Family Of Choice Quotes

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There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.
Shannon L. Alder
The Waverley sisters hadn't been close as children, but they were as thick as thieves now, the way adult siblings often are, the moment they realize that family is actually a choice.
Sarah Addison Allen (First Frost (Waverley Family, #2))
Was it really that simple? Choosing a life? ... Maybe you don't fall in love. Maybe you jump. Maybe, just maybe, it's all a choice. (Josh Matteson)
Sarah Addison Allen (First Frost (Waverley Family, #2))
Clary, Despite everything, I can't bear the thought of this ring being lost forever, any more then I can bear the thought of leaving you forever. And though I have no choice about the one, at least I can choose about the other. I'm leaving you our family ring because you have as much right to it as I do. I'm writing this watching the sun come up. You're asleep, dreams moving behind your restless eyelids. I wish I knew what you were thinking. I wish I could slip into your head and see the world the way you do. I wish I could see myself the way you do. But maybe I dont want to see that. Maybe it would make me feel even more than I already do that I'm perpetuating some kind of Great Lie on you, and I couldn't stand that. I belong to you. You could do anything you wanted with me and I would let you. You could ask anything of me and I'd break myself trying to make you happy. My heart tells me this is the best and greatest feeling I have ever had. But my mind knows the difference between wanting what you can't have and wanting what you shouldn't want. And I shouldn't want you. All night I've watched you sleeping, watched the moonlight come and go, casting its shadows across your face in black and white. I've never seen anything more beautiful. I think of the life we could have had if things were different, a life where this night is not a singular event, separate from everything else that's real, but every night. But things aren't different, and I can't look at you without feeling like I've tricked you into loving me. The truth no one is willing to say out loud is that no one has a shot against Valentine but me. I can get close to him like no one else can. I can pretend I want to join him and he'll believe me, up until that last moment where I end it all, one way or another. I have something of Sebastian's; I can track him to where my father's hiding, and that's what I'm going to do. So I lied to you last night. I said I just wanted one night with you. But I want every night with you. And that's why I have to slip out of your window now, like a coward. Because if I had to tell you this to your face, I couldn't make myself go. I don't blame you if you hate me, I wish you would. As long as I can still dream, I will dream of you. _Jace
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Family is found...whether it be blood or circumstance or choice, what binds us does not matter. All that matters is that we are bound.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Malibu Rising)
He sighs. "I miss the days when females could be ordered around and they'd have no choice." "Sure that wasn't just a myth? I'm pretty sure nobody ever ordered my mom around - ever." "You're probably right. The unruliness of the women in your family must go back for generations. You're like a plague upon the land.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
The greatest thing a father can do for his children is to respect the woman that gave birth to his children. It is because of her that you have the greatest treasures in your life. You may have moved on, but your children have not. If you can’t be her soulmate, then at least be thoughtful. Whom your children love should always be someone that you acknowledge with kindness. Your children notice everything and will follow your example.
Shannon L. Alder (300 Questions Lds Couples Should Ask for a More Vibrant Marriage)
Life is a big fat gigantic stinking mess, that's the beauty of it, too.
Gayle Forman (If I Stay (If I Stay, #1))
Never surrender your hopes and dreams to the fateful limitations others have placed on their own lives. The vision of your true destiny does not reside within the blinkered outlook of the naysayers and the doom prophets. Judge not by their words, but accept advice based on the evidence of actual results. Do not be surprised should you find a complete absence of anything mystical or miraculous in the manifested reality of those who are so eager to advise you. Friends and family who suffer the lack of abundance, joy, love, fulfillment and prosperity in their own lives really have no business imposing their self-limiting beliefs on your reality experience.
Anthon St. Maarten
She couldn't change who she was, and she no longer wanted to, even if she could. She knew that who you are is a stone set deep inside you. You can spend all your life trying to dig that stone out, or you can build around it. Your choice.
Sarah Addison Allen (First Frost (Waverley Family, #2))
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
Bill Hicks
We're all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices. Some are on a grand scale, most of these choices are on lesser points. But we define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly, Human happiness does not seem to be included in the design of creation. it is only we, with our capacity to love that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying and even try to find joy from simple things, like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more
Woody Allen
Psychologists call it “learned helplessness” when a person believes, as I did during my youth, that the choices I made had no effect on the outcomes in my life.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
You can be a pawn, be someone’s reward, and spend the rest of your immortal life bowing and scraping and pretending you’re less than him, than Ianthe, than any of us. If you want to pick that road, then fine. A shame, but it’s your choice.” The shadow of wings rippled again. “But I know you—more than you realize, I think—and I don’t believe for one damn minute that you’re remotely fine with being a pretty trophy for someone who sat on his ass for nearly fifty years, then sat on his ass while you were shredded apart—” “Stop it—” “Or,” he plowed ahead, “you’ve got another choice. You can master whatever powers we gave to you, and make it count. You can play a role in this war. Because war is coming one way or another, and do not try to delude yourself that any of the Fae will give a shit about your family across the wall when our whole territory is likely to become a charnel house.” I stared
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
Some people live in cages with bars built from their own fears and doubts. Some people live in cages with bars built from other people's fears and doubts; their parents, their friends, their brothers and sisters, their families. Some people live in cages with bars built from the choices others made for them, the circumstances other people imposed upon them. And some people break free.
C. JoyBell C.
whenever people ask me what I’d most like to change about the white working class, I say, “The feeling that our choices don’t matter.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
They called each other family and that’s what they were—sisters. Many people in the world had family of the heart, kin by choice rather than by blood, and hers had come along in her darkest hour and saved her life.
Christine Feehan (Spirit Bound (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #2))
Every broken heart has one time or another asked, "What is important to me now?
Shannon L. Alder
You can be bit in the leg by a rattlesnake and seek help to heal your wound, or you can run after it and let the poison take your leg. The same is true with love.
Shannon L. Alder
In a society in which nearly everybody is dominated by somebody else's mind or by a disembodied mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn the truth about the activities of governments and corporations, about the quality or value of products, or about the health of one's own place and economy. In such a society, also, our private economies will depend less and less upon the private ownership of real, usable property, and more and more upon property that is institutional and abstract, beyond individual control, such as money, insurance policies, certificates of deposit, stocks, and shares. And as our private economies become more abstract, the mutual, free helps and pleasures of family and community life will be supplanted by a kind of displaced or placeless citizenship and by commerce with impersonal and self-interested suppliers... Thus, although we are not slaves in name, and cannot be carried to market and sold as somebody else's legal chattels, we are free only within narrow limits. For all our talk about liberation and personal autonomy, there are few choices that we are free to make. What would be the point, for example, if a majority of our people decided to be self-employed? The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth - that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community - and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
Home is a choice.
Victoria Schwab (Gallant)
Choice not chance determines your destiny [my family motto...credited to Aristotle]
Aristotle
God whispered, "You endured a lot. For that I am truly sorry, but grateful. I needed you to struggle to help so many. Through that process you would grow into who you have now become. Didn't you know that I gave all my struggles to my favorite children? One only needs to look at the struggles given to your older brother Jesus to know how important you have been to me.
Shannon L. Alder
How do people stay in love, anyway? Is it a choice? Or is it like those plants we studied in biology that mutate into something new and totally different but are still part of the same plant family?
Libba Bray (Going Bovine)
I rang my mother to thank her for giving birth to me and she said, "What choice had I? You were in there, how else were you going to get out?
Marian Keyes (Anybody Out There? (Walsh Family, #4))
There are no guarantees with finally being honest and coming clean with people. Sometimes you don’t win love back. Sometimes you lose the love you had. Sometimes you crush people that cared. Sometimes you break apart families. Sometimes you lose your career. Sometimes you lose your way of life. Sometimes you end up worse off than you were before. However, you walk away with a heart free from lies, regret and you have closure. Within time, you find yourself in a life that is far from the prison you once lived in. This type of freedom is the scariest road you will ever travel. However, it is the road God will never let you travel alone.
Shannon L. Alder
Family is a choice?" "It is?" His thumb pressed into my palm firmly. "It's your choice. Parents and siblings are your relations. Family takes care of one another and helps each other. When each side is working together, when everyone wants it, that makes the difference.
C.L. Stone (Friends vs. Family (The Ghost Bird, #3))
We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. that is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us)
The people that truly love us in life don't fight for us to remain a doormat for others.
Shannon L. Alder
And he should be found at fault for existing? What choice did he have in the matter?
T.J. Klune (The House in the Cerulean Sea)
Very early on in writing the series, I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley, 'Well, you know, she’s just a mother.' And I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, 'Well, I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that’s my choice.' Doesn’t mean that that’s all she can do. And as we proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley comes out and proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield.
J.K. Rowling
Half of the time, the Holy Ghost tries to warn us about certain people that come into our life. The other half of the time he tries to tell us that the sick feeling we get in a situation is not the other person’s fault, rather it is our own hang-ups. A life filled with bias, hatred, judgment, insecurity, fear, delusion and self-righteousness can cloud the soul of anyone you meet. Our job is never to assume,instead it is to listen, communicate, ask questions then ask more, until we know the true depth of someone’s spirit.
Shannon L. Alder
One choice doesn’t determine your whole future.
Brigid Kemmerer (Call It What You Want)
Never sever ties with a family member you once loved. Each of you might be on different spiritual paths, but both trails are leading you home.
Shannon L. Alder
Pray that God is the most important thing in your life, so much so that hurting him wold hurt you. When that happens, and your choices line up with his, it produces an amazing ripple effect of blessings--in your life, that of your family, and for the man you eventually marry.
Julie Lessman (A Passion Denied (The Daughters of Boston, #3))
Long before all these divisions were opened between home and the road, betweens a woman's place and a man's world, humans followed the crops, the seasons, traveling with their families, our companions, animals, our tents. We built campfires and moved from place to place. This way of traveling is still in our cellular memory. Living things have evolved as travelers, Even migrating birds know that nature doesn't demand a choice between nesting and flight.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
No two persons can learn something and experience it in the same way.
Shannon L. Alder
When a man has a relationship with a woman, he also has to have relationship with her family, job, fears, tears, flaws, choices and other unexpected things.
Nina Ardianti (Fly to the Sky)
We might not know we are seeking people who best enrich our lives, but somehow on a deep subconscious level we absolutely are. Whether the bond is temporary or permanent, whether it succeeds or fails, fate is simply a configuration of choices that combine with others to shape the relationships that surround us. We cannot choose our family, but we can choose our friends, and we sometimes, before we even meet them.
Simon Pegg (Nerd Do Well)
All roads out of hell lead home.
Shannon L. Alder
Tough love and brutal truth from strangers are far more valuable than Band-Aids and half-truths from invested friends, who don’t want to see you suffer any more than you have.
Shannon L. Alder
Since that night I have come to understand that sometimes the best families of all are those we create ourselves, the people we choose to be with.
Silas House (Eli the Good)
Dear Child, Sometimes on your travel through hell, you meet people that think they are in heaven because of their cleverness and ability to get away with things. Travel past them because they don't understand who they have become and never will. These type of people feel justified in revenge and will never learn mercy or forgiveness because they live by comparison. They are the people that don't care about anyone, other than who is making them feel confident. They don’t understand that their deity is not rejoicing with them because of their actions, rather he is trying to free them from their insecurities, by softening their heart. They rather put out your light than find their own. They don't have the ability to see beyond the false sense of happiness they get from destroying others. You know what happiness is and it isn’t this. Don’t see their success as their deliverance. It is a mask of vindication which has no audience, other than their own kind. They have joined countless others that call themselves “survivors”. They believe that they are entitled to win because life didn’t go as planned for them. You are not like them. You were not meant to stay in hell and follow their belief system. You were bound for greatness. You were born to help them by leading. Rise up and be the light home. You were given the gift to see the truth. They will have an army of people that are like them and you are going to feel alone. However, your family in heaven stands beside you now. They are your strength and as countless as the stars. It is time to let go! Love, Your Guardian Angel
Shannon L. Alder
These same people who tell us we must defend the lives of the unborn-they are the same people who seem not so interested in defending anyone but themselves after the accident of birth is complete! These same people who profess their love of the unborn's soul-they don't care to make much of a contribution to the poor, they don't care to offer much assistance to the unwanted or the oppressed! How do they justify such a concern for the fetus and such a lack of concern for unwanted and abused children? They condemn others for the accident of conception; they condemn the poor-as if the poor can help being poor. One way the poor could help themselves would be to be in control of the size of their families. I thought that freedom of choice was obviously democratic-was obviously American!
