Engaged Happy Quotes

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When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)
There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don't expect you to save the world I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.
Nikki Giovanni
Depression presents itself as a realism regarding the rottenness of the world in general and the rottenness of your life in particular. But the realism is merely a mask for depression's actual essence, which is an overwhelming estrangement from humanity. The more persuaded you are of your unique access to the rottenness, the more afraid you become of engaging with the world; and the less you engage with the world, the more perfidiously happy-faced the rest of humanity seems for continuing to engage with it.
Jonathan Franzen (How to Be Alone)
I've found what makes children happy doesn't always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
The greatest win is walking away and choosing not to engage in drama and toxic energy at all.
Lalah Delia
The real questions for parents should be: "Are you engaged? Are you paying attention?" If so, plan to make lots of mistakes and bad decisions. Imperfect parenting moments turn into gifts as our children watch us try to figure out what went wrong and how we can do better next time. The mandate is not to be perfect and raise happy children. Perfection doesn't exist, and I've found what makes children happy doesn't always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Life isn't about having, it's about being. You could surround yourself with all that money can buy, and you'd still be as miserable as a human can be. I know people with perfect bodies who don't have half the happiness I've found. On my journeys I've seen more joy in the slums of Mumbai and the orphanages of Africa than in wealthy gated communities and on sprawling estates worth millions. Why is that? You'll find contentment when your talents and passion are completely engaged, in full force. Recognise instant self-gratification for what it is. Resist the temptation to grab for material objects like the perfect house, the coolest clothes or the hottest car. The if I just had X, I would be happy syndrome is a mass delusion. When you look for happiness in mere objects, they are never enough. Look around. Look within.
Nick Vujicic
People think I'm crazy to put myself through such torture, though I would argue otherwise. Somewhere along the line we seem to have confused comfort with happiness. Dostoyevsky had it right: 'Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness.' Never are my senses more engaged than when the pain sets in. There is a magic in misery. Just ask any runner.
Dean Karnazes (Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner)
They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until your dream comes true. I think that’s crap. I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.
Shonda Rhimes (Year of Yes)
Because secrets do not increase in value if kept in a gore-ian lockbox, because one's past is either made useful or else mutates and becomes cancerous. We share things for the obvious reasons: it makes us feel un-alone, it spreads the weight over a larger area, it holds the possibility of making our share lighter. And it can work either way - not simply as a pain-relief device, but, in the case of not bad news but good, as a share-the-happy-things-I've-seen/lessons-I've-learned vehicle. Or as a tool for simple connectivity for its own sake, a testing of waters, a stab at engagement with a mass of strangers.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
But pearls are for tears, the old legend says," Gilbert had objected. "I'm not afraid of that. And tears can be happy as well as sad. My very happiest moments have been when I had tears in my eyes—when Marilla told me I might stay at Green Gables—when Matthew gave me the first pretty dress I ever had—when I heard that you were going to recover from the fever. So give me pearls for our troth ring, Gilbert, and I'll willingly accept the sorrow of life with its joy." -Anne
L.M. Montgomery (Anne's House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables, #5))
If one really has a feeling of contribution, one will no longer have any need for recognition from others. Because one will already have the real awareness that “I am of use to someone,” without needing to go out of one’s way to be acknowledged by others. In other words, a person who is obsessed with the desire for recognition does not have any community feeling yet, and has not managed to engage in self-acceptance, confidence in others, or contribution to others.
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness)
Jeeves, I'm engaged." "I hope you will be very happy, sir." "Don't be an ass. I'm engaged to Miss Bassett.
P.G. Wodehouse (Right Ho, Jeeves (Jeeves, #6))
By engaging in a delusive quest for happiness, we bring only suffering upon ourselves. In our frantic search for something to quench our thirst, we overlook the water all around us and drive ourselves into exile from our own lives.
Sharon Salzberg
The media represents world that is more real than reality that we can experience. People lose the ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy. They also begin to engage with the fantasy without realizing what it really is. They seek happiness and fulfilment through the simulacra of reality, e.g. media and avoid the contact/interaction with the real world. (Note: This quote is fake and does not appear in Simulacra and Simulation. I tried to delete it, but the system doesn't allow that because this quote has "too many fans" lol.)
Jean Baudrillard (Simulacra and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism))
If one has failed to develop curiosity and interest in the early years, it is a good idea to acquire them now, before it is too late to improve the quality of life. To do so is fairly easy in principle, but more difficult in practice. Yet it is sure worth trying. The first step is to develop the habit of doing whatever needs to be done with concentrated attention, with skill rather than inertia. Even the most routine tasks, like washing dishes, dressing, or mowing the lawn become more rewarding if we approach them with the care it would take to make a work of art. The next step is to transfer some psychic energy each day from tasks that we don’t like doing, or from passive leisure, into something we never did before, or something we enjoy doing but don’t do often enough because it seems too much trouble. There are literally millions of potentially interesting things in the world to see, to do, to learn about. But they don’t become actually interesting until we devote attention to them.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life)
Words of wisdom, the meaning of life,perhaps even the answer sought by Borges's librarians—all of these may wash over us every day, but they can do little for us unless we savor them,engage with them, question them, improve them, and connect them to our lives
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Culture is an elevated expression of the inner voice which the different peoples of the Earth have heard in the depths of their being, a voice which conveys the vibrant compassion and wisdom of the cosmic life. For different cultures to engage in interaction is to catalyze each other's souls and foster mutual understanding.
Daisaku Ikeda
Giving people more control over what they do and how they do it increases their happiness, engagement, and sense of fulfillment.
Cal Newport (So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love)
Always say to yourself, I’d rather be healthy than right. Because the infection of someone so wounded will spread to you if you engage.
James Altucher (The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness)
Let my assure you, Brethren, that some day you will have a personal Priesthood interview with the Savior, Himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which He will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities. First, He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual? Second, He will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child. Third, He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence. Fourth, He will want a summary of your activity in your church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and a mission president are probably equals, but He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellowmen in your Church assignments. Fifth, He will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings. Sixth, He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world.
David O. McKay
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 (Kirrinfief, #1))
Some people each left their spouse or lover because he or she was no longer the primary source of their happiness; some, because their spouse or lover was, at that time, the primary source of their unhappiness.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
there are many blanks left in the weeks of courtship, which a loving faith fills with happy assurance.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
I think, to be happy is to be interested and engaged.
Aimee Mann
Perhaps the reason we so often experience happiness only in hindsight, and that chasing it is such a fool’s errand, is that happiness isn’t a goal in itself but is only an aftereffect. It’s the consequence of having lived in the way that we’re supposed to — by which I don’t mean ethically correctly so much as just consciously, fully engaged in the business of living. In this respect it resembles averted vision, a phenomena familiar to backyard astronomers whereby, in order to pick out a very faint star, you have to let your gaze drift casually to the space just next to it; if you look directly at it, it vanishes. And it’s also true, come to think of it, that the only stars we ever see are not the “real” stars, those cataclysms taking place in the present, but always only the light of the untouchable past.
Tim Kreider
He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” —Chinese proverb
Kevin E. Kruse (Employee Engagement for Everyone: 4 Keys to Happiness and Fulfillment at Work)
Meditation may be done in silence & stillness, by using voice & sound, or by engaging the body in movement. All forms emphasize the training of attention.
Sharon Salzberg (The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Programme for Real Happiness)
There are more benefits to happiness. The power of happiness enables more success in marriages, added friendships, higher incomes, and better work performance. With more friends, happy people have a superior support system. They have an easier time navigating through life because their optimistic outlook eases pain, sadness, and grief. They smile more and engage in more in-depth and more meaningful conversations.
