Excuse Related Quotes

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No matter how old you are now. You are never too young or too old for success or going after what you want. Here’s a short list of people who accomplished great things at different ages 1) Helen Keller, at the age of 19 months, became deaf and blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. 2) Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he composed from the age of 5. 3) Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.” 4) Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank. 5) Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster at the age of 13. 6) Nadia Comăneci was a gymnast from Romania that scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics at age 14. 7) Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama in November 1950, at the age of 15. 8) Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil. 9) Elvis was a superstar by age 19. 10) John Lennon was 20 years and Paul Mcartney was 18 when the Beatles had their first concert in 1961. 11) Jesse Owens was 22 when he won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936. 12) Beethoven was a piano virtuoso by age 23 13) Issac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica at age 24 14) Roger Bannister was 25 when he broke the 4 minute mile record 15) Albert Einstein was 26 when he wrote the theory of relativity 16) Lance E. Armstrong was 27 when he won the tour de France 17) Michelangelo created two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta” by age 28 18) Alexander the Great, by age 29, had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world 19) J.K. Rowling was 30 years old when she finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter 20) Amelia Earhart was 31 years old when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean 21) Oprah was 32 when she started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind 22) Edmund Hillary was 33 when he became the first man to reach Mount Everest 23) Martin Luther King Jr. was 34 when he wrote the speech “I Have a Dream." 24) Marie Curie was 35 years old when she got nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics 25) The Wright brothers, Orville (32) and Wilbur (36) invented and built the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight 26) Vincent Van Gogh was 37 when he died virtually unknown, yet his paintings today are worth millions. 27) Neil Armstrong was 38 when he became the first man to set foot on the moon. 28) Mark Twain was 40 when he wrote "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", and 49 years old when he wrote "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" 29) Christopher Columbus was 41 when he discovered the Americas 30) Rosa Parks was 42 when she refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger 31) John F. Kennedy was 43 years old when he became President of the United States 32) Henry Ford Was 45 when the Ford T came out. 33) Suzanne Collins was 46 when she wrote "The Hunger Games" 34) Charles Darwin was 50 years old when his book On the Origin of Species came out. 35) Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa. 36) Abraham Lincoln was 52 when he became president. 37) Ray Kroc Was 53 when he bought the McDonalds Franchise and took it to unprecedented levels. 38) Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote "The Cat in the Hat". 40) Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III was 57 years old when he successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived 41) Colonel Harland Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise 42) J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out 43) Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became President of the US 44) Jack Lalane at age 70 handcuffed, shackled, towed 70 rowboats 45) Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became President
Pablo
Now, if you two will excuse us, we'll get back to the relatively simple buisness of planning a war," he said. -Baron Arald
John Flanagan
It is fine to commiserate with a man about his bad experience with a previous partner, but the instant he uses her as an excuse to mistreat you, stop believing anything he tells you about that relationship and instead recognize it as a sign that he has problems with relating to women.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Now, if you two will excuse us, we'll get back to the relatively simple business of planning a war.
John Flanagan (The Burning Bridge (Ranger's Apprentice, #2))
Instead, I quietly excused myself and went to the bar, to commune with spirits I know how to relate to.
Mary Roach (Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife)
Class never runs scared. It is sure-footed and confident. It can handle anything that comes along. Class has a sense of humor. It knows a good laugh is the best lubricant for oiling the machinery of human relations. Class never makes excuses. It takes its lumps and learns from past mistakes. Class knows that good manners are nothing more than a series of small, inconsequential sacrifices. Class bespeaks an aristocracy that has nothing to do with ancestors or money. Some wealthy “blue bloods” have no class, while individuals who are struggling to make ends meet are loaded with it. Class is real. It can’t be faked. Class never tried to build itself by tearing others down. Class is already up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse. Class can “walk with kings and keep it’s virtue and talk with crowds and keep the common touch.” Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class because that person is comfortable with himself. If you have class, you’ve got it made. If you don’t have class, no matter what else you have, it doesn’t make any difference.
Ann Landers
I think the world honestly would be a much healthier place if instead of trying to find rationalizations for our bad behavior we would just say, "I was an asshole. Sure, there were reasons behind it, but that doesn't matter.
Colin Quinn (The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America)
If you do something to benefit one person, that is an absolute gain, and its relative insignificance in the wider scheme is irrelevant. Benefit two people without concomitant harm to others - or a village, tribe, city, class, nation, society or civilisation - and the benefits are scalable, arithmetic. There is no excuse beyond fatalistic self-indulgence and sheer laziness for doing nothing.
Iain Banks (Transition)
Evan Handler's unsparingly honest stories about life, love, and his own shortcomings are hilarious to read and oh, so easy (and fun!) to relate to. By the end you will be left with the surprising but unmistakable feelings of hope and redemption. It’s Only Temporary is truly an inspiration, particularly for anyone who's out there looking for love.
Liz Tuccillo (He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys)
My family tree spreads wide as well. I am a great ape, and you are a great ape, and so are chimpanzees and orangutans and bonobos, all of us distant and distrustful cousins. I know this is troubling. I too find it hard to believe there is a connection across time and space, linking me to a race of ill-mannered clowns. Chimps. There's no excuse for them.
Katherine Applegate (The One and Only Ivan)
I am very much out of my element here. There are moments, listening to the conversations going on around me, when I feel I am going to lose my mind. Earlier today, I heard someone say the words, "I felt at one with the divine source of creation." Mary Roach on a conducted tour of Hades. I had to fight the urge to push back my chair and start screaming: STAND BACK! ALL OF YOU! I'VE GOT AN ARTHUR FINDLAY BOX CUTTER! Instead, I quietly excused myself and went to the bar, to commune with spirits I know how to relate to.
Mary Roach (Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife)
It’s a good excuse, though, orphanhood. It explains everything—every mistake and wrong turn. As Sherlock Holmes declared. She had no mother to advise her. How we long for it, that lack of advice! Imprudence could have been ours. Passionate affairs. Reckless adventures. Of course we’re grateful for our stable upbringings, our hordes of informative relatives, our fleece-lined advantages, our lack of dramatic plots. But there’s a corner of envy in us all the same. Why doesn’t anything of interest happen to us, coddled as we are? Why do the orphans get all the good lines?
Margaret Atwood (The Tent)
The Vikings thought they were big shots because they had boats. You know how obnoxious people get when they own a boat. They always want to go on the boat. "We're taking the boat out this weekend. It's supposed to be beautiful. Why don't you come? You never come. You're always working. You know how many people wish they would get invited to come on the boat? And you turn it down.
Colin Quinn (The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America)
Art cannot be excused from following God’s law, and art disgraces itself by seeking that freedom. Anything that cannot be put into an image or onto a canvas without demanding the sacrifice of modesty or injuring shame must simply be eschewed. Art is not autonomous. Art is one of the more refined human life expressions, and all these life expressions are organically related and stand continuously under God’s ordinance.
Abraham Kuyper (Wisdom & Wonder: Common Grace in Science & Art)
In the alchemy of man's soul almost all noble attributes--courage, honor, love, hope, faith, duty, loyalty, etc.--can be transmuted into ruthlessness. Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us. Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless. Nature has no compassion. It is, in the words of William Blake, "a creation that groans, living on the death; where fish and bird and beast and tree and metal and stone live by devouring." Nature accepts no excuses and the only punishment it knows is death.
Eric Hoffer (Reflections on the Human Condition)
You say you're a writer but you're depressed. Not an excuse; write from there. Write some depressing sh*t. Believe me. You will have plenty of readers who can relate. Remember writers write.
Stanley Christopher
It’s interesting that Melburnians don’t tell jokes about Sydney. They tell jokes about their beloved footy. To wit: A man arriving for the Grand Final in Melbourne is surprised to find the seat beside his empty. Tickets for the Grand Final are sold out weeks in advance and empty seats unknown. So he says to the man on the other side of the seat: ‘Excuse me, do you know why there is no one in this seat?’ ‘It was my wife’s,’ answers the second man, a touch wistfully, ‘but I’m afraid she died.’ ‘Oh, that’s terrible. I’m so sorry.’ ‘Yes, she never missed a match.’ ‘But couldn’t you have given the ticket to a friend or relative?’ ‘Oh no. They’re all at the funeral.
Bill Bryson (In a Sunburned Country)
Those preferring to rest an argument on relative morality should examine the religion and morality of Indigenous Australians and then compare it to those who murdered them in the 1800s and those who try to excuse or deny it today.
Bruce Pascoe (Convincing Ground: Learning to fall in love with your country)
A movie is keeping your mind stimulated 24-7. Characters of this movie are your neighbors, relatives, colleagues, celebrities, politicians. And don’t blame media or internet for this It’s been happening since ages. Maybe the pace was slow in old times but so were the minds. Nobody is forcing you to watch this movie. But the urge is so strong that your clever mind is inventing fancy excuses to keep watching it: “Justice”. “Social Activism”, “Political awareness.
Shunya
The relations between us in those latter days were peculiar. He was a man of habits, narrow and concentrated habits, and I had become one of them. As an institution I was like the violin, the shag tobacco, the old black pipe, the index books, and others perhaps less excusable. When it was a case of active work and a comrade was needed upon whose nerve he could place some reliance, my role was obvious. But apart from this I had uses. I was a whetstone for his mind. I stimulated him. He liked to think aloud in my presence. His remarks could hardly be said to be made to me--many of them would have been as appropriately addressed to his bedstead--but none the less, having formed the habit, it had become in some way helpful that I should register and interject. If I irritated him by a certain methodical slowness in my mentality, that irritation served only to make his own flame-like intuitions and impressions flash up the more vividly and swiftly. Such was my humble role in our alliance.
Arthur Conan Doyle (Adventure of the Creeping Man)
I think I welcomed the excuse not to go back to my own life for a little while. Being wrapped up in digesting Evelyn’s story means I don’t have to exist in my own.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
Gender roles as they relate to cleaning are bullshit,* and just offer a handy excuse for half the population to be lazy and the other half to feel guilty.
Rachel Hoffman (Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess)
Whenever I hear protests from the South that it should be left alone to deal with the Negro question, my thoughts go back to that scene of brutality and savagery. I do not see how a people that can find in its conscience any excuse whatever for slowly burning to death a human being, or for tolerating such an act, can be entrusted with the salvation of a race.
James Weldon Johnson (The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man)
An ignorant man, who is not fool enough to meddle with his clock, is however sufficiently confident to think he can safely take to pieces, and put together at his pleasure, a moral machine of another guise, importance and complexity, composed of far other wheels, and springs, and balances, and counteracting and co-operating powers. Men little think how immorally they act in rashly meddling with what they do not understand. Their delusive good intention is no sort of excuse for their presumption. They who truly mean well must be fearful of acting ill.
Edmund Burke (An Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs, in Consequence of Some Late Discussions in Parliament, Relative to the Reflections on the French Revolution.)
We all have urgent matters pending," one of the members growled. "What the hell is Nick's problem that he can't be here?" "He said it's a labor relations problem." "That's no excuse!" another member exploded. "We all have labor relations problems." "I reminded Nick of that," the chairman replied. "What did he say?" "He said that nobody has a labor relations problem like his.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
Think of mental energy as broadcasting on a certain wavelength,” he tried to explain. “People with powers of the mind can tap into that wavelength…” “That’s all fine and good,” I nodded, “but evidently my transmitter is broken. Or much more likely…I never had one in the first place.” “Ah, yes,” he nodded unenthusiastically, “and your nose is mounted upside-down.” “Excuse me?” My forehead creased. “I do wish you would quit contradicting me,” he let out a tired sigh. “It’s insulting…and highly annoying.
M.A. George (Relativity (Proximity, #2))
I can only imagine what goes on in that head of yours…” he teased. “I assure you I haven’t taken up black magic, ritualistic sacrifice, or—” “Plushophilia?” I tagged on. “Excuse me?…” came his half-confused, half-intrigued reaction. “An obsession with stuffed animals,” I clarified. “I mean, you are a young one…” “Where did you come up with that?” He kept his hands firmly covering my eyes, but I could hear the amused smile in his voice. “Is that even a real word?” “I’m a doctor, I know these things,” I shrugged.
M.A. George (Relativity (Proximity, #2))
From Alexander the Platonic, not frequently nor without necessity to say to any one, or to write in a letter, that I have not leisure; nor continually to excuse the neglect of duties required by our relations to those with whom we live, by alleging urgent occupations.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
A man arriving for the Grand Final in Melbourne is surprised to find the seat beside his empty. Tickets for the Grand Final are sold out weeks in advance and empty seats unknown. So he says to the man on the other side of the seat: ‘Excuse me, do you know why there is no one in this seat?’ ‘It was my wife’s,’ answers the second man, a touch wistfully, ‘but I’m afraid she died.’ ‘Oh, that’s terrible. I’m so sorry.’ ‘Yes, she never missed a match.’ ‘But couldn’t you have given the ticket to a friend or relative?’ ‘Oh no. They’re all at the funeral.
Bill Bryson (In a Sunburned Country)
Maybe you've understood by now that for men like myself, that is, melancholy men for whom love, agony, happiness and misery are just excuses for maintaining eternal loneliness, life offers neither great joy nor great sadness. I'm not saying we can't relate to other souls overwhelmed by these feelings, on the contrary, we sympathize with them. What we cannot fathom is the odd disquiet our souls sink into at such times. This silent turmoil dims our intellects and dampens our hearts, usurping the place reserved for the true joy and sadness we ought to experience.
Orhan Pamuk
She looked at him and he read in her eyes a disappointment that he should have stooped to the dead relative excuse. Yet he was as entitled as the next man to use it. People did it all the time; it was understood that there was a defined window of availability beginning a decent few days after a funeral and continuing for no more than a couple of months. Of course, some people took dreadful advantage and a year later were still hauling around their dead relatives on their backs, showing them off to explain late tax payments and missed dentist appointments: something he would never do.
Helen Simonson (Major Pettigrew's Last Stand)
Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all. If you are merely a sceptic, you must sooner or later ask yourself the question, “Why should anything go right; even observation and deduction? Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic? They are both movements in the brain of a bewildered ape?” The young sceptic says, “I have a right to think for myself.” But the old sceptic, the complete sceptic, says, “I have no right to think for myself. I have no right to think at all...Man, by a blind instinct, knew that if once things were wildly questioned, reason could be questioned first. The authority of priests to absolve, the authority of popes to define the authority, even of inquisitors to terrify: these were all only dark defences erected round one central authority, more undemonstrable, more supernatural than all—the authority of a man to think. We know now that this is so; we have no excuse for not knowing it. For we can hear scepticism crashing through the old ring of authorities, and at the same moment we can see reason swaying upon her throne. In so far as religion is gone, reason is going. For they are both of the same primary and authoritative kind. They are both methods of proof which p 60 cannot themselves be proved. And in the act of destroying the idea of Divine authority we have largely destroyed the idea of that human authority by which we do a long-division sum. With a long and sustained tug we have attempted to pull the mitre off pontifical man; and his head has come off with it.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy: The Original Classics - Illustrated)
I repeat here what you will find in my first chapter, that the only thing that signifies to you in a book is what it means to you, and if your opinion is at variance with that of everyone else in the world it is of no consequence. Your opinion is valid for you. In matters of art people, especially, I think, in America, are apt to accept willingly from professors and critics a tyranny which in matters of government they would rebel against. But in these questions there is no right and wrong. The relation between the reader and his book is as free and intimate as that between the mystic and his God. Of all forms of snobbishness the literary is perhaps the most detestable, and there is no excuse for the fool who despises his fellow-man because he does not share his opinion of the value of a certain book. Pretence in literary appreciation is odious, and no one should be ashamed if a book that the best critics think highly of means nothing to him. On the other hand it is better not to speak ill of such books if you have not read them.
W. Somerset Maugham (Books and You)
In 2002, a team of researchers at the University of Washington decided to take the defenses of the drug war seriously, by subjecting the arguments to empirical testing in a major study of drug-law enforcement in a racially mixed city—Seattle.88 The study found that, contrary to the prevailing “common sense,” the high arrest rates of African Americans in drug-law enforcement could not be explained by rates of offending; nor could they be explained by other standard excuses, such as the ease and efficiency of policing open-air drug markets, citizen complaints, crime rates, or drug-related violence. The study also debunked the assumption that white drug dealers deal indoors, making their criminal activity more difficult to detect.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
The advice of etiquette experts on dealing with unwanted invitations, or overly demanding requests for favours, has always been the same: just say no. That may have been a useless mantra in the war on drugs, but in the war on relatives who want to stay for a fortnight, or colleagues trying to get you to do their work for them, the manners guru Emily Post’s formulation – ‘I’m afraid that won’t be possible’ – remains the gold standard. Excuses merely invite negotiation. The comic retort has its place (Peter Cook: ‘Oh dear, I find I’m watching television that night’), and I’m fond of the tautological non-explanation (‘I can’t, because I’m unable to’). But these are variations on a theme. The best way to say no is to say no. Then shut up.
Oliver Burkeman (Help!: How to Be Slightly Happier, Slightly More Successful and Get a Bit More Done)
The stark racial differences in crime rates undoubtedly impact black-white relations in America. So long as they persist, young black men will make people nervous. Discussions about the problem can be useful if they are honest, which is rare. Liberals don’t help matters by making excuses for counterproductive behavior. Nor does the media by shying away from reporting the truth.
Jason L. Riley (Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed)
Women have been trained to be deeply relational creatures with "permeable boundaries," which make us vulnerable to the needs of others. This permeability, this compelling need to connect, is one of our greatest gifts, but without balance it can mean living out the role of the servant who nurtures at the cost of herself. Referring to this feminine script in her essay "Professions for Women," Virginia Woolf describes the syndrome and offers a drastic remedy: "She was intensely sympathetic. She was immensely charming. She was utterly unselfish. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed herself daily. If there was chicken, she took the leg; if there was a draft she sat in it - in short she was so constituted that she never had a mind or wish of her own, but preferred to sympathize always with the minds and wishes of others...I did my best to kill her. My excuse, if I were to be had up in a court of law, would be that I acted in self-defense. Had I not killed her, she would have killed me." At the very least we need to disempower this part of ourselves, to relieve ourselves of the internal drive to forfeit our souls as food for others.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Dance of the Dissident Daughter)
I don’t know what position you’re talking about, sir. The Gnomon Society has never questioned the rotundity of the earth. Mr. Jimmerson is himself a skilled topographer." "Excuse me, Mr. Popper, but I have it right here in Mr. Jimmerson’s own words on page twenty-nine of 101 Gnomon Facts.” "No, sir. Excuse me but you don’t. Please look again. Read that passage carefully and you’ll see what we actually say is that the earth looks flat. We still say that. It’s so flat around Brownsville as to be striking to the eye.” "But isn’t that just a weasel way of saying that you really believe if to be flat?" "Not at all. What we’re saying is that the curvature of the earth is so gentle, relative to our human scale of things, that we need not bother or take it into account when going for a stroll, say, or laying out our gardens.
