Don't Participate Quotes

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I don't like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: "Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no "I" in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not. But there is an "I" in independence, individuality and integrity.'" Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, "We're the So-and-Sos," take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it's unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don't participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you're not a team player, congratulate them on being observant.
George Carlin
We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.
Howard Zinn
I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there.
Mother Teresa
The best way to waste your life, is by taking notes. The easiest way to avoid living is to just watch. Look for the details. Report. Don't participate.
Chuck Palahniuk
freedom isn't free. It shouldn't be a bragging point that "Oh, I don't get involved in politics," as if that makes you somehow cleaner. No, that makes you derelict of duty in a republic. Liars and panderers in government would have a much harder time of it if so many people didn't insist on their right to remain ignorant and blindly agreeable.
Bill Maher (When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism)
I've never seen such a collection of idiots in my whole life.' Doolittle shook his head. 'If you participate in this lunacy, y'all will get yourselves killed. Then don't come crying to me.' Now that would be a neat trick.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
We're in a freefall into future. We don't know where we're going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you're going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It's a very interesting shift of perspective and that's all it is... joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.
Joseph Campbell (Sukhavati:Place of Bliss)
I don’t know if I will have the time to write any more letters, because I might be too busy trying to participate. So, if this does end up being the last letter, I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school, and you helped me. Even if you didn’t know what I was talking about, or know someone who’s gone through it, you made me not feel alone. Because I know there are people who say all these things don’t happen. And there are people who forget what it’s like to be sixteen when they turn seventeen. I know these will all be stories some day, and our pictures will become old photographs. We all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here, and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song, and that drive with the people who you love most in this world. And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
You don't get to tell people how to love you; you get to choose if you want to participate in the way they love.
Iyanla Vanzant
I keep remembering one of my Guru's teachings about happiness. She says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't you will eat away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I cannot have chaos erupting around me until I am prepared for it. I am a collector. I am an observer. I don't participate. My resources, and my standing, must be secure before I can allow the uncertainty of war to crash down upon us.
Derek Landy (Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1))
Don’t try to participate in anyone else’s idea of what is supposed to happen in a relationship. You will fail.
Anna Kendrick (Scrappy Little Nobody)
Participate in your own dreams, don’t just say what you want or complain about what you don’t have.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
There is a lot about what is going on here that I don’t understand. But I am participating anyway.
Martha Wells (Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5))
You can't be a full participant in our democracy if you don't know our history.
David McCullough
At some point, as Richard keeps telling me, you gotta let go and sit still and allow contentment to come to you. Letting go, of course, is a scary enterprise for those of us who believe that the world revolves only because it has a handle on the top of it which we personally turn, and that if we were to drop this handle for even a moment, well – that would be the end of the universe. But try dropping it….Sit quietly for now and cease your relentless participation. Watch what happens. The birds do not crash dead out of the sky in mid-flight, after all. The trees do not wither and die, the rivers do not run red with blood. Life continues to go on…. Why are you so sure that your micromanagement of every moment in this whole world is so essential? Why don’t you let it be?
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
To come to know that nothing is good, nothing is bad, is a turning point; it is a conversion. You start looking in; the outside reality loses meaning. The social reality is a fiction, a beautiful drama; you can participate in it, but then you don’t take it seriously. It is just a role to be played; play it as beautifully, as efficiently, as possible. But don’t take it seriously, it has nothing of the ultimate in it.
Osho
The best way to waste your life is by taking notes. The easiest way to avoid living is to just watch. Look for the details. Report. Don't participate. Let Big Brother do the singing and dancing for you. Be a reporter. Be a good witness. A grateful member of the audience.
Chuck Palahniuk (Lullaby)
How much evil throughout history could have been avoided had people exercised their moral acuity with convictional courage and said to the powers that be, 'No, I will not. This is wrong, and I don't care if you fire me, shoot me, pass me over for promotion, or call my mother, I will not participate in this unsavory activity.' Wouldn't world history be rewritten if just a few people had actually acted like individual free agents rather than mindless lemmings?
Joel Salatin (Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front)
I've wondered, though, if one of the reasons we fail to acknowledge the brilliance of life is because we don't want the responsibility inherent in the acknowledgment. We don't want to be characters in a story because characters have to move and breathe and face conflict with courage. And if life isn't remarkable, then we don't have to do any of that; we can be unwilling victims instead of grateful participants.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment. It’s easy enough to pray when you’re in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Don't never participate in no bad scenes, he reminded himself; that was his motto in life.
Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly)
If you don't participate, you're just taking up oxygen. (Bunny) Life is a banquet. Approach it with hunger. (Chuck)
Deb Caletti (Wild Roses)
If you participate in life, you don’t see it clearly: you suffer from it too much or enjoy it too much. The artist, to my way of thinking, is a monstrosity, something outside nature. All the misfortunes Providence inflicts on him come from his stubborness in denying that maxim.
Gustave Flaubert
But love doesn’t control, and I suppose that’s why it’s the ultimate risk. In the end, we have to hope the person we’re giving our heart to won’t break it, and be willing to forgive them when they do, even as they will forgive us. Real love stories don’t have dictators, they have participants. Love is an ever-changing, complicated, choose-your-own adventure narrative that offers the world but guarantees nothing.
Donald Miller (Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Acquiring a Taste for True Intimacy)
Then he muttered like he was talking to himself, "I don't know if I want her to figure out she's fuckin' gorgeous so she isn't so fuckin' clueless when a player marks her or if I'm glad I finally got one who looks as good as her and has no fuckin' clue." "Are you wanting me to participate in this discussion or are you having a conversation with yourself?" "You're participation isn't required," Sam replied... and I looked up to see him grinning.
Kristen Ashley (Heaven and Hell (Heaven and Hell, #1))
But recently I have learned from discussions with a variety of scientists and other non-philosophers (e.g., the scientists participating with me in the Sean Carroll workshop on the future of naturalism) that they lean the other way: free will, in their view, is obviously incompatible with naturalism, with determinism, and very likely incoherent against any background, so they cheerfully insist that of course they don't have free will, couldn’t have free will, but so what? It has nothing to do with morality or the meaning of life. Their advice to me at the symposium was simple: recast my pressing question as whether naturalism (materialism, determinism, science...) has any implications for what we may call moral competence. For instance, does neuroscience show that we cannot be responsible for our choices, cannot justifiably be praised or blamed, rewarded or punished? Abandon the term 'free will' to the libertarians and other incompatibilists, who can pursue their fantasies untroubled. Note that this is not a dismissal of the important issues; it’s a proposal about which camp gets to use, and define, the term. I am beginning to appreciate the benefits of discarding the term 'free will' altogether, but that course too involves a lot of heavy lifting, if one is to avoid being misunderstood.
Daniel C. Dennett (Consciousness Explained)
Participate in your life, don't just bear witness to the rain washing you away.
Thomm Quackenbush (We Shadows (Night's Dream, #1))
Life went on whether people participated in it or not
Lurlene McDaniel (Don't Die, My Love)
I was co-leading a workshop with an African American man. A white participant said to him, "I don't see race; I don't see you as black." My co-trainer's response was, "Then how will you see racism?" He then explained to her that he was black, he was confident that she could see this, and that his race meant that he had a very different experience in life than she did. If she were ever going to understand or challenge racism, she would need to acknowledge this difference. Pretending that she did not noticed that he was black was not helpful to him in any way, as it denied his reality - indeed, it refused his reality - and kept hers insular and unchallenged. This pretense that she did not notice his race assumed that he was "just like her," and in so doing, she projected her reality onto him. For example, I feel welcome at work so you must too; I have never felt that my race mattered, so you must feel that yours doesn't either. But of course, we do see the race of other people, and race holds deep social meaning for us.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Don't play everything (or every time); let some things go by… What you don't play can be more important than what you do.