Robert Gill Jr. (Happiness Power: How to Unleash Your Power and Live a More Joyful Life)
No matter what activity or practice we are pursuing, there isn't anything that isn't made easier through constant familiarity and training. Through training, we can change; we can transform ourselves. Within Buddhist practice there are various methods of trying to sustain a calm mind when some disturbing event happens. Through repeated practice of these methods we can get to the point where some disturbance may occur but the negative effects on our mind remain on the surface, like the waves that may ripple on the surface of an ocean but don't have much effect deep down. And, although my own experience may be very little, I have found this to be true in my own small practice. So, if I receive some tragic news, at that moment I may experience some disturbance within my mind, but it goes very quickly. Or, I may become irritated and develop some anger, but again, it dissipates very quickly. There is no effect on the deeper mind. No hatred. This was achieved through gradual practice; it didn't happen overnight.' Certainly not. The Dalai Lama has been engaged in training his mind since he was four years old.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
I am convinced that human life is filled with many pure, happy, serene examples of insincerity, truly splendid of their kind - of people deceiving one another without (strangely enough) any wounds being inflicted, of people who seem unaware that they are deceiving one another. But I have no special interest in instances of mutual deception. I myself spent the whole day long deceiving human beings with my clowning. I have not been able to work much up much concern over the morality prescribed in textbooks of ethics under the name as “righteousness.” I find it difficult to understand the kind of human being who lives, or who is sure he can live, purely, happily, serenely while engaged in deceit. Human beings never did teach me that abstruse secret. If I had only known that one thing I should never have had to dread human beings so, nor should I have opposed myself to human life, nor tasted such torments of hell every night.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
Studies have found that American teenagers are two and half times more likely to experience elevated enjoyment when engaged in a hobby than when watching TV, and three times more likely when playing a sport. And yet here’s the paradox: These same teenagers spend four times as many hours watching TV as they do engaging in sports or hobbies.
Shawn Achor (The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work)
These examples suggest what one needs to learn to control attention. In principle any skill or discipline one can master on one’s own will serve: meditation and prayer if one is so inclined; exercise, aerobics, martial arts for those who prefer concentrating on physical skills. Any specialization or expertise that one finds enjoyable and where one can improve one’s knowledge over time. The important thing, however, is the attitude toward these disciplines. If one prays in order to be holy, or exercises to develop strong pectoral muscles, or learns to be knowledgeable, then a great deal of the benefit is lost. The important thing is to enjoy the activity for its own sake, and to know that what matters is not the result, but the control one is acquiring over one’s attention.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life)
If you wake during the night, any thoughts and feelings you might have are from your Chimp and they are often very disturbing, catastrophic and lacking in perspective. In the morning you are likely to regret engaging with these thoughts and feelings because you will see things differently.
Steve Peters (Chimp Paradox: How Our Impulses and Emotions Can Determine Success and Happiness and How We Can Control Them)
-Good thing you don’t own a mirror, Mr. Mirrorless, or you’d see how ugly you are.
 -What makes you think I don’t own a mirror? Every face that ever looks at me tells me that I’m ugly. But every time I make them laugh, I get to show them what beauty really is.
 -I see what you mean. Here, take my rearview mirror. I don’t need to carry it around like a vagina on a rope anymore.
 -Mr. Thrustsalone, you don’t need to drag a vagina on a rope like some kind of pet on a leash to make you happy. There’s a reason why God invented right hands and hookers.
 -Why, so politicians could have more productive ways to spend their time and our money than engaging in politics?
 -Mr. Thrustsalone, you are wise beyond your years.
 -I’m 88 years old.
 -Yet you don’t look a day older than 87.
Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
One misconception about highly successful cultures is that they are happy, lighthearted places. This is mostly not the case. They are energized and engaged, but at their core their members are oriented less around achieving happiness than around solving hard problems together. This task involves many moments of high-candor feedback, uncomfortable truth-telling, when they confront the gap between where the group is, and where it ought to be.
Daniel Coyle (The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups)
If you know how to be happy with the wonders of life that are already there for you to enjoy, you don't need to stress your mind and your body by striving harder and harder, and you don't need to stress this planet by purchasing more and more stuff. The Earth belongs to our children. We have already borrowed too much from it, from them; and the way things have been going, we're not sure we'll be able to give it back to them in decent shape. And who are our children, actually? They are us, because they are our own continuation. So we've been shortchanging our own selves. Much of our modern way of life is permeated by mindless overborrowing. The more we borrow, the more we loser. That's why it's critical that we wake up and see we don't need to do that anymore. What's already available in the here and now is plenty for us to be nourished, to be happy. Only that kind of insight will get us, each one of us, to stop engaging in the compulsive, self-sabotaging behaviors of our species. We need a collective awakening. One Buddha is not enough. All of us have to become Buddhas in order for our planet to have a chance. Fortunately, we have the power to wake up, to touch enlightenment from moment to moment, in our very own ordinary and, yes, busy lives. So let's start right now. Peace is your every breath.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives)
The more you engage in any type of emotion or behavior, the greater your desire for it will become.
Chris Prentiss (Zen and the Art of Happiness)
Still humanity is in her infancy, so often we engage in fighting to destroy ourself.
Debasish Mridha
When employees are unhappy with their job, they underperform and they're less productive. Smart employers invest in employee happiness.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
And number three?” I ask, picking up the A.1. “Love.” She snatches the bottle away. “When the lessons of your weakness with number one and your selfishness with number two sink in, and you find a medium. When you know who you are and you’re ready to welcome everything he is, and you’re not afraid anymore.” She puts the bottle back in its place. “You still might not have a happy ending, but you’ll engage in a healthy relationship and handle yourself in a way you’re proud of.
Penelope Douglas (Credence)
The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
Ernest Hemingway
changing an institution’s environment to increase the sense of control among its workers, students, patients, or other users was one of the most effective possible ways to increase their sense of engagement, energy, and happiness.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
When you’re engaged and involved and choosing to enjoy your own life, it doesn’t matter where you are, or frankly, what negative things get hurled at you. You’ll still find happiness because it’s not about where you are but who you are.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be (Girl, Wash Your Face Series))
In particular those who are condemned to stagnation are often pronounced happy on the pretext that happiness consists in being at rest. This notion we reject, for our perspective is that of existentialist ethics. Every subject plays his part as such specifically through exploits or projects that serve as a mode of transcendence; he achieves liberty only through a continual reaching out towards other liberties. There is no justification for present existence other than its expansion into an indefinitely open future. Every time transcendence falls back into immanence, stagnation, there is a degradation of existence into the ‘en-sois’ – the brutish life of subjection to given conditions – and of liberty into constraint and contingence. This downfall represents a moral fault if the subject consents to it; if it is inflicted upon him, it spells frustration and oppression. In both cases it is an absolute evil. Every individual concerned to justify his existence feels that his existence involves an undefined need to transcend himself, to engage in freely chosen projects.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
Instead of thinking gigantic thoughts, I tried to focus on something small, the smallest thing I could think of. Someone once made this pew I’m sitting on, I thought. Someone sanded the wood and varnished it. Someone carried it into the church. Someone laid the tiles on the floor, someone fitted the windows. Each brick was placed by human hands, each hinge fitted on each door, every road surface outside, every bulb in every streetlight. And even things built by machines were really built by human beings, who built the machines initially. And human beings themselves, made by other humans, struggling to create happy children and families. Me, all the clothing I wear, all the language I know. Who put me here in this church, thinking these thoughts? Other people, some I know very well and others I have never met. Am I myself, or am I them? Is this me, Frances? No, it is not me. It is the others. Do I sometimes hurt and harm myself, do I abuse the unearned cultural privilege of whiteness, do I take the labor of others for granted, have I sometimes exploited a reductive iteration of gender theory to avoid serious moral engagement, do I have a troubled relationship with my body, yes. Do I want to be free of pain and therefore demand that others also live free of pain, the pain that is mine and therefore also theirs, yes, yes.
Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends)
Transcendence is more about the personal act of not engaging the enemy, finding a way out of the cage that is being designed for you at a particular moment by others, circumstance, or your own bad habits and ignorance.
Darrell Calkins (Re:)
It’s April 2006. It’s a Saturday. I’m walking through a market in Seoul, Korea, having a very public screaming match with a young Chinese-Korean woman whom I have recently promoted to Asia-Pacific Regional Manager. Despite the promotion, she is not happy. I think she wants my job. Right now, I’d happily give it to her if it would shut her up and calm me down. If I’d wanted a screaming match, I could have stayed at home; no, correct that, I’ve never had a domestic dispute as loud and unpleasant as this is turning out to be.
