Encourage Others Quotes

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How would your life be different if…You walked away from gossip and verbal defamation? Let today be the day…You speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.
Ansel Adams
Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
Be an Encourager: When you encourage others, you boost their self-esteem, enhance their self-confidence, make them work harder, lift their spirits and make them successful in their endeavors. Encouragement goes straight to the heart and is always available. Be an encourager. Always.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some one aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self.
Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.
Shannon L. Alder
speak quietly to yourself & promise there will be better days. whisper gently to yourself and provide assurance that you really are extending your best effort. console your bruised and tender spirit with reminders of many other successes. offer comfort in practical and tangible ways - as if you were encouraging your dearest friend. recognize that on certain days the greatest grace is that the day is over and you get to close your eyes. tomorrow comes more brightly...
Mary Anne Radmacher
I went on spouting bullshit Encouragements as Gus's parents, arm in arm, hugged each other and nodded at every word. Funerals, I had decided, are for the living.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
I once read in my physics book that the universe begs to be observed, that energy travels and transfers when people pay attention. Maybe that's what love really boils down to--having someone who cares enough to pay attention so that you're encouraged to travel and transfer, to make your potential energy spark into kinetic energy.
Jasmine Warga (My Heart and Other Black Holes)
Do not sit still; start moving now. In the beginning, you may not go in the direction you want, but as long as you are moving, you are creating alternatives and possibilities.
Rodolfo Costa (Advice My Parents Gave Me: and Other Lessons I Learned from My Mistakes)
Marriage in its truest sense, is a partnership of equals, with neither exercising dominion over the other, but, rather, with each encouraging and assisting the other in whatever responsibilities and aspirations he or she might have.
Gordon B. Hinckley
Cultivate an optimistic mind, use your imagination, always consider alternatives, and dare to believe that you can make possible what others think is impossible.
Rodolfo Costa (Advice My Parents Gave Me: and Other Lessons I Learned from My Mistakes)
Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.
George Washington
You have to lift a person up before you can really put them in their place.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
...we rarely confide in those who are better than we. Rather, we are more inclined to flee their society. Most often, on the other hand, we confess to those who are like us and who share our weaknesses. Hence we don't want to improve ourselves and be bettered, for we should first have to be judged in default. We merely wish to be pitied and encouraged in the course we have chosen. In short, we should like, at the same time, to cease being guilty and yet not to make the effort of cleansing ourselves.
Albert Camus
Boys will be boys, that's what people say. No one ever mentions how girls have to be something other than themselves altogether. We are to stifle the same feelings that boys are encouraged to display. We are to use gossip as a means of policing ourselves -- this way those who do succumb to sex but are not damaged by it are damaged instead by peer malice. Girls demand a covenant because if one gives in, others will be expected to do the same. We are to remain united in cruelty, ignorance, and aversion. Or we are to starve the flesh from our bones, penalizing the body for its nature, castigating ourselves for advances we are powerless to prevent. We are to make false promises then resist the attentions solicited. Basically we are to become expert liars.
Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
This year, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.
Howard W. Hunter
Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save.
Thomas S. Monson
Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness--life's painful aspect--softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose--you're just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.
Pema Chödrön (Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living)
Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a public safety hazard, don't see the danger in the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like.
Alan M. Dershowitz
Sometimes the best goal you can set is just to get out of bed every day. If you can succeed at this, then other things become possible.
Cynthia Patterson
So, attend carefully to your posture. Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them—at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
...the trouble with poetry is that it encourages the writing of more poetry...
Billy Collins (The Trouble With Poetry - And Other Poems)
I’m a master of encouragement. Why should I do work myself when the price of getting others to do it for me is as cheap as cheering them on?
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Certainly, other people can pray for you, they can believe for you, they can quote the scripture to you, but you must exercise faith for yourself. If you are always depending on somebody else to keep you happy, somebody else to encourage you or to get you out of trouble, you will live in perpetual weakness and disappointment. You must make a decision that you are going to be a believer. Take charge of your life and decide, “No matter what comes against me, I believe in God. I’m going to have a positive outlook for my life! Other people’s faith can indeed bolster yours. But your own faith will bring you a miracle much faster than anybody else’s. What you believe has a much greater impact on your life than what anybody else believes.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
Indeed, organizing atheists has been compared to herding cats, because they tend to think independently and will not conform to authority. But a good first step would be to build up a critical mass of those willing to 'come out,' thereby encouraging others to do so. Even if they can't be herded, cats in sufficient numbers can make a lot of noise and they cannot be ignored.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
The greatest joys in life are found not only in what we do and feel, but also in our quiet hopes and labors for others.
Bryant McGill (Voice of Reason)
Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
Thomas Paine (Common Sense)
The example could encourage others who only fear to start.
José Rizal (Noli Me Tángere (Touch Me Not) (Noli Me Tángere, #1))
Walk away from gossip and verbal defamation. Speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Most of us are not raised to actively encounter our destiny. We may not know that we have one. As children, we are seldom told we have a place in life that is uniquely ours alone. Instead, we are encouraged to believe that our life should somehow fulfill the expectations of others, that we will (or should) find our satisfactions as they have found theirs. Rather than being taugh to ask ourselves who we are, we are schooled to ask others. We are, in effect, trained to listen to others' versions of ourselves. We are brought up in our life as told to us by someone else! When we survey our lives, seeking to fulfill our creativity, we often see we had a dream that went glimmering because we believed, and those around us believed, that the dream was beyond our reach. Many of us would have been, or at least might have been, done, tried something, if... If we had known who we really were.
Julia Cameron
Our job on earth isn't to criticize, reject, or judge. Our purpose is to offer a helping hand, compassion, and mercy. We are to do unto others as we hope they would do unto us.
Dana Arcuri (Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity, A 50-Day Devotional)
Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them?
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience and Other Essays)
Advice to my younger self: 1 Start where you are with what you have 2 Try not to hurt other people 3 Take more chances 4 If you fail, keep trying
Germany Kent
People like me are aware of their so-called genius at ten, eight, nine. . . . I always wondered, ``Why has nobody discovered me?'' In school, didn't they see that I'm cleverer than anybody in this school? That the teachers are stupid, too? That all they had was information that I didn't need? I got fuckin' lost in being at high school. I used to say to me auntie ``You throw my fuckin' poetry out, and you'll regret it when I'm famous, '' and she threw the bastard stuff out. I never forgave her for not treating me like a fuckin' genius or whatever I was, when I was a child. It was obvious to me. Why didn't they put me in art school? Why didn't they train me? Why would they keep forcing me to be a fuckin' cowboy like the rest of them? I was different I was always different. Why didn't anybody notice me? A couple of teachers would notice me, encourage me to be something or other, to draw or to paint - express myself. But most of the time they were trying to beat me into being a fuckin' dentist or a teacher
John Lennon
Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.
Douglas Pagels (These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You: A Sourcebook of Joy and Encouragement)
That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence built.
Abraham Lincoln
Your mind shines brightest when you enlighten others; your heart, when you encourage others; your soul, when you elevate others; and your life, when you empower others.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Encouragement from any source is like a drop of rain upon a parched desert. Thanks to all the many others who rained on me when I needed it, and even when I foolishly thought I didn't. (acknowledgements in The P.U.R.E.)
Claire Gillian
The moral nihilism of celebrity culture is played out on reality television shows, most of which encourage a dark voyeurism into other people's humiliation, pain, weakness, and betrayal.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
We, more than others, should carry jumper and tow cables not only in our cars, but also in our hearts, by which means we can send the needed boost or charge of encouragement or the added momentum to mortal neighbors.
Neal A. Maxwell (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience)
There was an inevitability about the road towards each other which encouraged meandering along the route.
Zadie Smith (NW)
As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has- or ever will have- something inside that is unique to all time. It's our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.
Fred Rogers (You Are Special: Neighborly Wit And Wisdom From Mister Rogers)
Without realizing it, we fill important places in each other’s lives. It’s that way with the guy at the corner grocery, the mechanic at the local garage, the family doctor, teachers, neighbors, coworkers. Good people who are always “there,” who can be relied upon in small, important ways. People who teach us, bless us, encourage us, support us, uplift us in the dailiness of life. We never tell them. I don’t know why, but we don’t. And, of course, we fill that role ourselves. There are those who depend in us, watch us, learn from us, take from us. And we never know. You may never have proof of your importance, but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you. The rub is that you don’t always know who.
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
Encourage literally came from "in courage." The courage is put "into" you from outside. Our character and abilities grow through internalizing from others what we do not possess in ourselves.
Henry Cloud
The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot. A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best. A nationalist, 'although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,' wrote Orwell, tends to be 'uninterested in what happens in the real world.' Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others. As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism 'has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.' A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
Leaders..should influence others..in such a way that it builds people up, encourages and edifies them so they can duplicate this attitude in others.
Bob Goshen
Flattery does not encourage the perfect flow of love in the vein of your relationship. Be genuine and speak out what you feel for each other without hiding the painful truth.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Artists, by their free expressions, encourage others to be free. This is the quality that makes works of art enduring.
Marty Rubin
Sometimes you're trying so hard to get your life together and still it's not enough, everything is falling apart. What to do, you're asking. Just keep going through hell for yourself, not for everyone else. Richer with that wisdom, I will build my happiness from nothing. I will rise from the dust. And I will do it on my own. I will live for myself and I won’t look at the others.
Asper Blurry (Train to the Edge of the Moon)
Don't give up when dark times come. The more storms you face in life, the stronger you'll be. Hold on. Your greater is coming.
Germany Kent
This Christmas mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love, and then speak it again.
Howard W. Hunter
Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do or achieve. Do what you want to do and be who you want to be. Just encourage and include each other, don’t ostracize the gender in front of you.
Emma Watson
Yet if we would know God and for other's sake tell what we know we must try to speak of his love. All Christians have tried but none has ever done it very well. I can no more do justice to that awesome and wonder-filled theme than a child can grasp a star. Still by reaching toward the star the child may call attention to it and even indicate the direction one must look to see it. So as I stretch my heart toward the high shining love of God someone who has not before known about it may be encouraged to look up and have hope.
A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy)
Here is little habit that can make a big difference. Send sunbeams. Intentionally send a word of encouragement or appreciation every day to one person.
Steve Goodier
He is your Father, and His role is to protect you; He will comfort you and guide you. He will feed you; He will carry you when you are weak. He will seek you out when you go astray; He will help you in times of trouble. He will not let your enemies go unpunished; He will cherish you like a father cherishes his daughter. When you fall, He will pick you up; when you don’t understand, He will always understand. When you feel like life is weighing you down, He will lift you up. When you feel like giving up, He will encourage you to keep going. When you are sad, He will lighten your spirits. When you need advice, His line is open 24-7. When you feel unsafe, He will be your safety; when you are worried, He will be an ear to your concerns. When you feel burdened, offer your burden to Him and He will take it. Where you have been burnt, He will make you beautiful; where you hurt, He will heal. Whenever you feel lonely, He will always be with you. Where others have not supported you, He will support you. When you feel discouraged, He will be your encouragement. Where you don’t know, He will tell you when the time is right. When you feel unloved, remember that He has always loved you. You see limitations; God sees opportunities. You see faults; God sees growth. You see problems; God sees solutions. You see limitations; God sees possibilities. You see life; God sees eternity.
Corallie Buchanan (Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose)
There is no such thing as a "self-made man". We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the makeup of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.
George Matthew Adams
We rarely confide in those who are better than we. Most often, on the other hand, we confess to those who are like us and who share our weaknesses. Hence we don't want to improve ourselves and be bettered, for we should first have to be judged in default. We merely wish to be pitied and encouraged in the course we have chosen.
Albert Camus
We must constantly encourage ourselves and each other to attempt the heretical actions that our dreams imply and so many of our old ideas disparage.
Audre Lorde
Writing this book is not just me encouraging others to lean in. This is me leaning in. Writing this book is what I would do if I weren't afraid.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
We're not words...we're people. Words are how others define us, but we can define ourselves any way we choose.
Shaun David Hutchinson (We Are the Ants)
Encourage others each and every day–nothing’s more important than our words. Did you know that, on average, each of us speaks about twenty-five thousand words daily? My last book didn’t have that many words. A lot of language is flowing out of our mouths every day and having an impact on those around us. But how much of that flow is fulfilling God’s intended purpose for our speech? How much of it reflects pride, rather than a gospel-motivated humility?
C.J. Mahaney (Humility: True Greatness)
Life is sweet. . . Beyond the pain, life continues to be sweet. The basics are still there. Beauty, food and friendship, reservoirs of love and understanding. Later, possibly not yet, you are going to need others who will encourage you to make new beginnings. Welcome them. They will help you move on, to cherish happy memories and confront the painful ones with more than bitterness and anger.
Rosamunde Pilcher (Winter Solstice)
In fact that is why the lives of most women are so vaguely unsatisfactory. They are always doing secondary and menial things (that do not require all their gifts and ability) for others and never anything for themselves. Society and husbands praise them for it (when they get too miserable or have nervous breakdowns) though always a little perplexedly and half-heartedly and just to be consoling. The poor wives are reminded that that is just why wives are so splendid -- because they are so unselfish and self-sacrificing and that is the wonderful thing about them! But inwardly women know that something is wrong. They sense that if you are always doing something for others, like a servant or nurse, and never anything for yourself, you cannot do others any good. You make them physically more comfortable. But you cannot affect them spiritually in any way at all. For to teach, encourage, cheer up, console, amuse, stimulate or advise a husband or children or friends, you have to be something yourself. [...]"If you would shut your door against the children for an hour a day and say; 'Mother is working on her five-act tragedy in blank verse!' you would be surprised how they would respect you. They would probably all become playwrights.
Brenda Ueland
Gentleness towards self and others makes life a little lighter.
Deborah Day (BE HAPPY NOW!)