Thelonious Monk
You don't have to buy from anyone. You don't have to work at any particular job. You don't have to participate in any given relationship. You can choose.
Harry Browne
If loneliness is to be defined as a desire for intimacy, then included within that is the need to express oneself and to be heard, to share thoughts, experiences and feelings. Intimacy can't exist if the participants aren't willing to make themselves known, to be revealed. But gauging the levels is tricky. Either you don't communicate enough and remain concealed from other people, or you risk rejection by exposing too much altogether: the minor and major hurts, the tedious obsessions, the abscesses and cataracts of need and shame and longing.
Olivia Laing (The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone)
..people would like to think there's somebody up there who knows what he's doing. Since we don't participate, we don't control and we don't even think about the questions of crucial importance, we hope somebody is paying attention who has some competence. Let's hope the ship has a captain, in other words, since we're not taking in deciding what's going on. I think that's a factor. But also, it is an important feature of the ideological system to impose on people the feeling that they are incompetent to deal with these complex and important issues; they'd better leave it to the captain. One device is to develop a star system, an array of figures who are often media creations or creations of the academic propaganda establishment, whose deep insights we are supposed to admire and to whom we must happily and confidently assign the right to control our lives and control international affairs.
Noam Chomsky
It took me too long to realize that the people most inclined to say “You sound angry” are the same people who uniformly don’t care to ask “Why?” They’re interested in silence, not dialogue. This response to women expressing anger happens on larger and larger scales: in schools, places of worship, the workplace, and politics. A society that does not respect women’s anger is one that does not respect women—not as human beings, thinkers, knowers, active participants, or citizens.
Soraya Chemaly (Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger)
Perfectionism is a particularly evil lure for women, who, I believe, hold themselves to an even higher standard of performance than do men. There are many reasons why women’s voices and visions are not more widely represented today in creative fields. Some of that exclusion is due to regular old misogyny, but it’s also true that—all too often—women are the ones holding themselves back from participating in the first place. Holding back their ideas, holding back their contributions, holding back their leadership and their talents. Too many women still seem to believe that they are not allowed to put themselves forward at all, until both they and their work are perfect and beyond criticism. Meanwhile, putting forth work that is far from perfect rarely stops men from participating in the global cultural conversation. Just sayin’. And I don’t say this as a criticism of men, by the way. I like that feature in men—their absurd overconfidence, the way they will casually decide, “Well, I’m 41 percent qualified for this task, so give me the job!” Yes, sometimes the results are ridiculous and disastrous, but sometimes, strangely enough, it works—a man who seems not ready for the task, not good enough for the task, somehow grows immediately into his potential through the wild leap of faith itself. I only wish more women would risk these same kinds of wild leaps. But I’ve watched too many women do the opposite. I’ve watched far too many brilliant and gifted female creators say, “I am 99.8 percent qualified for this task, but until I master that last smidgen of ability, I will hold myself back, just to be on the safe side.” Now, I cannot imagine where women ever got the idea that they must be perfect in order to be loved or successful. (Ha ha ha! Just kidding! I can totally imagine: We got it from every single message society has ever sent us! Thanks, all of human history!) But we women must break this habit in ourselves—and we are the only ones who can break it. We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. No matter how many hours you spend attempting to render something flawless, somebody will always be able to find fault with it. (There are people out there who still consider Beethoven’s symphonies a little bit too, you know, loud.) At some point, you really just have to finish your work and release it as is—if only so that you can go on to make other things with a glad and determined heart. Which is the entire point. Or should be.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: How to Live a Creative Life, and Let Go of Your Fear)
Direct democracy is lazy anarchy, for people who don't want to be governed but are too lazy to govern themselves. They want participation served to them.
Heather Marsh (Binding Chaos: Mass Collaboration on a Global Scale)
Refusal to participate is a moral choice. Water is a gift for all, not meant to be bought and sold. Don’t buy it. When food has been wrenched from the earth, depleting the soil and poisoning our relatives in the name of higher yields, don’t buy it.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants)
CHANGE: Don’t just talk about it, go out there and do it. Don’t just meditate about it, go out there and create it. Don’t just pray about it go out there and take action; participate in the answering of your own prayer. If you want change, get out there and live it. - Steve Maraboli
Steve Maraboli
So you want a nice guy, but you don’t want him to be boring.” “Yes. Nice and not boring and not into threesomes and no cocaine. I mean, is that too much to ask?” “No, although I feel compelled to point out that the threesome thing is pretty universal.” “Oh for God’s sake,” she muttered. “That doesn’t mean we’re all going to try to convince you to participate in one. It’s just that very few guys would be like, ‘Go away, extra girl,’ should one happen to climb into our bed when you’re already in it. That’s all I’m saying.
Tracey Garvis Graves (Heart-Shaped Hack (Kate and Ian, #1))
It’s taboo to admit that you’re lonely. You can make jokes about it, of course. You can tell people that you spend most of your time with Netflix or that you haven’t left the house today and you might not even go outside tomorrow. Ha ha, funny. But rarely do you ever tell people about the true depths of your loneliness, about how you feel more and more alienated from your friends each passing day and you’re not sure how to fix it. It seems like everyone is just better at living than you are. A part of you knew this was going to happen. Growing up, you just had this feeling that you wouldn’t transition well to adult life, that you’d fall right through the cracks. And look at you now. La di da, it’s happening. Your mother, your father, your grandparents: they all look at you like you’re some prized jewel and they tell you over and over again just how lucky you are to be young and have your whole life ahead of you. “Getting old ain’t for sissies,” your father tells you wearily. You wish they’d stop saying these things to you because all it does is fill you with guilt and panic. All it does is remind you of how much you’re not taking advantage of your youth. You want to kiss all kinds of different people, you want to wake up in a stranger’s bed maybe once or twice just to see if it feels good to feel nothing, you want to have a group of friends that feels like a tribe, a bonafide family. You want to go from one place to the next constantly and have your weekends feel like one long epic day. You want to dance to stupid music in your stupid room and have a nice job that doesn’t get in the way of living your life too much. You want to be less scared, less anxious, and more willing. Because if you’re closed off now, you can only imagine what you’ll be like later. Every day you vow to change some aspect of your life and every day you fail. At this point, you’re starting to question your own power as a human being. As of right now, your fears have you beat. They’re the ones that are holding your twenties hostage. Stop thinking that everyone is having more sex than you, that everyone has more friends than you, that everyone out is having more fun than you. Not because it’s not true (it might be!) but because that kind of thinking leaves you frozen. You’ve already spent enough time feeling like you’re stuck, like you’re watching your life fall through you like a fast dissolve and you’re unable to hold on to anything. I don’t know if you ever get better. I don’t know if a person can just wake up one day and decide to be an active participant in their life. I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that people get better each and every day but that’s not really true. People get worse and it’s their stories that end up getting forgotten because we can’t stand an unhappy ending. The sick have to get better. Our normalcy depends upon it. You have to value yourself. You have to want great things for your life. This sort of shit doesn’t happen overnight but it can and will happen if you want it. Do you want it bad enough? Does the fear of being filled with regret in your thirties trump your fear of living today? We shall see.