Oliver Dowson (There's No Business Like International Business: Business Travel – But Not As You Know It)
When your employees are happy at work, they do a better job. And when they do a better job, customers feel it. And when customers feel that happiness coming from a companies employees, it's like they just wanna spend their money there.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
Our relationship maps are implicit, etched into the emotional brain and not reversible simply by understanding how they were created. You may realize that your fear of intimacy has something to do with your mother’s postpartum depression or with the fact that she herself was molested as a child, but that alone is unlikely to open you to happy, trusting engagement with others.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
The goal is not just to create joy for ourselves but, as the Archbishop poetically phrased it, “to be a reservoir of joy, an oasis of peace, a pool of serenity that can ripple out to all those around you.” As we will see, joy is in fact quite contagious. As is love, compassion, and generosity. So being more joyful is not just about having more fun. We’re talking about a more empathic, more empowered, even more spiritual state of mind that is totally engaged with the world.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World)
No matter how happy I was, I couldn’t ignore the feeling that things were too good to be true. We’d fought to be where we are. We deserved to be happy after everything we’d gone through. So why did it feel like something was out there, threatening to break my world apart, all over again?
D.M. Simmons (Ravel (Lake Haven, #2))
Recent research in social psychology has shown that happy people are not people who have more; rather, they are people who are happy with what they already have. Happy people engage in satisficing all of the time, even if they don’t know it.
Daniel J. Levitin (The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload)
I believe that women ought to be more proactive about making choices in life. I think that I am not happy about seeing women take the passenger's seat and playing the victim game all too often. If you know a guy is engaged, don't kiss him! There is another woman in the situation whom you are hurting and that other woman could have very well been you, your sister, your mother! If someone is committed, don't sleep with him! There is another woman in the picture that is going to get hurt and that other woman is your sister, just because she is a woman too! This is the kind of proactive I want to see in women, everywhere. We're not victims of the choices that we make; we made those choices! Is another woman doing good? More successful? Happier? Good for her. Because she is your sister and she could very well be you. Let's respect the relationships, the personal paths, the doors and the walkways of our fellow women and let us wish one another the utmost happiness. Because this is the only way up and out.
C. JoyBell C.
One of the most profound changes in my life happened when I got my head around the relationship between gratitude and joy. I always thought that joyful people were grateful people. I mean, why wouldn’t they be? They have all of that goodness to be grateful for. But after spending countless hours collecting stories about joy and gratitude, three powerful patterns emerged: Without exception, every person I interviewed who described living a joyful life or who described themselves as joyful, actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude practice. Both joy and gratitude were described as spiritual practices that were bound to a belief in human interconnectedness and a power greater than us. People were quick to point out the differences between happiness and joy as the difference between a human emotion that’s connected to circumstances and a spiritual way of engaging with the world that’s connected to practicing gratitude.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Suppose to Be and Embrace Who You Are: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
The modern atheist thinks he knows that God is dead; what he doesn’t know is that, unconsciously, he continues to believe in God. What characterizes modernity is no longer the standard figure of the believer who secretly harbors intimate doubts about his belief and engages in transgressive fantasies. What we have today is a subject who presents himself as a tolerant hedonist dedicated to the pursuit of happiness, but whose unconscious is the site of prohibitions—what is repressed are not illicit desires or pleasures, but prohibitions themselves. “If God doesn’t exist, then everything is prohibited” means that the more you perceive yourself as an atheist, the more your unconscious is dominated by prohibitions which sabotage your enjoyment.
Slavoj Žižek (God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse)
the time is ripe to step out from the Twittersphere and engage with people rather than their profiles. It seems ridiculous that so many of us are happy to engage in virtual conversations with strangers, yet remain silent in a group of real people. What
The School of Life (How to Live in the City)
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America)
Adults are not supposed to play. We are supposed to stress, have worries and be too busy dealing with life's problems. But according to a study undertaken by Princeton University and led by Alan Krueger, Professor in Economics and Public Affairs there, we are happiest when we are involved in engaging leisure activities.
Meik Wiking (The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well)
I wrote a line in a song once: “We are never broken.” I believe that truly. It is a hard-earned belief, and rose out of many years of experiencing the opposite. I believe we forget who we are over time, and in our state of forgetfulness we struggle and employ all kinds of learned behaviors that don’t necessarily help us or bring us happiness. Each of us has a self that exists undamaged and whole, from the moment we are born, waiting to be reclaimed. My life has not been about fixing what is broken. It has been about engaging in a loving and tender archaeological dig back to my true self.
Jewel (Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story)
Whatever comes to you, you must engage it somehow. You receive it, you may alter the circumstance and let it go, you may interject something of your own into it, or you may knowingly let it pass. Whatever you do, there is no need to be apathetic toward life. Instead, full participation in all things is the surest way to happiness, vitality, success, and a deep knowledge of Tao.
Ming-Dao Deng (365 Tao: Daily Meditations)
During this kind of highly structured, self-motivated hard work, Csikszentmihalyi wrote, we regularly achieve the greatest form of happiness available to human beings: intense, optimistic engagement with the world around us. We feel fully alive, full of potential and purpose--in other words, we are completely activated as human beings.
Jane McGonigal (Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World)
Be happy when you find that doctrines you have learned and analysed are being tested by real events. If you’ve succeeded in removing or reducing the tendency to be mean and critical, or thoughtless, or foul-mouthed, or careless, or nonchalant; if old interests no longer engage you, at least not to the same extent; then every day can be a feast day – today because you acquitted yourself well in one set of circumstances, tomorrow because of another.
Epictetus (Of Human Freedom (Penguin Great Ideas))
Suppose that, at a given moment, a certain number of people are engaged in the manufacture of pins. They make as many pins as the world needs, working (say) eight hours a day. Someone makes an invention by which the same number of men can make twice as many pins: pins are already so cheap that hardly any more will be bought at a lower price. In a sensible world, everybody concerned in the manufacturing of pins would take to working four hours instead of eight, and everything else would go on as before. But in the actual world this would be thought demoralizing. The men still work eight hours, there are too many pins, some employers go bankrupt, and half the men previously concerned in making pins are thrown out of work. There is, in the end, just as much leisure as on the other plan, but half the men are totally idle while half are still overworked. In this way, it is insured that the unavoidable leisure shall cause misery all round instead of being a universal source of happiness. Can anything more insane be imagined?
Bertrand Russell (In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays)
The choice for devoted Latter-day Saint women is not just to simply go forward and try to be happy and create a fulfilling life. As women of covenant our goal is to go forward and develop stron testimonies and nurturing and caring hearts that will prepare us for our roles as mothers in eternity. With that end in mind, I determined to go on happily, to become 'anxiously engaged in a good cause' (D&C 58:27), and to believe that the rest would take care of itself.
Kristen McMain Oaks (A Single Voice)
Pay up." Eve rolled over, rubbed her bare butt, and wondered if she'd have rug burns. Still vibrating from the last orgasm, she closed her eyes again. "Huh?" "Fifty credits." He leaned over, gently kissed the tip of her breast. "You lost, Lieutenant." "I'm naked," she pointed out. "I don't generally keep credits up my -- " "I'm happy to take your IOU." He rose, all graceful, gleaming muscles, and took a memo card from his console. "Here you are." Handed it to her. She stared down at it, knowing dignity was as lost as the fifty credits. "You're really enjoying this." "Oh, more than you can possibly imagine." Scowling at him, she engaged the memo. "I owe you, Roarke, fifty credits, Dallas, Lieutenant Eve." She shoved the memo at him. "Satisfied." "In every possible way." He thought, sentimentally, that he would tuck the memo away with the little gray suit button he'd kept from their very first meeting. "I love you, Dallas, Lieutenant Eve, in every possible way.
J.D. Robb (Ceremony in Death (In Death, #5))
Without curiosity and passion, the world will seem to lack possibility and everything in life will appear pre-ordained. It is important for a person to spend the majority of the day pursuing their passionate interests and enlisting their innate inquisitiveness. Life is so much sweeter when we contemplate pleasant as opposed to distasteful thoughts. We feel most alive when we create an apt channel for our creative impulses, and engage in thoughtful discourse relating to our concordant values.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)
She had been wrong in thinking Christ had been called up against his will to fight in a war. He didn't look - in spite of the crown of thorns - like someone making a sacrifice. Or even like someone determined to "do his bit". He looked instead like Marjorie had looked telling Polly she'd joined the Nursing Service, like Mr Humphreys had looked filling buckets with water and sand to save Saint Paul's, like Miss Laburnum had looked that day she came to Townsend Brothers with the coats. He looked like Captain Faulknor must have looked, lashing the ships together. Like Ernest Shackleton, setting out in that tiny boat across icy seas. Like Colin helping Mr Dunworthy across the wreckage. He looked ... contented. As if he was where he wanted to be, doing what he wanted to do. Like Eileen had looked, telling Polly she'd decided to stay. Like Mike must have looked in Kent, composing engagement announcements and letters to the editor. Like I must have looked there in the rubble with Sir Godfrey, my hand pressed against his heart. Exalted. Happy. To do something for someone or something you loved - England or Shakespeare or a dog or the Hodbins or history - wasn't a sacrifice at all. Even if it cost you your freedom, your life, your youth.