Charles Portis (Masters of Atlantis)
1)    The woman has intuitive feelings that she is at risk. 2)    At the inception of the relationship, the man accelerated the pace, prematurely placing on the agenda such things as commitment, living together, and marriage. 3)    He resolves conflict with intimidation, bullying, and violence. 4)    He is verbally abusive. 5)    He uses threats and intimidation as instruments of control or abuse. This includes threats to harm physically, to defame, to embarrass, to restrict freedom, to disclose secrets, to cut off support, to abandon, and to commit suicide. 6)    He breaks or strikes things in anger. He uses symbolic violence (tearing a wedding photo, marring a face in a photo, etc.). 7)    He has battered in prior relationships. 8)    He uses alcohol or drugs with adverse affects (memory loss, hostility, cruelty). 9)    He cites alcohol or drugs as an excuse or explanation for hostile or violent conduct (“That was the booze talking, not me; I got so drunk I was crazy”). 10)   His history includes police encounters for behavioral offenses (threats, stalking, assault, battery). 11)   There has been more than one incident of violent behavior (including vandalism, breaking things, throwing things). 12)   He uses money to control the activities, purchase, and behavior of his wife/partner. 13)   He becomes jealous of anyone or anything that takes her time away from the relationship; he keeps her on a “tight leash,” requires her to account for her time. 14)   He refuses to accept rejection. 15)   He expects the relationship to go on forever, perhaps using phrases like “together for life;” “always;” “no matter what.” 16)   He projects extreme emotions onto others (hate, love, jealousy, commitment) even when there is no evidence that would lead a reasonable person to perceive them. 17)   He minimizes incidents of abuse. 18)   He spends a disproportionate amount of time talking about his wife/partner and derives much of his identity from being her husband, lover, etc. 19)   He tries to enlist his wife’s friends or relatives in a campaign to keep or recover the relationship. 20)   He has inappropriately surveilled or followed his wife/partner. 21)   He believes others are out to get him. He believes that those around his wife/partner dislike him and encourage her to leave. 22)   He resists change and is described as inflexible, unwilling to compromise. 23)   He identifies with or compares himself to violent people in films, news stories, fiction, or history. He characterizes the violence of others as justified. 24)   He suffers mood swings or is sullen, angry, or depressed. 25)   He consistently blames others for problems of his own making; he refuses to take responsibility for the results of his actions. 26)   He refers to weapons as instruments of power, control, or revenge. 27)   Weapons are a substantial part of his persona; he has a gun or he talks about, jokes about, reads about, or collects weapons. 28)   He uses “male privilege” as a justification for his conduct (treats her like a servant, makes all the big decisions, acts like the “master of the house”). 29)   He experienced or witnessed violence as a child. 30)   His wife/partner fears he will injure or kill her. She has discussed this with others or has made plans to be carried out in the event of her death (e.g., designating someone to care for children).
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
Don’t look at me,” Karsyn growls. Now that I’m alone with Claude and Karsyn, the two seem to be back at it. But this time, all Claude did was smile and Karsyn’s ready to eat him. “Children, settle down,” I say. “He looked at me,” Karsyn says, as though that’s a good excuse. “You’re like the sun, I can’t look away,” Claude says which is the stupidest pickup line I’ve ever heard. “Can I tear his eyes out?” Karsyn asks me like I’m suddenly in control here.
Alice Winters (How to Elude a Vampire (VRC: Vampire Related Crimes, #2))
Technology, I said before, is most powerful when it enables transitions—between linear and circular motion (the wheel), or between real and virtual space (the Internet). Science, in contrast, is most powerful when it elucidates rules of organization—laws—that act as lenses through which to view and organize the world. Technologists seek to liberate us from the constraints of our current realities through those transitions. Science defines those constraints, drawing the outer limits of the boundaries of possibility. Our greatest technological innovations thus carry names that claim our prowess over the world: the engine (from ingenium, or “ingenuity”) or the computer (from computare, or “reckoning together”). Our deepest scientific laws, in contrast, are often named after the limits of human knowledge: uncertainty, relativity, incompleteness, impossibility. Of all the sciences, biology is the most lawless; there are few rules to begin with, and even fewer rules that are universal. Living beings must, of course, obey the fundamental rules of physics and chemistry, but life often exists on the margins and interstices of these laws, bending them to their near-breaking limit. The universe seeks equilibriums; it prefers to disperse energy, disrupt organization, and maximize chaos. Life is designed to combat these forces. We slow down reactions, concentrate matter, and organize chemicals into compartments; we sort laundry on Wednesdays. “It sometimes seems as if curbing entropy is our quixotic purpose in the universe,” James Gleick wrote. We live in the loopholes of natural laws, seeking extensions, exceptions, and excuses.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
Beth’s Story Beth’s mother, Rosa, never showed any enthusiasm about spending time with her. When Beth visited, Rosa resisted hugs and immediately found something to criticize about Beth’s appearance. She usually urged Beth to call a relative as soon as Beth walked in the door, as though to redirect her elsewhere. If Beth suggested spending time together, Rosa acted irritated and told Beth she was too dependent on her. When Beth telephoned her mother, anything Beth said was usually cut short as Rosa quickly found an excuse to get off the phone, often giving the phone to Beth’s father.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents)
Good day to you, Harry Potter’s relatives!” said Dedalus happily, striding into the living room. The Dursleys did not look at all happy to be addressed thus; Harry half expected another change of mind. Dudley shrank nearer to his mother at the sight of the witch and wizard. “I see you are packed and ready. Excellent! The plan, as Harry has told you, is a simple one,” said Dedalus, pulling an immense pocket watch out of his waistcoat and examining it. “We shall be leaving before Harry does. Due to the danger of using magic in your house--Harry being still underage, it could provide the Ministry with an excuse to arrest him--we shall be driving, say, ten miles or so, before Disapparating to the safe location we have picked out for you. You know how to drive, I take it?” he asked Uncle Vernon politely. “Know how to--? Of course I ruddy well know how to drive!” spluttered Uncle Vernon. “Very clever of you, sir, very clever, I personally would be utterly bamboozled by all those buttons and knobs,” said Dedalus. He was clearly under the impression that he was flattering Vernon Dursley, who was visibly losing confidence in the plan with every word Dedalus spoke. “Can’t even drive,” he muttered under his breath, his mustache rippling indignantly, but fortunately neither Dedalus nor Hestia seemed to hear him.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
In any case, psychological type has built a private world around itself, an intimate universe that has no need for external validation . . . For those within its charmed circle, type provides an unwavering self-conception, a foundation for relating to others, a plan for success, and an excuse for failure. It offers an explanation for why some people refuse to join in . . . Still at the center of this world is the haloed figure of Myers herself, whom her many followers affectionately call "Isabel." It sometimes seems that her fierce ardor for the test she created has been passed on to these followers like a torch. They, like her, appear to value type more than the people type is supposed to describe.
Annie Murphy Paul
I was still in and out of consciousness so much, and so emotional. But there were little things that helped. I remember at one point hearing my dad say, “He likes music. I am going to put on some music.” He brought in a little red radio and left it on this Top 40 station all the time hoping to cheer me up. Top 40 stations play the same songs over and over again. At the time there was one song that stood out and struck a chord with me: Sheryl Crow’s “Good is Good.” I don’t know what Sheryl Crow’s intentions were when she wrote it, but I felt like she was singing to me directly. I really related to this song. The words would bounce around my head even when I was asleep, about things going south and that it was up to you to make it better. Things are only as good as you make them. I felt calmer and comforted every time I heard it.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
You remember in your youth the thought "that this world is a curious place" in the emotion when you felt "why" as to whether this life is a reasonable development? What was the cause of this and of your summarily dismissing it from your mind? Again the feeling that the most commonplace object is magnificently strange and the vague emotion of co-relation between the incompatible (exhaustive arguments often see this, but always excuse it); the curiosity and shock with a more intimate association with the wonders of creation. What is it that prevents you following investigation into "what exactly is surprise," etc.? What is the cause of your believing more in God than a dog-fight? Yet you fear dogs more than God! Where is the difference between yourself choked with disquieting piety, and the innocence of a babe? Perhaps in these is the cause of ignorance. 
Austin Osman Spare (The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love): The Psychology of Ecstasy)
When did all this happen?” Vaughn asked. “We met for drinks last Friday to discuss a criminal matter related to Sterling. Things progressed from there.” “Is that right?” Vaughn looked at him slyly. “Just how far did they progress?” “Still not comfortable talking about Brooke this way,” Huxley interjected. Cade held back a smile, grateful for the excuse to change the subject. For whatever reason, he didn’t feel like engaging in locker room talk about Brooke. “Huxley’s right. Try to keep it classy, Vaughn.” Vaughn studied him for a moment. Seven years they’d been best friends, and they knew each other well. “You like her.” Cade took a nonchalant sip of his beer. “Just watch the game.” “Evading the question,” Huxley said under his breath to Vaughn. “I think we got our answer, Agent Roberts.” “We sure did, Agent Huxley,” Vaughn said. Cade shook his head. He really needed to get some non-FBI friends.
Julie James (Love Irresistibly (FBI/US Attorney, #4))
Violations of love in relation to others are punished by feelings of fear. The presence of fear indicates a wrong to be amended. Ignoring your feelings is an infringement of the Law of cause & effect. Your feeling is the effect. Suppressed feelings are a refusal to feel the effect after the cause. To release fear, you must be willing to feel the effect your previous actions have had on others. The mental hiding place of fear uses excuses to avoid feeling. Blame, judgment and projection are mental shields that fear hides behind. Willingness to take responsibility for your life ensures that the effect of your thoughts, words, and actions are immediate. If you impinge on another, you feel it instantly. Also, if there is an infringement on you by a friend or colleague, you feel the effect. If you ignore the feelings imposed on you by another it leads to a victim mentality. Feeling the effect of someone else’s action ensures they must take responsibility for their behavior towards you.
Collette O'Mahony (In Quest of Love: A Guide to Inner Harmony and Wellbeing in Relationships)
It was in the Cornish summer of his twelfth year that Peter began to notice just how different the worlds of children and grown-ups were. You could not exactly say that the parents never had fun. They went for swims - but never for longer than twenty minutes. They liked a game of volleyball, but only for half an hour or so. Occasionally they could be talked into hide-and-seek or lurky turkey or building a giant sand-castle, but those were special occasions. The fact was that all grown-ups, given half the chance, chose to sink into one of three activities on the beach: sitting around talking, reading newspapers and books, or snoozing. Their only exercise (if you could call it that) was long boring walks, and these were nothing more than excuses for more talking. On the beach, they often glanced at their watches and, long before anyone was hungry, began telling each other it was time to start thinking about lunch or supper. They invented errands for themselves - to the odd-job man who lived half a mile away, or to the garage in the village, or to the nearby town on shopping expeditions. They came back complaining about the holiday traffic, but of course they were the holiday traffic. These restless grown-ups made constant visits to the telephone box at the end of the lane to call their relatives, or their work, or their grown-up children. Peter noticed that most grown-ups could not begin their day happily until they had driven off to find a newspaper, the right newspaper. Others could not get through the day without cigarettes. Others had to have beer. Others could not get by without coffee. Some could not read a newspaper without smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee. Adults were always snapping their fingers and groaning because someone had returned from town and forgotten something; there was always one more thing needed, and promises were made to get it tomorrow - another folding chair, shampoo, garlic, sun-glasses, clothes pegs - as if the holiday could not be enjoyed, could not even begin, until all these useless items had been gathered up.
Ian McEwan (The Daydreamer)
Some addictions are clear. The homeless woman with the fresh track marks over years of scars. The man who loses his home and car to gambling debts and now is hiding from dangerous creditors. Some addictions are softer, easier to engage in and still get up and function every day. Those of us who take out a bag of chips or tray of muffins after a tough day. Or go shoe shopping for our 8th pair of black sandals that we are never going to wear. There are addictions that excuse us from society altogether, those that keep us barely afloat within it, and those that become a barrier between us and the rest of the world. It’s only a matter of degree, in the end. How do we define when we cross over into addiction territory? As a relationally-trained therapist, my answer is a simple one. When our addiction becomes our primary relationship. Maybe not in our hearts and heads. But in our behaviors, definitely. When we don’t have control over our addictions, we are spending time, resources, and energy on the addiction instead of the people we love. And instead of, let’s face it…ourselves.
Faith G. Harper (Unfuck Your Brain: Using Science to Get Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freak-Outs, and Triggers (Five Minute Therapy Book 1))
They may talk rapidly and say things that will rip your heart right out of your chest. They can be very invalidating. Their conscience is diminished during the mania, so they may do or say things that seem unconscionable. In their normal state of mind, they may be quite personable and conscientious. If you have friends or relatives who have this imbalance, you really need to not take what they say personally when they are manic. Most of us think things we would never actually say, but mania can be a direct thought-to-mouth process. During the mania, the prefrontal lobe of the brain is diminished, so their judgment is poor, even though they may think brilliantly. They are not in tune to the bigger picture of things or the consequences of what they do. They may intellectually know what they are doing, but they are not engaged in the bigger picture. They feel good, and they may have what I call the trilogy operating: ego, arrogance, and entitlement. I know you might think that people can always help what they say, but if you do think that, refer to the section above on narcissism. Sometimes they really can’t help it. I am not trying to make excuses for them. I am merely trying to point out that it is not personal. What
Jay Carter (Nasty People)
To bring under the sway of Christianity savage nations who do not attack us and whom we have therefore no excuse for oppressing, we ought before all things to leave them in peace, and in case we need or wish to enter into closer relations with them, we ought only to influence them by Christian manners and Christian teaching, setting them the example of the Christian virtues of patience, meekness, endurance, purity, brotherhood, and love. Instead of that we begin by establishing among them new markets for our commerce, with the sole aim of our own profit; then we appropriate their lands, i. e., rob them; then we sell them spirits, tobacco, and opium, i. e., corrupt them; then we establish our morals among them, teach them the use of violence and new methods of destruction, i, e., we teach them nothing but the animal law of strife, below which man cannot sink, and we do all we can to conceal from them all that is Christian in us. After this we send some dozens of missionaries prating to them of the hypocritical absurdities of the Church, and then quote the failure of our efforts to turn the heathen to Christianity as an incontrovertible proof of the impossibility of applying the truths of Christianity in practical life.
Leo Tolstoy (The Kingdom of God is Within You)
Bernard is caring, helpful, and enjoyable to be with. Everybody loves him. And he really loves people. But Bernard is a relational sprinter, not a marathoner. He’s there for you if you’re there. But it’s hard for Bernard to keep you in mind when he’s off helping another person. This trait has caused Bernard to be unsafe with his friends and family. They have learned the hard way that you cannot depend on him. He commits and commits and commits—but he does not come through. If you ask him to return the lawnmower he borrowed last week, don’t block out your mowing hours on your schedule anytime soon. Bernard isn’t a bad person, nor is he insincere. But he loves the intense warmth of being close to a person in the here-and-now. It gets somewhat addictive to him, and he can’t delay gratification to help a person who isn’t around, when another, in-the-flesh person is available. And so he routinely disappoints himself and his friends. He flunks the time test. For example, when Bernard and I would plan dinners or nights out, he was often late, and sometimes he wouldn’t show up at all. Of course he’d always have a great excuse about some emergency or crisis. Finally, I realized I wasn’t a “crisis,” so I didn’t make the cut. I learned that, over time, I shouldn’t depend on Bernard.
Henry Cloud (Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't)
People are free. Well, they can't fly on their own . . . but pretty much whatever they can think up, they can make happen. When they're sleepy, they can sleep. They're free to start or quit whatever they're doing whenever they want. And the only reason they don't is because things like social norms, laws, traditions and sentiment get in the way. Running naked through the streets . . . conning old people . . . killing . . . everything’s possible if you ignore morality. That's why they insist on teaching you cooperation and ethics when you're young- But the world is set up to force people to fight, cheat and steal as a default. Trying to live with that contradiction is torture. But in so many places happiness and sorrow are traded like stocks on wall street. What will it take for everyone to be happy? Who knows? But if a kid could figure it out, war would've gone extinct long time ago. I'd hate to trust the entire thing to politicians. They're just old men who have to dance to public opinion. The world is the embodiment of human nature exposed . . . There's no way for everyone to be happy. Happiness is relative anyway . . . and people want it that way. Evil is relative too. In order to protect her, a mother can turn into a demon. And it gets held up as inspirational. People go to war to protect kin and country. It's the same thing. Even if you pretend to be good fundamentally everyone has some negative aspects. It's amazing that no one knows that. Why? People have become so adept at excuses and shifting the blame . . . that they never even consider the possibility that they're culpable for their own problems.
Inio Asano (Goodnight Punpun Omnibus, Vol. 3)
Lfr Jp tZ~ LLtI~ A righteous [woman] who walks in [her] integrity-how blessed are [her] sons after [her]. -PROVERBS 20:7 My Bob often says, "Just do what you say you are going to do!" This has been our battle cry for more than 25 years. People get into relational problems because they forget to keep their promises. It's so easy to make a verbal promise for the moment and then grapple with the execution of that promise later. Sometimes we underestimate the consequences of not keeping the promise flippantly made in a moment of haste. Many times we aren't even aware we have made a promise. Someone says, "I'll call you at 7:00 tonight"; "I'll drop by before noon"; or "I'll call you to set up a breakfast meeting on Wednesday." Then the weak excuses begin to follow. "I called but no one answered" (even though you have voice mail and no message was left). "I got tied up and forgot." "I was too tired." I suggest that we don't make promises if we aren't going to keep them. The person on the other end would prefer not hearing a promise that isn't going to be kept. Yes, there will be times when the execution of a promise will have to be rescheduled, but be up front with the person when you call to change the time. We aren't perfect, but we can mentor proper relationship skills to our friends and family by exhibiting accountability in our words of promise. We teach people that we are trustworthy-and how they can be trusted too. You'll be pleased at how people will pleasantly be surprised when you keep your promises. As my friend Florence Littauer says, "It takes so little to be above average." When you develop a reputation for being a woman who does what she says, your life will have more meaning and people will enjoy being around you.
