Destroying People's Lives Quotes

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Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.
Anaïs Nin
I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen - I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
Howard Zinn
I like living in my head because in there, everyone is kind and innocent. Once you start integrating yourself into the world, you realize that people are nasty, mean creatures. They're worse than zombies. People try to crush your soul and destroy your happiness, but zombies just want to have a little nibble of your brain.
J. Cornell Michel (Jordan's Brains: A Zombie Evolution)
These letters are all I have left. 26 friends to tell my stories to. 26 letters are all I need. I can stitch them together to create oceans and ecosystems. I can fit them together to form planets and solar systems. I can use letters to construct skyscrapers and metropolitan cities populated by people, places, things, and ideas that are more real to me than these 4 walls. I need nothing but letters to live. Without them I would not exist. Because these words I write down are the only proof I have that I’m still alive.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
I hate the moon. I hate tides and earthquakes and volcanoes. I hate a world where things that have absolutely nothing to do with me can destroy my life and the lives of people I love.
Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
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
People will seek to use you or destroy you. If you want to live, you must pick a side. So do not shirk from war, child. Do not flinch from suffering. When you hear screaming, run toward it.
R.F. Kuang (The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2))
It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope. Exorcism cannot alter the countenance of a house ; Hill House would stay as it was until it was destroyed.
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
People today have forgotten they're really just a part of nature. Yet, they destroy the nature on which our lives depend. They always think they can make something better. Especially scientists. They may be smart, but most don't understand the heart of nature. They only invent things that, in the end, make people unhappy. Yet they're so proud of their inventions. What's worse, most people are, too. They view them as if they were miracles. They worship them. They don't know it, but they're losing nature. They don't see that they're going to perish. The most important things for human beings are clean air and clean water.
Akira Kurosawa (Yume)
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))
We can't leave people in abject poverty, so we need to raise the standard of living for 80% of the world's people, while bringing it down considerably for the 20% who are destroying our natural resources.
Jane Goodall
You cannot save everyone. Some people are going to destroy themselves no matter how much you try to help them.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
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)
The only people that can't handle the truth are those that suffer so much anxiety that they will live in denial, in order to prevent their illusion from being destroyed and feeling more anxiety.
Shannon L. Alder
Never loan your heart to hatred; it pays you back with self-destruction. Majority of people living are not aware that anger is an acid that destroys its own container.
Israelmore Ayivor (Daily Drive 365)
Humankind has not learned about balance, let alone practiced it. It is guided by greed and ambition, steered by fear. In this way it will eventually destroy itself. But nature will survive; at least the plants will.
Brian L. Weiss (Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives)
Some people are so addicted to their misery that they will destroy anything that gets in the way of their fix.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
And sometimes when you lie to me Sometimes I’ll lie to you And there isn’t a thing you could possibly do All these half-destroyed lives Aren’t as bad as they seem But now I see blood and I hear people scream Then I wake up And it’s just another bad dream . . .
Michael Grant (Gone (Gone, #1))
People who don’t know how to summarize have no dignity. Neither do people who needlessly drag on their messy lives. They who don’t know the beauty of simplification, of pruning away the unnecessary, die without ever comprehending the true meaning of life.
Young-Ha Kim (I Have the Right to Destroy Myself)
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
Be a light unto the world, and hurt it not. Seek to build not destroy. Bring My people home. How? By your shining example. Seek only Godliness. Speak only in truthfulness. Act only in love. Live the Law of Love now and forever more. Give everything require nothing. Avoid the mundane. Do not accept the unacceptable. Teach all who seek to learn of Me. Make every moment of your life an outpouring of love. Use every moment to think the highest thought, say the highest word, do the highest deed. In this, glorify your Holy Self, and thus too, glorify Me. Bring peace to the Earth by bringing peace to all those whose lives you touch. Be peace. Feel and express in every moment your Divine Connection with the All, and with every person, place, and thing. Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honor every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God. Be a living, breathing example of the Highest Truth that resides within you. Speak humbly of yourself, lest someone mistake your Highest Truth for boast. Speak softly, lest someone think you are merely calling for attention. Speak gently, that all might know of Love. Speak openly, lest someone think you have something to hide. Speak candidly, so you cannot be mistaken. Speak often, so that your word may truly go forth. Speak respectfully, that no one be dishonored. Speak lovingly, that every syllable may heal. Speak of Me with every utterance. Make of your life a gift. Remember always, you are the gift! Be a gift to everyone who enters your life, and to everyone whose life you enter. Be careful not to enter another’s life if you cannot be a gift. (You can always be a gift, because you always are the gift—yet sometimes you don’t let yourself know that.) When someone enters your life unexpectedly, look for the gift that person has come to receive from you…I HAVE SENT YOU NOTHING BUT ANGELS.
Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2)
The Romans move east from New York. They advance in your camp, and nothing can slow them down. "Nothing can slow them down," Leo mused. "I wonder..." "What?" Jason asked. Leo looked at the dwarfs. "I'll make you a deal." Akmon's eyes lit up. "Thirty percent?" "We'll leave you all the treasure," Leo said, "except the stuff that belongs to us, and the astrolabe, and this book, which we'll take back to the dude in Venice." "But he'll destroy us!" Passolos wailed. "We won't say where we got it," Leo promised. "And we won't kill you. We'll let you go free." "Uh, Leo...?" Jason asked nervously. Akmon squealed in delight. "I knew you were as smart at Hercules! I will call you Black Bottom, the Sequel!" "You, no thanks," Leo said. "But in return for us sparing your lives, you have to do something for us. I'm going to send you somewhere to steal from some people, harass them, make life hard for them any way you can. You have to follow my directions exactly. You have to swear on the River Styx." "We swear!" Passalos said. "Stealing from people is our specialty!" "I love harassment!" Akmon agreed. "Where are we going?" Leo grinned. "Ever heard of New York?
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
What you said was true. we don't live or love in a vacuum. There are people around us who care about us who would be hurt, maybe destroyed if we let ourselves feel what we might want to feel.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
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)
These people, these beautiful Living women, they don't seem to make the connection between me and the creatures that keep killing everything they love. They allow me to be an exception, and I feel humbled by this gift. I want to pay it back somehow, earn their forgiveness. I want to repair the world I've helped destroy.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them. Tattoos, for example, are very hard to forget. I think there's something about the impermanence of life these days that makes it necessary to etch ink into our skin. It reminds us that we've been marked by the world, that we're still alive. That we'll never forget.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Everybody's got skeletons in the closets. Every once in a while, you've got to open up the closet and the let the skeletons breathe. Half the time, the very thing you think is gonna destroy you or ruin you is the very thing that nobody cares about. My advice to people with skeletons is to dust them off every now and then-- as long as your closet's aint full of them. It's not good to have more than two or three.
Tyler Perry
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)
September 11… I will never forget feeling scared and vulnerable… I will never forget feeling the deep sad loss of so many lives… I will never forget the smell of the smoke that reached across the water and delivered a deep feeling of doom into my gut… I will never forget feeling the boosted sense of unity and pride… I will never forget seeing the courageous actions of so many men and women… I will never forget seeing people of all backgrounds working together in community… I will never forget seeing what hate can destroy… I will never forget seeing what love can heal…
Steve Maraboli
Many people think of our times as being the last before the end of the world. The evidence of horror all around us makes this seem possible. But isn't that an idea of only minor importance? Doesn't every human being, no matter which era he lives in, always have to reckon with being accountable to God at any moment? Can I know whether I'll be alive tomorrow morning? A bomb could destroy all of us tonight. And then my guilt would not be one bit less than if I perished together with the arth and the stars.
Sophie Scholl
When apparent stability disintegrates, As it must- God is Change- People tend to give in To fear and depression, To need and greed. When no influence is strong enough To unify people They divide. They struggle, One against one, Group against group, For survival, position, power. They remember old hates and generate new ones, The create chaos and nurture it. They kill and kill and kill, Until they are exhausted and destroyed, Until they are conquered by outside forces, Or until one of them becomes A leader Most will follow, Or a tyrant Most fear. Earthseed: The Books of the Living Lauren Oya Olamina
Octavia E. Butler
Young people: They care. They know that this is the world that they're going to grow up in, that they're going to spend the rest of their lives in. But, I think it's more idealistic than that. They actually believe that humanity, human species, has no right to destroy and despoil regardless.
David Attenborough
In reality of everyday occurrences I've had to submit to people in order not to lose them. It's less the submission that bothers me, I guess, than how it makes my life miserable. And what happens if I can't forgive myself for making that choice? And what if, in order to keep on living, I have to continue to accept myself? What am I supposed to do? Conclusion: It'd be best if I'm destroyed. The best thing is for me just to vanish.
Natsuo Kirino (Real World)
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)
Hardship and danger destroys fewer people than indulgence.
Helen MacInnes (While Still We Live)
there are people who added goodness to the world and people who lived to destroy it.
Nicholas Sparks
Like the most of you, I was raised among people who knew - who were certain. They did not reason or investigate. They had no doubts. They knew that they had the truth. In their creed there was no guess — no perhaps. They had a revelation from God. They knew the beginning of things. They knew that God commenced to create one Monday morning, four thousand and four years before Christ. They knew that in the eternity — back of that morning, he had done nothing. They knew that it took him six days to make the earth — all plants, all animals, all life, and all the globes that wheel in space. They knew exactly what he did each day and when he rested. They knew the origin, the cause of evil, of all crime, of all disease and death. At the same time they knew that God created man in his own image and was perfectly satisfied with his work... They knew all about the Flood -- knew that God, with the exception of eight, drowned all his children -- the old and young -- the bowed patriarch and the dimpled babe -- the young man and the merry maiden -- the loving mother and the laughing child -- because his mercy endureth forever. They knew too, that he drowned the beasts and birds -- everything that walked or crawled or flew -- because his loving kindness is over all his works. They knew that God, for the purpose of civilizing his children, had devoured some with earthquakes, destroyed some with storms of fire, killed some with his lightnings, millions with famine, with pestilence, and sacrificed countless thousands upon the fields of war. They knew that it was necessary to believe these things and to love God. They knew that there could be no salvation except by faith, and through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Then I asked myself the question: Is there a supernatural power -- an arbitrary mind -- an enthroned God -- a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world -- to which all causes bow? I do not deny. I do not know - but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme - that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken — that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer - no power that worship can persuade or change — no power that cares for man. Is there a God? I do not know. Is man immortal? I do not know. One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be. We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with beak and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with loving words, with art and song, and all the ecstasies of love. We can flood our years with sunshine — with the divine climate of kindness, and we can drain to the last drop the golden cup of joy.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol 1: Lectures)
Being a good person has nothing to do with allowing people to destroy you.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
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
He was shy, timid, gentle, and kind, but he wrote gruesome and painful books. He saw the world as full of invisible demons, who tear apart and destroy defenseless people. He was too clear-sighted and too wise to be able to live; he was too weak to fight, he had that weakness of noble, beautiful people who are not able to do battle against the fear of misunderstandings, unkindness, or intellectual lies. Such persons know beforehand that they are powerless and go down in defeat in such a way that they shame the victor. He knew people as only people of great sensitivity are able to know them, as somebody who is alone and sees people almost prophetically, from one flash of a face. He knew the world in a deep and extraordinary manner. He was himself a deep and extraordinary world.