So instead of teaching Chizalum to be likeable, teach her to be honest. And kind. And brave. Encourage her to speak her mind, to say what she really thinks, to speak truthfully. And then praise her when she does. Praise her especially when she takes a stand that is difficult or unpopular because it happens to be her honest position. Tell her that kindness matters. Praise her when she is kind to other people. But teach her that her kindness must never be taken for granted. Tell her that she, too, deserves the kindness of others. Teach her to stand up for what is hers. If another child takes her toy without her permission, ask her to take it back, because her consent is important. Tell her that if anything ever makes her uncomfortable, to speak up, to say it, to shout.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions)
You will and should do everything in your power to improve your actual writing skills. You’ll work hard to create characters that are compelling and unforgettable. But in the end, it’s the story that matters. Don’t ever let the other stuff get in the way of your inherent skills as a kick-butt storyteller. Move the reader, make them happy and sad and excited and scared. Make them stare into space after they’ve put the book down, thinking about the tale that’s become a part of them. Be unpredictable, be real, be interesting. Tell a good story.
James Dashner
GLINDA: Well,I'm a public figure now! People expect me to-- ELPHABA: Lie? GLINDA: (fiercely) Be encouraging! And what exactly have you been doing? Besides riding on around on that filthy thing! ELPHABA: Well, we can't all come and go by bubble. Whose invention was that, the Wizard's? Of course, even if it wasn't, I'm sure he'd still take credit for it. GLINDA: Yes, well, a lot of us are taking things that don't belong to us, aren't we? Uh oh! The two stare daggers at each other, then... ELPHABA: Now, wait just a clock-tick. I know it's difficult for that blissful blonde brain of yours to comprehend that someone like him could actually choose someone like me!But it's happened. It's real. And you can wave that ridiculous wand all you want, you can't change it! He never belonged to you -- he doesn't love you, he never did! He loves me!
Stephen Schwartz (Wicked: The Complete Book and Lyrics of the Broadway Musical)
We have an obligation to support libraries. To use libraries, to encourage others to use libraries, to protest the closure of libraries. If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future. We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. To read them things they enjoy. To read to them stories we are already tired of. To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not to stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves. Use reading-aloud time as bonding time, as time when no phones are being checked, when the distractions of the world are put aside.
Neil Gaiman
So if you’re an introvert like me, especially a female introvert, or a person who is expected to give away your energy to everyone else on the reg, I want to encourage you to find time to be alone. Don’t be afraid to excuse yourself. Recharge for as long as you need. Lean up against a tree and take a break from the other bears. I’ll be there too, but I promise not to bother you.
Amy Schumer (The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo)
It’s always encouraging to be told that it is intellectually acceptable to read the sorts of things that you like to read anyway.
Margaret Atwood (In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination)
But there is one thing better than going to heaven and that is to encourage at least one other person to go with me,
Nick Vujicic (Unstoppable)
I was taught that being myself was not only okay, but encouraged - and by being unapologetically yourself, you thrive and inspire others to thrive.
Tyler Oakley (Binge)
No matter how dysfunctional your background, how broke or broken you are, where you are today, or what anyone else says, YOU MATTER, and your life matters!
Germany Kent
Well, I know," she said. "You'll pretend you were men instead of babies, and you'll be played in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we'll have a lot more of them. And they'll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs." So then I understood. It was war that made her so angry. She didn't want her babies or anybody else's babies killed in wars. And she thought wars were partly encouraged by books and movies. So I held up my right hand and I made her a promise: "Mary," I said, "I don't think this book of mine will ever be finished. I must have written five thousand pages by now, and thrown them all away. If I ever do finish it, though, I give you my word of honor: there won't be a part for Frank Sinatra or John Wayne. "I tell you what," I said, "I'll call it 'The Children's Crusade.'" She was my friend after that.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Unfortunately we often get praise for things that weren't particularly difficult to achieve. If we focus on the props and encouragement of those who have low expectations for us, we become mediocre. It can be challenging to set our sights on excellence, particularly when we're hearing that we're already there. One of life's greatest lessons, which we all must learn, could be expressed in the phrase "That was nothing. Watch this." Challenge yourself and others to call the normal things normal and save that word excellent for things that really are.
Alex Harris
Charleston has a landscape that encourages intimacy and partisanship. I have heard it said that an inoculation to the sights and smells of the Carolina lowcountry is an almost irreversible antidote to the charms of other landscapes, other alien geographies. You can be moved profoundly by other vistas, by other oceans, by soaring mountain ranges, but you can never be seduced. You can even forsake the lowcountry, renounce it for other climates, but you can never completely escape the sensuous, semitropical pull of Charleston and her marshes.
Pat Conroy (The Lords of Discipline)
Some who support [more] coercive strategies assume that children will run wild if they are not controlled. However, the children for whom this is true typically turn out to be those accustomed to being controlled— those who are not trusted, given explanations, encouraged to think for themselves, helped to develop and internalize good values, and so on. Control breeds the need for more control, which is used to justify the use of control.
Alfie Kohn (Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise and Other Bribes)
IN A NUTSHELL SIX WAYS TO MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU PRINCIPLE 1 Become genuinely interested in other people. PRINCIPLE 2 Smile. PRINCIPLE 3 Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. PRINCIPLE 4 Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. PRINCIPLE 5 Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. PRINCIPLE 6 Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
So obscure are the greatest events, as some take for granted any hearsay, whatever its source, others turn truth into falsehood, and both errors find encouragement with posterity.
Tacitus (The Annals of Imperial Rome)
I have found the best way to deal with a toxic person is to not respond in any other way than monotone voice and a businesslike manner.
Jen Grice (You Can Survive Divorce: Hope, Healing, and Encouragement for Your Journey)
False encouragement is a kind of theft: it steals time, energy, and motivation a person could put toward some other purpose.
Sam Harris
Frodo: 'It's a pity Bilbo didn't kill Gollum when he had the chance.' Gandalf: 'Pity? It's a pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play in it, for good or evil, before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.' Frodo: 'I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.' Gandalf: 'So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides that of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, in which case you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.
J.R.R. Tolkien
You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, ackowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.
Jim Stovall
A NATION'S GREATNESS DEPENDS ON ITS LEADER To vastly improve your country and truly make it great again, start by choosing a better leader. Do not let the media or the establishment make you pick from the people they choose, but instead choose from those they do not pick. Pick a leader from among the people who is heart-driven, one who identifies with the common man on the street and understands what the country needs on every level. Do not pick a leader who is only money-driven and does not understand or identify with the common man, but only what corporations need on every level. Pick a peacemaker. One who unites, not divides. A cultured leader who supports the arts and true freedom of speech, not censorship. Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes -- or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist. Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies. Most importantly, a great leader must serve the best interests of the people first, not those of multinational corporations. Human life should never be sacrificed for monetary profit. There are no exceptions. In addition, a leader should always be open to criticism, not silencing dissent. Any leader who does not tolerate criticism from the public is afraid of their dirty hands to be revealed under heavy light. And such a leader is dangerous, because they only feel secure in the darkness. Only a leader who is free from corruption welcomes scrutiny; for scrutiny allows a good leader to be an even greater leader. And lastly, pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The real point is that you cannot harbor malice toward others and then cry foul when someone displays intolerance against you. Prejudice tolerated is intolerance encouraged. Rise up in righteousness when you witness the words and deeds of hate, but only if you are willing to rise up against them all, including your own. Otherwise suffer the slings and arrows of disrespect silently.
Harvey Fierstein
We need to encourage each other to do what we want and not let it totally define us. You know? The things that people think define them aren’t valid either. You could see a girl who’s completely covered head-to-toe and who looks like the sweetest little thing in the world, and she could be the most horrendous human being on the planet inside.
Ariana Grande
Every success I have ever had or will have in the future comes not solely from my own ambition and hard work, but also from those that have encouraged, supported and challenged me. Success is never, ever a one person job.
T.S. Tate
The church exists primarily for two closely correlated purposes: to worship God and to work for his kingdom in the world ... The church also exists for a third purpose, which serves the other two: to encourage one another, to build one another up in faith, to pray with and for one another, to learn from one another and teach one another, and to set one another examples to follow, challenges to take up, and urgent tasks to perform. This is all part of what is known loosely as fellowship.
N.T. Wright (Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense)
Reach out and help others. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. Be a vessel, be the change, be the difference, or be the inspiration. Shine your light as an example. The world needs more of that.
Germany Kent
Be a person that others will look for your posts daily because they know you will encourage them. Be the positive one and help others to have a great day and you will find that not only they like you but you will like you too.
John Patrick Hickey (Oops! Did I Really Post That)
The church is not a place where perfect people gather to say perfect things, or have perfect thoughts, or have perfect feelings. The Church is a place where imperfect people gather to provide encouragement, support, and service to each other as we press on in our journey to return to our Heavenly Father.
Joseph B. Wirthlin
Evil consists in intentionally behaving in ways that harm, abuse, demean, dehumanize, or destroy innocent others—or using one’s authority and systemic power to encourage or permit others to do so on your behalf. In short, it is “knowing better but doing worse”.
Philip G. Zimbardo (The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil)
If you find yourself criticizing other people, you're probably doing it out of Resistance. When we see others beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives us crazy if we have not lived out our own. Individuals who are realized in their own lives almost never criticize others. if they speak at all, it is to offer encouragement. Watch yourself. Of all the manifestations of Resistance, most only harm ourselves. Criticism and cruelty harm others as well.
Stephen Pressfield
Sorry,” Kiersten says to Lake and I. “Mom says the FCC is responsible for inventing cusswords just for media shock value. She says if everyone would just use them enough, they wouldn’t be considered cusswords anymore and no one would ever be offended by them” This kid is hard to keep up with! “Your mother encourages you to cuss?” Gavin says. Kiersten nods. “I don’t see it that way. It’s more like she’s encouraging us to undermine a system flawed through overuse of words that are made out to be harmful, when in fact they’re just letters, mixed together like every other word. That’s all they are, mixed up letters. Like, take the word “butterfly” for example. What if someone decided one day that butterfly is a cussword? People would eventually start using butterfly as an insult, and to emphasize things in a negative way. The actual WORD doesn’t mean anything. It’s the negative association people give these words that make them cusswords. So if we all just decided to keep saying butterfly all the time, eventually people would stop caring. The shock value would subside…and it would just become another word again. Same with every other so-called bad word. If we would all just start saying them all the time, They wouldn’t be bad anymore. That’s what my mom says anyway.” “Kiersten?” Eddie says. “Will you be my new best friend?” Lake grabs a french fry off her plate and throws it at Eddie, hitting her in the face with it. “That’s Bullshit,” Lake says. “Oh, go BUTTERFLY yourself,” Eddie says. She returns a fry in Lakes direction.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
The lamentable expression: 'But it was only a dream", the increasing use of which - among others in the domain of the cinema - has contributed not a little to encourage such hypocrisy, has for a long while ceased to merit discussion.
André Breton
That kind of thinking [that writers must alleviate their guilt for leading a creative life] is based on the idea that the creative life is somehow self-indulgent. Artists and writers have to understand and live the truth that what we are doing is nourishing the world. William Carlos Williams said, "It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there." You can't eat a book, right, but books have saved my life more often than sandwiches. And they've saved your life... But we don't say, oh, Maya Angelou should have silenced herself because other people have other destinies. It's interesting, because artists are always encouraged to feel guilty about their work. Why? Why don't we ask predatory bankers how they alleviate their guilt?
Ariel Gore
God uses people to help others. I only pray my faith is strong enough to get me through what I have to face.
Jennifer Hudson Taylor (Highland Sanctuary (Highlands, #2))
Perhaps a seemingly dull, boring person is not a person who lacks personality, but rather a person with so much personality most other things bore them.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
I always encourage them to practice in a way that will help them go back to their own tradition and get re-rooted. If they succeed at at becoming reintegrated, they will be an important instrument in transforming and renewing their tradition. ... When we respect our blood ancestors and our spiritual ancestors, we feel rooted. If we find ways to cherish and develop our spiritual heritage, we will avoid the kind of alienation that is destroying society, and we will become whole again. ... Learning to touch deeply the jewels of our own tradition will allow us to understand and appreciate the values of other traditions, and this will benefit everyone.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Living Buddha, Living Christ)
How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in home, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice . . . Nothing divides them either in flesh or in spirit . . . They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God's church and partake God's banquet, side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another; they never shun each other's company; they never bring sorrow to each other's hearts . . . Seeing this Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present.
Tertullian
Now and then women should do for themselves what men have already done—occasionally what men have not done—thereby establishing themselves as persons, and perhaps encouraging other women toward greater independence of thought and action.
Amelia Earhart
There's no corporal punishment here, or any other form of punishment for that matter, and the children are encouraged to speak up for themselves. Unfortunately, they're not always particularly choosey about the things they say, and it can be rather alarming and embarrassing.
E.R. Braithwaite (To Sir, With Love)
I narrowed my eyes at him. "Stuff that. I'll write a doctoral thesis. Then I can go do what most of the other people with doctoral degrees in anthropology do." "What's that?" asked Calvin. "You don't need to encourage her," said Adam seriously, but his eyes laughed at me. "The same thing that people with degrees in history do," I said. "Fix cars or serve frnech fries and bad hamburgers.
Patricia Briggs (River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6))
You should want to have gifted students who may excel in both courses, and you should be encouraging students when they show interest in their studies. Do you not want warriors who are brilliant, and diplomats who are brave?
Sarah Rees Brennan (In Other Lands)
Ironically, jobs are actually easier to enjoy than free time, because like flow activities they have built-in goals, feedback rules, and challenges, all of which encourage one to become involved in one’s work, to concentrate and lose oneself in it. Free time, on the other hand, is unstructured, and requires much greater effort to be shaped into something that can be enjoyed.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect - We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country's Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions - The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.
George Washington
One the one hand, our economists treat human beings as rational actors making choices to maximize their own economic benefit. On the other hand, the same companies that hire those economists also pay for advertising campaigns that use the raw materials of myth and magic to encourage people to act against their own best interests, whether it's a matter of buying overpriced fizzy sugar water or the much more serious matter of continuing to support the unthinking pursuit of business as usual in the teeth of approaching disaster.