Emilie Barnes (The Tea Lover's Devotional)
It would be futile to delude ourselves that at present, readers find every pathography unsavory. This attitude is excused with the reproach that from a pathographic elaboration of a great man one never obtains an understanding of his importance and his attainments, that it is therefore useless mischief to study in him things which could just as well be found in the first comer. However, this criticism is so clearly unjust that it can only be grasped when viewed as a pretext and a disguise for something. As a matter of fact pathography does not aim at making comprehensible the attainments of the great man; no one should really be blamed for not doing something which one never promised. The real motives for the opposition are quite different. One finds them when one bears in mind that biographers are fixed on their heroes in quite a peculiar manner. Frequently they take the hero as the object of study because, for reasons of their personal emotional life, they bear him a special affection from the very outset. They then devote themselves to a work of idealization which strives to enroll the great men among their infantile models, and to revive through him, as it were, the infantile conception of the father. For the sake of this wish they wipe out the individual features in his physiognomy, they rub out the traces of his life's struggle with inner and outer resistances, and do not tolerate in him anything of human weakness or imperfection; they then give us a cold, strange, ideal form instead of the man to whom we could feel distantly related. It is to be regretted that they do this, for they thereby sacrifice the truth to an illusion, and for the sake of their infantile phantasies they let slip the opportunity to penetrate into the most attractive secrets of human nature.
Sigmund Freud (Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood)
Democracy’s brand was also damaged by America’s reaction to the Al Qaeda attacks in 2001. George W. Bush’s response to 9/11 dealt a twin blow to Western democracy’s allure. The first came in the form of the Patriot Act, which paved the way for spying on American citizens and gave the green light to multiple dilutions of US constitutional liberties. That imperative was then extended to America’s relations with any country, democratic or not, which pledged to cooperate in the ‘war on terror’. Autocrats such as Putin and Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf went from pariahs to soul brothers almost overnight. When the Bush administration said ‘You are either with us or against us,’ it was referring to the opening of ‘black sites’ where the CIA could waterboard terrorist suspects, and the no-questions-asked exchanges of terrorist lists against which there was little prospect of appeal – a practice known in international law as refoulement. This gave undemocratic regimes an excuse to logroll domestic opponents onto the international lists, with devastating effects on political rights around the world. In the decade after 9/11, the number of Interpol red notices rose eightfold.3 Such practices belied Bush’s democratic agenda. For example, it robbed the US of the moral standing to criticise the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a China-backed body of central Asian autocracies that today operates its own refoulement exchanges of political dissidents in the name of counter-terrorism. The Bush administration’s approach was also geopolitically shortsighted. Just as the West’s support for the Afghan jihad against the Soviets in the 1980s laid the ground for the rise of Islamist terrorism, so America’s Faustian post-9/11 pacts with autocratic regimes helped sow the seeds for the world’s current democratic recession. That is certain to deepen under Trump.
Edward Luce (The Retreat of Western Liberalism)
Gray helped himself to more toast, taking the opportunity to slide an extra slice onto Miss Turner’s plate. She glanced up at him, her expression a mixture of shock and reproach. And this was his reward for generosity. He gave a tense shrug by way of excuse, then replaced the knife and fork and busied himself with his own food. He felt her staring at him. That was it. If she was entitled to stare at him, he was damned well going to stare back. And if this governess was going to reprimand him like an incorrigible charge…well, then Gray was going to misbehave. Letting his silver clatter to the china, he balled his hands into fists and plunked them down on either side of his plate. “You say you miss your family, Miss Turner? I wonder at it. Her glare was cold. “You do?” “You told me in Gravesend you’d nowhere to turn.” “I spoke the truth.” Her chin lifted. “I’ve been missing my family since long before I felt England.” “So they’re dead?” She fidgeted with her fork. “Some.” “But not all?” He leaned toward her and spoke in a low voice, though anyone who cared to listen might hear. “What sort of relations allow a young woman to cross an ocean unaccompanied, to labor as a plantation governess? I should think you’d be glad to be free of them.” She blinked. He picked up his fork and jabbed at a hunk of meat. His voice a low murmur, he directed the next question at his plate. “Or perhaps they’re glad to be free of you?” Something crushed his foot under the table. A pointy-heeled boot. Then, just as quickly, the pressure eased. But her foot remained atop his. The gesture was infuriating, and somehow wildly erotic. He met her gaze, and this time found no coldness, no reproach. Instead, her eyes were wide, beseeching. They called to something deep inside him he hadn’t known was there. Please, she mouthed. Don’t. She bit her lip, and he felt it as a visceral tug. That unused part of him stretched and ached. And at that instant, Gray would have sworn they were the only two souls in the room. In the world. Until Wiggins spoke again, confound the man.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
If you can imagine this, perhaps you can understand that someone from another planet who came to visit us would have a similar experience with humans. But it isn’t our skin that is full of wounds. What the visitor would discover is that the human mind is sick with a disease called fear. Just like the description of the infected skin, the emotional body is full of wounds, and these wounds are infected with emotional poison. The manifestation of the disease of fear is anger, hate, sadness, envy, and hypocrisy; the result of the disease is all the emotions that make humans suffer. All humans are mentally sick with the same disease. We can even say that this world is a mental hospital. But this mental disease has been in this world for thousands of years, and the medical books, the psychiatric books, and the psychology books describe the disease as normal. They consider it normal, but I can tell you it is not normal. When the fear becomes too great, the reasoning mind starts to fail and can no longer take all those wounds with all the poison. In the psychology books we call this a mental illness. We call it schizophrenia, paranoia, psychosis, but these diseases are created when the reasoning mind is so frightened and the wounds so painful, that it becomes better to break contact with the outside world. Humans live in continuous fear of being hurt, and this creates a big drama wherever we go. The way humans relate to each other is so emotionally painful that for no apparent reason we get angry, jealous, envious, sad. To even say “I love you” can be frightening. But even if it’s painful and fearful to have an emotional interaction, still we keep going, we enter into a relationship, we get married, and we have children. In order to protect our emotional wounds, and because of our fear of being hurt, humans create something very sophisticated in the mind: a big denial system. In that denial system we become the perfect liars. We lie so perfectly that we lie to ourselves and we even believe our own lies. We don’t notice we are lying, and sometimes even when we know we are lying, we justify the lie and excuse the lie to protect ourselves from the pain of our wounds.
Miguel Ruiz (The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship --Toltec Wisdom Book)
1. Do you recall anyone drinking or taking drugs or being involved in some other behavior that you now believe could be dysfunctional? 2. Did you avoid bringing friends to your home because of drinking or some other dysfunctional behavior in the home? 3. Did one of your parents make excuses for the other parent’s drinking or other behaviors? 4. Did your parents focus on each other so much that they seemed to ignore you? 5. Did your parents or relatives argue constantly? 6. Were you drawn into arguments or disagreements and asked to choose sides with one parent or relative against another? 7. Did you try to protect your brothers or sisters against drinking or other behavior in the family? 8. As an adult, do you feel immature? Do you feel like you are a child inside? 9. As an adult, do you believe you are treated like a child when you interact with your parents? Are you continuing to live out a childhood role with the parents? 10. Do you believe that it is your responsibility to take care of your parents’ feelings or worries? Do other relatives look to you to solve their problems? 11. Do you fear authority figures and angry people? 12. Do you constantly seek approval or praise but have difficulty accepting a compliment when one comes your way? 13. Do you see most forms of criticism as a personal attack? 14. Do you over commit yourself and then feel angry when others do not appreciate what you do? 15. Do you think you are responsible for the way another person feels or behaves? 16. Do you have difficulty identifying feelings? 17. Do you focus outside yourself for love or security? 18. Do you involve yourself in the problems of others? Do you feel more alive when there is a crisis? 19. Do you equate sex with intimacy? 20. Do you confuse love and pity? 21. Have you found yourself in a relationship with a compulsive or dangerous person and wonder how you got there? 22. Do you judge yourself without mercy and guess at what is normal? 23. Do you behave one way in public and another way at home? 24. Do you think your parents had a problem with drinking or taking drugs? 25. Do you think you were affected by the drinking or other dysfunctional behavior of your parents or family? If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you may be suffering from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or other dysfunctional family. As The Laundry List states, you can be affected even if you did not take a drink. Please read Chapter Two to learn more about these effects.
Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization (Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families)
In Western culture today, you decide to get married because you feel an attraction to the other person. You think he or she is wonderful. But a year or two later—or, just as often, a month or two—three things usually happen. First, you begin to find out how selfish this wonderful person is. Second, you discover that the wonderful person has been going through a similar experience and he or she begins to tell you how selfish you are. And third, though you acknowledge it in part, you conclude that your spouse’s selfishness is more problematic than your own. This is especially true if you feel that you’ve had a hard life and have experienced a lot of hurt. You say silently, “OK, I shouldn’t do that—but you don’t understand me.” The woundedness makes us minimize our own selfishness. And that’s the point at which many married couples arrive after a relatively brief period of time. So what do you do then? There are at least two paths to take. First, you could decide that your woundedness is more fundamental than your self-centeredness and determine that unless your spouse sees the problems you have and takes care of you, it’s not going to work out. Of course, your spouse will probably not do this—especially if he or she is thinking almost the exact same thing about you! And so what follows is the development of emotional distance and, perhaps, a slowly negotiated kind of détente or ceasefire. There is an unspoken agreement not to talk about some things. There are some things your spouse does that you hate, but you stop talking about them as long as he or she stops bothering you about certain other things. No one changes for the other; there is only tit-for-tat bargaining. Couples who settle for this kind of relationship may look happily married after forty years, but when it’s time for the anniversary photo op, the kiss will be forced. The alternative to this truce-marriage is to determine to see your own selfishness as a fundamental problem and to treat it more seriously than you do your spouse’s. Why? Only you have complete access to your own selfishness, and only you have complete responsibility for it. So each spouse should take the Bible seriously, should make a commitment to “give yourself up.” You should stop making excuses for selfishness, you should begin to root it out as it’s revealed to you, and you should do so regardless of what your spouse is doing. If two spouses each say, “I’m going to treat my self-centeredness as the main problem in the marriage,” you have the prospect of a truly great marriage. It Only Takes One to Begin
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
I read Dickens and Shakespear without shame or stint; but their pregnant observations and demonstrations of life are not co-ordinated into any philosophy or religion: on the contrary, Dickens's sentimental assumptions are violently contradicted by his observations; and Shakespear's pessimism is only his wounded humanity. Both have the specific genius of the fictionist and the common sympathies of human feeling and thought in pre-eminent degree. They are often saner and shrewder than the philosophers just as Sancho-Panza was often saner and shrewder than Don Quixote. They clear away vast masses of oppressive gravity by their sense of the ridiculous, which is at bottom a combination of sound moral judgment with lighthearted good humor. But they are concerned with the diversities of the world instead of with its unities: they are so irreligious that they exploit popular religion for professional purposes without delicacy or scruple (for example, Sydney Carton and the ghost in Hamlet!): they are anarchical, and cannot balance their exposures of Angelo and Dogberry, Sir Leicester Dedlock and Mr Tite Barnacle, with any portrait of a prophet or a worthy leader: they have no constructive ideas: they regard those who have them as dangerous fanatics: in all their fictions there is no leading thought or inspiration for which any man could conceivably risk the spoiling of his hat in a shower, much less his life. Both are alike forced to borrow motives for the more strenuous actions of their personages from the common stockpot of melodramatic plots; so that Hamlet has to be stimulated by the prejudices of a policeman and Macbeth by the cupidities of a bushranger. Dickens, without the excuse of having to manufacture motives for Hamlets and Macbeths, superfluously punt his crew down the stream of his monthly parts by mechanical devices which I leave you to describe, my own memory being quite baffled by the simplest question as to Monks in Oliver Twist, or the long lost parentage of Smike, or the relations between the Dorrit and Clennam families so inopportunely discovered by Monsieur Rigaud Blandois. The truth is, the world was to Shakespear a great "stage of fools" on which he was utterly bewildered. He could see no sort of sense in living at all; and Dickens saved himself from the despair of the dream in The Chimes by taking the world for granted and busying himself with its details. Neither of them could do anything with a serious positive character: they could place a human figure before you with perfect verisimilitude; but when the moment came for making it live and move, they found, unless it made them laugh, that they had a puppet on their hands, and had to invent some artificial external stimulus to make it work.
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
All this shows a very mediocre idea of oneself - always imputing misfortune to some objective cause. Once it has been exorcized by causes, misfortune is no longer a problem: it becomes susceptible of a causal solution and, above all, it originates elsewhere - in original sin, in history, in the social order, or in natural perversion. In short, it originates in an objectivity into which we exile it the better to be rid of it. Once again, this bespeaks very little pride and self-respect. In the past, what struck you down was your destiny, your personal fatum. You didn't look for some 'objective' cause of this or some attenuating circumstance, which would amount to saying we have no part in what happens to us. There is something humiliating in that. The intelligence of evil begins with the hypothesis that our ills come to us from an evil genius that is our own. Let us be worthy of our 'perversity' of our evil genius, let us measure up to our tragic involvement in what happens to us (including good fortune). In a word, let us not be imbeciles, for imbecility in the literal sense lies in the superficial reference to misfortune and exemption from evil. This is how we make imbeciles of the victims themselves, by confining them to their condition of victim. And by the compassion we show them we engage in a kind of false advertising for them. We take no account of what degree of choice and defiance, of connivence with oneself, of - unconscious or quasi-deliberate - provocative relation to evil there may be in AIDS, in drug-taking, in suffering and alienation, in voluntary servitude - in this acting-out in the fatal zone. It is the same with suicide, which is always ascribed to depressive motivations with no account taken of an originality of, an original will to commit, the act itself (Canetti speaks in the same way of the interpretation of dreams as a violence done to dreams that takes no account of their literalness). So, the understanding of misfortune is everywhere substituted for the intelligence of evil. Now, unlike the former, this latter rests on the rejection of the presumption of innocence. By contrast with that understanding, we are all presumptive wrongdoers - but not responsible ones, for, in the last instance, we do not have to answer for ourselves - that is the business of destiny or of the divinity. For the act we commit, it is right we should be dealt with - and indeed punished - accordingly. We are never innocent of that act in the sense of having nothing to do with it or being victims of it. But this does not mean we are answerable for it either, as that would suppose we were answerable for ourselves, that we were invested with total power over ourselves, which is a subjective illusion. It's a good thing we don't possess that power or that responsibility. A good thing we are not the causes of ourselves - that at least confers some degree of innocence on us. For the rest, we are forever complicit in what we do, even if we are not answerable to anyone. So we are both irresponsible and without excuses. Never explain, never complain.
Jean Baudrillard (The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact)
Christ was an Aryan, and St. Paul used his doctrine to mobilise the criminal underworld and thus organise a proto-Bolshevism. This intrusion upon the world marks the end of a long reign, that of the clear Graeco-Latin genius. What is this God who takes pleasure only in seeing men grovel before Him? Try to picture to yourselves the meaning of the following, quite simple story. God creates the conditions for sin. Later on He succeeds, with the help of the Devil, in causing man to sin. Then He employs a virgin to bring into the world a son who, by His death, will redeem humanity! I can imagine people being enthusiastic about the paradise of Mahomet, but as for the insipid paradise of the Christians ! In your lifetime, you used to hear the music of Richard Wagner. After your death, it will be nothing but hallelujahs, the waving of palms, children of an age for the feeding-bottle, and hoary old men. The man of the isles pays homage to the forces of nature. But Christianity is an invention of sick brains : one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery. A negro with his tabus is crushingly superior to the human being who seriously believes in Transubstantiation. I begin to lose all respect for humanity when I think that some people on our side, Ministers or generals, are capable of believing that we cannot triumph without the blessing of the Church. Such a notion is excusable in little children who have learnt nothing else. For thirty years the Germans tore each other to pieces simply in order to know whether or not they should take Communion in both kinds. There's nothing lower than religious notions like that. From that point of view, one can envy the Japanese. They have a religion which is very simple and brings them into contact with nature. They've succeeded even in taking Christianity and turning it into a religion that's less shocking to the intellect. By what would you have me replace the Christians' picture of the Beyond? What comes naturally to mankind is the sense of eternity and that sense is at the bottom of every man. The soul and the mind migrate, just as the body returns to nature. Thus life is eternally reborn from life. As for the "why?" of all that, I feel no need to rack my brains on the subject. The soul is unplumbable. If there is a God, at the same time as He gives man life He gives him intelligence. By regulating my life according to the understanding that is granted me, I may be mistaken, but I act in good faith. The concrete image of the Beyond that religion forces on me does not stand up to examination. Think of those who look down from on high upon what happens on earth: what a martyrdom for them, to see human beings indefatigably repeating the same gestures, and inevitably the same errors ! In my view, H. S. Chamberlain was mistaken in regarding Christianity as a reality upon the spiritual level. Man judges everything in relation to himself. What is bigger than himself is big, what is smaller is small. Only one thing is certain, that one is part of the spectacle. Everyone finds his own rôle. Joy exists for everybody. I dream of a state of affairs in which every man would know that he lives and dies for the preservation of the species. It's our duty to encourage that idea : let the man who distinguishes himself in the service of the species be thought worthy of the highest honours.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
Forgive me I hope you are feeling better. I am, thank you. Will you not sit down? In vain I have struggled. It will not do! My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. In declaring myself thus I'm fully aware that I will be going expressly against the wishes of my family, my friends, and, I hardly need add, my own better judgement. The relative situation of our families is such that any alliance between us must be regarded as a highly reprehensible connection. Indeed as a rational man I cannot but regard it as such myself, but it cannot be helped. Almost from the earliest moments of our acquaintance I have come to feel for you a passionate admiration and regard, which despite of my struggles, has overcome every rational objection. And I beg you, most fervently, to relieve my suffering and consent to be my wife. In such cases as these, I believe the established mode is to express a sense of obligation. But I cannot. I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I'm sorry to cause pain to anyone, but it was most unconsciously done, and, I hope, will be of short duration. And this is all the reply I am to expect? I might wonder why, with so little effort at civility, I am rejected. And I might wonder why, with so evident a desire to offend and insult me you chose to tell me that you like me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character! Was this not some excuse for incivility if I was uncivil? I have every reason in the world to think ill of you. Do you think any consideration would tempt me to accept the man who has been the means of ruining the happiness of a most beloved sister? Can you deny that you have done it? I have no wish to deny it. I did everything in my power to separate my friend from your sister, and I rejoice in my success. Towards him I have been kinder than towards myself. But it's not merely that on which my dislike of you is founded. Long before it had taken place, my dislike of you was decided when I heard Mr Wickham's story of your dealings with him. How can you defend yourself on that subject? You take an eager interest in that gentleman's concerns! And of your infliction! You have reduced him to his present state of poverty, and yet you can treat his misfortunes with contempt and ridicule! And this is your opinion of me? My faults by this calculation are heavy indeed, but perhaps these offences might have been overlooked, had not your pride been hurt by the honest confession of the scruples that had long prevented my forming any serious design on you, had I concealed my struggles and flattered you. But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence. Nor am I ashamed of the feelings I related. They were natural and just could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? To congratulate myself on the hope of relations whose condition in life is so decidedly below my own? You are mistaken, Mr Darcy. The mode of your declaration merely spared me any concern I might have felt in refusing you had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner. You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it. From the very beginning, your manners impressed me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain for the feelings of others. I had known you a month before I felt you were the last man in the world whom I could ever marry! You have said quite enough, madam. I perfectly comprehend your feelings and now have only to be ashamed of what my own have been. Please forgive me for having taken up your time and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness. Forgive me. I hope you are feeling better. I am, thank you. Will you no
Jane Austen
A related issue to the Anthropic Principle is the so-called “god-of-the-gaps” in which theists argue that the (shrinking) number of issues that science has not yet explained require the existence of a god. For example, science has not (yet) been able to demonstrate the creation of a primitive life-form in the laboratory from non-living material (though US geneticist Craig Venter’s recent demonstration lays claim to having created such a laboratory synthetic life-form, the “Mycoplasma Laboratorium”). It is therefore concluded that a god is necessary to account for this step because of the “gap” in scientific knowledge. The issue of creating life in the laboratory (and other similar “gap” issues such as those in the fossil record) is reminiscent of other such “gaps” in the history of science that have since been bridged. For example, the laboratory synthesis of urea from inorganic materials by Friedrich Wöhler in 1828 at that time had nearly as much impact on religious believers as Copernicus’s heliocentric universe proposal. From the time of the Ancient Egyptians, the doctrine of vitalism had been dominant. Vitalism argued that the functions of living organisms included a “vital force” and therefore were beyond the laws of physics and chemistry. Urea (carbamide) is a natural metabolite found in the urine of animals that had been widely used in agriculture as a fertilizer and in the production of phosphorus. However, Friedrich Wöhler was the first to demonstrate that a natural organic material could be synthesized from inorganic materials (a combination of silver isocyanate and ammonium chloride leads to urea as one of its products). The experiment led Wöhler famously to write to a fellow chemist that it was “the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact,” that is, the slaying of vitalism by urea in a Petri dish. In practice, it took more than just Wöhler’s demonstration to slay vitalism as a scientific doctrine, but the synthesis of urea in the laboratory is one of the key advances in science in which the “gap” between the inorganic and the organic was finally bridged. And Wöhler certainly pissed on the doctrine of vitalism, if you will excuse a very bad joke.
