Experiments Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Experiments. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
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Henry David Thoreau (Walden: Or, Life in the Woods)
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A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.
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William Styron (Conversations with William Styron)
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I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.
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Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
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Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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Turn your wounds into wisdom.
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Oprah Winfrey
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Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
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NiccolΓ² Machiavelli (The Prince)
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My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; it’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you're lucky.
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Alan Moore
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I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.
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Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts On Common Things)
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She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.
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Louisa May Alcott (Work: A Story of Experience)
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By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
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Confucius
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The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
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Albert Einstein (The World As I See It)
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You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
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Eleanor Roosevelt (You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life)
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What's up?" I asked. You tell me," he said. "You were the one about ready to start making out with Adrian." It was an experiment," I said. "It was part of my therapy." What the hell kind of therapy are you in?
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Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
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Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
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Bob Marley
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It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.
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L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1))
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Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.
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Truman Capote
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It isn't possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.
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E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
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A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.
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Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt (Dirk Gently, #3))
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A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions--as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.
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Terry Pratchett
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The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
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Eleanor Roosevelt
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The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.
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Thomas Paine (A Letter Addressed to the Abbe Raynal on the Affairs of North America)
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Be thankful for everything that happens in your life; it’s all an experience.
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Roy T. Bennett
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There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life. " Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, 'Wait and Hope.
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Alexandre Dumas
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All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson
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When we are young, the words are scattered all around us. As they are assembled by experience, so also are we, sentence by sentence, until the story takes shape.
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Louise Erdrich (The Plague of Doves)
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I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love.
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Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
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We learn from failure, not from success!
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Bram Stoker (Dracula)
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A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
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Albert Einstein
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I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.
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Charlotte BrontΓ« (Jane Eyre)
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There is a saying in Tibetan, 'Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.' No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster.
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Dalai Lama XIV
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Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson (Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, with Annotations - 1841-1844)
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I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.
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C.G. Jung
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We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.
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T.S. Eliot (Four Quartets)
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I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours..
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Henry David Thoreau
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When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.
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Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
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Don't Just Don't just learn, experience. Don't just read, absorb. Don't just change, transform. Don't just relate, advocate. Don't just promise, prove. Don't just criticize, encourage. Don't just think, ponder. Don't just take, give. Don't just see, feel. Don’t just dream, do. Don't just hear, listen. Don't just talk, act. Don't just tell, show. Don't just exist, live.
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Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
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But who can say what's best? That's why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.
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Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
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True forgiveness is when you can say, "Thank you for that experience.
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Oprah Winfrey
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No matter how long you train someone to be brave, you never know if they are or not until something real happens.
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Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
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Because what’s worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?
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James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
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All knowledge hurts.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
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People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.
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Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
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Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.
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Angela Carter
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God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.
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C.S. Lewis
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And all the books you've read have been read by other people. And all the songs you've loved have been heard by other people. And that girl that's pretty to you is pretty to other people. and that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing 'unity.
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Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
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A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.
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Stephen King
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We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
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E.E. Cummings
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The plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don't need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone.
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Nick Hornby (How to be good)
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There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.
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Paulo Coelho (Brida)
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Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
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Anthony Burgess
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Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.
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Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
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People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.
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Jim Morrison
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The best teacher is experience and not through someone's distorted point of view
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Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
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No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it
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Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
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When in a relationship, a real man doesn't make his woman jealous of others, he makes others jealous of his woman.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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Man, you weigh a freaking ton," he told me. "What've you been eating, rocks?" "Why, is your head missing some?" I croaked. His mouth almost quirked in a smile, and that's when I knew how upset he'd been
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James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
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Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case.
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Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
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Don't let the expectations and opinions of other people affect your decisions. It's your life, not theirs. Do what matters most to you; do what makes you feel alive and happy. Don't let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are. If you let others tell you who you are, you are living their reality β€” not yours. There is more to life than pleasing people. There is much more to life than following others' prescribed path. There is so much more to life than what you experience right now. You need to decide who you are for yourself. Become a whole being. Adventure.
