Does The Question Mark Go In Quotes

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Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer. When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands. Give your approval to all you cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years. Listen to carrion — put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men. Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields. Lie down in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts. As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.
Wendell Berry
She needs to wake up," said Boots. "Hazard is crying. When does she wake up?" Gregor could not find it within him to give his standard reply. To pretend that in a short time Thalia would be back with them, laughing and happy. And somehow it seemed wrong to try. Boots was getting older. Very soon, she would begin to realize the truth on her own, anyway. "She's not going wake up," he told her. "She's dead." "She doesn't wake up?" said Boots. "No, not this time," said Gregor. "This time, she had to go away." Boots looked around at all their faces, at Hazard crying. "Where did she go?" No one had an answer. "Where is Thalia when she doesn't wake up?" The question hung in the air for an eternity. Finally, it was Howard who spoke up. "Why, she's in your heart, Boots." "My heart?" said Boots, putting both hands on her chest. "Yes. That's where she lives now," said Howard. "She can fly away?" asked Boots, pressing her palms tightly against her heart as if to keep Thalia from escaping. "Oh, no, she will stay there forever," said Howard.
Suzanne Collins (Gregor and the Marks of Secret (Underland Chronicles, #4))
When asked the inevitable question of “Does the ball ever talk back?” Mark answered, “The only time that happens is when it’s going over the fence, it yells back to me that I shouldn’t have thrown that pitch.
Doug Wilson (The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych)
I think every one who has some vague belief in God, until he becomes a Christian, has the idea of an exam, or of a bargain in his mind. The first result of real Christianity is to blow that idea into bits. When they find it blown into bits, some people think this means that Christianity is a failure and give up. They seem to imagine that God is very simple-minded! In fact, of course, He knows all about this. One of the very things Christianity was designed to do was to blow this idea to bits. God has been waiting for the moment at which you discover that there is no question of earning a pass mark in this exam, or putting Him in your debt. Then comes another discovery. Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small child going to its father and saying, "Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present." Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child's present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction. When a man has made these two discoveries God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins. The man is awake now.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Perspective - Use It or Lose It. If you turned to this page, you're forgetting that what is going on around you is not reality. Think about that. Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place. You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers. Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah. Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully. The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change. Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years. The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect. Then be sure of one thing: The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have. The original sin is to limit the Is. Don't. A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion....this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons. You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however. Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours. If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats. The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages. Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you. In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice. The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities." The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that's all it needs to be. Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. You're going to die a horrible death, remember. It's all good training, and you'll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind. Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution it not generally understood by less advanced lifeforms, and they'll call you crazy. Everything above may be wrong!
Richard Bach
Dear Miss Hummingbird,
 The leaves are turning green now, but not with envy. But they should be envious, because I, Jarod Ora Kintz, son of a thousand question marks, now have what every unemployed American most covets: a cat. Oh, and I’ve also got a new job. Almost forgot to mention it. “What will you be doing?” you may be wondering, and “Is it legal?” Those answers, as you can imagine, are gray. But so are elephants. Gray, I mean. Elephants are gray, not illegal, even though a certain political party in this country that’s represented by an elephant mascot certainly does things that to the normal citizen would be considered illegal. But I digress.
 Turns out that right under “Mayor of Orafouraville” on my resume, I can now add “Concierge at the Five-Star Hotel.” Concierge is just a fancy term that means something similar in Latin, I’m sure.
 My job will be to arrange activities for hotel guests for everything from opera tickets to dinner reservations to even organizing the burial of a loved one—though not if the disposal of the body is to be kept secret because a murder has occurred. Murder is such a ghastly (and ghostly) way to spoil dinner reservations for two, wouldn’t you agree? Or, rather, wouldn’t you not disagree?
 This job will allow me to meet interesting people from all over the planet, and possibly even other planets (like Pluto, if that’s still even a planet).
 It’s a full-time job, at least part of the time (40 hours per week out of a possible 168 hours). I’ll be expected to wear a shirt and tie. And, of course, pants—but that goes without saying. What also goes without saying are guests, but I hope some at least say goodbye before they go. 

