Destructive Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Destructive. Here they are! All 100 of them:

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What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.
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Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
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Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.
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Robert Frost
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In a time of destruction, create something.
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Maxine Hong Kingston
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The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.
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Rachel Carson
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My words are unerring tools of destruction, and I’ve come unequipped with the ability to disarm them.
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Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
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What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?
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Mahatma Gandhi
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Just because something isn't a lie does not mean that it isn't deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.
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Criss Jami
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Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction.
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Bob Marley
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It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Together, they would watch everything that was so carefully planned collapse, and they would smile at the beauty of destruction.
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Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
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Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.
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Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
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But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.
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Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
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Nothing is more dangerous than a dogmatic worldview - nothing more constraining, more blinding to innovation, more destructive of openness to novelty.
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Stephen Jay Gould
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I'm about to make a wild, extreme and severe relationship rule: the word busy is a load of crap and is most often used by assholes. The word "busy" is the relationship Weapon of Mass Destruction. It seems like a good excuse, but in fact in every silo you uncover, all you're going to find is a man who didn't care enough to call. Remember men are never to busy to get what they want.
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Greg Behrendt
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Be the flame, not the moth.
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Giacomo Casanova
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I guess humans like to watch a little destruction. Sand castles, houses of cards, that's where they begin. Their great skills is their capacity to escalate.
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Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
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Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.
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Jim Butcher (Vignette (The Dresden Files, #5.5))
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Maybe self-improvement isn't the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
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That what I need to survive is not Gale's fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.
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Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
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People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked…The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.
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Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
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Nothing is more creative... nor destructive... than a brilliant mind with a purpose.
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Dan Brown (Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4))
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When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways--either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.
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Dalai Lama XIV
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Right or wrong, it's very pleasant to break something from time to time.
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Fyodor Dostoevsky
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You see, freedom has a way of destroying things.
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Scott Westerfeld (Extras (Uglies, #4))
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I was more addicted to self destruction then to the drugs themselves ... something very romantic about it
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Gerard Way
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Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
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Martin Luther King Jr.
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You don't have to test everything to destruction just to see if you made it right.
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Neil Gaiman (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
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Passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace. A lot of people are frightened because, when it appears, it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path. No one wants their life thrown into chaos. That is why a lot of people keep that threat under control, and are somehow capable of sustaining a house or a structure that is already rotten. They are the engineers of the superseded. Other people think exactly the opposite: they surrender themselves without a second thought, hoping to find in passion the solutions to all their problems. They make the other person responsible for their happiness and blame them for their possible unhappiness. They are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything. Keeping passion at bay or surrendering blindly to it - which of these two attitudes is the least destructive? I don't know.
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Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
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to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
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The world says: "You have needs -- satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don't hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more." This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.
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Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
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By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.
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Thich Nhat Hanh (The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology)
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In order to understand, I destroyed myself.
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Fernando Pessoa
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What other people think and say about you is none of your business. The most destructive thing you would ever do is to believe someone else's opinion of you. You have to stop letting other people's opinions control you.
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Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
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Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
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James Bovard (Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty)
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The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.
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Mikhail Bakunin
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Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.
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Salvador DalΓ­
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I think computer viruses should count as life ... I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
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Stephen Hawking
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I wonder why progress looks so much like destruction.
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John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
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Sometimes we want what we want even if we know it’s going to kill us.
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Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
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Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.
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John Gardner
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Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.
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BrenΓ© Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
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We have to heal our wounded world. The chaos, despair, and senseless destruction we see today are a result of the alienation that people feel from each other and their environment.
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Michael Jackson
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She will be your destruction. She's not healthy." "Then let her destroy me.
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Tarryn Fisher (Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3))
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We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self destruction.
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Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
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Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another--physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion.
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Toni Morrison
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Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants. When we think that we are automatically entitled to something, that is when we start walking all over others to get it.
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Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
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It's a very Greek idea, and a very profound one. Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it. And what could be more terrifying and beautiful, to souls like the Greeks or our own, than to lose control completely? To throw off the chains of being for an instant, to shatter the accident of our mortal selves? Euripides speaks of the Maenads: head thrown I back, throat to the stars, "more like deer than human being." To be absolutely free! One is quite capable, of course, of working out these destructive passions in more vulgar and less efficient ways. But how glorious to release them in a single burst! To sing, to scream, to dance barefoot in the woods in the dead of night, with no more awareness of mortality than an animal! These are powerful mysteries. The bellowing of bulls. Springs of honey bubbling from the ground. If we are strong enough in our souls we can rip away the veil and look that naked, terrible beauty right in the face; let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones. Then spit us out reborn.