John Michael Greer (The Long Descent: A User's Guide to the End of the Industrial Age)
Religion cannot stand Spirituality. It cannot abide it. For Spirituality may bring you to a different conclusion than a particular religion—and this no known religion can tolerate. Religion encourages you to explore the thoughts of others and accept them as your own. Spirituality invites you to toss away the thoughts of others and come up with your own.
Neale Donald Walsch (The Complete Conversations with God)
We see ourselves in other people’s eyes. It’s the nature of the human race; we are a species of reflection, hungry for it in every facet of our existence. Maybe that’s why vampires seem so monstrous to us—they cast no reflection. Parents, if they’re good ones, reflect the wonder of our existence and the success we can become. Friends, well chosen, show us pretty pictures of ourselves, and encourage us to grow into them. The Beast shows us the very worst in ourselves and makes us know it’s true .
Karen Marie Moning (Faefever (Fever, #3))
Our growing dependence on technologies no one seems to understand or control has given rise to feelings of powerlessness and victimization. We find it more and more difficult to achieve a sense of continuity, permanence, or connection with the world around us. Relationships with others are notably fragile; goods are made to be used up and discarded; reality is experienced as an unstable environment of flickering images. Everything conspires to encourage escapist solutions to the psychological problems of dependence, separation, and individuation, and to discourage the moral realism that makes it possible for human beings to come to terms with existential constraints on their power and freedom.
Christopher Lasch (The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations)
It’s loneliness. Even though I’m surrounded by loved ones who care about me and want only the best, it’s possible they try to help only because they feel the same thing—loneliness—and why, in a gesture of solidarity, you’ll find the phrase “I am useful, even if alone” carved in stone. Though the brain says all is well, the soul is lost, confused, doesn’t know why life is being unfair to it. But we still wake up in the morning and take care of our children, our husband, our lover, our boss, our employees, our students, those dozens of people who make an ordinary day come to life. And we often have a smile on our face and a word of encouragement, because no one can explain their loneliness to others, especially when we are always in good company. But this loneliness exists and eats away at the best parts of us because we must use all our energy to appear happy, even though we will never be able to deceive ourselves. But we insist, every morning, on showing only the rose that blooms, and keep the thorny stem that hurts us and makes us bleed hidden within. Even knowing that everyone, at some point, has felt completely and utterly alone, it is humiliating to say, “I’m lonely, I need company. I need to kill this monster that everyone thinks is as imaginary as a fairy-tale dragon, but isn’t.” But it isn’t. I wait for a pure and virtuous knight, in all his glory, to come defeat it and push it into the abyss for good, but that knight never comes. Yet we cannot lose hope. We start doing things we don’t usually do, daring to go beyond what is fair and necessary. The thorns inside us will grow larger and more overwhelming, yet we cannot give up halfway. Everyone is looking to see the final outcome, as though life were a huge game of chess. We pretend it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose, the important thing is to compete. We root for our true feelings to stay opaque and hidden, but then … … instead of looking for companionship, we isolate ourselves even more in order to lick our wounds in silence. Or we go out for dinner or lunch with people who have nothing to do with our lives and spend the whole time talking about things that are of no importance. We even manage to distract ourselves for a while with drink and celebration, but the dragon lives on until the people who are close to us see that something is wrong and begin to blame themselves for not making us happy. They ask what the problem is. We say that everything is fine, but it’s not … Everything is awful. Please, leave me alone, because I have no more tears to cry or heart left to suffer. All I have is insomnia, emptiness, and apathy, and, if you just ask yourselves, you’re feeling the same thing. But they insist that this is just a rough patch or depression because they are afraid to use the real and damning word: loneliness. Meanwhile, we continue to relentlessly pursue the only thing that would make us happy: the knight in shining armor who will slay the dragon, pick the rose, and clip the thorns. Many claim that life is unfair. Others are happy because they believe that this is exactly what we deserve: loneliness, unhappiness. Because we have everything and they don’t. But one day those who are blind begin to see. Those who are sad are comforted. Those who suffer are saved. The knight arrives to rescue us, and life is vindicated once again. Still, you have to lie and cheat, because this time the circumstances are different. Who hasn’t felt the urge to drop everything and go in search of their dream? A dream is always risky, for there is a price to pay. That price is death by stoning in some countries, and in others it could be social ostracism or indifference. But there is always a price to pay. You keep lying and people pretend they still believe, but secretly they are jealous, make comments behind your back, say you’re the very worst, most threatening thing there is. You are not an adulterous man, tolerated and often even admired, but an adulterous woman, one who is ...
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Some people buried their fears in food, she knew, and some in booze, and some in planning elaborate engagements and weddings and other life events that took up every spare moment of their time, in case unpleasant thoughts intruded. But for Nina, whenever reality, or the grimmer side of reality, threatened to invade, she always turned to a book. Books had been her solace when she was sad; her friends when she was lonely. They had mended her heart when it was broken, and encouraged her to hope when she was down. Yet
Jenny Colgan (The Little Shop of Happy Ever After)
While God does want us to be open with others, he also encourages us to put boundaries in place as we do. He talks repeatedly about guarding our hearts. So what’s the difference? Hiding is a response out of fear, while guarding is a proactive choice to protect what matters most. In other words, we’re not to deliberately put something of worth where it won’t be valued.
Holley Gerth (You're Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be)
It's going to be like an...aura, I guess." He looked down at me and raised an eyebrow. "Explain?" "Like even though there are outside forces pushing through the walls, in here it's like a bubble of goodness. Like coming home." I could feel him smiling and it encouraged me to elaborate. "When I think of how others would see it, I imagine them seeing a force of goodness overshadowing a force of evil, protecting it.
Jessica Shirvington (Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters, #1))
You can’t divide the country up into sections and have one rule for one section and one rule for another, and you can’t encourage people’s prejudices. You have to appeal to people’s best instincts, not their worst ones. You may win an election or so by doing the other, but it does a lot of harm to the country.
Jon Meacham (The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels)
Genuine self esteem – please understand this – genuine self esteem is not competitive or comparative. Genuine self esteem isn’t expressed by self-glorification at the expense of others, or by trying to make yourself superior to everyone else, or diminishing others in order to elevate yourself. Arrogance, boastfulness, the overestimation of your abilities, reflect low self esteem, even though we’re often encouraged to believe the opposite. In human beings, joy in the simple fact of existence is a core meaning of healthy self esteem. Thus understood, how can you possibly have too much of it?
Nathaniel Branden
We need to return from the self-centred concept of sincerity to the other-centred concept of truth. We are not isolated free choosers, monarchs of all we survey, but benighted creatures sunk in a reality whose nature we are constantly and overwhelmingly tempted to deform by fantasy. Our current picture of freedom encourages a dream-like facility; whereas what we require is a renewed sense of the difficulty and complexity of the moral life and the opacity of persons. We need more concepts in terms of which to picture the substance of our being; it is through an enriching and deepening of concepts that moral progress takes place. Simone Weil said that morality was a matter of attention not of will. We need a new vocabulary of attention.
Iris Murdoch
Sometimes life is hard. Things go wrong—in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do: make good art. . . . Someone on the internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before: make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and it doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: make good art.
Neil Gaiman
I think sometimes the stories we need are the ones about taking the hobbits to Isengard and dog-human dudes with space heelies and trashy King Arthurs and gay ice-skating animes and Zuko redemption arcs and space princesses with found families and galaxies far, far away. We need those stories, too. Stories that tell us that we can be bold and brash and make mistakes and still come out better on the other side.
Ashley Poston (The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con, #2))
This is so true that we rarely confide in those who are better than we. Rather, we are more inclined to flee their society. Most often, on the other hand, we confess to those who are like us and who share our weaknesses. Hence we don't want to improve ourselves or be bettered, for we should first have to be judged in default. We merely wish to be pitied and encouraged in the course we have chosen. In short, we should like, at the same time, to cease being guilty and yet not to make the effort of cleansing ourselves. Not enough cynicism and not enough virtue We lack the energy of evil as well as the energy of good.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
Something I constantly notice is that unembarrassed joy has become rarer. Joy today is increasingly saddled with moral and ideological burdens, so to speak. When someone rejoices, he is afraid of offending against solidarity with the many people who suffer. I don't have any right to rejoice, people think, in a world where there is so much misery, so much injustice. I can understand that. There is a moral attitude at work here. But this attitude is nonetheless wrong. The loss of joy does not make the world better - and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the impetus and courage to do good. Joy, then, does not break with solidarity. When it is the right kind of joy, when it is not egotistic, when it comes from the perception of the good, then it wants to communicate itself, and it gets passed on. In this connection, it always strikes me that in the poor neighborhoods of, say, South America, one sees many more laughing happy people than among us. Obviously, despite all their misery, they still have the perception of the good to which they cling and in which they can find encouragement and strength. In this sense we have a new need for that primordial trust which ultimately only faith can give. That the world is basically good, that God is there and is good. That it is good to live and to be a human being. This results, then, in the courage to rejoice, which in turn becomes commitment to making sure that other people, too, can rejoice and receive good news.
Benedict XVI
The New testament commanded to love each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, admonish each other, greet each other, serve each other, teach each other, accept each other, honor each other, bear each other's burdens, forgive each other, submit to each other, be devoted each other, and many other mutual tasks. This is biblical membership!
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
The same God who loves us as we are also loves us to much to leave us as we are. Perhpas because we tend to hold to ideas about God that reflect our own suppositions and fears, more than God's self-revelation. We reduce God to our own dimensions, ascribing to him our own reactions and responses, especially our own petty and conditional kind of love, and so end up believing in a God cast in our own image and likeness. But the true God, the living God, is entirely "other":. Precisely from this radical otherness derives the inscrutable and transcendent nature of divine love-- for which our limited human love is but a distant metaphor. God's love is much more than our human love simply multiplied and expanded. God's love for us will ever be mystery; unfathomable, awesome, entirely beyond human expectation. Precisely because God's love is something "no eyes has seen, nor ear heard nor the heart of man conceived" (1 Cor 2:9), Mother Teresa meditated on it continuously, and encouraged us to do the same, to continue plumbing this mystery more deeply. To this end she invites us: "Try to deepen your understanding of these two words, 'Thirst of God.;
Joseph Langford
Some people are born into families that encourage education; others are against it. Some are born into flourishing economies encouraging of entrepreneurship; others are born into war and destitution. I want you to be successful, and I want you to earn it. But realize that not all success is due to hard work, and not all poverty is due to laziness. Keep this in mind when judging people, including yourself.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness)
Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses. Flood waters await us in our avenues. Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche Over unprotected villages. The sky slips low and grey and threatening. We question ourselves. What have we done to so affront nature? We worry God. Are you there? Are you there really? Does the covenant you made with us still hold? Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters, Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air. The world is encouraged to come away from rancor, Come the way of friendship. It is the Glad Season. Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner. Flood waters recede into memory. Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us As we make our way to higher ground. Hope is born again in the faces of children It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets. Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things, Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors. In our joy, we think we hear a whisper. At first it is too soft. Then only half heard. We listen carefully as it gathers strength. We hear a sweetness. The word is Peace. It is loud now. It is louder. Louder than the explosion of bombs. We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence. It is what we have hungered for. Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace. A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies. Security for our beloveds and their beloveds. We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas. We beckon this good season to wait a while with us. We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come. Peace. Come and fill us and our world with your majesty. We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian, Implore you, to stay a while with us. So we may learn by your shimmering light How to look beyond complexion and see community. It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time. On this platform of peace, we can create a language To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other. At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ Into the great religions of the world. We jubilate the precious advent of trust. We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope. All the earth's tribes loosen their voices To celebrate the promise of Peace. We, Angels and Mortal's, Believers and Non-Believers, Look heavenward and speak the word aloud. Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud. Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation. Peace, My Brother. Peace, My Sister. Peace, My Soul.
Maya Angelou (Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem)
Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes -- or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice. 'Who are you?' said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, 'I — I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.' 'What do you mean by that?' said the Caterpillar sternly. 'Explain yourself!' 'I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, 'because I'm not myself, you see.' 'I don't see,' said the Caterpillar. 'I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly,' Alice replied very politely, 'for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass)
In past ages, a war, almost by definition, was something that sooner or later came to an end, usually in unmistakable victory or defeat. In the past, also, war was one of the main instruments by which human societies were kept in touch with physical reality. All rulers in all ages have tried to impose a false view of the world upon their followers, but they could not afford to encourage any illusion that tended to impair military efficiency. So long as defeat meant the loss of independence, or some other result generally held to be undesirable, the precautions against defeat had to be serious. Physical facts could not be ignored. In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four. Inefficient nations were always conquered sooner or later, and the struggle for efficiency was inimical to illusions. Moreover, to be efficient it was necessary to be able to learn from the past, which meant having a fairly accurate idea of what had happened in the past. Newspapers and history books were, of course, always coloured and biased, but falsification of the kind that is practiced today would have been impossible. War was a sure safeguard of sanity, and so far as the ruling classes were concerned it was probably the most important of all safeguards. While wars could be won or lost, no ruling class could be completely irresponsible.