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Roy T. Bennett
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Freedom is what we do with what is done to us.
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Jean-Paul Sartre
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No matter how careful you are, there's going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn't experience it all. There's that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should've been paying attention. Well, get used to that feeling. That's how your whole life will feel some day. This is all practice.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
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Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
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Mark Twain
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Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn fast.
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William Nicholson (Shadowlands)
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No matter how nice the place is where you live, you need to experience life and the world.
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Terri Irwin (My Steve)
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Experience life in all possible ways -- good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light, summer-winter. Experience all the dualities. Don't be afraid of experience, because the more experience you have, the more mature you become.
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Osho
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I will not try to convince you to love me, to respect me, to commit to me. I deserve better than that; I AM BETTER THAN THAT...Goodbye.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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Popcorn for breakfast! Why not? It's a grain. It's like, like, grits, but with high self-esteem.
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James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
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The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.
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Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1))
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It's being here now that's important. There's no past and there's no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can't relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don't know if there is one.
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George Harrison
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Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
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Helen Keller
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Yes!” said Fang, punching the air. β€œFreaks rule.
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James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
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We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
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Rita Mae Brown (Alma Mater)
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Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.
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William Faulkner (The Wild Palms)
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This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.
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Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place)
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If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.
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Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
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If our sex life were determined by our first youthful experiments, most of the world would be doomed to celibacy. In no area of human experience are human beings more convinced that something better can be had only if they persevere.
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P.D. James (The Children of Men)
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Closed in a room, my imagination becomes the universe, and the rest of the world is missing out.
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Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
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You're only young once, they say, but doesn't it go on for a long time? More years than you can bear.
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Hilary Mantel (An Experiment in Love)
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Must you go? I was rather hoping you'd stay and be a ministering angel, but if you must go, you must." "I'll stay," Will said a bit crossly, and threw himself down in the armchair Tessa had just vacated. "I can minister angelically." "None too convincingly. And you're not as pretty to look at as Tessa is," Jem said, closing his eyes as he leaned back against the pillow. "How rude. Many who have gazed upon me have compared the experience to gazing at the radiance of the sun." Jem still had his eyes closed. "If they mean it gives you a headache, they aren't wrong.
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Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
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I find the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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I feel like, like pudding," Iggy groaned. "Pudding with nerve endings. Pudding in great pain.
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James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
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Who are you? Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them? I have. I am fucking crazy. But I am free.
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Lana Del Rey
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It's my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.
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Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
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Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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The funny thing about facing imminent death is that it really snaps everything else into perspective.
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James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
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We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
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Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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Nothing ever becomes real 'til it is experienced.
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John Keats
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Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joyβ€”the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
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BrenΓ© Brown
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I guess you could call it a "failure", but I prefer the term "learning experience".
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Andy Weir (The Martian)
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Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t β€œshould’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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Isn’t every human being both a scientist and an artist; and in writing of human experience, isn’t there a good deal to be said for recognizing that fact and for using both methods?
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James Agee (Let Us Now Praise Famous Men)
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I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, "aw shit, he's up!
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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Words without experience are meaningless.
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Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
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Anyone who is in love is making love the whole time, even when they're not. When two bodies meet, it is just the cup overflowing. They can stay together for hours, even days. They begin the dance one day and finish it the next, or--such is the pleasure they experience--they may never finish it. No eleven minutes for them.
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Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
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You feel your strength in the experience of pain.
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Jim Morrison
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We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.
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Kahlil Gibran
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Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit
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E.E. Cummings
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When you hold a grudge, you want someone else’s sorrow to reflect your level of hurt but the two rarely meet.
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Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
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One of the best confidence builder is experience.
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Jaymin Shah
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Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.
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Aldous Huxley (Texts & Pretexts: An Anthology With Commentaries)
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To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.