Ryan O'Connell
Third-level, life-long relationships are generally few because “their existence implies that those involved have reached a stage simultaneously in which the teaching-learning balance is actually perfect.” That doesn’t mean, however, that we necessarily recognize our third-level assignments; in fact, generally we don’t. We may even feel hostility toward these particular people. Someone with whom we have a lifetime’s worth of lessons to learn is someone whose presence in our lives forces us to grow. Sometimes it represents someone with whom we participate lovingly all our lives, and sometimes it represents someone who we experience as a thorn in our side for years, or even forever. Just because someone has a lot to teach us, doesn’t mean we like them. People who have the most to teach us are often the ones who reflect back to us the limits to our own capacity to love, those who consciously or unconsciously challenge our fearful positions. They show us our walls. Our walls are our wounds—the places where we feel we can’t love any more, can’t connect any more deeply, can’t forgive past a certain point. We are in each other’s lives in order to help us see where we most need healing, and in order to help us heal.
Marianne Williamson (Return to Love)
When people sit down to have a conversation, all they're looking for is something they can agree on or participate in with you.
Karen Kilgariff (Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide)
I don’t volunteer. I don’t participate in organized religion. I don’t play team sports. Where do selfish, godless, lazy people go to make friends? That’s where I need to be.
Jessica Pan (Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come: One Introvert's Year of Saying Yes)
Those who participate in a genocide as well as those who merely look away rarely volunteer much in the way of anecdote or observation. Same with the heroic and the righteous. Usually it's only the survivors who speak-and often they don't want to talk much about it either. p. 75
Chris Bohjalian (The Sandcastle Girls)
Will you be ashamed of me if I admit that I'm not sure I'm ready for that sort of battling?' He took my face in his hands, kissing me once. 'Never. I can never be ashamed of you. Certainly not over this...If you eevr wish to fight by my side, it will be my honor.' 'I feel like a coward now.' 'No one would ever think that of you--not with all you have done, Feyre.' A pause. 'War is ugly, and messy, and unforgiving. The soldiers doing the fighting are only a fraction of it. Don't underestimate how far it goes for them to see you here-- to see you tending to the wounded and participating in these meetings and councils.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
As for loving woman, I have never understood why some people had a fit. I still don't. It seems fine to me. If an individual is productive responsible, and energetic, why should her choice in a partner make such a fuss? The government is only too happy to take my tax money and yet they uphold legislation that keeps me a second class citizen. Surely, there should be a tax break for those of us who are robbed of full and equal participation and protection in the life of our nation.
Rita Mae Brown (Poems)
We just went out for dinner. We didn't participate in a Roman orgy, I swear.
Victoria Dahl (Good Girls Don't (Donovan Brothers Brewery, #1))
When they bring the drama, get silent, don't react...and watch what happens (not to you, but those who habitually thrive on your 'willing' participation).
T.F. Hodge (From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph over Death and Conscious Encounters With the Divine Presence)
in this great land of the free we call it human trafficking. And so long as we don’t partake in the luxury, ignoring slavery is of no consequence. It is much easier to look away and ignore the victims. The person who ignores slavery justifies it by quickly deducting the victim is a willing participant hampered by misfortune.
D'Andre Lampkin
This was now officially the most inane conversation in which Griff had ever been a participant—and that included a drunken debate with Del over ostrich racing. “The color isn’t too awful?” She twisted a fold of the skirt. “The draper called it ‘dewy petal,’ but your mother said the shade was more of a ‘frosted berry.’ What do you say?” “I’m a man, Simms. Unless we’re discussing nipples, I don’t see the value in these distinctions.
Tessa Dare (Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4))
Google and Facebook don’t have “users” or “customers”. Instead, they have participants under machine surveillance, whose activities are algorithmically combined within Big Data silos.
Bruce Sterling (The Epic Struggle of the Internet of Things)
People get old, get sick and die. Or they die suddenly. Or their deaths drag on forever. My friend Tory is dying a slow, excruciatingly painful death of bone cancer. Eight friends have died of breast cancer. Polar bears are dying. Honeybees are vanishing. The oceans are drying up. There is a part of me that wants my money back. That wants to say, 'I didn't sign up for this. I don't like the way this whole thing is set up and I won't participate in it.
Geneen Roth (Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything)
When you’ve had a life of overthinking, you have the same reaction time and time again. Shyness becomes habitual. When you’re put in an unfamiliar situation, all you want to do is retreat and hide by default. You watch but don’t participate. You listen but don’t respond. You read, but rarely comment. You take a photo, but you rarely post. You write, but you rarely publish. All of this is because your overthinking mind cannot stop thinking about how you will be perceived by the outside world.
Joel Annesley (Quiet Confidence: Breaking Up with Shyness)
Well, I think that what used to be called, centuries ago, "wage slavery" is intolerable. And I don't think people ought to be forced to rent themselves in order to survive. I think that the economic institutions ought to be run democratically, by their participants, by the communities in which they exist, and so on; and I think basically through various kinds of free association.
Noam Chomsky
Now, I ask this question of all of us and lay this burden upon us: What circumstances are at work right now in our wards, silently separating one sister here and another sister there from the sisterhood of the Relief Society, marginalizing them, making them invisible? And what can we do about it? . . . For example, LDS women are participating in the labor force in ever-increasing numbers. These women need Relief Society. They need the strength of sisterhood. They need to be understood. They need support with their families. They don’t need to be told that they’re selfish or unrighteous because they’re working. They need to be told they are loved.
Chieko N. Okazaki (Disciples)
But love doesn’t control, and I suppose that’s why it’s the ultimate risk. In the end, we have to hope the person we’re giving our heart to won’t break it, and be willing to forgive them when they do, even as they will forgive us. Real love stories don’t have dictators, they have participants. Love is an ever-changing, complicated, choose-your-own adventure narrative that offers the world but guarantees nothing. When you climb a mountain or sail an ocean, you’re rewarded for staying in control. Perhaps that’s another reason true intimacy is so frightening. It’s the one thing we all want, and must give up control to get.
Donald Miller (Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy)
Talking so much you horrify yourself and those around you; talking so little that you almost refuse your own existence: a demonstrates that speech is by no means a straightforward route to connection. If loneliness is to be defined as a desire for intimacy, then included within that is the need to express oneself and to be heard, to share thoughts, experiences and feelings. Intimacy can’t exist if the participants aren’t willing to make themselves known, to be revealed. But gauging the levels is tricky. Either you don’t communicate enough and remain concealed from other people, or you risk rejection by exposing too much altogether: the minor and major hurts, the tedious obsessions, the abscesses and cataracts of need and shame and longing.
Olivia Laing (The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone)
...healing isn’t just the part that looks like healing. You don’t just get fixed in a weekend. You have to keep making the choice to fix yourself. Every time you choose to be nice to yourself instead of being unkind. Every time you decide to experience life fully in all its shades of joy and sorrow. Every time you participate in the boring drudgery of self-care. The whole thing was the healing—everything that came before and everything that’s happened after.