George Orwell (1984)
I was born free, and that I might live in freedom I chose the solitude of the fields; in the trees of the mountains I find society, the clear waters of the brooks are my mirrors, and to the trees and waters I make known my thoughts and charms. I am a fire afar off, a sword laid aside. Those whom I have inspired with love by letting them see me, I have by words undeceived, and if their longings live on hope—and I have given none to Chrysostom or to any other—it cannot justly be said that the death of any is my doing, for it was rather his own obstinacy than my cruelty that killed him; and if it be made a charge against me that his wishes were honourable, and that therefore I was bound to yield to them, I answer that when on this very spot where now his grave is made he declared to me his purity of purpose, I told him that mine was to live in perpetual solitude, and that the earth alone should enjoy the fruits of my retirement and the spoils of my beauty; and if, after this open avowal, he chose to persist against hope and steer against the wind, what wonder is it that he should sink in the depths of his infatuation? If I had encouraged him, I should be false; if I had gratified him, I should have acted against my own better resolution and purpose. He was persistent in spite of warning, he despaired without being hated. Bethink you now if it be reasonable that his suffering should be laid to my charge. Let him who has been deceived complain, let him give way to despair whose encouraged hopes have proved vain, let him flatter himself whom I shall entice, let him boast whom I shall receive; but let not him call me cruel or homicide to whom I make no promise, upon whom I practise no deception, whom I neither entice nor receive. It has not been so far the will of Heaven that I should love by fate, and to expect me to love by choice is idle. Let this general declaration serve for each of my suitors on his own account, and let it be understood from this time forth that if anyone dies for me it is not of jealousy or misery he dies, for she who loves no one can give no cause for jealousy to any, and candour is not to be confounded with scorn. Let him who calls me wild beast and basilisk, leave me alone as something noxious and evil; let him who calls me ungrateful, withhold his service; who calls me wayward, seek not my acquaintance; who calls me cruel, pursue me not; for this wild beast, this basilisk, this ungrateful, cruel, wayward being has no kind of desire to seek, serve, know, or follow them. If Chrysostom's impatience and violent passion killed him, why should my modest behaviour and circumspection be blamed? If I preserve my purity in the society of the trees, why should he who would have me preserve it among men, seek to rob me of it? I have, as you know, wealth of my own, and I covet not that of others; my taste is for freedom, and I have no relish for constraint; I neither love nor hate anyone; I do not deceive this one or court that, or trifle with one or play with another. The modest converse of the shepherd girls of these hamlets and the care of my goats are my recreations; my desires are bounded by these mountains, and if they ever wander hence it is to contemplate the beauty of the heavens, steps by which the soul travels to its primeval abode.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
Mirrors work magic. Repeat the last three words (or the critical one to three words) of what someone has just said. We fear what’s different and are drawn to what’s similar. Mirroring is the art of insinuating similarity, which facilitates bonding. Use mirrors to encourage the other side to empathize and bond with you, keep people talking, buy your side time to regroup, and encourage your counterparts to reveal their strategy.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It)
SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happinesspositively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
Thomas Paine (Common Sense)
As a writer you slant all evidence in favor of the conclusions you want to produce and you rarely tilt in favor of the truth. ...This is what a writer does: his life is a maelstrom of lying. Embellishment is his focal point. This is what we do to please others. This is what we do in order to flee ourselves. A writer's physical life is basically one of stasis, and to combat this constraint, an opposite world and another self have to be constructed daily. ...the half world of a writer's life encourages pain and drama, and defeat is good for art: if it was day we made it night, if it was love we made it hate, serenity becomes chaos, kindness became viciousness, God became the devil, a daugher became a whore. I had been inordinately rewarded for participating in this process, and lying often leaked from my writing life--an enclosed sphere of consciousness, a place suspended outside of time, where the untruths flowed onto the whiteness of a blank screen--into the part of me that was tactile and alive.
Bret Easton Ellis (Lunar Park)
At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln (Great Speeches / Abraham Lincoln: with Historical Notes by John Grafton)
If you can't put magnolia on a wall then there are always a million other colors you can use, if you can't pay your phone bill then just write letters telling them. I'm not playing down the importance of these things, yes you need money for food, yes you need food to survive, but you also need sleep to have energy, to smile to be happy, and to be happy so you can laugh, just so you don't keel over with a heart attack. People forget they have options. And they forget that those things really don't matter. They should concentrate on what they have and not what they don't have. And by the way, wishing and dreaming doesn't mean concentrating on what you don't have, it's positive thinking that encourages hoping and believing, not whining and moaning.
Cecelia Ahern (If You Could See Me Now)
A library is many things. It’s a place to go, to get in out of the rain. It’s a place to go if you want to sit and think. But particularly it is a place where books live, and where you can get in touch with other people, and other thoughts, through books. If you want to find out about something, the information is in the reference books — the dictionaries, the encyclopedias, the atlases. If you like to be told a story, the library is the place to go. Books hold most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts that men and women have had. And when you are reading a book, you and the author are alone together — just the two of you. A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people — people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.
E.B. White
It is important to know when you feel down that many others do also and that their circumstances are generally much worse than yours. And it’s important to know that when one of us is down it becomes the obligation of his friends to give him a lift. I hope that each of us will cultivate a sensitivity toward the feelings of others and when encouragement is needed make an effort to extend it. Be a friend and you will have a friend. God be thanked for wonderful friends.
Gordon B. Hinckley
But one of the saddest, most deprecating misuses of power is the withholding of love, affirmation, and delight from other people. Few things keep people in line with our wishes more than an attitude of reserve or aloofness. It is paradoxical that in the power struggle of relationships, the one who loves and encourages the least, gains the most power. This puts people on edge, keeps them guessing, and plays on their need for assurance about their worth.
Lloyd John Ogilvie (Lord of the Loose Ends)
Nobody can define what exactly true love is. Some believe in it and many others don't. If somebody tries to define it, there will be many agreements and disagreements. Especially since nowadays marriages don't even last long anymore which encourages many to stay single. Faith and understanding in relationships is what many lack because it seems we've forgotten nothing and no one is perfect.
Jonathan Anthony Burkett (Friends 2 Lovers: The Unthinkable (Volume 1))
Whatever it is you are really desiring, give it away. If it's companionship, give it to someone else, and just listen to them and be there. If it's money, give it to someone who is less fortunate. If it's encouragement, give it to others. If it's friendship, become the best friend you can be to others. If it's time, serve others with your time. You will be amazed to see how much more of everything you have when you are willing to freely give.
Osayi Emokpae Lasisi
Some writers are the kind of solo violinists who need complete silence to tune their instruments. Others want to hear every member of the orchestra—they’ll take a cue from a clarinet, from an oboe, even. I am one of those. My writing desk is covered in open novels. I read lines to swim in a certain sensibility, to strike a particular note, to encourage rigour when I’m too sentimental, to bring verbal ease when I’m syntactically uptight. I think of reading like a balanced diet; if your sentences are baggy, too baroque, cut back on fatty Foster Wallace, say, and pick up Kafka, as roughage. If your aesthetic has become so refined it is stopping you from placing a single black mark on white paper, stop worrying so much about what Nabokov would say; pick up Dostoyevsky, patron saint of substance over style.
Zadie Smith (Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays)
Our standards of morality are begotten of the past needs of society, but is society to remain always the same? The observance of communal traditions involves a constant sacrifice of the individual to the state. Education, in order to keep up the mighty delusion, encourages a species of ignorance. People are not taught to be really virtuous, but to behave properly. We are wicked because we are frightfully self-conscious. We nurse a conscience because we are afraid to tell the truth to others; we take refuge in pride because we are afraid to tell the truth to ourselves. How can one be serious with the world when the world itself is so ridiculous!
Kakuzō Okakura (The Book of Tea)
We all have different perspectives to life. We all do take different decisions in life each day based on our convictions. We may take wrong or right decisions knowingly and or unknowingly. We may regard the decisions of others as right or wrong. We may have a right or wrong reasons to judge others. We have a choice to condemn or uplift others regardless of their situation. May we, instead of finding reasons to condemn, find reasons to uplift others.
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
And we offer each other words of consolation or distraction or encouragement when we see that one or the other of us is in need of such words. We also miss each other (vaguely) when we're not together, she's one of those people (in everyone's life there are four or five such people whose loss one truly feels) to whom you're used to telling everything that happens to you, that is, one of those people you think about when something happens to you, be it funny or dramatic, and for whom you store up events and anecdotes. You accept misfortunes gladly because you know you can tell those five people about them afterwards.
Javier Marías (A Heart So White)
DRAMA: Be careful about being baited into the personal battles and confusion of others. If you want to help someone out emotionally, be certain he or she has made a commitment to the sacrifice before you intervene for his or her success. If you don’t, you’re likely to be drained of all your healthy energy with his or her selfish petty, pitiful pretending and negotiating. Be encouraged but more importantly if you can’t make it better, whatever you do don’t make it worse, for them and especially yourself
Kerry E. Wagner
Red Fox The red fox crosses the ice intent on none of my business. It's winter and slim pickings. I stand in the bushy cemetery, pretending to watch birds, but really watching the fox who could care less. She pauses on the sheer glare of the pond. She knows I'm there, sniffs me in the wind at her shoulder. If I had a gun or dog or a raw heart, she'd smell it. She didn't get this smart for nothing. She's a lean vixen: I can see the ribs, the sly trickster's eyes, filled with longing and desperation, the skinny feet, adept at lies. Why encourage the notion of virtuous poverty? It's only an excuse for zero charity. Hunger corrupts, and absolute hunger corrupts absolutely, or almost. Of course there are mothers, squeezing their breasts dry, pawning their bodies, shedding teeth for their children, or that's our fond belief. But remember - Hansel and Gretel were dumped in the forest because their parents were starving. Sauve qui peut. To survive we'd all turn thief and rascal, or so says the fox, with her coat of an elegant scoundrel, her white knife of a smile, who knows just where she's going: to steal something that doesn't belong to her - some chicken, or one more chance, or other life.
Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House)
Writing engenders in us certain attitudes toward language. It encourages us to take words for granted. Writing has enabled us to store vast quantities of words indefinitely. This is advantageous on the one hand but dangerous on the other. The result is that we have developed a kind of false security where language is concerned, and our sensitivity to language has deteriorated. And we have become in proportion insensitive to silence.
N. Scott Momaday
They enrolled me in a group for troubled kids. We would meet each week in an old farmhouse owned by the university and talk about our problems getting along. . . . . They didn't teach me to get along, but I did learn that there were plenty of other kids who couldn't get along any better than me. That in itself was encouraging. I realized that I was not the bottom of the barrel. Or if I was, the bottom was roomy because there were a lot of us down there.
John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's)
We are blessed when our loved ones know what they have long before they lose us. It’s the same with people. If they are taken for granted long enough, they can be oppressed to the point that they never experience the joys of life. Life on earth becomes a disappointment for them and Heaven becomes their goal. On the other hand, if they are loved and encouraged and appreciated, they will find all kinds of reasons to keep on living! It is never too late to help someone to see that they are valuable and wanted upon the earth.
Kate McGahan (Jack McAfghan: Return from Rainbow Bridge: An Afterlife Story of Loss, Love and Renewal (Jack McAfghan Pet Loss Trilogy Book 3))
A deep love resides inside each of us. This love is independent of the desires, thoughts, and opinions, good or bad, which are readily offered to us. It is a love that is gentle and kind, accepting and nonjudgmental, playful and spontaneous, courageous and curious. It is always encouraging and always evolving. This love can be discovered only through turning off the noise around us, coming to ourselves in silence, meditation, and prayer. If we listen carefully we will hear the murmurs of our inner voice tell yearnings of our truest selves. What is available to us is a profound understanding, appreciation, and full acceptance of self, all of the good and all of the bad. Only when we truly know that we are able to tap into this part of ourselves can we begin to love others fully. Love for others is the manifestation of love for self. We cannot love another more than we love ourselves. Life is a mirror. If you want to know what love for yourself looks like, look at your love for others. If you want to know what your love for others look like, look at your love for self. When you love yourself this way, you love God this way. This relationship is the divine love triangle; self, God, and others in any order.
Marlon Hartley Lindsay
In loving him, I saw a cigarette between the fingers of a hand, smoke blowing backwards into the room and sputtering planes diving low through the clouds. In loving him, I saw men encouraging each other to lay down their arms. In loving him, I saw small-town laborers creating excavations that other men spend their lives trying to fill. In loving him, I saw moving films of stone buildings; I saw a hand in prison dragging snow in from the sill. In loving him, I saw great houses being erected that would soon slide into the waiting and stirring seas. I saw him freeing me from the silences of the interior life.
David Wojnarowicz (Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration)
We acquire a sense of worth either by realizing our talents, or by keeping busy, or by identifying ourselves with something apart from us--be it a cause, a leader, a group, possessions and the like. Of the three, the path of self-realization is the most difficult. It is taken only when other avenues to a sense of worth are more or less blocked. Men of talent have to be encouraged and goaded to engage in creative work. Their groans and laments echo through the ages. Action is a highroad to self-confidence and esteem.
Eric Hoffer (The Passionate State of Mind: And Other Aphorisms)
I don’t know if I’ve learned anything yet! I did learn how to have a happy home, but I consider myself fortunate in that regard because I could’ve rolled right by it. Everybody has a superficial side and a deep side, but this culture doesn’t place much value on depth — we don’t have shamans or soothsayers, and depth isn’t encouraged or understood. Surrounded by this shallow, glossy society we develop a shallow side, too, and we become attracted to fluff. That’s reflected in the fact that this culture sets up an addiction to romance based on insecurity — the uncertainty of whether or not you’re truly united with the object of your obsession is the rush people get hooked on. I’ve seen this pattern so much in myself and my friends and some people never get off that line. But along with developing my superficial side, I always nurtured a deeper longing, so even when I was falling into the trap of that other kind of love, I was hip to what I was doing. I recently read an article in Esquire magazine called ‘The End of Sex,’ that said something that struck me as very true. It said: “If you want endless repetition, see a lot of different people. If you want infinite variety, stay with one.” What happens when you date is you run all your best moves and tell all your best stories — and in a way, that routine is a method for falling in love with yourself over and over. You can’t do that with a longtime mate because he knows all that old material. With a long relationship, things die then are rekindled, and that shared process of rebirth deepens the love. It’s hard work, though, and a lot of people run at the first sign of trouble. You’re with this person, and suddenly you look like an asshole to them or they look like an asshole to you — it’s unpleasant, but if you can get through it you get closer and you learn a way of loving that’s different from the neurotic love enshrined in movies. It’s warmer and has more padding to it.
Joni Mitchell
A piratical ghost story in thirteen ingenious but potentially disturbing rhyming couplets, originally conceived as a confection both to amuse and to entertain by Mr. Neil Gaiman, scrivener, and then doodled, elaborated upon, illustrated, and beaten soundly by Mr. Cris Grimly, etcher and illuminator, featuring two brave children, their diminutive but no less courageous gazelle, and a large number of extremely dangerous trolls, monsters, bugbears, creatures, and other such nastiness, many of which have perfectly disgusting eating habits and ought not, under any circumstances, to be encouraged.