Jarod Kintz (This Book Has No Title)
Does she ‘go crazy’? No, not at all: after a few moments of bewildered fugue, Heather Lelache accepts the ‘new’ world as the ‘true’ world, editing out the point of suture. This strategy – of accepting the incommensurable and the senseless without question – has always been the exemplary technique of sanity as such, but it has a special role to play in late capitalism, that ‘motley painting of everything that ever was’, whose dreaming up and junking of social fictions is nearly as rapid as its production and disposal of commodities.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
Ignorance of the character structure of masses of people invariably leads to fruitless questioning. The Communists, for example, said that it was the misdirected policies of the Social Democrats that made it possible for the fascists to seize power. Actually this explanation did not explain anything, for it was precisely the Social Democrats who made a point of spreading illusions. In short, it did not result in a new mode of action. That political reaction in the form of fascism had 'befogged,' 'corrupted,' and 'hypnotized' the masses is an explanation that is as sterile as the others. This is and will continue to be the function of fascism as long as it exists. Such explanations are sterile because they fail to offer a way out. Experience teaches us that such disclosures, no matter how often they are repeated, do not convince the masses; that, in other words, social economic inquiry by itself is not enough. Wouldn't it be closer to the mark to ask, what was going on in the masses that they could not and would not recognize the function of fascism? To say that, 'The workers have to realize...' or 'We didn't understand...' does not serve any purpose. Why didn't the workers realize, and why didn't they understand? The questions that formed the basis of the discussion between the Right and the Left in the workers' movements are also to be regarded as sterile. The Right contended that the workers were not predisposed to fight; the Left, on the other hand, refuted this and asserted that the workers were revolutionary and that the Right's statement was a betrayal of revolutionary thinking. Both assertions, because they failed to see the complexities of the issue, were rigidly mechanistic. A realistic appraisal would have had to point out that the average worker bears a contradiction in himself; that he, in other words, is neither a clear-cut revolutionary nor a clear-cut conservative, but stands divided. His psychic structure derives on the one hand from the social situation (which prepares the ground for revolutionary attitudes) and on the other hand from the entire atmosphere of authoritarian society—the two being at odds with one another.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
It is a strange notion that the acknowledgment of a first principle is inconsistent with the admission of secondary ones. To inform a traveler respecting the place of his ultimate destination, is not to forbid the use of land-marks and direction-posts on the way. The proposition that happiness is the end and aim of morality, does not mean that no road ought to be laid down to that goal, or that persons going thither should not be advised to take one direction rather than another. Men really ought to leave off talking a kind of nonsense on this subject, which they would neither talk nor listen to on other matters of practical concernment. Nobody argues that the art of navigation is not founded on astronomy, because sailors cannot wait to calculate the Nautical Almanack. Being rational creatures, they go to sea with it ready calculated; and all rational creatures go out upon the sea of life with their minds made up on the common questions of right and wrong, as well as on many of the far more difficult questions of wise and foolish. And this, as long as foresight is a human quality, it is to be presumed they will continue to do. Whatever we adopt as the fundamental principle of morality, we require subordinate principles to apply it by: the impossibility of doing without them, being common to all systems, can afford no argument against any one in particular: but gravely to argue as if no such secondary principles could be had, and as if mankind had remained till now, and always must remain, without drawing any general conclusions from the experience of human life, is as high a pitch, I think, as absurdity has ever reached in philosophical controversy.
John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism)
Patriotism comes from the same Latin word as father. Blind patriotism is collective transference. In it the state becomes a parent and we citizens submit our loyalty to ensure its protection. We may have been encouraged to make that bargain from our public school education, our family home, religion, or culture in general. We associate safety with obedience to authority, for example, going along with government policies. We then make duty, as it is defined by the nation, our unquestioned course. Our motivation is usually not love of country but fear of being without a country that will defend us and our property. Connection is all-important to us; excommunication is the equivalent of death, the finality we can’t dispute. Healthy adult loyalty is a virtue that does not become blind obedience for fear of losing connection, nor total devotion so that we lose our boundaries. Our civil obedience can be so firm that it may take precedence over our concern for those we love, even our children. Here is an example: A young mother is told by the doctor that her toddler is allergic to peanuts and peanut oil. She lets the school know of her son’s allergy when he goes to kindergarten. Throughout his childhood, she is vigilant and makes sure he is safe from peanuts in any form. Eighteen years later, there is a war and he is drafted. The same mother, who was so scrupulously careful about her child’s safety, now waves goodbye to him with a tear but without protest. Mother’s own training in public school and throughout her life has made her believe that her son’s life is expendable whether or not the war in question is just. “Patriotism” is so deeply ingrained in her that she does not even imagine an alternative, even when her son’s life is at stake. It is of course also true that, biologically, parents are ready to let children go just as the state is ready to draft them. What a cunning synchronic-ity. In addition, old men who decide on war take advantage of the timing too. The warrior archetype is lively in eighteen-year-olds, who are willing to fight. Those in their mid-thirties, whose archetype is being a householder and making a mark in their chosen field, will not show an interest in battlefields of blood. The chiefs count on the fact that young braves will take the warrior myth literally rather than as a metaphor for interior battles. They will be willing to put their lives on the line to live out the collective myth of societies that have not found the path of nonviolence. Our collective nature thus seems geared to making war a workable enterprise. In some people, peacemaking is the archetype most in evidence. Nature seems to have made that population smaller, unfortunately. Our culture has trained us to endure and tolerate, not to protest and rebel. Every cell of our bodies learned that lesson. It may not be virtue; it may be fear. We may believe that showing anger is dangerous, because it opposes the authority we are obliged to appease and placate if we are to survive. This explains why we so admire someone who dares to say no and to stand up or even to die for what he believes. That person did not fall prey to the collective seduction. Watching Jeopardy on television, I notice that the audience applauds with special force when a contestant risks everything on a double-jeopardy question. The healthy part of us ardently admires daring. In our positive shadow, our admiration reflects our own disavowed or hidden potential. We, too, have it in us to dare. We can stand up for our truth, putting every comfort on the line, if only we can calm our long-scared ego and open to the part of us that wants to live free. Joseph Campbell says encouragingly, “The part of us that wants to become is fearless.” Religion and Transference Transference is not simply horizontal, from person to person, but vertical from person to a higher power, usually personified as God. When
David Richo (When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships)
The question as to whether there is such a thing as divine right of kings is not settled in this book. It was found too difficult. That the executive head of a nation should be a person of lofty character and extraordinary ability, was manifest and indisputable; that none but the Deity could select that head unerringly, was also manifest and indisputable; that the Deity ought to make that selection, then, was likewise manifest and indisputable; consequently, that He does make it, as claimed, was an unavoidable deduction. I mean, until the author of this book encountered the Pompadour, and Lady Castlemaine, and some other executive heads of that kind; these were found so difficult to work into the scheme, that it was judged better to take the other tack in this book (which must be issued this fall), and then go into training and settle the question in another book. It is, of course, a thing which ought to be settled, and I am not going to have anything particular to do next winter anyway.
Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 3)
Ven' is the Nain word for 'and.' It was my first word, and so was added to my name at the age of three, when I first spoke it. That is the Nain tradition; each child's first word becomes an official part of his or her name. As a result, three of my brothers are Petar Da-da Polypheme, Osgod No! Polypheme, and Linus Poo-poo Polypheme. Personally, I think the Nain should rethink this tradition. As for my name, I think perhaps there should be a question mark after it - 'and?' - as if life is always posing the question of what I am to do next. I was born with more than my share of curiosity, and it gets me into a frightful amount of trouble. I want to know what comes next from the time I wake up in the morning, wondering what the day will hold, till the moment I fall asleep, imagining where my dreams will take me at night. It's like an itch; my skin or scalp hums with excitement whenever my curiosity starts to take over. And? And? And? Scratching it does nothing to help; the itch doesn't go away, and I just look like I have dandruff or fleas.
Elizabeth Haydon (The Floating Island (The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, #1))
I think every one who has some vague belief in God, until he becomes a Christian, has the idea of an exam, or of a bargain in his mind. The first result of real Christianity is to blow that idea into bits. When they find it blown into bits, some people think this means that Christianity is a failure and give up. They seem to imagine that God is very simple-minded! In fact, of course, He knows all about this. One of the very things Christianity was designed to do was to blow this idea to bits. God has been waiting for the moment at which you discover that there is no question of earning a pass mark in this exam, or putting Him in your debt. Then comes another discovery. Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small child going to its father and saying, "Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present." Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child's present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction. When a man has made these two discoveries God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins. The man is awake now.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
So, are you going to tell her?” Mark asked. He was, and still is, a persistent person. Good question, I thought as I stared blankly into space. Am I going to march up to Martina Elizabeth and tell her that I love her? I pondered the question carefully as though it was part of some unscheduled final exam. Instead of answers, however, all I could come up with was a series of dilemmas. I noticed that Mark was still staring at me with a quizzical look on his face. “What?” I yelped. “You haven’t answered my question, man,” I looked down, inhaled deeply, looked up and exhaled very slowly. “I, uh, don’t know.” I turned my gaze to my lunch tray, the other tables, and the clock on the wall. Anything to avoid my best friend’s inquisitive gaze. “I’ll take that as a resounding ‘no,’” Mark said. “I didn’t say that.” “No,” Mark said, “but it’s what you meant to say.” “I – I can’t tell her. Not now.” “Why the fuck not?” Mark asked, his voice rising in pitch and volume. A group of student journalists from The Serpent’s Tale – Alan Goode, Francisco Vargas, Juan Calderon and Roger Lawrence – looked at us with bemused expressions from one of the neighboring tables. Mark noticed, cleared his throat and lowered his voice to a half-whisper. “Why don’t you tell her, you dumbass?” “I can’t,” I repeated, shaking my head emphatically. “What are you so afraid of?” Another good question. “Nothing…everything,” I replied. “What, pray tell, do you mean?” Mark asked. “Are you more afraid that she doesn’t like you, or that she does?