Milena Jesenská
You can find things in the traditional religions which are very benign and decent and wonderful and so on, but I mean, the Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon. The God of the Bible - not only did He order His chosen people to carry out literal genocide - I mean, wipe out every Amalekite to the last man, woman, child, and, you know, donkey and so on, because hundreds of years ago they got in your way when you were trying to cross the desert - not only did He do things like that, but, after all, the God of the Bible was ready to destroy every living creature on earth because some humans irritated Him. That's the story of Noah. I mean, that's beyond genocide - you don't know how to describe this creature. Somebody offended Him, and He was going to destroy every living being on earth? And then He was talked into allowing two of each species to stay alive - that's supposed to be gentle and wonderful.
Noam Chomsky
Much of magic as I understand it in the Western occult tradition is the search for the Self, with a capital S. This is understood as being the Great Work, as being the gold the alchemists sought, as being the Will, the Soul, the thing we have inside us that is behind the intellect, the body, the dreams. The inner dynamo of us, if you like. Now this is the single most important thing that we can ever attain, the knowledge of our own Self. And yet there are a frightening amount of people who seem to have the urge not just to ignore the Self, but actually seem to have the urge to obliterate themselves. This is horrific, but you can almost understand the desire to simply wipe out that awareness, because it’s too much of a responsibility to actually posses such a thing as a soul, such a precious thing. What if you break it? What if you lose it? Mightn’t it be best to anesthetize it, to deaden it, to destroy it, to not have to live with the pain of struggling towards it and trying to keep it pure? I think that the way that people immerse themselves in alcohol, in drugs, in television, in any of the addictions that our culture throws up, can be seen as a deliberate attempt to destroy any connection between themselves and the responsibility of accepting and owning a higher Self and then having to maintain it.
Alan Moore
I had wanted to kill myself, not because I hated living, but because I loved it. And the truth of the matter is, I think that a lot of people who think about killing themselves feel the same way. They love live but it's all fucked up for them We were up on that roof because we couldn't find a way back into life, and being shut out of it like that...It just fucking destroys you, man.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
If a society permits one portion of its citizenry to be menaced or destroyed, then, very soon, no one in that society is safe. The forces thus released in the people can never be held in check, but run their devouring course, destroying the very foundations which it was imagined they would save. But we are unbelievably ignorant concerning what goes on in our country--to say nothing of what goes on in the rest of the world--and appear to have become too timid to question what we are told. Our failure to trust one another deeply enough to be able to talk to one another has become so great that people with these questions in their hearts do not speak them; our opulence is so pervasive that people who are afraid to lose whatever they think they have persuade themselves of the truth of a lie, and help disseminate it; and God help the innocent here, that man or womn who simply wants to love, and be loved. Unless this would-be lover is able to replace his or her backbone with a steel rod, he or she is doomed. This is no place for love. I know that I am now expected to make a bow in the direction of those millions of unremarked, happy marriages all over America, but I am unable honestly to do so because I find nothing whatever in our moral and social climate--and I am now thinking particularly of the state of our children--to bear witness to their existence. I suspect that when we refer to these happy and so marvelously invisible people, we are simply being nostalgic concerning the happy, simple, God-fearing life which we imagine ourselves once to have lived. In any case, wherever love is found, it unfailingly makes itself felt in the individual, the personal authority of the individual. Judged by this standard, we are a loveless nation. The best that can be said is that some of us are struggling. And what we are struggling against is that death in the heart which leads not only to the shedding of blood, but which reduces human beings to corpses while they live.
James Baldwin (nothing personal)
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
Personally, if I were trying to discourage people from smoking, my sign would be a little different. In fact, I might even go too far in the opposite direction. My sign would say something like, "Smoke if you wish. But if you do, be prepared for the following series of events: First, we will confiscate your cigarette and extinguish it somewhere on the surface of your skin. We will then run you nicotine-stained fingers through a paper shredder and throw them into the street, where wild dogs will swallow them and then regurgitate them into the sewers, so that infected rats can further soil them before they're flushed out to sea with the rest of the city's filth. After such time, we will sysematically seek out your friends and loved one and destroy their lives." Wouldn't you like to see a sign like that?
George Carlin (When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?)
Have I mentioned that I expect death around every turn, that every blue sky has a safe sailing out of it, that every bus runs me over, that every low, mean syllable uttered in my direction seems to intimate the violence of murder, that every family seems like an opportunity for ruin and every marriage a ceremony into which calamity will fall and hearts will be broken and lives destroyed and people branded by the mortifications of love?
Rick Moody (Demonology)
Diseases don’t ruin lives just because they rot off noses. They destroy people if the rest of society isolates them and treats them as undeserving of help and respect.
Jennifer Wright (Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them)
...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 are stubborn and stupid. They're irrational. they're destructive. that's the point, isn't it? That's the whole reason for the cure. People will no longer destroy their own lives. They won't be capable of it.
Lauren Oliver (Requiem (Delirium, #3))
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)
This is the strange thing about life, when people are confronted, they all say that the truth is what they want but when the truth disagrees with them, they balk at it as if it were an unwanted zombie apocalypse that only wants to destroy civilization.
Leviak B. Kelly (Religion: The Ultimate STD: Living a Spiritual Life without Dogmatics or Cultural Destruction)
He beat back the Greeks and reclaimed Rome for our people. Indeed, he was the one who destroyed the Macedonian threat and who single-handedly annihilated the greatest Greek general who had ever lived. Kyrian of Thrace.” Real hatred gleamed in his eyes, but she wasn’t sure who it was meant for. His grandfather or Kyrian. “You mean Kyrian Hunter?” she asked. “The guy with the minivan who lives a few blocks over?” Valerius’s eyes sparked at that. “He’s driving a minivan?” There was no mistaking the humor in his tone.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Play (Dark-Hunter, #5; Were-Hunter, #1))
An abiding stereotype of creativity is that it turns people crazy. I disagree: Not expressing creativity turns people crazy. (“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you don’t bring forth what is within you, what you don’t bring forth will destroy you.”—Gospel of Thomas.)
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
If greed were not the master of modern man--ably assisted by envy--how could it be that the frenzy of economism does not abate as higher "standards of living" are attained, and that it is precisely the richest societies which pursue their economic advantage with the greatest ruthlessness? How could we explain the almost universal refusal on the part of the rulers of the rich societies--where organized along private enterprise or collective enterprise lines--to work towards the humanisation of work? It is only necessary to assert that something would reduce the "standard of living" and every debate is instantly closed. That soul-destroying, meaningless, mechanical, monotonous, moronic work is an insult to human nature which must necessarily and inevitably produce either escapism or aggression, and that no amount of of "bread and circuses" can compensate for the damage done--these are facts which are neither denied nor acknowledged but are met with an unbreakable conspiracy of silence--because to deny them would be too obviously absurd and to acknowledge them would condemn the central preoccupation of modern society as a crime against humanity.
Ernst F. Schumacher (Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered)
There certainly are some women who treat their male partners badly, berating them, calling them names, attempting to control them. The negative impact on these men’s lives can be considerable. But do we see men whose self-esteem is gradually destroyed through this process? Do we see men whose progress in school or in their careers grinds to a halt because of the constant criticism and undermining? Where are the men whose partners are forcing them to have unwanted sex? Where are the men who are fleeing to shelters in fear for their lives? How about the ones who try to get to a phone to call for help, but the women block their way or cut the line? The reason we don’t generally see these men is simple: They’re rare. I don’t question how embarrassing it would be for a man to come forward and admit that a woman is abusing him. But don’t underestimate how humiliated a woman feels when she reveals abuse; women crave dignity just as much as men do. If shame stopped people from coming forward, no one would tell.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
When it rains, the moisture in the humid air blankets our town with the smell of damp coffee grounds wafting in from the Nescafé factory at the town’s eastern edge. I don’t like coffee but I like that smell. It’s comforting; it unites the town in a common sensory experience; it’s good industry, like the roaring rug mill that fills our ears, brings work and signals our town’s vitality. There is a place here—you can hear it, smell it—where people make lives, suffer pain, enjoy small pleasures, play baseball, die, make love, have kids, drink themselves drunk on spring nights and do their best to hold off the demons that seek to destroy us, our homes, our families, our town.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
You would kill or enslave everyone? There is so much beauty in the world that they’d destroy. How do you not see it? (Delphine) Spoken like someone who has only lived in the cushioned world of dreams. You have no idea what the real world is like. What people will do to you when they know they can get away with it. People are absolutely cruel and I say more power to Noir for tearing it down. (Jericho)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Warrior (Dream-Hunter #4; Dark-Hunter #17))
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
Does it make sense to boycott ourselves? Does it hold water to boycott the fluid course of our life? Is it consistent to commit self-sabotage by destroying wittingly our corporeal and mental structure? Those are the questions thousands of people may ask as they are confronted with the schizophrenic dilemma on the point of smoking, boozing, doping, sexual transgressing or environmental polluting. Many seem to be aware of their problem. Many have decided to stop from tomorrow on. But when tomorrow and after tomorrow come many tend to let slip their vow and their self-sabotage goes on to rule their life. Their dissonant behavior transforms them into social losers or hopeless patsies and depresses them into the class of forlorn pariahs. They realize, as such, that self-handicapping makes no sense, but are not able to protect themselves from themselves since they haven’t got the muscle to live down the spell of addiction. Thousands of people may feel having set the bar too high and recognize they are are failing to find the right angle and are missing sufficient insight to steer their life. If, however, they decide to give it a try they should be aware that the road may be very bumpy and that they have to be prepared for disappointments and regressions, that they might have to deal with very slowly crescent improvements, that they shouldn’t take themselves for a ride and that they could only possibly succeed by focusing painfully on the path to breaking free from the hornet's nest they have got themselves into.
Erik Pevernagie
When you discover that you are living in a fantasy that cannot endure, a fantasy that will destroy your world, and your children, what do you do? People said things like, Fuck it, or Fuck the future. They said things like, The day is warm, or This meal is excellent, or Let's go to the lake and swim.
