicked and therefore did not deserve to live or keep their land. In effect, the wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian peoples, eradicating their race with the Jew's own Final Solution, was the direct result of a policy of religious superiority and divine right. Joshua 6-11 tells the sad tale, and one needs only read it and consider the point of view of the Palestinians who were simply defending their wives and children and the homes they had built and the fields they had labored for. The actions of the Hebrews can easily be compared with the American genocide of its native peoples - or even, ironically, the Nazi Holocaust. With the radical advent of Christianity, this self-righteous intolerance was borrowed from the Jews, and a new twist was added. The conversion of infidels by any means possible became the newfound calling card of religious fervor, and this new experiment in human culture spread like wildfire. By its very nature, how could it not have? Islam followed suit, conquering half the world in brutal warfare and, much like its Christian counterpart, it developed a new and convenient survival characteristic: the destruction of all images and practices attributed to other religions. Muslims destroyed millions of statues and paintings in India and Africa, and forced conversion under pain of death (or by more subtle tricks: like taxing only non-Muslims), while the Catholic Church busily burned books along with pagans, shattering statues and defacing or destroying pagan art - or converting it to Christian use. Laws against pagan practices and heretics were in full force throughrout Europe by the sixth century, and as long as those laws were in place it was impossible for anyone to refuse the tenets of Christianity and expect to keep their property or their life. Similar persecution and harassment continues in Islamic countries even to this day, officially and unofficially.
Richard C. Carrier (Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism)
Many potential readers will skip the shopping cart or cash-out clerk because they have seen so many disasters reported in the news that they’ve acquired a panic mentality when they think of them. “Disasters scare me to death!” they cry. “I don’t want to read about them!” But really, how can a picture hurt you? Better that each serve as a Hallmark card that greets your fitful fevers with reason and uncurtains your valor. Then, so gospeled, you may see that defeating a disaster is as innocently easy as deciding to go out to dinner. Remove the dread that bars your doors of perception, and you will enjoy a banquet of treats that will make the difference between suffering and safety. You will enter a brave new world that will erase your panic, and release you from the grip of terror, and relieve you of the deadening effects of indifference —and you will find that switch of initiative that will energize your intelligence, empower your imagination, and rouse your sense of vigilance in ways that will tilt the odds of danger from being forever against you to being always in your favor. Indeed, just thinking about a disaster is one of the best things you can do —because it allows you to imagine how you would respond in a way that is free of pain and destruction. Another reason why disasters seem so scary is that many victims tend to see them as a whole rather than divide them into much smaller and more manageable problems. A disaster can seem overwhelming when confronted with everything at once —but if you dice it into its tiny parts and knock them off one at a time, the whole thing can seem as easy as eating a lavish dinner one bite at a time. In a disaster you must also plan for disruption as well as destruction. Death and damage may make the news, but in almost every disaster far more lives are disrupted than destroyed. Wit­ness the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011 and killed 158 people. The path of death and destruction was less than a mile wide and only 22 miles long —but within thirty miles 160,000 citizens whose property didn’t suffer a dime of damage were profoundly disrupted by the carnage, loss of power and water, suspension of civic services, and inability to buy food, gas, and other necessities. You may rightfully believe your chances of dying in a disaster in your lifetime may be nearly nil, but the chances of your life being disrupted by a disaster in the next decade is nearly a sure thing. Not only should you prepare for disasters, you should learn to premeditate them. Prepare concerns the body; premeditate concerns the mind. Everywhere you go, think what could happen and how you might/could/would/should respond. Use your imagination. Fill your brain with these visualizations —run mind-movies in your head —develop a repertoire —until when you walk into a building/room/situation you’ll automatically know what to do. If a disaster does ambush you —sure you’re apt to panic, but in seconds your memory will load the proper video into your mobile disk drive and you’ll feel like you’re watching a scary movie for the second time and you’ll know what to expect and how to react. That’s why this book is important: its manner of vivifying disasters kickstarts and streamlines your acquiring these premeditations, which lays the foundation for satisfying your needs when a disaster catches you by surprise.
Robert Brown Butler (Architecture Laid Bare!: In Shades of Green)
But now, in a new century and a different time, that great middle class is on the ropes. All across the country, people are worried—worried and angry. They are angry because they bust their tails and their income barely budges. Angry because their budget is stretched to the breaking point by housing and health care. Angry because the cost of sending their kid to day care or college is out of sight. People are angry because trade deals seem to be building jobs and opportunities for workers in other parts of the world, while leaving abandoned factories here at home. Angry because young people are getting destroyed by student loans, working people are deep in debt, and seniors can’t make their Social Security checks cover their basic living expenses. Angry because we can’t even count on the fundamentals—roads, bridges, safe water, reliable power—from our government. Angry because we’re afraid that our children’s chances for a better life won’t be as good as our own. People are angry, and they are right to be angry. Because this hard-won, ruggedly built, infinitely precious democracy of ours has been hijacked. Today
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
So I will commit to showing up with deep humility and doing the best I can. I will keep getting it wrong, which is the closest I can come to getting it right. When I am corrected, I will stay open and keep learning. Not because I want to be the wokest woke who ever woked. But because people’s children are dying of racism, and there is no such thing as other people’s children. Hidden racism is destroying and ending lives. It’s making police officers kill black men at three times the rate of white men. It’s making lawmakers limit funding for clean water and poison children. It’s making doctors allow black women to die during or after childbirth at three to four times the rate of white women. It’s making school officials suspend and expel black students at three times the rate of white students. It’s making judges incarcerate black drug users at nearly six times the rate of white drug users. And—because of my complicity in this system that dehumanizes others—it is dehumanizing me. The fact that the programmed poison of racism was pumped into us may not be our fault, but getting it out is sure as hell our responsibility.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
I have talked to many people about this and it seems to be a kind of mystical experience. The preparation is unconscious, the realization happens in a flaming second. It was on Third Avenue. The trains were grinding over my head. The snow was nearly waist-high in the gutters and uncollected garbage was scattered in a dirty mess. The wind was cold, and frozen pieces of paper went scraping along the pavement. I stopped to look in a drug-store window where a latex cooch dancer was undulating by a concealed motor–and something burst in my head, a kind of light and a kind of feeling blended into an emotion which if it had spoken would have said, “My God! I belong here. Isn’t this wonderful?” Everything fell into place. I saw every face I passed. I noticed every doorway and the stairways to apartments. I looked across the street at the windows, lace curtains and potted geraniums through sooty glass. It was beautiful–but most important, I was part of it. I was no longer a stranger. I had become a New Yorker. Now there may be people who move easily into New York without travail, but most I have talked to about it have had some kind of trial by torture before acceptance. And the acceptance is a double thing. It seems to me that the city finally accepts you just as you finally accept the city. A young man in a small town, a frog in a small puddle, if he kicks his feet is able to make waves, get mud in his neighbor’s eyes–make some impression. He is known. His family is known. People watch him with some interest, whether kindly or maliciously. He comes to New York and no matter what he does, no one is impressed. He challenges the city to fight and it licks him without being aware of him. This is a dreadful blow to a small-town ego. He hates the organism that ignores him. He hates the people who look through him. And then one day he falls into place, accepts the city and does not fight it any more. It is too huge to notice him and suddenly the fact that it doesn’t notice him becomes the most delightful thing in the world. His self-consciousness evaporates. If he is dressed superbly well–there are half a million people dressed equally well. If he is in rags–there are a million ragged people. If he is tall, it is a city of tall people. If he is short the streets are full of dwarfs; if ugly, ten perfect horrors pass him in one block; if beautiful, the competition is overwhelming. If he is talented, talent is a dime a dozen. If he tries to make an impression by wearing a toga–there’s a man down the street in a leopard skin. Whatever he does or says or wears or thinks he is not unique. Once accepted this gives him perfect freedom to be himself, but unaccepted it horrifies him. I don’t think New York City is like other cities. It does not have character like Los Angeles or New Orleans. It is all characters–in fact, it is everything. It can destroy a man, but if his eyes are open it cannot bore him. New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it–once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough. All of everything is concentrated here, population, theatre, art, writing, publishing, importing, business, murder, mugging, luxury, poverty. It is all of everything. It goes all right. It is tireless and its air is charged with energy. I can work longer and harder without weariness in New York than anyplace else….
John Steinbeck
Bobby conjured up something that scared him to death and he ran out of the house and never came back. Of course you’re supposed to close those doors but they never did… I found these cards dating back to the Salem witch trials that were at a house in New York where we lived with Raven, and they were covered in human blood. They were horrifying. I took about ten of them and they almost destroyed my life…The toilets flushed black and there was infestation of flies. Objects were flying off the counters at us. The house smelled like Rosewater Lavender, which was an old cologne people used in the 1600’s. We would tell the spirit to leave but it would go into another room. I was someone who didn’t believe in any of this and in two weeks I had to become an expert or it would have killed me and my son. Finally I found out who it was, what it was and I had to return it to Salem. Since then it has been a process of getting rid of the residual effects. I had an exorcism done several times….I am a very religious person because of it today. I won’t go into it any further but I will say that Cliff Burton of Metallica had the other half of the artifacts that I had and I really believe they killed him
Jon Wiederhorn
The ethic of autonomy is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, autonomous individuals with wants, needs, and preferences. People should be free to satisfy these wants, needs, and preferences as they see fit, and so societies develop moral concepts such as rights, liberty, and justice, which allow people to coexist peacefully without interfering too much in each other’s projects. This is the dominant ethic in individualistic societies. You find it in the writings of utilitarians such as John Stuart Mill and Peter Singer11 (who value justice and rights only to the extent that they increase human welfare), and you find it in the writings of deontologists such as Kant and Kohlberg (who prize justice and rights even in cases where doing so may reduce overall welfare). But as soon as you step outside of Western secular society, you hear people talking in two additional moral languages. The ethic of community is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, members of larger entities such as families, teams, armies, companies, tribes, and nations. These larger entities are more than the sum of the people who compose them; they are real, they matter, and they must be protected. People have an obligation to play their assigned roles in these entities. Many societies therefore develop moral concepts such as duty, hierarchy, respect, reputation, and patriotism. In such societies, the Western insistence that people should design their own lives and pursue their own goals seems selfish and dangerous—a sure way to weaken the social fabric and destroy the institutions and collective entities upon which everyone depends. The ethic of divinity is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, temporary vessels within which a divine soul has been implanted.12 People are not just animals with an extra serving of consciousness; they are children of God and should behave accordingly. The body is a temple, not a playground. Even if it does no harm and violates nobody’s rights when a man has sex with a chicken carcass, he still shouldn’t do it because it degrades him, dishonors his creator, and violates the sacred order of the universe. Many societies therefore develop moral concepts such as sanctity and sin, purity and pollution, elevation and degradation. In such societies, the personal liberty of secular Western nations looks like libertinism, hedonism, and a celebration of humanity’s baser instincts.13
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
By such examples, by instances of the perpetrators of such acts going unpunished, the lawless in spirit, are encouraged to become lawless in practice; and having been used to no restraint, but dread of punishment, they thus become, absolutely unrestrained. -- Having ever regarded Government as their deadliest bane, they make a jubilee of the suspension of its operations; and pray for nothing so much, as its total annihilation. While, on the other hand, good men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws, and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country; seeing their property destroyed; their families insulted, and their lives endangered; their persons injured; and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better; become tired of, and disgusted with, a Government that offers them no protection; and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose. Thus, then, by the operation of this mobocractic spirit, which all must admit, is now abroad in the land, the strongest bulwark of any Government, and particularly of those constituted like ours, may effectually be broken down and destroyed -- I mean the attachment of the People.
Abraham Lincoln
The chief guide which must direct us in the choice of a profession is the welfare of mankind and our own perfection. It should not be thought that these two interests could be in conflict, that one would have to destroy the other; on the contrary, man's nature is so constituted that he can attain his own perfection only by working for the perfection, for the good, of his fellow men. If he works only for himself, he may perhaps become a famous man of learning, a great sage, an excellent poet, but he can never be a perfect, truly great man. History calls those men the greatest who have ennobled themselves by working for the common good; experience acclaims as happiest the man who has made the greatest number of people happy; religion itself teaches us that the ideal being whom all strive to copy sacrificed himself for the sake of mankind, and who would dare to set at nought such judgments? If we have chosen the position in life in which we can most of all work for mankind, no burdens can bow us down, because they are sacrifices for the benefit of all; then we shall experience no petty, limited, selfish joy, but our happiness will belong to millions, our deeds will live on quietly but perpetually at work, and over our ashes will be shed the hot tears of noble people.
Karl Marx
What Homer could never have foreseen is the double idiocy into which we now educate our children. We have what look like our equivalent to the Greek “assemblies”; we can watch them on cable television, as long as one can endure them. For they are charades of political action. They concern themselves constantly, insufferably, about every tiniest feature of human existence, but without slow deliberation, without balance, without any commitment to the difficult virtues. We do not have men locked in intellectual battle with other men, worthy opponents both, as Thomas Paine battled with John Dickinson, or Daniel Webster with Robert Hayne. We have men strutting and mugging for women nagging and bickering. We have the sputters of what used to be language, “tweets,” expressions of something less than opinion. It is the urge to join—something, anything—while remaining aloof from the people who live next door, whose names we do not know. Aristotle once wrote that youths should not study politics, because they had not the wealth of human experience to allow for it; all would become for them abstract and theoretical, like mathematics, which the philosopher said was more suitable for them. He concluded that men should begin to study politics at around the age of forty. Whether that wisdom would help us now, I don’t know.