John Irving (The Cider House Rules)
Never presume to know a person based on the one dimensional window of the internet. A soul can’t be defined by critics, enemies or broken ties with family or friends. Neither can it be explained by posts or blogs that lack facial expressions, tone or insight into the person’s personality and intent. Until people “get that”, we will forever be a society that thinks Beautiful Mind was a spy movie and every stranger is really a friend on Facebook.
Shannon L. Alder
Live the life you wish to, date the man you wish to date, and stop looking to your family for affirmation for the choices that you make. Life is full of risks. You can't live your life in fear of how people will judge you for following your dreams.
David Sullivan (The Sound of Your Voice)
Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say NO without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions.
Stephanie Lahart
The person who hurt you--who raped you or killed your family--is also here. If you are still angry at that person, if you haven't been able to forgive, you are chained to him. Everyone could feel the emotional truth of that: When someone offends you and you haven't let go, every time you see him, you grow breathless or your heart skips a beat. If the trauma was really severe, you dream of revenge. Above you, is the Mountain of Peace and Prosperity where we all want to go. But when you try to climb that hill, the person you haven't forgiven weighs you down. It's a personal choice whether or not to let go. No one can tell you how long to mourn a death or rage over a rape. But you can't move forward until you break that chain.
Leymah Gbowee (Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War)
There are moments in your life, moments when chances have to be taken. It's scary because there is always the possibility of failure. I know that. I KNOW that. Because once upon a time, I took a chance on a man that I had failed before. I was SCARED. I was TERRIFIED. I thought I might lose everything. But I wasn't living, then. The life I had before wasn't LIVING. It was getting by. And I will never regret the chances I took. Because it brought me to them. To all of them. I made my choice. And you're making yours. Don't you wish things could be different?
T.J. Klune (The House in the Cerulean Sea)
Since childhood, I’d believed it was important to speak out against bullies while also not stooping to their level. And to be clear, we were now up against a bully, a man who among other things demeaned minorities and expressed contempt for prisoners of war, challenging the dignity of our country with practically his every utterance. I wanted Americans to understand that words matter—that the hateful language they heard coming from their TVs did not reflect the true spirit of our country and that we could vote against it. It was dignity I wanted to make an appeal for—the idea that as a nation we might hold on to the core thing that had sustained my family, going back generations. Dignity had always gotten us through. It was a choice, and not always the easy one, but the people I respected most in life made it again and again, every single day. There was a motto Barack and I tried to live by, and I offered it that night from the stage: When they go low, we go high.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
The most important quality in the man you decide to marry should be the ability to make you laugh. Beauty fades, careers end, money comes and goes, religions change, children grow up and move away, spouses get sick, struggles happen, family members die, senility sets in when your older, but the ability to make you giggle every day is the most precious gift God can give you to get through all of it.
Shannon L. Alder (300 Questions LDS Couples Should Ask Before Marriage)
Family means nothing,” she said, and I knew she believed it. “You have no obligation to love your family. It wasn’t your choice to be born.
Alice Oseman (Radio Silence)
I thought of how proud he was when he took the marks- cutting the skin of his throat in a long slash and then packing it with ashes until keloid scars rose up. He called it his second smile.
Holly Black (Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2))
When people want to win they will go to desperate extremes. However, anyone that has already won in life has come to the conclusion that there is no game. There is nothing but learning in this life and it is the only thing we take with us to the grave—knowledge. If you only understood that concept then your heart wouldn’t break so bad. Jealousy or revenge wouldn’t be your ambition. Stepping on others to raise yourself up wouldn’t be a goal. Competition would be left on the playing field, and your freedom from what other people think about you would light the pathway out of hell.
Shannon L. Alder
Friendship is not by force but by choice. You can never please everybody, he who aims to please everybody will end up pleasing nobody.
Stella Oladiran (Winning Formulas)
My mother has made choices in her life, as we all must, and she is at peace with them. I can see her peace. She did not cop out on herself. The benefits of her choices are massive-a long, stable marriage to a man she still calls her best friend; a family that has extended now into grandchildren who adore her; a certainty in her own strength. Maybe some things were sacrificed, and my dad made his sacrifices, too-but who amongst us lives without sacrifice?
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
There’s something about having your choices taken from you that is equally liberating and frightening. Handing over control to a person is a big deal. A showing of trust. And sometimes, I would like to be taken on a ride rather than drive.
Belle Aurora (Raw (RAW Family, #1))
When you blame others, what you are really saying is what is inside of you can’t be fixed, so you have no control of your own happiness. Therefore, you have made the conscience choice to give focus and fuel to a bad situation that will take you nowhere and give you nothing, but ignorance and pain.
Shannon L. Alder
With every choice you create the life you’ll live; with every decision you design it.
Mollie Marti (Walking with Justice: Uncommon Lessons from One of Life's Greatest Mentors)
Now, it is frequently asserted that, with women, the job does not come first. What (people cry) are women doing with this liberty of theirs? What woman really prefers a job to a home and family? Very few, I admit. It is unfortunate that they should so often have to make the choice. A man does not, as a rule, have to choose. He gets both. Nevertheless, there have been women ... who had the choice, and chose the job and made a success of it. And there have been and are many men who have sacrificed their careers for women ... When it comes to a choice, then every man or woman has to choose as an individual human being, and, like a human being, take the consequences.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society)
People say that you're stuck with the family you're born into. And for most people, that's probably true. But we all make choices about people. Who we want to hold close, who we want to remain in our lives, and who we are just fine without.
Elizabeth Acevedo (With the Fire on High)
The second rule is family is a choice.” I thought about that. “You can’t choose your family. It’s all blood relations.” “Family consists of people you care about, who care about you, who try to make an effort.
C.L. Stone (Liar (The Scarab Beetle, #2))
There are times when you don't belong and you think you're going to kill yourself. Once I went to a hotel. Later that night I made a plan. The plan was I would leave my family when my second child was born. And that's what I did. I got up one morning, made breakfast, went to the bus stop, got on a bus. I'd left a note. I got a job in a library in Canada. It would be wonderful to say you regretted it. It would be easy. But what does it mean? What does it mean to regret when you have no choice? It's what you can bear. There it is. No-one's going to forgive me. It was death. I chose life." -Laura Brown-
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
Let him who has not a single speck of migration to blot his family escutcheon cast the first stone...if you didn't migrate then your father did, and if your father didn't need to move from place to place, then it was only because your grandfather before him had no choice but to go, put his old life behind him in search of the bread that his own land denied him...
José Saramago (The Notebook)
A family by choice, not chance. A choice to love, and to be loved in return. A choice to take care of and enjoy one another, not to put up with or to suffer through one another.
T.M. Frazier (The Dark Light of Day (The Dark Light of Day, #1))
Empathy and a huge imagination explain a lot of mysteries in the universe.
Shannon L. Alder
There was something special about family by choice. It wasn’t blood that held us all together. It was loyalty. Love.
Cambria Hebert (#Junkie (GearShark, #1))
When you settle for anything short of the best life God wants to offer you, then you have been tempted to remain safe and the accountability for not changing your life becomes your prison of regret.
Shannon L. Alder
If I do not know the will of my Father, and what He requires of me in a certain transaction, if I ask Him to give me wisdom concerning any requirement in my life, or in regard to my own course, or that of my friends, my family, my children, or those that I preside over, and get no answer from Him, and then do the very best that my judgement will teach me, He is bound to own and honor that transaction, and He will do so to all intents and purposes.
Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses, Volume 3)
Letting her go wasn't a choice because he would never let her go; she was taken away from him.
Mrinalini Mitra (Belief)
You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch. Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy. You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. Your personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like. If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way. Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference. Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.
Julien Smith (The Flinch)
What is it that makes a family? Certainly no document does, no legal pronouncement or accident of birth. No, real families come from choices we make about who we want to be bound to, and the ties to such families live in our hearts.
Elizabeth Berg (The Story of Arthur Truluv (Mason, #1))
In places where government priorities and market imperatives create a world so capricious that to help a neighbor is to risk your ability to feed your family, and sometimes even your own liberty, the idea of the mutually supportive poor community is demolished. The poor blame one another for the choices of governments and markets, and we who are not poor are ready to blame the poor just as harshly.
Katherine Boo (Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity)
What makes you think I want to marry you?” “What makes you think you have a choice?
C.M. Steele (Burning For Claire (The O'Connell Family, #2))
To keep walking a path between loyalty to your family and loyalty to what you know is right. One of these days, you’re going to have to make a choice.
S.A. Chakraborty (The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1))
You are a Lightwood," Cecily said. "You stayed because you were loyal to your family name. It is not cowardice." "Wasn't it? Is loyalty still a commendable quality when it is misdirected?" Cecily opened her mouth, then closed it again. Gabriel was looking for her, his eyes shining in the moonlight. He seemed genuinely desperate to hear her answer. She wondered if he had anyone else to talk to. She could see how it might be terrifying to take one's moral qualms to Gideon; he seemed so staunch, as if he never questioned himself in his life and would not understand those who did. "I think," she said, choosing her words with care, "that any good impulse can be twisted into something evil. Look at the Magister. He does what he does because he hates the Shadowhunters, out of loyalty to his parents, who cared for him, and who were killed. It is not beyond the realm of understanding. And yet nothing excuses the result. I think when we make choices-for each choice is individual of the choices we have made before-we must examine not only our reasons for making them but what result they will have, and whether good people will be hurt by our decisions.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I am, and always have been - first, last, and always - a child of America. You raised me. I grew up in the pastures and hills of Texas, but I had been to thirty-four states before I learned how to drive. When I caught the stomach flu in the fifth grade, my mother sent a note to school written on the back of a holiday memo from Vice President Biden. Sorry, sir—we were in a rush, and it was the only paper she had on hand. I spoke to you for the first time when I was eighteen, on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when I introduced my mother as the nominee for president. You cheered for me. I was young and full of hope, and you let me embody the American dream: that a boy who grew up speaking two languages, whose family was blended and beautiful and enduring, could make a home for himself in the White House. You pinned the flag to my lapel and said, “We’re rooting for you.” As I stand before you today, my hope is that I have not let you down. Years ago, I met a prince. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, his country had raised him too. The truth is, Henry and I have been together since the beginning of this year. The truth is, as many of you have read, we have both struggled every day with what this means for our families, our countries, and our futures. The truth is, we have both had to make compromises that cost us sleep at night in order to afford us enough time to share our relationship with the world on our own terms. We were not afforded that liberty. But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable. America has always believed this. And so, I am not ashamed to stand here today where presidents have stood and say that I love him, the same as Jack loved Jackie, the same as Lyndon loved Lady Bird. Every person who bears a legacy makes the choice of a partner with whom they will share it, whom the American people will “hold beside them in hearts and memories and history books. America: He is my choice. Like countless other Americans, I was afraid to say this out loud because of what the consequences might be. To you, specifically, I say: I see you. I am one of you. As long as I have a place in this White House, so will you. I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us. If I can ask only one thing of the American people, it’s this: Please, do not let my actions influence your decision in November. The decision you will make this year is so much bigger than anything I could ever say or do, and it will determine the fate of this country for years to come. My mother, your president, is the warrior and the champion that each and every American deserves for four more years of growth, progress, and prosperity. Please, don’t let my actions send us backward. I ask the media not to focus on me or on Henry, but on the campaign, on policy, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans at stake in this election. And finally, I hope America will remember that I am still the son you raised. My blood still runs from Lometa, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Mexico City. I still remember the sound of your voices from that stage in Philadelphia. I wake up every morning thinking of your hometowns, of the families I’ve met at rallies in Idaho and Oregon and South Carolina. I have never hoped to be anything other than what I was to you then, and what I am to you now—the First Son, yours in actions and words. And I hope when Inauguration Day comes again in January, I will continue to be.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
In short, with each of the thousand-and-one problems that present themselves in family life, our choice is between controlling and teaching, between creating an atmosphere of distrust and one of trust, between setting an example of power and helping children to learn responsibility, between quick-fix parenting and the kind that's focused on long-term goals.
Alfie Kohn (Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason)
The U.S. was the immigration country of choice even for alien jellyfish things that turned humans into scary monsters. It made you proud, really.