Kim Stanley Robinson (Aurora)
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)
Once upon a time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. No, no, wait. Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods. Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the road after the war. Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Once upon a time there were three brothers. No, this is it. This is the variation I want. Once upon a time there were three Beautiful children, two boys and a girl. When each baby was born, the parents rejoiced, the heavens rejoiced, even the fairies rejoiced. The fairies came to christening parties and gave the babies magical gifts. Bounce, effort, and snark. Contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. Sugar, curiosity, and rain. And yet, there was a witch. There's always a witch. This which was the same age as the beautiful children, and as she and they grew, she was jealous of the girl, and jealous of the boys, too. They were blessed with all these fairy gifts, gifts the witch had been denied at her own christening. The eldest boy was strong and fast, capable and handsome. Though it's true, he was exceptionally short. The next boy was studious and open hearted. Though it's true, he was an outsider. And the girl was witty, Generous, and ethical. Though it's true, she felt powerless. The witch, she was none of these things, for her parents had angered the fairies. No gifts were ever bestowed upon her. She was lonely. Her only strength was her dark and ugly magic. She confuse being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them. She confuse being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it. She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts are making them think. Hey magic was all she had, and she used it to destroy what she most admired. She visited each young person in turn in their tenth birthday, but did not harm them out right. The protection of some kind fairy - the lilac fairy, perhaps - prevented her from doing so. What she did instead was cursed them. "When you are sixteen," proclaimed the witch in a rage of jealousy, "you shall prick your finger on a spindle - no, you shall strike a match - yes, you will strike a match and did in its flame." The parents of the beautiful children were frightened of the curse, and tried, as people will do, to avoid it. They moved themselves and the children far away, to a castle on a windswept Island. A castle where there were no matches. There, surely, they would be safe. There, Surely, the witch would never find them. But find them she did. And when they were fifteen, these beautiful children, just before their sixteenth birthdays and when they're nervous parents not yet expecting it, the jealous which toxic, hateful self into their lives in the shape of a blonde meeting. The maiden befriended the beautiful children. She kissed him and took them on the boat rides and brought them fudge and told them stories. Then she gave them a box of matches. The children were entranced, for nearly sixteen they have never seen fire. Go on, strike, said the witch, smiling. Fire is beautiful. Nothing bad will happen. Go on, she said, the flames will cleanse your souls. Go on, she said, for you are independent thinkers. Go on, she said. What is this life we lead, if you did not take action? And they listened. They took the matches from her and they struck them. The witch watched their beauty burn, Their bounce, Their intelligence, Their wit, Their open hearts, Their charm, Their dreams for the future. She watched it all disappear in smoke.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
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)
Because there is no challenge, there is no reason to work hard. And with no reason to work hard, we all have become lazy. Lazy people are like cancer. They spread. Before you know it, the entire country is destroyed.
Tahir Shah (In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams)
From good people you’ll learn good, but if you mingle with the bad you’ll destroy such soul as you had.” —MUSONIUS RUFUS, QUOTING THEOGNIS OF MEGARA, LECTURES, 11.53.21–22
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
Live or die, but don't poison everything... Well, death's been here for a long time -- it has a hell of a lot to do with hell and suspicion of the eye and the religious objects and how I mourned them when they were made obscene by my dwarf-heart's doodle. The chief ingredient is mutilation. And mud, day after day, mud like a ritual, and the baby on the platter, cooked but still human, cooked also with little maggots, sewn onto it maybe by somebody's mother, the damn bitch! Even so, I kept right on going on, a sort of human statement, lugging myself as if I were a sawed-off body in the trunk, the steamer trunk. This became perjury of the soul. It became an outright lie and even though I dressed the body it was still naked, still killed. It was caught in the first place at birth, like a fish. But I play it, dressed it up, dressed it up like somebody's doll. Is life something you play? And all the time wanting to get rid of it? And further, everyone yelling at you to shut up. And no wonder! People don't like to be told that you're sick and then be forced to watch you come down with the hammer. Today life opened inside me like an egg and there inside after considerable digging I found the answer. What a bargain! There was the sun, her yolk moving feverishly, tumbling her prize -- and you realize she does this daily! I'd known she was a purifier but I hadn't thought she was solid, hadn't known she was an answer. God! It's a dream, lovers sprouting in the yard like celery stalks and better, a husband straight as a redwood, two daughters, two sea urchings, picking roses off my hackles. If I'm on fire they dance around it and cook marshmallows. And if I'm ice they simply skate on me in little ballet costumes. Here, all along, thinking I was a killer, anointing myself daily with my little poisons. But no. I'm an empress. I wear an apron. My typewriter writes. It didn't break the way it warned. Even crazy, I'm as nice as a chocolate bar. Even with the witches' gymnastics they trust my incalculable city, my corruptible bed. O dearest three, I make a soft reply. The witch comes on and you paint her pink. I come with kisses in my hood and the sun, the smart one, rolling in my arms. So I say Live and turn my shadow three times round to feed our puppies as they come, the eight Dalmatians we didn't drown, despite the warnings: The abort! The destroy! Despite the pails of water that waited, to drown them, to pull them down like stones, they came, each one headfirst, blowing bubbles the color of cataract-blue and fumbling for the tiny tits. Just last week, eight Dalmatians, 3/4 of a lb., lined up like cord wood each like a birch tree. I promise to love more if they come, because in spite of cruelty and the stuffed railroad cars for the ovens, I am not what I expected. Not an Eichmann. The poison just didn't take. So I won't hang around in my hospital shift, repeating The Black Mass and all of it. I say Live, Live because of the sun, the dream, the excitable gift.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
There are few chemicals that we as a people are exposed to that have as many far reaching physiological affects on living beings as Monosodium Glutamate does. MSG directly causes obesity, diabetes, triggers epilepsy, destroys eye tissues, is genotoxic in many organs and is the probable cause of ADHD and Autism. Considering that MSG’s only reported role in food is that of ‘flavour enhancer’ is that use worth the risk of the myriad of physical ailments associated with it? Does the public really want to be tricked into eating more food and faster by a food additive?
John E. Erb (The Slow Poisoning of Mankind: A Report on the Toxic Effects of the Food Additive Monosodium Glutamate)
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)
Creatures of the Darkness BY VICKI JORDAN It was world of vampires and demons, where innocence was rare and so were the living. It was a world of darkness, where light had been outlawed and nightfall had swallowed us whole. An epic war had been fought, and the creatures of the dark had finally prevailed over the promoters of the light. Finally, for the first time in existence, the people of the shadows could come out and freely walk among one another in the rays of the dying sun, which had once been used to shun them away. A little girl, a child of the light, had survived the battle and crawled out from under the ashes of the destruction. She looked around at her altered world in dismay and confronted a vampire about the changes, of which she did not approve. “Why did you turn my world into a world of night, and make wrong into a new form of right? How could you make all the light disappear, and with it everyone I once loved so dear? Why are the shadows now the new sun, and why is everything lost what you have won?” The vampire looked down at the little girl with amusement and delight. “Because, little girl, this is the real world you see, where there’s no light to shine on false identities. We didn’t destroy the world just to scare; we simply uncovered what was already there. What has come out was all the darkness that was once hidden within, and you’ll soon meet the darkness in you once my fangs pierce your skin.” We are our own greatest fears…..
Chris Colfer (Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal)
For many years I have been asking myself why intelligent children act unintelligently at school. The simple answer is, "Because they're scared." I used to suspect that children's defeatism had something to do with their bad work in school, but I thought I could clear it away with hearty cries of "Onward! You can do it!" What I now see for the first time is the mechanism by which fear destroys intelligence, the way it affects a child's whole way of looking at, thinking about, and dealing with life. So we have two problems, not one: to stop children from being afraid, and then to break them of the bad thinking habits into which their fears have driven them. What is most surprising of all is how much fear there is in school. Why is so little said about it. Perhaps most people do not recognize fear in children when they see it. They can read the grossest signs of fear; they know what the trouble is when a child clings howling to his mother; but the subtler signs of fear escaping them. It is these signs, in children's faces, voices, and gestures, in their movements and ways of working, that tell me plainly that most children in school are scared most of the time, many of them very scared. Like good soldiers, they control their fears, live with them, and adjust themselves to them. But the trouble is, and here is a vital difference between school and war, that the adjustments children make to their fears are almost wholly bad, destructive of their intelligence and capacity. The scared fighter may be the best fighter, but the scared learner is always a poor learner.
John C. Holt (How Children Fail)
The authoritarian system we live under is set to benefit a tiny minority — an all-powerful elite gets obscenely rich, while billions are cheated out of realizing their true potential. But the system is rotten. It's ripe for collapse. It's the duty of every revolutionary — everyone of us — to hasten that collapse... It's not a crime to fight injustice... The system's conditioned us — hypnotized nearly everybody into accepting that life has to be the way it is. We're hypnotized into believing war is natural — famine is natural — crime is natural... but they're not. They're products of the system and its all-consuming greed! People have become robots — zombies — too busy scrambling for day-to-day existence to be able to see they're really victims. It's up to us to open their eyes. From cradle to grave, we're taught — indoctrinated! — that happiness depends on always getting more. Buy — throw away — buy more! Doesn't matter if we destroy the planet on the way! Politicians say they can fix the world's problems. Just give them more power. Religions say do more of what they order and you'll be happy — but only after you're dead! They've been making the same hollow promises for thousands of years, and we, the people — the sheep — have listened. But it's time to wake up and smell the coffee — the days of external authority and force-backed power are numbered... that's the way the system is set up! A sham democracy that acts as a front for the elite's ambitions... It doesn't have to be like that. We can change it!
Alan Grant
The doctrine of the carnal Christian[32] has destroyed more lives and sent more people to hell than you can imagine! Do Christians struggle with sin? Yes. Can a Christian fall into sin? Absolutely. Can a Christian live in a continuous state of carnality all the days of his life, not bearing fruit, and truly be Christian? Absolutely not !—or every promise in the Old Testament regarding the New Testament covenant of preservation has failed, and everything God said about discipline in Hebrews is a lie (Heb 12:6)! “A tree is known by its fruit” (Luk 6:44).
Paul David Washer (Ten Indictments against the Modern Church)
I watch the perfectly imperfect people several stories below, living their perfectly imperfect lives, and I think about how many decades will have to pass before the whole world can be like that again. I think about how many decades will pass before someone gets another idea to make the world perfect and destroys it completely.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
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
I want to do what little I can to make my country truly free, to broaden the intellectual horizon of our people, to destroy the prejudices born of ignorance and fear, to do away with the blind worship of the ignoble past, with the idea that all the great and good are dead, that the living are totally depraved, that all pleasures are sins, that sighs and groans are alone pleasing to God, that thought is dangerous, that intellectual courage is a crime, that cowardice is a virtue, that a certain belief is necessary to secure salvation, that to carry a cross in this world will give us a palm in the next, and that we must allow some priest to be the pilot of our souls.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
Fortunately a human being can comprehend only a certain degree of unhappiness; anything beyond it destroys him or leaves him cold. There are situations in which fear and hope become one and the same, cancel one another out, and lose themselves in a dark insensateness. How else could we know the people we love best to be in continual danger and yet go on with our daily lives as usual?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Elective Affinities)
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)
With its population made up of two categories of people, those who do business and those upon whom they prey, the city has only a painful life to offer the young person who goes there to learn and to study; for sooner or later anyone who lives there, whatever his constitution, becomes disturbed and is eventually deranged and destroyed by the city, often in the most deadly and insidious manner.