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Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
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I’m about to make a wild, extreme, and severe relationship rule: THE WORD "BUSY" IS A LOAD OF CRAP AND IS MOST OFTEN USED BY ASSHOLES. The word β€œbusy” is the relationship Weapon of Mass Destruction. Remember: Men are never too busy to get what they want.
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Greg Behrendt (He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys)
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There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as 'moral indignation,' which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue.
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Erich Fromm (Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics)
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Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, "Love your enemies." It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies. (from "Loving Your Enemies")
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Martin Luther King Jr. (A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.)
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I will no longer mutilate and destroy myself in order to find a secret behind the ruins.
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Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
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Sometimes to self-discover you must self-destruct.
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Robert M. Drake
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For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.
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Cynthia Occelli
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Save your skin from the corrosive acids from the mouths of toxic people. Someone who just helped you to speak evil about another person can later help another person to speak evil about you.
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Israelmore Ayivor
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To hell, to hell with balance! I break glasses; I want to burn, even if I break myself. I want to live only for ecstasy. I’m neurotic, perverted, destructive, fiery, dangerous - lava, inflammable, unrestrained.
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AnaΓ―s Nin
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Hold these wires and make sure they don't touch." "What happens if they touch?" "The ship will probably self-destruct.
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Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
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Having a low opinion of yourself is not 'modesty.' It's self-destruction. Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not 'egotism.' It's a necessary precondition to happiness and success.
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Bobbe Sommer
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Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Hocus Pocus)
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Love has no middle term; either it destroys, or it saves. All human destiny is this dilemma. This dilemma, destruction or salvation, no fate proposes more inexorably than love. Love is life, if it is not death. Cradle; coffin, too. The same sentiment says yes and no in the human heart. Of all the things God has made, the human heart is the one that sheds most light, and alas! most night.
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Victor Hugo (Les Miserables)
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No, my dear, I'm not in love with you, no more than you are with me, and if I were, you would be the last person I'd ever tell. God help the man who ever really loves you. You'd break his heart, my darling, cruel, destructive little cat who is so careless and confident she doesn't even trouble to sheathe her claws.
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Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
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Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection for changelessness.
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Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
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People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state on innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.
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James Baldwin
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Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid ... Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
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Bertrand Russell (Why Men Fight)
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Now we're in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated. But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.
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Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
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He looks immaculate. Flawless, especially as he stands here among the dirt and destruction, surrounded by the bleakest colors this landscape has to offer. He's a vision of emerald and onyx, silhouetted in the sunlight in the most deceiving way. He could be glowing. That could be a halo around his head. This could be the world's way of making an example out of irony. Because Warner is beautiful in ways even Adam isn't.
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Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
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You are the most dangerous kind of female the world can ever know. You carry the seeds for your own destruction and the destruction of everyone who loves you. And a great many will love you for your beautiful face for your seductive body; but you will fail them all because you will believe they all fail you first. You are an idealist of the worst kind - the romantic idealist. Born to destroy and self destruct.
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V.C. Andrews (Fallen Hearts (Casteel, #3))
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If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth.
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Carl Sagan
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Just how destructive does a culinary preference have to be before we decide to eat something else? If contributing to the suffering of billions of animals that live miserable lives and (quite often) die in horrific ways isn't motivating, what would be? If being the number one contributor to the most serious threat facing the planet (global warming) isn't enough, what is? And if you are tempted to put off these questions of conscience, to say not now, then when?
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Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
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Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
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J. Robert Oppenheimer
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I hate solitude, but I'm afraid of intimacy. The substance of my life is a private conversation with myself which to turn into a dialogue would be equivalent to self-destruction. The company which I need is the company which a pub or a cafe will provide. I have never wanted a communion of souls. It's already hard enough to tell the truth to oneself.
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Iris Murdoch (Under the Net)
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Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.
