Followers Important Quotes

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Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs
You are unique. You have different talents and abilities. You don’t have to always follow in the footsteps of others. And most important, you should always remind yourself that you don't have to do what everyone else is doing and have a responsibility to develop the talents you have been given.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
It is useless for me to describe to you how terrible Violet, Klaus, and even Sunny felt in the time that followed. If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels, and if you haven't, you cannot possibly imagine it.
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.
Carrie Fisher
Choosing a path meant having to miss out on others. She had a whole life to live, and she was always thinking that, in the future, she might regret the choices she made now. “I’m afraid of committing myself,” she thought to herself. She wanted to follow all possible paths and so ended up following none. Even in that most important area of her life, love, she had failed to commit herself. After her first romantic disappointment, she had never again given herself entirely. She feared pan, loss, and separation. These things were inevitable on the path to love, and the only way of avoiding them was by deciding not to take that path at all. In order not to suffer, you had to renounce love. It was like putting out your own eyes not to see the bad things in life.
Paulo Coelho (Brida)
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.
Steve Jobs
I couldn’t help but notice it was always this way. At state events or important dinners, Mom was beside Dad or situated right behind him. But when they were just husband and wife—not king and queen—he followed her everywhere.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
After almost exactly three hours, we rolled into a small hole of a town that had one traffic light and a resturant simply marked DINER. There hadn't been any traffic on the road for over an hour, though, which was really the most important thing. We hadn't been followed. Sydney drove us to a building with a sign that read MOTEL. Apparently this town liked to stick to the basics when it came to names. I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually just called TOWN.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
Others may know pleasure, but pleasure is not happiness. It has no more importance than a shadow following a man.
Muhammad Ali
I have not always chosen the safest path. I've made my mistakes, plenty of them. I sometimes jump too soon and fail to appreciate the consequences. But I've learned something important along the way: I've learned to heed the call of my heart. I've learned that the safest path is not always the best path and I've learned that the voice of fear is not always to be trusted.
Steve Goodier
Would you like me to grovel with gratitude for bringing me here, High Lord?" "Ah. The Suriel told you nothing important, did it?" That smile of his sparked something bold in my chest. "He also said that you liked being brushed, and if I'm a clever girl, I might train you with treats." Tamlin tipped his head to the sky and roared with laughter. Despite myself, I let out a quiet laugh. "I might die of surprise," Lucien said behind me. "You made a joke, Feyre." I turned to look at him with a cool smile. "You don't want to know what the Suriel said about you." I flicked my brows up, and Lucien lifted his hands in defeat. "I'd pay good money to hear what the Suriel thinks of Lucien," Tamlin said. A cork popped, followed by the sounds of Lucien chugging the bottle's contents and chuckling with a muttered, "Brushed.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Rules for Living by Olivia Joules 1. Never panic. Stop, breathe, think. 2. No one is thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves, just like you. 3. Never change haircut or color before an important event. 4. Nothing is either as bad or good as it seems. 5. Do as you would be done by, e.g. thou shalt not kill. 6. It is better to buy one expensive thing that you really like than several cheap ones that you only quite like. 7. Hardly anything matters: if you get upset, ask yourself, "Does it really matter?" 8. The key to success lies in how you pick yourself up from failure. 9. Be honest and kind. 10. Only buy clothes that make you feel like doing a small dance. 11. Trust your instincts, not your overactive imagination. 12. When overwhelmed by disaster, check if it's really a disaster by doing the following: (a) think, "Oh, fuck it," (b) look on the bright side, and if that doesn't work, look on the funny side. If neither of the above works then maybe it is a disaster so turn to items 1 and 4. 13. Don't expect the world to be safe or life to be fair.
Helen Fielding (Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination)
But, first, remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.
C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7))
How great it is when we come to know that times of disappointment can be followed by joy; that guilt over falling short of our ideals can be replaced by pride in doing all that we can; and that anger can be channeled into creative achievements... and into dreams that we can make come true.
Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember)
The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you. Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. "A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses." The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad. Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends. Yes...do love, appreciate and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what. Just know that they are human first and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above. "In Prosperity Our Friends Know Us. In Adversity We Know Our friends." "Never make someone a priority when you are only an option for them." "If you are going to achieve excellence in big things,you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.."..
Colin Powell
The important thing is that man is lost in time, in the moment that immediately precedes him - which only attests, by reflection, to the fact that he is lost in the moment that follows
André Breton
I have important business to get to. I plan to sulk all afternoon, followed, perhaps, by an evening of Byronic brooding and a nighttime of dissipation.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
I want you to always hold your head up and follow your dreams wherever they take you. Don’t you ever listen to the people out to hurt you or make you cry. Listen to your heart and be better than them. No one gets ahead by hurting others. The only real peace anyone will ever have is the one that comes from within. Live your life on your own terms and make it a happy life. Always. That’s what’s important, Torimou. (Theo)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
Having a little girl has been like following an old treasure map with the important paths torn away.