Connie Willis (All Clear (All Clear, #2))
We lose our life by serving and lifting others. By so doing we experience the only true and lasting happiness. Service is not something we endure on this earth so we can earn the right to live in the celestial kingdom. Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life in the celestial kingdom is made. Oh, for the glorious day when these things all come naturally because of the purity of our hearts... We are truly happy only when we are engaged in unselfish service. Service is what godhood is all about.
Marion G. Romney
There was a time when it was admirable to be an amateur poet or a dilettante scientist, because it meant that the quality of life could be improved by engaging in such activities. But increasingly the emphasis has been to value behavior over subjective states; what is admired is success, achievement, the quality of performance rather than the quality of experience.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Flow: The Classic Work On How To Achieve Happiness: The Psychology of Happiness)
One of the timeless secrets to a long, happy life is to love your work. The golden thread running through the lives of history’s most satisfied people is that they all loved what they did for a living. When psychologist Vera John-Steiner interviewed one hundred creative people, she found they all had one thing in common: an intense passion for their work. Spending your days doing work that you find rewarding, intellectually challenging and fun will do more than all the spa vacations in the world to keep your spirits high and your heart engaged.
Robin S. Sharma (Daily Inspiration From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari)
If people are like plants, what are the conditions we need to flourish? In the happiness formula from chapter 5, H(appiness) = S(etpoint) + C(onditions) + V(oluntary activities), what exactly is C? The biggest part of C, as I said in chapter 6, is love. No man, woman, or child is an island. We are ultrasocial creatures, and we can’t be happy without having friends and secure attachments to other people. The second most important part of C is having and pursuing the right goals, in order to create states of flow and engagement. In the modern world, people can find goals and flow in many settings, but most people find most of their flow at work.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
The real problem is I'm greedy. I want complete, utter, unceasing bliss. But I don't want to fall into it either. If happiness were money I wouldn't want to win the lottery. I want to accomplish it, urn it as John Houseman would say. I want it to be an achievement because I want to be in control of my life. I don't want things to happen to me, I want them to happen because of me. Power I want. I want to feel the way I do when I stretch a new canvas and I want to feel that way all the time. the blank canvas fills me with the power of imminent creation. I'm its god an it always bends to my will and when I'm done I know, inside, that it's markedly better than what almost all of my similarly-engaged others can achieve. That's happiness.
Sergio de la Pava
The quality of life does not depend on happiness alone, but also on what one does to be happy. If one fails to develop goals that give meaning to one's existence, if one does not use the mind to its fullest, then good feelings fulfill just a fraction of the potential we possess. A person who achieves contentment by withdrawing from the world to "cultivate his own garden," like Voltaire's Candide, cannot be said to lead an excellent life. Without dreams, without risks, only a trivial semblance of living can be achieved.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life)
He describes three types of happiness: pleasure, passion, and higher purpose.1            1.    Pleasure: This type of happiness is about always chasing the next high. It is the rock-star type of happiness because it is very hard to maintain unless you are living the lifestyle of a rock star.            2.    Passion: Also known as “flow,” where peak performance meets peak engagement, and time flies by.            3.    Higher Purpose: This is about being part of something bigger than yourself that has meaning to you.
Chade-Meng Tan (Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (And World Peace))
For years I thought, real life was about to begin. For years I thought something big, something grand was going to happen in my life and I would suddenly start feeling happier. I thought what I was living was not my real life, that I was meant to do something else. And one day I would be free of all shackles, I would be free of all my engagements. Then I would embark upon this journey of discovering myself, of being happy, of always being fulfilled. But there was always some unfinished business. There was a bill to be paid, there was a call to be made, and there was an email to be replied to … so, no matter how much I ticked off, there was always some stuff still left. There was always some obstacle on the path of my happiness. One day, it dawned that these obstacles were my life.
Om Swami (When All Is Not Well: Depression and Sadness -- A Yogic Perspective)
INT. MINISTÈRE DES AFFAIRES MAGIQUES, RECORDS ROOM ATRIUM—NIGHT MELUSINE: Puis-je vous aider? NEWT: Er—yes, this is Leta Lestrange. And—I’m her— TINA: Fiancé. There is an increased awkwardness between them. NEWT: Tina, about that fiancée business— TINA (brittle): Sorry, yeah. I should have congratulated you— The doors to the records office open. They enter briskly. INT. MINISTÈRE DES AFFAIRES MAGIQUES, RECORDS ROOM—NIGHT The doors close behind them, plunging them into darkness. NEWT: No, that’s— TINA: Lumos. NEWT: Tina—about Leta— TINA: Yes, I’ve just said, I am happy for you— NEWT: Yeah, well, don’t. She stops. Looks at him. What? NEWT: Please don’t be happy. (in trouble) Uh, no, no. I’m sorry. I don’t . . . Uh, obviously, I—Obviously I want you to be. And I hear that you are now. Uh, which is wonderful. Sorry— (a gesture of hopelessness) What I’m trying to say is, I want you to be happy, but don’t be happy that I’m happy, because I’m not. (off her confusion) Happy. (off her continued confusion) Or engaged. TINA: What? NEWT: It was a mistake in a stupid magazine. My brother’s marrying Leta, June the sixth. I’m supposed to be best man. Which is sort of mildly hilarious. TINA: Does he think you’re here to win her back? (beat) Are you here to win her back? NEWT: No! I’m here to— A beat. He stares at her. NEWT: —you know, your eyes really are— TINA: Are what? NEWT: I’m not supposed to say. Pickett is climbing out of NEWT’S pocket onto the nearest shelf. NEWT doesn’t notice. A beat. In a rush TINA: Newt, I read your book, and did you—? NEWT: I still have a picture of you—wait, did you read—? NEWT pulls the picture of her from his breast pocket and unfolds it. She is inordinately touched. He looks from the picture to TINA. NEWT: I got this—I mean, it’s just a picture of you from the paper, but it’s interesting because your eyes in newsprint . . . See, in reality they have this effect in them, Tina . . . It’s like fire in water, in dark water. I’ve only ever seen that— (struggling) I’ve only ever seen that in— TINA (whispers): Salamanders?
J.K. Rowling (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay (Fantastic Beasts: The Original Screenplay, #2))
William Butler Yeats’s “Second Coming” seems perfectly to render our present predicament: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.” This is an excellent description of the current split between anaemic liberals and impassioned fundamentalists. “The best” are no longer able to fully engage, while “the worst” engage in racist, religious, sexist fanaticism. However, are the terrorist fundamentalists, be they Christian or Muslim, really fundamentalists in the authentic sense of the term? Do they really believe? What they lack is a feature that is easy to discern in all authentic fundamentalists, from Tibetan Buddhists to the Amish in the U.S.: the absence of resentment and envy, the deep indifference towards the non-believers’ way of life. If today’s so-called fundamentalists really believe they have their way to truth, why should they feel threatened by non-believers, why should they envy them? When a Buddhist encounters a Western hedonist, he hardly condemns him. He just benevolently notes that the hedonist’s search for happiness is self-defeating. In contrast to true fundamentalists, the terrorist pseudo-fundamentalists are deeply bothered, intrigued, fascinated by the sinful life of the non-believers. One can feel that, in fighting the sinful Other, they are fighting their own temptation. These so-called Christian or Muslim fundamentalists are a disgrace to true fundamentalists. It is here that Yeats’s diagnosis falls short of the present predicament: the passionate intensity of a mob bears witness to a lack of true conviction. Deep in themselves, terrorist fundamentalists also lack true conviction-their violent outbursts are proof of it. How fragile the belief of a Muslim must be, if he feels threatened by a stupid caricature in a low-circulation Danish newspaper. The fundamentalist Islamic terror is not grounded in the terrorists’ conviction of their superiority and in their desire to safeguard their cultural-religious identity from the onslaught of global consumerist civilization. The problem with fundamentalists is not that we consider them inferior to us, but rather that they themselves secretly consider themselves inferior. This is why our condescending, politically correct assurances that we feel no superiority towards them only make them more furious and feeds their resentment. The problem is not cultural difference (their effort to preserve their identity), but the opposite fact that the fundamentalists are already like us, that secretly they have already internalized our standards and measure themselves by them. (This clearly goes for the Dalai Lama, who justifies Tibetan Buddhism in Western terms of the pursuit of happiness and avoidance of pain.) Paradoxically, what the fundamentalists really lack is precisely a dose of that true “racist” conviction of one’s own superiority.