Sam Lansky (Broken People)
The best part about being a nerd within a community of nerds is the insularity – it’s cozy, familial, come as you are. In a discussion board on the Web site Slashdot.org about Rushmore, a film with a nerdy teen protagonist, one anonymous participant pinpointed the value of taking part in detail-oriented zealotry: Geeks tend to be focused on very narrow fields of endeavor. The modern geek has been generally dismissed by society because their passions are viewed as trivial by those people who ‘see the big picture.’ Geeks understand that the big picture is pixilated and their high level of contribution in small areas grows the picture. They don’t need to see what everyone else is doing to make their part better. Being a nerd, which is to say going to far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know. For me, the spark that turns an acquaintance into a friend has usually been kindled by some shared enthusiasm like detective novels or Ulysses S. Grant.
Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
Don’t live life as a spectator. Always examine life: Espouse new ideas, long for new things, constantly discovering new interests, escaping from boring routines. Engage life with enthusiasm; grasping life aggressively and squeezing from it every drop of excitement, satisfaction, and joy. The key to unleashing life’s potential is attitude. The person who approaches life with a child-like wonder is best prepared to defy the limitations of time, is more “alive,” more of a participant in life than the person who remains a spectator.
Felix Baumgartner
Modern war is distinguished by the fact that all the participants are ostensibly unwilling. We are swept towards one another like colonies of heavily armed penguins on an ice floe. Every speech on the subject given by any involved party begins by deploring even the idea of war. A war here would not be legal or useful. It is not necessary or appropriate. It must be avoided. Immediately following this proud declamation comes a series of circumlocutions, circumventions and rhetoricocircumambulations which make it clear that we will go to war, but not really, because we don’t want to and aren’t allowed to, so what we’re doing is in fact some kind of hyper-violent peace in which people will die. We are going to un-war.
Nick Harkaway (The Gone-Away World)
I don’t trust white people like you do. I obviously don’t think they are all murderers, but I think they are all racist.” “All?” I say, eyebrows raised. “It sounds wild, I know, but racism is a spectrum and they all participate in it in some way. They don’t all have white hoods or call us mean things; I know that. But racism isn’t just about that—it’s not about being nice or mean. Or good versus bad. It’s bigger than that. We’re all in this bubble being affected by the past. The moment they decided they got to be white and have all the power and we got to be Black and be at the bottom, everything changed. If we can’t talk about it honestly, and I mean really talk about it, then what’s the point? I read some Malcom X last year, and I agree with him. Some might even treat you good, like an owner might treat a pet.” “That’s wild,” I say. “Yeah, it is. I think anyone can be nice, but it’s not about being nice. You can’t escape a history like that and not be affected. Us Blacks, we start hating ourselves, and them whites start thinking they’re all better than us. Even if they aren’t thinking it constantly, it’s in there somewhere.
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (Ace of Spades)
The Los Angeles parade would begin in Griffith Park, where a large crowd would assemble and the speeches would be given. Every politician of consequence would be there. There was no way they would miss a chance to publicly praise the troops and honor those who had lost their lives in service. Some of the tributes would be sincere and heartfelt, and some less so. But participating in the event, vowing undying support for the U.S. military, was an absolute must to maintain political viability. It was okay to vote to cut funds for veterans' healthcare, but don't dare miss a chance to jump on the Memorial Day bandwagon.
David Rosenfelt (Unleashed (Andy Carpenter, #11))
If you think about the world of a preschooler, they are surrounded by stuff they don't understand-things that are novel. So the driving force for a preschooler is not a search for novelty, like it is with older kids, it's a search for understanding and predictability," says Anderson. "For younger kids, repetition is really valuable. They demand it. When they see a show over and over again, the not only are understanding it better, which is a form of power, but just by predicting what is going to happen, I think they feel a real sense of affirmation and self-worth. And Blue's Clues doubles that feeling, because they also feel like they are participating in something. They feel like they are helping Steve.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
You think I like this?” I say defensively. “Trust me, I don’t need this headache in my life.” I swallow a mouthful of beer. “Hey. You know Twilight?” He blinks. “Excuse me?” “Twilight. The vampire book.” His wary eyes study my face. “What about it?” “Okay, so you know how Bella’s blood is extra special? Like how it gives Edward a raging boner every time he’s around her?” “Are you fucking with me right now?” I ignore that. “Do you think it happens in real life? Pheromones and all that crap. Is it a bullshit theory some horndog dreamed up so he could justify why he’s attracted to his mother or some shit? Or is there actually a biological reason why we’re drawn to certain people? Like goddamn Twilight. Edward wants her on a biological level, right?” “Are you seriously dissecting Twilight right now?” God, I am. This is what Allie has reduced me to. A sad, pathetic loser who goes to a bar and forces his friend to participate in a Twilight book club.
Elle Kennedy (The Score (Off-Campus, #3))
Welcome to Final Forum. Use this board to communicate with other who are completers. Please note: Participants may not attempt to dissuade or discourage self termination. Disregard for free will informed consent will result in immediate removal from the board. Future access to Through-The-Light will be denied. This board is monitored at all times." That's comforting. I've been to suicide boards before where people get on and say stuff like, "Don't do it. Suicide is not the answer." They don't know the question. Or, "Life's a bitch. Get used to it." Thanks. "Suicide is the easy way out." If it's so easy, why am I still here? And my favorite: "God loves you. Life is the most precious gift from God. You will break God's heart if you throw His gift away." God has a heart? That's news to me. People on boards are very, very shallow. The Final Forum has a long list of topic, including: Random Rants, Bullied, Divorce, Disease, So Tired, Hate This Life, Bleak, Bequests, Attempts. Already I like this board. I start with Random Rants.
Julie Anne Peters (By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead)
I participate in BDSM, but I wasn't abused as a child. I don't hate women, or particularly enjoy hurting women. Sometimes I make them feel pain, but it's consensual, it serves a purpose—to get them off—and they can indicate that they wish me to stop at any time. I do like the power I get from total submission, and the trust that my partner puts in me to give me everything, from her mind to her body, while expecting nothing in return—except the understanding that I won't violate that trust.
Nenia Campbell (Bound to Accept (Bound, #1))
Don't seat quiet kids in high interaction areas of the classroom, says communications professor James McCroskey. They won't talk more in those areas; they'll feel more threatened and will have trouble concentrating. Make it easy for introverted kids to participate in class, but don't insist. Forcing highly apprehensive young people to perform orally is harmful. It will increase apprehension and reduce self-esteem.
Susan Cain
When a narcissist and flying monkeys see that you are onto their sly tricks, they will argue with you. This is their final attempt to find a way out of getting caught. No matter how much they scream, cuss, and fight with you, their arguments are to trip you up. They want to provoke you into more conflicts. Remember, they crave narcissistic supply. This is why they are projecting and gaslighting you. They need you to have a negative emotional reaction to them. It feeds the fuel with them. Don’t participate in the drama, denial, and dysfunction.
Dana Arcuri (Soul Rescue: How to Break Free From Narcissistic Abuse & Heal Trauma)
How many people have I heard claim their children as the greatest accomplishment and comfort of their lives? It's the thing they can always lean on during a metaphysical crisis, or a moment of doubt about their relevancy - If I have done nothing else in this life, then at least I have raised my children well. But what if, either by choice or by reluctant necessity, you end up not participating in this comforting cycle of family and continuity? What if you step out? Where do you sit at the reunion? How do you mark time's passage without the fear that you've just fritted away your time on earth without being relevant? You'll need to find another purpose, another measure by which to judge whether or not you have been a successful human being. I love children, but what if I don't have any? What kind of person does that make me? Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where "all is correct." But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course." Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
The reason they don’t explain this to us is because they know that if we find out the extraordinary lengths that they’re going to to fuck us over, we will overthrow the current system and replace it with something fair. That’s why all this important stuff is made to seem inaccessible, boring, and abstract. That is why our participation in politics has been sanded down into an impotent nub. Stick your “X” into this box and congratulate yourself on being free.
