During Uncertain Times Quotes

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Lovers are not at their best when it matters. Mouths dry up, palms sweat, conversation flags and all the time the heart is threatening to fly from the body once and for all. Lovers have been known to have heart attacks. Lovers drink too much from nervousness and cannot perform. They eat too little and faint during their fervently wished consummation. They do not stroke the favoured cat and their face-paint comes loose. This is not all. Whatever you have set store by, your dress, your dinner, your poetry, will go wrong. How is it that one day life is orderly and you are content, a little cynical perhaps, but on the whole just so, and then without warning you find the solid floor is a trapdoor and you are now in another place whose geography is uncertain and whose customs are strange? Travellers at least have a choice. Those who set sail know that things will not be the same as at home. Explorers are prepared. But for us, who travel along the blood vessels, who come to the cities of the interior by chance, there is no preparation. We who were fluent find life is a foreign language. Somewhere between the swamp and the mountains. Somewhere between fear and sex. Somewhere between God and the Devil passion is and the way there is sudden and the way back is worse.
Jeanette Winterson (The Passion)
And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
the genes of modern-day Africans are a treasure house for all humanity. They possess our species’ greatest reservoir of genetic diversity, of which further study will shed new light on the heredity of the human body and mind. Perhaps the time has come, in light of this and other advances in human genetics, to adopt a new ethic of racial and hereditary variation, one that places value on the whole of diversity rather than on the differences composing the diversity. It would give proper measure to our species’ genetic variation as an asset, prized for the adaptability it provides all of us during an increasingly uncertain future. Humanity is strengthened by a broad portfolio of genes that can generate new talents, additional resistance to diseases, and perhaps even new ways of seeing reality. For scientific as well as for moral reasons, we should learn to promote human biological diversity for its own sake instead of using it to justify prejudice and conflict.
Edward O. Wilson (The Social Conquest of Earth)
First among the authors that Rousseau had in mind was Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), who had presented a very different picture: Hereby it is manifest, that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man. . . . In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
They always came at dawn, I knew that. And so I spent my nights waiting for that dawn. I've never liked being surprised. If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there. That's why I ended up sleeping only a little bit during the day and then, all night long, waited patiently for the first light to show on the pane of sky. The hardest time was that uncertain hour when I knew they usually set to work. After midnight, I would wait and watch .. My ears had never heard so many noises or picked up such small sounds. One thing I can say, though, is that in a certain way I was lucky that whole time, since I never heard footsteps. Maman used to say that you can always find something to be happy about. In my prison, when the sky turned red and a new day slipped into my cell, I found out that she was right. Because I might just as easily have heard footsteps and my heart could have burst. Even though I would rush to the door at the slightest shuffie, even though, with my ear pressed to the wood, I would wait frantically until I heard the sound of my own breathing, terrified to find it so hoarse, like a dog's panting, my heart would not burst after all, and I would have gained another twenty-four hours.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
The idea which had long ago and often occurred to him during the period of his active service, that there was and could be no sort of military science, and that therefore there could not be such a thing as military genius, seemed to him now to be an absolutely obvious truth. “What theory and science can there be of a subject of which the conditions and circumstances are uncertain and can never be definitely known, in which the strength of the active forces engaged can be even less definitely measured? No one can, or possibly could, know the relative positions of our army and the enemy's in another twenty-four hours, and no one can gauge the force of this or the other detachment. Sometimes when there is no coward in front to cry, ‘We are cut off!' and to run, but a brave, spirited fellow leads the way, shouting ‘Hurrah!' a detachment of five thousand is as good as thirty thousand, as it was at Schöngraben, while at times fifty thousand will run from eight thousand, as they did at Austerlitz. How can there be a science of war in which, as in every practical matter, nothing can be definite and everything depends on countless conditions, the influence of which becomes manifest all in a moment, and no one can know when that moment is coming.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
New people rarely went there to live. The same families married the same families until relationships were hopelessly entangled and the members of the community looked monotonously alike. Jean Louise, until the Second World War, was related by blood or marriage to nearly everybody in the town, but this was mild compared to what went on in the northern half of Maycomb County: there was a community called Old Sarum populated by two families, separate and apart in the beginning, but unfortunately bearing the same name. The Cunninghams and the Coninghams married each other until the spelling of the names was academic—academic unless a Cunningham wished to jape with a Coningham over land titles and took to the law. The only time Jean Louise ever saw Judge Taylor at a dead standstill in open court was during a dispute of this kind. Jeems Cunningham testified that his mother spelled it Cunningham occasionally on deeds and things but she was really a Coningham, she was an uncertain speller, and she was given to looking far away sometimes when she sat on the front porch. After nine hours of listening to the vagaries of Old Sarum’s inhabitants, Judge Taylor threw the case out of court on grounds of frivolous pleading and declared he hoped to God the litigants were satisfied by each having had his public say. They were. That was all they had wanted in the first place.