Slavoj Žižek (Violence: Six Sideways Reflections)
Gilbert laughed and clasped tighter the girlish hand that wore his ring. Anne's engagement ring was a circlet of pearls. She had refused to wear a diamond. "I've never really liked diamonds since I found out they weren't the lovely purple I had dreamed. They will always suggest my old disappointment ." "But pearls are for tears, the old legend says," Gilbert had objected. "I'm not afraid of that. And tears can be happy as well as sad. My very happiest moments have been when I had tears in my eyes-- when Marilla told me I might stay at Green Gables--when Matthew gave me the first pretty dress I ever had--when I heard that you were going to recover from the fever. So give me pearls for our troth ring, Gilbert, and I'll willingly accept the sorrow of life with its joy.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne's House of Dreams)
A change in direction was required. The story you finished was perhaps never the one you began. Yes! He would take charge of his life anew, binding his breaking selves together. Those changes in himself that he sought, he himself would initiate and make them. No more of this miasmic, absent drift. How had he ever persuaded himself that his money-mad burg would rescue him all by itself, this Gotham in which Jokers and Penguins were running riot with no Batman (or even Robin) to frustrate their schemes, this Metropolis built of Kryptonite in which no Superman dared set foot, where wealth was mistaken for riches and the joy of possession for happiness, where people lived such polished lives that the great rough truths of raw existence had been rubbed and buffed away, and in which human souls had wandered so separately for so long that they barely remembered how to touch; this city whose fabled electricity powered the electric fences that were being erected between men and men, and men and women, too? Rome did not fall because her armies weakened but because Romans forgot what being Roman meant. Might this new Rome actually be more provincial than its provinces; might these new Romans have forgotten what and how to value, or had they never known? Were all empires so undeserving, or was this one particularly crass? Was nobody in all this bustling endeavor and material plenitude engaged, any longer, on the deep quarry-work of the mind and heart? O Dream-America, was civilization's quest to end in obesity and trivia, at Roy Rogers and Planet Hollywood, in USA Today and on E!; or in million-dollar-game-show greed or fly-on-the-wall voyeurism; or in the eternal confessional booth of Ricki and Oprah and Jerry, whose guests murdered each other after the show; or in a spurt of gross-out dumb-and-dumber comedies designed for young people who sat in darkness howling their ignorance at the silver screen; or even at the unattainable tables of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse? What of the search for the hidden keys that unlock the doors of exaltation? Who demolished the City on the Hill and put in its place a row of electric chairs, those dealers in death's democracy, where everyone, the innocent, the mentally deficient, the guilty, could come to die side by side? Who paved Paradise and put up a parking lot? Who settled for George W. Gush's boredom and Al Bore's gush? Who let Charlton Heston out of his cage and then asked why children were getting shot? What, America, of the Grail? O ye Yankee Galahads, ye Hoosier Lancelots, O Parsifals of the stockyards, what of the Table Round? He felt a flood bursting in him and did not hold back. Yes, it had seduced him, America; yes, its brilliance aroused him, and its vast potency too, and he was compromised by this seduction. What he opposed in it he must also attack in himself. It made him want what it promised and eternally withheld. Everyone was an American now, or at least Americanized: Indians, Uzbeks, Japanese, Lilliputians, all. America was the world's playing field, its rule book, umpire, and ball. Even anti-Americanism was Americanism in disguise, conceding, as it did, that America was the only game in town and the matter of America the only business at hand; and so, like everyone, Malik Solanka now walked its high corridors cap in hand, a supplicant at its feast; but that did not mean he could not look it in the eye. Arthur had fallen, Excalibur was lost and dark Mordred was king. Beside him on the throne of Camelot sat the queen, his sister, the witch Morgan le Fay.
Salman Rushdie (Fury)
Cinder." Kai pulled one leg onto the bank, turning his body so they were facing each other. He took her hands between his and her heart began to drum unexpectedly. Not because of his touch, and not even because of his low, serious tone, but because it occurred to Cinder all at once that Kai was nervous. Kai was never nervous. "I asked you once," he said, running his thumbs over her knuckles, "if you thought you would ever be willing to wear a crown again. Not as the queen of Luna, but ... as my empress. And you said that you would consider it, someday." She swallowed a breath of cool night air. "And ... this is that day?" His lips twitched, but didn't quite become a smile. "I love you. I want to be with you for the rest of my life. I want to marry you, and, yes, I want you to be my empress." Cinder gaped at him for a long moment before she whispered, "That's a lot of wanting." "You have no idea." She lowered her lashes. "I might have some idea." Kai released one of her hands and she looked up again to see him reaching into his pocket - the same that had held Wolf's and Scarlet's wedding rings before. His fist was closed when he pulled it out and Kai held it toward her, released a slow breath, and opened his fingers to reveal a stunning ring with a large ruby ringed in diamonds. It didn't take long for her retina scanner to measure the ring, and within seconds it was filling her in on far more information than she needed - inane worlds like carats and clarity scrolled past her vision. But it was the ring's history that snagged her attention. It had been his mother's engagement ring once, and his grandmother's before that. Kai took her hand and slipped the ring onto her finger. Metal clinked against metal, and the priceless gem looked as ridiculous against her cyborg plating as the simple gold band had looked on Wolf's enormous, deformed, slightly hairy hand. Cinder pressed her lips together and swallowed, hard, before daring to meet Kai's gaze again. "Cinder," he said, "will you marry me?" Absurd, she thought. The emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth was proposing to her. It was uncanny. It was hysterical. But it was Kai, and somehow, that also made it exactly right. "Yes," she whispered. "I will marry you." Those simple words hung between them for a breath, and then she grinned and kissed him, amazed that her declaration didn't bring the surge of anxiety she would have expected years ago. He drew her into his arms, laughing between kisses, and she suddenly started to laugh too. She felt strangely delirious. They had stood against all adversity to be together, and now they would forge their own path to love. She would be Kai's wife. She would be the Commonwealth's empress. And she had every intention of being blissfully happy for ever, ever after.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
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
In the face of an obstacle which it is impossible to overcome, stubbornness is stupid. If I persist in beating my fist against a stone wall, my freedom exhausts itself in this useless gesture without succeeding in giving itself a content. It debases itself in a vain contingency. Yet, there is hardly a sadder virtue than resignation. It transforms into phantoms and contingent reveries projects which had at the beginning been set up as will and freedom. A young man has hoped for a happy or useful or glorious life. If the man he has become looks upon these miscarried attempts of his adolescence with disillusioned indifference, there they are, forever frozen in the dead past. When an effort fails, one declares bitterly that he has lost time and wasted his powers. The failure condemns that whole part of ourselves which we had engaged in the effort. It was to escape this dilemma that the Stoics preached indifference. We could indeed assert our freedom against all constraint if we agreed to renounce the particularity of our projects. If a door refuses to open, let us accept not opening it and there we are free. But by doing that, one manages only to save an abstract notion of freedom. It is emptied of all content and all truth. The power of man ceases to be limited because it is annulled. It is the particularity of the project which determines the limitation of the power, but it is also what gives the project its content and permits it to be set up. There are people who are filled with such horror at the idea of a defeat that they keep themselves from ever doing anything. But no one would dream of considering this gloomy passivity as the triumph of freedom
Simone de Beauvoir (The Ethics of Ambiguity)