Anthony M. Esolen (Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child)
No, I don't really think there's a "golden age" of anything. I think now is pretty fucking amazing. I'm probably the least nostalgic person. I don't think there was a golden time for music. There's always been people making great music standing here on Earth and saying, "This is where I stand, and this is what I've got to say, and this is how I feel about it." The industry of music has always been lousy. The stuff on the top, the stuff that rises, it's always been bad, right from when we first started getting into music. You just have to dig deeper. You have to look inward and outward. And then, when you make music, you can't just copy people. You can't just say, "This is how this was done, I'll do the same." You have to find what makes it good and kind of drag that kicking and screaming into your own world. Music is like a time capsule with no bearing. It doesn't really carry a message from the time when it was made. 1930s blues music doesn't really give you a sense of what it was like to live in America in 1930. It relates to your heartbeat now and where you are and what you're doing. I've said this in other interviews, but when I listen to Iggy Pop singing "Search And Destroy," it has no reference to Vietnam in my world. How could it? I'm from a small town in the middle of England. That's how music works. Looking back in music isn't even really looking back. Music's traveled to where you are.
J Spaceman
History is replete with the seeds of apocalypse. In particular, the 19th/early 20th Century in France was a time of country-shattering events, whether it was the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte (the creation and brutal upending of a whole new social order, within scarcely more than a decade), or the Great War (which devastated the country to a degree that is hard to believe today, wiping out an entire generation in the trenches). It was no great stretch to imagine a magical war engulfing Europe in 1914, and leaving Paris as a field of ruins filled with magical booby traps–the familiar monuments destroyed, the Seine overflowing with the residue of spells. It’s no secret that I’m fascinated by the narrative of war, and of recovery after war: how people struggle to rebuild lives and go on in the wake of world-shattering devastation; how the past can still cast a long, terrible shadow over everything; how the years before the war become a golden thing, regardless of how many injustices and hardships might have been happening then. I’m equally fascinated by history–the narratives that get preserved and enshrined, the stories that are passed down; and the speed with which some things get forgotten while others endure for generations. For me, the vocabulary and tropes of post-apocalypse were a great way to tackle those subjects, and to imagine what would happen in a city that had such a traumatic event in its past.
Aliette de Bodard
He looks forlornly ahead of him, gazing at the road but looking at nothing in particular. The whole world is one big giant ball of light to him, and he feels like a bug inside it, waiting to be squashed. He feels like there is no sense of purpose, no direction. There is nothing waiting for him at the end of the rainbow. No pot of gold for all the pain he is feeling now, or the pain he has felt before. He just feels empty and lost, as if he is looking for something that can never be found. He feels lost that he can’t explain it to anyone and that no one will understand. He feels left out, standing alone, waiting endlessly for a ray of hope which never comes. He has suffered through this before, lurking in the shadows of his own despair, fighting for his life and losing the battle. But nothing ever makes this pain go away. Or the fear. He doesn’t fear what people fear. Not the loss of life or riches—Roman fears losing himself in this swamp called existence. He fears becoming the person he doesn’t want to become, and most of all, he fears himself. Fears his own potential to destroy and destruct. To obliterate. To suffocate his own life. He fears all that and he is afraid no one will ever know what his heart aches for, or how bad he has it. At times he feels the urge to tell this to someone, but other times he just enjoys being silent, watching on like a passerby at his own life, an observer rather than someone who’s actually living it.
Sam Hunter (The Devil's Breath)
Before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the very word conspiracy was seldom used by most Americans. The JFK assassination was the seminal national event in the lives of the Baby Boomer generation. We’ve heard all the clichés about the loss of our innocence, and the beginning of public distrust in our government’s leaders, being born with the events of November 22, 1963, but there’s a good deal of truth in that. President Kennedy tapped into our innate idealism and inspired a great many people, especially the young, like no president ever had before. John F. Kennedy was vastly different from most of our elected presidents. He was the first president to refuse a salary. He never attended a Bilderberg meeting. He was the first Catholic to sit in the Oval Office, and he almost certainly wasn’t related to numerous other presidents and/or the royal family of England, as is often the case. He was a genuine war hero, having tugged an injured man more than three miles using only a life preserver’s strap between his teeth, after the Japanese had destroyed the boat he commanded, PT-109. This selfless act seems even more courageous when one takes into account Kennedy’s recurring health problems and chronic bad back. He was an intellectual and an accomplished author who wrote many of his memorable speeches. He would never have been invited to dance naked with other powerful men and worship a giant owl, as so many of our leaders do every summer at Bohemian Grove in California.
Donald Jeffries (Hidden History: An Exposé of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Cover-Ups in American Politics)
Why have you become my life, Mikhail? I’ve always been alone and strong and sure of myself. You seem to have taken over my life.” His palms slid up the curve of her body to frame her face. “You are my only life, Raven. I will admit I took you from all you knew, but you were never meant to live in isolation. I know what that does, how desolate life can be. The people you worked for were using you up. Eventually they would have destroyed you. Can you not feel that you are my other half--that I am yours?” His mouth drifted over her eyes, her cheekbones, each corner of her mouth. “Kiss me, Raven. Remember me.” She lifted long lashes and searched his black, hungry gaze with blue eyes that had darkened to deep purple. There was a burning intensity in the heat of his gaze, of his body. “If I kiss you, Mikhail, I won’t be able to stop.” His mouth found her throat, the valley between her breasts, lingered for a moment over her heart, his teeth grazing sensitive skin before he returned to her mouth. “I am a Carpathian male, long in the world of darkness. It is true that I feel very little, that my nature revels in the hunt, in the kill. To overcome the wild beast we have to find our one mate, our other half, the light to our darkness. You are my light, Raven, my very life. That does not take away my obligations to my people. I must hunt those who prey on mortals, those who prey on our people. I cannot feel while I do so, or madness would be my fate. Kiss me and merge your mind with mine. Love me for who I am.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
In rallies like those in Johnson’s Ohio tour, friends, neighbors, colleagues and family members who do not conform to the ideology are gradually dehumanized. They are tainted with the despised characteristics inherent in the godless. This attack is waged in highly abstract terms, to negate the reality of concrete, specific and unique human characteristics, to deny the possibility of goodness in those who do not conform. Some human beings, the message goes, are no longer human beings. They are types. This new, exclusive community fosters rigidity, conformity and intolerance. In this new binary world segments of the human race are disqualified from moral and ethical consideration. And because fundamentalist followers live in a binary universe, they are incapable of seeing others as anything more than inverted reflections of themselves. If they seek to destroy nonbelievers to create a Christian America, then nonbelievers must be seeking to destroy them. This belief system negates the possibility of the ethical life. It fails to grasp that goodness must be sought outside the self and that the best defense against evil is to seek it within. When people come to believe that they are immune from evil, that there is no resemblance between themselves and those they define as the enemy, they will inevitably grow to embody the evil they claim to fight. It is only by grasping our own capacity for evil, our own darkness, that we hold our own capacity for evil at bay. When evil is purely external, then moral purification always entails the eradication of others.
Chris Hedges (American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America)
Decadence in modern mass multicultural societies begins at a moment when there is not longer any discernible meaning within society. Meaning is destroyed by raising individualism above all other values because rampant individualism encourages the anarchical proliferation of egotism at the expense of the values that were once part of the national heritage, values that give form to the concept of nationhood and the nation state, to a state which is more than just a political entity, and which corresponds to a particular people who are conscious of sharing a common heritage for the survival of which they are prepared to make personal sacrifices. Man evolved in cooperating groups united by common cultural and genetic ties, and it is only in such a setting that the individual can feel truly free, and truly protected. Men cannot live happily alone and without values or any sense of identity: such a situation leads to nihilism, drug abuse, criminality, and worse. With the spread of purely egotistic goals at the expense of the altruistic regard for family and nation, the individual begins to talk of his rights rather than his duties, for he no longer feels any sense of destiny, of belonging to and being a part of a greater and more enduring entity. He no longer rejoices in the secure belief that he shares in a heritage which it is part of his common duty to protect - he no longer feels that he has anything in common with those around him. In short, he feels lonely and oppressed. Since all values have become personal, everything is now equal to everything; e.g., nothing equals nothing.
Alain de Benoist
Our country, as well as the rest of the world, faces an enormous threat from ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorist organizations that aspire to achieve world domination. These were the same aspirations held by the followers of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. Our government must recognize the importance of directly and vigorously confronting these forces of evil. We must not make the mistake of avoiding necessary conflict; we did not get involved in World War I or World War II until we felt that American interests were directly threatened, and this proved to be the wrong choice, though we eventually were victorious. If a vicious enemy that is willing to decapitate people, burn people alive, and even crucify children is allowed to grow with only minor to moderate resistance, it will only become a more formidable adversary in the future. If during this period of tepid responses to terrorist expansion the radical Islamists manage to acquire nuclear weapons, providing for the common defense will take on an entirely new different meaning. The longer we wait to eliminate the threat, the more difficult that task will become and the more dangerous the world will be for our children and grandchildren. We must use all necessary resources to protect the lives of our people. Given the existence of enemies who have a stated goal of destroying our nation and our way of life, one way to provide for the common defense is to hide, which in our case would not be possible. A better option is to try to eliminate the threat, and the earlier the threat can be eliminated, the fewer lives will be lost in the conflict.
Ben Carson (A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties)
Even if the coffers hadn’t been empty, if we’d had all the money to make all the uniforms we needed to implement Phase Two, who do you think we could have conned into filling them? This goes to the heart of America’s war weariness. As if the “traditional” horrors weren’t bad enough—the dead, the disfigured, the psychologically destroyed—now you had a whole new breed of difficulties, “The Betrayed.” We were a volunteer army, and look what happened to our volunteers. How many stories do you remember about some soldier who had his term of service extended, or some exreservist who, after ten years of civilian life, suddenly found himself recalled into active duty? How many weekend warriors lost their jobs or houses? How many came back to ruined lives, or, worse, didn’t come back at all? Americans are an honest people, we expect a fair deal. I know that a lot of other cultures used to think that was naïve and even childish, but it’s one of our most sacred principles. To see Uncle Sam going back on his word, revoking people’s private lives, revoking their freedom… After Vietnam, when I was a young platoon leader in West Germany, we’d had to institute an incentives program just to keep our soldiers from going AWOL. After this last war, no amount of incentives could fill our depleted ranks, no payment bonuses or term reductions, or online recruiting tools disguised as civilian video games.17 This generation had had enough, and that’s why when the undead began to devour our country, we were almost too weak and vulnerable to stop them. I’m not blaming the civilian leadership and I’m not suggesting that we in uniform should be anything but beholden to them. This is our system and it’s the best in the world. But it must be protected, and defended, and it must never again be so abused.