Harper Lee (Go Set a Watchman)
The future is now quite uncertain; everyone lives for today, a state of mind in which the game of graft and swindle is played with ease — that is, it is only "for today" that they allow themselves to be bribed and bought, while tomorrow and tomorrow’s virtue they reserve to themselves! It is a well-known fact that individuals, being truly things apart, care more for the moment than their opposites the gregarious do, because they consider themselves as unpredictable as the future; likewise, they readily take up with the violent, because the crowd could neither understand nor condone the actions to which they dare have recourse — but the tyrant or Caesar understands that the individual has a right even to his excesses, and has an interest in advocating a bolder private morality, and even in lending it a hand. For what he thinks of himself, and what he wants others to think of him, is what Napoleon in his classical manner at one time declared: "I have the right to answer any complaint against me with an eternal “this is what I am”. I stand aloof from the whole world and accept conditions from no one. I want submission even to my fancies and regard it as a matter of course that I indulge myself in this or that diversion." Napoleon once spoke thus to his wife, who had reasons to question her husband’s fidelity. It is during the most corrupt times that these apples ripen and fall, by which I mean the individuals who bear the seeds of the future, the intellectual pioneers and founders of causes and federations. Corruption is only an ugly word for the autumn of a people.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science: With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs)
It wasn't only my friends who suffered from female rivalry. I remember when I was just sixteen years old, during spring vacation, being whisked off to an early lunch by my best friend's brother, only to discover, to my astonishment and hurt, that she was expecting some college boys to drop by and didn't want me there to compete with her. When I started college at Sarah Lawrence, I soon noticed that while some of my classmates were indeed true friends, others seemed to resent that I had a boyfriend. It didn't help that Sarah Lawrence, a former girls' school, included very few straight men among its student body--an early lesson in how competing for items in short supply often brings out the worst in women. In graduate school, the stakes got higher, and the competition got stiffer, a trend that continued when I went on to vie for a limited number of academic jobs. I always had friends and colleagues with whom I could have trusted my life--but I also found women who seemed to view not only me but all other female academics as their rivals. This sense of rivalry became more painful when I divorced my first husband. Many of my friends I depended on for comfort and support suddenly began to view me as a threat. Some took me out to lunch to get the dirt, then dropped me soon after. I think they found it disturbing that I left my unhappy marriage while they were still committed to theirs. For other women, the threat seemed more immediate--twice I was told in no uncertain terms that I had better stay away from someone's husband, despite my protests that I would no more go after a friend's husband than I would stay friends with a woman who went after mine. Thankfully, I also had some true friends who remained loyal and supportive during one of the most difficult times of my life. To this day I trust them implicitly, with the kind of faith you reserve for people who have proved themselves under fire. But I've also never forgotten the shock and disappointment of discovering how quickly those other friendships turned to rivalries.
Susan Shapiro Barash (Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth About Women and Rivalry)
The IPCC had clearly stated that the unrestricted fossil fuel use would produce a “rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about .3 C per decade; this is greater than that seen over the past 10,000 years.”86 Singer rejected this, asserting instead that “the scientific base for [greenhouse warming] includes some facts, lots of uncertainty, and just plain ignorance.” He concluded emphatically, “The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time.”87 This, of course, was precisely what he had said about acid rain. And ozone depletion. It was easy to see why many working scientists didn’t like Fred Singer.