Thomas Bernhard (Gathering Evidence)
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
People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil—soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come dedicated and committed to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, and of restoring upon a foundation of indestructible strength, the liberties of your people.
Douglas MacArthur
Some people are not meant to live together, for they will destroy one another and annihilate themselves. Wolves and sheep cannot be put in the same place, for after eating the sheep, the wolves will starve to death.
Charbel Tadros
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
Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things;it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look on them as benefits. After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
The targets of this story are not "wayward sinners" but religious people who do everything the Bible requires. Jesus is pleading not so much with immoral outsiders as with moral insiders. H wants to show them their blindness, narrowness, and self righteousness, and how these things are destroying both their own souls and the lives of the people around them.
Timothy J. Keller (The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith)
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 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 deindividualized. 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.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
Unlock joy in any situation! True understanding and mutual respect do not bridge blames, destructive, negative criticisms, false excuses and gossips. To express disappointments and ill-feelings are normal however to gossip around certain people and events in order to put another person down and destroy one's credibility is a form of bullying whether one expresses it publicly or privately. Beware of segregation, regionalism, individualism, discrimination, stereotyping, destructive criticism, false accusations, biased wrong assumptions, prejudice, senseless comparison and unwanted competition because life is much more meaningful to live for where there is unity and harmony.
Angelica Hopes
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)
The point where you become free not to kill, not to exploit, not to destroy, not to compete, because you are no longer afraid of death or the devil or poverty or failure. If you discover this nakedness, you’d better keep it private. People don’t like it.
Thomas Merton (Love and Living)
When I think about the past and how blind I was in that life, I compare it to being a god and losing everything when being cast out. I had the unlimited power to destroy myself and everything around me. It’s like having been in a cave for years and I’m finally out of the cave. The sun burns my eyes and skin. I don’t recognize my surroundings. No one looks authentic, and now I’m on the hunt for people that have the pieces to my puzzle that will help me on my quest. I have no cave to hide in, and I’m just left with the sediment of a previous life and my own mortality.
Phil Volatile (My Mind's Abyss)
Single trees are extraordinary; trees in number more extraordinary still. To walk in a wood is to find fault with Socrates's declaration that 'Trees and open country cannot teach me anything, whereas men in town do.' Time is kept and curated and in different ways by trees, and so it is experienced in different ways when one is among them. This discretion of trees, and their patience, are both affecting. It is beyond our capacity to comprehend that the American hardwood forest waited seventy million years for people to come and live in it, though the effort of comprehension is itself worthwhile. It is valuable and disturbing to know that grand oak trees can take three hundred years to grow, three hundred years to live and three hundred years to die. Such knowledge, seriously considered, changes the grain of the mind. "Thought, like memory, inhabits external things as much as the inner regions of the human brain. When the physical correspondents of thought disappear, then thought, or its possibility, is also lost. When woods and trees are destroyed -- incidentally, deliberately -- imagination and memory go with them. W.H. Auden knew this. 'A culture,' he wrote warningly in 1953, 'is no better than its woods.'
Robert Macfarlane (The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot)
Modern policing is largely a war on the poor that does little to make people safer or communities stronger, and even when it does, this is accomplished through the most coercive forms of state power that destroy the lives of millions. Instead of asking the police to solve our problems we must organize for real justice. We need to produce a society designed to meet people’s human needs, rather than wallow in the pursuit of wealth at the expense of all else.
Alex S. Vitale (The End of Policing)
Examine the lives of the best and more fruitful men and peoples, and ask yourselves whether a tree, if it is to grow proudly into the sky, can do without bad weather and storms: whether unkindness and opposition from without, whether some sort of hatred, envy, obstinacy, mistrust, severity, greed and violence do not belong to the favouring circumstances without which a great increase even in virtue is hardly possible. The poison which destroys the weaker nature strengthens the stronger – and he does not call it poison, either.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
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)
Your wound, your silly little wound! That's your real love, Leo, that wound, the one true love of your life! I know how it will be, even if we tried, even if we managed to build something all over again. The music too, that would be no different. Even if they'd accepted you tonight, even if you became celebrated in this town, you'd destroy it all, you'd destroy everything, pull it all down around you just as you did before. And all because of that wound. Me, the music, we're neither of us anything more to you than mistresses you seek consolation from. You'll always go back to your one real love. To that wound! And you know what makes me so angry? Leo, are you listening to me? Your wound, it's nothing special, nothing special at all. In this town alone, I know there are many people with far worse. And yet they carry on, every one of them, with far greater courage than you ever did. They go on with their lives. They become something worthwhile. But you, Leo, look at you. Always tending your wound.
Kazuo Ishiguro (The Unconsoled)
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))
Ah, yes- 'God is love' and all that rot. Tell me, have you ever really stopped to think about what that means? Love is cruel. Love is vicious. Love inspires people to kill, to maim, to torture. Love ruins lives, fells cities, destroys civilizations. If you ask me, love's not all it's cracked up to be. But then, you shouldn't have to ask me - you should only have to reflect on where love has gotten you." - Lilith
Chris Holm (The Wrong Goodbye (The Collector, #2))
To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. The state has not produced one iota of medical evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place... It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses, whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross-examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. Now, there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewel was beaten - savagely, by someone who led exclusively with his left. And Tom Robinson now sits before you having taken the oath with the only good hand he possesses... his RIGHT. I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the State. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance. But my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man's life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say "guilt," gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She's committed no crime - she has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She must destroy the evidence of her offense. But what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was to her a daily reminder of what she did. Now, what did she do? She tempted a *****. She was white, and she tempted a *****. She did something that, in our society, is unspeakable. She kissed a black man. Not an old uncle, but a strong, young ***** man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards. The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the sheriff of Maycomb County have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption... the evil assumption that all Negroes lie, all Negroes are basically immoral beings, all ***** men are not to be trusted around our women. An assumption that one associates with minds of their caliber, and which is, in itself, gentlemen, a lie, which I do not need to point out to you. And so, a quiet, humble, respectable *****, who has had the unmitigated TEMERITY to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to put his word against TWO white people's! The defendant is not guilty - but somebody in this courtroom is. Now, gentlemen, in this country, our courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system - that's no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality! Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review, without passion, the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision and restore this man to his family. In the name of GOD, do your duty. In the name of God, believe... Tom Robinson
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
People feared snowstorms once. Hazel read about this all the time. Pioneers opened their front doors and saw they’d been entombed in snow overnight. They walked across malevolent swirling whiteness and did not know if they would survive. Nature can destroy us in a blink. We live on only at its pleasure. That was what looking at the witch was like.
Anne Ursu (Breadcrumbs)
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)
People do not knowingly join “cults” that will ultimately destroy and kill them. People join self-help groups, churches, political movements, college campus dinner socials, and the like, in an effort to be a part of something larger than themselves. It is mostly the innocent and naive who find themselves entrapped. In their openhearted endeavor to find meaning in their lives, they walk blindly into the promise of ultimate answers and a higher purpose. It is usually only gradually that a group turns into or reveals itself as a cult, becomes malignant, but by then it is often too late.
Deborah Layton (Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in the Peoples Temple)
Whether we are speaking of a flower or an oak tree, of an earthworm or a beautiful bird, of an ape or a person, we will do well, I believe, to recognize that life is an active process, not a passive one. Whether the stimulus arises from within or without, whether the environment is favorable or unfavorable, the behaviors of an organism can be counted on to be in the direction of maintaining, enhancing, and reproducing itself. This is the very nature of the process we call life. This tendency is operative at all times. Indeed, only the presence or absence of this total directional process enables us to tell whether a given organism is alive or dead. The actualizing tendency can, of course, be thwarted or warped, but it cannot be destroyed without destroying the organism. I remember that in my boyhood, the bin in which we stored our winter's supply of potatoes was in the basement, several feet below a small window. The conditions were unfavorable, but the potatoes would begin to sprout—pale white sprouts, so unlike the healthy green shoots they sent up when planted in the soil in the spring. But these sad, spindly sprouts would grow 2 or 3 feet in length as they reached toward the distant light of the window. The sprouts were, in their bizarre, futile growth, a sort of desperate expression of the directional tendency I have been describing. They would never become plants, never mature, never fulfill their real potential. But under the most adverse circumstances, they were striving to become. Life would not give up, even if it could not flourish. In dealing with clients whose lives have been terribly warped, in working with men and women on the back wards of state hospitals, I often think of those potato sprouts. So unfavorable have been the conditions in which these people have developed that their lives often seem abnormal, twisted, scarcely human. Yet, the directional tendency in them can be trusted. The clue to understanding their behavior is that they are striving, in the only ways that they perceive as available to them, to move toward growth, toward becoming. To healthy persons, the results may seem bizarre and futile, but they are life's desperate attempt to become itself. This potent constructive tendency is an underlying basis of the person-centered approach.
Carl R. Rogers
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))
Because some people are so stupid to believe there are thick neon lines separating good and evil. That it's easy to make that kind of distinction and go to sleep at night with a clear conscience. Because it's okay. It's okay to kill a man if someone else deems him unfit to live. What I really want to say is who the hell are you and who are you to decide who gets to die. Who are you to decide who should be killed. Who are you tell me which father I should destroy and which child I should orphan and which mother should be left without her son, which brother should be left without a sister, which grandmother should spend the rest of her life crying in the early hours of the morning because the body of her grandchild was buried in the ground before her own.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Death, so caused, may be mysterious, but what founds these lives is clear enough: the capacity to love, the strength to found a life upon a love. That the love becomes incompatible with that life is tragic, but that it is maintained until the end is heroic. People capable of such love could have removed mountains; instead it has caved in upon them. One moral of such events is obvious: if you would avoid tragedy, avoid love; if you cannot avoid love, avoid integrity; if you cannot avoid integrity, avoid the world; if you cannot avoid the world, destroy it.
Stanley Cavell (Must We Mean What We Say?: A Book of Essays)
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
I firmly believe that American society would not endure ten years if subjected to half the trials and tortures we’ve put Natives through. And yet Native peoples have not been utterly destroyed, not by the world’s strongest military. They have not been totally assimilated, not by the world’s largest religion. Native religions are indeed concerned with being a good person, respecting one’s family, ancestors, community, and the Earth—and when these principles are lived, there is great strength.
Israel Morrow (Gods of the Flesh: A Skeptic's Journey Through Sex, Politics and Religion)
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)
One is called upon to approach and realize and complete the monstrousness, and everyone has some such enormity in his life, or else to be destroyed by this monstrousness even before one has entered into it. In this way people always tend to waver at a certain point in their lives, and always at the particular crucial point in their lives when they must decide whether to tackle the monstrousness of their life or let themselves be destroyed by it before they have tackled it. Most people prefer to let themselves be destroyed by this monstrousness rather than to tackle it, because they aren't equipped by nature to tackle and realize and fulfil their monstrousness, they're rather inclined, by nature, to let themselves be destroyed by their monstrousness before they have tackled it. The matured idea is enough in itself to destroy most people, so Roithamer.