Max Brooks (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War)
As I see it, the War on Drugs—more than any other government program or political initiative—gave rise to mass incarceration as defined above. Although the political dynamics that gave birth to the system date back to slavery, the drug war marked an important turning point in American history, one that cannot be measured simply by counting heads in prisons and jails. The declaration and escalation of the War on Drugs marked a moment in our past when a group of people defined by race and class was viewed and treated as the “enemy.” A literal war was declared on a highly vulnerable population, leading to a wave of punitiveness that permeated every aspect of our criminal justice system and redefined the scope of fundamental constitutional rights. The war mentality resulted in the militarization of local police departments and billions invested in drug law enforcement at the state and local levels. It also contributed to astronomical expenditures for prison building for people convicted of all crimes and the slashing of billions from education, public housing and welfare programs, as well as a slew of legislation authorizing legal discrimination against millions of people accused of drug offenses, denying them access to housing, food stamps, credit, basic public benefits, and financial aid for schooling. This war did not merely increase the number of people in prisons and jails. It radically altered the life course of millions, especially black men who were the primary targets in the early decades of the war. Their lives and families were destroyed for drug crimes that were largely ignored on the other side of town. Those who define “mass incarceration” narrowly, to include only individuals currently locked in prisons or jails, erase from public view the overwhelming majority of
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (10th Anniversary Edition))
HISTORICAL NOTE There are no nuclear power stations in Belarus. Of the functioning stations in the territory of the former USSR, the ones closest to Belarus are of the old Soviet-designed RBMK type. To the north, the Ignalinsk station, to the east, the Smolensk station, and to the south, Chernobyl. On April 26, 1986, at 1:23:58, a series of explosions destroyed the reactor in the building that housed Energy Block #4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station. The catastrophe at Chernobyl became the largest technological disaster of the twentieth century. For tiny Belarus (population: 10 million), it was a national disaster. During the Second World War, the Nazis destroyed 619 Belarussian villages along with their inhabitants. As a result of Chernobyl, the country lost 485 villages and settlements. Of these, 70 have been forever buried underground. During the war, one out of every four Belarussians was killed; today, one out of every five Belarussians lives on contaminated land. This amounts to 2.1 million people, of whom 700,000 are children. Among the demographic factors responsible for the depopulation of Belarus, radiation is number one. In the Gomel and Mogilev regions, which suffered the most from Chernobyl, mortality rates exceed birth rates by 20%. As a result of the accident, 50 million Ci of radionuclides were released into the atmosphere. Seventy percent of these descended on Belarus; fully 23% of its territory is contaminated by cesium-137 radionuclides with a density of over 1 Ci/km2. Ukraine on the other hand has 4.8% of its territory contaminated, and Russia, 0.5%. The area of arable land with a density of more than 1 Ci/km2 is over 18 million hectares; 2.4 thousand hectares have been taken out of the agricultural economy. Belarus is a land of forests. But 26% of all forests and a large part of all marshes near the rivers Pripyat, Dniepr, and Sozh are considered part of the radioactive zone. As a result of the perpetual presence of small doses of radiation, the number of people with cancer, mental retardation, neurological disorders, and genetic mutations increases with each year. —“Chernobyl.” Belaruskaya entsiklopedia On April 29, 1986, instruments recorded high levels of radiation in Poland, Germany, Austria, and Romania. On April 30, in Switzerland and northern Italy. On May 1 and 2, in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and northern Greece. On May 3, in Israel, Kuwait, and Turkey. . . . Gaseous airborne particles traveled around the globe: on May 2 they were registered in Japan, on May 5 in India, on May 5 and 6 in the U.S. and Canada. It took less than a week for Chernobyl to become a problem for the entire world. —“The Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident in Belarus.” Minsk, Sakharov International College on Radioecology The fourth reactor, now known as the Cover, still holds about twenty tons of nuclear fuel in its lead-and-metal core. No one knows what is happening with it. The sarcophagus was well made, uniquely constructed, and the design engineers from St. Petersburg should probably be proud. But it was constructed in absentia, the plates were put together with the aid of robots and helicopters, and as a result there are fissures. According to some figures, there are now over 200 square meters of spaces and cracks, and radioactive particles continue to escape through them . . . Might the sarcophagus collapse? No one can answer that question, since it’s still impossible to reach many of the connections and constructions in order to see if they’re sturdy. But everyone knows that if the Cover were to collapse, the consequences would be even more dire than they were in 1986. —Ogonyok magazine, No. 17, April 1996
Svetlana Alexievich (Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster)
My own theological views are those of an agnostic—one who doesn’t know. I do not know whether there is a Divine designer or not. As an agnostic, what impresses me first of all is the woeful limits of our human knowledge. I respect the power of reason, but I also respect those aspects of religious faith that are compassionate and consoling. Many people could not live their lives without the consolation of faith. The virtues of religion should not be dismissed lightly. The Christian testament has a beautiful phrase for our limited human understanding: “For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”13 Believers trust the biblical promise that all our questions will be answered when we meet God face-to-face in eternity. That promise is the heart of religious faith. For an agnostic, that promise is a reminder that our knowledge in this life is incomplete. We are well into the twenty-first century, and we marvel at the spectacular achievements of science. But science still does not know how the universe was created or how life began. The Book of Proverbs contains a warning that speaks to us in our uncertain state: “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”14 Those who believe they are changing the world, or saving the planet, or transforming the human race, are intoxicated with self-aggrandizing pride. As secular “redeemers,” a haughty spirit is their second nature. Consequently, they are deaf to this biblical wisdom. The secularists are confident that the nonexistence of God is a self-evident fact. It infuriates them that religionists (or “irrationalists,” as Bill Maher calls them) resist what they think is obviously, indisputably true. Believing they know a truth that cannot be known, and that others resist, they are prepared to use any means necessary to silence their opponents and achieve their goals.
David Horowitz (DARK AGENDA: The War to Destroy Christian America)
We shall see one another some day, brother. I believe in that as in the multiplication-table. To my soul, all is clear. I see my whole future, and all that I shall accomplish, plainly before me. I am content with my life. I fear only men and tyranny. How easily might I come across a superior officer who did not like me (there are such folk !), who would torment me incessantly and destroy me with the rigours of service—for I am very frail and of course in no state to bear the full burden of a soldier's life. People try to console me: " They're quite simple sort of fellows there." But I dread simple men more than complex ones. For that matter, men everywhere are just— men. Even among the robber-murderers in the prison, I came to know some men in those four years. Believe me, there were among them deep, strong, beautiful natures, and it often gave me great joy to find gold under a rough exterior. And not in a single case, or even two, but in several cases. Some inspired respect; others were downright fine. I taught the Russian language and reading to a young Circassian—he had been transported to Siberia for robbery with murder. How grateful he was to me ! Another convict wept when I said good-bye to him. Certainly I had often given him money, but it was so little, and his gratitude so boundless. My character, though, was deteriorating; in my relations with others I was ill-tempered and impatient. They accounted for it by my mental condition, and bore all without grumbling. Apropos: what a number of national types and characters I became familiar with in the prison ! I lived into their lives, and so I believe I know them really well. Many tramps' and thieves' careers were laid bare to me, and, above all, the whole wretched existence of the common people. Decidedly I have not spent my time there in vain. I have learnt to know the Russian people as only a few know them. I am a little vain of it. I hope that such vanity is pa r donable. Brother
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Letters of Fyodor Michailovitch Dostoyevsky to his family and friends)
As a country, as a people, have we changed? On the surface we might appear to have done so, but underneath I think we are still the same. Our change is measurable, but not significant. We remain bent on destroying ourselves. We still kill each other with alarming frequency and for foolish reasons, and we begin the killing at a younger age. We have much to celebrate, but we live in fear and doubt. We are pessimistic about our own lives and the lives of our children. We trust almost no one. “It is the same everywhere. We are a people under siege, walled away from each other and the world, trying to find a safe path through the debris of hate and rage that collects around us. We drive our cars as if they were weapons. We use our children and our friends as if their love and trust were expendable and meaningless. We think of ourselves first and others second. We lie and cheat and steal in little ways, thinking it unimportant, justifying it by telling ourselves that others do it, so it doesn’t matter if we do it, too. We have no patience with the mistakes of others. We have no empathy for their despair. We have no compassion for their misery. Those who roam the streets are not our concern; they are examples of failure and an embarrassment to us. It is best to ignore them. If they are homeless, it is their own fault. They give us nothing but trouble. If they die, at least they will provide us with more space to breathe.” His smile was bitter. “Our war continues, the war we fight with one another, the war we wage against ourselves. It has its champions, good and bad, and sometimes one or the other has the stronger hand. Our place in this war is often defined for us. It is defined for many because they are powerless to choose. They are homeless or destitute. They are a minority of sex or race or religion. They are poor or disenfranchised. They are abused or disabled, physically or mentally, and they have forgotten or never learned how to stand up for themselves.
Terry Brooks (A Knight of the Word (Word & Void, #2))
Did those “new gays” spinning about like giddy tops in discos care to know that dancing with someone of the same sex was punishable as “lewd conduct” then? Still, a club in Topanga Canyon boasted a system of warning lights. When they flashed, lesbians and gay men shifted—what a grand adventure!—and danced with each other, laughing at the officers’ disappointed faces! How much pleasure—and camaraderie, yes, real kinship—had managed to exist in exile. Did those arrogant young people know that, only years ago, you could be sentenced to life in prison for consensual sex with another man? A friend of his destroyed by shock therapy decreed by the courts. Another friend sobbing on the telephone before he slashed his wrists— Thomas's hands on his steering wheel had clenched in anger, anger he had felt then, anger he felt now. And all those pressures attempted to deplete you, and disallow— “—the yearnings of the heart,” he said aloud. Yet he and others of his generation had lived through those barbaric times—and survived—those who had survived—with style. Faced with those same outrages, what would these “new gays” have done? “Exactly as we did,” he answered himself. The wind had resurged, sweeping sheaths of dust across the City, pitching tumbleweeds from the desert into the streets, where they shattered, splintering into fragments that joined others and swept away. Now, they said, everything was fine, no more battles to fight. Oh, really? What about arrests that continued, muggings, bashings, murder, and hatred still spewing from pulpits, political platforms, and nightly from the mouths of so-called comedians? Didn't the “new gays” know—care!—that entrenched “sodomy” laws still existed, dormant, ready to spring on them, send them to prison? How could they think they had escaped the tensions when those pressures were part of the legacy of being gay? Didn't they see that they remained—as his generation and generations before his had been—the most openly despised? And where, today, was the kinship of exile?
John Rechy (The Coming of the Night)
Statues of Saints CHALLENGE “The Catholic use of statues of saints is idolatry.” DEFENSE Idolatry involves worshipping a statue as a god. That's not what Catholics do with statues. Statues of saints do not represent gods. They represent human beings or angels united with God in heaven. Even the least learned practicing Catholics are aware that statues of saints are not gods, and neither are the saints they represent. If you point to a statue of the Virgin Mary and ask, “Is this a goddess?” or “Is the Virgin Mary a goddess?” you should receive the answer “no” in both cases. If this is the case for the Virgin Mary, the same will be true of any saint. As long as one is not confusing a statue with a god, it is not an idol, and the commandment against idolatry is not violated. This was true in the Bible. At various points, God commanded the Israelites to make statues and images for religious use. For example, in the book of Numbers the Israelites were suffering from a plague of poisonous snakes, and God commanded Moses to make a bronze serpent and set it on a pole so that those bitten by the snakes could gaze upon the bronze serpent and live (Num. 21:6–9). The act of looking at a statue has no natural power to heal, so this was a religious use. It was only when, centuries later, people began to regard the statue as a god that it was being used as an idol and so was destroyed (2 Kings 18:4). God also commanded that his temple, which represented heaven, be filled with images of the inhabitants of heaven. Thus he originally ordered that craftsmen work images of cherubim (a kind of angel) into curtains of the Tent of Meeting (Exod. 26:1). Later, carvings of cherubim were made on the walls and doors of the temple (1 Kings 6:29–35). Statues were also made. The lid of the Ark of the Covenant included two statues of cherubim that spread their wings toward each other (Exod. 25:18–20), and the temple included giant, fifteen-foot tall statues of cherubim in the holy of holies (1 Kings 6:23–28). Since the Ascension of Christ, the saints have joined the angels in heaven (CCC 1023), making images of them in church appropriate as well.
Jimmy Akin (A Daily Defense: 365 Days ( plus one) to Becoming a Better Apologist)
No respecter of evidence has ever found the least clue as to what life is all about, and what people should do with it. Oh, there have been lots of brilliant guesses. But honest, educated people have to identify with them as such--as guesses. What are guesses worth? Scientifically and legally, they are not worth doodley-squat. As the saying goes: “Your guess is as good as mine.” The guesses we like best, as with so many things we like best, were taught to us in childhood--by people who loved us and wished us well. We are reluctant to criticize those guesses. It is an ultimate act of rudeness to find fault with anything which is given to us in a spirit of love. So a modern, secular education is often painful. By its very nature, it invites us to question the wisdom of the ones we love. Too bad. I have said that one guess is as good as another, but that is only roughly so. Some guesses are crueler than others--which is to say, harder on human beings, and on other animals as well. The belief that God wants heretics burned to death is a case in point. Some guesses are more suicidal than others. The belief that a true lover of God is immune to the bites of copperheads and rattlesnakes is a case in point. Some guesses are greedier and more egocentric than others. Belief in the divine right of kings and presidents is a case in point. Those are all discredited guesses. But it is reasonable to suppose that other bad guesses are poisoning our lives today. A good education in skepticism can help us to discover those bad guesses, and to destroy them with mockery and contempt. Most of them were made by honest, decent people who had no way of knowing what we know, or what we can find out, if we want to. We have one hell of a lot of good information about our bodies, about our planet, and the universe--about our past. We don’t have to guess as much as the old folks did. Bertrand Russell declared that, in case he met God, he would say to Him, “Sir, you did not give us enough information.” I would add to that, “All the same, Sir, I’m not persuaded that we did the best we could with the information we had. Toward the end there, anyway, we had tons of information.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage)
Zubaydah was transferred in 2006 to the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. The videotapes of his interrogations, along with recordings of the torture of other detainees, were ordered destroyed by the head of the CIA’s clandestine service, Jose Rodriguez, despite standing orders from the White House Counsel’s Office to preserve them. According to his attorney, Zubaydah, who remains in Guantánamo today, has “permanent brain damage,” has suffered hundreds of seizures, and “cannot picture his mother’s face or recall his father’s name.” Some might read this and say to themselves, “Who gives a damn what happened to a terrorist after what they did on September 11?” But it’s not about them. It never was. What makes us exceptional? Our wealth? Our natural resources? Our military power? Our big, bountiful country? No, our founding ideals and our fidelity to them at home and in our conduct in the world make us exceptional. They are the source of our wealth and power. Living under the rule of law. Facing threats with confidence that our values make us stronger than our enemies. Acting as an example to other nations of how free people defend their liberty without sacrificing the moral conviction upon which it is based, respect for the dignity possessed by all God’s children, even our enemies. This is what made us the great nation we are. My fellow POWs and I could work up very intense hatred for the people who tortured us. We cussed them, made up degrading names for them, swore we would get back at them someday. That kind of resistance, angry and pugnacious, can only carry you so far when your enemy holds most of the cards and hasn’t any scruples about beating the resistance out of you however long it takes. Eventually, you won’t cuss them. You won’t refuse to bow. You won’t swear revenge. Still, they can’t make you surrender what they really want from you, your assent to their supremacy. No, you don’t have to give them that, not in your heart. And your last resistance, the one that sticks, the one that makes the victim superior to the torturer, is the belief that were the positions reversed you wouldn’t treat them as they have treated you. The ultimate victim of torture is the torturer, the one who inflicts pain and suffering at the cost of their humanity.