Gini Koch (Alien in the Family (Katherine "Kitty" Katt, #3))
As she stood in the darkened room and watched my sister and father, I knew one of things that heaven meant. I had a choice, and it was not to divide my family in my heart.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
If you believe that hard work pays off, then you work hard; if you think it’s hard to get ahead even when you try, then why try at all? Similarly, when people do fail, this mind-set allows them to look outward. I once ran into an old acquaintance at a Middletown bar who told me that he had recently quit his job because he was sick of waking up early. I later saw him complaining on Facebook about the “Obama economy” and how it had affected his life. I don’t doubt that the Obama economy has affected many, but this man is assuredly not among them. His status in life is directly attributable to the choices he’s made, and his life will improve only through better decisions. But for him to make better choices, he needs to live in an environment that forces him to ask tough questions about himself. There is a cultural movement in the white working class to blame problems on society or the government, and that movement gains adherents by the day.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
There must be different kinds of loneliness, or at least different degrees of loneliness, but the most terrifying loneliness is not experienced by everyone and can be understood by only a few. I compare the panic in this kind of loneliness to the dog we see running frantically down the road pursuing the family car. He is not really being left behind, for the family knows it is to return, but for that moment in his limited understanding, he is being left alone forever, and he has to run and run to survive. It is no wonder that we make terrible choices in our lives to avoid loneliness.
Charles M. Schulz (You Don't Look 35, Charlie Brown!)
You’re the one who said nothing is over yet, that nothing has been determined, so don’t say we can’t! We didn’t write that prophecy with our hands; we didn’t put down on paper what we will do! We have a choice!
Marie Montine (Mourning Grey: Part Three The Guardians Of The Temple Saga)
The only reason that some people aren’t ashamed of their parents and/or siblings is because they know that we know that they did not choose them.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
She was given a man's name." The stable master nearly jumped out of his tunic. He hadn't heard Alec Kincaid's approach. He turned around and came face to shoulders with the giant warrior. " 'Twas her mama's way of giving her a place in this family. Baron Jamison weren't the man who fathered Jamie. He claimed her for his own, though. I'll give him that much kindness. Did you get a good look at her, then?" he added in a rush. Alec nodded. "You'll be taking her with you, won't you?" The Kincaid stared at the old man a long minute before answering. "Aye, Beak. I'll be taking her with me." The choice had been made.
Julie Garwood (The Bride (Lairds' Fiancées, #1))
Family is a choice.
C.L.Stone
She knew that who you are is a stone set deep inside you. You can spend all your life trying to dig that stone out, or you can build around it. Your choice.
Sarah Addison Allen (First Frost (Waverley Family, #2))
If it came to a choice of being loved without respect or respected and not loved, I wanted to be respected. And JinYeong promised both.
W.R. Gingell (Between Family (The City Between, #9))
A man worth being with is one… That never lies to you Is kind to people that have hurt him A person that respects another’s life That has manners and shows people respect That goes out of his way to help people That feels every person, no matter how difficult, deserves compassion Who believes you are the most beautiful person he has ever met Who brags about your accomplishments with pride Who talks to you about anything and everything because no bad news will make him love you less That is a peacemaker That will see you through illness Who keeps his promises Who doesn’t blame others, but finds the good in them That raises you up and motivates you to reach for the stars That doesn’t need fame, money or anything materialistic to be happy That is gentle and patient with children Who won’t let you lie to yourself; he tells you what you need to hear, in order to help you grow Who lives what he says he believes in Who doesn’t hold a grudge or hold onto the past Who doesn’t ask his family members to deliberately hurt people that have hurt him Who will run with your dreams That makes you laugh at the world and yourself Who forgives and is quick to apologize Who doesn’t betray you by having inappropriate conversations with other women Who doesn’t react when he is angry, decides when he is sad or keep promises he doesn’t plan to keep Who takes his children’s spiritual life very seriously and teaches by example Who never seeks revenge or would ever put another person down Who communicates to solve problems Who doesn’t play games or passive aggressively ignores people to hurt them Who is real and doesn’t pretend to be something he is not Who has the power to free you from yourself through his positive outlook Who has a deep respect for women and treats them like a daughter of God Who doesn’t have an ego or believes he is better than anyone Who is labeled constantly by people as the nicest person they have ever met Who works hard to provide for the family Who doesn’t feel the need to drink alcohol to have a good time, smoke or do drugs Who doesn't have to hang out a bar with his friends, but would rather spend his time with his family Who is morally free from sin Who sees your potential to be great Who doesn't think a woman's place has to be in the home; he supports your life mission, where ever that takes you Who is a gentleman Who is honest and lives with integrity Who never discusses your private business with anyone Who will protect his family Who forgives, forgets, repairs and restores When you find a man that possesses these traits then all the little things you don’t have in common don’t matter. This is the type of man worth being grateful for.
Shannon L. Alder
Today, despite all of the gains we have made, neither men nor women have real choice. Until women have supportive employers and colleagues as well as partners who share family responsibilities, they don't have real choice. And until men are fully respected for contributing inside the home, they don't have real choice either.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
America today is a "save yourself" society if there ever was one. But does it really work? The underdeveloped societies suffer from one set of diseases: tuberculosis, malnutrition, pneumonia, parasites, typhoid, cholera, typhus, etc. Affluent America has virtually invented a whole new set of diseases: obesity, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, strokes, lung cancer, venereal disease, cirrhosis of the liver, drug addiction, alcoholism, divorce, battered children, suicide, murder. Take your choice. Labor-saving machines have turned out to be body-killing devices. Our affluence has allowed both mobility and isolation of the nuclear family, and as a result, our divorce courts, our prisons and our mental institutions are flooded. In saving ourselves we have nearly lost ourselves.
John Piper (Don't Waste Your Life)
We want our children to become who they are--- and a developed person is, above all, free. But freedom as we define it doesn't mean doing what you want. Freedom means the ability to make choices that are good for you. It is the power to choose to become what you are capable of becoming, to develop your unique potential by making choices that turn possibility into reality. It is the ability to make choices that actualize you. As often as not, maybe more often than not, this kind of freedom means doing what you do not want, doing what is uncomfortable or tiring or boring or annoying.
Gregory J. Millman (Homeschooling: A Family's Journey)
Actually the choice is simple. When your child decides to love a new person, you can either see it as a chance to hate some people - the person they choose and their families. However, you can also see it as a chance to love some more people. And since when did loving more become a bad thing?
Chetan Bhagat (2 States: The Story of My Marriage)
Romance is something people make fun of others for caring about, and yet it’s something that’s very natural to care about—it’s a loving connection between people, like family and friendships: it’s a significant emotional choice people make.
Sarah Rees Brennan
Had he not been the keeper of the flame, of anguish, trapped under the brilliance of what she had been to him? He had been a man of permanence, how could he have swayed to emotion like this?
Noorilhuda (The Governess)
Children need time to become themselves--through play and social interaction. If you overwhelm a child with stuff--with choices and pseudochoices--before they are ready, they will only know one emotional gesture: More!
Kim John Payne (Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids)
My father could have been a great comedian but he didn't believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe jog as an accountant and when I was 12 years old he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that: You can fail at what you don't want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
Jim Carrey
We stand at the crossroads, each minute, each hour, each day, making choices. We choose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the passions we allow ourselves to feel, and the actions we allow ourselves to perform. Each choice is made in the context of whatever value system we have selected to govern our lives. In selecting that value system, we are, in a very real way, making the most important choice we will ever make. Those who believe there is one God who made all things and who governs the world by this providence will make many choices different from those who do not. Those who hold in reverence that being who gave them life and worship Him through adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving will make choices different from those who do not. Those who believe that mankind are all of a family and that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man will make many choices different from those who do not. Those who believe in a future state in which all that is wrong here will be made right will make many choices different from those who do not. Those who subscribe to the morals of Jesus will make many choices different from those who do not. Since the foundation of all happiness is thinking rightly, and since correct action is dependent on correct opinion, we cannot be too careful in choosing the value system we allow to govern our thoughts and actions. And to know that God governs in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayers, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, is, indeed, a powerful regulator of human conduct.
Benjamin Franklin (the Art of Virtue: His Formula for Successful Living)
If you organize your family life to spend even ten or fifteen minutes a morning reading something that connects you with these timeless principles, its almost guaranteed that you will make better choices during the day--in the family, on the job, in every dimension of life. Your thoughts will be higher. Your interactions will be more satisfying. You will have a greater perspective. You will increase that space between what happens to you and your response to it. You will be more connected to what really matters most.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families: Creating a Nurturing Family in a Turbulent World)
but it wasn't just about my feelings. The more I got to know you, the more I was certain that you'd do whatever it took to provide for your family. That was important to me. You have to understand that back then, a lot of people our age wanted to change the world. Even though it's a noble idea, I knew I wanted something more traditional. I wanted a family like my parents had, and I wanted to concentrate on my little corner of the world. I wanted someone who wanted to marry a wife and a mother, and someone who would respect my choice.
Nicholas Sparks (The Wedding (The Notebook, #2))
Each day when you wake up you have a choice: You can have a good day, or you can have a bad day. So you might as well have a good one.
Christy Jordan (Come Home to Supper: Over 200 Casseroles, Skillets, and Sides (Desserts, Too!) to Feed Your Family with Love)
Smiling is not a choice It’s a Lifestyle Pass it on
Abhysheq Shukla (KISS Life "Life is what you make it")
Good choice dancing with this one...I've always liked her. More brains than the rest of her family put together. ~ Lady Danbury to Colin Bridgerton
Julia Quinn (Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4))
For me, family means the silent treatment. At any given moment, someone is always not speaking to someone else.' Really,' I said. We're passive-aggressive people,' she explained, taking a sip of her coffee. 'Silence is our weapon of choice. Right now, for instance, I'm not speaking to two of my sisters and one brother... At mine [my house], silence is golden. And common.' To me,' Reggie said, picking up a bottle of Vitamin A and moving it thoughtfully from one hand to the other, 'family is, like, the wellspring of human energy. The place where all life begins.'... Harriet considered this as she took a sip of coffee. 'Huh,' she said. 'I guess when someone else does something worse. Then you need people on your side, so you make up with one person, jsut as you're getting pissed off at another.' So it's an endless cycle,' I said. I guess.' She took another sip. 'Coming together, falling apart. Isn't that what families are all about?
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
The extended family, the community, and religion may indeed have limited our freedom, sexual and otherwise, but in return they offered us a much-needed sense of belonging. For generations, these traditional institutions provided order, meaning, continuity, and social support. Dismantling them has left us with more choices and fewer restrictions than ever. We are freer, but also more alone. As Giddens describes it, we have become ontologically more anxious.
Esther Perel (Mating in Captivity: Sex, Lies and Domestic Bliss)
When you’re faced with a choice, remember this: Everything else will pass away. Your family. Your friends. Your material possessions. Your beauty. Your youth. Your life. And there is only one thing that remains. Ask yourself: Which are you chasing?
Yasmin Mogahed
Love was something I would not have to worry about - the whole mystery of love, heartbreak songs, and family legends. Women who pined, men who went mad, people who forgot who they were and shamed themselves with need, wanting only to be loved by the one they loved. Love was a mystery. Love was a calamity. Love was a curse that had somehow skipped me, which was no doubt why I was so good at multiple-choice tests and memorizing poetry. Sex was a country I been dragged into as an unwilling girl - sex, and the madness of the body. For all that it could terrify and confuse me, sex was something I had assimilated. Sex was a game or a weapon or an addiction. Sex was familiar. But love - love was another country.
Dorothy Allison (Two or Three Things I Know for Sure)
Just spunk won't be enough; you've got to have gumption. You've got to bear it in mind that nobody that ever lived is specially privileged; the axe can fall at any moment, on any neck, without any warning or any regard for justice. You've got to keep your mind off of pitying your own rotten luck and setting up any kind of howl about it. You've got to remember that things as bad as this and a hell of a lot worse have happened to millions of people before and that they've come through it and you can too. You'll bear it because there isn't any choice--except to go to pieces. . . It's kind of a test, Mary, and it's the only kind that amounts to anything. When something rotten like this happens. Then you have your choice. You start to really be alive, or you start to die. That's all.
James Agee (A Death in the Family)
Why would a person prefer the accusations of guilt, unworthiness, ineptitude - even dishonor and betrayal- to real possibility? This may not seem to be the choice, but it is: complete self effacement, surrender to the "others", disavowal of any personal dignity and freedom-on the one hand; and freedom and independence, movement away from the others, extrication of oneself from the binding links of family and social duties-on the other hand. This is the choice that the depressed person actually faces.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Have you ever truly, keenly felt like you don't know who you are? Do you ever do something and think, Who is at the controls? Like some mad pilot has locked you out of the cockpit? I definitely do. I feel a kind of vertigo that makes me shake afterwards. I guess we all feel it when making a difficult-seeming choice, and sometimes you seriously don't know what you want because you don't know who you're supposed to be, or who you want to be. Physics, my first and second families, my philosophy degree, had all failed to help me answer that question. The former has led me to wonder whether I am one of an infinite number of Alices in multiple universes. A quantum fuck-up, which is someone who fucks up in every one of those universes but in different ways.