It seems right now that all I’ve ever done in my life is making my way here to you.’ I could see that Rosie could not place the line from The Bridges of Madison County that had produced such a powerful emotional reaction on the plane. She looked confused. ‘Don, what are you…what have you done to yourself?’ ‘I’ve made some changes.’ ‘Big changes.’ ‘Whatever behavioural modifications you require from me are a trivial price to pay for having you as my partner.’ Rosie made a downwards movement with her hand, which I could not interpret. Then she looked around the room and I followed her eyes. Everyone was watching. Nick had stopped partway to our table. I realised that in my intensity I had raised my voice. I didn’t care. ‘You are the world’s most perfect woman. All other women are irrelevant. Permanently. No Botox or implants will be required. ‘I need a minute to think,’ she said. I automatically started the timer on my watch. Suddenly Rosie started laughing. I looked at her, understandably puzzled at this outburst in the middle of a critical life decision. ‘The watch,’ she said. ‘I say “I need a minute” and you start timing. Don is not dead. 'Don, you don’t feel love, do you?’ said Rosie. ‘You can’t really love me.’ ‘Gene diagnosed love.’ I knew now that he had been wrong. I had watched thirteen romantic movies and felt nothing. That was not strictly true. I had felt suspense, curiosity and amusement. But I had not for one moment felt engaged in the love between the protagonists. I had cried no tears for Meg Ryan or Meryl Streep or Deborah Kerr or Vivien Leigh or Julia Roberts. I could not lie about so important a matter. ‘According to your definition, no.’ Rosie looked extremely unhappy. The evening had turned into a disaster. 'I thought my behaviour would make you happy, and instead it’s made you sad.’ ‘I’m upset because you can’t love me. Okay?’ This was worse! She wanted me to love her. And I was incapable. Gene and Claudia offered me a lift home, but I did not want to continue the conversation. I started walking, then accelerated to a jog. It made sense to get home before it rained. It also made sense to exercise hard and put the restaurant behind me as quickly as possible. The new shoes were workable, but the coat and tie were uncomfortable even on a cold night. I pulled off the jacket, the item that had made me temporarily acceptable in a world to which I did not belong, and threw it in a rubbish bin. The tie followed. On an impulse I retrieved the Daphne from the jacket and carried it in my hand for the remainder of the journey. There was rain in the air and my face was wet as I reached the safety of my apartment.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
Donna to the policewoman: Don't you touch this car! The Doctor watching: She's not changed. Wilfred: Oh. There he is. Shawn Temple. They're engaged. Getting married in the Spring. The Doctor: Another wedding. Wilfred: Yeah. The Doctor: Hold on, she's not going to be called Noble-Temple. It sounds like a tourist spot. Wilfred: No it's Temple-Noble. The Doctor: Right. Is she happy? Is he nice? Wilfred: Yeah, he's sweet enough. He's a bit of a dreamer. Mind you he's on minimum wage. She's earning tuppence so all they can afford is a tiny little flat. And then sometimes I see this look on her face. Like she's so sad. And she can't remember why. The Doctor: She's got him. Wilfred: She's making do. The Doctor: Aren't we all. Wilfred: How 'bout you? Who've you got now? The Doctor: No one. Travelling alone. I thought it would be better. But I did some things, it went wrong. I need— {he starts to cry} Wilfred: Oh my word. I— The Doctor: Mm. Merry Christmas. Wilfred: Yeah. And you. The Doctor: Look at us. Wilfred: Don't you see? You need her, Doctor. I mean, look, wouldn't she make you laugh again? Good ol' Donna. -Doctor Who
Russell T. Davies
When we strike a balance between the challenge of an activity and our skill at performing it, when the rhythm of the work itself feels in sync with our pulse, when we know that what we're doing matters, we can get totally absorbed in our task. That is happiness. The life coach Martha Beck asks new potential clients, "Is there anything you do regularly that makes you forget what time it is?" That forgetting -- that pure absorption -- is what the psychologist Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi calls "flow" or optimal experience. In an interview with Wired magazine, he described flow as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost." In a typical day that teeters between anxiety and boredom, flow experiences are those flashes of intense living -- bright against the dull. These optimal experiences can happen when we're engaged in work paid and unpaid, in sports, in music, in art. The researchers Maria Allison and Margaret Duncan have studied the role of flow in women's lives and looked at factors that contributed to what they call "antiflow." Antiflow was associated with repetitive household tasks, repetitive tasks at work, unchallenging tasks, and work we see as meaningless. But there's an element of chaos when it comes to flow. Even if we're doing meaningful and challenging work, that sense of total absoprtion can elude us. We might get completely and beautifully lost in something today, and, try as we might to re-create the same conditions tomorrow, our task might jsut feel like, well, work. In A Life of One's Own, Marion Milner described her effort to re-create teh conditions of her own recorded moments of happiness, saying, "Often when I felt certain that I had discovered the little mental act which produced the change I walked on air, exulting that I had found the key to my garden of delight and could slip through the door whenever I wished. But most often when I came again the place seemed different, the door overgrown with thorns and my key stuck in the lock. It was as if the first time I had said 'abracadabra' the door had opened, but the next time I must use a different word. (123-124).
Ariel Gore (Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness)
I asked for strength that I might achieve; He made me weak that I might obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things; I was given grace that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy; I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men; I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life; I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I received nothing that I asked for, all that I hoped for. My prayer was answered, I was most blessed.” ― Pete Greig, God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer 1 likes Like “A Creed For Those Who Have Suffered I asked God for strength, that I might achieve. I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey ... I asked for health, that I might do great things. I was given infirmity, that I might do better things ... I asked for riches, that I might be happy. I was given poverty, that I might be wise ... I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God ... I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life. I was given life, that I might enjoy all things ... I got nothing I asked for—but everything I had hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among men, most richly blessed
Confederate soldier
Hence, it's obvious to see why in AA the community is so important; we are powerless over ourselves. Since we don't have immediate awareness of the Higher Power and how it works, we need to be constantly reminded of our commitment to freedom and liberation. The old patterns are so seductive that as they go off, they set off the association of ideas and the desire to give in to our addiction with an enormous force that we can't handle. The renewal of defeat often leads to despair. At the same time, it's a source of hope for those who have a spiritual view of the process. Because it reminds us that we have to renew once again our total dependence on the Higher Power. This is not just a notional acknowledgment of our need. We feel it from the very depths of our being. Something in us causes our whole being to cry out, “Help!” That's when the steps begin to work. And that, I might add, is when the spiritual journey begins to work. A lot of activities that people in that category regard as spiritual are not communicating to them experientially their profound dependence on the grace of God to go anywhere with their spiritual practices or observances. That's why religious practice can be so ineffective. The real spiritual journey depends on our acknowledging the unmanageability of our lives. The love of God or the Higher Power is what heals us. Nobody becomes a full human being without love. It brings to life people who are most damaged. The steps are really an engagement in an ever-deepening relationship with God. Divine love picks us up when we sincerely believe nobody else will. We then begin to experience freedom, peace, calm, equanimity, and liberation from cravings for what we have come to know are damaging—cravings that cannot bring happiness, but at best only momentary relief that makes the real problem worse.
Thomas Keating (Divine Therapy and Addiction)
In this moment, however you are searching, stop. Whether you are searching for peace and happiness in a relationship, in a better job, or even in world peace, just for one moment stop absolutely. There is nothing wrong with these pursuits, but if you are engaging in them to get peace or to get happiness, you are overlooking the ground of peace that is already here. Once you discover this ground of peace, then whatever pursuits you engage in will be informed by your discovery. Then you will naturally bring what you have discovered to the world, to politics, to all your relationships. This discovery has infinite, complex ramifications, but the essence of it is very simple. If you will stop all activity, just for one instant, even for one-tenth of a second, and simply be utterly still, you will recognize the inherent spaciousness of your being that is already happy and at peace with itself. Because of our conditioning, we normally dismiss this ground of peace with an immediate, “Yes, but what about my life? I have responsibilities. I need to keep busy. The absolute doesn’t relate to my world, my existence.” These conditioned thoughts just reinforce further conditioning. But if you will take a moment to recognize the peace that is already alive within you, you then actually have the choice to trust it in all your endeavors, in all your relationships, in every circumstance of your life. It doesn’t mean that your life will be swept clean of conflicts, challenges, pain, or suffering. It means that you will have recognized a sanctuary where the truth of yourself is present, where the truth of God is present, regardless of the physical, mental, or emotional circumstances of your life.