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Ray Bradbury (Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You)
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But his arms are there to comfort me, and eventually his lips. On the night I feel that thing again, the hunger that overtook me on the beach, I know this would have happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale's fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that. So after, when he whispers, "You love me. Real or not real?" I tell him "Real.
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Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
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The paradox of volcanoes was that they were symbols of destruction but also life. Once the lava slows and cools, it solidifies and then breaks down over time to become soil - rich, fertile soil. She wasn't a black hole, she decided. She was a volcano. And like a volcano she couldn't run away from herself. She'd have to stay there and tend to that wasteland. She could plant a forest inside herself.
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Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
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America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, 'It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.' It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: 'if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?' There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register. Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
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In that one slight motion, I see the end of hope, beginning of destruction of everything I hold dear in the world. I can't guess what form my punishment will take, how wide the net will be cast, but when it is finished there most likely be nothing left. So you would think that at this moment, I would be in utter despair.
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Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
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We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. It's easy. The first girl I ever loved was someone I knew in sixth grade. Her name was Missy; we talked about horses. The last girl I love will be someone I haven't even met yet, probably. They all count. But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you’ll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. But there’s still one more tier to all this; there is always one person you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it happens eventually. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people, even if some of these loveable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable. The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else, and they’re often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really, want to love someone. But that person still wins. They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else.
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Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story)
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the way to create art is to burn and destroy ordinary concepts and to substitute them with new truths that run down from the top of the head and out of the heart
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Charles Bukowski
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Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.
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Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
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Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?
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Margaret Rogerson (An Enchantment of Ravens)
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His lips are on mine, hard and warm and pressing. The touch is electrifying, but not like I'm used to. This isn't a spark of destruction, but a spark of life. As much as I want to pull away, I just can't do it. Cal is a cliff and I throw myself over the edge, not bothering to think of what it could do to us both. One day he'll realize I'm his enemy, and all this will be a far-gone memory. But not yet.
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Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
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Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame. Pain is an inextricable thread in the fabric of life, and to tear it out is not only impossible, but destructive: attempting to tear it out unravels everything else with it. To try to avoid pain is to give too many fucks about pain. In contrast, if you’re able to not give a fuck about the pain, you become unstoppable." ~~~~ Mark Manson
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Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
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I often see how you sob over what you destroy, how you want to stop and just worship; and you do stop, and then a moment later you are at it again with a knife, like a surgeon.
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AnaΓ―s Nin
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Protect your good image from the eyes of negative viewers, who may look at your good appearance with an ugly fiendish eye, and ruin your positive qualities with their chemical infested tongues.
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Michael Bassey Johnson
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I think I’ll dismember the world and then I’ll dance in the wreckage.
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Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes)
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So we gave up. I'd finally had enough of chasing after a ghost who did not want to be discovered. We'd failed, maybe, but some mysteries aren't meant to be solved. I still did not know her as I wanted to, but I never could. She made it impossible for me. And the accident, the suicide, would never be anything else, and I was left to ask, Did I help you to a fate you didn't want, Alaska, or did I jsut assist in your willful self-destruction? Because they are different crimes, and I didn't know wheter to feel angry at myself for letting go. But we knew what could be found out, and in finding out, she had made us closer- the Colonel adn Takumi and me, anyway. And that was it. She didn't leave me enough to discover her, but she left me enough to rediscover the Great Perhaps.
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John Green (Looking for Alaska)
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From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia...could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.
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Abraham Lincoln
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Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the rΓ©sumΓ© of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you'd expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would've been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say "this guy", because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man. No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he's at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn't give a shit. Doesn't give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results.
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George Carlin
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What makes you think human beings are sentient and aware? There's no evidence for it. Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told-and become upset if they are exposed to any different view. The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their 'beliefs.' The reason is that beliefs guide behavior which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is just a self-congratulatory delusion. Next question.
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Michael Crichton (The Lost World (Jurassic Park, #2))
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The most spiritual men, as the strongest, find their happiness where others would find their destruction: in the labyrinth, in hardness against themselves and others, in experiments. Their joy is self-conquest: asceticism becomes in them nature, need, and instinct. Difficult tasks are a privilege to them; to play with burdens that crush others, a recreation. Knowledge–a form of asceticism. They are the most venerable kind of man: that does not preclude their being the most cheerful and the kindliest.