Heather Gudenkauf (The Weight of Silence)
Kind people are brave people. Brave is not something you should wait to feel. Brave is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed)
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary
Steve Jobs
She wasn’t afraid of difficulties; what frightened her was being forced to choose one particular path. Choosing a path meant having to miss out on others. She had a whole life to live and she was always thinking that, in future, she might regret the choices she made now. ‘I’m afraid of committing myself,’ she thought to herself. She wanted to follow all possible paths and so ended up following none. Even in that most important area of her life, love, she had failed to commit herself. After her first romantic dissappointment, she had never again given herself entirely. She feared pain, loss and separation. These things were inevitable on the path to love, and the only way of avoiding them was by deciding not to take that path at all. In order not to suffer, you had to renounce love. It was like putting out your own eyes in order not to see the bad things in life.
Paulo Coelho (Brida)
Almost everything...all external expectations...all pride...all fear of embarrassment or failure...these things just fall away in the face of death....leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking that you have something to lose. You are already naked...there is no reason not to follow your heart.
Steve Jobs
I believe that half the trouble in the world comes from people asking 'What have I achieved?' rather than 'What have I enjoyed?' I've been writing about a subject I love as long as I can remember--horses and the people associated with them, anyplace, anywhere, anytime. I couldn't be happier knowing that young people are reading my books. But even more important to me is that I've enjoyed so much the writing of them.
Walter Farley (The Black Stallion (The Black Stallion, #1))
An offering for the sake of offering, perhaps. Anyhow, it was her gift. Nothing else had she of the slightest importance; could not think, write, even play the piano. She muddled Armenians and Turks; loved success; hated discomfort; must be liked; talked oceans of nonsense: and to this day, ask her what the Equator was, and she did not know. All the same, that one day should follow another; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday; that one should wake up in the morning; see the sky; walk in the park; meet Hugh Whitbread; then suddenly in came Peter; then these roses; it was enough. After that, how unbelievable death was!-that it must end; and no one in the whole world would know how she had loved it all; how, every instant . . .
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
The letter said that they were two feet high, and green, and shaped like plumber's friends. Their suction cups were on the ground, and their shafts, which were extremely flexible, usually pointed to the sky. At the top of each shaft was a little hand with a green eye in its palm. The creatures were friendly, and they could see in four dimensions. They pitied Earthlings for being able to see only three. They had many wonderful things to teach Earthlings, especially about time. Billy promised to tell what some of those wonderful things were in his next letter. Billy was working on his second letter when the first letter was published. The second letter started out like this: The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "so it goes.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important: whatever teaches us to sing ourselves out of despair. But the painting has also taught me that we can speak to each other across time. And I feel I have something very serious and urgent to say to you, my non-existent reader, and I feel I should say it as urgently as if I were standing in the room with you. That life—whatever else it is—is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch. For if disaster and oblivion have followed this painting down through time—so too has love. Insofar as it is immortal (and it is) I have a small, bright, immutable part in that immortality. It exists; and it keeps on existing. And I add my own love to the history of people who have loved beautiful things, and looked out for them, and pulled them from the fire, and sought them when they were lost, and tried to preserve them and save them while passing them along literally from hand to hand, singing out brilliantly from the wreck of time to the next generation of lovers, and the next.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Resolution number one: Obviously will lose twenty pounds. Number two: Always put last night's panties in the laundry basket. Equally important, will find sensible boyfriend to go out with and not continue to form romantic attachments to any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobic's, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits or perverts. And especially will not fantasize about a particular person who embodies all these things
Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones, #1))
One’s options in this world are as vast as the horizon, which is technically a circle and thus infinitely broad. Yet we must choose each step we take with utmost caution, for the footprints we leave behind are as important as the path we will follow. They’re part of the same journey — our story.
Lori R. Lopez (Dance of the Chupacabras)
The most important thing I learnt on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. When any Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
It’s important to keep up appearances with books,” I explained. “Image goes a long way in this business.” He dared a look over at me, still nervous but steadily recovering his composure. “I go more for content.” "Really?” I repositioned slightly so that we were touching again, the soft flannel of his shirt brushing my bare skin. “Because I could have sworn a moment ago you were pretty caught up in outside appearance.” His eyes shifted down again, but I could see a smile curving his lips. “Well. Some things are so striking, they can’t help but draw attention to themselves.” "And doesn’t that make you curious about what’s inside?” "Mostly it makes me want to get you some advanced copies.” Advanced copies? What did he—? "Seth? Seth, where—ah, there you are.” Paige turned down our aisle, Doug following behind. She brightened when she saw me, and I felt my stomach sink out of me and hit the floor with a thud as I put two and two together. No. No. It couldn’t be— "Ah, Georgina. I see you’ve already met Seth Mortensen.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
A Note Life is the only way to get covered in leaves, catch your breath on the sand, rise on wings; to be a dog, or stroke its warm fur; to tell pain from everything it's not; to squeeze inside events, dawdle in views, to seek the least of all possible mistakes. An extraordinary chance to remember for a moment a conversation held with the lamp switched off; and if only once to stumble upon a stone, end up soaked in one downpour or another, mislay your keys in the grass; and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes; and to keep on not knowing something important.