Naomi Oreskes (Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming)
JUNE 30 A.A. Thought for the Day Alcoholics are unable or unwilling, during their addiction to alcohol, to live in the present. The result is that they live in a constant state of remorse and fear because of their unholy past and its morbid attraction, or the uncertain future and its vague forebodings. So the only real hope for the alcoholic is to face the present. Now is the time. Now is ours. The past is beyond recall. The future is as uncertain as life itself. Only the now belongs to us. Am I living in the now? Meditation for the Day I must forget the past as much as possible. The past is over and gone forever. Nothing can be done about the past, except to make what restitution I can. I must not carry the burden of my past failures. I must go on in faith. The clouds will clear and the way will lighten. The path will become less stony with every forward step I take. God has no reproach for anything that He has healed. I can be made whole and free, even though I have wrecked my life in the past. Remember the saying: “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.” Prayer for the Day I pray that I may not carry the burden of the past. I pray that I may cast it off and press on in faith.
Anonymous (Twenty Four Hours A Day)
How can we harness the wind of change for growth? How can we thrive in times of worldwide change? And more specifically, how can leaders turn a crisis into a business opportunity?
Adi Mazor Kario (Innovating Through Chaos: The proven formula for launching unbeatable products during uncertain times)
Over the years, gold has been considered the ultimate safe haven for many people, a staple of their Security Bucket, and conventional wisdom said it would only go up in value during uncertain times.
Anthony Robbins (MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (Tony Robbins Financial Freedom))
break?" She stared back at him, but speaking was beyond her. She was so taken aback by the concern and care he couldn't hide. This was just one more aspect of his personality that she was seeing, whether he wanted her to see it or not. She sucked in a ragged breath. She had one thought and one thought only. She was falling in love with the Neanderthal. **** During the evening and night, Logan fed her soup and made her drink Gatorade and lots of water. Lauren knew he'd called someone, she suspected it was his mother, because she'd heard him talking on the phone. After that, he timed her medicine and alternated between giving her ibuprofen and acetaminophen. He took care of her, and she left any worries she might have had to him. Since the following day was Friday, she already knew she wasn't going in to work, and so did her immediate boss. It had been more than obvious when Lauren had left with chills and a fever and he had called out, "See you Monday." She knew he didn't want her spreading what she had all over the office. So Lauren alternated between sleeping through the evening and night, and being taken care of by Logan. All she had to do on her own was pick her way to the bathroom, and a couple of times, she hadn't even had to do that. He'd lifted her up when she'd swayed a little too much for his liking, and deposited her in the bathroom and closed the door. He'd been there waiting for her, ready to carry her back after she opened the door. They watched some television together, and at about midnight, he carried her through to the bedroom and held her as she slept. Lauren couldn't ever remember having had so much fun being sick. She reveled in his care; she luxuriated in the undivided attention he was showing her. Nothing anyone had ever done for her had ever felt so . . . compelling. The next morning when she realized that he wasn't going to go to work, she rebelled against that. "I'm okay. I'm going to live. Please go to work." He frowned in obvious agitation. "Your fever might flare up again." "I just took the ibuprofen. I'll take some more meds in a couple of hours, okay?" He watched her as if debating the idea. "I think you still need me." God, yes, she needed him. "I'll be fine." She watched him warily, a thousand emotions bouncing around in her head. "You can come back after work if you want." He leaned in and kissed her on the forehead. "That's a given, baby." **** Lauren went back to work on Monday but was slow to fully get her strength back. Two weeks later, however, she was full steam ahead. She'd laid low at work, put a lot of stuff on the back burner as she recovered from what she guessed was a mild case of the flu. Then one day, feeling much better, she took a