Thomas Bernhard (Correction)
Ecologically considered, it is not primarily our verbal statements that are "true" or "false," but rather the kind of relations that we sustain with the rest of nature. A human community that lives in a mutually beneficial relation with the surrounding earth is a community, we might say, that lives in truth. The ways of speaking common to that community—the claims and beliefs that enable such reciprocity to perpetuate itself—are, in this important sense, true. They are in accord with a right relation between these people and their world. Statements and beliefs, meanwhile, that foster violence toward the land, ways of speaking that enable the impairment or ruination of the surrounding field of beings, can be described as false ways of speaking—ways that encourage an unsustainable relation with the encompassing earth. A civilization that relentlessly destroys the living land it inhabits is not well acquainted with truth, regardless of how many supported facts it has amassed regarding the calculable properties of its world.
David Abram (The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World)
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)
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))
I am not my uncle. I am not my father, but I do subscribe to the twenty rules he taught me from the cradle. One, if you’re afraid to fight, then you’ll never win. Two, in times of tragedy and turmoil, you’ll learn who your true friends are. Treasure them because they are few and far between. Three, know your enemies, and never become your own worst one. Four, be grateful for those enemies. They will keep you honest and ever striving to better yourself. Five, listen to all good advice, but never substitute someone else’s judgment for your own. Six, all men and women lie. But never lie to yourself. Seven, many will flatter you. Befriend the ones who don’t, for they will remind you that you’re human and not infallible. Eight, never fear the truth. It’s the lies that will destroy you. Nine, your worst decisions will always be those that are made out of fear. Think all matters through with a clear head. Ten, your mistakes won’t define you, but your memories, good and bad, will. Eleven, be grateful for your mistakes as they will tell you who and what you’re not. Twelve, don’t be afraid to examine the past, it’s how you learn what you don’t want to do again. Thirteen, there’s a lot to be said for not knowing better. Fourteen, all men die. Not everyone lives. Fifteen, on your deathbed, your greatest regrets will be what you didn’t do. Sixteen, don’t be afraid to love. Yes, it’s a weakness that can be used against you. But it’s also a source of the greatest strength you will ever know. Seventeen, the past is history written in stone that can’t be altered. The future is transitory and never guaranteed. Today is the only thing you can change for certain. Have the courage to do so and make the most of it because it could be all you’ll ever have. Eighteen, you can be in a crowd, surrounded by people, and still be lonely. Nineteen, love all, regardless of what they do. Trust only those you have to. Harm none until they harm you. And twenty… Never be afraid to kill or destroy your enemies. They won’t hesitate to kill or destroy you.” - Darling Cruel
Sherrilyn Kenyon
For agrarians, the correct response is to stand confidently on our fundamental premise, which is both democratic and ecological: the land is a gift of immeasurable value. If it is a gift, then it is a gift to all the living in all time. To withhold it from some is finally to destroy it for all. For a few powerful people to own or control it all, or decide its fate, is wrong.
Wendell Berry (The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry)
Elizabeth understood as she never had before. Everyone, all of them had lived secure in the belief that the earth was stable, unchanging, eternal. Now no one could trust the ground beneath their feet. Yes, the earthquake was the story of destruction, but not just of things. An earthquake destroyed security. It destroyed complacency. It changed the people who lived through it.
Christina Dodd (Virtue Falls (Virtue Falls #1))
Hi there, cutie." Ash turned his head to find an extremely attractive college student by his side. With black curly hair, she was dressed in jeans and a tight green top that displayed her curves to perfection. "Hi." "You want to go inside for a drink? It's on me." Ash paused as he saw her past, present, and future simultaneously in his mind. Her name was Tracy Phillips. A political science major, she was going to end up at Harvard Med School and then be one of the leading researchers to help isolate a mutated genome that the human race didn't even know existed yet. The discovery of that genome would save the life of her youngest daughter and cause her daughter to go on to medical school herself. That daughter, with the help and guidance of her mother, would one day lobby for medical reforms that would change the way the medical world and governments treated health care. The two of them would shape generations of doctors and save thousands of lives by allowing people to have groundbreaking medical treatments that they wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford. And right now, all Tracy could think about was how cute his ass was in leather pants, and how much she'd like to peel them off him. In a few seconds, she'd head into the coffee shop and meet a waitress named Gina Torres. Gina's dream was to go to college herself to be a doctor and save the lives of the working poor who couldn't afford health care, but because of family problems she wasn't able to take classes this year. Still Gina would tell Tracy how she planned to go next year on a scholarship. Late tonight, after most of the college students were headed off, the two of them would be chatting about Gina's plans and dreams. And a month from now, Gina would be dead from a freak car accident that Tracy would see on the news. That one tragic event combined with the happenstance meeting tonight would lead Tracy to her destiny. In one instant, she'd realize how shallow her life had been, and she'd seek to change that and be more aware of the people around her and of their needs. Her youngest daughter would be named Gina Tory in honor of the Gina who was currently busy wiping down tables while she imagined a better life for everyone. So in effect, Gina would achieve her dream. By dying she'd save thousands of lives and she'd bring health care to those who couldn't afford it... The human race was an amazing thing. So few people ever realized just how many lives they inadvertently touched. How the right or wrong word spoken casually could empower or destroy another's life. If Ash were to accept Tracy's invitation for coffee, her destiny would be changed and she would end up working as a well-paid bank officer. She'd decide that marriage wasn't for her and go on to live her life with a partner and never have children. Everything would change. All the lives that would have been saved would be lost. And knowing the nuance of every word spoken and every gesture made was the heaviest of all the burdens Ash carried. Smiling gently, he shook his head. "Thanks for asking, but I have to head off. You have a good night." She gave him a hot once-over. "Okay, but if you change your mind, I'll be in here studying for the next few hours." Ash watched as she left him and entered the shop. She set her backpack down at a table and started unpacking her books. Sighing from exhaustion, Gina grabbed a glass of water and made her way over to her... And as he observed them through the painted glass, the two women struck up a conversation and set their destined futures into motion. His heart heavy, he glanced in the direction Cael had vanished and hated the future that awaited his friend. But it was Cael's destiny. His fate... "Imora thea mi savur," Ash whispered under his breath in Atlantean. God save me from love.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Side of the Moon (Dark-Hunter, #9; Were-Hunter, #3))
A ship with two of every animal in the world, my friend? That would have to be a very large ship indeed. Is that how you would save a world? A bull and a cow, a sheep and a ram, and so on? The people who wrote your Torah, my friend, must have had poor livestock if they raised their herds from only one dam and one sire, breeding sisters with their brothers, any herdsman knows that this does not produce a healthy flock. No, my friend to save the world you save the knowledge of that world, the knowledge that there were bulls and cows in it, that there were sheep and rams in it, that there were men and women who lived and died. If your world is to be destroyed, all you can save my friend, is the knowledge of it, to restore what you once had, to mourn what can never be restored.
Hal Duncan (Ink (The Book of All Hours, #2))
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))
The people of former times [...] they're dead that's the only thing they have over the living but in their own day they were just as sickening. Picturesqueness: I don't fall for that not for one minute. Stinking filthy dirty washing cabbage-stalks what a pretentious fool you have to be to go into such ecstasies over that! And it's the same thing everywhere all the time whether they're stuffing themselves with chips paella or pizza it's the same crew a filthy crew the rich who trample over you the poor who hate you for your money the old who dodder the young who sneer the men who show off the women who open their legs. I'd rather stay at home reading a thriller although they've become so dreary nowadays. The telly too what a clapped-out set of fools! I was made for another planet altogether I mistook the way.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Woman Destroyed)
Worry! What a waste of time. All the holy books were right. Clearly ‘worry’ was the mark of a primitive and spiritually unevolved person. What was that line from Yeats, about the bemused Chinese sages? All things fall and are built again. Ancient glittering eyes. This was wisdom. People had been raging and weeping and destroying things for centuries and wailing about their puny individual lives, when—what was the point? All this useless sorrow? Consider the lilies of the field. Why did anyone ever worry about anything? Weren’t we, as sentient beings, put upon the earth to be happy, in the brief time allotted to us?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
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)
The BLM-antifa narrative that police are murdering black and brown people in epidemic proportions needs to be thoroughly debunked. It is not supported by the evidence or data. This should be the job of the media, but it has been they who fan the flames of racial division through one-sided wall-to-wall coverage. The unending distraction from real issues that can otherwise be addressed through evidence-based policy making has us chasing shadows.
Andy Ngo (Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy)
If the whole world seems like it's against you, it helps to know that you've still got home. A safe place. It just takes one person—a teacher, a friend, a parent. If I didn't have you and Dad, if you hadn't made it so clear you loved me as much as you did, or if you'd said, 'yeah, why don't you do it, and put yourself out of our misery, just shut up,' I would have killed myself. I really would have. I spent most of those days wishing I were dead anyway, and what always stopped me was the fact that doing so would destroy the lives of the only people who ever cared about me.
Nenia Campbell (Freaky Freshman)
We live in a disposable world. There's no point in investing yourself too heavily. Love doesn't fix anything...it destroys more than it fixes. and when the dust has settled, it's just an afterthought. Lives still get ruined, people still leave, and life goes on and on and on. the first forty-eight hours are the worst. the ego's taken a bit of a kicking. what you need is a constant supply of alcohol. today was a day for taking tranquilizers washed down by vodka.
Kathleen Tessaro (The Flirt)
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)
With no small amount of swagger, Gavin Greyling said, "I remember Gavin fucking Guile, who won the False Prism's War, who outwitted the Thorn Conspirators and ended the Red Cliff Uprising. Gavin Guile, who brought low pirate kings and bandit lords, who ended the Blood Wars with wits and one deadly wave of his hand, who brought justice to the Seven Satrapies. Gavin Guile, who hunted wights and criminals, who built Brightwater Wall in less than a week, who aborted the birth of gods, destroyed at least two bane, and killed a god full fledged at Ruic Head. Gavin Guile, who faced a sea demon and lived, saving all the people of Garriston and the Blackguard, too. Gavin Guile, who sank Pash vecchio's great ship Gargantua with a rat. Gavin Guile, who armed us for war and gave the Blackguard the seas entire with ou sea chariots and hull wreckers. Gavin Guile, heart of our heart, our Promachos, the one who goes before us in war, who came and conquered and will come again.
Brent Weeks (The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4))
What happened? It took Gibbon six volumes to describe the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, so I shan’t embark on that. But thinking about this almost incredible episode does tell one something about the nature of civilisation. It shows that however complex and solid it seems, it is actually quite fragile. It can be destroyed. 

What are its enemies?
 
Well, first of all fear — fear of war, fear of invasion, fear of plague and famine, that make it simply not worthwhile constructing things, or planting trees or even planning next year’s crops. And fear of the supernatural, which means that you daren’t question anything or change anything. The late antique world was full of meaningless rituals, mystery religions, that destroyed self-confidence. And then exhaustion, the feeling of hopelessness which can overtake people even with a high degree of material prosperity. 