John McCain (The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations)
There are good qualities in every soul. We seldom meet any one who is wholly determined to do wrong, though there are some who deliberately abandon themselves to lives of sin, and lose all regard for virtue and integrity. From such we should keep our distance, because, unless it is our duty to associate with them, they will probably do us more harm than good. Most people, however, are trying in their own way to do right. They fail in many things, because they are not strenuous enough, or do not know well enough how, to do what they ought. . . . It is important that we should accept all light when it is given to us. If we learn a law and neglect to obey it, we do ourselves an injury. No law was ever given by the Lord that could not be obeyed. In some cases obedience is imperfect, because we are imperfect. Not many of us love our neighbors as ourselves, and until we have had more training and experience than we now have, we are hardly able to do so. The laws, however, against stealing, murdering, taking the name of Deity in vain, partaking of such things as are forbidden by the Lord, and [not] withholding what we owe Him in tithes and offerings, we can obey perfectly if we will. The honest endeavor to obey the whole of the law is the only means of obtaining the safe, well-balanced character so necessary for us all. If we neglect any part, we hinder our growth. It is well to keep in mind that sooner or later we must come into harmony with all the commandments of the Lord. . . . A man should be clean and sweet and pure in all his habits; he should also be firm and reliable, industrious and progressive, brave in advocating the right and defending the weak. To be all this, he must study himself and discover is faults and the best remedy for them. He should be merciless in acknowledging his mistakes to himself and the Lord, and to others if they are concerned. Nothing destroys more quickly this power to improve than his turning a deaf ear to conscience, and excusing himself by others' failings and the frailty of the flesh. And when he becomes conscious of his wrong, as a consistent man, he must turn about in earnest and do better. . . . The Lord is ever ready to forgive a repentant sinner, who seeks him aright, even if the sins committed have been many and great, but he does not wish us to live in sin or disobedience for a single moment, just because he can forgive. If we love him, we will keep his commandments, not those that are easy for us alone, but them all. [Improvement Era, May 1903, 483-484]
Francis M. Lyman
There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today. Of course not all of them are radicals. The majority of them are peaceful people. The radicals are estimated to be between 15-25%, according to all intelligence services around the world. That leaves 75% of them - peaceful people. But when you look at 15-25% of the world Muslim population, you're looking at 180 million to 300 million people dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization. That is as big as the United States. So why should we worry about the radical 15-25%? Because it is the radicals that kill. Because it is the radicals that behead and massacre. When you look throughout history, when you look at all the lessons of history, most Germans were peaceful. Yet the Nazis drove the agenda. And as a result, 60 million people died, almost 14 million in concentration camps. 6 million were Jews. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at Russia, most Russians were peaceful as well. Yet the Russians were able to kill 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at China for example, most Chinese were peaceful as well. Yet the Chinese were able to kill 70 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at Japan prior to World War II, most Japanese were peaceful as well. Yet, Japan was able to butcher its way across Southeast Asia, killing 12 million people, mostly killed by bayonets and shovels. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. On September 11th in the United States we had 2.3 million Arab Muslims living in the United States. It took 19 hijackers - 19 radicals - to bring America down to its knees, destroy the World Trade Center, attack the Pentagon and kill almost 3000 Americans that day. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. So for all our power of reason, and for all us talking about moderate and peaceful Muslims, I'm glad you're here. But where are the others speaking out? And since you are the only Muslim representative in here, you took the limelight instead of speaking about why our government - I assume you're an American (the Muslim says yes) - As an American citizen, you sat in this room, and instead of standing up and saying a question, or asking something about our four Americans that died and what our government is doing to correct the problem, you stood there to make a point about peaceful, moderate Muslims. I wish you had brought ten with you to question about how we could hold our government responsible. It is time we take political correctness and throw it in the garbage where it belongs.” - Brigette Gabriel (transcript from Benghazi Accountability Coalition - Heritage Foundation)                              
J.K. Sheindlin (The People vs Muhammad - Psychological Analysis)
This will not be a normal winter. The winter will begin, and it will continue, winter following winter. There will be no spring, no warmth. People will be hungry and they will be cold and they will be angry. Great battles will take place, all across the world. Brothers will fight brothers, fathers will kill sons. Mothers and daughters will be set against each other. Sisters will fall in battle with sisters, and will watch their children murder each other in their turn. This will be the age of cruel winds, the age of people who become as wolves, who prey upon each other, who are no better than wild beasts. Twilight will come to the world, and the places where the humans live will fall into ruins, flaming briefly, then crashing down and crumbling into ash and devastation. Then, when the few remaining people are living like animals, the sun in the sky will vanish, as if eaten by a wolf, and the moon will be taken from us too, and no one will be able to see the stars any longer. Darkness will fill the air, like ashes, like mist. This will be the time of the terrible winter that will not end, the Fimbulwinter. There will be snow driving in from all directions, fierce winds, and cold colder than you have ever imagined cold could be, an icy cold so cold your lungs will ache when you breathe, so cold that the tears in your eyes will freeze. There will be no spring to relieve it, no summer, no autumn. Only winter, followed by winter, followed by winter. After that there will come the time of the great earthquakes. The mountains will shake and crumble. Trees will fall, and any remaining places where people live will be destroyed. The earthquakes will be so great that all bonds and shackles and fetters will be destroyed. All of them. Fenrir, the great wolf, will free himself from his shackles. His mouth will gape: his upper jaw will reach the heavens, the lower jaw will touch the earth. There is nothing he cannot eat, nothing he will not destroy. Flames come from his eyes and his nostrils. Where Fenris Wolf walks, flaming destruction follows. There will be flooding too, as the seas rise and surge onto the land. Jormungundr, the Midgard serpent, huge and dangerous, will writhe in its fury, closer and closer to the land. The venom from its fangs will spill into the water, poisoning all the sea life. It will spatter its black poison into the air in a fine spray, killing all the seabirds that breathe it. There will be no more life in the oceans, where the Midgard serpent writhes. The rotted corpses of fish and of whales, of seals and sea monsters, will wash in the waves. All who see the brothers Fenrir the wolf and the Midgard serpent, the children of Loki, will know death. That is the beginning of the end.
Neil Gaiman (Norse Mythology)
The Big Picture: From Abraham to Armageddon Down through the ages, the sons of Jacob have survived trials, persecution, and thousands of years in exile from their homeland. The Scriptures foretold the dispersion of the Jews and also of their regathering toward the end of the age. After a long absence from a country left in desolation, the Jews have come home to the land that God promised to Abraham: “…a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety.” (Ezekiel 38:8). The other branch of Abraham’s family—the sons of Ishmael— are the Islamic Arabs that inhabit the lands surrounding Israel. Ishmael’s descendants epitomize the spirit and temperament that the Bible predicted more than three millennia ago: “…his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers” (Genesis 16:12). The Prophet Ezekiel tells us that these same sons of Ishmael will be among the enemies who seek to destroy Israel in the end times: “And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land…” (Ezekiel 38:16). The day is soon coming when Ishmael’s descendants will unite as one: “…they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.” Their ultimate purpose being the fulfillment of a long-held dream: the annihilation of Israel. Muslims have been taught for centuries that the Last Day will not come until they wage a final war against the Jews and rid the world of them once and for all. They believe that only after this is accomplished will Muslims enjoy a golden age of peace, justice, and worldwide Islamic rule. However, the Bible tells us that God has other plans: Before Israel can be destroyed He is going to intervene, and bring to ruin those who seek her destruction. On that day, multitudes of Jews will realize that Jesus is Messiah, and many Muslims will realize that they have made a fateful mistake. Though most are unaware, we, today, are witnessing the fruition of seeds that were planted nearly four thousand years ago with the birth of Abraham’s sons. God promised Abraham that He would make great nations of both Isaac and Ishmael. To be sure, one would be hard pressed to argue that He did not. The Jewish and Arabic peoples have had an immeasurable impact on the world and can now be found at center stage in the arena of world politics and conflict. Thus, the history of mankind will reach its pinnacle, essentially where it began, in a region literally located at the center of the globe; more specifically, Israel and the nations that surround her.
T.W. Tramm (From Abraham to Armageddon: The Convergence of Current Events, Bible Prophecy, and Islam)
I do not believe that one can maintain a situation in which a man toils and works a whole year, only to get a ludicrous salary, and another just sits down in a leather seat and gets enormous sums for it. This is a condition unworthy of man. [-] After all, there are two worlds which confront each other. And they are right when they say: “We can never reconcile ourselves to the National Socialist world.” For how could a narrow-minded capitalist possibly declare his agreement with my principles? It would be easier for the devil to go to church and take holy water. [-] This is the first state in our German history which, as a matter of principle, eliminated all social prejudice in the assignment of social positions, and this not only in civilian life. I myself am the best proof of that. I am not even an advocate; just think of what this means! And still I am your Fuhrer! [-] What was it that I asked of the outside world Nothing but the right of Germans to unite, and second, that what was taken away from them be restored. I asked for nothing which might have implied a loss for another people. How often have I offered my hand to them Immediately after my rise to power. For what does armament mean? It gobbles up so much manpower. And especially I who regard work as the decisive factor, I had wished to employ German manpower for other plans. And, my Volksgenossen, I believe it became common knowledge that I have plans of some substance, beautiful and great plans for my Volk. I have the ambition to make the German Volk rich, the German lands beautiful. I wish the standard of living of the individual to increase. I wish us to develop the most beautiful and best culture. I wish theater to be an enjoyment affordable for the entire Volk and not only for the upper ten thousand as in England. Beyond this, I wish the entirety of German culture to benefit the Volk. These were enormous plans which we possessed, and for their realization I needed manpower. Armament just takes men away. I made proposals to restrict armament. But all they did was laugh at me. [-] For it was quite clear: what was I before the World War? An unknown, nameless man. What was I during the War? A small, common soldier. I bore no responsibility for the World War. But who are the folk who lead England once again today The very same people who were already agitating before the World War. It is the same Churchill, who was already the vilest warmonger in the World War, and the late Chamberlain who agitated just as much then. And the whole audience (Korona) that belongs there, and naturally that people which always believes that with the trumpets of Jericho it can destroy the peoples: these are the old specters which have arisen once more! Adolf Hitler – speech to the workers of a Berlin December 10, 1940
Adolf Hitler
Astonishment: these women’s military professions—medical assistant, sniper, machine gunner, commander of an antiaircraft gun, sapper—and now they are accountants, lab technicians, museum guides, teachers…Discrepancy of the roles—here and there. Their memories are as if not about themselves, but some other girls. Now they are surprised at themselves. Before my eyes history “humanizes” itself, becomes like ordinary life. Acquires a different lighting. I’ve happened upon extraordinary storytellers. There are pages in their lives that can rival the best pages of the classics. The person sees herself so clearly from above—from heaven, and from below—from the ground. Before her is the whole path—up and down—from angel to beast. Remembering is not a passionate or dispassionate retelling of a reality that is no more, but a new birth of the past, when time goes in reverse. Above all it is creativity. As they narrate, people create, they “write” their life. Sometimes they also “write up” or “rewrite.” Here you have to be vigilant. On your guard. At the same time pain melts and destroys any falsehood. The temperature is too high! Simple people—nurses, cooks, laundresses—behave more sincerely, I became convinced of that…They, how shall I put it exactly, draw the words out of themselves and not from newspapers and books they have read—not from others. But only from their own sufferings and experiences. The feelings and language of educated people, strange as it may be, are often more subject to the working of time. Its general encrypting. They are infected by secondary knowledge. By myths. Often I have to go for a long time, by various roundabout ways, in order to hear a story of a “woman’s,” not a “man’s” war: not about how we retreated, how we advanced, at which sector of the front…It takes not one meeting, but many sessions. Like a persistent portrait painter. I sit for a long time, sometimes a whole day, in an unknown house or apartment. We drink tea, try on the recently bought blouses, discuss hairstyles and recipes. Look at photos of the grandchildren together. And then…After a certain time, you never know when or why, suddenly comes this long-awaited moment, when the person departs from the canon—plaster and reinforced concrete, like our monuments—and goes on to herself. Into herself. Begins to remember not the war but her youth. A piece of her life…I must seize that moment. Not miss it! But often, after a long day, filled with words, facts, tears, only one phrase remains in my memory (but what a phrase!): “I was so young when I left for the front, I even grew during the war.” I keep it in my notebook, although I have dozens of yards of tape in my tape recorder. Four or five cassettes… What helps me? That we are used to living together. Communally. We are communal people. With us everything is in common—both happiness and tears. We know how to suffer and how to tell about our suffering. Suffering justifies our hard and ungainly life.