Russell Brand (Revolution)
I just sit. Or I walk and walk. Or I stand somewhere looking at one spot. And it seems to me as I stand here that I am totally disconnected from the rest of the world around me. Nothing, absolutely nothing connects me with it. The world around me goes on being busy, conducts its wars, enslaves countries, kills people, tortures. The real world... My life till now seems to have slipped through this real world without participating in it, without caring about it, without any connection to it. Even when I was in the very middle of it, I wasn't really there. My only life connection is in these scribbles. Here I stand, this moment, now, with my arms hanging down, the shoulders fallen, eyes on the floor, beginning my life from point zero. I don't want to connect myself to this world. I am searching for another world to which it would be worth connecting myself.
Jonas Mekas (I Had Nowhere to Go)
I don't expect to have a fully verified story of how Jo's disorder developed, but I don't think that historical accuracy is as important as what I call "emotional truth." People attach different levels of significance to the same events. No two participants in any event remember it in exactly the same way. A single broken promise, for example, among thousands of promises kept, might not be remembered by a parent, but may never be forgotten by the child who was disappointed. (34)
Joan Frances Casey (The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality)
An individual might say, “I don’t want to change anyone.” And yet, he might still spend a great deal of his time trying to get others to agree with his views, or trying to prevent someone from doing something he thinks will be bad for him, or trying to change people by participating in a movement over a burning issue, or voting to prevent others from doing what they want to do. In all these ways, he’s trying to change others — to make them do other than what their natures lead them to do.
Harry Browne (How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: A Handbook for Personal Liberty)
There is an intimate bond between the sufferings of Christ and the conflict and suffering in each Christian life. The daily dying of the Christian is a prolongation of Christ’s own death. Paul writes in Romans 6:3, “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” Baptism is not merely a momentary dying; it inaugurates a lifelong state of death to the world, to the flesh and to sin. Our daily death to selfishness, dishonesty and degraded love is our personal participation in the fellowship of His sufferings.
Brennan Manning (The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus)
When we don’t pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders, when we fail to educate ourselves about the major issues of the day, when we choose not to make our voices and opinions heard, that’s when democracy breaks down. That’s when power is abused. That’s when the most extreme voices in our society fill the void that we leave. That’s when powerful interests and their lobbyists are most able to buy access and influence in the corridors of power –- because none of us are there to speak up and stop them. Participation in public life doesn’t mean that you all have to run for public office -– though we could certainly use some fresh faces in Washington. (Laughter and applause.) But it does mean that you should pay attention and contribute in any way that you can. Stay informed. Write letters, or make phone calls on behalf of an issue you care about. If electoral politics isn’t your thing, continue the tradition so many of you started here at Michigan and find a way to serve your community and your country –- an act that will help you stay connected to your fellow citizens and improve the lives of those around you.
Barack Obama
I'm ashamed to reveal that, even as a teanager, I was guilty of participanting in the mummy wars and jusging another woman for her mothering preferences. It seems that the stay-at-home mothers are still being accused of being anti-feminist and poor role models to their daughters, whereas working mothers have been accused of everything from child abuse to being selfish feminists and inflating house prices. Women are pinched against other women, and no matter where you stand in this minefield, you can't help but notice that men seem to escape the guilt and the blame.
Kasey Edwards (30 Something and Over It: What Happens When You Wake Up And Don't Want to Go To Work Ever Again)
In the statistical gargon used in psychology, p refers to the probability that the difference you see between two groups (of introverts and extroverts, say, or males and females) could have occurred by chance. As a general rule, psychologists report a difference between two groups as 'significant' if the probability that it could have occurred by chance is 1 in 20, or less. The possibility of getting significant results by chance is a problem in any area of research, but it's particularly acute for sex differences research. Supppose, for example, you're a neuroscientist interested in what parts of the brain are involved in mind reading. You get fifteen participants into a scanner and ask them to guess the emotion of people in photographs. Since you have both males and females in your group, you rin a quick check to ensure that the two groups' brains respond in the same way. They do. What do you do next? Most likely, you publish your results without mentioning gender at all in your report (except to note the number of male and female participants). What you don't do is publish your findings with the title "No Sex Differences in Neural Circuitry Involved in Understanding Others' Minds." This is perfectly reasonable. After all, you weren't looking for gender difference and there were only small numbers of each sex in your study. But remember that even if males and females, overall, respond the same way on a task, five percent of studies investigating this question will throw up a "significant" difference between the sexes by chance. As Hines has explained, sex is "easily assessed, routinely evaluated, and not always reported. Because it is more interesting to find a difference than to find no difference, the 19 failures to observe a difference between men and women go unreported, whereas the 1 in 20 finding of a difference is likely to be published." This contributes to the so-called file-drawer phenomenon, whereby studies that do find sex differences get published, but those that don't languish unpublished and unseen in a researcher's file drawer.
Cordelia Fine (Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference)
When I look closely at dairy, I see the hurtful exploitation of specifically female bodies so that some people can enjoy sensual pleasures of consumption while others enjoy the psychological pleasure of collecting profits from the exertions of somebody else's body. Cows are forcibly impregnated, dispossessed of their children, and then painfully robbed of the milk produced by their bodies for those children. No wonder I didn't want to see my complicity! Most women don't consciously perceive the everyday violence against girls and women that permeates and structures our society. How much harder it is, then, to see the gendered violence against nonhuman animals behind the everyday items on the grocery store shelf. When we, as women, partake of that violence, we participate in sexism even as we enjoy the illusory benefits of speciesism. No wonder a glimpse of the sexist violence behind my breakfast cereal left me dizzy.
pattrice jones
Male rats don’t experience the hormonal changes that trigger maternal behavior in female rats. They never normally participate in infant care. Yet put a baby rat in a cage with a male adult and after a few days he will be caring for the baby almost as if he were its mother. He’ll pick it up, nestle it close to him as a nursing female would, keep the baby rat clean and comforted, and even build a comfy nest for it.29 The parenting circuits are there in the male brain, even in a species in which paternal care doesn’t normally exist.30 If a male rat, without even the aid of a William Sears baby-care manual, can be inspired to parent then I would suggest that the prospects for human fathers are pretty good.
Cordelia Fine (Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference)
...surprised at seeing a horse-shoe above the door of Bohr’s country house, a fellow scientist exclaimed that he did not share the superstitious belief that horse-shoes kept evil spirits away, to which Bohr snapped back, ‘I don’t believe in it either. I have it there because I was told that it works even when one doesn’t believe in it’. This is indeed how ideology functions today: nobody takes democracy or justice seriously, we are all aware of their corrupted nature, but we participate in them, we display our belief in them, because we assume that they work even if we do not believe in them”.