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Hans Christian Andersen (The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography)
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only someone who is ready for everything, who doesn't exclude any experience, even the most incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another person as something alive and will himself sound the depths of his own being.
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Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
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All the so-called "secrets of success" will not work unless you do.
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Jaymin Shah
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Meaning and morality of One's life come from within oneself. Healthy, strong individuals seek self expansion by experimenting and by living dangerously. Life consists of an infinite number of possibilities and the healthy person explores as many of them as posible. Religions that teach pity, self-contempt, humility, self-restraint and guilt are incorrect. The good life is ever changing, challenging, devoid of regret, intense, creative and risky.
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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Holy [Insert your choice of a swear word here]," said Fang stunned.
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James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
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Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he deserves it...Don't allow his anger to become your anger.
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Bohdi Sanders (Warrior Wisdom: Ageless Wisdom for the Modern Warrior)
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Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go its pretty damn good.
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Woody Allen
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Well, that's an evil smile...
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James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
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Ester asked why people are sad. "That’s simple," says the old man. "They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people's ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.
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Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
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Pain is a pesky part of being human, I've learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can't be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.
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C. JoyBell C.
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Each day wake up and ask yourself what will make you feel most alive that day.
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Jaymin Shah
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The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.
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Meister Eckhart (Sermons of Meister Eckhart)
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Some things cannot be taught; they must be experienced. You never learn the most valuable lessons in life until you go through your own journey.
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Roy T. Bennett
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Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.
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Jules Verne (A Journey to the Center of the Earth (Great Illustrated Classics))
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I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of nonfeeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.
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”
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
β€œ
I don’t think you ever really fall out of love with someone. I think when you fall in love, like true love, it’s love for life. All the rest is just experience and delusions.
”
”
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
β€œ
Life is a tapestry woven by the decisions we make.
”
”
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
β€œ
The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.
”
”
Emily Dickinson
β€œ
In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix first must burn.
”
”
Octavia E. Butler
β€œ
That's how you know you love someone, I guess, when you can't experience anything without wishing the other person were there to see it, too.
”
”
Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants)
β€œ
By seeking and blundering we learn.
”
”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
β€œ
My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me, or defeated me; it has only strengthened me.
”
”
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
β€œ
And if my heart be scarred and burned, The safer, I, for all I learned.
”
”
Dorothy Parker (Sunset Gun: Poems)
β€œ
The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.
”
”
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
β€œ
If you hold back on the emotions--if you don't allow yourself to go all the way through them--you can never get to being detached, you're too busy being afraid. You're afraid of the pain, you're afraid of the grief. You're afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your heard even, you experience them fully and completely.
”
”
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
β€œ
I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway... let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.
”
”
C. JoyBell C.
β€œ
I do believe in an everyday sort of magic -- the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone.
”
”
Charles de Lint
β€œ
The price of a memory, is the memory of the sorrow it brings.
”
”
Pittacus Lore (I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1))
β€œ
Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.
”
”
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
β€œ
Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.
”
”
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
β€œ
Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.
”
”
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
β€œ
I was an adventurer, but she was not an adventuress. She was a 'wanderess.' Thus, she didn’t care about money, only experiences - whether they came from wealth or from poverty, it was all the same to her.
”
”
Roman Payne (The Wanderess)
β€œ
Hollowness: that I understand. I'm starting to believe that there isn't anything you can do to fix it. That's what I've taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps
”
”
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
β€œ
Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy.
”
”
Emily BrontΓ« (Wuthering Heights)
β€œ
Fiction is one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved. Drugs, movies where stuff blows up, loud parties -- all these chase away loneliness by making me forget my name's Dave and I live in a one-by-one box of bone no other party can penetrate or know. Fiction, poetry, music, really deep serious sex, and, in various ways, religion -- these are the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated.
”
”
David Foster Wallace
β€œ
People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.