Mick Power (Adieu to God: Why Psychology Leads to Atheism)
Apropos of Mein Kampf, I remember an amusing incident which Ishall relate here, though it is anticipating my story by several years. It took place at the Nazi Party Congress at Nurnberg in 1927. I had been a member of the Party for two-and-a-half years, and presented the annual report. In the course of it I quoted a few phrases from Mein Kampf and this caused a certain sensation. That evening, at dinner with several colleagues Feder Kaufmann Koch and others, they asked me if I had really read the book, with which not one of them seemed to be familiar I admitted having quoted some significant passages from it without bothering my head about the context. This caused general amusement and it was agreed that the first person who joined us who had read Mein Kampf should pay the bill for us all. Gregor answer when he arrived was a resounding no. Goebbels shook his head guiltily, Goering burst into loud laughter and Count Reventlow excused himself on the ground that he had no time. No body had read Mein Kampf, so everybody had to pay his own bill.
Otto Strasser (Hitler And I)
Cambridge, Oct. 28. 1811. "Dear Madam, "I am about to write to you on a silly subject, and yet I cannot well do otherwise. You may remember a cornelian, which some years ago I consigned to Miss ——, indeed gave to her, and now I am going to make the most selfish and rude of requests. The person who gave it to me, when I was very young, is dead, and though a long time has elapsed since we met, as it was the only memorial I possessed of that person (in whom I was very much interested), it has acquired a value by this event I could have wished it never to have borne in my eyes. If, therefore, Miss —— should have preserved it, I must, under these circumstances, beg her to excuse my requesting it to be transmitted to me at No. 8. St. James's Street, London, and I will replace it by something she may remember me by equally well. As she was always so kind as to feel interested in the fate of him that formed the subject of our conversation, you may tell her that the giver of that cornelian died in May last of a consumption, at the age of twenty-one, making the sixth, within four months, of friends and relatives that I have lost between May and the end of August. "Believe me, dear Madam, yours very sincerely, "Byron. "P.S. I go to London to-morrow.
Thomas Moore (Life of Lord Byron With His Letters and Journals, Volume 1)
While dating, couples are on their best behavior. They listen attentively, laugh at each other’s jokes, and choose to believe the best about each other. Married couples tend to be more honest, raw, and real. While this can be good—because raw emotions and serious conversations add much to the relationship—don’t forget to put your best foot forward, too. Marriage is not an excuse for relational laziness. Happy couples put their best foot forward day after day.
Jed Jurchenko (131 Necessary Conversations Before Marriage: Insightful, highly-caffeinated, Christ-honoring conversation starters for dating and engaged couples! (Creative Conversation Starters))
Excuse me, what does 'no appreciable relation' mean'? In what proportion is reality appreciable or not?
Stanisław Lem
How was your conversation with Rose ? You're still in one piece, so I presume it went well." Lo chokes on a sip of whatever's in his flask, and I pat his back. "Excuse me," Lo says. "You talked with Rose? Like had a fully formed conversation ?" Connor nods. "I even invited her tonight." Lo groans. "You did not invite the ice queen here." "Hey," I shoot back. "That's my sister. She has a good heart." I pause. "You just have to be liked by her first." "Or be related to her," Lo points out. True.
Krista Ritchie (Addicted to You (Addicted, #1))
What is the sum of not recognizing the tremendous need for self reflection of all entities of our time. History repeats itself, easily predicted by the primitive parts of psychology. There's only one excuse for inaction, fear, or the lack of foresight. Furthermore, if democracy is the way - a thousand astronomers may be more effective in dealing with issues regarding the stars - and so on. Though perhaps there may be universal issues directly related to the human experience. There's also significant cause for concern with regards to larger variations or differences in lifestyle, preferences/ideologies, merits, psychology and various corruptions which may arise. Favouring the political directions who are able to produce, raise or educate the most babies and then gets to decide the fate of all the rest. There is difficulty in adressing issues when there is a great need for balance between short-term and long-term good. Whatever system of governance, with ways of bringing those carrying the merits, discipline and good hearts to surface like buoyancy, necessary to secure a good future for all. The paradox of calling for the good to rise up - is how those truly good may often fail to recognize their part of the intended audience, being too humble in accepting their own worth. Let's be thankful, for nature lead us to solution. In this case, the birds.
Monaristw
What is the sum of not recognizing the tremendous need for self reflection of all entities in our times. History repeats itself, easily predicted by the primitive parts of psychology. There's only one excuse for inaction, fear, or the lack of foresight. Furthermore, if democracy is the way - a thousand astronomers may be more effective in dealing with issues regarding the stars - and so on. Though perhaps there may be universal issues directly related to the human experience. There's also significant cause for concern with regards to larger variations or differences in lifestyle, preferences/ideologies, merits, psychology and various corruptions which may arise. Favouring the political directions who are able to produce, raise or educate the most babies and then gets to decide the fate of all the rest. There is difficulty in adressing issues when there is a great need for balance between short-term and long-term good. Whatever system of governance, with ways of bringing those carrying the merits, discipline and good hearts to surface like buoyancy, necessary to secure a good future for all. The paradox of calling for the good to rise up - is how those truly good may often fail to recognize their part of the intended audience, being too humble in accepting their own worth. And, to recognize those primitive tendencies of an elevated ego. Let's be thankful, for nature inspire many solutions.
Monaristw
From Alexander the Platonic, not frequently nor without necessity to say to any one, or to write in a letter, that I have no leisure; nor continually to excuse the neglect of duties required by our relation to those with whom we live, by alleging urgent occupations.
Marcus Aurelius (The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius)
Many blacks must know that newly arrived Asians are a powerful threat to the theory of white racism. When these nonwhites with little education, who hardly speak English, get ahead through determination and hard work, it undercuts blacks’ excuses. Asian successes are galling for another reason. Asians never had black slaves, never supported the KKK or joined lynch mobs. It is hard to persuade Korean grocers to go along with special treatment for blacks in the name of historical redress.
Jared Taylor (Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America)
You know a lot, Ash. You’ve outlived everyone who remembers your time... You even defeated the mage who could turn illusions into reality... You are the strongest and the oldest of the Immortals… You could easily become a god and ascend to the Seventh Heaven if you wanted to, but... you still live in the mortal world. Why?” The wizard shrugged, “I like it when the stars are above my head, not under my feet. Besides, mortal girls are more compliant than goddesses.” “Come on! That’s no excuse! You managed to get with the Goddess of Love, and her daughter…. at the same time!” “In my defense, I didn’t know they were related.
Kirill Klevanski (Path to the Glory (Dragon Heart, #12))
Companies will either make up an excuse related to performance or just dismiss you without explanation.
Laurie Ruettimann (Betting on You: How to Put Yourself First and (Finally) Take Control of Your Career)
All-or-nothing thinking is when you see things as only black or white and either-or. For example, if you make a mistake while giving a speech, you think you are a total failure; or if a friend acts distant on the telephone, you believe he or she doesn’t like you anymore. Labeling is an extension of all-or-nothing thinking. When you make a mistake, instead of accepting that you made an error, you label yourself an idiot. If your girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with you, instead of realizing that he or she doesn’t love you, you call yourself unlovable. Overgeneralizing is basing conclusions on isolated events, then applying them across diverse situations. If you spill a soda, you think, “I’m always a klutz.” If you can’t think of something to say when introduced to someone new, you think, “I never make a good impression.” The tip-off to this type of thinking is use of the word “always” or “never.” Mental filtering is when you remember and dwell on only the negative elements of an event. For instance, after a party, you remember the awkward pauses in conversations, feeling uncomfortable, and forgetting people’s names, while you forget all moments when you had good conversations, introduced yourself to someone new, and when someone paid you a compliment. Discounting the positive is somewhat related to mental filtering. It is when you do something well, such as give a good speech, but make excuses like “It doesn’t count” or “Anyone could have done it” and feel the accomplishment wasn’t good enough. Jumping to conclusions is making negative interpretations about events when there is no evidence to support them. There are generally two forms of jumping to conclusions. In “mind reading,” you believe that someone is reacting negatively to you without checking it out. For instance, if two people stop their conversation when you walk up to them, you assume that they were gossiping about you. In “fortune telling,” you anticipate that things will turn out badly. If you fear taking tests, for example, you always feel that you will fail, even before you start the test. Magnification is exaggerating the importance of problems. For instance, if you don’t do well on a test, you believe you are going to fail the entire semester. Emotional reasoning is when you mistake your emotions for reality. For example, you feel lonely; therefore, you think no one likes you. ”Should” and “shouldn’t” statements are ways of thinking that make you feel that you are never good enough. Even though you do well on a job interview, you think, “I should have said this,” or “I shouldn’t have said that.” Other words that indicate this type of thinking are “ought to” and “have to.” Personalizing the blame is holding yourself responsible for things beyond your control. For instance, you are on your way to study with a group of classmates and you get stuck in traffic. Instead of realizing and accepting that the traffic problem is out of your control, you think you are irresponsible because you are going to be late.
Heather Moehn (Social Anxiety)
The film stopped and Colin Jackson was asked for his opinion. After Colin refuted the nonsense with a scientific study – which he was actually a part of – that found that both black and white athletes have the ‘fast twitch’ muscle that is apparently the ‘key’ to sprinting, the commentator’s response was: ‘But are we at the point now where if you are a very talented athlete at fourteen/fifteen/sixteen, and you are white, you are almost institutionally programmed to think that you won’t be able to compete at the highest level in the sprint?’ This is a very revealing question from a white public figure, because when black people assert that representation is important, that having role models you can relate to and who look like you is helpful, they are often accused of making excuses, playing the race card or wanting special treatment. Yet here, before the 200 metres final, was a public service broadcaster asserting that, actually, it does matter, and that seeing black people win, in a competition that no white people have ever been barred by law from entering, or in any way discriminated from participating in, could still discourage white teenagers from bothering to even try. Wow.
Akala
The film stopped and Colin Jackson was asked for his opinion. After Colin refuted the nonsense with a scientific study – which he was actually a part of – that found that both black and white athletes have the ‘fast twitch’ muscle that is apparently the ‘key’ to sprinting, the commentator’s response was: ‘But are we at the point now where if you are a very talented athlete at fourteen/fifteen/sixteen, and you are white, you are almost institutionally programmed to think that you won’t be able to compete at the highest level in the sprint?’ This is a very revealing question from a white public figure, because when black people assert that representation is important, that having role models you can relate to and who look like you is helpful, they are often accused of making excuses, playing the race card or wanting special treatment. Yet here, before the 200 metres final, was a public service broadcaster asserting that, actually, it does matter, and that seeing black people win, in a competition that no white people have ever been barred by law from entering, or in any way discriminated from participating in, could still discourage white teenagers from bothering to even try. Wow.
Akala
When the shadow of the cross hangs over our marriage, we live and relate differently. We are no longer afraid to look at ourselves. We are no longer surprised by our sin. We no longer have to work to present ourselves as righteous. We say good-bye to finger-pointing and self-excusing. We abandon our record of wrongs. We settle issues quickly. And we do all these things because we know that everything we need to confess has already been forgiven, and what is needed for every new step we will take has already been supplied. We can live in the liberating light of humility and honesty, a needy and tender sinner living with a needy and tender sinner, no longer defensive and no longer afraid, together growing nearer to one another as we grow to be more like him.
Paul David Tripp (What Did You Expect?: Redeeming The Realities Of Marriage)
Have you ever seen the teacher of an art class at work? Frequently he will find in the drawing of one pupil a flaw which is so typical of most students’ work at the same stage that he will call the other pupils of the class around the easel. Using the imperfect canvas as his text, he will branch into criticism, advice, exhortation, and will occasionally go on to rub out the mistake and draw the line or put in the color as it should have been done. If you will observe the group at this moment you will discover that, tragically enough, everyone seems to be benefiting by the lecture except the very pupil to whom it should be most valuable. In almost every case the one whose work is providing the example will be quivering, nervous, sometimes tearful, often angry—in short, giving every sign that he is feeling so personally humiliated and insulted that he is reacting at an infantile level. If you ask for help, or put yourself into the relation of a pupil to a teacher, learn to advance by your mistakes instead of suffering through them. Keep your attitude impersonal while you are being shown the road back to the right procedure. If you are in school, or taking class or private instruction, it is wise to take every opportunity to ask well-considered questions, then to act on the information, and finally—and very important—to report to your instructor as to your success or failure through following his advice. This is of advantage not only to you, but to him and his subsequent pupils, since he cannot know what practices are effective and what are only useful to himself and a few like him unless his pupils report in this fashion. If you must consistently report no progress, then one of two things must be true: that you are not fully understanding him, or that you are not working under the right master. After your period of apprenticeship is over, try not to weaken yourself or bring about self-doubt to such an extent that you must have help on minor points of procedure. Every physician and psychiatrist knows that there is a great class of “sufferers” who return again and again, asking so many and such trivial questions that it seems unlikely they could ever have grown to maturity if they were as helpless in all relations as they show themselves to their physicians. No one except a charlatan truly welcomes the appearance of such patients as these. The person who is looking for an excuse to blame his failure on another or who will not, if he can help it, grow up and settle his own difficulties, will go on asking advice until he draws his last breath, and even the astutest consultant may be forgiven if he sometimes mistakes an infrequent questioner for one of the weaker type. A good touchstone to show whether you may be only following a nervous habit of dependence is to ask yourself in every case: “Would I ask this if I had to pay a specialist’s fee for the answer?
Dorothea Brande (Wake Up and Live!: A Formula for Success That Really Works!)
He/She Gets Angry When Questioned Where you were until now just riles him/her up like the Hulk. He/she hates being questioned about their whereabouts. Their stories won’t match, their tone and pitch will change paces and they will try to avoid talking about it altogether. He/She Stays Up Late A sudden shift in their bedtime routine indicates an affair. Cheating partners consider a partner’s sleeping time as the safest to text or message their new love interest. His/Her Stories Seem Inconsistent Sometimes they won’t say a word about where they were and sometimes they would give away too much. When asked if a friend was there with them too, they will not only confirm their presence but also tell you about all the other people who were there, including someone’s pets. Too much information is another sign that there is something fishy going on or else they won’t be this particular about it. There Is No Intimacy Not just physically, but you also find them emotionally distant from you. Even when they are with you, their mind doesn’t seem to be. They have also lost interest in sex and always make excuses like being tired, not in the mood, had chili beef in the office and feeling bloated, etc. They Never Put Their Phone Down If they seem to be stuck with their phone all the time and even taking it with them when taking the trash or going for a bath, it is a sure tell sign that there is something in that phone they don’t want you to know about. He/She Pays Attention to Himself/Herself It’s always appraisable that your spouse dresses up for you, but if they are suddenly worried about how they look naked or whether they should get a bikini wax or not, it’s probably an effort to look good for someone other than you. You Only Get One-Word Answers from Them You sense a barrier in your communications because they have resorted to a yes, no, or hmm at most. When partners lose interest in their spouses or are having an affair, they fear to communicate too much. They want to play it carefully and not say or do something that would get them caught. They Are Spending Too Much If all of a sudden you notice too many credit card bills and receipts in their pockets and yet you don’t receive any supposed gifts, then someone else is on the receiving end of them. When asked, they will always have an explanation over how they had to lend some money to a friend, how they had to pitch in the last minute for an office party for a guy’s farewell or how they had to pay a medical bill of some relative. He/He’s Doing Things They Hated Before Remember the time you asked them to go golfing with you and they flat out refused and joked about how it’s an old man’s sport? Look who is all polo shirts and hats now! If their interests have changed all of a sudden and they are doing stuff they hated, know something is up.
Rachael Chapman (Healthy Relationships: Overcome Anxiety, Couple Conflicts, Insecurity and Depression without therapy. Stop Jealousy and Negative Thinking. Learn how to have a Happy Relationship with anyone.)