look at her upcoming calendar and almost flipped out. She had a full schedule packed into the next ten days or so, starting with an out of town trip. Logan took her out to dinner that evening, and after they'd eaten and she'd delayed as long as she could, she lowered the boom on him. After she told him about the trip, he turned in his seat to stare down at her. He said nothing for a moment, as if not trusting himself to speak. The waiter walked by, and Logan motioned for the check with a jerk of his hand. Every motion of his body indicated his heightened stress level. "Logan, you're overreacting," Lauren chided softly. "Am I?" he asked, staring across the restaurant, out the windows, looking everywhere else but not at her while he drummed his fingers on the table. "Yes. It's no big deal, really, I'll be home before you know it," she tried to soothe. "I don't think you understand," he said flatly as he turned to look at her. Oh, Lauren was pretty sure she did understand and told him so in no uncertain terms. "I
Lynda Chance (Pursuit)
and some as a spiritual battle, declares in Psalm 34:17-19 “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Debby Sibert (God's Antidote For Depression, Anxiety, or Fear: Learn How To Experience Peace and Joy During Adversity and Uncertain Times)
In uncertain times, Mr. President,” the prime minister said, “the call of religious and ethnic solidarity can be intoxicating. And it’s not so hard for politicians to exploit that, in India or anywhere else.” I nodded, recalling the conversation I’d had with Václav Havel during my visit to Prague and his warning about the rising tide of illiberalism in Europe. If globalization and a historic economic crisis were fueling these trends in relatively wealthy nations—if I was seeing it even in the United States with the Tea Party—how could India be immune? For the truth was that despite the resilience of its democracy and its impressive recent economic performance, India still bore little resemblance to the egalitarian, peaceful, and sustainable society Gandhi had envisioned. Across the country, millions continued to live in squalor, trapped in sunbaked villages or labyrinthine slums, even as the titans of Indian industry enjoyed lifestyles that the rajas and moguls of old would have envied. Violence, both public and private, remained an all-too-pervasive part of Indian life. Expressing hostility toward Pakistan was still the quickest route to national unity, with many Indians taking great pride in the knowledge that their country “had developed a nuclear weapons program to match Pakistan’s, untroubled by the fact that a single miscalculation by either side could risk regional annihilation.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Secret #3 The Third Secret Follows From 1 & 2 Everything you do should be done so that the hiring manager feels totally comfortable asking you to join her team. For that reason, here are things you should never say: “Sorry I’m late.” Your lateness communicates that this job is not that important to you. It also communicates that you’re not organized, and therefore, you’re not dependable. “Do you mind if I get this?” If you decide to take a call during an interview, you’ve communicated that this job is not that important to you. (The only reason a hiring manager might excuse this behavior is if your parent or spouse is deathly ill.) “I’m applying for this job because it will give me ...” Don’t talk about what the job can do for you. Talk about what you can do for the company. "I'm not sure if I'm a good fit for this job, but ... There are few things more foolish than expressing doubt about a job in an interview. The interview is the time to sell yourself and all you have to offer. If you express doubt, you will make the hiring manager write you off. After all, she’s trying to fill a role, so why should she waste time on someone with doubts? “I need …” The interview is not a time to talk about your needs. It is your time to explain how you can address the hiring manager’s needs. “How much paid time off do I get during the first year?” Asking about time off gives the hiring manager the impression that you’ll take as much time off as you can. Even if this is true, sending this type of message doesn’t help you. "I'm getting divorced/pregnant/going through a tough time." You’ll never sell yourself to a hiring manager if you say things that make her think you’ll be distracted and not able to focus on the job. If you’re uncertain about whether you should say something to the hiring manager or not, put yourself in her shoes and consider how such comments will make her feel.