Alex Diaz-Granados (Reunion: A Story: A Novella (The Reunion Duology Book 1))
Punish me for my awful pride," she said to him, clasping him in her arms so tightly as almost to choke him. "You are my master, dear, I am your slave. I must ask your pardon on my knees for having tried to rebel." She left his arms to fall at his feet. "Yes," she said to him, still intoxicated with happiness and with love, "you are my master, reign over me for ever. When your slave tries to revolt, punish her severely." In another moment she tore herself from his arms, and lit a candle, and it was only by a supreme effort that Julien could prevent her from cutting off a whole tress of her hair. "I want to remind myself," she said to him, "that I am your handmaid. If I am ever led astray again by my abominable pride, show me this hair and say, 'It is not a question of the emotion which your soul may be feeling at present, you have sworn to obey, obey on your honour.' As he was moving his hand over the soft ground in the darkness and satisfying himself that the mark had entirely disappeared, he felt something fall down on his hands. It was a whole tress of Mathilde's hair which she had cut off and thrown down to him. She was at the window. "That's what your servant sends you," she said to him in a fairly loud voice, "It is the sign of eternal gratitude. I renounce the exercise of my reason, be my master." Julien was quite overcome and was on the point of going to fetch the ladder again and climbing back into her room. Finally reason prevailed. (A few days later...) In a single minute mademoiselle de la Mole reached the point of loading Julien with the signs of the most extreme contempt. She had infinite wit, and this wit was always triumphant in the art of torturing vanity and wounding it cruelly. Hearing himself overwhelmed with such marks of contempt which were so cleverly calculated to destroy any good opinion that he might have of himself, he thought that Mathilde was right, and that she did not say enough. As for her, she found it deliciously gratifying to her pride to punish in this way both herself and him for the adoration that she had felt some days previously. She did not have to invent and improvise the cruel remarks which she addressed to him with so much gusto. Each word intensified a hundredfold Julien's awful unhappiness. He wanted to run away, but mademoiselle de la Mole took hold of his arm authoritatively. "Be good enough to remark," he said to her, "that you are talking very loud. You will be heard in the next room." "What does it matter?" mademoiselle de la Mole answered haughtily. "Who will dare to say they have heard me? I want to cure your miserable vanity once and for all of any ideas you may have indulged in on my account." When Julien was allowed to leave the library he was so astonished that he was less sensitive to his unhappiness. "She does not love me any more," he repeated to himself... "Is it really possible she was nothing to me, nothing to my heart so few days back?" Mathilde's heart was inundated by the joy of satisfied pride. So she had been able to break with him for ever! So complete a triumph over so strong an inclination rendered her completely happy. "So this little gentleman will understand, once and for all, that he has not, and will never have, any dominion over me." She was so happy that in reality she ceased to love at this particular moment.
Stendhal (The Red and the Black)
Just last week I was telling a dear friend how I'd rather not exist in a world where toxic thrives. There are so much enmity plaguing this creed, how we hurt others because we think our idea of faith is supreme, how our interpretation of knowledge is above theirs, how every little whisper we turn into a howl. We forget that only He knows. Our existence are but mysteries; who are we to scar, to burn, to leave marks, to solve this enigma for others, to play God. The Friday prayer sermon just this afternoon, spoke to me in such illuminating affirmations. Knowledge, especially in faith, is akin to Light. Light binds, not divides. We seek light not out of fear of the darkness but at a promise to gain clarity. This is our intimate journey, how we move towards that Light is ours to make. Like a blind man, like moths at night, a child yearning, just do not stand in their paths, my friend. Your forehead kisses the same Earth like they do, your knees bend the same curve, and each night, your spine collapses just the same. Do not be the lips that question an arm sleeved with tattoos or hair uncovered by cloth or sins not yours, instead be lips that observes silence, kindness and always, prayers for all. I hope your heart does not make space for words like "Kafir", "infidel", "shirk" and instead be a room with gardens and an ocean of calmness. Even our Beloved won't be a judge for another being; Let God You seek knowledge not to draw boundaries between yourself and others, you seek for this overwhelming gravity of unknowing needs you to always be finding ways to be closer to Him. You seek knowledge to know Him not to make known to others. You have every right to continue seeking, to have your palms heavenwards every night begging to be illuminated. This is your deeper conversation, go on, just you and God.
Noor Iskandar
22. Giving up Distraction Week #4 Saturday Scripture Verses •Hebrews 12:1–2 •Mark 1:35 •John 1:14–18 Questions to Consider •What distracts you from being present with other people around you? •What distracts you from living out God’s agenda for your life? •What helps you to focus and be the most productive? •How does Jesus help us focus on what is most important in any given moment? Plan of Action •At your next lunch, have everyone set their phone facing down at the middle of the table. The first person who picks up their phone pays for the meal. •Challenge yourself that the first thing you watch, read, or listen to in the morning when you wake up is God’s Word (not email or Facebook). •Do a digital detox. Turn off everything with a screen for 24 hours. Tomorrow would be a great day to do it, since there is no “40 Things Devotion” on Sunday. Reflection We live in an ever connected world. With smart phones at the tip of our fingers, we can instantly communicate with people on the other side of the world. It is an amazing time to live in. I love the possibilities and the opportunities. With the rise of social media, we not only connect with our current circle of friends and family, but we are also able to connect with circles from the past. We can build new communities in the virtual world to find like-minded people we cannot find in our physical world. Services like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram all have tremendous power. They have a way of connecting us with others to shine the light of Jesus. While all of these wonderful things open up incredible possibilities, there are also many dangers that lurk. One of the biggest dangers is distraction. They keep us from living in the moment and they keep us from enjoying the people sitting right across the room from us. We’ve all seen that picture where the family is texting one another from across the table. They are not looking at each other. They are looking at the tablet or the phone in front of them. They are distracted in the moment. Today we are giving up distraction and we are going to live in the moment. Distraction doesn’t just come from modern technology. We are distracted by our work. We are distracted by hobbies. We are distracted by entertainment. We are distracted by busyness. The opposite of distraction is focus. It is setting our hearts and our minds on Jesus. It’s not just putting him first. It’s about him being a part of everything. It is about making our choices to be God’s choices. It is about letting him determine how we use our time and focus our attention. He is the one setting our agenda. I saw a statistic that 80% of smartphone users will check their phone within the first 15 minutes of waking up. Many of those are checking their phones before they even get out of bed. What are they checking? Social media? Email? The news of the day? Think about that for a moment. My personal challenge is the first thing I open up every day is God’s word. I might open up the Bible on my phone, but I want to make sure the first thing I am looking at is God’s agenda. When I open up my email, my mind is quickly set to the tasks those emails generate rather than the tasks God would put before me. Who do I want to set my agenda? For me personally, I know that if God is going to set the agenda, I need to hear from him before I hear from anyone else. There is a myth called multitasking. We talk about doing it, but it is something impossible to do. We are very good at switching back and forth from different tasks very quickly, but we are never truly doing two things at once. So the challenge is to be present where God has planted you. In any given moment, know what is the one most important thing. Be present in that one thing. Be present here and now.