”
”
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
β€œ
In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each of us responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel. It hurt when I lost each of the various men I fell in love with. Now, though, I am convinced that no one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.
”
”
Paulo Coelho
β€œ
She fell, she hurt, she felt. She lived. And for all the tumble of her experiences, she still had hope. Maybe this next time would do the trick. Or maybe not. But unless you stepped into the game, you would never know.
”
”
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
β€œ
make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.
”
”
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
β€œ
If we can just let go and trust that things will work out they way they're supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.
”
”
Goldie Hawn
β€œ
I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.
”
”
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
β€œ
I took a bite of cookie and chewed. β€œHmmm,” I said, trying not to spit crumbs. β€œClear vanilla notes, too-sweet chocolate chips, distinct flavor of brown sugar. A decent cookie, not spectacular. Still, a good-hearted cookie, not pretentious.” I turned to Fang. β€œWhat say you?” β€œIt’s fine.” Some people just don’t have what it takes to appreciate a cookie.
”
”
James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
β€œ
And so, does the destination matter? Or is it the path we take? I declare that no accomplishment has substance nearly as great as the road used to achieve it. We are not creatures of destinations. It is the journey that shapes us. Our callused feet, our backs strong from carrying the weight of our travels, our eyes open with the fresh delight of experiences lived.
”
”
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
β€œ
Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired. Smile, even when you're trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision. Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy. Trust, even when your heart begs you not to. Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see. Frolick, even when you are made fun of. Kiss, even when others are watching. Sleep, even when you're afraid of what the dreams might bring. Run, even when it feels like you can't run any more. And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience---you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don't live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.
”
”
Alysha Speer
β€œ
Transformation is my favorite game and in my experience, anger and frustration are the result of you not being authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Life can’t work for you if you don’t show up as you.
”
”
Jason Mraz
β€œ
Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I'm always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it's very shocking to the system.
”
”
Flannery O'Connor (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose)
β€œ
Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.
”
”
Marianne Williamson
β€œ
We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accept it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.
”
”
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
β€œ
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
”
”
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
β€œ
People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.
”
”
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
β€œ
Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.
”
”
Shannon L. Alder
β€œ
A man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions.... He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer--because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement.
”
”
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
β€œ
Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome. People cannot abide being around you when you are depressed. They might think that they ought to, and they might even try, but you know and they know that you are tedious beyond belief: you are irritable and paranoid and humorless and lifeless and critical and demanding and no reassurance is ever enough. You're frightened, and you're frightening, and you're "not at all like yourself but will be soon," but you know you won't.
”
”
Kay Redfield Jamison (An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness)
β€œ
Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever.
”
”
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
β€œ
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
”
”
Mary Schmich
β€œ
Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person's sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves. No matter what corruption they're taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment - just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! - an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience - or to fake - a sense of self-esteem .. Love is our response to our highest values - and can be nothing else.
”
”
Ayn Rand
β€œ
Sometimes," Jem said, "our lives can change so fast that the change outpaces our minds and hearts. It's those times, I think, when our lives have altered but we still long for the time before everything was altered-- that is when we feel the greatest pain. I can tell you, though, from experience, you grow accustomed to it. You learn to live your new life, and you can't imagine, or even really remember, how things were before.
”
”
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
β€œ
What are you going to do with your life?" In one way or another it seemed that people had been asking her this forever; teachers, her parents, friends at three in the morning, but the question had never seemed this pressing and still she was no nearer an answer... "Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to be good and courageous and bold and to make difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
”
”
David Nicholls (One Day)
β€œ
We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography - to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience.
”
”
Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
β€œ
Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
”
”
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
β€œ
Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.