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Friedrich Nietzsche (The Anti-Christ)
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Man, do not pride yourself on your superiority to the animals, for they are without sin, while you, with all your greatness, you defile the earth wherever you appear and leave an ignoble trail behind you -- and that is true, alas, for almost every one of us!
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Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
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That was when it was all made painfully clear to me. When you are a child, there is joy. There is laughter. And most of all, there is trust. Trust in your fellows. When you are an adult...then comes suspicion, hatred, and fear. If children ran the world, it would be a place of eternal bliss and cheer. Adults run the world; and there is war, and enmity, and destruction unending. Adults who take charge of things muck them up, and then produce a new generation of children and say, "The children are the hope of the future." And they are right. Children are the hope of the future. But adults are the damnation of the present, and children become adults as surely as adults become worm food. Adults are the death of hope.
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Peter David (Tigerheart)
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Certainly the most destructive vice if you like, that a person can have. More than pride, which is supposedly the number one of the cardinal sins - is self pity. Self pity is the worst possible emotion anyone can have. And the most destructive. It is, to slightly paraphrase what Wilde said about hatred, and I think actually hatred's a subset of self pity and not the other way around - ' It destroys everything around it, except itself '. Self pity will destroy relationships, it'll destroy anything that's good, it will fulfill all the prophecies it makes and leave only itself. And it's so simple to imagine that one is hard done by, and that things are unfair, and that one is underappreciated, and that if only one had had a chance at this, only one had had a chance at that, things would have gone better, you would be happier if only this, that one is unlucky. All those things. And some of them may well even be true. But, to pity oneself as a result of them is to do oneself an enormous disservice. I think it's one of things we find unattractive about the american culture, a culture which I find mostly, extremely attractive, and I like americans and I love being in america. But, just occasionally there will be some example of the absolutely ravening self pity that they are capable of, and you see it in their talk shows. It's an appalling spectacle, and it's so self destructive. I almost once wanted to publish a self help book saying 'How To Be Happy by Stephen Fry : Guaranteed success'. And people buy this huge book and it's all blank pages, and the first page would just say - ' Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself - And you will be happy '. Use the rest of the book to write down your interesting thoughts and drawings, and that's what the book would be, and it would be true. And it sounds like 'Oh that's so simple', because it's not simple to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it's bloody hard. Because we do feel sorry for ourselves, it's what Genesis is all about.
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Stephen Fry
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So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over--a weary, battered old brontosaurus--and became extinct.
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Malcolm Muggeridge (Vintage Muggeridge: Religion and Society)
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I understand addiction now. I never did before, you know. How could a man (or a woman) do something so self-destructive, knowing that they’re hurting not only themselves, but the people they love? It seemed that it would be so incredibly easy for them to just not take that next drink. Just stop. It’s so simple, really. But as so often happens with me, my arrogance kept me from seeing the truth of the matter. I see it now though. Every day, I tell myself it will be the last. Every night, as I’m falling asleep in his bed, I tell myself that tomorrow I’ll book a flight to Paris, or Hawaii, or maybe New York. It doesn’t matter where I go, as long as it’s not here. I need to get away from Phoenixβ€”away from himβ€”before this goes even one step further. And then he touches me again, and my convictions disappear like smoke in the wind. This cannot end well. That’s the crux of the matter, Sweets. I’ve been down this road beforeβ€”you know I haveβ€”and there’s only heartache at the end. There’s no happy ending waiting for me like there was for you and Matt. If I stay here with him, I will become restless and angry. It’s happening already, and I cannot stop it. I’m becoming bitter and terribly resentful. Before long, I will be intolerable, and eventually, he’ll leave me. But if I do what I have to do, what my very nature compels me to do, and move on, the end is no better. One way or another, he’ll be gone. Is it not wiser to end it now, Sweets, before it gets to that point? Is it not better to accept that this happiness I have is destined to self-destruct? Tomorrow I will leave. Tomorrow I will stop delaying the inevitable. Tomorrow I will quit lying to myself, and to him. Tomorrow. What about today, you ask? Today it’s already too late. He’ll be home soon, and I have dinner on the stove, and wine chilling in the fridge. And he will smile at me when he comes through the door, and I will pretend like this fragile, dangerous thing we have created between us can last forever. Just one last time, Sweets. Just one last fix. That’s all I need. And that is why I now understand addiction.