Phil Ressler (40 Things to Give Up for Lent and Beyond: A 40 Day Devotion Series for the Season of Lent)
As noted before, bare attention is impartial, nonjudgmental, and open. It is also deeply interested, like a child with a new toy. The key phrase from the Buddhist literature is that it requires “not clinging and not condemning,” an attitude that Cage demonstrated with regard to the car alarms, that Winnicott described in his “good enough mothering” notion, that Freud counseled for the psychoanalyst at work, and that meditation practitioners must develop toward their own psychic, emotional, and physical sufferings. The most revealing thing about a first meditation retreat (after seeing how out of control our minds are) is how the experience of pain gives way to one of peacefulness if it is consistently and dispassionately attended to for a sufficient time. Once the reactions to the pain—the horror, outrage, fear, tension, and so on—are separated out from the pure sensation, the sensation at some point will stop hurting. The psychoanalyst Michael Eigen, in a paper entitled “Stones in a Stream,” describes his own first mystical experience in just these characteristic terms: I remember once being in emotional agony on a bus in my 20’s. I doubled over into my pain and focused on it with blind intensity. As I sat there in this wretched state, I was amazed when the pain turned to redness, then blackness (a kind of blanking out), then light, as if a vagina in my soul opened, and there was radiant light. The pain did not vanish, but my attention was held by the light. I felt amazed, uplifted, stunned into awareness of wider existence. Of course I did not want the light to go away, and was a bit fearful that it would, but above all was reverence, respect: it could last as long as it liked, and come and go as it pleased. It was an unforgettable moment. Life can never be quite the same after such experiences.9 This kind of experience can truly come as a revelation. When we see that staying with a pain from which we habitually recoil can lead to such a transformation, it makes us question one of our basic assumptions: that we must reject that which does not feel good. Instead, we discover, even pain can be interesting.
Mark Epstein (Thoughts Without A Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective)
But the laws of the schools were aimed at something distant and vague. What did it mean to, as our elders told us, “grow up and be somebody”? And what precisely did this have to do with an education rendered as rote discipline? To be educated in my Baltimore mostly meant always packing an extra number 2 pencil and working quietly. Educated children walked in single file on the right side of the hallway, raised their hands to use the lavatory, and carried the lavatory pass when en route. Educated children never offered excuses—certainly not childhood itself. The world had no time for the childhoods of black boys and girls. How could the schools? Algebra, Biology, and English were not subjects so much as opportunities to better discipline the body, to practice writing between the lines, copying the directions legibly, memorizing theorems extracted from the world they were created to represent. All of it felt so distant to me. I remember sitting in my seventh-grade French class and not having any idea why I was there. I did not know any French people, and nothing around me suggested I ever would. France was a rock rotating in another galaxy, around another sun, in another sky that I would never cross. Why, precisely, was I sitting in this classroom? The question was never answered. I was a curious boy, but the schools were not concerned with curiosity. They were concerned with compliance. I loved a few of my teachers. But I cannot say that I truly believed any of them. Some years after I’d left school, after I’d dropped out of college, I heard a few lines from Nas that struck me: Ecstasy, coke, you say it’s love, it is poison Schools where I learn they should be burned, it is poison That was exactly how I felt back then. I sensed the schools were hiding something, drugging us with false morality so that we would not see, so that we did not ask: Why—for us and only us—is the other side of free will and free spirits an assault upon our bodies? This is not a hyperbolic concern. When our elders presented school to us, they did not present it as a place of high learning but as a means of escape from death and penal warehousing. Fully 60 percent of all young black men who drop out of high school will go to jail. This should disgrace the country. But it does not, and while I couldn’t crunch the numbers or plumb the history back then, I sensed that the fear that marked West Baltimore could not be explained by the schools. Schools did not reveal truths, they concealed them. Perhaps they must be burned away so that the heart of this thing might be known.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
Twenty Complaints Laments contain various complaints expressing struggle, questions, outrage, and frustration. The following passages are examples of the unique complaints found in the psalms of lament: Why? Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? (Ps. 10:1) Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”? (Ps. 10:13) My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? (Ps. 22:1) I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” (Ps. 42:9) For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? (Ps. 43:2) Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever! (Ps. 44:23) O God, why do you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture? (Ps. 74:1) Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the fold of your garment and destroy them! (Ps. 74:11) Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit? (Ps. 80:12) O Lord, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me? (Ps. 88:14) How? O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me. (Ps. 3:1) How long, O Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their destruction, my precious life from the lions! (Ps. 35:17) How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever? (Ps. 74:10) Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs, and a foolish people reviles your name. (Ps. 74:18) Arise, O God, defend your cause; remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day! (Ps. 74:22) O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? (Ps. 80:4) How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire? (Ps. 89:46) Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! (Ps. 90:13) O Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult? (Ps. 94:3) How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? (Ps. 137:4)
Mark Vroegop (Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament)
Does living in fear help you move forward?" he questioned back. "Fear stems from your worries of something you can't predict, sweetheart. Every action we take changes our path in this world, some for the better, others for the worse. Regardless, fearing what can happen tomorrow, next week, or a year from now isn't going to deliver the answers you seek. It won't help build memories, relationships, or yourself. Instead, it hinders you, bringing you to a standstill, and only you can be the one to break that cycle and strive forward.