”
”
Anthony Robbins
β€œ
One thing I do know about intimacy is that there are certain natural laws which govern the sexual experience of two people, and that these laws cannot be budged any more than gravity can be negotiated with. To feel physically comfortable with someone else's body is not a decision you can make. It has very little to do with how two people think or act or talk or even look. The mysterious magnet is either there, buried somewhere deep behind the sternum, or it is not. When it isn't there (as I have learned in the past, with heartbreaking clarity) you can no more force it to exist than a surgeon can force a patient's body to accept a kidney from the wrong donor. My friend Annie says it all comes down to one simple question: "Do you want your belly pressed against this person's belly forever --or not?
”
”
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
β€œ
I have one last hope for you, which is something that I already had at 21. The friends with whom I sat on graduation day have been my friends for life. They are my children’s godparents, the people to whom I’ve been able to turn in times of trouble, friends who have been kind enough not to sue me when I’ve used their names for Death Eaters. At our graduation we were bound by enormous affection, by our shared experience of a time that could never come again, and, of course, by the knowledge that we held certain photographic evidence that would be exceptionally valuable if any of us ran for Prime Minister.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination)
β€œ
To lose a brother is to lose someone with whom you can share the experience of growing old, who is supposed to bring you a sister-in-law and nieces and nephews, creatures who people the tree of your life and give it new branches. To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches. To lose your mother, well, that is like losing the sun above you. It is like losing--I'm sorry, I would rather not go on.
”
”
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
β€œ
According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don't bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous. (quoted by Carol Lynn Pearson in Consider the Butterfly)
”
”
Deepak Chopra (Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles)
β€œ
People say, 'I'm going to sleep now,' as if it were nothing. But it's really a bizarre activity. 'For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I'm going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.' If you didn't know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you'd seen. They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be OK? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the 'mind adventures' got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren't unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.' So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you're in a science fiction movie. And whisper, 'The creature is regenerating itself.
”
”
George Carlin (Brain Droppings)
β€œ
Yes, I decided, a man can truly change. The events of the past year have taught me much about myself, and a few universal truths. I learned, for instance, that while wounds can be inflicted easily upon those we love, it's often much more difficult to heal them. Yet the process of healing those wounds provided the richest experience of my life, leading me to believe that while I've often overestimated what I could accomplish in a day, I had underestimated what I could do in a year. But most of all, I learned that it's possible for two people to fall in love all over again, even when there's been a lifetime of disappointment between them.
”
”
Nicholas Sparks (The Wedding (The Notebook, #2))
β€œ
If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless. If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won't understand what Bastian did next.
”
”
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
β€œ
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change
”
”
Thich Nhat Hanh
β€œ
Love is . . . Being happy for the other person when they are happy, Being sad for the person when they are sad, Being together in good times, And being together in bad times. LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF STRENGTH. Love is . . . Being honest with yourself at all times, Being honest with the other person at all times, Telling, listening, respecting the truth, And never pretending. LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF REALITY. Love is . . . An understanding so complete that you feel as if you are a part of the other person, Accepting the other person just the way they are, And not trying to change them to be something else. LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF UNITY. Love is . . . The freedom to pursue your own desires while sharing your experiences with the other person, The growth of one individual alongside of and together with the growth of another individual. LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF SUCCESS. Love is . . . The excitement of planning things together, The excitement of doing things together. LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF THE FUTURE. Love is . . . The fury of the storm, The calm in the rainbow. LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF PASSION. Love is . . . Giving and taking in a daily situation, Being patient with each other's needs and desires. LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF SHARING. Love is . . . Knowing that the other person will always be with you regardless of what happens, Missing the other person when they are away but remaining near in heart at all times. LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF SECURITY. LOVE IS . . . THE SOURCE OF LIFE!
”
”
Susan Polis Schutz
β€œ
But ... but what if I hit you?” A snort. β€œYou’re not going to hit me.” β€œHow do you know?” I bristled at his amused tone. β€œI could hit you. Even master swordsmen make mistakes. I could get a lucky shot, or you might not see me coming. I don’t want to hurt you.” He favored me with another patient look. β€œAnd how much experience do you have with swords and weapons in general?” β€œUm.” I glanced down at the saber in my hand. β€œThirty seconds?” He smiled, that calm, irritatingly confident smirk. β€œYou’re not going to hit me.