Neil Gaiman (The Dangerous Alphabet)
Responding to a moderator at the Sydney Writers Festival in 2008 (video), about the Spanish words in his book: When all of us are communicating and talking when we’re out in the world, we’ll be lucky if we can understand 20 percent of what people say to us. A whole range of clues, of words, of languages escape us. I mean we’re not perfect, we’re not gods. But on top of that people mis-speak, sometimes you mis-hear, sometimes you don’t have attention, sometimes people use words you don’t know. Sometimes people use languages you don’t know. On a daily basis, human beings are very comfortable with a large component of communication, which is incomprehensibility, incomprehension. We tend to be comfortable with it. But for an immigrant, it becomes very different. What most of us consider normative comprehension an immigrant fears that they’re not getting it because of their lack of mastery in the language. And what’s a normal component in communication, incomprehension, in some ways for an immigrant becomes a source of deep anxiety because you’re not sure if it’s just incomprehension or your own failures. My sense of writing a book where there is an enormous amount of language that perhaps everyone doesn’t have access to was less to communicate the experience of the immigrant than to communicate the experience that for an immigrant causes much discomfort but that is normative for people. which is that we tend to not understand, not grasp a large part of the language around us. What’s funny is, will Ramona accept incomprehension in our everyday lives and will greet that in a book with enormous fury. In other words what we’re comfortable with out in the outside world, we do not want to encounter in our books. So I’m constantly, people have come to me and asked me… is this, are you trying to lock out your non-Dominican reader, you know? And I’m like, no? I assume any gaps in a story and words people don’t understand, whether it’s the nerdish stuff, whether it’s the Elvish, whether it’s the character going on about Dungeons and Dragons, whether it’s the Dominican Spanish, whether it’s the sort of high level graduate language, I assume if people don’t get it that this is not an attempt for the writer to be aggressive. This is an attempt for the writer to encourage the reader to build community, to go out and ask somebody else. For me, words that you can’t understand in a book aren’t there to torture or remind people that they don’t know. I always felt they were to remind people that part of the experience of reading has always been collective. You learn to read with someone else. Yeah you may currently practice it in a solitary fashion, but reading is a collective enterprise. And what the unintelligible in a book does is to remind you how our whole, lives we’ve always needed someone else to help us with reading.
Junot Díaz
If you surround yourself with people who support your upward aim, they will not tolerate your cynicism and destructiveness. They will instead encourage you when you do good for yourself and others and punish you carefully when you do not. This will help you bolster your resolve to do what you should do, in the most appropriate and careful manner. People who are not aiming up will do the opposite. They will become jealous when you succeed, or do something pristine. They will withdraw their presence or support, or actively punish you for it. They will override your accomplishment with a past action, real or imaginary, of their own. Maybe they are trying to test you, to see if your resolve is real, to see if you are genuine. But mostly they are dragging you down because your new improvements cast their faults in an even dimmer light.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Supposing you hear a cry for help from a man in danger. You will probably feel two desires - one a desire to give help (due to your herd instinct), the other a desire to keep out of danger (due to the instinct for self-preservation). But you will find inside you, in addition to these two impulses, a third thing which tells you that you ought to follow the impulse to help, and suppress the impulse to run away. Now this thing that judges between two instincts, that decides which should be encouraged, cannot itself be either of them. You might as well say that the sheet of music which tells you, at a given moment, to play one note on the piano and not another, is itself one of the notes on the keyboard. The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
We have this judgmental way of looking at the idea of leaving a home or a family, and our society has reinforced this idea that if we "run away," we are "running away from our problems." In some cases, though, to face certain problems (in this case, two family members who are not mentally stable and who are not going to face up to their issues) the family members who are capable of facing reality must realize that leaving is a viable option. Some environments are harmful. As fellow humans it is our job to judge less and encourage more when others choose to remove themselves from harmful environments.
A.S. King
STEVE CARELL IS NICE BUT IT IS SCARY It has been said many times, but it is true: Steve Carell is a very nice guy. His niceness manifests itself mostly in the fact that he never complains. You could screw up a handful of takes outside in 104-degree smog-choked Panorama City heat, and Steve Carell’s final words before collapsing of heat stroke would be a friendly and hopeful “Hey, you think you have that shot yet?” I’ve always found Steve gentlemanly and private, like a Jane Austen character. The one notable thing about Steve’s niceness is that he is also very smart, and that kind of niceness has always made me nervous. When smart people are nice, it’s always terrifying, because I know they’re taking in everything and thinking all kinds of smart and potentially judgmental things. Steve could never be as funny as he is, or as darkly observational an actor, without having an extremely acute sense of human flaws. As a result, I’m always trying to impress him, in the hope that he’ll go home and tell his wife, Nancy, “Mindy was so funny and cool on set today. She just gets it.” Getting Steve to talk shit was one of the most difficult seven-year challenges, but I was determined to do it. A circle of actors could be in a fun, excoriating conversation about, say, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and you’d shoot Steve an encouraging look that said, “Hey, come over here; we’ve made a space for you! We’re trashing Dominique Strauss-Kahn to build cast rapport!” and the best he might offer is “Wow. If all they say about him is true, that is nuts,” and then politely excuse himself to go to his trailer. That’s it. That’s all you’d get. Can you believe that? He just would not engage. That is some willpower there. I, on the other hand, hear someone briefly mentioning Rainn, and I’ll immediately launch into “Oh my god, Rainn’s so horrible.” But Carell is just one of those infuriating, classy Jane Austen guys. Later I would privately theorize that he never involved himself in gossip because—and I am 99 percent sure of this—he is secretly Perez Hilton.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
Do you wonder that I avow this to you? Know, that in the course of your future life you will often find yourself elected the involuntary confidant of your acquaintances' secrets: people will instinctively find out, as I have done, that it is not your forte to tell of yourself, but to listen while others talk of themselves; they will feel, too, that you listen with no malevolent scorn of their indiscretion, but with a kind of innate sympathy; not the less comforting and encouraging because it is very unobtrusive in its manifestations." "How do you know? -- how can you guess all this, sir?" "I know it well; therefore I proceed almost as freely as if I were writing my thoughts in a diary.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Yet the average white person also has a responsibility. He has to resist the impulse to seize upon the rioter as the exclusive villain. He has to rise up with indignation against his own municipal, state and national governments to demand that the necessary reforms be instituted which alone will protect him. If he reserves his resentment only for the Negro, he will be the victim by allowing those who have the greatest culpability to evade responsibility. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention. There is no other answer. Constructive social change will bring certain tranquillity; evasions will merely encourage turmoil. Negroes hold only one key to the double lock of peaceful change. The other is in the hands of the white community.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (King Legacy))
The ceremonies that persist—birthdays, weddings, funerals— focus only on ourselves, marking rites of personal transition. […] We know how to carry out this rite for each other and we do it well. But imagine standing by the river, flooded with those same feelings as the Salmon march into the auditorium of their estuary. Rise in their honor, thank them for all the ways they have enriched our lives, sing to honor their hard work and accomplishments against all odds, tell them they are our hope for the future, encourage them to go off into the world to grow, and pray that they will come home. Then the feasting begins. Can we extend our bonds of celebration and support from our own species to the others who need us? Many indigenous traditions still recognize the place of ceremony and often focus their celebrations on other species and events in the cycle of the seasons. In a colonist society the ceremonies that endure are not about land; they’re about family and culture, values that are transportable from the old country. Ceremonies for the land no doubt existed there, but it seems they did not survive emigration in any substantial way. I think there is wisdom in regenerating them here, as a means to form bonds with this land.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants)
Mowing the lawn, I felt like I was battling the earth rather than working it; each week it sent forth a green army and each week I beat it back with my infernal machine. Unlike every other plant in my garden, the grasses were anonymous, massified, deprived of any change or development whatsoever, not to mention any semblance of self-determination. I ruled a totalitarian landscape. Hot monotonous hours behind the mower gave rise to existential speculations. I spent part of one afternoon trying to decide who, it the absurdist drama of lawn mowing, was Sisyphus. Me? The case could certainly be made. Or was it the grass, pushing up through the soil every week, one layer of cells at a time, only to be cut down and then, perversely, encouraged (with lime, fertilizer, etc.) to start the whole doomed process over again? Another day it occurred to me that time as we know it doesn't exist in the lawn, since grass never dies or is allowed to flower and set seed. Lawns are nature purged of sex or death. No wonder Americans like them so much.
Michael Pollan (Second Nature: A Gardener's Education)
I don't tell you this story today in order to encourage all of you in the class of '04 to find careers in the music business, but rather to suggest what the next decade of your lives is likely to be about, and that is, trying to ensure that you don't wake up at 32 or 35 or 40 tenured to a life that happened to you when you weren't paying strict attention, either because the money was good, or it made your parents proud, or because you were unlucky enough to discover an aptitude for the very thing that bores you to tears, or for any of the other semi-valid reasons people marshal to justify allowing the true passion of their lives to leak away. If you're lucky, you may have more than one chance to get things right, but second and third chances, like second and third marriages, can be dicey propositions, and they don't come with guarantees.... The question then is this: How does a person keep from living the wrong life?
Richard Russo
If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault, but it is no good blaming the world or expecting it to take pity on you. One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in; if one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well. In my opinion, one should concentrate on activities in which one's physical disability will not present a serious handicap. I am afraid that Olympic Games for the disabled do not appeal to me, but it is easy for me to say that because I never liked athletics anyway. On the other hand, science is a very good area for disabled people because it goes on mainly in the mind. Of course, most kinds of experimental work are probably ruled out for most such people, but theoretical work is almost ideal. My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field, which is theoretical physics. Indeed, they have helped me in a way by shielding me from lecturing and administrative work that I would otherwise have been involved in. I have managed, however, only because of the large amount of help I have received from my wife, children, colleagues and students. I find that people in general are very ready to help, but you should encourage them to feel that their efforts to aid you are worthwhile by doing as well as you possibly can.
Stephen Hawking
. . . we come astonishingly close to the mystical beliefs of Pythagoras and his followers who attempted to submit all of life to the sovereignty of numbers. Many of our psychologists, sociologists, economists and other latter-day cabalists will have numbers to tell them the truth or they will have nothing. . . . We must remember that Galileo merely said that the language of nature is written in mathematics. He did not say that everything is. And even the truth about nature need not be expressed in mathematics. For most of human history, the language of nature has been the language of myth and ritual. These forms, one might add, had the virtues of leaving nature unthreatened and of encouraging the belief that human beings are part of it. It hardly befits a people who stand ready to blow up the planet to praise themselves too vigorously for having found the true way to talk about nature.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
The kingdom of heaven promised us certain things: it promised us happiness and a sense of purpose and a sense of having a place in the universe, of having a role and a destiny that were noble and splendid; and so we were connected to things. We were not alienated. But now that, for me anyway, the King is dead, I find that I still need these things that heaven promised, and I'm not willing to live without them. I don't think I will continue to live after I'm dead, so if I am to achieve these things I must try to bring them about – and encourage other people to bring them about – on earth, in a republic in which we are all free and equal – and responsible – citizens. Now, what does this involve? It involves all the best qualities of things. We mustn't shut anything out. If the Church has told us, for example, that forgiving our enemies is good, and if that seems to be a good thing to do, we must do it. If, on the other hand, those who struggled against the Church have shown us that free enquiry and unfettered scientific exploration is good – and I believe that they have – then we must hold this up as a good as well. Whatever we can find that we feel to be good – and not just feel but can see with the accumulated wisdom that we have as we grow up, and read about history and learn from our own experiences and so on – wherever they come from, and whoever taught them in the first place, let's use them and do whatever we can do to make the world a little bit better.