Slavoj Žižek (First as Tragedy, Then as Farce)
Son, you just asked me: how can someone show love over and over again when they're constantly rejected? Caleb, the answer is: you can't love her, because you can't give her what you don't have. I couldn't truly love your mother until I understood what love truly was. It's not because I get some reward out of it. I've now made a decision to love your mother whether she deserves it or not. Son, God loves you, even though you don't deserve it. Even though you've rejected Him. Spat in His face. God sent Jesus to die on the cross for your sin, because He loves you. The cross was offensive to me, until I came to it. But when I did, Jesus Christ changed my life. That's when I truly began to love your mom. Son, I can't settle this for you. This is between you and the Lord. But I love you too much not to tell you the truth. Can't you see that you need Him? Can't you see that you need His forgiveness?
Jennifer Dion (Fireproof Your Marriage: Participant's Guide)
The social dimension of reticence and nonacknowledgment is most developed in forms of politeness and deference. We don't want to tell people what we think of them, and we don't want to hear from them what they think of us, though we are happy to surmise their thoughts and feelings, and to have them surmise ours, at least up to a point. We don't, if we are reasonable, worry too much what they may say about us behind our backs, just as we often say things about a third party that we wouldn't say to his face. Since everyone participates in these practices, they aren't, or shouldn't be, deceptive. Deception is another matter, and sometimes we have reason to object to it, though sometimes we have no business knowing the truth, even about how someone really feels about us.
Thomas Nagel
To be detached from the world, (in the sense that Buddhist and Taoists and Hindus often talk about detachment), does not mean to be non-participative. By that I don't mean that you just go through doing everything mechanically and have your thoughts elsewhere. I mean a complete participation, but still detached. And the difference between the two attitudes is this.. On the one hand, there is a way of being so anxious about physical pleasure, so afraid that you won't make it, that you grab it too hard..that you just have to have that thing, and if you do that, you destroy it completely.. and therefore after every attempt to get it, you feel disappointed, you feel empty, you feel something was lost..and so you want it again, you have to keep repeating, repeating, repeating, repeating..because you never really got that. And it is this that's the hang up, this is what is meant by attachment to this world... But on the other hand, pleasure in its fullness cannot be experienced, when one is grasping it.. I knew a little girl to whom someone gave a bunny rabbit. She was so delighted with the bunny rabbit and so afraid of losing it, that taking it home in the car, she squeezed it to death with love. And lots of parents do that to their children. And lots of spouses do it to each other. They hold on too hard, and so take the life out of this transient, beautifully fragile thing that life is. To have it, to have life, and to have its pleasure, you must at the same time let go of it.
Alan W. Watts
I am sometimes asked whether my work reinforces and takes advantage of white guilt. But I don’t see my efforts to uncover how race shapes my life as a matter of guilt. I know that because I was socialized as white in a racism-based society, I have a racist worldview, deep racial bias, racist patterns, and investments in the racist system that has elevated me. Still, I don’t feel guilty about racism. I didn’t choose this socialization, and it could not be avoided. But I am responsible for my role in it. To the degree that I have done my best in each moment to interrupt my participation, I can rest with a clearer conscience. But that clear conscience is not achieved by complacency or a sense that I have arrived.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Something is broken when the food comes on a Styrofoam tray wrapped in slippery plastic, a carcass of a being whose only chance at life was a cramped cage. That is not a gift of life; it is a theft. How, in our modern world, can we find our way to understand the earth as a gift again, to make our relations with the world sacred again? I know we cannot all become hunter-gatherers—the living world could not bear our weight—but even in a market economy, can we behave “as if ” the living world were a gift? We could start by listening to Wally. There are those who will try to sell the gifts, but, as Wally says of sweetgrass for sale, “Don’t buy it.” Refusal to participate is a moral choice. Water is a gift for all, not meant to be bought and sold. Don’t buy it. When food has been wrenched from the earth, depleting the soil and poisoning our relatives in the name of higher yields, don’t buy it.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants)
Together, on his back porch, his cigarette smoke rising like incense to the heavens, we spoke to the God of grace we both are so grateful to know up close and personal. It may be the most beautiful prayer I've ever heard. Jesus, for some reason you've given us another day, and you've set us in Narnia. There are people who still think it's frozen, and there are people who are longing to be thawed but don't know it. God, I pray that what you've called us to do would be the subversive work of the kingdom, that we would help participate in the melting of Narnia, and that people would come alive and would drink and dance and sing and just celebrate life in ways that are so marvelous that the world would press its face against the glass and see the redeemed celebrate life. Amen.
Cathleen Falsani (Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace)
If I could read only great books for the rest of my days, I would be happy. But finding those books—for myself or any other reader—isn't so easy. A "great" book means different things to different people. When we talk about reading, we often focus on the books themselves, but so much of the reading life is about the reader as an active participant. To put a great book in your hands, here's what I need to know: When you turn to the written word, what are you looking for? What themes speak to you? What sorts of places do you want to vicariously visit? What types of characters do you enjoy meeting on the page? What was the last story you wished would never end? Which was the last volume you hurled across the room? Without the details of what "great" means to you, and without knowing what kind of reader you are, the question might be simple, but it's impossible to answer. To hand you a great book, I don't just need to know about books; I need to know you.
Anne Bogel (I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life)
They have learned not to expect their father to attend to them or to be expressive about much of anything. They have come to expect him to be psychologically unavailable. They have also learned that he is not accountable in his emotional absence, that Mother does not have the power either to engage him or to confront him. In other words, Father’s neglect and Mother’s ineffectiveness at countering it teach the boys that, in this family at least, men’s participation is not a responsibility but rather a voluntary and discretionary act. Third, they learn that Mother, and perhaps women in general, need not be taken too seriously. Finally, they learn that not just Mother but the values she manifests in the family—connection, expressivity—are to be devalued and ignored. The subtext message is, “engage in ‘feminine’ values and activities and risk a similar devaluation yourself.” The paradox for the boys is that the only way to connect with their father is to echo his disconnection. Conversely, being too much like Mother threatens further disengagement or perhaps, even active reprisal. In this moment, and thousands of other ordinary moments, these boys are learning to accept psychological neglect, to discount nurture, and to turn the vice of such abandonment into a manly virtue.
Terrence Real (I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression)
We who are Black are at an extraordinary point of choice within our lives. To refuse to participate in the shaping our future is to give it up. Do not be misled into passivity either by false security (they don't mean me) or by despair (there's nothing we can do). Each of us must find our work and do it. Militancy no longer means guns at high noon, if it ever did. It means actively working for change, sometimes in the absence of any surety that change is coming. It means doing the unromantic and tedious work necessary to forge meaningful coalitions, and it means recognizing which coalitions are possible and which coalitions are not. It means knowing that coalition, like unity, means the coming together of whole, self-actualized human beings, focused and believing, not fragmented automatons marching to a prescribed step. It means fighting despair.
Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
The reward is in the risk. I wanted so badly to believe, but the fear felt as great and overwhelming as the desire. I abruptly stood up from my chair so I could return to my room and feel terribly sorry for myself and eat away too much chocolate in private “Can we try to be wise with each other for a very long time??” -“You mean, can we share our fuckups and see if we can get any wisdom out of them?” “Yeah, that would be nice” They think that fate is playing with them. That we’re all just participants in this romantic reality show that God gets a kick our of watching. But the universe doesn’t decide what’s right or not right. You do Dullness is the spice of live. Which is why we must always use other spices I don’t know what I’m doing. Please don’t laugh at me. If I’m a disaster, please be kind and let me down gently Was it possible my heart was shaking as hard as my hands? I thought about the bigger picture of my life, and about the people I would encounter during my lifetime. How would I ever know when that moment was right, when expectation met anticipation and formed…connection?