”
”
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
β€œ
Life is painful and messed up. It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do. Lots of times people just let themselves get lost, dropping into a wide open, huge abyss. But that's why we have to keep trying. We have to push through all that hurts us, work past all our memories that are haunting us. Sometimes the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest. A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. And that's why I tell everyone that, even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living.
”
”
Alysha Speer
β€œ
So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
”
”
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
β€œ
Nico strode forward. The enemy army fell back before him like he radiated death, which of course he did. Through the face guard of his skull-shaped helmet, he smiled. "Got your message. Is it too late to join the party?" "Son of Hades." Kronos spit on the ground. "Do you love death so much you wish to experience it?" "Your death," Nico said, "would be great for me." "I'm immortal, you fool! I have escaped Tartarus. You have no business here, and no chance to live." Nico drew his sword-three feet of wicked sharp Stygian iron, black as a nightmare. "I don't agree.
”
”
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
β€œ
No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.
”
”
Orson F. Whitney
β€œ
Question: I am interested in so many things, and I have a terrible fear because my mother keeps telling me that I'm just going to be exploring the rest of my life and never get anything done. But I find it really hard to set my ways and say, "Well, do I want to do this, or should I try to exploit that, or should I escape and completely do one thing?" AnaΓ―s Nin: One word I would banish from the dictionary is 'escape.' Just banish that and you'll be fine. Because that word has been misused regarding anybody who wanted to move away from a certain spot and wanted to grow. He was an escapist. You know if you forget that word you will have a much easier time. Also you're in the prime, the beginning of your life; you should experiment with everything, try everything.... We are taught all these dichotomies, and I only learned later that they could work in harmony. We have created false dichotomies; we create false ambivalences, and very painful one's sometimes -the feeling that we have to choose. But I think at one point we finally realize, sometimes subconsciously, whether or not we are really fitted for what we try and if it's what we want to do. You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you're not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn't a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.
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AnaΓ―s Nin
β€œ
A person who has not been completely alienated, who has remained sensitive and able to feel, who has not lost the sense of dignity, who is not yet "for sale", who can still suffer over the suffering of others, who has not acquired fully the having mode of existence - briefly, a person who has remained a person and not become a thing - cannot help feeling lonely, powerless, isolated in present-day society. He cannot help doubting himself and his own convictions, if not his sanity. He cannot help suffering, even though he can experience moments of joy and clarity that are absent in the life of his "normal" contemporaries. Not rarely will he suffer from neurosis that results from the situation of a sane man living in an insane society, rather than that of the more conventional neurosis of a sick man trying to adapt himself to a sick society. In the process of going further in his analysis, i.e. of growing to greater independence and productivity,his neurotic symptoms will cure themselves.
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Erich Fromm (The Art of Being)
β€œ
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond any experience, your eyes have their silence: in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me, or which i cannot touch because they are too near your slightest look easily will unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers, you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose or if your wish be to close me, i and my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly, as when the heart of this flower imagines the snow carefully everywhere descending; nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals the power of your intense fragility: whose texture compels me with the colour of its countries, rendering death and forever with each breathing (i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens; only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
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E.E. Cummings (Selected Poems)
β€œ
Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal... In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately. Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh--not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.
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Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings)
β€œ
The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie. I came from a country where race was not an issue; I did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America. When you are black in America and you fall in love with a white person, race doesn’t matter when you’re alone together because it’s just you and your love. But the minute you step outside, race matters. But we don’t talk about it. We don’t even tell our white partners the small things that piss us off and the things we wish they understood better, because we’re worried they will say we’re overreacting, or we’re being too sensitive. And we don’t want them to say, Look how far we’ve come, just forty years ago it would have been illegal for us to even be a couple blah blah blah, because you know what we’re thinking when they say that? We’re thinking why the fuck should it ever have been illegal anyway? But we don’t say any of this stuff. We let it pile up inside our heads and when we come to nice liberal dinners like this, we say that race doesn’t matter because that’s what we’re supposed to say, to keep our nice liberal friends comfortable. It’s true. I speak from experience.