Svetlana Alexievich (War's Unwomanly Face)
There would seem to be only one question for philosophy to resolve: what must I do? Despite being combined with an enormous amount of unnecessary confusion, answers to the question have at any rate been given within the philosophical tradition of the Christian nations. For example, in Kant's Critique of Practical Reason, or in Spinoza, Schopenhauer and especially Rousseau. But in more recent times, since Hegel's assertion that all that exists is reasonable, the question of what one must do has been pushed to the background and philosophy has directed its whole attention to the investigation of things as they are, and to fitting them into a prearranged theory. This was the first step backwards. The second step, degrading human thought yet further, was the acceptance of the struggle for existence as a basic law, simply because that struggle can be observed among animals and plants. According to this theory the destruction of the weakest is a law which should not be opposed. And finally, the third step was taken when the childish originality of Nietzche's half-crazed thought, presenting nothing complete or coherent, but only various drafts of immoral and completely unsubstantiated ideas, was accepted by the leading figures as the final word in philosophical science. In reply to the question: what must we do? the answer is now put straightforwardly as: live as you like, without paying attention to the lives of others. Turgenev made the witty remark that there are inverse platitudes, which are frequently employed by people lacking in talent who wish to attract attention to themselves. Everyone knows, for instance, that water is wet, and someone suddenly says, very seriously, that water is dry, not that ice is, but that water is dry, and the conviction with which this is stated attracts attention. Similarly, the whole world knows that virtue consists in the subjugation of one's passions, or in self-renunciation. It is not just the Christian world, against whom Nietzsche howls, that knows this, but it is an eternal supreme law towards which all humanity has developed, including Brahmanism, Buddhism, Confucianism and the ancient Persian religion. And suddenly a man appears who declares that he is convinced that self-renunciation, meekness, submissiveness and love are all vices that destroy humanity (he has in mind Christianity, ignoring all the other religions). One can understand why such a declaration baffled people at first. But after giving it a little thought and failing to find any proof of the strange propositions, any rational person ought to throw the books aside and wonder if there is any kind of rubbish that would not find a publisher today. But this has not happened with Nietzsche's books. The majority of pseudo-enlightened people seriously look into the theory of the superman, and acknowledge its author to be a great philosopher, a descendant of Descartes, Leibniz and Kant. And all this has come about because the majority of the pseudo-enlightened men of today object to any reminder of virtue, or to its chief premise: self-renunciation and love - virtues that restrain and condemn the animal side of their life. They gladly welcome a doctrine, however incoherently and disjointedly expressed, of egotism and cruelty, sanctioning the ideas of personal happiness and superiority over the lives of others, by which they live.
Leo Tolstoy
The black magic that evil-minded people of all religions practice for their ugly and inhuman motives. The modern world ignores that and even do not believe in it; however, it exists, and it sufficiently works too. When I was an assistant editor, in an evening newspaper, I edited and published such stories. As a believer, I believe that. However, not that can affect everyone; otherwise, every human would have been under the attack of it. No one can explain and define black magic and such practices. The scientists today fail to recognize such a phenomenon; therefore, routes are open for black magic to proceeds its practices without hindrances. One can search online websites, and YouTube; it will realize a large number of the victims of that the evil practice by evil-minded peoples of various societies. The magic, black magic, or evil power exists, and it works too. Evil power causes, effects, and appears, as diseases and psychological issues since no one can realize, trace, and prove that horror practice; it is the secret and privilege of the evil-minded people that law fails to catch and punish them, for such crime. I exemplify here, the two events briefly, one a very authentic that I suffered from it and another, a person, who also became a victim of it. The first, when I landed on the soil of the Netherlands, I thought, I was in the safest place; however, within one year, I faced the incident, which was a practice of my family, involving my brothers, my country mates, who lived in the Netherlands. The most suspected were the evil-minded people of the Ahmadiyya movement of Surinam people, and possibly my ex-wife and a Pakistani couple. I had seen the evidence of the black magic, which my family did upon me, but I could not trace the reality of other suspected ones that destroyed my career, future, health, and even life. The second, a Pakistani, who lived in Germany, for several years, as an active member of the Ahmadiyya Movement, he told me his story briefly, during a trip to London, attending a literary gathering. He received a gold medal for his poetry work, and also he served Ahmadiyya TV channel; however when he became a real Muslim; as a result, Ahmadiyya worriers turned against him. When they could not force him to back in their group, they practiced the devil's work to punish him. The symptoms of magic were well-known to me that he told me since I bore that on my body too. The multiple other stories that reveal that the Ahmadiyya Movement, possibly practices black magic ways, to achieve its goals. As my observation, they involve, to eliminate Muslim Imams and scholars, who cause the failure of that new religion and false prophet, claiming as Jesus. I am a victim of their such practices. Social Media and such websites are a stronghold of their activities. In Pakistan, they are active, in the guise of the real Muslims, to dodge the simple ones, as they do in Europe and other parts of the word. Such possibility and chance can be possible that use of drugs and chemicals, to defeat their opponents, it needs, wide-scale investigation to save, the humanity. The incident that occurred to me, in the Netherlands, in 1980, I tried and appealed to the authorities of the Netherlands, but they openly refused to cooperate that. However, I still hope and look forward to any miracle that someone from somewhere gives the courage to verify that.
Ehsan Sehgal
But it is just as useless for a man to want first of all to decide the externals and after that the fundamentals as it is for a cosmic body, thinking to form itself, first of all to decide the nature of its surface, to what bodies it should turn its light, to which its dark side, without first letting the harmony of centrifugal and centripetal forces realize [*realisere*] its existence [*Existents*] and letting the rest come of itself. One must learn first to know himself before knowing anything else (γνῶθι σε αυτόν). Not until a man has inwardly understood himself and then sees the course he is to take does his life gain peace and meaning; only then is he free of the irksome, sinister traveling companion―that irony of life which manifests itself in the sphere of knowledge and invites true knowing to begin with a not-knowing (Socrates), just as God created the world from nothing. But in the waters of morality it is especially at home to those who still have not entered the tradewinds of virtue. Here it tumbles a person about in a horrible way, for a time lets him feel happy and content in his resolve to go ahead along the right path, then hurls him into the abyss of despair. Often it lulls a man to sleep with the thought, "After all, things cannot be otherwise," only to awaken him suddenly to a rigorous interrogation. Frequently it seems to let a veil of forgetfulness fall over the past, only to make every single trifle appear in a strong light again. When he struggles along the right path, rejoicing in having overcome temptation's power, there may come at almost the same time, right on the heels of perfect victory, an apparently insignificant external circumstance which pushes him down, like Sisyphus, from the height of the crag. Often when a person has concentrated on something, a minor external circumstance arises which destroys everything. (As in the case of a man who, weary of life, is about to throw himself into the Thames and at the crucial moment is halted by the sting of a mosquito). Frequently a person feels his very best when the illness is the worst, as in tuberculosis. In vain he tries to resist it but he has not sufficient strength, and it is no help to him that he has gone through the same thing many times; the kind of practice acquired in this way does not apply here. Just as no one who has been taught a great deal about swimming is able to keep afloat in a storm, but only the man who is intensely convinced and has experiences that he is actually lighter than water, so a person who lacks this inward point of poise is unable to keep afloat in life's storms.―Only when a man has understood himself in this way is he able to maintain an independent existence and thus avoid surrendering his own I. How often we see (in a period when we extol that Greek historian because he knows how to appropriate an unfamiliar style so delusively like the original author's, instead of censuring him, since the first prize always goes to an author for having his own style―that is, a mode of expression and presentation qualified by his own individuality)―how often we see people who either out of mental-spiritual laziness live on the crumbs that fall from another's table or for more egotistical reasons seek to identify themselves with others, until eventually they believe it all, just like the liar through frequent repetition of his stories." ―from_Journals_, Search for Personal Meaning
Søren Kierkegaard
Lily understood this feeling too; she knew it all too well, it is just one more thing that just keeps things building up and building up, until the end. I never realized at the time how bad the situation would become until I went through it myself. There is no meaning behind it, which is what gets me. Am I the only one or are there more girls in this hellhole like me, which I do not know about, maybe there is? The bullies harass, it is like they smell their victims or maybe they can smell and taste the blood dripping down from the gash, which they have caused from before, and then it is like you are a wounded animal on Serengeti they come in packs. Until you have nothing- nothing left… they lick up what is left of your body time and time over, afterward you have to get up and go on with the day, knowing that you have a decision to make. What decision would you make? I know what decision I will make! Like most people my age, I do not drink and drug my brain cells away. I am not senseless or slutty, ‘I feel that being romantic is not dead, and it does exist. You just need to be with the right people, which can show you what real expressions of love are!’ So, are you like me by believing that nothing will ever destroy hope or dreams? On the other hand, are you someone like the clan? Are you going to be praised in the eyes of the fire, or the eyes of the clouds? Just like fallen angels, the ones that have fear of not standing up for what is righteous. Why, because it is more fashionable to live a life of turpitude. If someone has the light of hope, someone is going to want to dampen the affection. Just like me- when you are single for too long people start thinking, that you are either committed to yourself or that you are a little bit crazy or gay etcetera. I know this… I am not crazy or gay or whatever is said; I just have someone that blocks me out constantly while destroying my reputation. Just think about it. All of you have grown up with the roomers, your parents believed those parents, I do not have parents to fight for me, and the rest is history. So, what she and her clan said becomes known, and that is what was implied to my image. Is it true? Hell no, start thinking for yourself people. Just because someone says, something about someone else does not mean that it is factual. Oh, I have tried to fix it… However, it is out of my control, little do you all know that the tower is what prevents everything from happening. It is not my choice; she knew that I was going to be the empress; instead, she made me out to be the fool. She knew that I was one of the brightest stars in the land, and she had to bring that to an end, that was the beginning of the end of holding anyone's hands anymore within the land. The friends and romances were in the retrograde I was dubbed unreachable, she made me a forbidden selection. I had no choice but to become the hermit in the dwelling of lost and lonely dreams. To look on the bright side, all this has made me a stronger, better, more creative productive person. You cannot stop me now; I will forever shine, and guide others so that they can shine as well. Remember you are the ones listening to slandering voices. My question is why do you listen? Get to know me, and then make your judgments. Yes, it is hard for me to even get things going because the eyes are always watching, and no I am not being paranoid this is part of my true reality. Sure, the opportunity might come knocking down my door, but can you trust them, is it a setup?
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh The Lusting Sapphire Blue Eyes)
Today there is much talk about democratic ideals in the outside world. But not in Germany! For here in Germany we had more than enough time-fifteen years-to acquaint ourselves with these democratic ideals. And we ourselves had to pick up the legacy left behind by this democracy. Now we are being credited with many a truly astounding war aim, especially by the English. After all, England is quite experienced in issuing proclamations of objectives in warfare as it has waged the greatest number of wars the world over. Truly astounding are the war aims announced to us today. A new Europe will arise. This Europe will be characterized by justice. This justice will render armament obsolete. This will lead to disarmament at last. This disarmament in turn will bring about an economic blossoming. Change and trade will spring up-much trade-free trade. And with the sponsorship of this trade, culture shall once more blossom, and not only culture will benefit, but religion will also prosper. In other words: we are heading towards a golden age! Well, we have heard of this golden age before. Many times precisely the same people attempted to illustrate its virtues to us who are now flooding us with descriptions of its benefits. The records are old ones, played once too often. We can only pity these gentlemen who cannot even come up with a new idea to trap a great people. For all this they had already promised us in 1918. Then, too, England’s objectives in the war were the creation of this “new Europe,” the establishment of a “new justice,” of which the “right to selfdetermination of the peoples” was to form an integral part. Back then already they promised us justice to render obsolete-for all time-the bearing of any sort of weaponry. Back then already they submitted to us a program for disarmament-one for global disarmament. To make this disarmament more evident, it was to be crowned by the establishment of an association of nations bearing no arms. These were to settle their differences in the future-for even back then there was no doubt that differences would still arise-by talking them to death in discussion and debate, just as is the custom in democratic states. There would be no more shooting under any circumstances! In 1918, they declared a blessed and pious age to come! What came to pass in its stead we all lived to see: the old states were destroyed without even as much as asking their citizenry. Historic, ancient structures were severed, not only state bodies but grown economic structures as well, without anything better to take their place. In total disregard of the principle of the right to self-determination of the peoples, the European peoples were hacked to pieces, torn apart. Great states were dissolved. Nations were robbed of their rights, first rendered utterly defenseless and then subjected to a division which left only victors and vanquished in this world. And then there was no more talk of disarmament. To the contrary, armament went on. Nor did any efforts materialize to settle conflicts peacefully. The armed states waged wars just as before. Yet those who had been disarmed were no longer in a position to ward off the aggressions of those well armed. Naturally, this did not herald economic prosperity but, to the contrary, produced a network of lunatic reparations payments which led to increasing destitution for not only the vanquished, but also the so-called victors themselves. The consequences of this economic destitution were felt most acutely by the German Volk. International finance remained brutal and squeezed our Volk ruthlessly. Adolf Hitler – speech in the Sportpalast Berlin, January 30, 1940
Adolf Hitler
Mazel Amsel- I have the obsession of destroying Nevaeh, she is so perfect, I cannot stand it! My girls have to be on top, and I am never going to let her be anything, I will make sure of it! That is what I have been doing for years. Nevaeh that no good little pussy licker; even if she knows it is me, she will not be able to ‘Prove it.’ I am just that well-liked by everyone, I am so powerful that no one will ever defeat me. I am the master manipulator, Nevaeh- yes, she is the tower! She is about for a hundred pounds, unnatural blond hair, lime green glowing eyes, and a voice that bellows! To me, she looks like a bulldog in the face, yet evil wicked witch-like also, yet to everyone else she blends in, to the others she looks as they do, just a normal mom, with normal kids. Yet I think she is crumbling, I think some people are seeing through her veil, because of what happened recently. Mazel- I have everyone wrapped around my little finger. Likewise, if they do not bow down to me, I will make their life a living hell. That is the way; I have to have it, all the time for Nevaeh! I have to know what she is doing at all times. I have to hack into her social networking and get her pears to think she is a ‘Creep’ and ‘Stocker’ to young girls. So, she has no friends at all. So, my girls can be the supreme of this area, so that they can do as they please, without anyone stopping them from being the best, no matter what, and from getting what they want, and what I want for them. Besides, foremost I wanted to make sure that she would never date anyone. So, I came up with the story of telling everyone that she was into girls and that she is just plain crazy. I should know my eyes are on her always. I did not want to see her go to proms; I did not want to see her succeed. I did not want her to be loved. I would like to see her die, and not walk away from it. I have dreamed of ways to kill her repeatedly. Like this one, I would like to see her be impaled on a sharp wooden stick, starting through her butt hole, and then slowly have gravity have it go up into her delicious miniature body until it hits her brain, and she screams out my girl’s names, as we get what we need. I would love to see a Nevaeh- kabob! I would love to see her stoned out in the open with rocks! I would love to see my girls bite their nipples off with their teeth! I want to see my girl claw her up to head to toe. I hunger to see them scratch her sweet blue eyes that are so heavenly right out of her face! I want to see her gush that cobalt blood like a waterfall from her naked sliced-up body. Yes, I want us to torture her any way we can until she says yes to us. We are going to get at anything of hers we can until she comes with us! As we would, all dance around her, as we would light her up, cheerfully for the last time. How I would love to bleach and fry that perfect hair with chemicals. I and we all in our family want to fuck her up and down anyways we can! Mwah Ha, ha! Yes, Beforehand, we all would kiss, touch, lick, and stick her, and do what we want to get the life from her by sucking away. We would eat her soul away as it would come down from the heavens then through her body, and into ours, as we would drink it out, the way we do. Yes, yes, hell- yes, I can see it now! Yes, I want her soul! Besides, anything or everything I can get out of her to add to my shrine. We even have a voodoo doll of her with pins in it. I have a few things of hers like her hymen-damaged red blood tarnished pink polka-dotted gym underwear, and her indigo pantiliner she had on. That my girl ripped off of her in school, the more things we have the more we can control her mind, but I want more!