Clark Finnical (Job Hunting Secrets: (from someone who's been there))
Many people lost their livelihoods several times over in the 1990s and 2000s: first their salaried jobs, then a portion (or all) of their livestock owing to rapid privatization during the winter, and finally money invested to launch a business that subsequently failed. Some of the reasons behind the bankruptcies and losses of private entrepreneurs are clear… Upon receiving their livestock, the townspeople panicked and rushed to locate a relative or friend among the herdsmen in the countryside who would agree to take care of their livestock. The herdsmen themselves, however, had not known to prepare extra hay or fences and could provide little help to their relatives from the sedentary center. More disconcerting, many people simply did not understand that privatization signaled the end of the SF jobs and salaries, and that the livestock was given to them to enable them to subsist independently of the state. They either slaughtered and ate their share of the livestock or sold their animals to traders. Some even assumed that the livestock distributed to them was a one-time gift from the state; others thought it was an annual bonus or a reward from the state. Overall, people were confused about the distribution of animals. Purvee lamented to me: ‘No one explained to us that from now on we would be on our own and that the state would not provide us with the services and direction it had for many decades. We did not know that we now had to take care of ourselves, without any support from the state! We did not understand what privatization really meant!”… State socialism… tried to make economic production, transactions, prices, and exchanges as predictable as possible. Because the state was the main and often the only client, the marketability and competitiveness of products were not a concern for CFs so long as they met established standards. Similarly, the CFs were not worried about appealing to buyers, competing with other CFs for customers, or, in general, predicting demand and adjusting their strategies. Although the system limited (and sometimes prevented) individuals and enterprises from making a profit, it also freed people from having to search for a market and from traveling long distances with highly perishable products for which the sales outcome was uncertain. For many, the CFs were a better system than individual domestic herding of private livestock. Of course, the CFs had many shortcomings, both systemically and as individual enterprises. But in the context of post-socialist impoverishment and uncertainty, many herders missed the security and safety that CFs provided… The distinction between the haves and the have-nots was sharpened, but the distance between the two was as short as one zud, flood, or other natural disaster. Without state support, livestock was constantly under threat. For instance, without state extermination brigades, wolves and foxes regularly raided the herds. The price of a bullet almost equaled the price of a sheep, so many herdsmen could not afford to shoot the attackers regularly. Family members took turns guarding their livestock, and it was rare for a nomadic family to pass an uneventful night. Both men and women complained about the backbreaking labor and about not being able to get away from their household duties in order to see a doctor or visit a sick relative in the hospital… The privatization of SFs was a matter not only of property ownership, as Verdery revealed (2004), but also of the ownership of risk, liability, and debt against properties that were losing value. And specific to Mongolia, the new owners also most likely took on a share of the debt. Some of the economic programs instituted during socialism were never intended to generate profit; their purpose was political and ideological—settling the vast land, managing the population, and creating an illusion of prosperity and development…
Manduhai Buyandelger (Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Memory, and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia)
Traits Commonly Associated with “Female Autism”[10] Emotional Strikes others as emotionally immature and sensitive. Prone to outbursts or crying jags, sometimes over seemingly small things. Has trouble recognizing or naming one’s feelings. Ignores or suppresses emotions until they “bubble up” and explode. May become disturbed or overwhelmed when others are upset, but uncertain how to respond or support them. Goes “blank” and seems to shut down after prolonged socializing or when overstimulated. Psychological Reports a high degree of anxiety, especially social anxiety. Is perceived by others as moody and prone to bouts of depression. May have been diagnosed with mood disorders such as Bipolar Disorder, or personality disorders such as Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, before Autism was discovered. Fears rejection intensely and tries to manage how other people feel to avoid it. Has an unstable sense of self, perhaps highly dependent on the opinions of others. Behavioral Uses control to manage stress: follows intense self-imposed rules, despite having an otherwise unconventional personality. Is usually happiest at home or in a familiar, predictable environment. Seems youthful for their age, in looks, dress, behavior, or interests. Prone to excessive exercise, calorie restriction, or other eating disordered behaviors. Neglects physical health until it becomes impossible to ignore. Self-soothes by constantly fidgeting, listening to repetitive music, twirling hair, picking at skin or cuticles, etc. Social Is a social chameleon; adopts the mannerisms and interests of the groups they’re in. May be highly self-educated but will have struggled with social aspects of college or their career. Can be very shy or mute, yet can become very outspoken when discussing a subject they are passionate about. Struggles to know when to speak when in large groups or at parties. Does not initiate conversations but can appear outgoing and comfortable when approached. Can socialize, but primarily in shallow, superficial ways that may seem like a performance. Struggles to form deeper friendships. Has trouble disappointing or disagreeing with someone during a real-time conversation.