Avery Song (Psychic Prison (Supernatural Marked Monarchy #1))
Because she couldn’t read or write, the Spaniards labeled her uncivilized. But her ability to make and read petroglyphs is the same skill exercised in a different way. The markings on her pot had as much meaning for her as the words in a book do for us. The lines and angles didn’t make her pots stronger or improve their capacity to store seeds. They are there because the potter was answering Whitman’s question, “What good amid these, O me, O life?” The powerful play does indeed go on, and she contributed a verse. The
J. Michael Orenduff (The Pot Thief Who Studied Georgia O'Keeffe (A Pot Thief Mystery #7))
Lily Anderson before she fell to her death three stories down was raped by the sisters, they forced her into acts that most cannot even imagine, or maybe you just do not want to. All the same, I saw everything anyway, and I truly know what it feels, like to be in that state of affairs. If she did not want to engage in all of those activities, they would beat the crap out of her. Lily would always show up with fresh bruises, but she always made up excuses. Conversely, I always knew who did it, but she did not say much about it. She wore them well, and she did not like to tell, mainly because she had- fear. The fear is the alternate drive to stopping anyone from doing anything. Oh yes, fear can break a person, fear can drive a person to drastic solutions or conclusions. Fear can drive some nonsense, and fear can make you brilliant. The fear does it all. Yes, fear is a death sentence, one way or another. Either you fear living, or you fear dying. Fear comes down to a simple choice actually; do I want to live, or when and where do I want to die? Who or what is going to be the cause, and will anybody care afterward, this, or do they now? That is the fear we have when the eyes are upon us, and the spirit lives to talk to us. Lily, had no choice, she either had to do what the sisters wanted… or be beaten with an inch of life, either way, she always ended up with markings on her body. I believe that if things would have pressed on like that, for her she would have lost her mind, yet some say she did? Like I said- time within the hellhole is a slow time, where anybody finds anything to keep their mind busy. Some draw! Some have sex! Some have sports and clubs! Someone like me has nothing to them, and yet I have it all. I know I can do anything, because I have so many god-gifted talents, and just because I am not like you, does not mean I cannot do the unimaginable. (Alliances) So, the question is why do we make groupings? Why do we classify people according to how they will look, speak, or the way they act? Why do we put people in classes regarding what other people think, why do we? These are some of the activities, which some do to keep their mind sharp, and the others have to pay the price. What is your thing? There are some, which cut class for recreational reasons.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh The Lusting Sapphire Blue Eyes)
Expectations and faith can go hand in hand or they can run counter to each other. It all depends on where our expectations are placed. Are they placed in the outcome or are they placed in who He is? You see, if our expectations are anchored in the outcome, we will be disappointed and lose faith when the outcome does not match up with what we expected. God’s goodness will come into question, and we will be in danger of losing faith in Him.