Gangaji (The Diamond in Your Pocket: Discovering Your True Radiance)
In the novel Fight Club, the character Jack’s apartment is blown up. All of his possessions—“every stick of furniture,” which he pathetically loved—were lost. Later it turns out that Jack blew it up himself. He had multiple personalities, and “Tyler Durden” orchestrated the explosion to shock Jack from the sad stupor he was afraid to do anything about. The result was a journey into an entirely different and rather dark part of his life. In Greek mythology, characters often experience katabasis—or “a going down.” They’re forced to retreat, they experience a depression, or in some cases literally descend into the underworld. When they emerge, it’s with heightened knowledge and understanding. Today, we’d call that hell—and on occasion we all spend some time there. We surround ourselves with bullshit. With distractions. With lies about what makes us happy and what’s important. We become people we shouldn’t become and engage in destructive, awful behaviors. This unhealthy and ego-derived state hardens and becomes almost permanent. Until katabasis forces us to face it. Duris dura franguntur. Hard things are broken by hard things. The bigger the ego the harder the fall. It would be nice if it didn’t have to be that way. If we could nicely be nudged to correct our ways, if a quiet admonishment was what it took to shoo away illusions, if we could manage to circumvent ego on our own. But it is just not so. The Reverend William A. Sutton observed some 120 years ago that “we cannot be humble except by enduring humiliations.” How much better it would be to spare ourselves these experiences, but sometimes it’s the only way the blind can be made to see.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
After a heated dispute, we each undertook an assignment for the next class: to engage in one pleasurable activity and one philanthropic activity, and write about both. The results were life-changing. The afterglow of the “pleasurable” activity (hanging out with friends, or watching a movie, or eating a hot fudge sundae) paled in comparison with the effects of the kind action. When our philanthropic acts were spontaneous and called upon personal strengths, the whole day went better. One junior told about her nephew phoning for help with his third-grade arithmetic. After an hour of tutoring him, she was astonished to discover that “for the rest of the day, I could listen better, I was mellower, and people liked me much more than usual.” The exercise of kindness is a gratification, in contrast to a pleasure. As a gratification, it calls on your strengths to rise to an occasion and meet a challenge. Kindness is not accompanied by a separable stream of positive emotion like joy; rather, it consists in total engagement and in the loss of self-consciousness. Time stops.
Martin E.P. Seligman (Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment)
Why is it the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear? 'I love you' is always a quotation. You did not say it first and neither did I, yet when you say it and when I say we speak like savages who have found three words and worship them. It's the cliches that cause the trouble. A precise emotion seeks a precise expression. If what I feel is not precise then should I call it love? It is so terrifying, love, that all I can do is shove it under a dump bin of pink cuddly toys and send myself a greetings card saying 'Congratulations on your engagement.' But I am not engaged I am deeply distracted. I am desperately looking the other way so that love won't see me. I want the diluted version, the happy language, the insignificant gestures. The saggy armchair of cliches. It's all right, millions of bottoms have sat here before me. The springs are well worn, the fabric smelly and familiar. I don't have to be frightened, look, my grandma and grandad did it, he in a stiff collar and club tie, she in white muslin straining a little at the life underneath. They did it, my parents did it, now I will do it won't I, arms outstretched, not to hold you, just to keep my balance, sleepwalking to that armchair. How happy we will be. How happy everyone will be. And they all lived happily ever after.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
I’ve seen middle grade books criticized by adult readers for leaving things for the reader to figure out, for not having perfect happily-ever-after endings. They get knocked for being too depressing, for using too many big words, for featuring parental characters who are too clueless. Girl protagonists are “too angry” or “too self-absorbed.” The issues raised are “too heavy,” the books “too earnest,” “too quiet,” “too hard,” “too far-reaching,” “too strange,” and it is all too too much for the reader. Except it’s never the readers themselves saying these things. Our critical discourse in middle grade is sometimes much more about what the reviewer believes children’s books should be rather than about engaging with the book itself and the literature as a whole. When we say a book is “too sad,” “too scary,” “too complicated;” when we demand that endings are perfectly happy and all tied up; when we demand that the themes not be too weighty or the characters not face too much hardship; we are projecting our own biases onto the book, and using them to prescribe what books for this age range can or cannot do. This is nannying, not literary criticism—and it doesn’t give kids much credit.
Anne Ursu
One of the central tenets of the Western worldview is that one should always be engaged in some kind of outward task. Thus, the Westerner structures his time—including, sometimes, even his leisure time—as a series of discrete programmed activities which he must submit to in order to tick off from an actual or virtual list. One need only observe the expression on his face as he ploughs through yet another family outing, cultural event, or gruelling exercise routine to realise that his aim in life is not so much to live in the present moment as it is to work down a never-ending list. If one asks him how he is doing, he is most likely to respond with an artificial smile, and something along the lines of, ‘Fine, thank you – very busy of course!’ In many cases, he is not fine at all, but confused, exhausted, and fundamentally unhappy. In contrast, most people living in a country such as Kenya in Africa do not share in the Western worldview that it is noble or worthwhile to spend all of one’s time rushing around from one task to the next. When Westerners go to Kenya and do as they are wont to do, they are met with peels of laughter and cries of ‘mzungu’, which is Swahili for ‘Westerner’. The literal translation of ‘mzungu’ is ‘one who moves around’, ‘to go round and round’, or ‘to turn around in circles’.
Neel Burton (The Art of Failure: The Anti Self-Help Guide)
The sudden and total disappearance of Mawlana aroused resentment among his disciples and students, some of them becoming highly critical of Hazrat Shams, even threatening him. They believed Hazrat Shams had ruined their spiritual circle and prevented them from listening to Mawlana's sermons. In March of 1246 he left Konya and went to Syria without warning. After he left, Mawlana was grief stricken, secluding himself even more rather than engaging with his disciples and students. He was without a doubt furious with them. Realising the error of their ways, they repeatedly repented before Mawlana. Some months later, news arrived that Hazrat Shams had been seen in Damascus and a letter was sent to him with apologising for the behaviour of these disciples. Hazrat Sultan Walad and a search party were sent to Damascus to invite him back and in April 1247, he made his return. During the return journey, he invited Hazrat Sultan Walad to ride on horseback although he declined, choosing instead to walk alongside him, explaining that as a servant, he could not ride in the presence of such a king. Hazrat Shams was received back with joyous celebration with sama ceremonies being held for several days, and all those that had shown him resentment tearfully asked for his forgiveness. He reserved special praise for Hazrat Sultan Walad for his selflessness, which greatly pleased Mawlana. As he originally had no intention to return to Konya, he most likely would not have returned if Hazrat Sultan Walad had not himself gone to Damascus in search of him. After his return, he and Mawlana Rumi returned to their intense discussions. Referring to the disciples, Hazrat Shams narrates that their new found love for him was motivated only by desperation: “ They felt jealous because they supposed, "If he were not here, Mowlana would be happy with us." Now [that I am back] he belongs to all. They gave it a try and things got worse, and they got no consolation from Mowlana. They lost even what they had, so that even the enmity (hava, against Shams) that had swirled in their heads disappeared. And now they are happy and they show me honor and pray for me. (Maqalat 72) ” Referring to his absence, he explains that he left for the sake of Mawlana Rumi's development: “ I'd go away fifty times for your betterment. My going away is all for the sake of your development. Otherwise it makes no difference to me whether I'm in Anatolia or Syria, at the Kaaba or in Istanbul, except, of course, that separation matures and refines you. (Maqalat 164) ” After a while, by the end of 1247, he was married to Kimia, a young woman who’d grown up in Mawlana Rumi's household. Sadly, Kimia did not live long after the marriage and passed away upon falling ill after a stroll in the garden
Shams Tabrizi
Is it possible nevertheless that our consumer culture does make good on its promises, or could do so? Might these, if fulfilled, lead to a more satisfying life? When I put the question to renowned psychologist Tim Krasser, professor emeritus of psychology at Knox College, his response was unequivocal. "Research consistently shows," he told me, "that the more people value materialistic aspirations as goals, the lower their happiness and life satisfaction and the fewer pleasant emotions they experience day to day. Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse also tend to be higher among people who value the aims encouraged by consumer society." He points to four central principles of what he calls ACC — American corporate capitalism: it "fosters and encourages a set of values based on self-interest, a strong desire for financial success, high levels of consumption, and interpersonal styles based on competition." There is a seesaw oscillation, Tim found, between materialistic concerns on the one hand and prosocial values like empathy, generosity, and cooperation on the other: the more the former are elevated, the lower the latter descend. For example, when people strongly endorse money, image, and status as prime concerns, they are less likely to engage in ecologically beneficial activities and the emptier and more insecure they will experience themselves to be. They will have also lower-quality interpersonal relationships. In turn, the more insecure people feel, the more they focus on material things. As materialism promises satisfaction but, instead, yields hollow dissatisfaction, it creates more craving. This massive and self-perpetuating addictive spiral is one of the mechanisms by which consumer society preserves itself by exploiting the very insecurities it generates. Disconnection in all its guises — alienation, loneliness, loss of meaning, and dislocation — is becoming our culture's most plentiful product. No wonder we are more addicted, chronically ill, and mentally disordered than ever before, enfeebled as we are by such malnourishment of mind, body and soul.