Philip Pullman
Parents embraced “Sesame Street” for several reasons, among them that it assuaged their guilt over the fact that they could not or would not restrict their children’s access to television. “Sesame Street” appeared to justify allowing a four- or five-year-old to sit transfixed in front of a television screen for unnatural periods of time. Parents were eager to hope that television could teach their children something other than which breakfast cereal has the most crackle. At the same time, “Sesame Street” relieved them of the responsibility of teaching their pre-school children how to read—no small matter in a culture where children are apt to be considered a nuisance.... We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
For Marius to arrive at this flourishing condition had required years. Hard years, and difficult ones; those to get through, these to climb. Marius had never given up for a single day. He had undergone everything, in the shape of privation; he had done everything, except get into debt. He gave himself this credit, that he had never owed a sou to anybody. For him a debt was the beginning of slavery. He felt even that a creditor is worse than a master; for a master owns only your person, a creditor owns your dignity and can belabour that. Rather than borrow, he did not eat. He had had many days of fasting. Feeling that all extremes meet, and that if we do not take care, abasement of fortune may lead to baseness of soul, he watched jealously over his pride. Such a habit or such a carriage as, in any other condition, would have appeared deferential, seemed humiliating and he braced himself against it. He risked nothing, not wishing to take a backward step. He had a kind of stern blush upon his face. He was timid even to rudeness. In all his trials he felt encouraged and sometimes even upborne by a secret force within. The soul helps the body, and at certain moments uplifts it. It is the only bird which sustains its cage.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Simply changing one three-letter word can often spell the difference between failure and success in changing people without giving offense or arousing resentment. Many people begin their criticism with sincere praise followed by the word “but” and ending with a critical statement. For example, in trying to change a child’s careless attitude toward studies, we might say, “We’re really proud of you, Johnnie, for raising your grades this term. But if you had worked harder on your algebra, the results would have been better.” In this case, Johnnie might feel encouraged until he heard the word “but.” He might then question the sincerity of the original praise. To him, the praise seemed only to be a contrived lead-in to a critical inference of failure. Credibility would be strained, and we probably would not achieve our objectives of changing Johnnie’s attitude toward his studies. This could be easily overcome by changing the word “but” to “and.” “We’re really proud of you, Johnnie, for raising your grades this term, and by continuing the same conscientious efforts next term, your algebra grade can be up with all the others.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
An attachment grew up. What is an attachment? It is the most difficult of all the human interrelationships to explain, because it is the vaguest, the most impalpable. It has all the good points of love, and none of its drawbacks. No jealousy, no quarrels, no greed to possess, no fear of losing possession, no hatred (which is very much a part of love), no surge of passion and no hangover afterward. It never reaches the heights, and it never reaches the depths. As a rule it comes on subtly. As theirs did. As a rule the two involved are not even aware of it at first. As they were not. As a rule it only becomes noticeable when it is interrupted in some way, or broken off by circumstances. As theirs was. In other words, its presence only becomes known in its absence. It is only missed after it stops. While it is still going on, little thought is given to it, because little thought needs to be. It is pleasant to meet, it is pleasant to be together. To put your shopping packages down on a little wire-backed chair at a little table at a sidewalk cafe, and sit down and have a vermouth with someone who has been waiting there for you. And will be waiting there again tomorrow afternoon. Same time, same table, same sidewalk cafe. Or to watch Italian youth going through the gyrations of the latest dance craze in some inexpensive indigenous night-place-while you, who come from the country where the dance originated, only get up to do a sedate fox trot. It is even pleasant to part, because this simply means preparing the way for the next meeting. One long continuous being-together, even in a love affair, might make the thing wilt. In an attachment it would surely kill the thing off altogether. But to meet, to part, then to meet again in a few days, keeps the thing going, encourages it to flower. And yet it requires a certain amount of vanity, as love does; a desire to please, to look one's best, to elicit compliments. It inspires a certain amount of flirtation, for the two are of opposite sex. A wink of understanding over the rim of a raised glass, a low-voiced confidential aside about something and the smile of intimacy that answers it, a small impromptu gift - a necktie on the one part because of an accidental spill on the one he was wearing, or of a small bunch of flowers on the other part because of the color of the dress she has on. So it goes. And suddenly they part, and suddenly there's a void, and suddenly they discover they have had an attachment. Rome passed into the past, and became New York. Now, if they had never come together again, or only after a long time and in different circumstances, then the attachment would have faded and died. But if they suddenly do come together again - while the sharp sting of missing one another is still smarting - then the attachment will revive full force, full strength. But never again as merely an attachment. It has to go on from there, it has to build, to pick up speed. And sometimes it is so glad to be brought back again that it makes the mistake of thinking it is love. ("For The Rest Of Her Life")
Cornell Woolrich (Angels of Darkness)
Every act of will is an act of self-limitation. To desire action is to desire limitation. In that sense, every act is an act of self-sacrifice. When you choose anything, you reject everything else... Every act is an irrevocable selection and exclusion. Just as when you marry one woman you give up all the others, so when you take one course of action you give up all the other courses… Art is limitation; the essence of every picture is the frame. If you draw a giraffe, you must draw him with a long neck. If, in you bold creative way, you hold yourself free to draw a giraffe with a short neck, you will really find that you are not free to draw a giraffe. The moment you step into the world of facts, you step into a world of limits. You can free things from alien or accidental laws, but not from the laws of their own nature. You may, if you like, free a tiger from his bars; but do not free him from his stripes. Do not free a camel from the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel. Do not go about as a demagogue, encouraging triangles to break out of the prison of their three sides. If a triangle breaks out of its three sides, its life comes to a lamentable end. Somebody wrote a work called “The Loves of the Triangles”; I never read it, but I am sure that if triangles ever were loved, they were loved for being triangular. This is certainly the case with all artistic creation, which is in some ways the most decisive example of pure will. The artist loves his limitations: they constitute the thing he is doing.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted…secretly, it was being dictated instead by the needs of technology…by a conspiracy between human beings and techniques, by something that needed the energy-burst of war, crying, “Money be damned, the very life of [insert name of Nation] is at stake,” but meaning, most likely, dawn is nearly here, I need my night’s blood, my funding, funding, ahh more, more…The real crises were crises of allocation and priority, not among firms—it was only staged to look that way—but among the different Technologies, Plastics, Electronics, Aircraft, and their needs which are understood only by the ruling elite… Yes but Technology only responds (how often this argument has been iterated, dogged, humorless as a Gaussian reduction, among the younger Schwarzkommando especially), “All very well to talk about having a monster by the tail, but do you think we’d’ve had the Rocket if someone, some specific somebody with a name and a penis hadn’t wanted to chuck a ton of Amatol 300 miles and blow up a block full of civilians? Go ahead, capitalize the T on technology, deify it if it’ll make you feel less responsible—but it puts you in with the neutered, brother, in with the eunuchs keeping the harem of our stolen Earth for the numb and joyless hardons of human sultans, human elite with no right at all to be where they are—” We have to look for power sources here, and distribution networks we were never taught, routes of power our teachers never imagined, or were encouraged to avoid…we have to find meters whose scales are unknown in the world, draw our own schematics, getting feedback, making connections, reducing the error, trying to learn the real function…zeroing in on what incalculable plot? Up here, on the surface, coal-tars, hydrogenation, synthesis were always phony, dummy functions to hide the real, the planetary mission yes perhaps centuries in the unrolling…this ruinous plant, waiting for its Kabbalists and new alchemists to discover the Key, teach the mysteries to others…
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
I believe that the most important thing for a couple of any sort, to realize in their relationship with each other (and please allow me to share this with you), is that neither are a limited source. You see, the idea of the soul is that it is eternal and that it continually receives from an Eternal Source. So the idea in any relationship is never really what you can get from it; but the idea is what you can give to the other, what you can put into it. Withdrawing from eternity— and depositing into the physical realm. Of course, as you both give, you are also both receiving from one another, thus a beautiful relationship is formed and maintained. It's that certain flow that needs to be encouraged and allowed. I say "allowed" because it's natural, however, it's usually not "allowed" because our human faculties are taught and bombarded by stupid ideas in magazines that relationships are all about what one can get from it; it's never about giving! So in a nutshell, the idea is to give because you know that you are receiving from an Everlasting Source, but to also remain graceful and eager enough to also receive gratefully from the other. And this is how eternal relationships are born. We are all conduits of eternity and we happen to meet another conduit whom we feel we belong with, then we share what we receive from eternity and receive what the other has to share.
C. JoyBell C.
Vespers In your extended absence, you permit me use of earth, anticipating some return on investment. I must report failure in my assignment, principally regarding the tomato plants. I think I should not be encouraged to grow tomatoes. Or, if I am, you should withhold the heavy rains, the cold nights that come so often here, while other regions get twelve weeks of summer. All this belongs to you: on the other hand, I planted the seeds, I watched the first shoots like wings tearing the soil, and it was my heart broken by the blight, the black spot so quickly multiplying in the rows. I doubt you have a heart, in our understanding of that term. You who do not discriminate between the dead and the living, who are, in consequence, immune to foreshadowing, you may not know how much terror we bear, the spotted leaf, the red leaves of the maple falling even in August, in early darkness: I am responsible for these vines.
Louise Glück
Suppose we were planning to impose a dictatorial regime upon the American people—the following preparations would be essential: 1. Concentrate the populace in megalopolitan masses so that they can be kept under close surveillance and where, in case of trouble, they can be bombed, burned, gassed or machine-gunned with a minimum of expense and waste. 2. Mechanize agriculture to the highest degree of refinement, thus forcing most of the scattered farm and ranching population into the cities. Such a policy is desirable because farmers, woodsmen, cowboys, Indians, fishermen and other relatively self-sufficient types are difficult to manage unless displaced from their natural environment. 3. Restrict the possession of firearms to the police and the regular military organizations. 4. Encourage or at least fail to discourage population growth. Large masses of people are more easily manipulated and dominated than scattered individuals. 5. Continue military conscription. Nothing excels military training for creating in young men an attitude of prompt, cheerful obedience to officially constituted authority. 6. Divert attention from deep conflicts within the society by engaging in foreign wars; make support of these wars a test of loyalty, thereby exposing and isolating potential opposition to the new order. 7. Overlay the nation with a finely reticulated network of communications, airlines and interstate autobahns. 8. Raze the wilderness. Dam the rivers, flood the canyons, drain the swamps, log the forests, strip-mine the hills, bulldoze the mountains, irrigate the deserts and improve the national parks into national parking lots. Idle speculations, feeble and hopeless protest. It was all foreseen nearly half a century ago by the most cold-eyed and clear-eyed of our national poets, on California’s shore, at the end of the open road. Shine, perishing republic.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand.... nor look through the eyes of the dead.... nor feed on the spectres in books. I tramp a perpetual journey All goes onward and outward.... and nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier. If no other in the world be aware I sit content, And if each and all be aware I sit content. The final three stanzas of 'Song of Myself" were also highlighted. I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good health to your nevertheless, And filter and fibre your blood. Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, Missing me one places search another, I stop some where waiting for you It became a weekend of reading, of trying to see her in the fragments of the poem she'd left for me. I could never get anywhere with the lines, but I kepr thinking about them anyway, becase I didn't want to disappoint her. She wanted me to play out with the string, to find the place where she had stopped and was waiting for me, to follow the bread crumb trail until it dead-ended into her.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Hitherto, the Palestinians had been relatively immune to this Allahu Akhbar style. I thought this was a hugely retrograde development. I said as much to Edward. To reprint Nazi propaganda and to make a theocratic claim to Spanish soil was to be a protofascist and a supporter of 'Caliphate' imperialism: it had nothing at all to do with the mistreatment of the Palestinians. Once again, he did not exactly disagree. But he was anxious to emphasize that the Israelis had often encouraged Hamas as a foil against Fatah and the PLO. This I had known since seeing the burning out of leftist Palestinians by Muslim mobs in Gaza as early as 1981. Yet once again, it seemed Edward could only condemn Islamism if it could somehow be blamed on either Israel or the United States or the West, and not as a thing in itself. He sometimes employed the same sort of knight's move when discussing other Arabist movements, excoriating Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, for example, mainly because it had once enjoyed the support of the CIA. But when Saddam was really being attacked, as in the case of his use of chemical weapons on noncombatants at Halabja, Edward gave second-hand currency to the falsified story that it had 'really' been the Iranians who had done it. If that didn't work, well, hadn't the United States sold Saddam the weaponry in the first place? Finally, and always—and this question wasn't automatically discredited by being a change of subject—what about Israel's unwanted and ugly rule over more and more millions of non-Jews? I evolved a test for this mentality, which I applied to more people than Edward. What would, or did, the relevant person say when the United States intervened to stop the massacres and dispossessions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo? Here were two majority-Muslim territories and populations being vilely mistreated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. There was no oil in the region. The state interests of Israel were not involved (indeed, Ariel Sharon publicly opposed the return of the Kosovar refugees to their homes on the grounds that it set an alarming—I want to say 'unsettling'—precedent). The usual national-security 'hawks,' like Henry Kissinger, were also strongly opposed to the mission. One evening at Edward's apartment, with the other guest being the mercurial, courageous Azmi Bishara, then one of the more distinguished Arab members of the Israeli parliament, I was finally able to leave the arguing to someone else. Bishara [...] was quite shocked that Edward would not lend public support to Clinton for finally doing the right thing in the Balkans. Why was he being so stubborn? I had begun by then—belatedly you may say—to guess. Rather like our then-friend Noam Chomsky, Edward in the final instance believed that if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
On the wall next to the door we’d entered through was a huge floor-to-ceiling bulletin/whiteboard combo and hanging from a thumbtack on the bulletin board amongst pictures and other various sorts of memorabilia was my bra. It’d been washed but it still had a good many blotches of pink on it. If that wasn’t shocking enough, the dialogue written over the last two weeks on the whiteboard pertaining to said bra certainly was. I’ll include the copy just so you can truly appreciate what I’m dealing with here. Tristan’s Mom: What’s this? Tristan: A size 34B lace covered slingshot. Jeff: Nice! Tristan’s Mom: Do I want to know? Tristan: I don’t know, do you? Tristan’s Mom: Not really. Are you planning on returning it or did you win some kind of prize? Tristan: I plead the fifth. Tristan’s Dad: Well done son. Jeff: Ditto! Tristan’s Mom: Don’t encourage him. Tristan: Gee, thanks Mom. Tristan’s Dad: Can’t a father be proud of his only child? Tristan’s Mom: He doesn’t need your help…obviously. Tristan’s Dad: That’s because he takes after me. Tristan: Was there anything else I can do for you two? Tristan’s Mom: Tell her I tried to get the stains out, but I’m afraid they set in before I got to it. Tristan: I’m sure she’ll appreciate your effort, but if I’m any judge (and I’d like to think I am) its size has caused it to become obsolete and she needs to trade up. Jeff: I’m so proud. Tristan: Thanks man. Tristan’s Mom: A name would be nice you know. Tristan: Camie. Tristan’s Mom: Do we get to meet her? Tristan: Sure. I’ll have my people call your people and set it up. Tristan’s Mom: I don’t know why I bother. Do you want anything from the store? Tristan: Yeah, Camie’s sleeping over tonight and I promised her bacon and eggs for breakfast. Jeff’s got the eggs covered but could you pick up some bacon for us and maybe a box of Twinkies for the bus? Thanks, you’re the best. Jeff: I have the eggs covered? Tristan’s Dad: He gets his sense of humor from you. Tristan’s Mom: Flattery will get you everywhere. How would you like your eggs prepared dear?
Jenn Cooksey (Shark Bait (Grab Your Pole, #1))
I is for immortality, which for some poets is a necessary compensation. Presumably miserable in this life, they will be remembered when the rest of us are long forgotten. None of them asks about the quality of that remembrance--what it will be like to crouch in the dim hallways of somebody's mind until the moment of recollection occurs, or to be lifted off suddenly and forever into the pastures of obscurity. Most poets know better than to concern themselves with such things. They know the chances are better than good that their poems will die when they do and never be heard of again, that they'll be replaced by poems sporting a new look in a language more current. They also know that even if individual poems die, though in some cases slowly, poetry will continue: that its subjects, it constant themes, are less liable to change than fashions in language, and that this is where an alternate, less lustrous immortality might be. We all know that a poem can influence other poems, remain alive in them, just as previous poems are alive in it. Could we not say, therefore, that individual poems succeed most by encouraging revisions of themselves and inducing their own erasure? Yes, but is this immortality, or simply a purposeful way of being dead?