Olivia Sudjic (Sympathy)
If I, as a child, claim that something awful has happened—that someone has done something terrible to me—and everyone around me acts as if nothing is the matter, then either I must be crazy, or all of them are. And when you’re a kid and your life depends on all these people, there is no choice: of course, I must be crazy.
E. Sue Blume (Secret Survivors)
A woman’s strength and character shouldn’t ever be underestimated, although time and time again women are taken for granted. A woman has a choice; just like anyone else on this earth—she doesn’t have to give her all for her family, friends, or co-workers. Women are human, just like everyone else. However, a woman is treated as though she’s not. It is beyond ridiculous that a woman always has to justify her actions in lengthy detail in every situation and the person she encounters.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Family and friends become oppressors the moment they teach you that loyalty is more important than what is done to people outside your social circle. What they are really saying is this: Save yourself because God is more interested in an intact family or social circle that looks righteous, rather than you being a person of integrity that has compassion for others. It is this absurdity that teaches the wrong version of God and creates the next generation of "me" centered individuals.
Shannon L. Alder
Were these boys in their right minds? Here were two boys with good intellect, one eighteen and one nineteen. They had all the prospects that life could hold out for any of the young; one a graduate of Chicago and another of Ann Arbor; one who had passed his examination for the Harvard Law School and was about to take a trip in Europe,--another who had passed at Ann Arbor, the youngest in his class, with three thousand dollars in the bank. Boys who never knew what it was to want a dollar; boys who could reach any position that was to boys of that kind to reach; boys of distinguished and honorable families, families of wealth and position, with all the world before them. And they gave it all up for nothing, for nothing! They took a little companion of one of them, on a crowded street, and killed him, for nothing, and sacrificed everything that could be of value in human life upon the crazy scheme of a couple of immature lads. Now, your Honor, you have been a boy; I have been a boy. And we have known other boys. The best way to understand somebody else is to put yourself in his place. Is it within the realm of your imagination that a boy who was right, with all the prospects of life before him, who could choose what he wanted, without the slightest reason in the world would lure a young companion to his death, and take his place in the shadow of the gallows? ...No one who has the process of reasoning could doubt that a boy who would do that is not right. How insane they are I care not, whether medically or legally. They did not reason; they could not reason; they committed the most foolish, most unprovoked, most purposeless, most causeless act that any two boys ever committed, and they put themselves where the rope is dangling above their heads.... Why did they kill little Bobby Franks? Not for money, not for spite; not for hate. They killed him as they might kill a spider or a fly, for the experience. They killed him because they were made that way. Because somewhere in the infinite processes that go to the making up of the boy or the man something slipped, and those unfortunate lads sit here hated, despised, outcasts, with the community shouting for their blood. . . . I know, Your Honor, that every atom of life in all this universe is bound up together. I know that a pebble cannot be thrown into the ocean without disturbing every drop of water in the sea. I know that every life is inextricably mixed and woven with every other life. I know that every influence, conscious and unconscious, acts and reacts on every living organism, and that no one can fix the blame. I know that all life is a series of infinite chances, which sometimes result one way and sometimes another. I have not the infinite wisdom that can fathom it, neither has any other human brain
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
Love is a choice — not simply, or necessarily, a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be present to others without pretense or guide. Love is a conversion to humanity — a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and broken lives. Love is the choice to experience life as a member of the human family, a partner in the dance of life.
Carter Heyward
The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care. I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.' I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research. Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery. To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be. Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit. So, I believed.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)
The great thing about family, Mary mused, was that they showed up. When it really mattered, your family, be they blood or by choice, were always where you needed them to be, even though they had busy lives and jobs and children of their own.
J.R. Ward (Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy, #2))
For the first time, he understood how and why Mark's choice to stay with his family might not have beena n easy one. For the first time he thought in wonder of how much his brother must love him after all, to have given up the sky for his sake.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
People "at the top" are eager to attribute their position to their own intellect, savvy, and hard work. The reality is much more complicated. Personal connections, family environment, and what appears to be plain luck determine how successful a person is. We are the product of three things- genetics, environment, and our personal choices- but two of these three factors we have no power over. We are not nearly as responsible for our success as our popular views of God and reality lead us to think.
Timothy J. Keller (Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters)
Family isn't blood, necessarily; it's a thousand little choices we make every day. We choose to trust each other and forgive each other and go to the pasta place for dinner even though some of us would rather eat sushi.
Rebecca Podos (The Mystery of Hollow Places)
Somethings worth having defy logic. They come with obstacles, challenges, battles and long periods of wandering in the dark. Your path won't make sense to your family or friends. People will weigh in with their life rules and fears, but in the end it is your life. That pull you feel is real and often your intuition. It nags at you everyday. Follow it for as far as it takes you because life is too short to dwell on indecision, while you forget to live. Take a chance because if you have a good heart God isn't going to abandon you. He will travel wherever you need to go, in order to find the missing pieces of your soul.
Shannon L. Alder
I forced myself to stop thinking about it. I went to the room in my brain where all my thoughts about Adam lived and disconnected the electricity and boarded up all the doors and windows, so nothing could get out. Obviously it was very unsightly. There were bound to be complaints from the neighboring thoughts. But I had no choice.
Marian Keyes (Watermelon (Walsh Family, #1))
I’m not saying ability doesn’t matter. It certainly helps. But there’s something powerful about realizing that you’ve undersold yourself—that somehow your mind confused lack of effort for inability. This is why, whenever people ask me what I’d most like to change about the white working class, I say, “The feeling that our choices don’t matter.” The Marine Corps excised that feeling like a surgeon does a tumor. A
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
You love your shamans like your own family, and a knife twists in your heart every time you watch one of them die. But you have to do it. You've got to make the choices no one else can. It's death or the Chuluu Korikh. Commanders cull.
R.F. Kuang (The Burning God (The Poppy War, #3))
Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group. Initially our loyalties were to ourselves and our immediate family, next, to bands of wandering hunter-gatherers, then to tribes, small settlements, city-states, nations. We have broadened the circle of those we love. We have now organized what are modestly described as super-powers, which include groups of people from divergent ethnic and cultural backgrounds working in some sense together — surely a humanizing and character building experience. If we are to survive, our loyalties must be broadened further, to include the whole human community, the entire planet Earth. Many of those who run the nations will find this idea unpleasant. They will fear the loss of power. We will hear much about treason and disloyalty. Rich nation-states will have to share their wealth with poor ones. But the choice, as H. G. Wells once said in a different context, is clearly the universe or nothing.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
I mean to say, we all sprang from humble origins. Goodness gracious, who would have thought that a species of monkey would take over the kingdom of the world. … I cannot help but feel that the monkey was not a good choice. Surely one of the cat family would have been much more satisfactory. They have a much less emotional approach to life. ("The Shadmock")
R. Chetwynd-Hayes
Psychologists call it “learned helplessness” when a person believes, as I did during my youth, that the choices I made had no effect on the outcomes in my life. From Middletown’s world of small expectations to the constant chaos of our home, life had taught me that I had no control. Mamaw and Papaw had saved me from succumbing entirely to that notion, and the Marine Corps broke new ground. If I had learned helplessness at home, the Marines were teaching learned willfulness. The
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
HECUBA: I had a knife in my skirt, Achilles. When Talthybius bent over me, I could have killed him. I wanted to. I had the knife just for that reason. Yet, at the last minute I thought, he's some mother's son just as Hector was, and aren't we women all sisters? If I killed him, I thought, wouldn't It be like killing family?Wouldn't it be making some other mother grieve? So I didn't kill him, but if I had, I might have saved Hector's child. Dead or damned, that's the choice we make. Either you men kill us and are honored for it, or we women kill you and are damned for it. Dead or damned. Women don't have to make choices like that in Hades. There is no love there, nothing to betray.
Sheri S. Tepper (The Gate to Women's Country)
I have learned not to take too much notice of those who disapprove of my lifestyle choices, because I know that I was not designed to be part of the crowd. If I am different, I make no apology, and I hope that others will have the courage to be themselves and stand up for what they believe in, fight for those who need protection, love who they want to love, and be proud of it.
Clare Balding (My Animals and Other Family)
Rigidity or inflexibility can be the result of a previous history of abuse or trauma, or of an upbringing that offered a child no permission to experiment or to deviate from the family norms. Flexibility can come from the freedom of having been allowed to make one’s own choices as one was growing up.
Jared Diamond (Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis)
I’ve loved my family since the day I was born and I always will. But you’re the love I chose, Emma. Out of everyone in the world, out of everyone I’ve ever known, I chose you. I’ve always had faith in that choice. At the edge of everything, love and faith have always brought me back, and back to you.
Cassandra Clare (Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3))
Two and a half years ago I’d learned to stop wanting comfort from the people around me, because they couldn’t give it. We were all too scared. I was terrified and so were they. No one could understand what was happening to me, and when they couldn’t make me better they felt helpless and guilty and eventually resentful. Yes, they loved me, my head knew that even if my heart couldn’t feel it, but there was a small part of them that was angry. As if it was my choice to become depressed and that I was deliberately resisting the medication that was meant to fix me.
Marian Keyes (The Mystery of Mercy Close (Walsh Family, #5))
If you should choose to look at those files, you will have to live with the consequences of your choices while, at the same time, being mindful that these choices will not only effect you, but will also infect, sorry, I intended to say effect, our entire family.
Donna K. Childree
One big bonus: e-mail! Just like the days back on Hermes, I get data dumps. Of course, they relay e-mail from friends and family, but NASA also sends along choice messages from the public. I’ve gotten e-mail from rock stars, athletes, actors and actresses, and even the President. One of them was from my alma mater, the University of Chicago. They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially “colonized” it. So technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!
Andy Weir (The Martian)
A consequentialist or utilitarian is likely to approach the abortion question in a very different way, by trying to weigh up suffering. Does the embryo suffer? (Presumably not if it is aborted before it has a nervous system; and even if it is old enough to have a nervous system it surely suffers less than, say, an adult cow in a slaughterhouse.) Does the pregnant woman, or her family, suffer if she does not have an abortion? Very possibly so; and, in any case, given that the embryo lacks a nervous system, shouldn't the mother's well-developed nervous system have the choice?
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
Some mothers seem to have the capacity and energy to make their children's clothes, bake, give piano lessons, go to Relief Society, teach Sunday School, attend parent-teacher association meetings, and so on. Other mothers look upon such women as models and feel inadequate, depressed, and think they are failures when they make comparisons... Sisters, do not allow yourselves to be made to feel inadequate or frustrated because you cannot do everything others seem to be accomplishing. Rather, each should assess her own situation, her own energy, and her own talents, and then choose the best way to mold her family into a team, a unit that works together and supports each other. Only you and your Father in Heaven know your needs, strengths, and desires. Around this knowledge your personal course must be charted and your choices made.
Marvin J. Ashton
One disturbing aspect of abuse and harassment is the idea that it’s not the crime that’s the betrayal but the testimony about the crime. You’re not supposed to tell. Abusers often assume this privilege that demands the silence of the abused, that a nonreciprocal protection be in place. Others often impose it as well, portraying the victims as choosing to ruin a career or a family, as though the assailant did not make that choice himself.
Rebecca Solnit (The Mother of All Questions)
He sounds so tired. "I know if there was any choice at all, they wouldn't have left me alone. They would have made sure I was taken care of." In a heartbeat, a thousand memories at once. All the times I knew things I couldn't have known. All the times he was assigned to me. "Julian," I say, "maybe they did.
Robin Roe (A List of Cages)
One problem with test-based accountability, as currently defined and used, is that it removes all responsibility from students and their families for the students' academic performance. NCLB neglected to acknowledge that students share in the responsibility for their academic performance and that they are merely passive recipients of their teachers' influence.
Diane Ravitch (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education)
All of us face hard choices in our lives. Some face more than their share. We have to decide how to balance the demands of work and family. Caring for a sick child or an aging parent. Figuring out how to pay for college. Finding a good job, and what to do if you lose it. Whether to get married—or stay married. How to give our kids the opportunities they dream about and deserve. Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become. For leaders and nations, they can mean the difference between war and peace, poverty and prosperity.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (Hard Choices)
Okay fine, you want a real answer? Look around.” Michelle waved her hands, encompassing their surroundings. “The men in this family get away with acting like a bunch of babies. They sit around eating and talking while the women do everything. The Latinx gender roles run deep. Is it any wonder our generation has made such sucky romantic choices? I don’t date.” She pointed at Ava. “She’s divorced. And you’re a serial monogamist.