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
Imagine if we had locally supported, collectively organized agriculture, where our apples were grown in--I dunno--Kent, and if you lived in Kent you could buy and eat those apples in Kent. And then someone turned up and said "I've got a better idea! Let me take over yourr orchard and all orchards like it, fly their produce around the globe to be spruced up and then we'll give em back to ya! Sound like a plan?" We'd tell em to fuck off, wouldn't we? Well it has happened, and we didn't because nobody explained it to us. The reason they don't explain this to us is that they know if we find out the extraordinary lengths that they're going to to fuck us over we will overthrow the current system and replace it with something fair. That is why all this important stuff is made to seem inaccessible, boring, and abstract. That is why our participation in politics has been sanded down into an impotent nub: Stick your X into this box and congratulate yourself on being free.
Russell Brand (Revolution)
Thank you," he said. "Welcome. Welcome especially to Mr. Coyle Mathis and the other men and women of Forster Hollow who are going to be employed at this rather strikingly energy-inefficient plant. It's a long way from Forster Hollow, isn't it?" "So, yes, welcome," he said. "Welcome to the middle class! That's what I want to say. Although, quickly, before I go any further, I also want to say to Mr. Mathis here in the front row: I know you don't like me. And I don't like you. But, you know, back when you were refusing to have anything to do with us, I respected that. I didn't like it, but I had respect for your position. For your independence. You see, because I actually came from a place a little bit like Forster Hollow myself, before I joined the middle class. And, now you're middle-class, too, and I want to welcome you all, because it's a wonderful thing, our American middle class. It's the mainstay of economies all around the globe!" "And now that you've got these jobs at this body-armor plant," he continued, "You're going to be able to participate in those economies. You, too, can help denude every last scrap of native habitat in Asia, Africa, and South America! You, too, can buy six-foot-wide plasma TV screens that consume unbelievable amounts of energy, even when they're not turned on! But that's OK, because that's why we threw you out of your homes in the first places, so we could strip-mine your ancestral hills and feed the coal-fired generators that are the number-one cause of global warming and other excellent things like acid rain. It's a perfect world, isn't it? It's a perfect system, because as long as you've got your six-foot-wide plasma TV, and the electricity to run it, you don't have to think about any of the ugly consequences. You can watch Survivor: Indonesia till there's no more Indonesia!" "Just quickly, here," he continued, "because I want to keep my remarks brief. Just a few more remarks about this perfect world. I want to mention those big new eight-miles-per-gallon vehicles you're going to be able to buy and drive as much as you want, now that you've joined me as a member of the middle class. The reason this country needs so much body armor is that certain people in certain parts of the world don't want us stealing all their oil to run your vehicles. And so the more you drive your vehicles, the more secure your jobs at this body-armor plant are going to be! Isn't that perfect?" "Just a couple more things!" Walter cried, wresting the mike from its holder and dancing away with it. "I want to welcome you all to working for one of the most corrupt and savage corporations in the world! Do you hear me? LBI doesn't give a shit about your sons and daughters bleeding in Iraq, as long as they get their thousand-percent profit! I know this for a fact! I have the facts to prove it! That's part of the perfect middle-class world you're joining! Now that you're working for LBI, you can finally make enough money to keep your kids from joining the Army and dying in LBI's broken-down trucks and shoddy body armor!" The mike had gone dead, and Walter skittered backwards, away from the mob that was forming. "And MEANWHILE," he shouted, "WE ARE ADDING THIRTEEN MILLION HUMAN BEINGS TO THE POPULATION EVERY MONTH! THIRTEEN MILLION MORE PEOPLE TO KILL EACH OTHER IN COMPETITION OVER FINITE RESOURCES! AND WIPE OUT EVERY OTHER LIVING THING ALONG THE WAY! IT IS A PERFECT FUCKING WORLD AS LONG AS YOU DON'T COUNT EVERY OTHER SPECIES IN IT! WE ARE A CANCER ON THE PLANT! A CANCER ON THE PLANET!
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
The Sunday service alone seldom leads people on deeper or even real journeys; we must begin to be honest about this. All that organized religion can do is to hold you inside the boxing ring long enough so you can begin to ask good questions and expect bigger answers. But it seldom teaches you how to really box with the mystery itself. Organized religion does not tend to cook you! It just keeps you on a low, half-cold simmer. It doesn’t teach you how to expect the mystery to show itself at any profound level. It tends, and I don’t mean to be unkind, to make you codependent upon its own ministry, instead of leading you to know something for yourself, which is really the whole point. It’s like we keep saying, “keep coming back, keep coming back” and you’ll eventually get it. But you don’t because the whole thing is oriented toward something you attend or watch and not to something you can participate in 24/7, even without the ministrations of priest and ministers and formal sacraments. Again, I mean no disrespect. If God-experience depends on formal sacramental ministry from ordained clergy, than 99.9 percent of creation has had no chance to know or love God. That can’t be true. And if the clergy themselves have not gone on a further journey, they don’t know how to send you there or guide you there because they have not gone there themselves yet (see Matthew 23:13). Nemo dat quod not hat, we said in Latin: “You cannot give away what you do not have yourself.