Mark Strand (The Weather of Words: Poetic Inventions)
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . . If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them. If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing. (Speech was broadcast by ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965)
Paul Harvey
The desire to make art begins early. Among the very young this is encouraged (or at least indulged as harmless) but the push toward a 'serious' education soon exacts a heavy toll on dreams and fantasies....Yet for some the desire persists, and sooner or later must be addressed. And with good reason: your desire to make art -- beautiful or meaningful or emotive art -- is integral to your sense of who you are. Life and Art, once entwined, can quickly become inseparable; at age ninety Frank Lloyd Wright was still designing, Imogen Cunningham still photographing, Stravinsky still composing, Picasso still painting. But if making art gives substance to your sense of self, the corresponding fear is that you're not up to the task -- that you can't do it, or can't do it well, or can't do it again; or that you're not a real artist, or not a good artist, or have no talent, or have nothing to say. The line between the artist and his/her work is a fine one at best, and for the artist it feels (quite naturally) like there is no such line. Making art can feel dangerous and revealing. Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be. For many people, that alone is enough to prevent their ever getting started at all -- and for those who do, trouble isn't long in coming. Doubts, in fact, soon rise in swarms: "I am not an artist -- I am a phony. I have nothing worth saying. I'm not sure what I'm doing. Other people are better than I am. I'm only a [student/physicist/mother/whatever]. I've never had a real exhibit. No one understands my work. No one likes my work. I'm no good. Yet viewed objectively, these fears obviously have less to do with art than they do with the artist. And even less to do with the individual artworks. After all, in making art you bring your highest skills to bear upon the materials and ideas you most care about. Art is a high calling -- fears are coincidental. Coincidental, sneaky and disruptive, we might add, disguising themselves variously as laziness, resistance to deadlines, irritation with materials or surroundings, distraction over the achievements of others -- indeed anything that keeps you from giving your work your best shot. What separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don't, quit. Each step in the artmaking process puts that issue to the test.
David Bayles (Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)
Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him, and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the state of his own mind--or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties of directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate the most useful human characteristics, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practise self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office. 2. It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers innocuous. Make sure that they are always very 'spiritual', that is is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rhuematism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards are her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining. In the second place, since his ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and it will be your task to make that imaginary person daily less and less like the real mother--the sharp-tongued old lady at the breakfast table. In time you may get the cleavage so wide that no thought or feeling from his prayers for the imagined mother will ever flow over into his treatment of the real one. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment's notice from impassioned prayer for a wife's or son's soul to beating or insulting the real wife or son without any qualm. 3. When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face whice are almost unedurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother's eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy--if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbablity of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
Genuine forgiveness and reconciliation are two-person transactions that are enabled by apologies. Some, particularly within the Christian worldview, have taught forgiveness without an apology. They often quote the words of Jesus, “If you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Thus, they say to the wife whose husband has been unfaithful and continues in his adulterous affair, “You must forgive him, or God will not forgive you.” Such an interpretation of Jesus’ teachings fails to reckon with the rest of the scriptural teachings on forgiveness. The Christian is instructed to forgive others in the same manner that God forgives us. How does God forgive us? The Scriptures say that if we confess our sins, God will forgive our sins. Nothing in the Old or New Testaments indicates that God forgives the sins of people who do not confess and repent of their sins. While a pastor encourages a wife to forgive her erring husband while he still continues in his wrongdoing, the minister is requiring of the wife something that God Himself does not do. Jesus’ teaching is that we are to be always willing to forgive, as God is always willing to forgive, those who repent… While a pastor encourages a wife to forgive her erring husband while he still continues in his wrongdoing, the minister is requiring of the wife something that God Himself does not do. Jesus’ teaching is that we are to be always willing to forgive, as God is always willing to forgive, those who repent…
Gary Chapman (The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships)
10 ways to raise a wild child. Not everyone wants to raise wild, free thinking children. But for those of you who do, here's my tips: 1. Create safe space for them to be outside for a least an hour a day. Preferable barefoot & muddy. 2. Provide them with toys made of natural materials. Silks, wood, wool, etc...Toys that encourage them to use their imagination. If you're looking for ideas, Google: 'Waldorf Toys'. Avoid noisy plastic toys. Yea, maybe they'll learn their alphabet from the talking toys, but at the expense of their own unique thoughts. Plastic toys that talk and iPads in cribs should be illegal. Seriously! 3. Limit screen time. If you think you can manage video game time and your kids will be the rare ones that don't get addicted, then go for it. I'm not that good so we just avoid them completely. There's no cable in our house and no video games. The result is that my kids like being outside cause it's boring inside...hah! Best plan ever! No kid is going to remember that great day of video games or TV. Send them outside! 4. Feed them foods that support life. Fluoride free water, GMO free organic foods, snacks free of harsh preservatives and refined sugars. Good oils that support healthy brain development. Eat to live! 5. Don't helicopter parent. Stay connected and tuned into their needs and safety, but don't hover. Kids like adults need space to roam and explore without the constant voice of an adult telling them what to do. Give them freedom! 6. Read to them. Kids don't do what they are told, they do what they see. If you're on your phone all the time, they will likely be doing the same thing some day. If you're reading, writing and creating your art (painting, cooking...whatever your art is) they will likely want to join you. It's like Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers in the laps of their parents (or guardians)." - it's so true! 7. Let them speak their truth. Don't assume that because they are young that you know more than them. They were born into a different time than you. Give them room to respectfully speak their mind and not feel like you're going to attack them. You'll be surprised what you might learn. 8. Freedom to learn. I realize that not everyone can homeschool, but damn, if you can, do it! Our current schools system is far from the best ever. Our kids deserve better. We simply can't expect our children to all learn the same things in the same way. Not every kid is the same. The current system does not support the unique gifts of our children. How can they with so many kids in one classroom. It's no fault of the teachers, they are doing the best they can. Too many kids and not enough parent involvement. If you send your kids to school and expect they are getting all they need, you are sadly mistaken. Don't let the public school system raise your kids, it's not their job, it's yours! 9. Skip the fear based parenting tactics. It may work short term. But the long term results will be devastating to the child's ability to be open and truthful with you. Children need guidance, but scaring them into listening is just lazy. Find new ways to get through to your kids. Be creative! 10. There's no perfect way to be a parent, but there's a million ways to be a good one. Just because every other parent is doing it, doesn't mean it's right for you and your child. Don't let other people's opinions and judgments influence how you're going to treat your kid. Be brave enough to question everything until you find what works for you. Don't be lazy! Fight your urge to be passive about the things that matter. Don't give up on your kid. This is the most important work you'll ever do. Give it everything you have.
Brooke Hampton
I've been thinking about this mouth all day" he said before covering my lips with his. I licked at his bottom lip and he opened for me, letting me leisurely taste him. The gentle pressure of his mouth was perfect and made me a little dizzy. His fingers slip up my thigh until both hands were gripping my butt. One of his fingers traced the edge of my panties. "I really like this skirt," he murmured against my lips. I really liked it too at the moment. My breath was coming in short gasps as he slid one hand inside the edge of my panties. He gripped my bare butt with one hand while he slid his other slowly back down my thigh and shifted closer to my inner thigh. I liked what his next move would be. What I didn't know was if I was going to let it go that far. Then he moaned into my mouth as his fingers touched the inside of my thigh and my leg fell open of its own accord. The slow, easy kiss became frenzied as we both fought to calm our breathing. His hand inched higher and higher up my exposed thigh. The second his finger grazed the outside of my panties, I jerked in his hold, and something very close to pleading squeaked in my throat. Sawyer pulled back, and his accelerated breathing made me tingle with pleasure. I loved knowing I did that to him. He kissed down my neck until he met the curve of my shoulder. He went very still. His warm breath bathed my chest and neck. His hand slowly moved again. One lone finger slipped inside the edge of my panties and made direct contact. He murmured something against my neck, but I couldn't focus enough to understand. My brain was in a foggy haze, and my heart was about to pound out of my chest. The urge to move against the hand, which now cupped the crotch of my panties, was strong. But I waited while he eased his finger farther inside and gently ran it along the folds. "oh, oh, oh my god," I managed to get out in a breathless chant. "God, you're so warm," he whispered in a strained voice as he began kissing the spot where he had buried his head in my neck. When he slipped his other hand over my leg and pulled it farther open then reached down and pulled my panties to the side as he gently stroked me, I started to come apart in his arms. "That's it, baby," he encouraged me as I clung to him, calling his name and wanting it to never end.
Abbi Glines (The Vincent Brothers (The Vincent Boys, #2))
When those who have been placed in my life to lead me and train me betray me and turn against me, as Saul turned against David, I will follow the example of David and refuse to let hope die in my heart. Holy Spirit, empower me to be a spiritual father or mother to those who need me to disciple, love, support, and encourage them. Father, raise up spiritual leaders in our land who can lead others with justice, mercy, integrity, and love. Allow me to be one of these leaders. When I am cut off from my father [physical or spiritual] through his insecurity, jealousy, or pride, cause me to recognize that as You did with David, You want to complete Your work in my life. Holy Spirit, release me from tormenting thoughts or self-blame and striving for acceptance. Cause me to seek only Your acceptance and restoration. I refuse to allow the enemy to cause me to seek revenge against those who have wronged me. I will not raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed or seek to avenge myself. I will leave justice to You. Father, cause my heart to be pure as David’s was pure. Through Your power, O Lord, I will refuse to attack my enemies with my tongue, for I will never forget that both death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21). I will never seek to sow discord or separation between myself and my Christian brothers and sisters, for it is an abomination to my Lord. I will remain loyal to my spiritual leaders even when they have rejected me or wronged me. I choose to be a man [or woman] after the heart of God, not one who seeks to avenge myself. Holy Spirit, like David I will lead my Christian brother and sister to honor our spiritual leaders even in the face of betrayal. I refuse to sow discord among brethren. I will show kindness to others who are in relationship with the ones who have wronged me. Like David I will find ways to honor them and will not allow offense to cause me to disrespect them. Father, only You are worthy to judge the intents and actions of myself or of those around me. I praise You for Your wisdom, and I submit to Your leading. Lord, I choose to remain loyal to those in a position of authority over me. I choose to focus on the calling You have placed on my life and to refuse to be diverted by the actions of others, even when they have treated me wrongly. Father, may You be able to examine my life and know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my heart toward others (1 Sam.24:11).
John Bevere (The Bait of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense)
For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no real woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover: no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself . . . . And it is not only the faculty of love which is thus sterilized, forced back on itself, but also the faculty of imagination. The true exercise of imagination, in my view, is (a) To help us to understand other people (b) To respond to, and, some of us, to produce, art. But it has also a bad use: to provide for us, in shadowy form, a substitute for virtues, successes, distinctions etc. which ought to be sought outside in the real world—e.g. picturing all I’d do if I were rich instead of earning and saving. Masturbation involves this abuse of imagination in erotic matters (which I think bad in itself) and thereby encourages a similar abuse of it in all spheres. After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little, dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison.
C.S. Lewis
There is nothing extreme about ethical veganism. What is extreme is eating decomposing flesh and animal secretions. What is extreme is that we regard some animals as members of our family while, at the same time, we stick forks into the corpses of other animals. What is extreme is thinking that it is morally acceptable to inflict suffering and death on other sentient creatures simply because we enjoy the taste of animal products or because we like the look of clothes made from animals. What is extreme is that we say that we recognize that “unnecessary” suffering and death cannot be morally justified and then we proceed to engage in exploitation on a daily basis that is completely unnecessary. What is extreme is pretending to embrace peace while we make violence, suffering, torture and death a daily part of our lives. What is extreme is that we excoriate people like Michael Vick, Mary Bale and Sarah Palin as villains while we continue to eat, use, and consume animal products. What is extreme is that we say that we care about animals and that we believe that they are members of the moral community, but we sponsor, support, encourage and promote “happy” meat/dairy labeling schemes. (see 1, 2, 3) What is extreme is not eating flesh but continuing to consume dairy when there is absolutely no rational distinction between meat and dairy (or other animal products). There is as much suffering and death in dairy, eggs, etc., as there is in meat. What is extreme is that we are consuming a diet that is causing disease and resulting in ecological disaster. What is extreme is that we encourage our children to love animals at the same time that we teach them those that they love can also be those whom they harm. We teach our children that love is consistent with commodification. That is truly extreme—and very sad. What is extreme is the fantasy that we will ever find our moral compass with respect to animals as long as they are on our plates and our tables, on our backs, and on our feet. No, ethical veganism is not extreme. But there are many other things that we do not even pay attention to that are extreme. If you are not vegan, go vegan. It’s easy; it’s better for your health and for the planet. But, most important, it’s the morally right thing to do.
Gary L. Francione
Even if we have a reliable criterion for detecting design, and even if that criterion tells us that biological systems are designed, it seems that determining a biological system to be designed is akin to shrugging our shoulders and saying God did it. The fear is that admitting design as an explanation will stifle scientific inquiry, that scientists will stop investigating difficult problems because they have a sufficient explanation already. But design is not a science stopper. Indeed, design can foster inquiry where traditional evolutionary approaches obstruct it. Consider the term "junk DNA." Implicit in this term is the view that because the genome of an organism has been cobbled together through a long, undirected evolutionary process, the genome is a patchwork of which only limited portions are essential to the organism. Thus on an evolutionary view we expect a lot of useless DNA. If, on the other hand, organisms are designed, we expect DNA, as much as possible, to exhibit function. And indeed, the most recent findings suggest that designating DNA as "junk" merely cloaks our current lack of knowledge about function. For instance, in a recent issue of the Journal of Theoretical Biology, John Bodnar describes how "non-coding DNA in eukaryotic genomes encodes a language which programs organismal growth and development." Design encourages scientists to look for function where evolution discourages it. Or consider vestigial organs that later are found to have a function after all. Evolutionary biology texts often cite the human coccyx as a "vestigial structure" that hearkens back to vertebrate ancestors with tails. Yet if one looks at a recent edition of Gray’s Anatomy, one finds that the coccyx is a crucial point of contact with muscles that attach to the pelvic floor. The phrase "vestigial structure" often merely cloaks our current lack of knowledge about function. The human appendix, formerly thought to be vestigial, is now known to be a functioning component of the immune system.