Alexis Daria (You Had Me at Hola (Primas of Power, #1))
You should always be prepared to defend your choices, whether just to yourself (sometimes this is the hardest) or to your coworkers, your friends, or your family. The quickest way for people to lose confidence in your ability to ever make a decision is for you to pass the buck, shrug your shoulders, or otherwise wuss out. Learning how to become a decision maker, and how you ultimately justify your choices, can define who you are.
Alyssa Mastromonaco (Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House)
Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present— love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure— the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
Your family is real, but mine isn’t? Real people with real feelings, but my family isn’t—” She ran out of air and took a gulp. “—real to you. You think. I’m a character. A story. Those women you talk about. Not real people to you. Stupid women. Stupid photo albums. But you. You’re smart. You make smarter choices. For us.” She
Bryn Greenwood (All the Ugly and Wonderful Things)
Guilt and misery shrink, by a natural instinct, from public notice: they court privacy and solitude: and even in their choice of a grave will sometimes sequester themselves from the general population of the churchyard, as if declining to claim fellowship with the great family of man; thus, in a symbolic language universally understood, seeking (in the affecting language of Mr. Wordsworth) ’ Humbly to express A penitential loneliness.
Thomas De Quincey
Family is the one human institution we have no choice over. We get in simply by being born, and as a result we are involuntarily thrown together with a menagerie of strange and unlike people. Church calls for another step: to voluntarily choose to band together with a strange menagerie because of a common bond in Jesus Christ. I have found that such a community more resembles a family than any other human institution. Henri Nouwen once defined a community as “a place where the person you least want to live with always lives.” His definition applies equally to the group that gathers each Thanksgiving and the group that congregates each Sunday morning. (p. 64-65, Church: Why Bother?)
Philip Yancey (Church: Why Bother?: My Personal Pilgrimage (Growing Deeper))
You could become paralyzed with worry about what might happen to your family, or if you hadn’t yet had children you could decide not to, as a sort of proactive damage control. Either way, you would be derailing your life voluntarily out of fear that it might become ruined by chance. Or you could pick up and move on. Those were the only choices.
Nichole Bernier (The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.)
You want to know what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid of every morning when I wake up that this will be the day when I can no longer move for myself. I know it’s coming. It’s just a matter of time until I have no choice, except to have someone else clothe me, feed me. Change my diaper. And I can’t stand it. (Adron) Then why don’t you kill yourself? Why are you still here? (Livia) Because every time I think of doing that, I can hear my family praying over me while I was in the hospital. I hear my mother weeping, my father begging me not to die on them. I could never intentionally hurt them that way. It would devastate them both, and while I’m a pathetic asshole, I’m not that selfish. (Adron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (In Other Worlds (The League: Nemesis Rising, #3.5; Were-Hunter, #0.5; The League: Nemesis Legacy, #2))
The universe is so very complicated," said Dr Dimble. "So you have said rather often before, dear," replied Mrs Dimble "Have I?" he said with a smile. "How often, I wonder? As often as you've told the story of the pony and trap at Dawlish?" "Cecil! I haven't told it for years." "My dear, I heard you telling it to Camilla the night before last." "Oh, Camilla! That was quite different. She'd never heard it before." "I don't know if we can even be certain about that...the universe being so complicated and all." For a few minutes there was silence between them. "But about Merlin?" asked Mrs Dimble presently. "Have you ever noticed," said Dimble," that the universe, and every little bit of the universe, is always hardening and narrowing and coming to a point?" His wife waited as those wait who know by long experience the mental processes of the person who is talking to them. "I mean this," said Dimble, answering the question she had not asked. "If you dip into any college, or school, or parish, or family—anything you like—at a given point in its history, you always find that there was a time before that point when there was more elbow room and contrasts weren't quite so sharp; and that there's going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing.
C.S. Lewis (That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy, #3))
A noble maiden must convey dignity and chastity without appearing to think about either one. Let common-born girls tussle in the hay with their loutish swains. The future of your family's bloodline and your future lord's bloodline should be your greatest concern. Let no man but one of your family embrace you. Let no man but your betrothed kiss any more than your fingertips; let your betrothed kiss you only on fingers, cheek, or forehead, lest he think you unchaste. And never allow yourself to be alone with a man, to safeguard the precious jewel of you reputation. No well-born maiden ever suffered from keeping her suitors at arm's length. Your chastity will make you a prize to you future husband's house and an honor to your own." - form Advice to a Young Noblewoman, by Lady Fronia of Whitehall (in Maren) given to Ally on her twelfth birthday by her godmother, Queen Thayet
Tamora Pierce (Trickster's Choice (Daughter of the Lioness, #1))
All of our bodies change over time. We all deserve dignity and access at every stage in our lives. Most people will need to seek accessibility solutions at some point, whether for a family member, a colleague, or for oneself. Disability is part of the human experience. We all need to engage in the work to make our world accessible to everyone. Inclusion is a choice.
Haban Girma (Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law)
We seek in one another the assurance that there is just one correct interpretation of the world, that everything is so simple that anybody can see it unless they're malicious or stupid or willfully ignorant; and we punish one another for proving with our differing conclusions that the truth is not that easy. We think we must suppress dissension to present the unified front we need to gain power over our enemies. But there are pro-life Democrats, pro-choice Christians, feminists who love their families, and conservatives who care about poor people.
Alisa Harris (Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics)
I flopped on the overstuffed kitchen couch and watched him go. I wondered what would happen to all his films and photographs in the upstairs closet - the documentaries on homelessness and drug addiction, the funny short subjects, the half-finished romantic comedy, the boxes of slice-of-life photographs that spoke volumes about the human condition. I wondered how you stop caring about what you've ached over, sweated over. (Thwonk)
Joan Bauer
Have you ever noticed,” said Dimble, “that the universe, and every bit of the universe is always hardening and narrowing and coming to a point?” His wife waited as those wait who know by long experience the mental processes of the person who is talking to them. “I mean this,” said Dimble in answer to the question she had not asked. “If you dip into any college, or school, or parish, or family – anything you like – at a given point in its history, you always find that there was a time before that point when there was more elbow room and contrasts weren’t quite so sharp; and that there’s going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time, coming to a point, getting sharper and harder.
C.S. Lewis (That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy, #3))
No, I wanted to say, he didn't cut off her hands because he didn't have to, he had cut them off long before, with years of keeping all authority in his own palms, all the rules and all the power and all the answers emanating from him and no one else. And if you don't understand that, if you've never been in such a family, then you can't know the way the mind shackles itself and amputates its own limbs so adeptly that you never think to miss them, never think that you had anything so obscene as choice.
Carolina De Robertis (Perla)
health, social life, job, house, partners, finances; leisure use, leisure amount; working time, education, income, children; food, water, shelter, clothing, sex, health care; mobility; physical safety, social safety, job security, savings account, insurance, disability protection, family leave, vacation; place tenure, a commons; access to wilderness, mountains, ocean; peace, political stability, political input, political satisfaction; air, water, esteem; status, recognition; home, community, neighbors, civil society, sports, the arts; longevity treatments, gender choice; the opportunity to become more what you are that's all you need
Kim Stanley Robinson (2312)
Each of us chooses what is acceptable in our lives. As kids, we don't get a lot of choice. We are born into families and situations, and it's all really out of our control. But as we get older, we choose. Consciously or unconsciously, we decide how we are going to allow ourselves to be treated. What will you accept? What won't you accept? You're going to have to choose, and you're going to have to stand up for yourself. No one else can do it for you.
James R. Doty (Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart)
Our schools will not improve if we continue to focus only on reading and mathematics while ignoring the other studies that are essential elements of a good education. Schools that expect nothing more of their students than mastery of basic skills will not produce graduates who are ready for college or the modern workplace. *** Our schools will not improve if we value only what tests measure. The tests we have now provide useful information about students' progress in reading and mathematics, but they cannot measure what matters most in education....What is tested may ultimately be less important that what is untested... *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to close neighborhood schools in the name of reform. Neighborhood schools are often the anchors of their communities, a steady presence that helps to cement the bond of community among neighbors. *** Our schools cannot improve if charter schools siphon away the most motivated students and their families in the poorest communities from the regular public schools. *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to drive away experienced principals and replace them with neophytes who have taken a leadership training course but have little or no experience as teachers. *** Our schools cannot be improved if we ignore the disadvantages associated with poverty that affect children's ability to learn. Children who have grown up in poverty need extra resources, including preschool and medical care.
Diane Ravitch (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education)
Slavery is at the heart of dysfunctional families. When people serve others because they are forced to do so, freedom to truly serve is lost. Slavery hardens the heart, creates anger, bitterness and resentment. On the other hand, true love often finds its expression in acts of serve. It is service freely given, not out of fear but out of choice. It comes out of personal discovery that "it is more blessed to give than to receive
Gary Chapman
Do you know what I remember? When [my father] read to me. Stupid things, dragons and heroes. He wouldn’t turn a page until I reached over and took his hand. That big man made every step of the story my choice. I loved that. He died of the wasting, in a Denerim ward. Those last weeks I read to him. I had to take his hand to turn the pages. And I couldn’t tell if he was too weak, or if it was the old game…No one tells you how to mourn. And when someone says, “move on”, you take their hand and say “my choice.
Aveline Valen
Marriage is about compromising,’ he told me. ‘Families are about compromising, being anything other than a hermit is about compromising. Parliamentary democracy certainly is.’ He snorted. ‘Nothing but.’ He drained his glass. ‘You either learn to compromise or you resign yourself to shouting from the sidelines for the rest of your life.’ He looked thoughtful. ‘Or you arrange to become a dictator. There’s always that, I suppose.’ He shrugged. ‘Not a great set of choices, really, but that’s the price we pay for living together. And it’s that or solitude. Then you really do become a wanker. Another drink?
Iain Banks (Stonemouth)
Excuse me while I throw this down, I’m old and cranky and tired of hearing the idiocy repeated by people who ought to know better. Real women do not have curves. Real women do not look like just one thing. Real women have curves, and not. They are tall, and not. They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not. They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever. Real women start their lives as baby girls. And as baby boys. And as babies of indeterminate biological sex whose bodies terrify their doctors and families into making all kinds of very sudden decisions. Real women have big hands and small hands and long elegant fingers and short stubby fingers and manicures and broken nails with dirt under them. Real women have armpit hair and leg hair and pubic hair and facial hair and chest hair and sexy moustaches and full, luxuriant beards. Real women have none of these things, spontaneously or as the result of intentional change. Real women are bald as eggs, by chance and by choice and by chemo. Real women have hair so long they can sit on it. Real women wear wigs and weaves and extensions and kufi and do-rags and hairnets and hijab and headscarves and hats and yarmulkes and textured rubber swim caps with the plastic flowers on the sides. Real women wear high heels and skirts. Or not. Real women are feminine and smell good and they are masculine and smell good and they are androgynous and smell good, except when they don’t smell so good, but that can be changed if desired because real women change stuff when they want to. Real women have ovaries. Unless they don’t, and sometimes they don’t because they were born that way and sometimes they don’t because they had to have their ovaries removed. Real women have uteruses, unless they don’t, see above. Real women have vaginas and clitorises and XX sex chromosomes and high estrogen levels, they ovulate and menstruate and can get pregnant and have babies. Except sometimes not, for a rather spectacular array of reasons both spontaneous and induced. Real women are fat. And thin. And both, and neither, and otherwise. Doesn’t make them any less real. There is a phrase I wish I could engrave upon the hearts of every single person, everywhere in the world, and it is this sentence which comes from the genius lips of the grand and eloquent Mr. Glenn Marla: There is no wrong way to have a body. I’m going to say it again because it’s important: There is no wrong way to have a body. And if your moral compass points in any way, shape, or form to equality, you need to get this through your thick skull and stop with the “real women are like such-and-so” crap. You are not the authority on what “real” human beings are, and who qualifies as “real” and on what basis. All human beings are real. Yes, I know you’re tired of feeling disenfranchised. It is a tiresome and loathsome thing to be and to feel. But the tit-for-tat disenfranchisement of others is not going to solve that problem. Solidarity has to start somewhere and it might as well be with you and me
Hanne Blank
He was not being courageous as he bore the freezing stream for his wife and children. He simply chose between the lesser of two evils—the pain and suffering he would endure in the river, a physical pain that he could stand to bear, or the pain and suffering he would feel if he had to watch his family wade across and freeze. It was not a decision. The choice had already been made the moment Ole proposed marriage to his wife and welcomed these beautiful daughters into the world.