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Marie Sexton (Strawberries for Dessert (Coda, #4; Strawberries for Dessert, #1))
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In case you haven't noticed, as the result of a shamelessly rigged election in Florida, in which thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily disenfranchised, we now present ourselves to the rest of the world as proud, grinning, jut-jawed, pitiless war-lovers with appalling powerful weaponry - who stand unopposed. In case you haven't noticed, we are now as feared and hated all over the world as the Nazi's once were. And with good reason. In case you haven't noticed, our unelected leaders have dehumanized millions and millions of human beings simply because of their religion and race. We wound 'em and kill 'em and torture 'em and imprison 'em all we want. Piece of cake. In case you haven't noticed, we also dehumanize our own soldiers, not because of their religion or race, but because of their low social class. Send 'em anywhere. Make 'em do anything. Piece of cake. The O'Reilly Factor. So I am a man without a country, except for the librarians and a Chicago paper called "In These Times." Before we attacked Iraq, the majestic "New York Times" guaranteed there were weapons of destruction there. Albert Einstein and Mark Twain gave up on the human race at the end of their lives, even though Twain hadn't even seen the First World War. War is now a form of TV entertainment, and what made the First World War so particularly entertaining were two American inventions, barbed wire and the machine gun. Shrapnel was invented by an Englishman of the same name. Don't you wish you could have something named after you? Like my distinct betters Einstein and Twain, I now give up on people too. I am a veteran of the Second World War and I have to say this is the not the first time I surrendered to a pitiless war machine. My last words? "Life is no way to treat an animal, not even a mouse." Napalm came from Harvard. Veritas! Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler. What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations and made it all their own?
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
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There is probably no better or more reliable measure of whether a woman has spent time in ugly duckling status at some point or all throughout her life than her inability to digest a sincere compliment. Although it could be a matter of modesty, or could be attributed to shyness- although too many serious wounds are carelessly written off as "nothing but shyness"- more often a compliment is stuttered around about because it sets up an automatic and unpleasant dialogue in the woman's mind. If you say how lovely she is, or how beautiful her art is, or compliment anything else her soul took part in, inspired, or suffused, something in her mind says she is undeserving and you, the complimentor, are an idiot for thinking such a thing to begin with. Rather than understand that the beauty of her soul shines through when she is being herself, the woman changes the subject and effectively snatches nourishment away from the soul-self, which thrives on being acknowledged." "I must admit, I sometimes find it useful in my practice to delineate the various typologies of personality as cats and hens and ducks and swans and so forth. If warranted, I might ask my client to assume for a moment that she is a swan who does not realzie it. Assume also for a moment that she has been brought up by or is currently surrounded by ducks. There is nothing wrong with ducks, I assure them, or with swans. But ducks are ducks and swans are swans. Sometimes to make the point I have to move to other animal metaphors. I like to use mice. What if you were raised by the mice people? But what if you're, say, a swan. Swans and mice hate each other's food for the most part. They each think the other smells funny. They are not interested in spending time together, and if they did, one would be constantly harassing the other. But what if you, being a swan, had to pretend you were a mouse? What if you had to pretend to be gray and furry and tiny? What you had no long snaky tail to carry in the air on tail-carrying day? What if wherever you went you tried to walk like a mouse, but you waddled instead? What if you tried to talk like a mouse, but insteade out came a honk every time? Wouldn't you be the most miserable creature in the world? The answer is an inequivocal yes. So why, if this is all so and too true, do women keep trying to bend and fold themselves into shapes that are not theirs? I must say, from years of clinical observation of this problem, that most of the time it is not because of deep-seated masochism or a malignant dedication to self-destruction or anything of that nature. More often it is because the woman simply doesn't know any better. She is unmothered.