William A. Dembski
The change will do you good,” she said simply, when he had finished; “and you must be sure to go and see Ellen,” she added, looking him straight in the eyes with her cloudless smile, and speaking in the tone she might have employed in urging him not to neglect some irksome family duty. It was the only word that passed between them on the subject; but in the code in which they had both been trained it meant: “Of course you understand that I know all that people have been saying about Ellen, and heartily sympathize with my family in their effort to get her to return to her husband. I also know that, for some reason you have not chosen to tell me, you have advised her against this course, which all the older men of the family, as well as our grandmother, agree in approving; and that it is owing to your encouragement that Ellen defies us all, and exposes herself to the kind of criticism of which Mr. Sillerton Jackson probably gave you this evening, the hint that has made you so irritable… Hints have indeed not been wanting; but since you appear unwilling to take them from others, I offer you this one myself, in the only form in which well-bred people of our kind can communicate unpleasant things to each other: by letting you understand that I know you mean to see Ellen when you are in Washington, and are perhaps going there expressly for that purpose; and that, since you are sure to see her, I wish you to do so with my full and explicit approval—and to take the opportunity of letting her know what the course of conduct you have encouraged her in is likely to lead to.” Her hand was still on the key of the lamp when the last word of this mute message reached him. She turned the wick down, lifted off the globe, and breathed on the sulky flame. “They smell less if one blows them out,” she explained, with her bright housekeeping air. On the threshold she turned and paused for his kiss.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
As you can see,” Daisy said, “one glass is filled with soap water, one with clear, and one with blue laundry water. The other, of course, is empty. The glasses will predict what kind of man you will marry.” They watched as Evie felt carefully for one of the glasses. Dipping her finger into the soap water, Evie waited for her blindfold to be drawn off, and viewed the results with chagrin, while the other girls erupted with giggles. “Choosing the soap water means she will marry a poor man,” Daisy explained. Wiping off her fingers, Evie exclaimed good-naturedly, “I s-suppose the fact that I’m going to be m-married at all is a good thing.” The next girl in line waited with an expectant smile as she was blindfolded, and the glasses were repositioned. She felt for the vessels, nearly overturning one, and dipped her fingers into the blue water. Upon viewing her choice, she seemed quite pleased. “The blue water means she’s going to marry a noted author,” Daisy told Lillian. “You try next!” Lillian gaveher a speaking glance. “You don’t really believe in this, do you?” “Oh, don’t be cynical—have some fun!” Daisy took the blindfold and rose on her toes to tie it firmly around Lillian’s head. Bereft of sight, Lillian allowed herself to be guided to the table. She grinned at the encouraging cries of the young women around her. There was the sound of the glasses being moved in front of her, and she waited with her hands half raised in the air. “What happens if I pick the empty glass?” she asked. Evie’s voice came near her ear. “You die a sp-spinster!” she said, and everyone laughed. “No lifting the glasses to test their weight,” someone warned with a giggle. “You can’t avoid the empty glass, if it’s your fate!” “At the moment I want the empty glass,” Lillian replied, causing another round of laughter. Finding the smooth surface of a glass, she slid her fingers up the side and dipped them into the cool liquid. A general round of applause and cheering, and she asked, “Am I marrying an author, too?” “No, you chose the clear water,” Daisy said. “A rich, handsome husband is coming for you, dear!” “Oh, what a relief,” Lillian said flippantly, lowering the blindfold to peek over the edge. “Is it your turn now?” Her younger sister shook her head. “I was the first to try. I knocked over a glass twice in a row, and made a dreadful mess.” “What does that mean? That you won’t marry at all?” “It means that I’m clumsy,” Daisy replied cheerfully. “Other than that, who knows? Perhaps my fate has yet to be decided. The good news is that your husband seems to be on the way.” “If so, the bastard is late,” Lillian retorted, causing Daisy and Evie to laugh.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
one thing that I realized early on in thinking about this book, when I found, to my consternation, that I was writing a fantasy. I hadn't expected ever to write a fantasy, because I am not a great fantasy fan. But I realized that I could use the apparatus of fantasy to say things that I thought were true. Which was exactly what, I then realized, Milton had been doing with Paradise Lost. Paradise Lost is not a story of people and some other people who've got wings. It's not one of those banal fantasies that just rely on somebody having magic and someone dropping a ring down a volcano. Paradise Lost is a great psychological novel that happens to be cast in the form of a fantasy, because the devils and the angels are, of course, embodiments of psychological states. The portrait of Satan, especially in the Temptation scene (I think it's in Book 9), is a magnificent piece of psychological storytelling. So it was possible to do, I realized, and with Milton as my encouragement, I launched into this book -- which I reluctantly accept has to be called a fantasy. Finding physical embodiments for things that were not themselves physical was one of the ways I approached what I wanted to say. But then, that's what we do with metaphor all the time. That's the way metaphor works. The way metaphor works is not the way allegory works. Allegory works because the author says, "This means so-and-so, that means such-and-such, and this can only be understood in such-and-such a way. If you don't understand it like this, the book won't work." It seems to me that some critics of mine, from the religious point of view, are treating my novel as if it were an allegory and they had the key to it. It is not an allegory, and they don't have the key to it, because there is no key apart from the sympathetic and open-minded understanding of the reader.
Philip Pullman
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN we pray? Have you ever really thought about that? When you bow your knee and fold your hands or walk the floor with your eyes closed, opening your heart to heaven, what exactly happens? There are very few references in the Bible about the proper procedures for how to pray, and I believe that is because prayer is more about the heart’s attitude and focus than it is about whether we stand, sit, close our eyes, or any other practice we normally associate with prayer. The truth be told, if we are supposed to pray without ceasing, we should also be able to work on an engine, write an e-mail, give a presentation, change a diaper, write a report, have coffee with a friend, encourage a coworker, pay our bills, and any of the other myriad of things we do in a day while still keeping the communication lines open with heaven. I believe that every day we need focused times of prayer, but at all other times we should be in an attitude of prayer with our spiritual ears open to the thoughts of heaven. There should be seasons of intense, concentrated prayer and fasting with specified hours set aside for intercession, and there should be times when prayer is simply a regular part of our daily routine. A great interest has arisen in the last decade around 24-7 prayer rooms where different church members pray in hour-long blocks so that unbroken intercession is raised up for their city and our world. Other churches dedicate evenings solely to prayer and worship and gather believers to lift their voices in song and petition to the Lord. While all of these are wonderful things to do, at its essence prayer is simply conversation with God. Because we have changed passports from the kingdom of this world to the kingdom of heaven, we are members of God’s family and therefore have the right to talk with our Father anytime we want because He is not limited by time and space. Yet while it isn’t difficult to speak to Him, even as a babe in faith, it does take some maturity to discern His voice from the voice of our own thoughts, dreams, and desires. This is why, when I speak about prayer, I get more questions about hearing the voice of God than anything else.
Cindy Trimm (The Prayer Warrior's Way: Strategies from Heaven for Intimate Communication with God)
The approach to digital culture I abhor would indeed turn all the world's books into one book, just as Kevin (Kelly) suggested. It might start to happen in the next decade or so. Google and other companies are scanning library books into the cloud in a massive Manhattan Project of cultural digitization. What happens next is what's important. If the books in the cloud are accessed via user interfaces that encourage mashups of fragments that obscure the context and authorship of each fragment, there will be only one book. This is what happens today with a lot of content; often you don't know where a quoted fragment from a news story came from, who wrote a comment, or who shot a video. A continuation of the present trend will make us like various medieval religious empires, or like North Korea, a society with a single book. The Bible can serve as a prototypical example. Like Wikipedia, the Bible's authorship was shared, largely anonymous, and cumulative, and the obscurity of the individual authors served to create an oracle-like ambience for the document as "the literal word of God." If we take a non-metaphysical view of the Bible, it serves as a link to our ancestors, a window. The ethereal, digital replacement technology for the printing press happens to have come of age in a time when the unfortunate ideology I'm criticizing dominates technological culture. Authorship - the very idea of the individual point of view - is not a priority of the new ideology. The digital flattening of expression into a global mush is not presently enforced from the top down, as it is in the case of a North Korean printing press. Instead, the design of software builds the ideology into those actions that are the easiest to perform on the software designs that are becoming ubiquitous. It is true that by using these tools, individuals can author books or blogs or whatever, but people are encouraged by the economics of free content, crowd dynamics, and lord aggregators to serve up fragments instead of considered whole expressions or arguments. The efforts of authors are appreciated in a manner that erases the boundaries between them. The one collective book will absolutely not be the same thing as the library of books by individuals it is bankrupting. Some believe it will be better; others, including me, believe it will be disastrously worse. As the famous line goes from Inherit the Wind: 'The Bible is a book... but it is not the only book' Any singular, exclusive book, even the collective one accumulating in the cloud, will become a cruel book if it is the only one available.
Jaron Lanier (You Are Not a Gadget)
We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road leading from the camp. The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles. Anyone with very sore feet supported himself on his neighbor's arm. Hardly a word was spoken; the icy wind did not encourage talk. Hiding his mouth behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me whispered suddenly: "If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don't know what is happening to us." That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife's image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise. A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.
Viktor E. Frankl
The contents of this letter threw Elizabeth into a flutter of spirits in which it was difficult to determine whether pleasure or pain bore the greatest share. The vague and unsettled suspicions which uncertainty had produced of what Mr. Darcy might have been doing to forward her sister's match which she had feared to encourage as an exertion of goodness too great to be probable and at the same time dreaded to be just from the pain of obligation were proved beyond their greatest extent to be true He had followed them purposely to town he had taken on himself all the trouble and mortification attendant on such a research in which supplication had been necessary to a woman whom he must abominate and despise and where he was reduced to meet frequently meet reason with persuade and finally bribe the man whom he always most wished to avoid and whose very name it was punishment to him to pronounce. He had done all this for a girl whom he could neither regard nor esteem. Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her. But it was a hope shortly checked by other considerations and she soon felt that even her vanity was insufficient when required to depend on his affection for her—for a woman who had already refused him—as able to overcome a sentiment so natural as abhorrence against relationship with Wickham. Brother-in-law of Wickham Every kind of pride must revolt from the connection. He had to be sure done much. She was ashamed to think how much. But he had given a reason for his interference which asked no extraordinary stretch of belief. It was reasonable that he should feel he had been wrong he had liberality and he had the means of exercising it and though she would not place herself as his principal inducement she could perhaps believe that remaining partiality for her might assist his endeavours in a cause where her peace of mind must be materially concerned. It was painful exceedingly painful to know that they were under obligations to a person who could never receive a return. They owed the restoration of Lydia her character every thing to him. Oh how heartily did she grieve over every ungracious sensation she had ever encouraged every saucy speech she had ever directed towards him. For herself she was humbled but she was proud of him. Proud that in a cause of compassion and honour he had been able to get the better of himself. She read over her aunt's commendation of him again and again. It was hardly enough but it pleased her. She was even sensible of some pleasure though mixed with regret on finding how steadfastly both she and her uncle had been persuaded that affection and confidence subsisted between Mr. Darcy and herself.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
Many things in this period have been hard to bear, or hard to take seriously. My own profession went into a protracted swoon during the Reagan-Bush-Thatcher decade, and shows scant sign of recovering a critical faculty—or indeed any faculty whatever, unless it is one of induced enthusiasm for a plausible consensus President. (We shall see whether it counts as progress for the same parrots to learn a new word.) And my own cohort, the left, shared in the general dispiriting move towards apolitical, atonal postmodernism. Regarding something magnificent, like the long-overdue and still endangered South African revolution (a jagged fit in the supposedly smooth pattern of axiomatic progress), one could see that Ariadne’s thread had a robust reddish tinge, and that potential citizens had not all deconstructed themselves into Xhosa, Zulu, Cape Coloured or ‘Eurocentric’; had in other words resisted the sectarian lesson that the masters of apartheid tried to teach them. Elsewhere, though, it seemed all at once as if competitive solipsism was the signifier of the ‘radical’; a stress on the salience not even of the individual, but of the trait, and from that atomization into the lump of the category. Surely one thing to be learned from the lapsed totalitarian system was the unwholesome relationship between the cult of the masses and the adoration of the supreme personality. Yet introspective voyaging seemed to coexist with dull group-think wherever one peered about among the formerly ‘committed’. Traditionally then, or tediously as some will think, I saw no reason to discard the Orwellian standard in considering modern literature. While a sort of etiolation, tricked out as playfulness, had its way among the non-judgemental, much good work was still done by those who weighed words as if they meant what they said. Some authors, indeed, stood by their works as if they had composed them in solitude and out of conviction. Of these, an encouraging number spoke for the ironic against the literal mind; for the generously interpreted interest of all against the renewal of what Orwell termed the ‘smelly little orthodoxies’—tribe and Faith, monotheist and polytheist, being most conspicuous among these new/old disfigurements. In the course of making a film about the decaffeinated hedonism of modern Los Angeles, I visited the house where Thomas Mann, in another time of torment, wrote Dr Faustus. My German friends were filling the streets of Munich and Berlin to combat the recrudescence of the same old shit as I read: This old, folkish layer survives in us all, and to speak as I really think, I do. not consider religion the most adequate means of keeping it under lock and key. For that, literature alone avails, humanistic science, the ideal of the free and beautiful human being. [italics mine] The path to this concept of enlightenment is not to be found in the pursuit of self-pity, or of self-love. Of course to be merely a political animal is to miss Mann’s point; while, as ever, to be an apolitical animal is to leave fellow-citizens at the mercy of Ideolo’. For the sake of argument, then, one must never let a euphemism or a false consolation pass uncontested. The truth seldom lies, but when it does lie it lies somewhere in between.
Christopher Hitchens (For the Sake of Argument: Essays and Minority Reports)
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)