Richard Rohr (Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation)
[The Christian story] amounts to a refusal to affirm life. In the biblical tradition we have inherited, life is corrupt, and every natural impulse is sinful unless it has been circumcised or baptized. The serpent was the one who brought sin into the wold. And the woman was the one who handed the apple to man. This identification of the woman with sin, of the serpent with sin, and thus of life with sin, is the twist the has been given to the whole story in the biblical myth and doctrine of the Fall.... I don't know of it [the idea of woman as sinner...in other mythologies] elsewhere. The closest thing to it would be perhaps Pandora with Pandora's box, but that's not sin, that's just trouble. The idea in the biblical tradition of the all is that nature as we know it is corrupt, sex in itself is corrupt, and the female as the epitome of sex is a corrupter. Why was the knowledge of good and evil forbidden to Adam and Eve? Without that knowledge, we'd all be a bunch of babies still Eden, without any participation in life. Woman brings life into the world. Eve is the mother o this temporal wold. Formerly you had a dreamtime paradise there in the Garden of Eden – no time, no birth, no death – no life. The serpent, who dies and is resurrected, shedding its skin and renewing its life, is the lord of the central tree, where time and eternity come together. He is the primary god, actually, in the Garden of Eden. Yahweh, the one who walks there in the cool of the evening, is just a visitor. The Garden is the serpent's place. It is an old, old story. We have Sumerian seals from as early as 3500 B.C. showing the serpent and the tree and the goddess, with the goddess giving the fruit of life to a visiting male. The old mythology of he goddess is right there.... There is actually a historical explanation [of the change of this image of the serpent and the snake in Genesis] based on the coming of the Hebrews into Canaan. The principal divinity of the people of Canaan was the Goddess and associated with the Goddess is the serpent. This is the symbol of the mystery of life. The male-god-oriented groups rejected it. In other words, there is a historical rejection of the Mother Goddess implied in the story of the Garden of Eden. Moyers: It does seem that this story has done women a great disservice by casting Eve as responsible for the Fall. Why...? Campbell: They represent life. Man doesn't enter life except by woman, and so it is woman who brings us into this wold of pairs of opposites and suffering.... Male and female is one opposition. Another opposition is the human and God. Good and evil is a third opposition. The primary oppositions are the sexual and that between human beings and God. Then comes the idea of good and evil in the world. And so Adm and Eve have thrown themselves out of the Garden of Timeless Unity, you might say, just by that act of recognizing duality. To move out into the world, you have to act in terms of pairs of opposites.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
In Wegner’s studies, participants are asked to try hard not to think about something, such as a white bear, or food, or a stereotype. This is hard to do. More important, the moment one stops trying to suppress a thought, the thought comes flooding in and becomes even harder to banish. In other words, Wegner creates minor obsessions in his lab by instructing people not to obsess. Wegner explains this effect as an “ironic process” of mental control. 32 When controlled processing tries to influence thought (“Don’t think about a white bear!”), it sets up an explicit goal. And whenever one pursues a goal, a part of the mind automatically monitors progress, so that it can order corrections or know when success has been achieved. When that goal is an action in the world (such as arriving at the airport on time), this feedback system works well. But when the goal is mental, it backfires. Automatic processes continually check: “Am I not thinking about a white bear?” As the act of monitoring for the absence of the thought introduces the thought, the person must try even harder to divert consciousness. Automatic and controlled processes end up working at cross purposes, firing each other up to ever greater exertions. But because controlled processes tire quickly, eventually the inexhaustible automatic processes run unopposed, conjuring up herds of white bears. Thus, the attempt to remove an unpleasant thought can guarantee it a place on your frequent-play list of mental ruminations.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Putting It into Practice: Neutralizing Negativity Use the techniques below anytime you’d like to lessen the effects of persistent negative thoughts. As you try each technique, pay attention to which ones work best for you and keep practicing them until they become instinctive. You may also discover some of your own that work just as well. ♦ Don’t assume your thoughts are accurate. Just because your mind comes up with something doesn’t necessarily mean it has any validity. Assume you’re missing a lot of elements, many of which could be positive. ♦ See your thoughts as graffiti on a wall or as little electrical impulses flickering around your brain. ♦ Assign a label to your negative experience: self-criticism, anger, anxiety, etc. Just naming what you are thinking and feeling can help you neutralize it. ♦ Depersonalize the experience. Rather than saying “I’m feeling ashamed,” try “There is shame being felt.” Imagine that you’re a scientist observing a phenomenon: “How interesting, there are self-critical thoughts arising.” ♦ Imagine seeing yourself from afar. Zoom out so far, you can see planet Earth hanging in space. Then zoom in to see your continent, then your country, your city, and finally the room you’re in. See your little self, electrical impulses whizzing across your brain. One little being having a particular experience at this particular moment. ♦ Imagine your mental chatter as coming from a radio; see if you can turn down the volume, or even just put the radio to the side and let it chatter away. ♦ Consider the worst-case outcome for your situation. Realize that whatever it is, you’ll survive. ♦ Think of all the previous times when you felt just like this—that you wouldn’t make it through—and yet clearly you did. We’re learning here to neutralize unhelpful thoughts. We want to avoid falling into the trap of arguing with them or trying to suppress them. This would only make matters worse. Consider this: if I ask you not to think of a white elephant—don’t picture a white elephant at all, please!—what’s the first thing your brain serves up? Right. Saying “No white elephants” leads to troops of white pachyderms marching through your mind. Steven Hayes and his colleagues studied our tendency to dwell on the forbidden by asking participants in controlled research studies to spend just a few minutes not thinking of a yellow jeep. For many people, the forbidden thought arose immediately, and with increasing frequency. For others, even if they were able to suppress the thought for a short period of time, at some point they broke down and yellow-jeep thoughts rose dramatically. Participants reported thinking about yellow jeeps with some frequency for days and sometimes weeks afterward. Because trying to suppress a self-critical thought only makes it more central to your thinking, it’s a far better strategy to simply aim to neutralize it. You’ve taken the first two steps in handling internal negativity: destigmatizing discomfort and neutralizing negativity. The third and final step will help you not just to lessen internal negativity but to actually replace it with a different internal reality.
Olivia Fox Cabane (The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism)
I would be pleased to participate in this conversation to a greater degree," he drawled, "except that you have not seen fit to share with me any of the details of your life." "It was not an oversight on my part." He clucked disapprovingly. "So hostile." Her eyes bugged out. "You abducted me-" Coerced," he reminded her. "Do you want me to hit you?" "I wouldn't mind it," he said mildly. "And besides, now that you're here, was it really so very terrible that I browbeat you into coming? You like my family, don't you?" "Yes,but-" "And they treat you fairly, right?" "Yes,but-" "Then what," he asked, his tone most supercilious, "is the problem?" Sophie almost lost her temper. She almost jumped to her feet and grabbed his shoulders and shook and shook and shook, but at the last moment she realized that that was exactly what he wanted her to do.And so instead she merely sniffed and said, "If you cannot recognize the problem, there is no way that I could explain it to you." He laughed,damn the man. "My goodness," he said, "that was an expert sidestep." She picked up her book and opened it. "I'm reading." "Trying,at least," he murmured. She flipped a page, even though she hadn't read that last two paragraphs. She was really just trying to make a show of ignoring him, and besides, she could always go back and read them later, after he left. "Your book is upside down," he pointed out. Sophie gasped and looked down. "It is not!" He smiled slyly. "But you still had to look to be sure, didn't you?" She stood up and announced, "I'm going inside." He stood immediately. "And leave the splendid spring air?" "And leave you," she retorted, even though his gesture of respect was not lost on her. Gentleman did not ordinarily stand for mere servants. "Pity," he murmured. "I was having such fun." Sophie wondered how much injury he'd sustain if she threw the book at him. Probably not enough to make up for the loss to her dignity.
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
When I was a kid, summers were the most glorious time of life. Because my parents believed in hands-off, free-range parenting, I’d usually be out the door before ten and wouldn’t return until dinner. There were no cell phones to keep track of me and whenever my mom called a neighbor to ask where I was, the neighbor was often just as clueless as to her own child’s whereabouts. In fact, there was only one rule as far as I could tell: I had to be home at half past five, since my parents liked to eat dinner as a family. I can’t remember exactly how I used to spend those days. I have recollections in snapshot form: building forts or playing king of the hill on the high part of the jungle gym or chasing after a soccer ball while attempting to score. I remember playing in the woods, too. Back then, our home was surrounded by undeveloped land, and my friends and I would have dirt-clod wars or play capture the flag; when we got BB guns, we could spend hours shooting cans and occasionally shooting at each other. I spent hours exploring on my bicycle, and whole weeks would pass where I’d wake every morning with nothing scheduled at all. Of course, there were kids in the neighborhood who didn’t lead that sort of carefree existence. They would head off to camp or participate in summer leagues for various sports, but back then, kids like that were the minority. These days, kids are scheduled from morning to night because parents have demanded it, and London has been no exception. But how did it happen? And why? What changed the outlook of parents in my generation? Peer pressure? Living vicariously through a child’s success? Résumé building for college? Or was it simply fear that if their kids were allowed to discover the world on their own, nothing good would come of it? I don’t know. I am, however, of the opinion that something has been lost in the process: the simple joy of waking in the morning and having nothing whatsoever to do.
Nicholas Sparks (Two By Two)