Congress should also prohibit the appointment of relatives in the first and second degrees from positions other than on honorary boards and commissions with minor duties. When John F. Kennedy made his brother Robert attorney general in 1961 he may have made a wise choice, but that decision should not excuse nepotism in a nation with no shortage of talent for high government positions. As Sarah Kendzior and others have shown, nepotism is an early indicator of likely criminality and dictatorial tendencies. Two
David Cay Johnston (The Big Cheat: How Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family)
Congress should also prohibit the appointment of relatives in the first and second degrees from positions other than on honorary boards and commissions with minor duties. When John F. Kennedy made his brother Robert attorney general in 1961 he may have made a wise choice, but that decision should not excuse nepotism in a nation with no shortage of talent for high government positions. As Sarah Kendzior and others have shown, nepotism is an early indicator of likely criminality and dictatorial tendencies. Two other reforms would encourage integrity. One would be to strengthen our whistleblower laws. Various journalists, me included, got information from whistleblowers during the Trump years. But not until he was out of office did we learn about the use of secret subpoenas to seize telephone, email and other records of members of Congress who were critical of the president and some journalists under surveillance, which is anathema to a free society. That kind of action is outrageous, but it also shows the reason we need to strengthen whistleblower protections
David Cay Johnston (The Big Cheat: How Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family)
Quand la sexologue Shere Hite a récolté les témoignages de quelque 4 500 Américaines sur leur vie amoureuse et sexuelle, dans les années 1970, nombre d'entre elles ont déclaré que leur mari ou compagnon avait une attitude condescendante, arrogante ou carrément insultante. Il les rabaissait ou les disqualifiait, tournait en dérision leurs opinions ou leurs centres d'intérêt. « Il me parle sur un ton qui me fait me sentir inepte et stupide » ; « Il se comporte comme s'il savait tout » ; « Il a des attitudes paternalistes, comme son père. Sauf qu'il le voit chez son père, mais pas chez lui » ; « Il estime que sa parole a force de loi » ; « À une époque, il me faisait la leçon comme à une gamine. Mais je ne l'ai pas lâché avec ça et il a fini par arrêter »… Aux antipodes de cette assurance masculine, les femmes intègrent très tôt une tendance non seulement à pratiquer l'introspection et à se remettre en question (ce qui est plutôt positifs), mais aussi à douter d'elles-mêmes, à se culpabiliser sans cesse, à penser que tout est de leur faute ou de leur responsabilité, à s'excuser d'exister (ce qui est nettement moins bien). Cette tendance nous affaiblit considérablement dans un rapport amoureux, surtout quand il se révèle abusif. (p. 102)
Mona Chollet (Réinventer l'amour : Comment le patriarcat sabote les relations hétérosexuelles)
When you choose to cover up the mistakes of someone, because of your love for them, or because of brotherhood, sisterhood, you’re their parent , relative or family member . Don't just choose to make excuses for them, but also choose to tell them what they did wrong, so that they won't repeat it again. If you cover for them, but they don’t see their fault. They will never do right and one day, the wrong things they do. They will do them, to you or to someone you really close to.
De philosophe DJ Kyos
Nay, Sir, not of love,” said he, “but a tale shall I relate as best I can, with hearty good will. I shall not disobey your request. Excuse me if I speak amiss. My intention is good. And, lo, my tale is this.
Geoffrey Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales)
Procrastination. The habit of putting off until tomorrow that which should have been done last year. Spending enough time in creating alibis and excuses to have done the job. This symptom is closely related to over-caution, doubt and worry. Refusal to accept responsibility when it can be avoided. Willingness to compromise rather than put up a stiff fight. Compromising with difficulties instead of harnessing and using them as stepping stones to advancement. Bargaining with Life for a penny, instead of demanding prosperity, opulence, riches, contentment and happiness. Planning what to do if and when overtaken by failure, instead of burning all bridges and making retreat impossible. Weakness of, and often total lack of self-confidence, definiteness of purpose, self-control, initiative, enthusiasm, ambition, thrift and sound reasoning ability.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
A display cake read JUNETEENTH! in red frosting, surrounded by red, white, and blue stars and fireworks. A flyer taped to the counter above it encouraged patrons to consider ordering a Juneteenth cake early: We all know about the Fourth of July! the flyer said. But why not start celebrating freedom a few weeks early and observe the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation! Say it with cake! One of the two young women behind the bakery counter was Black, but I could guess the bakery's owner wasn't. The neighborhood, the prices, the twee acoustic music drifting out of sleek speakers: I knew all of the song's words, but everything about the space said who it was for. My memories of celebrating Juneteenth in DC were my parents taking me to someone's backyard BBQ, eating banana pudding and peach cobbler and strawberry cake made with Jell-O mix; at not one of them had I seen a seventy-five-dollar bakery cake that could be carved into the shape of a designer handbag for an additional fee. The flyer's sales pitch--so much hanging on that We all know--was targeted not to the people who'd celebrated Juneteenth all along but to office managers who'd feel hectored into not missing a Black holiday or who just wanted an excuse for miscellaneous dessert.
Danielle Evans (The Office of Historical Corrections)
…American men actually engage most in hunting and fishing. The desire of men in wealthy societies to re-create the food-gathering conditions of very primitive people appears to be an appropriate comment on the power of the hunting drives discussed earlier. Not only is hunting expensive in many places – think of the European on safari in Africa – but it is also time-consuming, potentially dangerous, and frequently involves considerable personal discomfort. Men do it because it is ‘fun’. So they say, and so one must conclude from their persistent rendition of the old pattern. What is relevant from our point of view is that hunting, and frequently fishing, are group activities. A man will choose his co-hunters very carefully. Not only does the relative intimacy of the hunt demand some congeniality, but there is also danger in hunting with inept or irresponsible persons. It is a serious matter, and even class barriers which normally operate quite rigidly may be happily breached for the period of the hunt. Some research on hunters in British Columbia suggests the near-piety which accompanies the hunt; hunting is a singular and important activity. One particular group of males takes along bottles of costly Crown Royal whisky for the hunt; they drink only superior whisky on this poignant re-creation of an ancient manly skill. But when their wives join them for New Year's celebrations, they drink an ordinary whisky: the purely formal and social occasion does not, it seems, merit the symbolic tribute of outstanding whisky. Gambling is another behaviour which, like hunting and sport, provides an opportunity in countless cultures for the weaving of and participation in the web of male affiliation. Not the gambling of the London casino, where glamorous women serve drinks, or the complex hope, greed, fate-tempting ritual, and action of the shiny American palaces in Nevada, and not the hidden gambling run by racketeers. Rather, the card games in homes or small clubs, where men gather to play for manageable stakes on a friendly basis; perhaps – like Jiggs and his Maggie – to avoid their women, perhaps to seek some money, perhaps to buy the pleasant passage of time. But also to be with their friends and talk, and define, by the game, the confines of their intimate male society. Obviously females play too, both on their own and in mixed company. But there are differences which warrant investigation, in the same way that the drinking of men in groups appears to differ from heterosexual or all-female drinking; the separation of all-male bars and mixed ones is still maintained in many places despite the powerful cultural pressures against such flagrant sexual apartheid. Even in the Bowery, where disaffiliated outcast males live in ways only now becoming understood, it has been noted that, ‘There are strong indications that the heavy drinkers are more integrated and more sociable than the light. The analytical problem lies in determining whether socialization causes drinking or drinking results in sociability when there is no disapproval.’ In the gentleman's club in London, the informally segregated working man's pub in Yorkshire, the all-male taverns of Montreal, the palm-wine huts of west Africa, perhaps can be observed the enactment of a way of establishing maleness and maintaining bonds which is given an excuse and possibly facilitated by alcohol. Certainly, for what they are worth in revealing the nature of popular conception of the social role of drinking, advertisements stress the manly appeal of alcohol – particularly whisky – though it is also clear that there are ongoing changes in the socio-sexual implications of drinking. But perhaps it is hasty to regard the process of change as a process of female emancipation which will culminate in similarity of behaviour, status, and ideals of males and females. The changes are still too recent to warrant this. Also, they have been achieved under sufficiently self-conscious pressure...
Lionel Tiger (Men in Groups)
I chose to have only salads and fruits.This was a matter of concern for all my overly concerned relatives. “Maya, why isn’t Amira eating anything?” asked aconcerned distant relative, someone I had spoken to maybe once in my entire life. All I felt like saying to Monisha Auntyat that moment was, “Aunty, before worrying about my food habits, worry about your cokehead son, Tarun.” But I held my tongue and let the grownups carry on with their banter. “Oh Monisha, don’t worry about her. You know this generation. They all have these phases. In no time, she will again be hogging her junk food.” my motherreplied. But was I going to be? Why did my own mother’s words sting me to such an extent that I considered it to be my first trigger towards the journey of a lifetime of making excuses to run away from social situations that involved food or running far, far away from the slightest smell of food?
Insha Juneja (Imperfect Mortals : A Collection of Short Stories)
The attitude of Oregon pioneers toward the Indians was recorded by Father John Beeson, one of the early settlers. Of his fellows, most of whom were from Missouri, he wrote: ‘Among them it was customary to speak of the Indian man as a buck, the woman as a squaw, until at length, in the general acceptance of the terms, they ceased to recognize the rights of humanity in those to whom they were so applied. By a natural and easy transition, from being spoken of as brutes, they came to be thought of as game to be shot or vermin to be destroyed.’ Any white man found dead was assumed to have been murdered by Indians, and often his death was made an excuse for raiding the nearest Indian village and killing all the men, women, and children found there. In one instance an elderly white miner who had refused to participate in such raids was called on by a score of men and forced to join them. Father Beeson related, ‘After resting on the mountains, they shot him, cut off his head, leaving it on the limb of a tree, and divided his property among themselves.
Wayne Gard (Frontier Justice)
TRUTH -“Truth is unbelievable- it cannot be believed it must factual and be known. To believe is to accept without proof, but to know is to have proven knowledge and that is the truth.” -“Not everyone is equipped to handle the truth. Of what benefit it is to tell someone the truth, if he/she is not ready to accept it…. only causes pain.” -“Truth is a two edged sword. If you are matured or can handle it, truth is liberating. However if you are not matured or is not ready to handle it, Truth can be a source of hurt and pain.” - Sekou Obadias – Author of “SOGANUTU” – A book of life’s Maxims -“Having a conversation with someone who is not ready for the truth, serves only to encourage him or her to be defensive”. Malcolm-Jamal Warner -“The scripture declares that it is unwise to have a conversation with a fool. It also say; “Try all spirits…..“ -“No one person has knowledge or knows the truth about everything. Truth is relative to most, for some, their truth is relevant for them to have others believe, in order to gain control.” -“The clearest path I have found to the truth is: to have an open mind to all people and on all subjects. to develop a thirst for knowledge. to be willing to go wherever the truth leads or calls.” -“In pursuit of the truth, many will encounter difficulties finding it. Simply because: People often use their obligations as excuses or obstacles which prevents them from going where truth leads them. 2) People usually feel the need to be validated by others -what others may think or say.” - Sekou Obadias – Author of “SOGANUTU” – A book of life’s Maxims WISDOM -“If you embrace the principle that man and his environment are one, and need each other, you will find the need to protect the environment and seek peace.” -“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.’’ Proverbs 4:7 -“As you seek wisdom and understanding (attain to wise counsel; place your trust in God and the higher powers that guides you; do not be wise in your own eyes) you will find peace with both God and man.” - Sekou Obadias – Author of “SOGANUTU” – A book of life’s Maxims
Sekou Obadias
in our perceived source of life. It is recognizing that our self-protective means to avoiding hurt have not ushered us into real living (the reckless abandon to God that ultimately leads to a deep sense of wholeness and joy) or to purposeful, powerful relating. Repentance is the process of deeply acknowledging the supreme call to love, which is violated at every moment, in every relationship—a law that applies even to those who have been heinously victimized. The law of love removes excuses. The pain of past abuse does not justify unloving self-protection in the present.
Dan B. Allender (The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse)
God’s Anger at Sin 18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.* 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
Anonymous (Holy Bible Text Edition NLT: New Living Translation)
The analogy between infertile heterosexuals and same-sex couples misses the point. The extension of marriage to infertile heterosexual couples serves not to deprecate same-sex couples, but to preserve the equal status of women in marriage. A test for fertility would be unfair to women because all women spend most of their adult lives in a state of infertility. Fertile women are infertile most days of a month, and postmenopausal women are always infertile. A fertility requirement would also render women susceptible to enormous abuse by men, providing a ready excuse for men who would trade in older women for nubile brides. The status of women in marriage would be intolerably diminished through this practice. Infertility is less common among men, as they can sire children into old age. Moreover, men, like women, typically do not discover that they are infertile until they attempt to sire children, at which time they ought already to be married. A measure that serves primarily to protect women and to preserve their equal status within the institution of marriage is not a measure that is an appropriate basis by which to judge that the same should go for same-sex couples. One of the great challenges men and women face in marriage is in coming to terms with their differences while respecting the status of the other as an equal. Acceptance of infertility is a measure promoting this end. A measure to accommodate the reality of sex-based difference in marriage is no reason to extend marriage to same-sex couples. Moreover, accommodation for infertility in no way diminishes the reality that the inequality of the parent-child relationship is what differentiates marriage from other contractual relationships. It is the parent-child relation, as it emerges from sexual difference and procreation, which elevates marriage above a mere contract, and renders it a sacred duty.
Jean Bethke Elshtain (The Meaning of Marriage: Family, State, Market, & Morals)
When you’re from a small country like the Netherlands, you easily learn to speak other languages,” she’d said considerately. To this day, I do resort to English unless I’m really sure of the Greek words I’m using. I remember one early morning waiting on the Flying Dolphin to Athens, I’d closed my eyes briefly and opened them to see a Greek lady waiting to sit in the seat next to me. I quickly moved my handbag out of her seat and told her “Signome, eimai horismeni.” The lady looked at me with a very strange expression, sat in the seat and didn’t look my way or speak again. Well no wonder she doesn’t bother with me after I said that—what a dumb thing to say: “Excuse me, I’m tired.” Yet again I was embarrassed again at my lack of ability to communicate easily. “What exactly did you say?” Mia asked when I related the incident at our next Ladies’ Night. As soon as I repeated the words, everyone burst out laughing. “Pamela, kourasmini is the word for ‘tired’. What you told the woman was, “Excuse me, I’m divorced!
Pamela Jane Rogers (GREEKSCAPES Journeys with an Artist)
So now you should be able to see what happened when the theory of evolution came along. The Gospel had been wide spread in America, and there were probably many who were wearing masks of pretense who were so exhausted from their daily “pious citizen” performance that they were just waiting for something like the theory of evolution to come along so that they could use it as an excuse to drop their act. To them, this would have been much better than the old fashioned golden calf, because they could follow this “ape to human” theory looking like intellectual giants instead of like rebellious sinful sellouts. They merely found them a new and improved version of a golden calf that they could better relate to. Afterall, golden calves are really just mirrors that are designed to not look like mirrors, and the theory of evolution is probably the best designed golden calf that there has been so far.
Calvin W. Allison (The Sunset of Science and the Risen Son of Truth)
She thrust the pink box she was holding into Mr. Rutherford’s hands before she opened up her reticule and pulled out a fistful of coins. Counting them out very precisely, she stopped counting when she reached three dollars, sixty-two cents. Handing Mr. Rutherford the coins, she then took back the pink box, completely ignoring the scowl Mr. Rutherford was now sending her. “This is not the amount of money I quoted you for the skates, Miss . . . ?” “Miss Griswold,” Permilia supplied as she opened up the box and began rummaging through the thin paper that covered her skates. Mr. Rutherford’s brows drew together. “Surely you’re not related to Mr. George Griswold, are you?” “He’s my father,” Permilia returned before she frowned and lifted out what appeared to be some type of printed form, one that had a small pencil attached to it with a maroon ribbon. “What is this?” Mr. Rutherford returned the frown, looking as if he wanted to discuss something besides the form Permilia was now waving his way, but he finally relented—although he did so with a somewhat heavy sigh. “It’s a survey, and I would be ever so grateful if you and Miss Radcliff would take a few moments to fill it out, returning it after you’re done to a member of my staff, many of whom can be found offering hot chocolate for a mere five cents at a stand we’ve erected by the side of the lake. I’m trying to determine which styles of skates my customers prefer, and after I’m armed with that information, I’ll be better prepared to stock my store next year with the best possible products.” “Far be it from me to point out the obvious, Mr. Rutherford, but one has to wonder about your audacity,” Permilia said. “It’s confounding to me that you’re so successful in business, especially since not only are you overcharging your customers for the skates today, you also expect those very customers to extend you a service by taking time out of their day to fill out a survey for you. And then, to top matters off nicely, instead of extending those customers a free cup of hot chocolate for their time and effort, you’re charging them for that as well.” “I’m a businessman, Miss Griswold—as is your father, if I need remind you. I’m sure he’d understand exactly what my strategy is here today, as well as agree with that strategy.” Permilia stuck her nose into the air. “You may very well be right, Mr. Rutherford, but . . .” She thrust the box back into his hands. “Since I’m unwilling to pay more than I’ve already given you for these skates, I’ll take my money back, if you please.” “Don’t be ridiculous,” Mr. Rutherford said, thrusting the box right back at Permilia. “Now, if the two of you will excuse me, I have other customers to attend to.” With that, he sent Wilhelmina a nod, scowled at Permilia, and strode through the snow back to his cash register.
Jen Turano (At Your Request (Apart from the Crowd, #0.5))
Jenny, what can I do to help?” Westhaven’s expression was merely genial, but in his words, Jenny heard determination and that most dratted of holiday gifts, sibling concern. “Help?” “You’re quiet as a dormouse. Maggie says you’re chewing your nails. Louisa reports that you’re taking odd notions, and Sophie won’t say anything, but she’s clearly worried. Her Grace muttered something about regretting all the time she’s permitted you to spend among the paint fumes.” “What would Her Grace know of paint fumes?” What would the duchess know of anything relating to painting? “She’s our mother. Where knowledge fails, maternal instinct serves. Is Bernward troubling you?” Westhaven was an excellent dancer, and if Jenny did not finish the dance with him, Her Grace would casually suggest that tomorrow be a day to rest from the activity in the studio. The idea made Jenny desperate. “Westhaven, you must not involve yourself in anything to do with Elijah.” “Elijah.” Westhaven’s gaze shifted to a spot over Jenny’s shoulder. “And does he call you Jenny?” He calls me Genevieve, and sometimes he even calls me “woman.” “He calls me talented and brilliant but uneducated and unorthodox too. I’ve enjoyed working with him these past weeks more than anything—” “Excuse me.” Elijah had tapped Westhaven on the shoulder. “May I cut in?” Westhaven’s smile was diabolical. “Of course. Jenny would never decline an opportunity to dance with a family friend.” Family friend? Her blighted, interfering, perishing brother was laying it on quite thick. Elijah bowed. “Lady Genevieve, may I have what remains of this dance?” Two days remained. Two days and three nights. Jenny curtsied and assumed waltz position. As Elijah’s hand settled on her back, his scent wafted to her, enveloping her in his presence. “You’re avoiding me,” he said. “You needn’t. I’ll be leaving soon, and I hope we can at least part friends.” With her siblings, she could dissemble and maintain appearances, but with Elijah… “I am honored you think me a friend, Elijah.” And he danced wonderfully, with the same sense of assurance and mastery that he undertook painting… and lovemaking. “I am your friend too, Genevieve.