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
β€œ
Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart. Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.
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Henri J.M. Nouwen
β€œ
We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fanciesβ€”all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.
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Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception)
β€œ
Stories have changed, my dear boy,” the man in the grey suit says, his voice almost imperceptibly sad. β€œThere are no more battles between good and evil, no monsters to slay, no maidens in need of rescue. Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case. There are no longer simple tales with quests and beasts and happy endings. The quests lack clarity of goal or path. The beasts take different forms and are difficult to recognize for what they are. And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise. Things keep overlapping and blur, your story is part of your sister’s story is part of many other stories, and there in no telling where any of them may lead. Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon, or a wolf and a scarlet-clad little girl. And is not the dragon the hero of his own story? Is not the wolf simply acting as a wolf should act? Though perhaps it is a singular wolf who goes to such lengths as to dress as a grandmother to toy with its prey.
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Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
β€œ
I watched him pitch the ball at a table neatly lined with six bowling pins, my stomach giving a little flutter when his T-shirt crept up in the back, revealing a stripe of skin. I knew from experience that every inch of him was hard, defined muscle. His back was smooth and perfect too, the scars from when he’d fallen once again replaced with wingsβ€”wings I, and every other human, couldn’t see. β€œFive dollars says you can’t do it again,” I said, coming up behind him. Patch looked back and grinned. β€œI don’t want your money, Angel.” β€œHey now, kids, let’s keep this discussion PG-rated,” Rixon said. β€œAll three remaining pins,” I challenged Patch. β€œWhat kind of prize are we talking about?” he asked. β€œBloody hell,” Rixon said. β€œCan’t this wait until you’re alone?” Patch gave me a secret smile, then shifted his weight back, cradling the ball into his chest. He dropped his right shoulder, brought his arm around, and sent the ball flying forward as hard as he could. There was a loud crack! and the remaining three pins scattered off the table. β€œAye, now you’re in trouble, lass,” Rixon shouted at me over the commotion caused by a pocket of onlookers, who were clapping and whistling for Patch. Patch leaned back against the booth and arched his eyebrows at me. The gesture said it all: Pay up. β€œYou got lucky,” I said. β€œI’m about to get lucky.
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Becca Fitzpatrick (Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2))
β€œ
Growing up means learning what life is. When you're little, you have a set of ideals, standards, criteria, plans, outlooks, and you think that you have to sit around and wait for them to happen to you and then life will work. But life isn't like that, for anybody; you can't fall in love with a standard, you have to fall in love with a person. You can't live in a criteria, you have to live your life. You can't wait for your plans to materialize, because they may never materialize the way you think they will. You can't wait to watch your ideals and standards walk up to you, because you can't know what's yours until you have it. I always say, always take the first chance in case you never get a second one, but growing up takes that even one step further, growing up means that you have to hold on to what you have, when you have it, because what you have- that's yours- and all the ideals and criteria you have set in your head, those aren't yours, because those haven't happened to you.
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C. JoyBell C.
β€œ
I'd like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience. You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.
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Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
β€œ
First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons β€” but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world β€” a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring β€” this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth. Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else β€” but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself. It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.