Marcel Ray Duriez
Notice that Jesus knows exactly who he is asking to lead his community: a sinner. As all Christian leaders have been, are, and will be, Peter is imperfect. And as all good Christian leaders are, Peter is well aware of his imperfections. The disciples too know who they are getting as their leader. They will not need—or be tempted—to elevate Peter into some semi-divine figure; they have seen him at his worst. Jesus forgives Peter because he loves him, because he knows that his friend needs forgiveness to be free, and because he knows that the leader of his church will need to forgive others many times. And Jesus forgives totally, going beyond what would be expected—going so far as to establish Peter as head of the church.11 It would have made more earthly sense for Jesus to appoint another, non-betraying apostle to head his church. Why give the one who denied him this important leadership role? Why elevate the manifestly sinful one over the rest? One reason may be to show the others what forgiveness is. In this way Jesus embodies the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who not only forgives the son, but also, to use a fishing metaphor, goes overboard. Jesus goes beyond forgiving and setting things right. A contemporary equivalent would be a tenured professor stealing money from a university, apologizing, being forgiven by the board of trustees, and then being hired as the school’s president. People would find this extraordinary—and it is. In response, Peter will ultimately offer his willingness to lay down his life for Christ. But on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he can’t know the future. He can’t understand fully what he is agreeing to. Feed your sheep? Which sheep? The Twelve? The disciples? The whole world? This is often the case for us too. Even if we accept the call we can be confused about where God is leading us. When reporters used to ask the former Jesuit superior general Pedro Arrupe where the Jesuit Order was going, he would say, “I don’t know!” Father Arrupe was willing to follow, even if he didn’t know precisely what God had in mind. Peter says yes to the unknowable, because the question comes from Jesus. Both Christ’s forgiveness and Peter’s response show us love. God’s love is limitless, unconditional, radical. And when we have experienced that love, we can share it. The ability to forgive and to accept forgiveness is an absolute requirement of the Christian life. Conversely, the refusal to forgive leads ineluctably to spiritual death. You may know families in which vindictiveness acts like a cancer, slowly eating away at love. You may know people whose marriages have been destroyed by a refusal to forgive. One of my friends described a couple he knew as “two scorpions in a jar,” both eagerly waiting to sting the other with barbs and hateful comments. We see the communal version of this in countries torn by sectarian violence, where a climate of mutual recrimination and mistrust leads only to increasing levels of pain. The Breakfast by the Sea shows that Jesus lived the forgiveness he preached. Jesus knew that forgiveness is a life-giving force that reconciles, unites, and empowers. The Gospel by the Sea is a gospel of forgiveness, one of the central Christian virtues. It is the radical stance of Jesus, who, when faced with the one who denied him, forgave him and appointed him head of the church, and the man who, in agony on the Cross, forgave his executioners. Forgiveness is a gift to the one who forgives, because it frees from resentment; and to the one who needs forgiveness, because it frees from guilt. Forgiveness is the liberating force that allowed Peter to cast himself into the water at the sound of Jesus’s voice, and it is the energy that gave him a voice with which to testify to his belief in Christ.
James Martin (Jesus: A Pilgrimage)
1. Plush greed There are so many mechanical hypocritical toys (people) in this two-faced world of hypocritical egoism. They are cute and obedient from the outside, programmed to serve, but at the same time completely soulless from the inside. 2. Order and chaos Order is a blank canvas, and chaos is the bright colors of despair. They depict suffering, unless of course suffering can be called beautiful knowledge that gives the catharsis of awareness from experience. 3. Nature leads us to death. Nature is a great manager with an organizer of instincts in his hands, where all human vices and internal shortcomings are. It controls the cyclical nature of the universal calendar leading us to death, the same thing happened with previous races living on our earth. Evolution leading to a logical conclusion from our madness and despair, to the decline of mankind. But nature cannot destroy a civilization that has abandoned the great self-deception of egoism, which will be the main cause of human death. Only that race that will abandon its own egoism will absorb the humanism of selfless nobleness where literally every life will be appreciated, can deceive nature itself and experience the new dawn of awareness, namely immortality in eternity. It must be understood that death is the best helper of nature; it is just a gardener who does not allow the Garden of Eden to overgrow. But thanks to the unity of mankind, we also know other gardens in other worlds. 4. Humor is a very funny depression, bright, colorful pessimism. 5. Fear is the younger brother of death. Fear is constantly trying to surpass his older brother. 7. Good and love is an interdimensional multidimensional spatial form of philosophy outside of time; it is a state of harmony in eternity, the key to all worlds and inner worlds of people, both external and hidden. With this vision of thinking, you see everything at once, simultaneously deeply and from above, you see all the forms of time in one palm. 8. Lips and tongue are three drills. A smile from a drill grinds any evil face. 9. Techno world Any madness can be called progress. Meat, blood and bones are mixed with high technology, the spirit of humanity will dissolve in cold metal. The imagination of people is becoming more and more terrible, bodymodification shows our ugly entities turned inside out, good with evil, how difficult the interweaving of DNA from which people slowly and painfully go crazy, self-destruction is only an indifference to eternity that destroys this complex chain. The ranks of restless souls wandering the earth will replenish. Choose the side of goodness and light, selfless nobleness, true love and sincere friendship and you will thank yourself for all eternity, only conscience will lead you to paradise. 10. Love outside the dimension Love is peace and tenderness of the light of souls, the unity of tenderness. From love you fall into a gap in space and time, love outside the dimension is a very special space for two lovers in ordinary reality. 11. Time is chess. Time and space is a chessboard, here pawns are your enemies, more important pieces are your internal flaws and vices. There are millions of options for the moves of your will that show completely different forms of the future. Remember that each of your moves reflects your form of the future in life, but also after death. Make your fate check and checkmate. 12. Pseudo-science All of these politicized pseudo-theories and hypotheses, pseudo-facts that brazenly lie, starting their speech with the words: few people know. They turn science into an absurdity, and they thereby erase your memory in this confusion, constantly correcting it, they rob you of the past, plunging it into a false future. 13. On the body of pessimism, the sound dynamics of truth are everywhere. 14. Take care of children. Children are eggs on their backs that hatch and fall to the ground only twenty years later. An adult comes out of an egg and becomes a new parent.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
Here the mountains were like the walls of a great jail which shut in the combatants. After Appomattox it was as though mortal enemies had been locked in the same prison without taking away the deadly weapons they knew so well how to use. Perhaps in no other region of the United States except the Southern mountains were the lives and property of a great number of pro-Union civilians lost in the war. In Pennsylvania, Kansas and a few other border areas the people were subjected to occasional Confederate forays, but those areas were comparatively rich and the losses were soon restored. But in the highlands much of the modest and slowly-built-up accumulations of three generations were destroyed, impoverishing virtually the entire population.
Harry M. Caudill (Night Comes to the Cumberlands)
The monks explain that they have been sent by “the one who on the earth is the greater speaker of divine things,” the pope, to bring the “venerable word / of the One Sole True God” to New Spain. By worshipping at false altars, the friars say, “you cause Him an injured heart, / by which you live in His anger, His ire.” So infuriated was the Christian God by the Indians’ worship of idols and demons that he sent out “the Spaniards, / … those who afflicted you with tormenting sorrow, / by which you were punished / so that you ceased / these not few injuries to His precious heart.” The Triple Alliance was subjugated, in other words, because its people had failed to recognize the One True God. By accepting the Bible, the priests explain, the Mexica “will be able to cool the heart / of He by Whom All Live, / so He will not completely destroy you.
Charles C. Mann (1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus)
Those who have died live in coffins while those who live die in waiting for death. Some people wait patiently for death to come, enjoying life and living peacefully, as others rush to their destruction. Holding true for much of humanity, we like to destroy ourselves. The pointless tragedies of warfare and love lead to the common theme- a murder of pure innocence.
Jules Haigler (The Color of Red)
2 Peter 2 The Danger of False Teachers But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. 3 In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed. 4 For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell,* in gloomy pits of darkness,* where they are being held until the day of judgment. 5 And God did not spare the ancient world—except for Noah and the seven others in his family. Noah warned the world of God’s righteous judgment. So God protected Noah when he destroyed the world of ungodly people with a vast flood. 6 Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. 7 But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. 8 Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. 9 So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment. 10 He is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual desire, and who despise authority.
Anonymous (Holy Bible Text Edition NLT: New Living Translation)
He wants to find someone who is vulnerable and will begin to whisper things about other people in the group. This quickly turns into gossip, and lives are damaged or destroyed in the process.
James A. Durham (A Warrior's Guide to the Seven Spirits of God Part 1: Basic Training)
What is real help to mankind? There are three types of negative people in this world, and they make up the vast majority of humans. Those that are selfish. People that live their lives without considering the needs of others, and live solely for their own personal gains. Those that are destructive. People that live their lives and consciously bring pain upon the lives of others, and or destroy the environment for their benefit. Those that are beggars. People that live their lives and expect to be given things without giving anything in return, and who do not appreciate what they are given. They see what they are being given as a just a salary. These people are worthless human beings. They do not contribute to the betterment of mankind. There is absolutely no point to their existence. If you help these people by giving them food, shelter, clothing, etc., you are only increasing the standard of living in which they negatively affect the world from. If you help these people by providing them with health care, you are only prolonging their existence and prolonging the suffering and destruction in which they inflict upon humanity. These people do not deserve either type of help. However, you can give them one type of help that is beneficial, and can be considered a true way of helping mankind. You can provide them with the knowledge to properly and virtuously live their lives in a positive way. Then and only then can you help them with their standard of living or the prolongation of their life. Otherwise you are simply aiding in the destruction of mankind yourself. I will give you a two personal and practical examples from my own life. When I hire someone I will gladly pay them an excessive salary if they are a good hearted person and truly deserve it. I could find someone else to do the job, to the exact same standards as them for less money. Even if they do a worse job than another person because they are physically handicapped, have poor health, or have family responsibilities, I will still gladly pay them an excessive salary. This is not at all because of my kindness. It is because a good-hearted person truly deserves it, they have the value of what they are being given. Furthermore, if an upper-class citizen approaches me to buy some of my products, and I do not need the money. I will not sell it to them. If I sell them my products I am only enabling their negative and destructive lifestyle. I would rather not make money, than have my products contribute, and help people further their path of negativity.
Khem Veassna
Wilma said many Native people believed that the earth as a living organism would just one day shrug off the human species that was destroying it— and start over. In a less cataclysmic vision, humans would realize that we are killing our home and each other, and seek out The Way. That’s why Native people were guarding it.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
One of the hardest things for me to accept about having anxiety and depression is the two contrasting versions of me that seem to co-exist in me. I can go from happy to angry to suicidal in 0.01 seconds. One moment I’m fine, and before I blink, I go into self-destruct mode. One version is hell-bent on destroying myself, while the other version dreams of conquering Mount Everest, and these two versions are in a continuous power struggle with one another, as if I live a double life, where some people know one version, and others another altogether; few in my closest inner circle will get to see both versions. I fight daily to reconcile the two vastly different personas and this often makes me feel like a counterfeit. Some days I’m not even sure which version will wake up the next day and I hope for the ‘good’ version’ to greet dawn.
K.J. Redelinghuys (Unfiltered: Grappling with Mental Illness)
And finally, when unhappy people try to help others by founding or joining social movements, they often do more harm than good. There are good reasons to fear social movements made up of unhappy people who want to bring about social change. Those left-wing and right-wing social movements that have destroyed tens of millions of lives were not composed of happy people. They were composed of unhappy people who blamed their unhappiness on others (for Nazis, Jews; for Communists, capitalists) and who looked to movements of radical social change as a source of both happiness and meaning. While there are times when the social order is so oppressive (living under a totalitarian regime is the best example) that personal happiness is essentially impossible, in relatively free societies the sources of one’s unhappiness are far more likely to be personal than social.