Grace Burrowes (Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait (The Duke's Daughters, #5; Windham, #8))
So often it happens that this one or that stands condemned by the social laws that govern family relations; and yet there are peculiar circumstances in the case, differences of temperament, divergent interests, innumerable complications of family life that excuse the apparent offence.
Honoré de Balzac (Le Père Goriot)
Of course, even in such a supportive setting, resistance still arises. In a “friendly” forum, stressors can be explored and confronted more easily, however, and I have found that the degree to which a person uses the group is often a good indicator of how well he or she is progressing therapeutically. Good attendance shows effort and commitment; poor attendance indicates that a person is giving in to anxiety. I’ve heard all the excuses and manipulations--canceling plans is typical of people with avoidance problems related to social anxiety. (I’m sometimes tempted to open a garage to repair all those cars that break down on group night!)
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
We were laughing but I know that we were afraid of those who loved us most. Our parents resorted to the lash the way flagellants in the plague years resorted to the scourge… The law did not protect us and now, in your time, the law has become an excuse for stopping and frisking you, which is to say for furthering the assault on your body. But a society that protects some people through a safety net of schools, government-backed home loans, and ancestral wealth but can only protect you with the club of criminal justice has either failed at enforcing its good intentions or has succeeded at something much darker. However you call it, the result was our infirmity before the criminal forces of the world.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
In more than a decade of psychotherapy practice, I have met thousands of people who refer to themselves as “shy.” Often, these people believe shyness is a fait accomplice, a matter of genetic predisposition that they must deal with as a fact of life. They say they were “born shy”—their parents, grandparents, or other relatives are shy too, and it’s just in their blood to be timid. Of course, behavior also can be handed down through conditioning—perhaps your mom always got nervous before a party so you learned to react the same way. Believing that “shyness” is an indelible component of the personality can be a real stumbling block to overcoming social fears. “That’s just the way I am” becomes an excuse for not taking responsibility for individual well-being. In order to change this mindset, it is important to understand that because shyness is learned, it can be unlearned. Anxiety can be controlled.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
The fading relevance of the nature–nurture argument has recently been revived by the rise of evolutionary psychology. A more sophisticated understanding of Darwinian evolution (survival of the fittest) has led to theories about the possible evolutionary value of some psychiatric disorders. A simplistic view would predict that all mental illnesses with a genetic component should lower survival and ought to die out. ‘Inclusive fitness’, however, assesses the evolutionary value of a characteristic not simply on whether it helps that individual to survive but whether it makes it more likely that their offspring will survive. Richard Dawkins’s 1976 book The Selfish Gene gives convincing explanations of the evolutionary advantages of group support and altruism when individuals sacrifice themselves for others. A range of speculative hypotheses have since been proposed for the evolutionary advantage of various behaviour differences and mental illnesses. Many of these draw on ethological games-theory (i.e. the benefits of any behaviour can only be understood in the context of the behaviour of other members of the group). So depression might be seen as a safe response to ‘defeat’ in a hierarchical group because it makes the individual withdraw from conflict while they recover. Mania, conversely, with its expansiveness and increased sexual activity, is proposed as a response to success in a hierarchical tussle promoting the propagation of that individual’s genes. Changes in behaviour that look like depression and hypomania can be clearly seen in primates as they move up and down the pecking order that dominates their lives. The habitual isolation and limited need for social contact of individuals with schizophrenia has been rather imaginatively proposed as adaptive to remote habitats with low food supplies (and also a protection against the risk of infectious diseases and epidemics). Evolutionary psychology will undoubtedly increasingly influence psychiatric thinking – many of our disorders fit poorly into a classical ‘medical model’. Already it has helped establish a less either–or approach to the discussion. It is, however, a highly controversial area – not so much around mental disorders but in relation to social behaviour and particularly to gender specific behaviour. Here it is often interpreted as excusing a very male-orientated, exploitative worldview. Luckily that is someone else’s battle.
Tom Burns (Psychiatry: A Very Short Introduction)
[…] D’autre part, la thèse de René Guénon sur l’unité fondamentale des formes traditionnelles n’apparaîtra pas comme tout à fait nouvelle en Islam, car il y a quelques précédents précieux, tout d’abord avec le Cheikh al-Akbar [Ibn `Arabî] dont l’enseignement ne pouvait pourtant pas être aussi explicite que celui de René Guénon en raison des réserves qu’impose tout milieu traditionnel particulier ; il y aura quand même intérêt à s’y reporter. Ce que nous venons de signaler comme points critiques et solutions à envisager lorsqu’il s’agira de juger de l’orthodoxie islamique de l’enseignement de René Guénon, aussi bien que de son orthodoxie d’une façon générale, ne doit pas faire oublier que ce qui est requis sous ce rapport de tout Oriental ou Occidental qui voudrait en juger, ce sont non seulement des qualités intellectuelles de jugement, mais aussi la connaissance étendue et profonde des doctrines qui doivent être évoquées en l’occurrence. La méthode facile et expéditive des citations tronquées et retranchées de leurs relations conceptuelles d’ensemble, aggravée peut-être encore par des méprises terminologiques ne saurait avoir ici aucune excuse, car René Guénon ne parle pas au nom ni dans les termes d’une théologie ou d’une doctrine particulière dont les références seraient immédiates. De toutes façons, une des choses les plus absurdes serait de demander à des « autorités » exotériques, qu’elles soient d’Orient ou d’Occident, d’apprécier le degré de cette orthodoxie, soit d’une façon générale, soit par rapport à quelque tradition particulière. Ces « autorités », en tant qu’exotériques, et quelles que puissent être leurs prétentions de compétence, sincères ou non, n’ont déjà aucune qualité pour porter un jugement sur les doctrines ésotériques et métaphysiques de leurs propres traditions. L’histoire est là du reste pour prouver à tout homme intelligent et de bonne foi, que chaque fois que de telles ingérences se sont produites, qu’elles aient été provoquées par de simples imprudences ou par des fautes graves, soit d’un côté soit de l’autre, il en est résulté un amoindrissement de spiritualité et la tradition dans son ensemble a eu à souffrir par la suite. (É. T. n° 305 Janv.-Fév. 1953, p. 14)
Michel Vâlsan (L'Islam et la fonction de René Guénon)
Blood doesn’t excuse anyone. You don’t get a get-out-of-jail-free card because you’re related. Family is who you choose—not who you got stuck with because you share a gene pool.
Romily Bernard (Remember Me (Find Me, #2))
STANKEVICH The world outside of me has no meaning independent of my thinking it. (pauses to look) I look out of the window. A garden. Trees. Grass. A young woman in a chair reading a book. I think: chair. So she is sitting. I think: book. So she is reading. Now the young woman touches her hair where it's come undone. But how can we be sure there is a world of phenomena, a woman reading in a garden? Perhaps the only thing that's real is my sensory experience, which has the form of a woman reading- in a universe which is in fact empty! But Immanuel Kant says- no! Because what I perceive as reality includes concepts which I cannot experience through the senses. Time and space. Cause and effect. Relations between things. Without me there is something wrong with this picture. The trees, the grass, the woman are merely- oh, she's coming! (nervously)- she's coming in here-! I say, don't leave!-where are you going? MICHAEL Father's looking for me anyway. . .(gloomily) I've had to ask him to settle a few debts here and there in the world of appearances, so now he's been busy getting me a job. Liubov enters from the garden, with her book. LIUBOV Oh!-(noticing Stankevich) Excuse me- MICHAEL Nobody seems to understand Stankevich and I are engaged in a life-or-death struggle over material forces to unite our spirit with the Universal
Tom Stoppard (Voyage (The Coast of Utopia #1))
STANKEVICH The world outside of me has no meaning independent of my thinking it. (pauses to look) I look out of the window. A garden. Trees. Grass. A young woman in a chair reading a book. I think: chair. So she is sitting. I think: book. So she is reading. Now the young woman touches her hair where it's come undone. But how can we be sure there is a world of phenomena, a woman reading in a garden? Perhaps the only thing that's real is my sensory experience, which has the form of a woman reading- in a universe which is in fact empty! But Immanuel Kant says- no! Because what I perceive as reality includes concepts which I cannot experience through the senses. Time and space. Cause and effect. Relations between things. Without me there is something wrong with this picture. The trees, the grass, the woman are merely- oh, she's coming! (nervously)- she's coming in here-! I say, don't leave!-where are you going? MICHAEL Father's looking for me anyway. . .(gloomily) I've had to ask him to settle a few debts here and there in the world of appearances, so now he's been busy getting me a job. Liubov enters from the garden, with her book. LIUBOV Oh!-(noticing Stankevich) Excuse me- MICHAEL Nobody seems to understand Stankevich and I are engaged in a life-or-death struggle over material forces to unite our spirit with the Universal- and he has to go to Moscow tomorrow!
Tom Stoppard (Voyage (The Coast of Utopia #1))
Tripp manipulated Monica, but Monica herself had manipulated her way to the president as much as the president schemed to ensnare her. I’d seen it all—or at least enough. But Monica was a pretty, spoiled girl; the president wasn’t. He knew damn well what he was doing to her emotionally and physically and to her reputation. He couldn’t have cared less. People like Monica and the entire Clinton Machine should never have had access to classified national security–related intelligence or enjoyed leadership positions. Their irresponsibility had consequences. Good men died from it—both in Mogadishu and Benghazi. We had friends die from exhaustion or from falling asleep at the wheel while ensuring the Secret Service mission of protecting the president. To die for a man of character—I can live with that. Scott Giambattista got shot to protect the president. Everyone watched the Clinton scandal shit show play out in Congress, in the media, and in the Oval Office, and every night in America’s living rooms. All the Clintons’ successes can be credited to men and women of character like Leon Panetta, Nancy Hernreich, and Betty Currie. The Clintons’ failures all point to themselves. The president and Mrs. Clinton were purely business partners. I believe from their movements and interactions that Mrs. Clinton knew of the affairs. But I do believe she was surprised by her partner’s stooping to romancing someone the age of their daughter and was furious that he besmirched the brand. Politically it was unthinkable. How could anyone excuse his womanizing and workplace conduct?
Gary J. Byrne (Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate)
St. Lawrence River May 1705 Temperature 48 degrees From the river they walked back to the town, and the boy was taken into the fire circle outside the powwow’s longhouse. Here he was placed on the powwow’s sacred albino furs. A dozen men, those who were now his relatives, sat in a circle around him. The powwow lit a sacred pipe and passed it, and for the first time in his life, the boy smoked. Don’t cough, Mercy prayed for him. Don’t choke. Afterward she found out they diluted the tobacco with dried sumac leaves to make sure he wouldn’t cough on his first pull. Although the women had adopted him, it was the men who filed by to bring gifts. The new Indian son received a tomahawk, knives, a fine bow, a pot of vermilion paint, a beautiful black-and-white-striped pouch made from a skunk and several necklaces. “Watch, watch!” whispered Snow Walker, riveted. “This is his father. Look what his father gives him!” The warrior transferred from his own body to his son’s a wampum belt--hundreds of tiny shell circles linked together like white lace. The belt was so large it had to hang from the neck instead of the waist. To give a man a belt was old-fashioned. Wampum had no value to the French and had not been used as money by the Indians for many years. But it still spoke of power and honor and even Mercy caught her breath to see it on a white boy’s body. But of course, he was not white any longer. “My son,” said the powwow, “now you are flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone.” At last his real name was called aloud, and the name was plain: Annisquam, which just meant “Hilltop.” Perhaps they had caught him at the summit of a mountain. Or considering the honor of the wampum belt, perhaps he kept his eyes on the horizon and was a future leader. Or like Ruth, he might have done some great deed that would be told in story that evening. When the gifts and embraces were over, Annisquam was taken into the powwow’s longhouse to sit alone. He would stay there for many hours and would not be brought out until well into the dancing and feasting in the evening. Not one of Mercy’s questions had been answered. Was he, in his heart, adopted? Had he, in his heart, accepted these new parents? Where, in his heart, had he placed his English parents? How did he excuse himself to his English God and his English dead? The dancing began. Along with ancient percussion instruments that crackled and rattled, rasped and banged, the St. Francis Indians had French bells, whose clear chimes rang, and even a bugle, whose notes trumpeted across the river and over the trees.
Caroline B. Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter)
I recently visited New Zealand and learned that it has a very diverse ecosystem. Until the arrival of humans, it was populated almost entirely by birds. They occupied every niche in the food chain, from tiny ɻightless things to predators so enormous they could snatch a hundred-pound prey for dinner. For millions of years, birds dominated their man-less, mammal-less world, a universe of feathers, beaks, and talons, knowing of no other form of higher life. The birds acquired a host of abilities and natural defenses optimal for their environment. But then in the thirteenth century, while the Europeans were still busy with their crusades, Polynesian explorers came, and with them came rats—with fur instead of feathers, teeth instead of beaks, and tiny paws instead of fearsome talons. The defense mechanisms that worked well against other birds failed against the rats. Small ɻightless birds who, when sensing danger, would remain perfectly still to avoid being spotted by predators ɻying overhead, would do the same when encountering a rat. Fighting for its life, in its passive way, the little bird focused its every eʃort on not moving a single muscle—only to be gobbled up where it stood. The scientific term for animals like the little bird who had not encountered rats or humans is naïve. I find this charming, as if the little bird existed in a moral universe of which his New Zealand was a kind of Eden, its inhabitants living a peaceful existence disrupted only by the victimization of a cunning intruder, preying on their relative innocence. I often think the people I encounter are naïve, but only because they may never have encountered someone quite like me. Sociopaths see things that no one else does because they have diʃerent expectations about the world and the people in it. While you and observer from certain harsh truths, the sociopath remains undistracted. We are like rats on an island of birds. I have never identified with the little bird, trapped by fear and an instinct for passivity, the wide-eyed victim of circumstance. I have never pined for an Eden of peace on earth and goodwill toward men. I am the rat, and I will take every advantage I can without apology or excuse. And there are others like me.
M.E. Thomas
Will you want an estimate of all the livestock, my lord?” “Naturally.” “Not my horse.” A new voice entered the conversation. All four men looked to the doorway, where Kathleen stood as straight and rigid as a blade. She stared at Devon with open loathing. “The Arabian belongs to me.” Everyone rose to his feet except for Devon, who remained seated at the desk. “Do you ever enter a room the ordinary way?” he asked curtly, “or is it your usual habit to slink past the threshold and pop up like a jack-in-the-box?” “I only want to make it clear that while you’re tallying the spoils, you will remove my horse from the list.” “Lady Trenear,” Mr. Fogg interceded, “I regret to say that on your wedding day, you relinquished all rights to your movable property.” Kathleen’s eyes narrowed. “I’m entitled to keep my jointure and all the possessions I brought to the marriage.” “Your jointure,” Totthill agreed, “but not your possessions. I assure you that no court in England will regard a married woman as a separate legal being. The horse was your husband’s, and now it belongs to Lord Trenear.” Kathleen’s face went skull-white, and then red. “Lord Trenear is stripping the estate like a jackal with a rotting carcass. Why must he be given a horse that my father gave to me?” Infuriated that Kathleen would show him so little deference in front of the others, Devon stood from the desk and approached her in a few strides. To her credit, she didn’t cower, even though he was twice her size. “Devil take you,” he snapped, “none of this is my fault.” “Of course it is. You’ll seize on any excuse to sell Eversby Priory because you don’t want to take on a challenge.” “It’s only a challenge when there’s some small hope of success. This is a debacle. The list of creditors is longer than my bloody arm, the coffers are empty, and the annual yields have been cut in half.” “I don’t believe you. You’re planning to sell the estate to settle personal debts that have nothing to do with Eversby Priory.” Devon’s hands knotted with the urge to destroy something. His rising bloodlust would only be satisfied with the sound of shattering objects. He had never faced a situation like this, and there was no one to give him trustworthy advice, no kindly aristocratic relation, no knowledgeable friends in the peerage. And this woman could only accuse and insult him.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
You’ll seize on any excuse to sell Eversby Priory because you don’t want to take on a challenge.” “It’s only a challenge when there’s some small hope of success. This is a debacle. The list of creditors is longer than my bloody arm, the coffers are empty, and the annual yields have been cut in half.” “I don’t believe you. You’re planning to sell the estate to settle personal debts that have nothing to do with Eversby Priory.” Devon’s hands knotted with the urge to destroy something. His rising bloodlust would only be satisfied with the sound of shattering objects. He had never faced a situation like this, and there was no one to give him trustworthy advice, no kindly aristocratic relation, no knowledgeable friends in the peerage. And this woman could only accuse and insult him. “I had no debt,” he growled, “until I inherited this mess. God’s bollocks, did your idiot husband never explain any of the estate’s issues to you? Were you completely ignorant of how dire the situation was when you married him? No matter--someone has to face reality, and Christ help us all, it seems to be me.” He turned his back on her and returned to the desk. “Your presence isn’t wanted,” he said without looking back. “You will leave now.” “Eversby Priory has survived four hundred years of revolutions and foreign wars,” he heard Kathleen say contemptuously, “and now it will take but one self-serving rake to bring it all to ruins.” As if he were entirely to blame for the situation. As if he alone would be accountable for the estate’s demise. Damn her to hell. With effort, Devon swallowed back his outrage. Deliberately he stretched out his legs with relaxed indolence and glanced at his brother. “West, are we quite certain that Cousin Theo perished in a fall?” he asked coolly. “It seems far more likely that he froze to death in the marital bed.” West chuckled, not above the enjoyment of a malicious quip. Totthill and Fogg, for their part, kept their gazes down. Kathleen crossed the threshold and sent the door shuddering with a violent slam. “Brother,” West said with mock chiding, “that was beneath you.” “Nothing’s beneath me,” Devon replied, stone-faced. “You know that.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
There are lots of men named Thor, does not mean they have any relation to the Thor. They are just normal men. Not gods at all.” “O-kay.” That was a weird reaction. Either something was up or he really did have an early morning. I shifted my tea to my other hand. “So how long did you say you’ve known Gunnar?” “About eight hundred years.” “Excuse me?” I paused mid sip.