Devon Price (Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity)
From the airport, we caught a taxi to the apartment building on South Beretania Street where Barack had lived with his grandparents during his teenage years while his mother was mostly away, doing anthropological fieldwork in Indonesia. I remember on that car ride being struck by how surprisingly big and urban Honolulu seemed to be, a city stacked next to a body of water not unlike Chicago was. There was a freeway, traffic, and skyscrapers, none of which I remembered seeing during the Brady Bunch’s visit, nor had they factored into my daydreams. My mind clicked furiously, taking everything in, processing it like data. I was twenty-five years old and seeing this place for the first time, alongside this guy whom I felt I knew and yet didn’t fully know, trying to make sense of what all of this was. We passed a series of tightly packed high-rise apartment complexes, where you could see terraces cluttered with bikes and potted plants, people’s laundry strung up and drying in the sun. I remember thinking, Oh, right, this is real life.
Michelle Obama (The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times)
In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and, which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. —Thomas Hobbes, in Leviathan, on what happens to human beings during a state of war
Roy Peter Clark (The Art of X-Ray Reading: How the Secrets of 25 Great Works of Literature Will Improve Your Writing)
Rich nations are rich largely because they managed to develop inclusive institutions at some point during the past three hundred years. These institutions have persisted through a process of virtuous circles. Even if inclusive only in a limited sense to begin with, and sometimes fragile, they generated dynamics that would create a process of positive feedback, gradually increasing their inclusiveness. Once pluralism was enshrined, there was a tendency for the institutions to become more inclusive over time, even if this was a rocky and uncertain process. Once these inclusive institutions are in place, we do not need the same confluence of factors for them to survive. Virtuous circles, though still subject to significant contingency, enable the institutions’ continuity and often even unleash dynamics taking society toward greater inclusiveness.
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty)
What’s perhaps strange to say is that I’m not sure I would have gotten there without the period of enforced stillness and the steadiness I found inside of knitting. I’d had to go small in order to think big again. Shaken by the enormity of everything that was happening, I’d needed my hands to reintroduce me to what was good, simple, and accomplishable. And that turned out to be a lot. I now knit while talking to my mom on the phone, during Zoom meetings with my team from the office, and on summer afternoons when friends come to sit on our back patio. Knitting has made watching the evening news a little less stressful. It has made certain hours of the day less lonely, and it’s helped me think more reasonably about the future. I’m not here to tell you that knitting is a cure for anything. It won’t end racism or demolish a virus or vanquish depression. It won’t create a just world or slow climate change or heal anything big that’s broken. It’s too small for that. It’s so small that it hardly seems to matter. And this is part of my point. I’ve come to understand that sometimes the big stuff becomes easier to handle when you deliberately put something small alongside it. When everything starts to feel big and therefore scary and insurmountable, when I hit a point of feeling or thinking or seeing too much, I’ve learned to make the choice to go toward the small. On days when my brain apprehends nothing but monolithic catastrophe and doom, when I feel paralyzed by not-enoughness and my agitation begins to stir, I pick up the knitting needles and give my hands a chance to take over, to quietly click us out of that hard place. In knitting, when you create the first stitch of a new project, you cast on. When an item is finished, you bind off. Both of these actions, I’ve found, are incredibly satisfying—the bookends of something manageable and finite. They give me a sense of completion in a world that will always and forever feel chaotic and incomplete.
Michelle Obama (The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times)
Poverty was one of those concerns. In the last days of November 1963, Robert Kennedy found a sheet of paper on which his brother had repeatedly scrawled and circled the word “poverty” during the final cabinet meeting of his life. Bobby framed the paper and hung it in his office at the Justice Department. Poverty was on both Kennedys’ minds that fall; earlier in 1963 they had begun to consider an antipoverty program—not a war but an “offensive” of uncertain magnitude. At the time of the assassination, Walter Heller, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, was preparing a comprehensive picture of the poverty problem. By the time Heller placed the memo on President Johnson’s desk the morning of November 23, the fight against poverty had attained the solemnity of a dead man’s last wish.