Sage Steadman (Upon Destiny's Song)
...it's not all it's cracked up to be, having real emotions. I know that with the most dazzling men there have been times I've been terribly bored and I am sure they've been equally bored with me. Then much of life is indeed boring, and that's nobody's fault....Myself, I've been in the very arms of a beloved and felt nothing, when the only choice was whether to admit I felt nothing or to lie. The hardest thing about loving someone is those moments when you're not. And there are inevitablty such moments; the amount of trust required to get past them is stupendous.
Lionel Shriver (A Perfectly Good Family)
In today’s world, people are born into different circumstances, but unlike the pagans, each of us has an opportunity to change our circumstances based on our actions. Some who are born into families who are at the lowest end of the economic spectrum, but manage to create enormous wealth and prosperity for themselves and their families. Others are given tremendous wealth and opportunities, but squander them by making poor choices. Many of them let their inner Beast gain control, and they end up with nothing.
Celso Cukierkorn (Secrets of Jewish Wealth Revealed!)
My mother gave Lindsey a meaningful look. 'We are not discussing this further. You can go up to your room and wait or wait with me. Your choice.' Lindsey was dumbfounded. She stared at our mother and knew what she wanted most: to flee, to run out into the cornfield where my father was, where I was, where she felt suddenly that the heart of her family had moved. But Buckley wtood warm against her. ~pg 143; Lindsey, Buckley and Mom
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Inside the room it was dark now, the florescent light behind my father flickering so slightly it lit only the most obvious masses in the room. My sister was in a chair pulled up alongside the bed, her head resting on the side of it with her hand extended out to touch my father. My father, deep under, was lying on his back. My mother could not know that I was there with them, that here were the four of us, so changed now from the days when she tucked Lindsey and me into bed and went to make love to her husband, our father. Now she saw the pieces. She saw that my sister and father, together, had become a piece. She was glad of it. I had played a hide-and-seek game of love with my mother as I grew up, courting her attention and approval in a way that I had never had to with my father. I didn't have to play hide-and-seek anymore. As she stood in the darkened room and watched my sister and father, I knew one of the things that heaven meant. I had a choice, and it was not to divide my family in my heart. ~pg 154; Susie's family and heaven
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
We want lovers, friends, recruits, soldiers, and affiliations that support who we are. People, individuals, believe in themselves, want to survive, and on a Darwinistic level at least, want to have more, of ourselves. Initially, this is a visual choice. The where, what, when, and who…to our why. Upon closer inspection, which is the upfall of the politically correct culture of today, we learn to measure people on the competence of their values that we most value. When we do this, the politics of gender, race, and slanderous slang take a back seat to the importance of the values we share. The more we travel, the more we realize how similar our human needs are. We want to be loved, have a family, community, have something to look forward to. These basic needs are present in all socioeconomic and cultural civilizations. I have seen many tribes in the deserts of Northern Africa who, with nine children and no electricity, had more joy, love, honor, and laughter than the majority of the most materially rich people I’ve ever met. We have the choice to love, befriend, recruit, call to arms, associate, and support who we believe in, and more importantly, who, we believe, believes in us.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
How many people have I heard claim their children as the greatest accomplishment and comfort of their lives? It's the thing they can always lean on during a metaphysical crisis, or a moment of doubt about their relevancy - If I have done nothing else in this life, then at least I have raised my children well. But what if, either by choice or by reluctant necessity, you end up not participating in this comforting cycle of family and continuity? What if you step out? Where do you sit at the reunion? How do you mark time's passage without the fear that you've just fritted away your time on earth without being relevant? You'll need to find another purpose, another measure by which to judge whether or not you have been a successful human being. I love children, but what if I don't have any? What kind of person does that make me? Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where "all is correct." But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course." Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
But the fantasy kingdom and trappings of success soon lost their luster, as I discovered that the most prestigious and remunerative of my resume's way stations was also the most tedious and unfulfilling I had ever experienced. This paradox only made me more morose about modernity. Why was I going to watch my hairline recede in front of two-thousand-line spreadsheets staring at me from cold, glowing monitors? Why was everyone in my office apparently so happy to be spending so many hours there, when the things they really cared about - people, pets, pastimes - were all relegated to a few photographs on their desks? That seemed to be the formula: spend the best years of your life in an office with photos of what you really care about.
Zack Love (The Doorman)
Is there such a thing as a life without any regrets? I’ve never believed so. We spend our lives aiming for happiness and fulfilment in work, in love and with our friends and family, and yet often our energy is spent lamenting bad boyfriends, wrong career turns, fallouts with friends and opportunities missed. Or is that just me? I admit I’m naturally a glass-half-empty kind of girl, but I know regrets are a burden to happiness and I’m trying to let go of them because I’ve learned that it’s all about choice. You can choose to turn regrets into lessons that change your future. Believe me when I say I’m really trying to do this. But the truth is, I’m failing. Because all I can think right now is: maybe I deserve it. Maybe this is my penance.
Ali Harris (The First Last Kiss)
The last time I saw you, you were wearing a white cotton shirt. You were standing upright with your wife on the lawn, in the sunlight, in front of the chateau, at my brother’s wedding. You shared in the enthusiasm of the ceremony. For my part, I felt distanced from it. I didn’t recognize my family in this mundane get-together. You didn’t seem put off by the bourgeois ceremony, or by my brother’s choice to have his love approved by third parties, even when these were distant third parties. You didn’t have the sad and absent look you normally took on at public gatherings. You smiled, watching the people, a little tipsy from the wine and the sun, chatting on the large lawn between the white stone façade and the two-hundred-year-old cedar tree. I often wondered, after your death, if that smile, the last one I saw from you, was mocking, or if instead it was the kindly smile of someone who knew that soon he would no longer partake in earthly pleasures. You didn’t regret leaving these behind, but neither were you averse to enjoying them a little longer.
Édouard Levé (Suicide)
I have often thought that if heaven had given me choice of my position and calling, it should have been on a rich spot of earth, well watered, and near a good market for the productions of the garden. No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no lucture comparable to that of the garden. Sucha a variety of subjeccts, some one always coming to perfection, the failure of one thing repaired by the succes of another, and instead of one harvest a continued one through the year. Under a total want of demand except for our family table, I am still devoted to the garden.
Thomas Jefferson
You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch. Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy. You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. You personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like. If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way. Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference. Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.
Julien Smith (The Flinch)
Before entering into any kind of intimate relationships, whether friendship, familial re-connection, or romance, the idea of “needing” or “being needed” must be eliminated. It's harmful to me and others. Need is no kind of foundation for anything. Rather, I choose to be wanted. “Want” is a deliberate choice. Wanting is not based in fear or ego (which are one in the same, I believe). Want comes from recognition of someone else's goodness and loving them for it. Being wanted is unconditional. It does not require emotional games be played, it does not require reparations be made or obligations be met. Being wanted is good, in and of itself.
Jennifer DeLucy
We have the money. We’ve just made choices about how to spend it. Over the years, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have restricted housing aid to the poor but expanded it to the affluent in the form of tax benefits for homeowners. 57 Today, housing-related tax expenditures far outpace those for housing assistance. In 2008, the year Arleen was evicted from Thirteenth Street, federal expenditures for direct housing assistance totaled less than $40.2 billion, but homeowner tax benefits exceeded $171 billion. That number, $171 billion, was equivalent to the 2008 budgets for the Department of Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Agriculture combined. 58 Each year, we spend three times what a universal housing voucher program is estimated to cost (in total ) on homeowner benefits, like the mortgage-interest deduction and the capital-gains exclusion. Most federal housing subsidies benefit families with six-figure incomes. 59 If we are going to spend the bulk of our public dollars on the affluent—at least when it comes to housing—we should own up to that decision and stop repeating the politicians’ canard about one of the richest countries on the planet being unable to afford doing more. If poverty persists in America, it is not for lack of resources.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
I stood as she straightened and snaked my arms around her, pulling her close to me, savoring the feel of every delicate curve. For three weeks, I spent my time convincing myself that our breakup was the right choice. But being this close to her, hearing her laugh, listening to her voice, I knew I had been telling myself lies. Her eyes widened when I lowered my head to hers. “It doesn’t have to be this way. We can find a way to make us work.” She tilted her head and licked her lips, whispering through shallow breaths, “You’re not playing fair.” “No, I’m not.” Echo thought too much. I threaded my fingers into her hair and kissed her, leaving her no opportunity to think about what we were doing. I wanted her to feel what I felt. To revel in the pull, the attraction. Dammit, I wanted her to undeniably love me. Her pack hit the floor with a resounding thud and her magical fingers explored my back, neck and head. Echo’s tongue danced manically with mine, hungry and excited. Her muscles stiffened when her mind caught up. I held her tighter to me, refusing to let her leave so easily again. Echo pulled her lips away, but was unable to step back from my body. “We can’t, Noah.” “Why not?” I shook her without meaning to, but if it snapped something into place, I’d shake her again. “Because everything has changed. Because nothing has changed. You have a family to save. I …” She looked away, shaking her head. “I can’t live here anymore. When I leave town, I can sleep. Do you understand what I’m saying?” I did. I understood all too well, as much as I hated it. This was why we ignored each other. When she walked away the first time, my damn heart ruptured and I swore I’d never let it happen again. Like an idiot, here I was setting off explosives. Both of my hands wove into her hair again and clutched at the soft curls. No matter how I tightened my grip, the strands kept falling from my fingers, a shower of water from the sky. I rested my forehead against hers. “I want you to be happy.” “You, too,” she whispered. I let go of her and left the main office. When I first connected with Echo, I’d promised her I would help her find her answers. I was a man of my word and Echo would soon know that.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
A reporter once asked me why I think progressive men who earn significantly less than their breadwinning wives still won't quit their jobs to take care of their children. Why do they still hold on to their careers, even if taking care of the children would make more financial sense because the cost of childcare is higher than their net salary? I think I know the answer to that now, and it sucks. Women are not expected to live a life for themselves. When women dedicate their lives to children, it is deemed a worthy and respectable choice. When women dedicate themselves to a passion outside of the family that doesn't involve worshiping their husbands or taking care of their kids, they're seen as selfish, cold, or unfit mothers. But when a man spends hours grueling over a craft, profession, or project, he's admired and seen as a genius. And when a man finds a woman who worships him, who dedicates her life to serving him, he's lucky. But when a man dedicates himself to taking care of his children it's seen as a last resort. That it must be because he ran out of other options. That it's plan Z. That it's an indicator of his inability to provide for his family. Basically, that he's a fucking loser. I think it's one of the most important falsehoods we need to shatter when talking about women's rights.
Ali Wong (Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life)
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love.
Bill Hicks
We are all, in the last analysis, alone. And this basic state of solitude is not something we have any choice about. It is, as the poet Rilke says, "not something that one can take or leave. We are solitary. We may delude ourselves and act as though this were not so. That is all. But how much better it is to realize that we are so, yes, even to begin by assuming it. Naturally," he goes on to say, "we will turn giddy." Naturally. How one hates to think of oneself as alone. How one avoids it. It seems to imply rejection or unpopularity. An early wallflower panic still clings to the world. One will be left, one fears, sitting in a straight-backed chair alone, while the popular girls are already chosen and spinning around the dance floor with their hot-palmed partners. We seem so frightened today of being alone that we never let it happen. Even if family, friends and movies should fail, there is still the radio or the television to fill up the void. Women, who used to complain of loneliness, need never be alone any more. We can do our housework with soap-opera heroes at our side. Even day-dreaming was more creative than this; it demanded something of oneself and it fed the inner life. Now, instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill the vacuum. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place. We must re-learn to be alone.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
What do we owe the people who grew us up, who first made up our entire world? It's complicated for the kids of immigrants. I'm not talking about the usual "my parents don't understand" thing. My parents believe in the power of choice, and they never asked me to sacrifice my dreams for theirs. Yet I feel like I should anyway. Where does this feeling come from? Is it just loyalty and strong family ties? Is it because, as part of a marginalized community, we all had to stick together to survive, and that sort of experience tends to become habit? Maybe it's about guilt. We are kids who benefited from the sacrifices our parents made when they decided to move to a richer, safer country. If we then grow up to grow apart, have we become ungrateful villains?