C. Gockel (Gods and Mortals: Fourteen Free Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Novels Featuring Thor, Loki, Greek Gods, Native American Spirits, Vampires, Werewolves, & More)
And while I was writing this review, I discovered that if I were going to review books I should need to do battle with a certain phantom. And the phantom was a woman, and when I came to know her better I called her after the heroine of a famous poem, The Angel in the House. It was she who used to come between me and my paper when I was writing reviews. It was she who bothered me and wasted my time and so tormented me that at last I killed her. You who come of a younger and happier generation may not have heard of her — you may not know what I mean by the Angel in the House. I will describe her as shortly as I can. She was intensely sympathetic. She was immensely charming. She was utterly unselfish. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed herself daily. If there was chicken, she took the leg; if there was a draught she sat in it — in short she was so constituted that she never had a mind or a wish of her own, but preferred to sympathize always with the minds and wishes of others. Above all — I need not say it —-she was pure. Her purity was supposed to be her chief beauty — her blushes, her great grace. And when I came to write I encountered her with the very first words. The shadow of her wings fell on my page; I heard the rustling of her skirts in the room. Directly, that is to say, I took my pen in my hand to review that novel by a famous man, she slipped behind me and whispered: “My dear, you are a young woman. You are writing about a book that has been written by a man. Be sympathetic; be tender; flatter; deceive; use all the arts and wiles of our sex. Never let anybody guess that you have a mind of your own. Above all, be pure.” And she made as if to guide my pen. I turned upon her and caught her by the throat. I did my best to kill her. My excuse, if I were to be had up in a court of law, would be that I acted in self-defence. Had I not killed her she would have killed me. She would have plucked the heart out of my writing. For, as I found, directly I put pen to paper, you cannot review even a novel without having a mind of your own, without expressing what you think to be the truth about human relations, morality, sex. And all these questions, according to the Angel of the House, cannot be dealt with freely and openly by women; they must charm, they must conciliate, they must — to put it bluntly — tell lies if they are to succeed. Thus, whenever I felt the shadow of her wing or the radiance of her halo upon my page, I took up the inkpot and flung it at her. She died hard. Her fictitious nature was of great assistance to her. It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality. But it was a real experience; it was an experience that was bound to befall all women writers at that time. Killing the Angel in the House was part of the occupation of a woman writer.
Virginia Woolf (Profissões para mulheres e outros artigos feministas)
1) The woman has intuitive feelings that she is at risk. 2)    At the inception of the relationship, the man accelerated the pace, prematurely placing on the agenda such things as commitment, living together, and marriage. 3) He resolves conflict with intimidation, bullying, and violence. 4) He is verbally abusive. 5)    He uses threats and intimidation as instruments of control or abuse. This includes threats to harm physically, to defame, to embarrass, to restrict freedom, to disclose secrets, to cut off support, to abandon, and to commit suicide. 6)    He breaks or strikes things in anger. He uses symbolic violence (tearing a wedding photo, marring a face in a photo, etc.). 7) He has battered in prior relationships. 8)    He uses alcohol or drugs with adverse affects (memory loss, hostility, cruelty). 9)    He cites alcohol or drugs as an excuse or explanation for hostile or violent conduct (“That was the booze talking, not me; I got so drunk I was crazy”). 10)   His history includes police encounters for behavioral offenses (threats, stalking, assault, battery). 11)   There has been more than one incident of violent behavior (including vandalism, breaking things, throwing things). 12)   He uses money to control the activities, purchase, and behavior of his wife/partner. 13)   He becomes jealous of anyone or anything that takes her time away from the relationship; he keeps her on a “tight leash,” requires her to account for her time. 14) He refuses to accept rejection. 15)   He expects the relationship to go on forever, perhaps using phrases like “together for life;” “always;” “no matter what.” 16)   He projects extreme emotions onto others (hate, love, jealousy, commitment) even when there is no evidence that would lead a reasonable person to perceive them. 17) He minimizes incidents of abuse. 18)   He spends a disproportionate amount of time talking about his wife/partner and derives much of his identity from being her husband, lover, etc. 19)   He tries to enlist his wife’s friends or relatives in a campaign to keep or recover the relationship.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
Apartheid, for all its power, had fatal flaws baked in, starting with the fact that it never made any sense. Racism is not logical. Consider this: Chinese people were classified as black in South Africa. I don’t mean they were running around acting black. They were still Chinese. But, unlike Indians, there weren’t enough Chinese people to warrant devising a whole separate classification. Apartheid, despite its intricacies and precision, didn’t know what to do with them, so the government said, “Eh, we’ll just call ’em black. It’s simpler that way.” Interestingly, at the same time, Japanese people were labeled as white. The reason for this was that the South African government wanted to establish good relations with the Japanese in order to import their fancy cars and electronics. So Japanese people were given honorary white status while Chinese people stayed black. I always like to imagine being a South African policeman who likely couldn’t tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese but whose job was to make sure that people of the wrong color weren’t doing the wrong thing. If he saw an Asian person sitting on a whites-only bench, what would he say? “Hey, get off that bench, you Chinaman!” “Excuse me. I’m Japanese.” “Oh, I apologize, sir. I didn’t mean to be racist. Have a lovely afternoon.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
. “And I came to know about the mistress. Andrea Darius. I met her for the first time before we were married. Beautiful woman, so beautiful. Smart, classy, very high-society type. She looked kind of like Katherine Heigl—that stately, confident, above-it-all look. I’d suspected from the first time I met her. There was something in the way she looked at him, it was just there. She was an image consultant, a public relations expert who specialized in the financial sector. Lenders and investors are constantly scrutinized, especially private companies and hedge fund managers. But that was just a front. That was one of the first issues I faced when I looked the other way. I made excuses to make my existence more acceptable in my own eyes.” She laughed hollowly. “While I’m a leper in Manhattan, Andrea is still a prominent figure in New York society. There’s been speculation that she’s a high-priced prostitute or even madam. Who knows? Who cares?
Robyn Carr (The Life She Wants)
other words, the meaningful conversation we should be having is about absolute poverty, not relative poverty. In so many of the discussions about income inequality,
Lawrence W. Reed (Excuse Me, Professor: Challenging the Myths of Progressivism)
If you haven’t picked up on this yet, Disney loves training. Disney will sometimes find any excuse to train a bunch of cast members, whether they’ve been on the payroll for years or have just been hired.
Annie Salisbury (Would You Like Magic with That?: Working at Walt Disney World Guest Relations)
A related character approach that operates under the trade name Brainology claims that one thousand schools are now using its “growth mind-set” based on Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset (2006). Dweck’s work is included on the suggested reading list used by Levin and Duckworth for their online course mentioned above. Brainology cites unpublished research that shows teaching the growth mind-set “boosts motivation and achievement
Jim Horn (Work Hard, Be Hard: Journeys Through "No Excuses" Teaching)
She learned early on, in her adopted country, that race was an easy excuse to stop awkward explanations. People hesitated to probe into such a sensitive matter.
E. Journey (Welcome, Reluctant Stranger (Between Two Worlds, #3))
I'm a bartender. How can I stop when surrounded by smoke and smokers at every turn?" I recall attempts where I hoped smoking friends would be supportive in not smoking around me, and not leave their packs lying around to tempt me. While most tried, it usually wasn't long before they forgot. I recall thinking them insensitive and uncaring. I recall grinding disappointment and intense brain chatter, that more than once seized upon frustrated support expectations as this addict's excuse for relapse. Instead of expecting them to change their world for me, the smart move would have been for me to want to extinguish my brain's subconscious feeding cues related to being around them and their addiction. The smart move would have been to take back my world, or as much of it as I wanted. As I sit here typing in this room, around me are a number of packs of cigarettes: Camel, Salem, Marlboro Lights and Virginia Slims. I use them during presentations and have had cigarettes within arms reach for years. Don't misconstrue this. It is not a smart move for someone struggling in early recovery to keep cigarettes on hand. But if a family member or best friend smokes or uses tobacco, or our place of employment sells tobacco or allows smoking around us, we have no choice but to work toward extinguishing tobacco product, smoke and smoker cues almost immediately. And we can do it! Millions of comfortable ex-users handle and sell tobacco products as part of their job. You may find this difficult to believe, but I've never craved or wanted to smoke any of the cigarettes that surround me, even when holding packs or handling individual cigarettes during presentations. Worldwide, millions of ex-smokers successfully navigated recovery while working in smoke filled nightclubs, restaurants, bowling alleys, casinos, convenience stores and other businesses historically linked to smoking. And millions broke free while their spouse, partner or best friend smoked like a chimney. Instead of fighting or hiding from the world, take it back. Why allow our circumstances to wear us down? Small steps, just one moment at a time, embrace challenge. Extinguish use cues and claim your prize once you do, another slice of a nicotine-free life. Recovery is about taking back life. Why fear it? Instead, savor and relish reclaiming it. Maybe I'll have a crave tomorrow. But it's been so many years (since 2001) that I'm not sure I'd recognize it. Why fear our circumstances when we can embrace them? They cannot
John R. Polito (Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home)
God always makes you accountable for your mistakes, especially, when they are related to egotistic decisions. Ignorance and sympathy are never excuses in the realm of the spirit.
Dan Desmarques (Codex Illuminatus: Quotes & Sayings of Dan Desmarques)
Do blacks drop out of school? Teachers are insensitive to their needs. Do black women have children out of wedlock? Slavery broke up the black family. Are blacks more likely than whites to commit crimes? Oppression and poverty explain it. Are ghetto blacks unemployed? White businesses are prejudiced against them. Do blacks have IQ scores fifteen points lower than whites? The tests are biased. Are blacks more likely to be drug addicts? They are frustrated by white society. Are half our convicts black? The police are racist.26 There is scarcely any form of failure that cannot, in some way, be laid at the feet of racist white people. This kind of thinking denies that blacks should be expected to take responsibility for their own actions. More subtly, it suggests that they cannot do so. When whites make excuses for the failures of blacks—excuses they would scorn for themselves or for their own children—they treat blacks as inferiors, whether they mean to or not.
Jared Taylor (Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America)
Second, if whites in America are inveterately bigoted, other nonwhite races should face obstacles similar to those faced by blacks. Yet Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and even black West Indians have overcome America’s storied racism and are often more successful than native-born whites. Instead of complaining about oppression and prejudice—of which there used to be plenty—they have taken responsibility for themselves and seized opportunities for a better life. Third, America has made historically unprecedented efforts to correct the evils of the past. We have not only prohibited discrimination against blacks but have created preferential opportunities for them. Our crusade to undo the mischief of the past has done mischief of its own, and by formally discriminating against whites, it has stood both justice and the law on their heads. Finally, America practices a host of double standards that permit much to blacks that is denied to whites. The doctrine of white racism excuses blacks even when they are guilty of what is least tolerated in whites: racism itself.
Jared Taylor (Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America)
Civil rights laws and affirmative action were supposed to narrow and eventually eliminate the gaps between black and white America. The great disappointment was that they did not work. Black crime, illegitimacy, and unemployment rose during the very period when the color bar was coming down. Since America was not prepared to abandon the whites-are-responsible theory of black problems, white racism now had to explain not just a lack of achievement but crime and social irresponsibility as well. If necessary, white racism could even excuse for blacks what, for whites, was the worst possible offense: racism itself. A host of double standards took root in America, with the result that blacks could be excused for a great deal, simply because they were black.
Jared Taylor (Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America)
America is outraged by white racism; it merely averts its eyes from black racism. Moreover, since black racism sits uncomfortably alongside the whites-are-responsible theory of black failure, it is best not to acknowledge it at all. When a white kills a black, it is racism; when a black kills a white, it is homicide. If black racism must be discussed at all, it can be excused as a consequence of centuries of white racism. Of course, many blacks blandly maintain that there can be no such thing as black racism.
Jared Taylor (Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America)
Here is what I did and I regret how I did it. Here is where I was coming from. I am not saying that to excuse it. I know it caused damage, and I am sorry for the hurt that it caused. I would like to hear how it affected you.” Repair work takes humility and courage, but also builds significant trust and relational equity. The simplest repair is when you acknowledge what you did, apologize for it, and acknowledge the impact it had on the other. An apology without an acknowledgment of impact isn’t enough. But most people will give each other grace for these situations if repair is handled well. Recognize
Steve Cuss (Managing Leadership Anxiety: Yours and Theirs)
We today know that only too well: someone may carry, and transmit, the Covid-19 virus without knowing they have it. So the natural inclination of a Jesus-follower, to obey Jesus’ call to go and help at the place of danger, even at the risk of one’s own life, looks rather different when that apparently heroic action might easily make matters worse. The generous one-dimensional desire to be a hero, to ‘do the right thing’, needs to be rounded out with the equally generous willingness to restrain apparent heroism when it might itself bring disaster. Yet this cannot become an excuse for doing nothing. Out of lament must come fresh action. At the very least, clergy (properly trained, authorized and protectively clothed) must be allowed to attend the sick and dying. If, as sometimes seems to be the case, secular doctors suppose that such ministry is superfluous, this must be challenged at every level. As we thank God that in the last two or three centuries the long-term calling of the Church to bring healing and hope has been shared in the wider secular world, we must work with the medical profession, not least to ensure a fully rounded, fully human approach. This applies particularly when people are near the point of death; the hospice movement of the last fifty years has been largely a Christian innovation, privately funded, witnessing to a hope that secular medicine has sometimes ignored. The call to Jesus’ followers, then, as they confront their own doubts and those of the world through tears and from behind locked doors, is to be sign-producers for God’s kingdom. We are to set up signposts–actions, symbols, not just words–which speak, like Jesus’ signs, of new creation: of healing for the sick, of food for the hungry, and so on. This means things like running food banks, working in homeless shelters, volunteering to help those visiting relatives in prisons, and so on. These can be rewarding tasks but they, and all similar things, are also demanding. For them we will need, as Mary, Thomas and the disciples in the upper room needed, the living presence of Jesus, and the powerful breath of his Spirit. That is what we are promised.
N.T. Wright (God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and Its Aftermath)
Some people are under the misinterpretation that any form of love from a parent is better than none. I’m in the minority on that. That kind of love isn’t love at all. It’s abuse. People as a whole have this firm belief that just because someone is related to you by blood that you should allow them to walk all over you, poison your life, poison your heart, and you should roll over and accept it because they’re family.” She takes a breath and continues, “I don’t know how many times mother would do something horrendous to me and then try to excuse it by saying, ‘I’m your mother I have the right.’ But that’s not true; no one has the right to do things like that to anyone, especially their children.
Zoe Parker (Ballad of Bael (The Fate Caller #4))
During this wait too I retreat into my shell. I’m alone with sounds and sights, with my private questions marks and exclamation marks. It’s as though a huge deserted warehouse had opened its doors to me or I’d become my own museum and its only visitor after the guards have gone home to sleep and locked me in. I find fault with my acts, or the fewness of them, or the total lack of them, or their total ineffectiveness. I confront my faults like a courageous hero of the stage or make up hypocritical excuses for myself like any coward. I become a severe judge who refuses to accept the argument of the self, lovers, or relatives, and, in the same instant, I become the conniving, bribable judge who flees difficulties in favor of peace of mind. I open my small eyes to the ‘intellectual’s diseases’ that have taken root in my body. I say to myself, I’m just a poet.” (I Was Born There, I Was Born Here)
Mourid Barghouti
Arin was in the still room, trying to soothe the anxiety of a woman who was saying that she had just preserved the jams, and must all of them be used for the banquet, every last one? She didn’t think the Dacrans appreciated ilea fruit. Why serve something they wouldn’t love as much as the Herrani did? It would be best, surely, to keep at least those jars for winter. Trying to explain the politics of such lavish consumption tangled Arin up in frustrated half sentences, because it didn’t make much sense to him, either, to consume every edible thing in one night. And then he heard Roshar’s accented voice in Herrani drifting down the hall from the ktichens. “…you don’t understand. The piece of meat must be the finest, cut from the loin, seasoned with this spice, not that one…” Arin excused himself, told the woman he’d discuss jams later, and followed the prince’s voice. “…and it must be well roasted on the outside, almost charred, yet bloody inside. Bright pink. Listen. This is crucial. If anything goes wrong, the banquet will be ruined.” Arin entered the main kitchen to find the prince haranguing the head cook, who slid a half-lidded look of annoyed sufferance at Arin. “There you are.” Roshar beamed. “I need your help, Arin.” “For the preparation of meat?” “It’s very important. You must impress this importance upon your cook here. The fate of political relations between my country and yours hangs in the balance.” “Because of meat.” “It’s for his tiger,” said the cook. Arin palmed his face, eyes squeezed shut. “Your tiger.” “He’s very particular,” said Roshar. “You can’t bring the tiger to the banquet.” “Little Arin has missed me. I will not be parted from him.” “Would you consider changing his name?” “No.” “What if I begged?” “Not a chance.” “Roshar, the tiger has grown.” “And what a sweet big boy he is.” “You can’t bring him into a dining hall filled with hundreds of people.” “He’ll behave. He has the mien and manners of a prince.” “Oh, like you?” “I resent your tone.” “I’m not sure you can control him.” “Has he ever been aught but the gentlest of creatures? Would you deny your namesake the chance to bear witness to our victorious celebration? And, of course, to the vision of you and Kestrel: side by side, Herrani and Valorian, a love for the ages. The stuff of songs, Arin! How you’ll get married, and make babies--” “Gods, Roshar, shut up.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3))
Arin was in the still room, trying to soothe the anxiety of a woman who was saying that she had just preserved the jams, and must all of them be used for the banquet, every last one? She didn’t think the Dacrans appreciated ilea fruit. Why serve something they wouldn’t love as much as the Herrani did? It would be best, surely, to keep at least those jars for winter. Trying to explain the politics of such lavish consumption tangled Arin up in frustrated half sentences, because it didn’t make much sense to him, either, to consume every edible thing in one night. And then he heard Roshar’s accented voice in Herrani drifting down the hall from the ktichens. “…you don’t understand. The piece of meat must be the finest, cut from the loin, seasoned with this spice, not that one…” Arin excused himself, told the woman he’d discuss jams later, and followed the prince’s voice. “…and it must be well roasted on the outside, almost charred, yet bloody inside. Bright pink. Listen. This is crucial. If anything goes wrong, the banquet will be ruined.” Arin entered the main kitchen to find the prince haranguing the head cook, who slid a half-lidded look of annoyed sufferance at Arin. “There you are.” Roshar beamed. “I need your help, Arin.” “For the preparation of meat?” “It’s very important. You must impress this importance upon your cook here. The fate of political relations between my country and yours hangs in the balance.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3))
One spring day, I was away on a business trip; Karen was home with the kids. It was a warm afternoon, and she was sitting with our son Matthew at the computer in my office. The kitchen door that leads to the backyard was open. They were reviewing a homework project when they heard what sounded like fingernails scratching on the hardwood floors in the kitchen followed by a thumping gallop from our cat Sox. An instant later, a squirrel raced into the office with the cat at its heels. In a panic, Karen grabbed Matthew and the cat, and ran out of the office slamming the door behind her. Her plan was to leave the squirrel in my office and let me deal with it when I got home in a few days; the homework could wait. However, 30 minutes and two glasses of Merlot later, Karen saw the flaw in her plan. She wasn’t worried so much about sticking me with the task of removing a hungry, pissed-off squirrel from my office as she was the possibility of the squirrel shredding everything in there before I got home. Or worse, she feared the house would permanently smell of dead squirrel. There was a decent chance her scream gave it a heart attack. Luckily, the window in my office was open that afternoon. The only problem, there was a screen in the window. Karen figured if she could remove the screen, the squirrel, if it were still alive, would find its way back to the great outdoors. My office was on the first floor, so she was able to remove the screen easily from the outside. Standing in the backyard at a safe distance, she watched the open window, but no squirrel appeared. Venetian blinds were down covering the window opening. Karen thought, “If I just reach in and pull the cord on the blinds I can raise them enough for the little rodent to see his escape route.” Taking deep breaths while standing on the third rung of our stepladder, Karen thought through exactly what she had to do: raise the blinds with one hand, pull the cord with the other, lock it in place and get the hell out of there. No problem, the squirrel was no doubt cowering in the corner. Not quite. As soon as she raised the blinds, the squirrel – according to Karen who was the only witness – saw daylight and flew through the air, landing on her head. Its toes were caught in Karen’s hair as it made a desperate attempt to free itself. Karen said, “It was running in place on top of my head.” She fell off the ladder and ran screaming through the backyard with the squirrel stuck to her head. (I’m sure it was only a few seconds, but time stands still when there’s a squirrel on your head.) It eventually freed its claws, jumped off her head and ran away. Sue was the first person Karen called after she calmed down enough to speak. They discussed the situation thoroughly and agreed that shampooing several times with Head and Shoulders, rubbing the tiny scratch marks on her scalp with alcohol and drinking the rest of the bottle of Merlot were the proper steps to prevent rabies. I was her second call. Karen gave me a second-by-second recounting of the event, complete with sound effects and a graphic description of how the squirrel’s toes felt as they dug into her scalp. Then she told me the whole thing was my fault because I wasn’t home to protect the family when it happened. Apparently being away earning a living was not an acceptable excuse. She also said she learned a valuable lesson that day. “Not to leave the back door open?” I guessed. No, the lesson was that all squirrels are evil and out to get her. (She also decided that she doesn’t like “any animal related to squirrels,” whatever that means.)   ~.~.~.~.~.~.~
Matt Smith (Dear Bob and Sue)
The crisis was like one described by Thucydides when the meaning of words had no longer the same relation to things. Reckless daring was held to be loyal courage; prudent delay was the excuse of a coward; moderation was the disguise of unmanly weakness.