There is a poem by the modern Greek poet, Cavafy, in which he imagines the people of an antique town like Alexandria waiting every day for the barbarians to come and sack the city. Finally the barbarians move off somewhere else and the city is saved; but the people are disappointed — it would have been better than nothing. Of course, civilisation requires a modicum of material prosperity—

What civilization needs:

confidence in the society in which one lives, belief in its philosophy, belief in its laws, and confidence in one’s own mental powers. The way in which the stones of the Pont du Gard are laid is not only a triumph of technical skill, but shows a vigorous belief in law and discipline. Vigour, energy, vitality: all the civilisations—or civilising epochs—have had a weight of energy behind them. People sometimes think that civilisation consists in fine sensibilities and good conversations and all that. These can be among the agreeable results of civilisation, but they are not what make a civilisation, and a society can have these amenities and yet be dead and rigid.
Kenneth Clark (Civilisation)
...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)
On the day when you again allow abominable men to confiscate your freedom, your money, your lives, your private property, your manhood and your sacred honor, in the name of "security' or "national emergency' you will die, and never again shall you be free. If plotters again destroy your Republic, they will do it by your greedy and ignorant assent, by your disregard of your neighbors' rights, by your apathy and your stupidity. We were brought to the brink of universal death and darkness because we had become that most contemptible of people -- an angerless one. Keep alive and vivid all your righteous anger against traitors, against those who would abrogate your Constitution, against those who would lead you to wars with false slogans and cunning appeals to your patriotism.
Taylor Caldwell (The Devil's Advocate)
A stydy today of the products of the animated cartoon industry of the twenties, thirties and forties would yield the following theology: 1. People are animals. 2. The body is mortal and subject to incredible pain. 3. Life is antagonistic to the living. 4. The flesh can be sawed, crushed, frozen, stretched, burned, bombed, and plucked for music. 5. The dumb are abused by the smart and the smart are destroyed by their own cunning. 6. The small are tortured by the large and the large destroyed by their own momentum. 7. We are able to walk on air, but only as long as our illusion supports us.
E.L. Doctorow (The Book of Daniel)
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
All of the Indians must have tragic features: tragic noses, eyes, and arms. Their hands and fingers must be tragic when they reach for tragic food. The hero must be a half-breed, half white and half Indian, preferably from a horse culture. He should often weep alone. That is mandatory. If the hero is an Indian woman, she is beautiful. She must be slender and in love with a white man. But if she loves an Indian man then he must be a half-breed, preferably from a horse culture. If the Indian woman loves a white man, then he has to be so white that we can see the blue veins running through his skin like rivers. When the Indian woman steps out of her dress, the white man gasps at the endless beauty of her brown skin. She should be compared to nature: brown hills, mountains, fertile valleys, dewy grass, wind, and clear water. If she is compared to murky water, however, then she must have a secret. Indians always have secrets, which are carefully and slowly revealed. Yet Indian secrets can be disclosed suddenly, like a storm. Indian men, of course, are storms. The should destroy the lives of any white women who choose to love them. All white women love Indian men. That is always the case. White women feign disgust at the savage in blue jeans and T-shirt, but secretly lust after him. White women dream about half-breed Indian men from horse cultures. Indian men are horses, smelling wild and gamey. When the Indian man unbuttons his pants, the white woman should think of topsoil. There must be one murder, one suicide, one attempted rape. Alcohol should be consumed. Cars must be driven at high speeds. Indians must see visions. White people can have the same visions if they are in love with Indians. If a white person loves an Indian then the white person is Indian by proximity. White people must carry an Indian deep inside themselves. Those interior Indians are half-breed and obviously from horse cultures. If the interior Indian is male then he must be a warrior, especially if he is inside a white man. If the interior Indian is female, then she must be a healer, especially if she is inside a white woman. Sometimes there are complications. An Indian man can be hidden inside a white woman. An Indian woman can be hidden inside a white man. In these rare instances, everybody is a half-breed struggling to learn more about his or her horse culture. There must be redemption, of course, and sins must be forgiven. For this, we need children. A white child and an Indian child, gender not important, should express deep affection in a childlike way. In the Great American Indian novel, when it is finally written, all of the white people will be Indians and all of the Indians will be ghosts.
Sherman Alexie
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)
The trouble with mimetic fiction isn’t that you can tell what’s going to happen (I defy anyone to guess what’s going to happen in Middlemarch, even from halfway through) but that you can tell what’s not going to happen. There isn’t going to be an evil wizard. The world isn’t going to be destroyed in Cultural Fugue and leave the protagonist as the only survivor. There aren’t going to be any people who happen to have one mind shared between five bodies. There are unlikely to be shape-changers. In science fiction you can have any kind of story—a romance or a mystery or a reflection of human nature, or anything at all. But as well as that, you have infinite possibility. You can tell different stories about human nature when you can compare it to android nature, or alien nature. You can examine it in different ways when you can write about people living for two hundred years, or being relativistically separated, or under a curse. You have more colours for your palette, more lights to illuminate your scene.
Jo Walton (What Makes This Book So Great)
What do think about abortion?” “I could feel the tension growing in the plane. I dropped my head, acknowledging that we had very different value systems for our lives. Then I thought of a way to respond to his question. “You’re Jewish, right?” I asked. “Yes,” he said defensively. “I told you I was!” “Do you know how Hitler persuaded the German people to destroy more than six million of your Jewish ancestors?” The man looked at me expectantly, so I continued. ”He convinced them that Jews were not human and then exterminated your people like rats.” I could see that I had his attention, so I went on. “Do you understand how Americans enslaved, tortured, and killed millions of Africans? We dehumanized them so our constitution didn’t apply to them, and then we treated them worse than animals.” “How about the Native Americans?” I pressed. “Do you have any idea how we managed to hunt Indians like wild animals, drive them out of their own land, burn their villages, rape their women, and slaughter their children? Do you have any clue how everyday people turned into cruel murderers?” My Jewish friend was silent, and his eyes were filling with tears as I made my point. “We made people believe that the Native Americans were wild savages, not real human beings, and then we brutalized them without any conviction of wrongdoing! Now do you understand how we have persuaded mothers to kill their own babies? We took the word fetus, which is the Latin word for ‘offspring,’ and redefined it to dehumanize the unborn. We told mothers, ‘That is not really a baby you are carrying in your belly; it is a fetus, tissue that suddenly forms into a human being just seconds before it exits the womb.’ In doing so, we were able to assert that, in the issue of abortion, there is only one person’s human rights to consider, and then we convinced mothers that disposing of fetal tissue (terminating the life of their babies) was a woman’s right. Our constitution no longer protects the unborn because they are not real people. They are just lifeless blobs of tissue.” By now, tears were flowing down his cheeks. I looked right into his eyes and said, “Your people, the Native Americans, and the African Americans should be the greatest defenders of the unborn on the planet. After all, you know what it’s like for society to redefine you so that they can destroy your races. But ironically, your races have the highest abortion rates in this country! Somebody is still trying to exterminate your people, and you don’t even realize it. The names have changed, but the plot remains the same!” Finally he couldn’t handle it anymore. He blurted out, “I have never heard anything like this before. I am hanging out with the wrong people. I have been deceived!
Kris Vallotton
What do you see happening to the idea of dignity to human species if this population growth continues at its present rate? It's going to destroy it all. I use what I call my bathroom metaphor. If two people live in an apartment, and there are two bathrooms, then both have what I call freedom of the bathroom, go to the bathroom any time you want, and stay as long as you want to for whatever you need. And this to my way is ideal. And everyone believes in the freedom of the bathroom. It should be right there in the Constitution. But if you have 20 people in the apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much every person believes in freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up, you have to set up times for each person, you have to bang at the door, aren't you through yet, and so on. And in the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, but it disappears. It doesn't matter if someone dies.
Isaac Asimov
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)
He was no good for them, anyway; he was only an extravagant collection of problems, nothing more. Unless he stopped himself, he would consume them with his needs. He would take and take and take from them until he had chewed away their every bit of flesh; they could answer every difficulty he posed to them and he would still find new ways to destroy them. For a while, they would mourn him, because they were good people, the best, and he was sorry for that—but eventually they would see that their lives were better without him in it. They would see how much time he had stolen from them; they would understand what a thief he had been, how he had suckled away all their energy and attention, how he had exsanguinated them. He hoped they would forgive him; he hoped they would see that this was his apology to them. He was releasing them—he loved them most of all, and this was what you did for people you loved: you gave them their freedom.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Why will you take by force what you may have quietly by love? Why will you destroy us who supply you with food? What can you get by war? We can hide our provisions and run into the woods; then you will starve for wronging your friends. Why are you jealous of us? We are unarmed, and willing to give you what you ask, if you come in a friendly manner, and not so simple as not to know that it is much better to eat good meat, sleep comfortably, live quietly with my wives and children, laugh and be merry with the English, and trade for their copper and hatchets, than to run away from them, and to lie cold in the woods, feed on acorns, roots and such trash, and be so hunted that I can neither eat nor sleep. In these wars, my men must sit up watching, and if a twig break, they all cry out “Here comes Captain Smith!” So I must end my miserable life. Take away your guns and swords, the cause of all our jealousy, or you may all die in the same manner.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
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
Lee’s hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’—that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?” “Yes, I see. I do see. But you do not believe this is divine law. Why do you feel its importance?” “Ah!” said Lee. “I’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time. I even anticipated your questions and I am well prepared. Any writing which has influenced the thinking and the lives of innumerable people is important. Now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘Do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. And there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘Thou shalt.’ Nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. But “Thou mayest’! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.” Lee’s voice was a chant of triumph. Adam said, “Do you believe that, Lee?” “Yes, I do. Yes, I do. It is easy out of laziness, out of weakness, to throw oneself into the lap of deity, saying, ‘I couldn’t help it; the way was set.’ But think of the glory of the choice! That makes a man a man. A cat has no choice, a bee must make honey. There’s no godliness there. And do you know, those old gentlemen who were sliding gently down to death are too interested to die now?” Adam said, “Do you mean these Chinese men believe the Old Testament?” Lee said, “These old men believe a true story, and they know a true story when they hear it. They are critics of truth. They know that these sixteen verses are a history of humankind in any age or culture or race. They do not believe a man writes fifteen and three-quarter verses of truth and tells a lie with one verb. Confucius tells men how they should live to have good and successful lives. But this—this is a ladder to climb to the stars.” Lee’s eyes shone. “You can never lose that. It cuts the feet from under weakness and cowardliness and laziness.” Adam said, “I don’t see how you could cook and raise the boys and take care of me and still do all this.” “Neither do I,” said Lee. “But I take my two pipes in the afternoon, no more and no less, like the elders. And I feel that I am a man. And I feel that a man is a very important thing—maybe more important than a star. This is not theology. I have no bent toward gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed—because ‘Thou mayest.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
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))
-Prayer In My Life- Every person has his own ideas of the act of praying for God's guidance, tolerance and mercy to fulfill his duties and responsibilities. My own concept of prayer is not a plea for special favors, nor as a quick palliation for wrongs knowingly committed. A prayer, it seems to me, implies a promise as well as a request; at the highest level, prayer not only is supplication for strength and guidance, but also becomes an affirmation of life and thus a reverent praise of God. Deeds rather than words express my concept of the part religion should play in everyday life. I have watched constantly that in our movie work the highest moral and spiritual standards are upheld, whether it deals with fable or with stories of living action. This religious concern for the form and content of our films goes back 40 years to the rugged financial period in Kansas City when I was struggling to establish a film company and produce animated fairy tales. Thus, whatever success I have had in bringing clean, informative entertainment to people of all ages, I attribute in great part to my Congregational upbringing and lifelong habit of prayer. To me, today at age 61, all prayer by the humble or highly placed has one thing in common: supplication for strength and inspiration to carry on the best impulses which should bind us together for a better world. Without such inspiration we would rapidly deteriorate and finally perish. But in our troubled times, the right of men to think and worship as their conscience dictates is being sorely pressed. We can retain these privileges only by being constantly on guard in fighting off any encroachment on these precepts. To retreat from any of the principles handed down by our forefathers, who shed their blood for the ideals we all embrace, would be a complete victory for those who would destroy liberty and justice for the individual.