Uzma Jalaluddin (Hana Khan Carries On)
In my own opinion (key word), the foundation of feminism is this: being able to choose. The core of anti-feminism is, conversely, telling a woman she can't do something solely because she's a woman—taking any choice away from her specifically because of her gender. ... One of the weird things about modern feminism is that some feminists seem to be putting their own limits on women's choices. That feels backward to me. It's as if you can't choose a family on your own terms and still be considered a strong woman. How is that empowering? Are there rules about if, when, and how we love or marry and if, when, and how we have kids? Are there jobs we can and can't have in order to be a "real" feminist? To me, those limitations seem anti-feminist in basic principle.
Stephenie Meyer
When one has apparently made up one’s mind to spend the evening at home and has donned one’s house-jacket and sat down at the lamplit table after supper and do the particular job or play the particular game on completion of which one is in the habit of going to bed, when the weather out is so unpleasant as to make staying in the obvious choice, when one has been sitting quietly at the table for so long already that one’s leaving must inevitably provoke general astonishment, when the stairwell is in any case in darkness and the street door locked, and when in spite of all this one stands up, suddenly ill at ease, changes one’s coat, reappears immediately in street clothes, announces that one has to go out and after a brief farewell does so, feeling that one has left behind one a degree of irritation commensurate with the abruptness with which one slammed the apartment door, when one then finds oneself in the street possessed of limbs that respond to the quite unexpected freedom one has procured for them with out-of-the-ordinary agility, when in the wake of this one decision one feels capable, deep down, of taking any decision, when one realizes with a greater sense of significance than usual that one has, after all, more ability than one has need easily to effect and endure the most rapid change, and when in this frame of mind one walks the long city streets—then for that evening one has stepped completely outside one’s family, which veers into inessentiality, while one’s own person, rock solid, dark with definition, thighs thrusting rhythmically, assumes it true form. The whole experience is enhanced when at that late hour one looks up a friend to see how he is.
Franz Kafka (The Complete Stories)
Women are not expected to live a life for themselves. When women dedicate their lives to children, it is deemed a worthy and respectable choice. When women dedicate themselves to a passion outside of the family that doesn’t involve worshipping their husbands or taking care of their kids, they’re seen as selfish, cold, or unfit mothers. But when a man spends hours grueling over a craft, profession, or project, he’s admired and seen as a genius. And when a man finds a woman who worships him, who dedicates her life to serving him, he’s lucky. But when a man dedicates himself to taking care of his children it’s seen as a last resort. That it must be because he ran out of other options. That it’s plan Z. That it’s an indicator of his inability to provide for his family. Basically, that he’s a fucking loser.
Ali Wong (Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life)
The Whites always mean well when they take human fish out of the ocean and try to make them dry and warm and happy and comfortable in a chicken coop; but the kindest-hearted white man can always be depended on to prove himself inadequate when he deals with savages. He cannot turn the situation around and imagine how he would like it to have a well-meaning savage transfer him from his house and his church and his clothes and his books and his choice food to a hideous wilderness of sand and rocks and snow, and ice and sleet and storm and blistering sun, with no shelter, no bed, no covering for his and his family's naked bodies, and nothing to eat but snakes and grubs and offal. This would be a hell to him; and if he had any wisdom he would know that his own civilization is a hell to the savage - but he hasn't any, and has never had any; and for lack of it he shut up those poor natives in the unimaginable perdition of his civilization, committing his crime with the very best intentions, and saw those poor creatures waste away under his tortures; and gazed at it, vaguely troubled and sorrowful, and wondered what could be the matter with them.
Mark Twain (Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World)
Handsome, strong, gay ... She felt again the thro and lilt of her blood. She had loved Kameni in that moment. She loved him now. Kameni could take the place that Khay had held in her life. She thought: 'We shall be happy together - yes, we shall be happy. We shall live together and take pleasure in each other and we shall have strong, handsome children. There will be busy days full of work ... and days of pleasure when we sail on the River...Life will be again as I knew it with Khay...What could I ask more than that? What do I want more than that?' And slowly, very slowly indeed, she turned her face towards Hori. It was as though, silently, she asked him a question. As though he understood her, he answered: 'When you were a child, I loved you. I loved your grave face and the confidence with which you came to me, asking me to mend your broken toys. And then, after eight years' absence, you came again and sat here, and brought me the thoughts that were in your mind. And your mind, Renisenb, is not like the minds of the rest of your family. It does not turn in upon itself, seeking to encase itself in narrow walls. Your mind is like my mind, it looks over the River, seeing a world of changes, of new ideas - seeing a world where all things are possible to those with courage and vision...' She broke off, unable to find words to frame her struggling thoughts. What life would be with Hori, she did not know. In spite of his gentleness, in spite of his love for her, he would remain in some respects incalculable and incomprehensible. They would share moments of great beauty and richness together - but what of their common daily life? (...) I have made my choice, Hori. I will share my life with you for good or evil, until death comes... With his arms round her, with the sudden new sweetness of his face against hers, she was filled with an exultant richness of living.
Agatha Christie (Death Comes as the End)
Today, I choose not to take my life for granted. I choose not to look upon the fact that I am healthy, have food in my refrigerator and have clean water to drink as givens. They are not givens for so many people in our world. The fact that I am safe and (relatively) sane are not givens. That I was born into a family who loves me and into a country not ravaged by war are not givens. It is impossible to name all of the circumstances in my life I've taken for granted. All of the basic needs I've had met, all of the friendships and job opportunities and financial blessings and the list, truly, is endless. The fact that I am breathing is a miracle, one I too rarely stop to appreciate. I'm stopping, right now, to be grateful for everything I am and everything I've been given. I'm stopping, right now, to be grateful for every pleasure and every pain that has contributed to the me who sits here and writes these words. I am thankful for my life. This moment is a blessing. Each breath a gift. That I've been able to take so much for granted is a gift, too. But it's not how I want to live—not when gratitude is an option, not when wonder and awe are choices. I choose gratitude. I choose wonder. I choose awe. I choose everything that suggests I'm opening myself to the miraculous reality of simply being alive for one moment more.
Scott Stabile
[L]iberals insist that children should be given the right to remain part of their particular community, but on condition that they are given a choice. But for, say, Amish children to really have a free choice of which way of life to choose, either their parents’ life or that of the “English,” they would have to be properly informed on all the options, educated in them, and the only way to do what would be to extract them from their embeddedness in the Amish community, in other words, to effectively render them “English.” This also clearly demonstrates the limitations of the standard liberal attitude towards Muslim women wearing a veil: it is deemed acceptable if it is their free choice and not an option imposed on them by their husbands or family. However, the moment a woman wears a veil as the result of her free individual choice, the meaning of her act changes completely: it is no longer a sign of her direct substantial belongingness to the Muslim community, but an expression of her idiosyncratic individuality, of her spiritual quest and her protest against the vulgarity of the commodification of sexuality, or else a political gesture of protest against the West. A choice is always a meta-choice, a choice of the modality of choice itself: it is one thing to wear a veil because of one’s immediate immersion in a tradition; it is quite another to refuse to wear a veil; and yet another to wear one not out of a sense of belonging, but as an ethico-political choice. This is why, in our secular societies based on “choice,” people who maintain a substantial religious belonging are in a subordinate position: even if they are allowed to practice their beliefs, these beliefs are “tolerated” as their idiosyncratic personal choice or opinion; they moment they present them publicly as what they really are for them, they are accused of “fundamentalism.” What this means is that the “subject of free choice” (in the Western “tolerant” multicultural sense) can only emerge as the result of an extremely violent process of being torn away from one’s particular lifeworld, of being cut off from one’s roots.
Slavoj Žižek (Living in the End Times)
Many conscientious environmentalists are repelled by the word "abundance," automatically associating it with irresponsible consumerism and plundering of Earth's resources. In the context of grassroots frustration, insensitive enthusing about the potential for energy abundance usually elicits an annoyed retort. "We have to conserve." The authors believe the human family also has to _choose_. The people we speak with at the recycling depot or organic juice bar are for the most part not looking at the _difference_ between harmony-with-nature technologies and exploitative practices such as mountaintop coal mining. "Destructive" was yesterday's technology of choice. As a result, the words "science and technology" are repugnant to many of the people who passionately care about health, peace, justice and the biosphere. Usually these acquaintances haven't heard about the variety of constructive yet powerful clean energy technologies that have the potential to gradually replace oil and nuclear industries if allowed. Wastewater-into-energy technologies could clean up waterways and other variations solve the problem of polluting feedlots and landfills.
Jeane Manning (Breakthrough Power: How Quantum-Leap New Energy Inventions Can Transform Our World)
You are not sacrificing me…to anything.” – Abigail “You started this, babe. The choice is simple. Either you die alone, nobly like a good sport, or the entire world dies with you, which I don’t think they’d appreciate much. So put on your big-girl pants and own up to what you and your stupidity caused. It’s Joe Versus the Volcano time. But in the end, I don’t give a shit what you do. With the exception of the cowboy there and my family, I hate people with a passion that makes your feelings for Jess look like a schoolgirl crush. Lovely thing about my current situation, I’m truly immortal. You annihilate humanity and the world…I’m still good. So whatever you decide, it won’t affect me personally. I would say you’re the one who’ll have to live with the guilt. But either way, you’re dead. Whatever. I delivered my message. My job here is done, and I need to get back to the one that I’m still not sure how I let them talk me into doing – which is even weirder and scarier than the Dark-Hunter gig. Jess, call me if she wusses, and I’ll make sure you survive the holocaust.” – Zarek
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
Since, in our societies, a gendered division of labor still predominates which confers a male twist on basic liberal categories (autonomy, public activity, competition) and relegates women to the private sector of family solidarity, liberalism itself, in its opposition to private and public, harbors male dominance. Furthermore, it is only modern Western capital culture for which autonomy and individual freedom stand higher than collective solidarity, connection, responsibility for dependent others, the duty to respect the customs of one's community. Liberalism itself thus privileges a certain culture: the modern Western one. As to freedom of choice, liberalism is also marked by a strong bias. It is intolerant when individuals of other cultures are not given freedom of choice-as is evident in issues such as clitoridechtomy, child brideship, infanticide, polygamy, and incest. However, it ignores the tremendous pressure which, for example, compels women in out liberal societies to undergo such procedures as plastic surgery, cosmetic implants, and Botox injections to remain competitive in the sex markets.
Slavoj Žižek
You may have control of your life, but you cannot control your environment. You cannot control the economy, trends, family circumstances, accidents, unexpected expenses, and the weather of life. You cannot control other people and their moods, personal situations, or issues. You cannot control biases or changes in your industry of choice. You cannot even control jealousy and envy in others. However, you can control your own STRENGTH to get back up and START AGAIN. Destiny is manifested only through action. You cannot be the captain of your own destiny, only the sailor, because we cannot control external influences that may alter the stability or direction of our ships. Once you understand this basic principle, you won't be so hard on yourself when things don't go your way. If man could write his own fate, he would have designed his journey to be without obstacles. Yet all obstacles come with valuable lessons designed just for you and only you. Suffering is imposed on us time and again so that one day we would become brave wise masters. Faith keeps our ships moving, while empathy and the memories of our experiences lead to wisdom.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Game-free intimacy is or should be the most perfect form of human living. Because there is so little opportunity for intimacy in daily life, and because some forms of intimacy (especially if intense) are psychologically impossible for most people, the bulk of time in serious social life is taken up with playing games. Hence games are both necessary and desirable, and the only problem at issue is whether the games played by an individual offer the best yield for him. In this connexion it should be remembered that the essential feature of a game is its culmination, or payoff. The principal function of the preliminary moves is to set up the situation for this payoff, but they are always designed to harvest the maximum permissible satisfaction at each step as a secondary product. Games are passed on from generation to generation. The favoured game of any individual can be traced back to his parents and grandparents, and forward to his children. Raising children is primarily a matter of teaching them what games to play. Different cultures and different social classes favour different types of games. Many games are played most intensely by disturbed people, generally speaking, the more disturbed they are, the harder they play. The attainment of autonomy is manifested by the release or recovery of three capacities: awareness, spontaneity and intimacy. Parents, deliberately or unaware, teach their children from birth how to behave, think and perceive. Liberation from these influences is no easy matter, since they are deeply ingrained. First, the weight of a whole tribal or family historical tradition has to be lifted. The same must be done with the demands of contemporary society at large, and finally advantages derived from one's immediate social circle have to be partly or wholly sacrificed. Following this, the individual must attain personal and social control, so that all the classes of behaviour become free choices subject only to his will. He is then ready for game-free relationships.