James Ford Rhodes (History of the Civil War, 1861-1865)
Groups are, in a sense, a microcosm of the real world. In all groups, there are leaders and followers . . . and many people who fall somewhere in between. Some groups are professionally led, and some are self- or volunteer-directed. In every group, there will be people you like and people you don’t, people who seek you out, and people who do not. Understanding and joining in the group process and making it work for you is what is important. Experiment with several groups, if you like, to find the ones that you enjoy the most. Strive to find a group in which you think you would feel comfortable expressing yourself or interacting with others and which has an appropriate meaning for you (a self-help group should address your particular issues; a hobby club should focus on something you enjoy). Attend the group a few times to get a sense of how members interact with each other. If the thought of doing so still causes you anxiety, continue working on stress management, and remain fairly passive in the group until you feel more comfortable. In my own social therapy group program, our purpose is to help individuals learn how to control social anxiety and refine their interactive skills. Social anxiety is a people-oriented problem, which makes group experience important both theoretically and practically. Some traditional therapists have called my program unorthodox because it encourages patients to talk to and learn from each other—as opposed to the isolation and protection offered by many of the more conservative therapies. But I say that social interaction is something you learn by doing. My groups are places to practice, make mistakes, and experience success in a supportive yet challenging environment. Of course, even in such a supportive setting, resistance still arises. In a “friendly” forum, stressors can be explored and confronted more easily, however, and I have found that the degree to which a person uses the group is often a good indicator of how well he or she is progressing therapeutically. Good attendance shows effort and commitment; poor attendance indicates that a person is giving in to anxiety. I’ve heard all the excuses and manipulations—canceling plans is typical of people with avoidance problems related to social anxiety. (I’m sometimes tempted to open a garage to repair all those cars that break down on group night!) Yet often, after overcoming the initial stage of anxiety, many participants enjoy the process. As you consider the option of incorporating various kinds of groups in your community into your self-help program, remember that groups can be a very important component of your map for change. Groups can provide you with the opportunity to practice the skills that are crucial to your success. Make sure that your expectations are realistic and that you understand the purpose and the limitations of whatever group you join.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
He who can command, he who is a ‘master’ by nature, he who is forceful in deed and gesture – what has he to do with contracts! Such beings violate our every assumption: they come unexpectedly, without cause, reason, notice, excuse; they appear as suddenly as lightning, and are too terrible, too sudden, too convincing, too ‘different’ even to be hated. Their work is the instinctive creation and imposition of forms; of all artists, their work is the most instinctive, unconscious – in connection with appearance there arises something new, a system of governance which is alive , in which the functions and parts are defined and related to one another, in which above all no part finds a place unless it has some ‘function’ in connection with the whole. These instinctive organizers, they know nothing of guilt, responsibility, consideration; they are subject to that terrible artist-egoism which gleams like brass, and which sees itself justified to all eternity, in its work, even as a mother sees in her child.
Friedrich Nietzsche (On the Genealogy of Morals)
One way to boost your courage is to add to your overall skill set. Newly-learned skills don’t have to be related to the unfamiliar task in front of you in order to offer value. The mere act of becoming proficient in them will give you more confidence in everything you do. For example, many years ago, I learned how to code web pages using HTML and PHP. Learning those languages gave me the confidence to learn the basics of server management. One had nothing to do with the other. But I now had the confidence to learn to do the latter effectively. Had I not pushed myself to learn HTML and PHP, I would have avoided learning how to manage a server. I would have felt unready and fearful of failure. Constantly broaden your skill set. You’ll benefit from increased confidence that will give you the courage to take on - and even volunteer for - new projects. 4. Remind yourself that you’ll never be 100% ready. Recognize it as an excuse your brain uses to discourage you from taking action. 5. Abandon the fear of others’ criticism. One of the reasons we tell ourselves we’re not ready to undertake a given task is because we’re concerned what others will think if we fail. Let go of that fear. Realize that others’ perceptions of us are often inaccurate. They don’t know our circumstances. They’re not privy to our goals. And often, their negativity is a reflection of their own perceived limitations. They have nothing to do with you. Don’t let others’ criticism stop you from tackling unfamiliar tasks and moving them forward.
Damon Zahariades (The 30-Day Productivity Boost (Vol. 1): 30 Bad Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Time Management (And How To Fix Them!))
12. From Alexander the Platonist, not to say to anyone often or without necessity, nor write in a letter, I am too busy, nor in this fashion constantly plead urgent affairs as an excuse for evading the obligations entailed upon us by our relations towards those around us.
Marcus Aurelius (Complete Works of Marcus Aurelius)
When admitting you are wrong, you gain back the control others took away from you when making you lose it. That's why you must say sorry. It represents a change of attitude but not really a change of personality; The changes on the personality come later on, when, by controlling yourself better, you don't express anger. Because saying sorry means nothing but anger means a lot. You should not want to be an angry person. When you get angry, those who make you angry, win; They win control over your emotional state, your thoughts, your words and your behaviors. They may then accuse you of always being angry and never apologizing, but that's not where you should focus your attention. The main point here, is that you’re living on the basis of instinctive reaction and not awareness or consciousness. So, when you say sorry, you are acknowledging that there is no excuse for losing control over yourself. You should not be sorry for being angry. That's an emotion; and you can't feel sorry for feeling. When you’re angry, you are feeling. When you insult, however, you are losing, yourself, your self-control, your self-respect, and even your capacity to use what you know. More knowledge, makes you more aware, more frustrated, having more and higher expectations on others, and more angry too, more often as well. But that's your problem! No other people's problem! They are just being themselves. Most people really think they are perfect as they are, and that the problems they experience are all outside themselves. And by realizing that, you say sorry as if saying sorry for not being who you really are. And when doing it, you get back the control another person took away from you. It is actually not good when someone needs to say sorry too often to someone else, especially if it’s always the same individual. But that someone else often likes it, as it makes them feel superior. That’s because their ego needs that. They have low self-esteem. Most people do! And that’s why most people's behavior is wired to their ego. Their likes and dislikes are connected to a sense of self-importance and a desperate need to feel important, which they project on their idols, the famous and most popular among them. They admire what they seek the most. When they think they are not important, they offend, to get aggression, which is a desperate need for attention; and to feel like victims of life, which is a deeper state of need, in this case, related to sympathy; and they then blame the other for what he does, for his reactions; and when that other says sorry, they think they have power over that insane cycle in which they now live, and in which they incorporate anyone else, and which they now perfectly master. Their pride is built on arrogance, an arrogance emerged out of ignorance, ignorance composed from delusional cycles within a big illusion; but an illusion that makes sense to them, as if they were succeeding at merging truth with lie, darkness with light. Because the arrogant, the abusive and the violent are desperate. God made them blind after witnessing their crimes against moral and ethics - His own laws. And they want to see again, and feel the same pleasure they once felt when witnessing the true colors of the world during childhood. The arrogant want to reaffirm their sanity by acting insanely because they know no other way. And when you say sorry, you are saying to them that you don't belong there, to their world, and that you are sorry for playing their games. That drama belongs to them only, and not you. And yet, people interpret the same paradox as they choose. That is their experience of truth and how they put sense on a life without any. And when so much nonsense becomes popular, we call it common sense. When common sense becomes a reality, we call it science. And when science is able to theorize common sense, we call it wisdom. Then, we wonder why the wisdom of those we name wise, does not help.
Robin Sacredfire
Mom?" I jerked around to see Gavril standing at the door to my study, as if I'd called him. "Gav?" I sighed when I looked at his face. Something was wrong. Would he tell me what that was? Probably not. He and Gavin wore the same look on most days—as if they'd done something horrible and weren't ready to own up to it yet. "Dad and I have talked. Several times." "I know." I did. My son just hadn't bothered to talk to me. Until now. "I didn't know, Mom. How was I to know she was related? Nobody knew that, except you." "If you'd been a little nicer, she could have told you herself," I snapped. "She knew?" "The whole time. She saw it in your face. Saw it in my face, whenever she looked at a photograph. Nothing like getting mistreated by family, huh?" I lowered my eyes and pretended to scroll through figures on the comp-vid. "You had that asshole hit her in the face and break bones." "That'll follow me until the end of time," Gavril muttered, ducking his head. "Probably just like the fact that your father sired a vampire, and then did absolutely nothing in the sire department. He didn't teach her a single thing, starved her and worked her—with your help—day and night. I've been advised, you see." I still didn't look up from the comp-vid. "Your assistants hired that dickhead Rathik Erwin, who stole from her and got her attacked by the other dickhead, Skel Hawer," Gavril attempted to deflect my wrath onto new targets. "I've already had that discussion—with my assistants and with Norian," I snapped. "You, on the other hand, see fit to speak with your father several times, while I, having been gone for months, see you three weeks after I return—temporary death notwithstanding." "Yeah. That's just, well, Mom, I'm sorry." "If your aunt hadn't been here and decided, even after you and your father did your best to kill her, to save my ass anyway, where would we be right now? Answer that, will you?" "Mom, you know I don't have any excuse. Sometimes I wish you'd just punch me and get it over with." "Gavril Tybus Montegue, that's pure stupidity, so stop it now. You don't know what it's like to get punched in the face by someone who's supposed to be your parent. I do. Take your lumps. You fucked up. Admit it." I threw the comp-vid in my hand at the wall so hard it shattered. "Grant will just have to use the crown's funds to buy another one," I growled. "Gavril, go home. Come back when you're more sorry and I'm less pissed." He disappeared and I wiped away stubborn tears.
Connie Suttle (Blood Trouble (God Wars, #2))
The mind's well-being was the well that was poisoned. One doesn't own a little anti-Semitism as if it were a puppy that isn't big enough yet to poop a lot. One yap from the pooch is already too much. Nor is saying "it was only social" a successful excuse. Only social, indeed ... only a mild case. The mild climate renders shirt-sleeves acceptable, loosens ties and collars, allows extremes to seem means, makes nakedness normal, facilitates the growth of weeds. Since the true causes of anti-Semitism do not lie with the Jews themselves (for if they did, anti-Semitism might bear some semblance of reason), they must lie elsewhere--so, if not in the hated, then in the hater, in another mode of misery. Rationalist philosophers, from the beginning, regarded ignorance and error as the central sources of evil, and the conditions of contemporary life have certainly given their view considerable support. We are as responsible for our beliefs as for our behavior. Indeed, they are usually linked. Our brains respond, as well as our bodies do, to exercise and good diet. One can think of hundreds of beliefs--religious, political, social--which must be as bad for the head as fat is for the heart, and whose loss would lighten and enliven the spirit; but inherently silly ones, like transubstantiation, nowadays keep their consequences in control and relatively close to home. However, anti-Semitism does not; it is an unmitigated moral catastrophe. One can easily imagine how it might contaminate other areas of one's mental system. But is it the sickness or a symptom of a different disease? Humphrey Carpenter's level headed tone does not countenance Pound's corruption. It simply places the problem before us, permitting out anger and our pity. -- From "Ezra Pound
William H. Gass (Finding a Form)
A few days later, I waited outside Dr. Brandenberg's door and realized that I was tired of excusing the medical community for "not knowing anything about multiples." MPD had been recognized as a disorder for at least a hundred years. It had been brought to the attention of the professional and public communities through Three Faces of Eve in the 1950s and again by Sybil in the 1970s. Literature related to the disorder had snowballed in the clinical journals. I could understand that not every mental-health professional had treated a case, but I couldn't accept that mental-health professionals knew so little about it. At the very least, the doctors had access to the journals that had provided Jo with her wealth of information on the topic.
Joan Frances Casey (The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality)
the office. “What can I do for you, Hill?” he asked. “Sir, I need to talk to you about this Hatfield and McCoy thing. And the Gunsmith.” “I know, General,” he said, “you don’t approve of Pinkerton’s plan—but we’re paying the man for his expertise.” “May I sit, sir?” Buckner waved to his visitor’s chair. Hill folded his excess height into it. “Sir, I believe my men and I can go into West Virginia and find Devil Anse Hatfield.” The leader of the Hatfields was William Anderson, but everyone knew him as “Devil Anse.” “Then why haven’t you?” “Excuse me, sir, but you haven’t taken the shackles off me,” Hill said. “Just let me go in and do it my way.” “I want Devil Anse arrested, not killed,” Buckner said. “Yes, sir, but he doesn’t have the same scruples that you do. Innocent people are getting killed because they’re finding themselves in the middle of his feud, which has been going on for years. And it’s a family feud, since the two sides are now related by marriage—a marriage neither one approved of, by the way.” “I don’t need a history lesson on the Hatfields and McCoys,
J.R. Roberts (Deadly Feud (The Gunsmith Book 436))
As an experiment, I tweaked the questions using Kelly’s “Did I do my best to” formulation. • Did I do my best to be happy? • Did I do my best to find meaning? • Did I do my best to have a healthy diet? • Did I do my best to be a good husband? Suddenly, I wasn’t being asked how well I performed but rather how much I tried. The distinction was meaningful to me because in my original formulation, if I wasn’t happy or I ignored Lyda, I could always blame it on some factor outside myself. I could tell myself I wasn’t happy because the airline kept me on the tarmac for three hours (in other words, the airline was responsible for my happiness). Or I overate because a client took me to his favorite barbecue joint, where the food was abundant, caloric, and irresistible (in other words, my client—or was it the restaurant?—was responsible for controlling my appetite). Adding the words “did I do my best” added the element of trying into the equation. It injected personal ownership and responsibility into my question-and-answer process. After a few weeks using this checklist, I noticed an unintended consequence. Active questions themselves didn’t merely elicit an answer. They created a different level of engagement with my goals. To give an accurate accounting of my effort, I couldn’t simply answer yes or no or “30 minutes.” I had to rethink how I phrased my answers. For one thing, I had to measure my effort. And to make it meaningful—that is, to see if I was trending positively, actually making progress—I had to measure on a relative scale, comparing the most recent day’s effort with previous days. I chose to grade myself on a 1-to-10 scale, with 10 being the best score. If I scored low on trying to be happy, I had only myself to blame. We may not hit our goals every time, but there’s no excuse for not trying. Anyone can try.
Marshall Goldsmith (Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be)
Ashamed that I cannot by any deeds of mine pay the world all that I owe it, or, to Speak more honestly, that I am a Simple consumer of the world's goods and no producer of any of them. But this position is not one which I ought to be content with, as goes without saying. I should be no thinker or artist if I failed to be a thinker or an artist in relation to man and nature as they now exist. So long as I cannot give up my faith in the calling of poet or thinker, whether it be myself or anyone else, I must not for a moment excuse myself or anyone else who intends to be a poet or thinker, if we Should let the world go by itself and without any help from the poet and thinker.
Kojiro Sugimori (The Principles of the Moral Empire (Classic Reprint))
Now if you two will excuse us, we’ll get back to the relatively simple business of planning a war,’ he said.
John Flanagan (The Burning Bridge (Ranger's Apprentice #2))
I once heard of a child-teaching method so effective that the child remembered the learning experience over fifty years later. The child later became Dean of the USC School of Music and then related to me what his father said when he saw his child taking candy from the stock of his employer with the excuse that he intended to replace it later. The father said, "Son, it would be better for you to simply take all you want and call yourself a thief every time you do it" The best antidote to folly from an excess of self-regard is to force yourself to be more objective when you are thinking about yourself, your family and friends, your property, and the value of your past and future activity.This
Peter D. Kaufman (Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, Expanded Third Edition)