Walt Disney Company
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)
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 deindividualized. 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.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
Below the surface, the force driving noir stories is the urge to escape: from the past, from the law, from the ordinary, from poverty, from constricting relationships, from the limitations of the self. Noir found its fullest expression in America because the American psyche harbors a passion for independence . . . With this desire for autonomy comes a corresponding fear of loneliness and exile. The more we crave success, the more we dread failure; the more we crave freedom, the more we dread confinement. This is the shadow that spawns all of noir’s shadows: the anxiety imposed by living in a country that elevates opportunity above security; one that instills the compulsion to “make it big," but offers little sympathy to those who fall short. Film noir is about people who break the rules, pursuing their own interests outside the boundaries of decent society, and about how they are destroyed by society - or by themselves. Noir springs from a fundamental conflict between the values of individual freedom and communal safety: a fundamental doubt that the two can coexist. . . . Noir stories are powered by the need to escape, but they are structured around the impossibility of escape: their fierce, thwarted energy turns inward. The ultimate noir landscape, immeasurable as the ocean and confining as a jail cell, is the mind - the darkest city of all.
Imogen Sara Smith (In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City)
My Venus is damaged, or in exile, that’s what you say of a Planet that can’t be found in the sign where it should be. What’s more, Pluto is in a negative aspect to Venus, and in my case Pluto rules the Ascendant. The result of this situation is that I have, as I see it, Lazy Venus syndrome. That’s what I call this Conformity. In this case we’re dealing with a Person whom fortune has gifted generously, but who has entirely failed to use their potential. Such People are bright and intelligent, but don’t apply themselves to their studies, and use their intelligence to play card games or patience instead. They have beautiful bodies, but they destroy them through neglect, poison themselves with harmful substances, and ignore doctors and dentists. This Venus induces a strange kind of laziness—lifetime opportunities are missed, because you overslept, because you didn’t feel like going, because you were late, because you were neglectful. It’s a tendency to be sybaritic, to live in a state of mild semiconsciousness, to fritter your life away on petty pleasures, to dislike effort and be devoid of any penchant for competition. Long mornings, unopened letters, things put off for later, abandoned projects. A dislike of any authority and a refusal to submit to it, going your own way in a taciturn, idle manner. You could say such people are of no use at all.
Olga Tokarczuk (Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead)
[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)
Tomorrow will be like today, and the day after tomorrow will be like day before yesterday," said Apollonius. "I see your remaining days each as quiet, tedious collections of hours. You will not travel anywhere. You will think no new thoughts. You will experience no new passions. Older you will become but not wiser. Stiffer but not more dignified. Childless you are, and childless you shall remain. Of that suppleness you once commanded in your youth, of that strange simplicity which once attracted a few men to you, neither endures, nor shall you recapture any of them anymore. People will talk to you and visit with you out of sentiment or pity, not because you have anything to offer them. Have you ever seen an old cornstalk turning brown, dying, but refusing to fall over, upon which stray birds alight now and then, hardly remarking what it is they perch on? That is you. I cannot fathom your place in life's economy. A living thing should either create or destroy according to its capacity and caprice, but you, you do neither. You only live on dreaming of the nice things you would like to have happen to you but which never happen; and you wonder vaguely why the young lives about you which you occasionally chide for a fancied impropriety never listen to you and seem to flee at your approach. When you die you will be buried and forgotten and that is all. The morticians will enclose you in a worm-proof casket, thus sealing even unto eternity the clay of your uselessness. And for all the good or evil, creation or destruction, that your living might have accomplished, you might just as well has never lived at all. I cannot see the purpose in such a life. I can see in it only vulgar, shocking waste.
Charles G. Finney (The Circus of Dr. Lao)
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))
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)
An Ojibwa tradition seems relevant. It speaks of a comet that 'burned up the earth' in the remote past and that is destined to return: 'The star with the long, wide tail is going to destroy the world some day when it comes low again. That's the comet called Long-Tailed Heavenly Climbing Star. It came down here once, thousands of years ago. Just like the sun. It had radiation and burning heat in its tail ... Indian people were here before that happened, living on the earth. But things were wrong with nature on the earth, and a lot of people had abandoned the spiritual path. The Holy Spirit warned them a long time before the comet came. Medicine men told everyone to prepare. ... The comet burnt everything to the ground. There wasn't a thing left ... There is a prophecy that the comet will destroy the earth again. But it's a restoration. The greatest blessing this island [Turtle Island/America] will ever have. People don't listen to their spiritual guidance today. There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars when the comet comes down again.
Graham Hancock (America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization)
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)
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))
Own nothing! Possess nothing! Buddha and Christ taught us this, and the Stoics and the Cynics. Greedy though we are, why can't we seem to grasp that simple teaching? Can't we understand that with property we destroy our soul? So let the herring keep warm in your pocket until you get to the transit prison rather than beg for something to drink here. And did they give us a two-day supply of bread and sugar? In that case, eat it in one sitting. Then no one will steal it from you, and you won't have to worry about it. And you'll be free as a bird in heaven! Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. Use your memory! Use your memory! It is those bitter seeds alone which might sprout and grow someday. Look around you-there are people around you. Maybe you will remember one of them all your life and later eat your heartout because you didn't make use of the opportunity to ask him questions. And the less you talk, the more you'll hear. Thin strands of human lives stretch from island to island of the Archipelago. They intertwine, touch one another for one night only in just such a clickety-clacking half-dark car as this and then separate once and for all. Put your ear to their quiet humming and the steady clickety-clack beneath the car. After all, it is the spinning wheel of life that is clicking and clacking away there. What strange stories you can hear! What things you will laugh at!
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
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)
My position was terrible. I knew that I could find nothing in the way of rational knowledge except a denial of life; and in faith I could find nothing except a denial of reason, and this was even more impossible than a denial of life. According to rational knowledge, it followed that life is evil, and people know it. They do not have to live, yet they have lived and they do live, just as I myself had lived, even though I had known for a long time that life is meaningless and evil. Try as he might, Tolstoy could identify only four means of escaping from such thoughts. One was retreating into childlike ignorance of the problem. Another was pursuing mindless pleasure. The third was “continuing to drag out a life that is evil and meaningless, knowing beforehand that nothing can come of it.” He identified that particular form of escape with weakness: “The people in this category know that death is better than life, but they do not have the strength to act rationally and quickly put an end to the delusion by killing themselves….” Only the fourth and final mode of escape involved “strength and energy. It consists of destroying life, once one has realized that life is evil and meaningless.” Tolstoy relentlessly followed his thoughts: Only unusually strong and logically consistent people act in this manner. Having realized all the stupidity of the joke that is being played on us and seeing that the blessings of the dead are greater than those of the living and that it is better not to exist, they act and put an end to this stupid joke; and they use any means of doing it: a rope around the neck, water, a knife in the heart, a train.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
I 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))
Islam influences every aspect of believers’ lives. Women are denied their social and economic rights in the name of Islam, and ignorant women bring up ignorant children. Sons brought up watching their mother being beaten will use violence. Why was it racist to ask this question? Why was it antiracist to indulge people’s attachment to their old ideas and perpetuate this misery? I read the works of the great thinkers of the Enlightenment—Spinoza, Locke, Kant, Mill, Voltaire—and the modern ones, Russell and Popper, with my full attention, not just as a class assignment. All life is problem solving, Popper says. There are no absolutes; progress comes through critical thought. Popper admired Kant and Spinoza but criticized them when he felt their arguments were weak. I wanted to be like Popper: free of constraint, recognizing greatness but unafraid to detect its flaws. Spinoza was clear-minded and fearless. He was the first modern European to state clearly that the world is not ordained by a separate God. Nature created itself, Spinoza said. Reason, not obedience, should guide our lives. Though it took centuries to crumble, the entire ossified cage of European social hierarchy—from kings to serfs, and between men and women, all of it shored up by the Catholic Church—was destroyed by this thought. Now, surely, it was Islam’s turn to be tested.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel)
You see the impact of humans on Earth’s environment every day. We are trashing the place: There is plastic along our highways, the smell of a landfill, the carbonic acid (formed when carbon dioxide is dissolved in water) bleaching of coral reefs, the desertification of enormous areas of China and Africa (readily seen in satellite images), and a huge patch of plastic garbage in the Pacific Ocean. All of these are direct evidence of our effect on our world. We are killing off species at the rate of about one per day. It is estimated that humans are driving species to extinction at least a thousand times faster than the otherwise natural rate. Many people naïvely (and some, perhaps, deceptively) argue that loss of species is not that important. After all, we can see in the fossil record that about 99 percent of all the different kinds of living things that have ever lived here are gone forever, and we’re doing just fine today. What’s the big deal if we, as part of the ecosystem, kill off a great many more species of living things? We’ll just kill what we don’t need or notice. The problem with that idea is that although we can, in a sense, know what will become or what became of an individual species, we cannot be sure of what will happen to that species’ native ecosystem. We cannot predict the behavior of the whole, complex, connected system. We cannot know what will go wrong or right. However, we can be absolutely certain that by reducing or destroying biodiversity, our world will be less able to adapt. Our farms will be less productive, our water less clean, and our landscape more barren. We will have fewer genetic resources to draw on for medicines, for industrial processes, for future crops. Biodiversity is a result of the process of evolution, and it is also a safety net that helps keep that process going. In order to pass our own genes into the future and enable our offspring to live long and prosper, we must reverse the current trend and preserve as much biodiversity as possible. If we don’t, we will sooner or later join the fossil record of extinction.