Eric Berne
Why would a person prefer the accusations of guilt, unworthiness, ineptitude-even dishonor and betrayal-to real possibility? This may not seem to be the choice, but it is: complete self-effacement, surrender to the "others," disavowal of any personal dignity or freedom-on the one hand; and freedom and independence, movement away from the others, extrication of oneself from the binding links of family and social duties-on the other hand. This is the choice that the depressed person actually faces and that he avoids partly by his guilty self-accusation. The answer is not far to seek: the depressed person avoids the possibility of independence and more life precisely because there are what threaten him with destruction and death. He holds on to the people who have enslaved him in a network of crushing obligations, belittling interaction, precisely because these people are his shelter, his strength, his protection against the world. Like most everyone else the depressed person is a coward who will not stand alone on his own center, who cannot draw from within himself the necessary strength to face up to life. So he embeds himself in others; he is sheltered by the necessary and willingly accepts it. But now his tragedy is plain to see: his necessity has become trivial, and so his slavish, dependent, depersonalized life has lost its meaning. It is frightening to be in such a bind. One chooses slavery because it is safe and meaningful; then one loses the meaning of it, but fears to move out of it. One has literally died to life but must remain physically in this world. And thus the torture of depressive psychosis: to remain steeped in one's failure and yet to justify it, to continue to draw a sense of worthwhileness out of it.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
We are focus-points of consciousness, [...] enormously creative. When we enter the self-constructed hologrammetric arena we call spacetime, we begin at once to generate creativity particles, imajons, in violent continuous pyrotechnic deluge. Imajons have no charge of their own but are strongly polarized through our attitudes and by the force of our choice and desire into clouds of conceptons, a family of very-high-energy particles which may be positive, negative or neutral. [...] Some common positive conceptions are exhilarons, excytons, rhapsodons, jovions. Common negative conceptions include gloomons, tormentons, tribulons, agonons, miserons. "Indefinite numbers of conceptions are created in nonstop eruption, a thundering cascade of creativity pouring from every center of personal consciousness. They mushroom into conception clouds, which can be neutral or strongly charged - buoyant, weightless or leaden, depending on the nature of their dominant particles. "Every nanosecond an indefinite number of conception clouds build to critical mass, then transform in quantum bursts to high-energy probability waves radiating at tachyon speeds through an eternal reservoir of supersaturated alternate events. Depending on their charge and nature, the probability waves crystallize certain of these potential events to match the mental polarity of their creating consciousness into holographic appearance. [...] "The materialized events become that mind's experience, freighted with all the aspects of physical structure necessary to make them real and learningful to the creating consciousness. This autonomic process is the fountain from which springs every object and event in the theater of spacetime. "The persuasion of the imajon hypothesis lies in its capacity for personal verification. The hypothesis predicts that as we focus our conscious intention on the positive and life-affirming, as we fasten our thought on these values, we polarize masses of positive conceptions, realize beneficial probability-waves, bring useful alternate events to us that otherwise would not have appeared to exist. "The reverse is true in the production of negative events, as is the mediocre in-between. Through default or intention, unaware or by design, we not only choose but create the visible outer conditions that are most resonant to our inner state of being [...]
Richard Bach (Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit)
How different this world to the one about which I used to read, and in which I used to live! This is one peopled by demons, phantoms, vampires, ghouls, boggarts, and nixies. Names of things of which I knew nothing are now so familiar that the creatures themselves appear to have real existence. The Arabian Nights are not more fantastic than our gospels; and Lempriere would have found ours a more marvelous world to catalog than the classical mythical to which he devoted his learning. Ours is a world of luprachaun and clurichaune, deev and cloolie, and through the maze of mystery I have to thread my painful way, now learning how to distinguish oufe from pooka, and nis from pixy; study long screeds upon the doings of effreets and dwergers, or decipher the dwaul of delirious monks who have made homunculi from refuse. Waking or sleeping, the image of some uncouth form is always present to me. What would I not give for a volume by the once despised 'A. L. O. E' or prosy Emma Worboise? Talk of the troubles of Winifred Bertram or Jane Eyre, what are they to mine? Talented authoresses do not seem to know that however terrible it may be to have as a neighbour a mad woman in a tower, it is much worse to have to live in a kitchen with a crocodile. This elementary fact has escaped the notice of writers of fiction; the re-statement of it has induced me to reconsider my decision as to the most longed-for book; my choice now is the Swiss Family Robinson. In it I have no doubt I should find how to make even the crocodile useful, or how to kill it, which would be still better. ("Mysterious Maisie")
Wirt Gerrare (Gaslit Nightmares: Stories by Robert W. Chambers, Charles Dickens, Richard Marsh, and Others)
Chris loved to look at every type of plant, animal, and bug he hadn’t seen before on the trail and point out those he did recognize. He enjoyed walking along small streams, listening to the water as it traveled, and searching for eddies where we could watch the minnows scurry amongst the rocks. On one Shenandoah trip, while we were resting at a waterfall, eating our chocolate-covered granola bars and watching the water pummel the rocks below, he said, “See, Carine ? That’s the purity of nature. It may be harsh in its honesty, but it never lies to you”. Chris seemed to be most comfortable outdoors, and the farther away from the typical surroundings and pace of our everyday lives the better. While it was unusual for a solid week to pass without my parents having an argument that sent them into a negative tailspin of destruction and despair, they never got into a fight of any consequence when we were on an extended family hike or camping trip. It seemed like everything became centered and peaceful when there was no choice but to make nature the focus. Our parents’ attention went to watching for blaze marks on trees ; staying on the correct trail ; doling out bug spray, granola bars, sandwiches, and candy bars at proper intervals ; and finding the best place to pitch the tent before nightfall. They taught us how to properly lace up our hiking boots and wear the righ socks to keep our feet healthy and reliable. They showed us which leaves were safe to use as toilet paper and which would surely make us miserable downtrail. We learned how to purify water for our canteens if we hadn’t found a safe spring and to be smart about conserving what clean water we had left. At night we would collect rocks to make a fire ring, dry wood to burn, and long twigs for roasting marshmallows for the s’more fixings Mom always carried in her pack. Dad would sing silly, non-sensical songs that made us laugh and tell us about the stars.
Carine McCandless (The Wild Truth: A Memoir)
The North Korean capital, Pyongyang, is a city consecrated to the worship of a father-son dynasty. (I came to think of them, with their nuclear-family implications, as 'Fat Man and Little Boy.') And a river runs through it. And on this river, the Taedong River, is moored the only American naval vessel in captivity. It was in January 1968 that the U.S.S. Pueblo strayed into North Korean waters, and was boarded and captured. One sailor was killed; the rest were held for nearly a year before being released. I looked over the spy ship, its radio antennae and surveillance equipment still intact, and found photographs of the captain and crew with their hands on their heads in gestures of abject surrender. Copies of their groveling 'confessions,' written in tremulous script, were also on show. So was a humiliating document from the United States government, admitting wrongdoing in the penetration of North Korean waters and petitioning the 'D.P.R.K.' (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) for 'lenience.' Kim Il Sung ('Fat Man') was eventually lenient about the men, but not about the ship. Madeleine Albright didn't ask to see the vessel on her visit last October, during which she described the gruesome, depopulated vistas of Pyongyang as 'beautiful.' As I got back onto the wharf, I noticed a refreshment cart, staffed by two women under a frayed umbrella. It didn't look like much—one of its three wheels was missing and a piece of brick was propping it up—but it was the only such cart I'd see. What toothsome local snacks might the ladies be offering? The choices turned out to be slices of dry bread and cups of warm water. Nor did Madeleine Albright visit the absurdly misnamed 'Demilitarized Zone,' one of the most heavily militarized strips of land on earth. Across the waist of the Korean peninsula lies a wasteland, roughly following the 38th parallel, and packed with a titanic concentration of potential violence. It is four kilometers wide (I have now looked apprehensively at it from both sides) and very near to the capital cities of both North and South. On the day I spent on the northern side, I met a group of aging Chinese veterans, all from Szechuan, touring the old battlefields and reliving a war they helped North Korea nearly win (China sacrificed perhaps a million soldiers in that campaign, including Mao Anying, son of Mao himself). Across the frontier are 37,000 United States soldiers. Their arsenal, which has included undeclared nuclear weapons, is the reason given by Washington for its refusal to sign the land-mines treaty. In August 1976, U.S. officers entered the neutral zone to trim a tree that was obscuring the view of an observation post. A posse of North Koreans came after them, and one, seizing the ax with which the trimming was to be done, hacked two U.S. servicemen to death with it. I visited the ax also; it's proudly displayed in a glass case on the North Korean side.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
Why do you choose to write about such gruesome subjects? I usually answer this with another question: Why do you assume that I have a choice? Writing is a catch-as-catch-can sort of occupation. All of us seem to come equipped with filters on the floors of our minds, and all the filters have differing sizes and meshes. What catches in my filter may run right through yours. What catches in yours may pass through mine, no sweat. All of us seem to have a built-in obligation to sift through the sludge that gets caught in our respective mind-filters, and what we find there usually develops into some sort of sideline. The accountant may also be a photographer. The astronomer may collect coins. The school-teacher may do gravestone rubbings in charcoal. The sludge caught in the mind's filter, the stuff that refuses to go through, frequently becomes each person's private obsession. In civilized society we have an unspoken agreement to call our obsessions “hobbies.” Sometimes the hobby can become a full-time job. The accountant may discover that he can make enough money to support his family taking pictures; the schoolteacher may become enough of an expert on grave rubbings to go on the lecture circuit. And there are some professions which begin as hobbies and remain hobbies even after the practitioner is able to earn his living by pursuing his hobby; but because “hobby” is such a bumpy, common-sounding little word, we also have an unspoken agreement that we will call our professional hobbies “the arts.” Painting. Sculpture. Composing. Singing. Acting. The playing of a musical instrument. Writing. Enough books have been written on these seven subjects alone to sink a fleet of luxury liners. And the only thing we seem to be able to agree upon about them is this: that those who practice these arts honestly would continue to practice them even if they were not paid for their efforts; even if their efforts were criticized or even reviled; even on pain of imprisonment or death. To me, that seems to be a pretty fair definition of obsessional behavior. It applies to the plain hobbies as well as the fancy ones we call “the arts”; gun collectors sport bumper stickers reading YOU WILL TAKE MY GUN ONLY WHEN YOU PRY MY COLD DEAD FINGERS FROM IT, and in the suburbs of Boston, housewives who discovered political activism during the busing furor often sported similar stickers reading YOU'LL TAKE ME TO PRISON BEFORE YOU TAKE MY CHILDREN OUT OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD on the back bumpers of their station wagons. Similarly, if coin collecting were outlawed tomorrow, the astronomer very likely wouldn't turn in his steel pennies and buffalo nickels; he'd wrap them carefully in plastic, sink them to the bottom of his toilet tank, and gloat over them after midnight.
Stephen King (Night Shift)
In 1970, Alix Kates Shulman, a wife, mother, and writer who had joined the Women's Liberation Movement in New York, wrote a poignant account of how the initial equality and companionship of her marriage had deteriorated once she had children. "[N]ow I was restricted to the company of two demanding preschoolers and to the four walls of an apartment. It seemed unfair that while my husband's life had changed little when the children were born, domestic life had become the only life I had." His job became even more demanding, requiring late nights and travel out of town. Meanwhile it was virtually impossible for her to work at home. "I had no time for myself; the children were always there." Neither she nor her husband was happy with the situation, so they did something radical, which received considerable media coverage: they wrote up a marriage agreement... In it they asserted that "each member of the family has an equal right to his/her own time, work, values and choices... The ability to earn more money is already a privilege which must not be compounded by enabling the larger earner to buy out of his/her duties and put the burden on the one who earns less, or on someone hired from outside." The agreement insisted that domestic jobs be shared fifty-fifty and, get this girls, "If one party works overtime in any domestic job, she/he must be compensated by equal work by the other." The agreement then listed a complete job breakdown... in other worde, the agreement acknowledged the physical and the emotional/mental work involved in parenting and valued both. At the end of the article, Shulman noted how much happier she and her husband were as a result of the agreement. In the two years after its inception, Shulman wrote three children's books, a biography and a novel. But listen, too, to what it meant to her husband, who was now actually seeing his children every day. After the agreement had been in effect for four months, "our daughter said one day to my husband, 'You know, Daddy, I used to love Mommy more than you, but now I love you both the same.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)