Dennis Prager (Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual)
1. Self-depreciation. You have heard dozens of people say, “I would like to be a doctor (or an executive or a commercial artist or in business for myself) but I can’t do it.” “I lack brains.” “I’d fail if I tried.” “I lack the education and/or experience.” Many young folks destroy desire with the old negative self-depreciation. 2. “Security-itis.” Persons who say, “I’ve got security where I am” use the security weapons to murder their dreams. 3. Competition. “The field is already overcrowded,” “People in that field are standing on top of each other” are remarks which kill desire fast. 4. Parental dictation. I’ve heard hundreds of young people explain their career choice with “I’d really like to prepare for something else, but my parents want me to do this so I must.” Most parents, I believe, do not intentionally dictate to their children what they must do. What all intelligent parents want is to see their children live successfully. If the young person will patiently explain why he or she prefers a different career, and if the parent will listen, there will be no friction. The objectives of both the parent and the young person for the young person’s career are identical: success. 5. Family responsibility. The attitude of “It would have been wise for me to change over five years ago, but now I’ve got a family and I can’t change,” illustrates this kind of desire murder weapon.
David J. Schwartz (The Magic of Thinking Big)
It’s the start of a new era, when people are finally ready to embrace the microbial world. When I walked through San Diego Zoo with Rob Knight at the start of this book, I was struck by how different everything seemed with microbes in mind. Every visitor, keeper, and animal looked like a world on legs – a mobile ecosystem that interacted with others, largely oblivious to their inner multitudes. When I drive through Chicago with Jack Gilbert, I experience the same dizzying shift in perspective. I see the city’s microbial underbelly – the rich seam of life that coats it, and moves through it on gusts of wind and currents of water and mobile bags of flesh. I see friends shaking hands, saying’ “how do you do”, and exchanging living organisms. I see people walking down the street, ejecting clouds of themselves in their wake. I see the decisions through which we have inadvertently shaped the microbial world around us: the choice to build with concrete versus brick, the opening of a window, and the daily schedule to which a janitor now mops the floor. And I see, in the driver’s seat, a guy who notices those rivers of microscopic life and is enthralled rather than repelled by them. He knows that microbes are mostly not to be feared or destroyed, but to be cherished, admired, and studied.
Ed Yong (I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life)
Don’t tell me every revolution is peaceful. Revolutions rely on the tireless work of faceless masses whose lives mean so little individually that their names weren’t known to their movements even when alive. There is no bloodless revolution, only necessary revolution, when a system becomes so deeply broken you can’t affect change from the inside. When the system itself has become calcified so permanently that change is not possible . . . that is when the knives come out. I used to believe, as others did, that we could work within the existing system, that moderate change was possible. But when you take away the ability of the people to effect change within the rules of the system, those people become desperate. And it is desperate people who overthrow their governments. The corps tell us each individual should reap the profits of “their” hard work. But the reality is the corps made their fortunes on the backs of laborers and soldiers paid just enough to keep them alive. The corps did not labor. Do not labor. The shareholders and upper management sit in their glass towers and drink liquor spiked with our blood. Instead of sharing that wealth with those who broke their backs to attain it, they hoard it like great dragons. Any human power can be changed by human beings. That is a truth, a constant. Humans can’t build power structures that cannot be destroyed. We are the power structure. There was a time when human beings believed they were their governments. They understood they had power over them, because they created them. They did not simply wait around for their governments to give them rights and freedoms. They demanded them. People should not be afraid of the corporations. Corporations should be afraid of the people.
Kameron Hurley
If we want to have more, then we should start by being better people; in order to be better, we start doing better things, which leads to having more of what we want. When we become who we were born to be—or, in other words, start living our Soul Purpose—every resource imaginable becomes available to fulfill our mission.
Garrett B. Gunderson (Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity)
Another reason codependency is called a disease is because codependent behaviors—like many self-destructive behaviors—become habitual. We repeat habits without thinking. Habits take on a life of their own.10 Whatever problem the other person has, codependency involves a habitual system of thinking, feeling, and behaving toward ourselves and others that can cause us pain. Codependent behaviors or habits are self-destructive. We frequently react to people who are destroying themselves; we react by learning to destroy ourselves. These habits can lead us into, or keep us in, destructive relationships, relationships that don’t work. These behaviors can sabotage relationships that may otherwise have worked. These behaviors can prevent us from finding peace and happiness with the most important person in our lives—ourselves. These behaviors belong to the only person each of us can control—the only person we can change—ourselves. These are our problems. In the next chapter, we will examine these behaviors. ACTIVITY
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
We are praying to the God of our people, whom we call Hashem, literally, “the Name.” The true name for God is devastatingly holy and evocative; to utter it would represent a death wish, so we have safe nicknames for him instead: the Holy Name, the One, the Only, the Creator, the Destroyer, the Overseer, the King of All Kings, the One True Judge, the Merciful Father, Master of the Universe, O Great Architect, a long list of names for all his attributes. For the sake of this divinity I must surrender myself each morning, body and soul; for this God, my teachers say, I must learn silence so that only his voice can be heard through me. God lives in my soul, and I must spend my life scrubbing my soul clean of any trace of sin so that it deserves to host his presence. Repentance is a daily chore; at each morning prayer session we repent in advance for the sins we will commit that day. I look around at the others, who must sincerely believe in their inherent evil, as they are shamelessly crying and wailing to God to help them expunge the yetzer hara, or evil inclination, from their consciousness. Although I talk to God, it is not through prayer. I talk to him in my mind, and even I will admit that I do not come to God humbly, as I should. I talk to him frankly, as I would to a friend, and I’m constantly asking him for favors. Still, I feel like God and I are on pretty good terms, relatively speaking. This morning, as everyone sways passionately around me, I stand calmly in the sea of young girls, asking God to make this day a bearable one. I’m very easy to pick on. The teachers know I’m not important, that no one will defend me. I’m not a rabbi’s daughter, so when they get angry, I’m the perfect scapegoat. I make sure never to look up from my siddur during prayer, but Chavie Halberstam, the rabbi’s daughter, can elbow her friend Elky to point out the toilet paper stuck to the teacher’s shoe and it’s as if nothing happened. If I so much as smirk, I’m singled out immediately. This is why I need God on my side; I have no one else to stick up for me.
Deborah Feldman (Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots)
I believe that what the vast majority of the masses call life is just fiction. A therapist's work ends up being trying to bring them into nonfiction. Although I feel that many are just replacing a novel by another. Too many people tell me: 'Why do you talk like you know the truth? There is no truth'. It is as if they felt that I'm destroying their inner world by being direct. They feel the need to project a defense mechanism to protect it. Another common phrase is: 'You don't know me better than I know myself'. This one is also interesting. Because it is as if the person was saying: 'You don't know my novel better than I do because I am the author of it.’ Life pretty much follows the same principles — gravity, air, water, fire, weight, hight; all of which is represented in maths, physics, and other sciences. But most people these days consider a personal attack when you make them observe something that may touch their inner world. It's the oversensitivity paradox in which we live today, for people want to feel more alive but are afraid to live at the same time. Allegorically speaking, they need to float like a bubble of steel. And many times they are perfectly fine in discussing others' issues until those issues are projected at them for self-analysis. Quite often, we are not really talking to a human being, but to his alter-ego. There's not much difference between the real self and the alternate version of that self for such person. And how ironic when both the therapist and the patient play the same game from different perspectives. This is why people don't want the truth anymore, but an alternate version of reality where they can merge themselves as if they were merely a chemical solution melting with another. They are too afraid of the truth because they have often been hurt when trying to find it. However, the concept of truth merges with the personality of the individual. And that is why having a personality is now an outdated concept, often falling into the realm of the abstract — Everything is relative, everything is fine, and everyone is everything you can decide for yourself. So why live if life has no meaning? Well, life does have a meaning, but won't be found by running away from it.
Dan Desmarques (Codex Illuminatus: Quotes & Sayings of Dan Desmarques)
That leaves us with the second way to make sure you finish. A friend. Time and again, when I researched what really helped people finally finish, it was a friend who did the trick. The artist who shredded her work, experienced that firsthand. One day, she mentioned to a friend that she had been destroying the things she made. It wasn’t a big intervention moment; she shared it casually, in passing. The friend’s eyes grew wide and he said to her, “No more shredding!” That was the day she quit. What I love about the story is that the friend didn’t give her some eloquent explanation of why she needed to stop. The friend didn’t show her a framed photo of other artists and tell a Robin Williams–style story about how they are all quietly telling her “carpe diem.” The friend didn’t commit to track her progress over the following months and rearrange his entire life. The friend wasn’t Morgan Freeman. I think that’s what we want sometimes. We expect a wise guru to emerge from the shadows of the day and tell us, “Either get busy living or get busy dying.” Granted, everything sounds better in Freeman’s accent, but the change we need is usually not that elaborate. It’s usually not complicated. It’s usually not that dramatic. It’s a friend who breaks the habit loop and tells you to stop shredding. It’s a friend who tells you the thing you’ve accepted as normal isn’t normal.
Jon Acuff (Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done)
So if we want to influence people, we have to be realistic. Our reach should not exceed our grasp. For centuries, the church used to teach that there were four “cardinal virtues” that were central to living a good human life, and one of them was prudence.6 Prudence might be summarized as the moral virtue of being realistic. Today we tend to think of prudence or realism more as a manifestation of intelligence or savvy. But there were good reasons the church historically classified this as a moral virtue, an integral part of being a good person. Realism is essential to responsible behavior. It means you care whether your actions are actually improving the world and blessing others rather than destroying and burdening. Naiveté is not quaint, innocent, and morally purifying. It’s horribly destructive. Maybe some people can’t help being naive in some respects, but for the most part, naiveté is a serious sin. It’s lazy and irresponsible.
Greg Forster (Joy for the World: How Christianity Lost Its Cultural Influence and Can Begin Rebuilding It (Cultural Renewal Series))
After the war, white loyalists joined with white patriots and Catawba Indians to destroy these and other black communities which had managed to take advantage of the turbulent times to fashion lives without masters, if only for a short period of time.107
Ray Raphael (A People's History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence)
whenever there are some people calling for the elimination of the class that lives by collecting interest, there will be others to object that this will destroy the livelihood of widows and pensioners.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
The third thing about authenticity and to create living relationships to yourself, to others and to life is to learn to trust yourself. If you trust yourself, you can trust people, you can trust in existence. But if you don't trust in yourself, then no other trust is possible. Society destroys your trust at the very roots. The society does not allow you to trust yourself. The society teaches all other kinds of trust: trust in the parents, trust in the church and trust in the state, but the basic trust in yourself is completely destroyed. The society destroys the basic trust in yourself deliberately, because a man who trusts in himself is dangerous for society. A man who trusts himself is an independent man. The society needs dependent people, who are easy to manipulate and control.This is why the society destroys the trust in yourself, because an individual who do not trust in himself is shaky and afraid and then he is controllable. Start trusting yourself. Trusting yourself is the fundamental lesson. 
Swami Dhyan Giten (When the Drop becomes the Ocean)
Contrary to “the mantra,” White supremacists are the ones supporting policies that benefit racist power against the interests of the majority of White people. White supremacists claim to be pro-White but refuse to acknowledge that climate change is having a disastrous impact on the earth White people inhabit. They oppose affirmative-action programs, despite White women being their primary beneficiaries. White supremacists rage against Obamacare even as 43 percent of the people who gained lifesaving health insurance from 2010 to 2015 were White. They heil Adolf Hitler’s Nazis, even though it was the Nazis who launched a world war that destroyed the lives of more than forty million White people and ruined Europe. They wave Confederate flags and defend Confederate monuments, even though the Confederacy started a civil war that ended with more than five hundred thousand White American lives lost—more than every other American war combined. White supremacists love what America used to be, even though America used to be—and still is—teeming with millions of struggling White people. White supremacists blame non-White people for the struggles of White people when any objective analysis of their plight primarily implicates the rich White Trumps they support. White supremacist is code for anti-White, and White supremacy is nothing short of an ongoing program of genocide against the White race. In fact, it’s more than that: White supremacist is code for anti-human, a nuclear ideology that poses an existential threat to human existence.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
There are much worse things, you know. The destroyers: they work to see how much can be lost, how much can be forgotten. They destroy the feeling people have for each other." He took a deep breath; it hurt his chest. He thought of Josiah then, and Rocky "Their highest ambition is to gut human beings while they are still breathing, to hold the heart still beating so the victim will never feel anything again. When they finish, you watch yourself from a distance and you can't even cry - not even for yourself." He recognized it then: the thick white skin that had enclosed him, silencing the sensations of living, the live as well as the grief; and he had been left with only the hum of the tissues that enclosed him. He never knew how long he had been lost there, in that hospital in Los Angeles. "They are all around now. Only destruction is capable of arousing a sensation, the remains of something alive in them; and each time they do it, the scar thickens, and they feel less and less, yet still hungering for more.