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Clarissa Pinkola EstΓ©s (Women Who Run With the Wolves)
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She loved him. But he didn’t know how to love. He could talk about love. He could see love and feel love. But he couldn’t give love. He could make love. But he couldn’t make promises. She had desperately wanted his promises. She wanted his heart, knew she couldn’t have it so she took what she could get. Temporary bliss. Passionate highs and lows. Withdrawal and manipulation. He only stayed long enough to take what he needed and keep moving. If he stopped moving, he would self-destruct. If he stopped wandering, he would have to face himself. He chose to stay in the dark where he couldn’t see. If he exposed himself and the sun came out, he’d see his shadow. He was deathly afraid of his shadow. She saw his shadow, loved it, understood it. Saw potential in it. She thought her love would change him. He pushed and he pulled, tested boundaries, thinking she would never leave. He knew he was hurting her, but didn’t know how to share anything but pain. He was only comfortable in chaos. Claiming souls before they could claim him. Her love, her body, she had given to him and he’d taken with such feigned sincerity, absorbing every drop of her. His dark heart concealed. She’d let him enter her spirit and stroke her soul where everything is love and sensation and surrender. Wide open, exposed to deception. It had never occurred to her that this desire was not love. It was blinding the way she wanted him. She couldn’t see what was really happening, only what she wanted to happen. She suspected that he would always seek to minimize the risk of being split open, his secrets revealed. He valued his soul’s privacy far more than he valued the intimacy of sincere connection so he kept his distance at any and all costs. Intimacy would lead to his undoingβ€”in his mind, an irrational and indulgent mistake. When she discovered his indiscretions, she threw love in his face and beat him with it. Somewhere deep down, in her labyrinth, her intricacy, the darkest part of her soul, she relished the mayhem. She felt a sense of privilege for having such passion in her life. He stirred her core. The place she dared not enter. The place she could not stir for herself. But something wasn’t right. His eyes were cold and dark. His energy, unaffected. He laughed at her and her antics, told her she was a mess. Frantic, she looked for love hiding in his eyes, in his face, in his stance, and she found nothing but disdain. And her heart stopped.
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G.G. Renee Hill (The Beautiful Disruption)
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The Earth should not be cut up into hundreds of different sections, each inhabited by a self-defined segment of humanity that considers its own welfare and its own "national security" to be paramount above all other consideration. I am all for cultural diversity and would be willing to see each recognizable group value its cultural heritage. I am a New York patriot, for instance, and if I lived in Los Angeles, I would love to get together with other New York expatriates and sing "Give My Regards to Broadway." This sort of thing, however, should remain cultural and benign. I'm against it if it means that each group despises others and lusts to wipe them out. I'm against arming each little self-defined group with weapons with which to enforce its own prides and prejudices. The Earth faces environmental problems right now that threaten the imminent destruction of civilization and the end of the planet as a livable world. Humanity cannot afford to waste its financial and emotional resources on endless, meaningless quarrels between each group and all others. there must be a sense of globalism in which the world unites to solve the real problems that face all groups alike. Can that be done? The question is equivalent to: Can humanity survive? I am not a Zionist, then, because I don't believe in nations, and because Zionism merely sets up one more nation to trouble the world. It sets up one more nation to have "rights" and "demands" and "national security" and to feel it must guard itself against its neighbors. There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don't come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity.
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Isaac Asimov (I. Asimov: A Memoir)
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A NATION'S GREATNESS DEPENDS ON ITS LEADER To vastly improve your country and truly make it great again, start by choosing a better leader. Do not let the media or the establishment make you pick from the people they choose, but instead choose from those they do not pick. Pick a leader from among the people who is heart-driven, one who identifies with the common man on the street and understands what the country needs on every level. Do not pick a leader who is only money-driven and does not understand or identify with the common man, but only what corporations need on every level. Pick a peacemaker. One who unites, not divides. A cultured leader who supports the arts and true freedom of speech, not censorship. Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes -- or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist. Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies. Most importantly, a great leader must serve the best interests of the people first, not those of multinational corporations. Human life should never be sacrificed for monetary profit. There are no exceptions. In addition, a leader should always be open to criticism, not silencing dissent. Any leader who does not tolerate criticism from the public is afraid of their dirty hands to be revealed under heavy light. And such a leader is dangerous, because they only feel secure in the darkness. Only a leader who is free from corruption welcomes scrutiny; for scrutiny allows a good leader to be an even greater leader. And lastly, pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
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John Green (Looking for Alaska)