Bill Nye (Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation (Kindle Edition))
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
Things I've Learned in 18 Years of Life   1) True love is not something found, rather [sic] something encountered. You can’t go out and look for it. The person you marry and the person you love could easily be two different people. So have a beautiful life while waiting for God to bring along your once-in-a-lifetime love. Don't allow yourself to settle for anything less than them. Stop worrying about who you're going to marry because God's already on the front porch watching your grandchildren play.   2) God WILL give you more than you can handle, so you can learn to lean on him in times of need. He won't tempt you more than you can handle, though. So don't lose hope. Hope anchors the soul.   3) Remember who you are and where you came from. Remember that you are not from this earth. You are a child of heaven, you're invaluable, you are beautiful. Carry yourself that way.   4) Don't put your faith in humanity, humanity is inherently flawed. We are all imperfect people created and loved by a perfect God. Perfect. So put your faith in Him.   5) I fail daily, and that is why I succeed.   6) Time passes, and nothing and everything changes. Don't live life half asleep. Don't drag your soul through the days. Feel everything you do. Be there physically and mentally. Do things that make you feel this way as well.   7) Live for beauty. We all need beauty, get it where you can find it. Clothing, paintings, sculptures, music, tattoos, nature, literature, makeup. It's all art and it's what makes us human. Same as feeling the things we do. Stay human.   8) If someone makes you think, keep them. If someone makes you feel, keep them.   9) There is nothing the human brain cannot do. You can change anything about yourself that you want to. Fight for it. It's all a mental game.   10) God didn’t break our chains for us to be bound again. Alcohol, drugs, depression, addiction, toxic relationships, monotony and repetition, they bind us. Break those chains. Destroy your past and give yourself new life like God has given you.   11) This is your life. Your struggle, your happiness, your sorrow, and your success. You do not need to justify yourself to anyone. You owe no one an explanation for the choices that you make and the position you are in. In the same vein, respect yourself by not comparing your journey to anyone else's.   12) There is no wrong way to feel.   13) Knowledge is everywhere, keep your eyes open. Look at how diverse and wonderful this world is. Are you going to miss out on beautiful people, places, experiences, and ideas because you are close-minded? I sure hope not.   14) Selfless actions always benefit you more than the recipient.   15) There is really no room for regret in this life. Everything happens for a reason. If you can't find that reason, accept there is one and move on.   16) There is room, however, for guilt. Resolve everything when it first comes up. That's not only having integrity, but also taking care of your emotional well-being.   17) If the question is ‘Am I strong enough for this?’ The answer is always, ‘Yes, but not on your own.’   18) Mental health and sanity above all.   19) We love because He first loved us. The capacity to love is the ultimate gift, the ultimate passion, euphoria, and satisfaction. We have all of that because He first loved us. If you think about it in those terms, it is easy to love Him. Just by thinking of how much He loves us.   20) From destruction comes creation. Beauty will rise from the ashes.   21) Many things can cause depression. Such as knowing you aren't becoming the person you have the potential to become. Choose happiness and change. The sooner the better, and the easier.   22) Half of happiness is as simple as eating right and exercising. You are one big chemical reaction. So are your emotions. Give your body the right reactants to work with and you'll be satisfied with the products.
Scott Hildreth (Broken People)
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)
A week ago," Ishmael said, "when we were talking about laws, you said that there's only one kind of law about how people should live--the kind that can be changed by a vote. What do you think now? Can the laws that govern competition in the community be changed by a vote?" "No. But they're not absolutes, like the laws of aerodynamics. They can be broken." "Can't the laws of aerodynamics be broken?" "No. If your plane isn't built according to the law, it doesn't fly." "But if you push it off a cliff, it stays in the air, doesn't it?" "For a while." "The same is true of a civilization that isn't built in accordance with the law of limited competition... Any species that, as a matter of policy, exempts itself from the law of limited competition will end by destroying the community..." "Yes." "Then what have we discovered here?" "We've discovered a piece of certain knowledge about how people ought to live. Must live in fact." "The law we've outlined here enables species to live--enables species to survive, including the human. It won't tell you whether mood-altering drugs should be legalized or not. It won't tell you whether premarital sex is good or bad. It won't tell you if capital punishment is right or wrong. It *will* tell you how you have to live if you want to avoid extinction, and that's the first and most fundamental knowledge anyone needs... You might say that this is one of the law's basic operations: Those who threaten the stability of the community by defying the law automatically eliminate themselves.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
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)
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)
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)
Darkness seems to have prevailed and has taken the forefront. This country as in the 'cooperation' of The United States of America has never been about the true higher-good of the people. Know and remember this. Cling to your faith. Roll your spiritual sleeves up and get to work. Use your energy wisely. Transmute all anger, panic and fear into light and empowerment. Don't use what fuels them; all lower-energy. Mourn as you need to. Console who you need to—and then go get into the spiritual and energetic arena. There's plenty work for us to do; within and without. Let's each focus on becoming 'The President of Our Own Life. Cultivate your mind. Pursue your purpose. Shine your light. Elevate past—and reject—any culture of low vibrational energy and ratchetness. Don't take fear, defeat or anger—on or in. The system is doing what they've been created to do. Are you? Am I? Are we—collectively? Let's get to work. No more drifting through life without your higher-self in complete control of your mind. Awaken—fully. Activate—now. Put your frustrations or concerns into your work. Don't lose sight. There is still—a higher plan. Let's ride this 4 year energetic-wave like the spiritual gangsters that we are. This will all be the past soon. Let's get to work and stay dedicated, consistent and diligent. Again, this will all be the past soon. We have preparing and work to do. Toxic energy is so not a game. Toxic energy and low vibrations are being collectively acted out on the world stage. Covertly operating through the unconscious weak spots and blind spots in the human psyche; making people oblivious to their own madness, causing and influencing them to act against–their–own–best–interests and higher-good, as if under a spell and unconsciously possessed. This means that they are actually nourishing the lower vibrational energy with their lifestyle, choices, energy and habits, which is unconsciously giving the lower-energy the very power and fuel it needs—for repeating and recreating endless drama, suffering and destruction, in more and more amplified forms on a national and world stage. So what do we do? We take away its autonomy and power over us while at the same time empowering ourselves. By recognizing how this energetic/spiritual virus or parasite of the mind—operates through our unawareness is the beginning of the cure. Knowledge is power. Applied knowledge is—freedom. Our shared future will be decided primarily by the changes that take place in the psyche of humanity, starting with each of us— vibrationally. In closing and most importantly, the greatest protection against becoming affected or possessed by this lower-energy is to be in touch with our higher vibrational-self. We have to call our energy and power back. Being in touch with our higher-self and true nature acts as a sacred amulet, shielding and protecting us from the attempted effects. We defeat evil not by fighting against it (in which case, by playing its game, we’ve already lost) but by getting in touch with the part of us that is invulnerable to its effects— our higher vibrational-self. Will this defeat and destroy us? Or will it awaken us more and more? Everything depends upon our recognizing what is being revealed to us and our stepping out of the unconscious influence of low vibrational/negative/toxic/evil/distraction energy (or whatever name you relate to it as) that is and has been seeking power over each of our lives energetically and/or spiritually, and step into our wholeness, our personal power, our higher self and vibrate higher and higher daily. Stay woke my friends—let's get to work.
Lalah Delia
The term ‘political correctness’ has evolved out of the Marxist and Freudian philosophies of the 1930s to become a tool for multicultural-ism, multisexualism, multitheism, and multi-anythingism. It was created to discourage bias and prejudiced thinking that discriminates against an individual or group. It has become society’s way of not offending anyone, whether it is an individual, a group, or a nation. In many instances, however, it is a simple, disarming way of ignoring or deflecting the truth about a situation. Today, the use of political correctness has become so abused that anyone who voices his or her opinion contrary to ‘politically correct think’ is immediately tagged with some form of disparaging label, such as racist and bigot. This exploitation has gotten so out of control that this name-calling accusation is used as a simple and mindless means to manipulate academic, social, or political discussion. The result is a social paranoia which discourages free thought and expression. It’s like living in a totalitarian state in which you are afraid to say what you think. Now who wants to suffer that? So people keep quiet. Their opinions are held captive to fear. How handy for the Islamo-fascists, the American-hating, Jew-killing, Israel-destroying, women-abusing, multireligious-intolerant Muslims. Oh! Excuse me. Did I say something not quite PC? This social paranoia is similar to the attitude that developed in the late 1980s and 1990s, when people became so concerned about children’s self-esteem that failure could not be acknowledged or misbehavior corrected. ‘Now, let’s not hurt their feelings’ was the standard approach. This degree of concern led to teachers giving passing grades for poor performance and youth sport activities where no one kept score. And what has been the fallout of all that psychobabble? High school kids who can’t read their diploma or make change for a dollar, internationally embarrassing scholastic performance scores, and young adults ill equipped to face the competitive lifestyle the world has to offer. They are left watching the television show The Apprentice, not competing to be an apprentice. America got itself into a mess by not upholding the high standards and expectations it once had, instead giving in to mediocrity; and we’re getting into a mess now with political correctness.
Brigitte Gabriel (Because They Hate)
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
(...) 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))
Tell me this- if you could have a guarantee that your child would be a National Merit Scholar and get into a prestigious college, have good work habits and a successful career, but that your relationship with him would be destroyed in the process, would you do it? Why not? Because you are made to love, that's why. We care about our relationships more than about our accomplishments. That's the way God made us. Then why don't we live that way? Why, come a damp and gloomy day in March, do we yell over a  math lesson or lose our temper over a writing assignment? Why do we see the lessons left to finish and get lost in an anxiety-ridden haze? We forget that we are dealing with a soul, a precious child bearing the Image of God, and all we can see is that there are only a few months left to the school year and we are still only halfway through the math book. When you are performing mommy triage- that is, when you have a crisis moment and have to figure out which fire to put out first- always choose your child. It's just a math lesson. It's only a writing assignment. It's a Latin declension. Nothing more. But your child? He is God's. And the Almighty put him in your charge for relationship. Don't damage that relationship over something so trivial as an algebra problem. And when you do (because you will, and so will I), repent. We like to feed our egos. When our children perform well, we can puff up with satisfaction and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. But as important as it is to give our children a solid education (and it is important, don't misunderstand me), it is far more important that we love them well.  Our children need to know that the most important thing about them is not whether they finished their science curriculum or score well on the SAT. Their worth is not bound up in a booklist or a test score. Take a moment. Take ten. Look deep into your child's eyes. Listen, even when you're bored. Break out a board game or an old picture book you haven't read in ages. Resting in Him means relaxing into the knowledge that He has put these children in our care to nurture. And nurturing looks different than charging through the checklist all angst-like. Your children are not ordinary kids or ordinary people, because there are no ordinary kids or ordinary people. They are little reflections of the
Sarah Mackenzie (Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace)
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)
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 can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen—I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theatres from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, life is a cruel joke and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods)
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))