Mark Allen Moore (Shattered: Finding Hope and Purpose in the Midst of Disappointment)
I woke up every morning at six to study—because it was easier to focus in the mornings, before I was worn out from scrapping. Although I was still fearful of God’s wrath, I reasoned with myself that my passing the ACT was so unlikely, it would take an act of God. And if God acted, then surely my going to school was His will. The ACT was composed of four sections: math, English, science and reading. My math skills were improving but they were not strong. While I could answer most of the questions on the practice exam, I was slow, needing double or triple the allotted time. I lacked even a basic knowledge of grammar, though I was learning, beginning with nouns and moving on to prepositions and gerunds. Science was a mystery, perhaps because the only science book I’d ever read had had detachable pages for coloring. Of the four sections, reading was the only one about which I felt confident. BYU was a competitive school. I’d need a high score—a twenty-seven at least, which meant the top fifteen percent of my cohort. I was sixteen, had never taken an exam, and had only recently undertaken anything like a systematic education; still I registered for the test. It felt like throwing dice, like the roll was out of my hands. God would score the toss. I didn’t sleep the night before. My brain conjured so many scenes of disaster, it burned as if with a fever. At five I got out of bed, ate breakfast, and drove the forty miles to Utah State University. I was led into a white classroom with thirty other students, who took their seats and placed their pencils on their desks. A middle-aged woman handed out tests and strange pink sheets I’d never seen before. “Excuse me,” I said when she gave me mine. “What is this?” “It’s a bubble sheet. To mark your answers.” “How does it work?” I said. “It’s the same as any other bubble sheet.” She began to move away from me, visibly irritated, as if I were playing a prank. “I’ve never used one before.” She appraised me for a moment. “Fill in the bubble of the correct answer,” she said. “Blacken it completely. Understand?” The test began. I’d never sat at a desk for four hours in a room full of people. The noise was unbelievable, yet I seemed to be the only person who heard it, who couldn’t divert her attention from the rustle of turning pages and the scratch of pencils on paper. When it was over I suspected that I’d failed the math, and I was positive that I’d failed the science. My answers for the science portion couldn’t even be called guesses. They were random, just patterns of dots on that strange pink sheet. I drove home. I felt stupid, but more than stupid I felt ridiculous. Now that I’d seen the other students—watched them march into the classroom in neat rows, claim their seats and calmly fill in their answers, as if they were performing a practiced routine—it seemed absurd that I had thought I could score in the top fifteen percent. That was their world. I stepped into overalls and returned to mine.
Tara Westover (Educated)
A couple recently came to my office. Let’s call them Mark and Elizabeth Schuler. They came in for a consultation at Elizabeth’s request. Mark’s best friend was a stockbroker who had handled the couple’s investment portfolio for decades. All they wanted from me was a second opinion. If all went well, they planned to stop working within five years. After a quick chat about their goals, I organized the mess of financial paperwork they’d brought and set about assessing their situation. As my team and I prepared their “Retirement Map Review,” it was immediately apparent the Schulers were carrying significant market risk. We scheduled a follow-up appointment for two weeks later. When they returned, I asked them to estimate their comfortable risk tolerance. In other words, how much of their savings could they comfortably afford to have exposed to stock market losses? Elizabeth laughed at the question. “We’re not comfortable losing any of it,” she said. I had to laugh too. Of course, no one wants to lose any of their money. But with assets housed in mutual funds, 401(k)s, and stocks, there’s always going to be some measure of risk, not to mention fees to maintain such accounts. We always stand to lose something. So how much could they tolerate losing and still be okay to retire? The Schulers had to think about that for a while. After some quick calculations and hurried deliberation, they finally came up with a number. “I guess if we’re just roughly estimating,” Mark said, “I could see us subjecting about 10 percent of our retirement savings to the market’s ups and downs and still being all right.” Can you guess what percentage of their assets were at risk? After a careful examination of the Schulers’ portfolio, my team and I discovered 100 percent of their portfolio was actually invested in individual stocks—an investment option with very high risk! In fact, a large chunk of the Schulers’ money was invested in Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), a utility company that has been around for over one hundred years. Does that name sound familiar? When I met with the Schulers, PG&E stock was soaring. But you may remember the company name from several 2019 news headlines in which the electric and natural gas giant was accused of negligence that contributed to 30 billion dollars’ worth of damage caused by California wild fires. In the wake of that disaster, the company’s stock dropped by more than 60 percent in a matter of months. That’s how volatile individual stocks can be.
John Hagensen (The Retirement Flight Plan: Arriving Safely at Financial Success)
Why do humans kill the Fae Marked?” I asked, a hush falling over the woods with my words. It was as if Caelum forgot to breathe for a moment, the tension claiming his body bleeding through to me. “What difference does it make to them if we’re dead or taken? Why isn’t that our choice to make?” He sighed, tilting his head down as we walked, and I felt his chin touch the top of my head. “Being mated makes the Fae even stronger. That’s what the Viniculum is—why it protects us. Somewhere, there’s a mate looking for us, seeking to claim us as theirs. The establishment of a mate bond increases a Fae’s power. If you can keep a Fae from their mate, you can keep them stagnant. Unable to increase their power, and if you do successfully manage to kill the mate, some Fae don’t survive.” I’d heard that mates strengthened their Fae, in whispers, but I’d thought them the dramatic whispers meant to cause fear. “They die with us?” I asked, staring up at him as he pulled his chin away from my head. “When it’s the final death? Sometimes,” he answered. “Sometimes they’re lost to madness. Sometimes they seem to go mad before they ever find their mate.” “Are mates ever other Fae? Or is it always humans?” I asked, peppering him with questions and not even caring that it implied I was more interested than I should have let on. All the rules of my past were null and void, now that being Marked was my reality. Knowledge was my only power.