Gabor Maté (The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture)
Still lying on the ground, half tingly, half stunned, I held my left hand in front of my face and lightly spread my fingers, examining what Marlboro Man had given me that morning. I couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful ring, or a ring that was a more fitting symbol of my relationship with Marlboro Man. It was unadorned, uncontrived, consisting only of a delicate gold band and a lovely diamond that stood up high--almost proudly--on its supportive prongs. It was a ring chosen by a man who, from day one, had always let me know exactly how he felt. The ring was a perfect extension of that: strong, straightforward, solid, direct. I liked seeing it on my finger. I felt good knowing it was there. My stomach, though, was in knots. I was engaged. Engaged. I was ill-prepared for how weird it felt. Why hadn’t I ever heard of this strange sensation before? Why hadn’t anyone told me? I felt simultaneously grown up, excited, shocked, scared, matronly, weird, and happy--a strange combination for a weekday morning. I was engaged--holy moly. My other hand picked up the receiver of the phone, and without thinking, I dialed my little sister. “Hi,” I said when Betsy picked up the phone. It hadn’t been ten minutes since we’d hung up from our last conversation. “Hey,” she replied. “Uh, I just wanted to tell you”--my heart began to race--“that I’m, like…engaged.” What seemed like hours of silence passed. “Bullcrap,” Betsy finally exclaimed. Then she repeated: “Bullcrap.” “Not bullcrap,” I answered. “He just asked me to marry him. I’m engaged, Bets!” “What?” Betsy shrieked. “Oh my God…” Her voice began to crack. Seconds later, she was crying. A lump formed in my throat, too. I immediately understood where her tears were coming from. I felt it all, too. It was bittersweet. Things would change. Tears welled up in my eyes. My nose began to sting. “Don’t cry, you butthead.” I laughed through my tears. She laughed it off, too, sobbing harder, totally unable to suppress the tears. “Can I be your maid of honor?” This was too much for me. “I can’t talk anymore,” I managed to squeak through my lips. I hung up on Betsy and lay there, blubbering on my floor.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
When I took it off, I glanced in the mirror behind the dresser, and I nearly screamed when I saw the reflection. Finn was sitting behind me on the bed. His eyes, dark as night, met mine in the mirror, and I could hardly breathe. "Finn!" I gasped and whirled around to look at him. "What are you doing here?" "I missed your birthday," he said, as if that answered my question. He lowered his eyes, looking at a small box he had in his hands. "I got you something." "You got me something?" I leaned back on the dresser behind me, gripping it. "Yeah." He nodded, still staring down at the box. "I picked it up outside of Portland two weeks ago. I meant to get back in time to give it to you on your birthday." He chewed the inside of his cheek. "But now that I'm here, I'm not sure I should give it to you at all." "What are you talking about?" I asked. "It doesn't feel right." Finn rubbed his face. "I don't even know what I'm doing here." "Neither do I," I said. "Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to see you. I just...I don't understand." "I know." He sighed. "It's a ring. What I got you." His gaze moved from me to the engagement ring sitting on the dresser beside me. "And you already have one." "Why did you get me a ring?" I asked tentatively, and my heart beat erratically in my chest. I didn't know what Finn was saying or doing. "I'm not proposing to you, if that's what you're asking." He shook his head. "I saw it and thought of you. But now it seems like poor taste. And here I am, the night before your wedding sneaking in to give you a ring." "Why did you sneak in?" I asked. "I don't know." He looked away and laughed darkly. "That's a lie. I know exactly what I'm doing, but I have no idea why I'm doing it." "What are you doing?" I asked quietly. "I..." Finn stared off for a moment, then turned back to me and stood up. "Finn, I-" I began, but he held up his hand, stopping me. "No, I know you're marrying Tove," he said. "You need to do this. We both know that. It's what's best for you, and it's what I want for you." He paused. "But I want you for myself too." All I'd ever wanted from Finn was for him to admit how he felt about me, and he'd waited until the day before my wedding. It was too late to change anything, to take anything back. Not that I could have, even if I wanted to. "Why are you telling me this?" I asked with tears swimming in my eyes. "Because." Finn stepped toward me, stopping right in front of me. He looked down at me, his eyes mesmerizing me the way they always did. He reached up, brushing back a tear from my cheek. "Why?" I asked, my voice trembling. "I needed you to know," he said, as if he didn't truly understand it himself. He set the box on the dresser beside me, and his hand went to my waist, pulling me to him. I let go of the dresser and let him. My breath came out shallow as I stared up at him. "Tomorrow you will belong to someone else," Finn said. "But tonight, you're with me.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
Her pretty name of Adina seemed to me to have somehow a mystic fitness to her personality. Behind a cold shyness, there seemed to lurk a tremulous promise to be franker when she knew you better. Adina is a strange child; she is fanciful without being capricious. She was stout and fresh-coloured, she laughed and talked rather loud, and generally, in galleries and temples, caused a good many stiff British necks to turn round. She had a mania for excursions, and at Frascati and Tivoli she inflicted her good-humoured ponderosity on diminutive donkeys with a relish which seemed to prove that a passion for scenery, like all our passions, is capable of making the best of us pitiless. Adina may not have the shoulders of the Venus of Milo...but I hope it will take more than a bauble like this to make her stoop. Adina espied the first violet of the year glimmering at the root of a cypress. She made haste to rise and gather it, and then wandered further, in the hope of giving it a few companions. Scrope sat and watched her as she moved slowly away, trailing her long shadow on the grass and drooping her head from side to side in her charming quest. It was not, I know, that he felt no impulse to join her; but that he was in love, for the moment, with looking at her from where he sat. Her search carried her some distance and at last she passed out of sight behind a bend in the villa wall. I don't pretend to be sure that I was particularly struck, from this time forward, with something strange in our quiet Adina. She had always seemed to me vaguely, innocently strange; it was part of her charm that in the daily noiseless movement of her life a mystic undertone seemed to murmur "You don't half know me! Perhaps we three prosaic mortals were not quite worthy to know her: yet I believe that if a practised man of the world had whispered to me, one day, over his wine, after Miss Waddington had rustled away from the table, that there was a young lady who, sooner or later, would treat her friends to a first class surprise, I should have laid my finger on his sleeve and told him with a smile that he phrased my own thought. .."That beautiful girl," I said, "seems to me agitated and preoccupied." "That beautiful girl is a puzzle. I don't know what's the matter with her; it's all very painful; she's a very strange creature. I never dreamed there was an obstacle to our happiness--to our union. She has never protested and promised; it's not her way, nor her nature; she is always humble, passive, gentle; but always extremely grateful for every sign of tenderness. Till within three or four days ago, she seemed to me more so than ever; her habitual gentleness took the form of a sort of shrinking, almost suffering, deprecation of my attentions, my petits soins, my lovers nonsense. It was as if they oppressed and mortified her--and she would have liked me to bear more lightly. I did not see directly that it was not the excess of my devotion, but my devotion itself--the very fact of my love and her engagement that pained her. When I did it was a blow in the face. I don't know what under heaven I've done! Women are fathomless creatures. And yet Adina is not capricious, in the common sense... .So these are peines d'amour?" he went on, after brooding a moment. "I didn't know how fiercely I was in love!" Scrope stood staring at her as she thrust out the crumpled note: that she meant that Adina--that Adina had left us in the night--was too large a horror for his unprepared sense...."Good-bye to everything! Think me crazy if you will. I could never explain. Only forget me and believe that I am happy, happy, happy! Adina Beati."... Love is said to be par excellence the egotistical passion; if so Adina was far gone. "I can't promise to forget you," I said; "you and my friend here deserve to be remembered!
Henry James (Adina)