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Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad CafΓ© and Other Stories)
β€œ
He who becomes the slave of habit, who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes, who does not speak and does not experience, dies slowly. He or she who shuns passion, who prefers black on white, dotting ones "it’s" rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer, that turn a yawn into a smile, that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly. He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy, who is unhappy at work, who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to thus follow a dream, those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly. He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly. He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem, who does not allow himself to be helped, who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops, dies slowly. He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know, he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know, die slowly. Let's try and avoid death in small doses, reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing. Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
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Martha Medeiros
β€œ
The truth is, everyone likes to look down on someone. If your favorites are all avant-garde writers who throw in Sanskrit and German, you can look down on everyone. If your favorites are all Oprah Book Club books, you can at least look down on mystery readers. Mystery readers have sci-fi readers. Sci-fi can look down on fantasy. And yes, fantasy readers have their own snobbishness. I’ll bet this, though: in a hundred years, people will be writing a lot more dissertations on Harry Potter than on John Updike. Look, Charles Dickens wrote popular fiction. Shakespeare wrote popular fictionβ€”until he wrote his sonnets, desperate to show the literati of his day that he was real artist. Edgar Allan Poe tied himself in knots because no one realized he was a genius. The core of the problem is how we want to define β€œliterature”. The Latin root simply means β€œletters”. Those letters are either deliveredβ€”they connect with an audienceβ€”or they don’t. For some, that audience is a few thousand college professors and some critics. For others, its twenty million women desperate for romance in their lives. Those connections happen because the books successfully communicate something real about the human experience. Sure, there are trashy books that do really well, but that’s because there are trashy facets of humanity. What people value in their booksβ€”and thus what they count as literatureβ€”really tells you more about them than it does about the book.
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Brent Weeks
β€œ
For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasΓ©: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script. It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters. And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls. It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I'm not a real person and neither is anyone else. I would have done anything to feel real again.
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Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
β€œ
Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess: Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity. Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples' affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends. Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains -- they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing. I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn't agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong. Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint -- it is so hard to live with some of them -- but a harsh old person is one of the devil's masterpieces. Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so. Amen
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Anonymous
β€œ
I was in the winter of my life- and the men I met along the road were my only summer. At night I fell sleep with visions of myself dancing and laughing and crying with them. Three years down the line of being on an endless world tour and memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times. I was a singer, not a very popular one, who once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet- but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like a million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again- sparkling and broken. But I really didn’t mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what true freedom is. When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I had been living- they asked me why. But there’s no use in talking to people who have a home, they have no idea what its like to seek safety in other people, for home to be wherever you lay your head. I was always an unusual girl, my mother told me that I had a chameleon soul. No moral compass pointing me due north, no fixed personality. Just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide as wavering as the ocean. And if I said that I didn't plan for it to turn out this way I’d be lying- because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one- who belonged to everyone, who had nothing- who wanted everything with a fire for every experience and an obsession for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn’t even talk about- and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me. Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people- and finally I did- on the open road. We have nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore- except to make our lives into a work of art.
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Lana Del Rey
β€œ
I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college β€œadult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin. And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin. I love movies about β€œThe Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies. John Lennon once said, β€œLife is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat. The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies. But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.
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Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
β€œ
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.
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Mary Schmich (Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life)
β€œ
There was a girl, and her uncle sold her. Put like that it seems so simple. No man, proclaimed Donne, is an island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other's tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived and then by some means or other, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes- forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There's not a chance you'll mistake one for another, after a minute's close inspection) but still unique. Without individuals we see only numbers, a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, "casualties may rise to a million." With individual stories, the statistics become people- but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless. Look, see the child's swollen, swollen belly and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, this skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears? To see him from the inside? And if it does, are we not doing a disservice to his sister, who lies in the searing dust beside him, a distorted distended caricature of a human child? And there, if we feel for them, are they now more important to us than a thousand other children touched by the same famine, a thousand other young lives who will soon be food for the flies' own myriad squirming children? We draw our lines around these moments of pain, remain upon our islands, and they cannot hurt us. They are covered with a smooth, safe, nacreous layer to let them slip, pearllike, from our souls without real pain. Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives. A life that is, like any other, unlike any other. And the simple truth is this: There was a girl, and her uncle sold her.
”
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Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))