Leslie Marmon Silko (Ceremony)
The effects can already be felt: with each passing day our public life is getting uglier. So it is encouraging to see how quickly liberals have organized to resist Trump. But resistance is by nature reactive; it is not forward-looking. And anti-Trumpism is not a politics. My worry is that liberals will get so caught up in countering his every move, essentially playing his game, that they will fail to seize—or even recognize—the opportunity he has given them. Now that he has destroyed conventional Republicanism and what was left of principled conservatism, the playing field is empty. For the first time in living memory, we liberals have no ideological adversary worthy of the name. So it is crucial that we look beyond Trump.   The only adversary left is ourselves. And we have mastered the art of self-sabotage. At a time when we liberals need to speak in a way that convinces people from very different walks of life, in every part of the country, that they share a common destiny and need to stand together, our rhetoric encourages self-righteous narcissism. At a moment when political consciousness and strategizing need to be developed, we are expending our energies on symbolic dramas over identity. At a time when it is crucial to direct our efforts into seizing institutional power by winning elections, we dissipate them in expressive movements indifferent to the effects they may have on the voting public. In an age when we need to educate young people to think of themselves as citizens with duties toward each other, we encourage them instead to descend into the rabbit hole of the self. The frustrating truth is that we have no political vision to offer the nation, and we are thinking and speaking and acting in ways guaranteed to prevent one from emerging.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
In a world full of haters...over there, on the other side of that wall made between them are the good people , the open ones that are looking for a change, for a better world in which acceptance is no longer just a world but something that really exists in our lives, something that is used by everyone and is making everyone happy...something strong that someday, somehow will destroy that endless wall made by hate and each side will get together and live in peace.
Diana Porumb
If one looks at modern society, it is obvious that in order to live, the great majority of people are forced to sell their labour power. All the physical and intellectual capacities existing in human beings, in their personalities, which must be set in motion to produce useful things, can only be used if they are sold in exchange for wages. Labour power is usually perceived as a commodity bought and sold nearly like all others. The existence of exchange and wage-labour seems normal, inevitable. Yet the introduction of wage-labour involved conflict, resistance, and bloodshed. The separation of the worker from the means of production, now an accepted fact of life, took a long time and was accomplished by force. In England, in the Netherlands, in France, from the sixteenth century on, economic and political violence expropriated craftsmen and peasants, repressed indigence and vagrancy, imposed wage-labour on the poor. Between 1930 and 1950, Russia decreed a labour code which included capital punishment in order to organise the transition of millions of peasants to industrial wage-labour in less than a few decades. Seemingly normal facts: that an individual has nothing but his labour power, that he must sell it to a business unit to be able to live, that everything is a commodity, that social relations revolve around market exchange… such facts now taken for granted result from a long, brutal process. By means of its school system and its ideological and political life, contemporary society hides the past and present violence on which this situation rests. It conceals both its origin and the mechanism which enables it to function. Everything appears as a free contract in which the individual, as a seller of labour power, encounters the factory, the shop or the office. The existence of the commodity seems to be an obvious and natural phenomenon, and the periodic major and minor disasters it causes are often regarded as quasi-natural calamities. Goods are destroyed to maintain their prices, existing capacities are left to rot, while elementary needs remain unfulfilled. Yet the main thing that the system hides is not the existence of exploitation or class (that is not too hard to see), nor its horrors (modern society is quite good at turning them into media show). It is not even that the wage labour/capital relationship causes unrest and rebellion (that also is fairly plain to see). The main thing it conceals is that insubordination and revolt could be large and deep enough to do away with this relationship and make another world possible.
Gilles Dauvé
The label of a tin of milk is not as important as the milk in the tin. So many people label others as if the ‘true milk’ in them is equal to the label. We must not always equate the outward man to the inner man. Guard your milk. The only way people can destroy your milk is their ability to punch a hole in ‘the tin’ and after they have than that, they can have reasons to speak about how ‘expired your milk is’. Dare to preserve your milk, no matter how people label you! Keep doing what you need to do as a living sacrifice to the Sovereign Lord God, and one day, they that label you wrongly shall come to a realization how they have their own labels. Stay focused! Two people were asked to go and pick a tin of milk without first touching it. The first tin was well labeled, but without any liquid in it. The second was without a label, but with milk in it. When the two men got to where the tins were, one was quick to pick the one with the label, leaving the other for his friend. Then they came to him who sent them and he asked them, ‘I asked you to go for a tin of milk, where is it?’ the one who took the tin without the milk was quick to stretch his hand, but their sender said to him, '‘a tin of milk is not just a tin labeled 'a tin of milk', but a tin with milk’.
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
A tin of milk is not the same as a milk tin. You are not always the same as others perceive you. The label of a tin of milk is not all that important as compared to the milk in the tin. So many people label others as if the ‘true milk’ in them is equal to the label. We must not always equate the outward man to the inner man. Guard your milk! The only way people can destroy your milk is their ability to punch a hole in ‘the tin’ and after they have done that, they can have reasons to speak about how ‘expired your milk is’. Dare to preserve your milk, no matter how people label you! Keep doing what you need to do as a living sacrifice to the Sovereign Lord God, and one day, they that label you wrongly shall come to a realization how they have their own labels. Stay focused! Move with the right reasons! Two people were asked to go and pick a tin of milk without first touching it. The first tin was well labeled, but without any liquid in it. The second was without a label, but with milk in it. When the two men got to where the tins were, one was quick to pick the one with the label, leaving the other for his friend. Then they came to him who sent them and he asked them, ‘I asked you to go for a tin of milk, where is it?’ the one who took the tin without the milk was quick to stretch his hand, but their sender said to him, ‘a tin of milk is not just a tin labeled a tin of milk, but a tin with milk’.
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Jeremiah’s Temple Message 7 This is the word that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah: 2“Stand at the gate of the Temple and preach this message there: “‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of the nation of Judah! All you who come through these gates to worship the LORD, listen to this message! 3This is what the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: Change your lives and do what is right! Then I will let you live in this place. 4Don’t trust the lies of people who say, “This is the Temple of the LORD. This is the Temple of the LORD. This is the Temple of the LORD!” 5You must change your lives and do what is right. Be fair to each other. 6You must not be hard on strangers, orphans, and widows. Don’t kill innocent people in this place! Don’t follow other gods, or they will ruin your lives. 7If you do these things, I will let you live in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever. 8“‘But look, you are trusting lies, which is useless. 9Will you steal and murder and be guilty of adultery? Will you falsely accuse other people? Will you burn incense to the god Baal and follow other gods you have not known? 10If you do that, do you think you can come before me and stand in this place where I have chosen to be worshiped? Do you think you can say, “We are safe!” when you do all these hateful things? 11This place where I have chosen to be worshiped is nothing more to you than a hideout for robbers. I have been watching you, says the LORD. 12“‘You people of Judah, go now to the town of Shiloh, where I first made a place to be worshiped. See what I did to it because of the evil things the people of Israel had done. 13You people of Judah have done all these evil things too, says the LORD. I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen to me. I called you, but you did not answer. 14So I will destroy the place where I have chosen to be worshiped in Jerusalem. You trust in that place, which I gave to you and your ancestors, but I will destroy it just as I destroyed Shiloh. 15I will push you away from me just as I pushed away your relatives, the people of Israel!’ 16“As for you, Jeremiah, don’t pray for these people. Don’t cry out for them or ask anything for them or beg me to help them, because I will not listen to you. 17Don’t you see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18The children gather wood, and the fathers use the wood to make a fire. The women make the dough for cakes of bread, and they offer them to the Queen Goddess. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to make me angry. 19But I am not the one the people of Judah are really hurting, says the LORD. They are only hurting themselves and bringing shame upon themselves. 20“‘So this is what the Lord God says: I will pour out my anger on this place, on people and animals, on the trees in the field and the crops in the ground. My anger will be like a hot fire that no one can put out.
Max Lucado (Grace For The Moment Daily Bible, NCV: Spend 365 Days reading the Bible with Max Lucado)
There is a darker world, Phil knew, that lives alongside the everyday one. This secret world was unpleasant and depressing, a world of pain and hurt and sudden, senseless death, loss and despair. It turned homes, places of refuge and safety, into cold, abattoir death scenes. Destroyed lives both by what it took and what it left behind. It was a place most people were aware of but chose to ignore, hoping that entry would only be for others, something that only happened to someone else. Not them. Never them.
Tania Carver (The Creeper (Brennan & Esposito, #2))
If you want to feel sorry for yourself,” Mary continues, “then do it in a way that isn’t going to destroy other people’s lives.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
How have individuals been affected by the technological advances of recent years? Here is the answer to this question given by a philosopher-psychiatrist, Dr Erich Fromm: ‘Our contemporary Western society, in spite of its material, intellectual and political progress, is increasingly less conducive to mental health, and tends to undermine the inner security, happiness, reason and the capacity for love in the individual; it tends to turn him into an automaton who pays for his human failure with increasing mental sickness, and with despair hidden under a frantic drive for work and so-called pleasure.’ Our ‘increasing mental sickness’ may find expression in neurotic symptoms. These symptoms are conspicuous and extremely distressing. But ‘let us beware’, says Dr Fromm, ‘of defining mental hygiene as the prevention of symptoms. Symptoms as such are not our enemy, but our friend; where there are symptoms there is conflict, and conflict always indicates that the forces of life which strive for integration and happiness are still fighting.’ The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. ‘Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.’ They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted, still cherish ‘the illusion of individuality’, but in fact they have been to a great extent de-individualized. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But ‘uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too . . . Man is not made to be an automaton, and if he becomes one, the basis for mental health is destroyed.’ In the course of evolution nature has gone to endless trouble to see that every individual is unlike every other individual. We reproduce our kind by bringing the father’s genes into contact with the mother’s. These hereditary factors may be combined in an almost infinite number of ways. Physically and mentally, each one of us is unique. Any culture which, in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual, commits an outrage against man’s biological nature.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
As you can no doubt imagine, we often say in despair, “What’s the point of the war? Why, oh, why can’t people live together peacefully? Why all this destruction?” The question is understandable, but up to now no one has come up with a satisfactory answer. Why is England manufacturing bigger and better airplanes and bombs and at the same time churning out new houses for reconstruction? Why are millions spent on the war each day, while not a penny is available for medical science, artists or the poor? Why do people have to starve when mountains of food are rotting away in other parts of the world? Oh, why are people so crazy?” I don't believe the war is simply the work of politicians and capitalists. Oh no, the common man is every bit as guilty; otherwise, people and nations would have rebelled long ago! There's a destructive urge in people, the urge to rage, murder and kill. And until all of humanity, without exception, undergoes a metamorphosis, wars will continue to be waged, and everything that has been carefully built up, cultivated and grown will be cut down and destroyed, only to start all over again!
Anne Frank
ye shall be smitten for your iniquities, for ye have said that ye teach the law of Moses. And what know ye concerning the law of Moses? Doth salvation come by the law of Moses? What say ye? 32 And they answered and said that salvation did come by the law of Moses. 33 But now Abinadi said unto them: I know if ye keep the commandments of God ye shall be saved; yea, if ye keep the commandments which the Lord delivered unto Moses in the mount of Sinai, saying: 34 I am the Lord thy God, who hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 35 Thou shalt have no other God before me. 36 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing in heaven above, or things which are in the earth beneath. 37 Now Abinadi said unto them, Have ye done all this? I say unto you, Nay, ye have not. And have ye taught this people that they should do all these things? I say unto you, Nay, ye have not. Mosiah Chapter 13 Abinadi is protected by divine power—He teaches the Ten Commandments—Salvation does not come by the law of Moses alone—God Himself will make an atonement and redeem His people. About 148 B.C. 1 And now when the king had heard these words, he said unto his priests: Away with this fellow, and slay him; for what have we to do with him, for he is mad. 2 And they stood forth and attempted to lay their hands on him; but he withstood them, and said unto them: 3 Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver; neither have I told you that which ye requested that I should tell; therefore, God will not suffer that I shall be destroyed at this time. 4 But I must fulfil the commandments wherewith God has commanded me; and because I have told you the truth ye are angry with me. And again, because I have spoken the word of God ye have judged me that I am mad. 5 Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord. 6 And he spake with power and authority from God; and he continued his words, saying: 7 Ye see that ye have not power to slay me, therefore I finish my message. Yea, and I perceive that it cuts you to your hearts because I tell you the truth concerning your iniquities. 8 Yea, and my words fill you with wonder and amazement, and with anger. 9 But I finish my message; and then it matters not whither I go, if it so be that I am saved. 10 But this much I tell you, what you do with me, after this, shall be as a type and a shadow of things which are to come. 11 And now I read unto you the remainder of the commandments of God, for I perceive that they are not written in your hearts; I perceive that ye have studied and taught iniquity the most part of your lives. 12 And now, ye remember that I said unto you: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of things which are in heaven above, or which are in the earth beneath, or which are in the water under the earth.
Joseph Smith Jr. (The Book of Mormon)
Choose to consume technology ,but don’t be consumed by it. Most of us technology have already turned us into robots .We have no signs of being humans. We are heartless, We have no feelings, no shame, no remorse, no beliefs, no respect, no guilty conscious, no life, no sympathy, no care, no time , no morals, no culture, no religion , no faith. We don’t value others people. We cyber bully others and do disguising inhuman things for trends. Pride ourselves in destroying others lives, careers, education, relationship, marriage, future. The things we do for retweets, likes and comments are shocking. Choose to be a better human being than being a Bot.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
He'd grown up a criminal. A man who hurt others. A man who destroyed the lives of others. A man who killed. That was who and what he was, and no matter how hard he tried to climb out of that world of blood and treachery, there was no getting out. Never. He didn't have much to live for.
Christine Feehan (Leopard's Wrath (Leopard People #11))