Harper L. Woods (What Lies Beyond the Veil (Of Flesh & Bone, #1))
Many people are able to ask themselves if they’re wrong, but few are able to go the extra step and admit what it would mean if they were wrong. That’s because the potential meaning behind our wrongness is often painful. Not only does it call into question our values, but it forces us to consider what a different, contradictory value could potentially look and feel like.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Naomi stretched as she woke with an exaggerated yawn in her own bed. How the hell did I get here? Recollection of the dirty trick the two men played on her the previous night made her sit up abruptly. The sheet fell away and she noticed her clothing of the previous eve gone, replaced with a t-shirt and shorts. “Those dirty, rotten pigs,” she cursed as she swung her legs out of bed and sat on the edge. “You called?” A head topped with tousled hair poked out from around the door frame of the bathroom. Number sixty-nine’s dark eyes twinkled and his lips curled in a sensual smile. Despite her irritation, her body flooded with warmth. “You!” She pointed at him and shot him a dark glare. He grinned wider. “What about me, darling?” “I’m going to kick your balls so hard you’re going to choke on them. How dare you drug me and then do despicable things to my body while I was unconscious?” Stepping forward from the bathroom, he raised his arms in surrender and her eyes couldn’t help drinking in the sight of him. No one should look that delicious, especially in the morning, was her disgruntled thought. Shirtless, Javier’s tight and toned muscles beckoned. Encased in smooth, tanned skin, his muscular torso tapered down to lean hips where his jeans hung, partially unbuttoned and displayed a bulge that grew as she watched. Unbidden heat flooded her cleft and her nipples shriveled so tight she could have drilled holes with them. She forced herself to swallow and look away before she did something stupid— say, like, licking her way down from his flat nipples to the dark vee of hair that disappeared into his pants. “It would take a braver man than me to disobey your mother’s orders. Besides, you needed the sleep,” he added in a placating tone. Scowling, Naomi mentally planned a loud diatribe for her mother. “Let me ask you, how does your head feel now?” His question derailed her for a second, and she paused to realize she actually felt pretty damned good— but now I’m horny and it’s all his friggin’ fault. She dove off the bed and stalked toward him, five foot four feet of annoyed woman craving coffee, a Danish, and him— naked inside her body. The first two she’d handle shortly, the third, she’d make him pay for. He stood his ground as she approached, the idiot. “What did you do to me while I was out?” she growled as she patted her neck looking for a mating mark. “Nothing. Contrary to your belief, snoring women with black and blue faces just don’t do it for me.” His jibe hurt, but not as much as her foot when it connected with his undefended man parts. He ended up bent over, wheezing while Naomi smirked in satisfaction. “That’s for knocking me out. But, if I find out you did anything to me other than dress me, like cop a feel or take nudie pictures, I’m going hurt you a lot worse.” “Has anyone ever told you you’re hot when you’re mad?” said the man with an obvious death wish. Only his speed saved him from her swinging fist as she screeched at him. “Go away. Can’t you tell I’m not interested?” “Liar.” He threw that comment at her from the other side of her bed. “I can smell your arousal, sweetheart. And might I say, I can’t wait to taste it.
Eve Langlais (Delicate Freakn' Flower (Freakn' Shifters, #1))
My brother was murdered nineteen years ago tomorrow, Sebastian. I don’t know why, but my parents have decided to mark the occasion by reopening the house where it happened and inviting back the very same guests who were here that day.” Anger is rising in her voice, a low throb of pain I’d do anything to make go away. She’s turned her head to face the lake, her blue eyes glossy. “They’re disguising a memorial as a party, and they’ve made me the guest of honor, which I can only assume means something dreadful is coming for me,” she continues. “This isn’t a celebration, it’s a punishment, and there’ll be fifty people in their very finest clothes watching it happen.” “Are your parents really so spiteful?” I ask, shocked. I feel much as I did when that bird hit the window earlier this morning, a great swell of pity mingled with a sense of injustice at life’s sudden cruelties. “My mother sent me a message this morning, asking me to meet her by the lake,” she says. “She never came, and I don’t think she ever meant to. She just wanted me to stand out there, where it happened, remembering. Does that answer your question?
Stuart Turton (The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle)
Bryce smiled. Hunt half turned toward her at the sound of the sorceress’s voice. “Got any Death Marks lying around?” Hunt hissed, “You can’t be serious.” Bryce ignored him as Jesiba answered, “I might. Plan on taking a trip, Quinlan?” “I hear the Bone Quarter’s gorgeous this time of year.” Jesiba chuckled, a rolling, sultry sound. “You do amuse me every now and then.” Pause. “You have to pay for this one, you know.” “Send the bill to my brother.” Ruhn would have a conniption, but he could deal. Another soft chuckle. “I only have two. And it’ll take until tomorrow morning for them to reach you.” “Fine. Thanks.” The sorceress said a shade gently, “You won’t find any traces of Danika left in the Bone Quarter, you know.” Bryce tensed. “What does that have to do with anything?” “I thought you were finally going to start asking questions about her.” Bryce clenched the phone hard enough for the plastic to groan. “What sort of questions?” What the fuck did Jesiba know? A low laugh. “Why don’t you start by wondering why she was always poking around the gallery?” “To see me,” Bryce said through her teeth. “Sure,” Jesiba said, and hung up. Bryce swallowed hard and pocketed her phone.
Sarah J. Maas (House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City, #2))