Jeff Shesol (Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud that Defined a Decade)
Nerissa,” he called after the retreating pair. She turned and looked at him, her eyes wounded, the tears still wet upon her face. “It is bad enough that you would marry a man so far beneath you,” he said. “It is bad enough that you would marry a man that your family does not accept, a man for whom you have thrown away your birthright, heritage and country, a man who will never be able to keep you in the comfort and luxury in which you’ve been raised and to which you’ve been accustomed.” He waited for his words to sink in, and then he dropped the killing blow. “But for you to knowingly walk off with an accused killer, a man who murdered his very best friend….” Bang. He saw the fatal shot hit home as the blood drained from the Parasite’s face. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Nerissa said uncertainly, and tried to continue on. “Don’t you? Do you mean this vermin you’ve wed hasn’t told you?” Lucien’s smile was coldly triumphant. “Josiah Brown. A duel, 1776. You shot him, didn’t you, O’ Devir? Your very best friend in the world, and all over a woman you both purported to love.” The blows he’d dealt the Irishman during the fight were nothing compared to the damage his words now caused, and Lucien felt a dark and savage satisfaction as he watched stunned denial and fear, yes fear, steal the color from that rascal’s hated face. “Dolores Foley was the wench’s name, wasn’t it? And she’s dead now, too.” The Irishman looked as though he’d been stabbed through the heart with a knitting needle. “I didn’t kill her.” “Of course you didn’t,” Lucien said loftily, and gave a dramatic sigh. “You didn’t need to. But you did kill Brown, you were convicted and sentenced to hang, and it was only your friend John Adams’s brilliance that got you out of the noose in an appeal that should never have been made.” O’ Devir flushed with rage. “Ye know nothin’ of what happened.” “Oh, I know all of it. Have you told my sister about this particular little… tidbit of your past?” By the dawning horror in Nerissa’s face, he had not. “I think we’ve all heard enough,” Brendan said, nodding for his wife to join him as he took the duke by the elbow and tried to force him away. “Some things are over and done with, and that’s one of them.” “Ah, well… always best to know everything there is to know about a person before you marry them,” Lucien murmured. His smile was pitiless and cold. “You’re correct, Merrick. It is time to leave.
Danelle Harmon (The Wayward One (The de Montforte Brothers, #5))
Was there any story I could tell that was truly certain? Write your way toward an understanding, a tutor had told me in a creative writing class during my third year of university. But what if you went backward and wrote yourself away from the understanding? Was it better than never to have started at all? If you were uncertain, should you make the understanding up - construct a meaningful-sounding statement so that your reader wouldn't feel that you'd strung them along, wasted their time?
Ashleigh Young (Can You Tolerate This?)
COACHING TIPS • Announce your pregnancy when you’re ready. For a variety of reasons, it does not have to be the moment it’s confirmed by your doctor. You’re entitled to your privacy. Decide on a time that makes the most sense to you and your significant other. • Accompany your announcement with a clear and definitive statement of what can be expected of you during the pregnancy and after. In no uncertain terms, inform your management that you will continue to perform at the level you always have, will prepare for your absence so that nothing slips between the cracks, and will return to work fit for resuming your duties. • Handle pregnancy-related issues (morning sickness, doctor’s appointments, etc.) on a case-by-case basis in the same manner you handle all other personal issues. If you need to miss work, don’t go into graphic detail about why. Simply inform whoever needs to be informed that you’ll be late or out and offer assurance that the projects you’re working on are on track for completion.
Lois P. Frankel (Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers (A NICE GIRLS Book))
God created man in His image— but Lafko did not know that, and after him no Kaweskar, no free Alcaluf, would ever know it, right down to the last of them who still had not learned it, down there on his lonely beach on Santa Ines Island. And yet, when he engraved his own likeness on the spearhead, Lafko was engraving God's likeness, even though he was unable to decode the message, and still less the will that had inspired him. God had so willed it — while during these same uncertain times He had showered other peoples with words and with signs, He had made bushes burn, rained down manna, and thundered upon Mount Sinai wreathed in smoke and flames.
Jean Raspail (Who Will Remember The People)