Wisława Szymborska
But it had happened. I had followed Delia's van that night, I had told Wes my Truths, I had stepped into his arms, showing him my raw, broken heart. I could pretend otherwise, pushing it out of sight and hopefully out of mind. But if something was really important, fate made sure it somehow came back to you and gave you another chance. I'd gotten one reaching out to grab Kristy's hand as she pulled me into the ambulance; another during the trip to the hospital that ended with seeing Avery born. Events conspired to bring you back to where you'd been. It was what you did then that made all the difference: it was all about potential.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Art isn't only a painting. Art is anything that's creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator. What makes someone an artist? I don't think is has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards, or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while swell people, aren't artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artists who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is about intent and communication, not substances. An artists is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally. That's why Bob Dylan is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on the other side of the glass is merely a marketer. That's why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artists, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam. Tom Peters, corporate gadfly and writer, is an artists, even though his readers are businesspeople. He's an artists because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally, and he doesn't care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it's important, not because he expects you to pay him for it. Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn't matter. The intent does. Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.
Seth Godin (Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?)
The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions-there we have none.
Virginia Woolf (The Second Common Reader)
Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
Thomas J. Watson Jr.
See, anxiety doesn’t just stop. You can have nice moments, minutes where it shrinks, but it doesn’t leave. It lurks in the background like a shadow, like that important assignment you have to do but keep putting off or the dull ache that follows a three-day migraine. The best you can hope for is to contain it, make it as small as possible so it stops being intrusive. Am I coping? Yes, but it’s taking a monumental amount of effort to keep the dynamite inside my stomach from exploding. The
Louise Gornall (Under Rose-Tainted Skies)
Take the years when you’re young – say, between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five, before you have a mortgage or kids or anything else that needs to be fed – and go balls out on intuition and follow your dreams. Dreams won’t always take you on a straight path to destiny, but they’re usually related to what your soul wants for you. They’ll force you to ask yourself the hard questions, they’ll kick your ass, and most importantly, they’ll turn you on.
Kelly Cutrone (If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You)
Each deed was of incredible importance to that one person or group of people...I tried to think and not of the abyss: the impossible task of reaching everyone that needed help. I thought it was this abyss she had fallen into and I was keen not to follow her.
Aaron D. Key (Damon Ich (The Wheel of Eight Book 2))
Three weeks ago, he’d seen hail fall from the sky, only to be followed minutes later by a spectacular rainbow that seemed to frame the azalea bushes. The colors, so vivid they seemed almost alive, made him think that nature sometimes sends us signs, that it’s important to remember that joy can always follow despair. But a moment later, the rainbow had vanished and the hail returned, and he realized that joy was sometimes only an illusion.
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
Gandalf: Confound it all, Samwise Gamgee. Have you been eavesdropping? Sam: I ain't been droppin' no eaves sir, honest. I was just cutting the grass under the window there, if you'll follow me. Gandalf: A little late for trimming the verge, don't you think? Sam: I heard raised voices. Gandalf: What did you hear? Speak. Sam: N-nothing important. That is, I heard a good deal about a ring, and a Dark Lord, and something about the end of the world, but... Please, Mr. Gandalf, sir, don't hurt me. Don't turn me into anything... unnatural.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Do you know who I am?" she demanded. "Well, you're Night, I suppose," said Annabeth. "I mean, I can tell because you're dark and everything, though the brochure didn't say much about you." Nyx's eyes winked out for a moment. "What brochure?" Annabeth patted her pockets. "We had one, didn't we?" Percy licked his lips. "Uh-huh." He was still watching the horses, his hand tight on his sword hilt, but he was smart enough to follow Annabeth's lead. [...] "Anyway," she said, "I guess the brochure didn't say much, because you weren't spotlighted on the tour. We got to see the River Phlegethon, the Cocytus, the arai, the poison glade of Akhlys, even some random Titans and giants, but Nyx...hmm, no you weren't really featured." "Featured? Spotlighted?" "Yeah," Percy said, warming up to the idea. "We came down here for the Tartarus tour--like, exotic destinations, you know? The Underworld is overdone. Mount Olympus is a tourist trap--" "Gods, totally!" Annabeth agreed. "So we booked the Tartarus excursion, but no one even mentioned we'd run into Nyx. Huh. Oh, well. Guess they didn't think you were important.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings. Following complex story lines stretches our brains beyond the 140 characters of sound-bite thinking, and staying within the world of a novel gives us the ability to be quiet and alone, two skills that are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps.
Ann Patchett
Don't ever ask for permission to follow your dreams. Follow them no matter fucking what. It's important. We have one life here and you are the author of your story, more than anybody else. You are much more responsible for your dreams coming true or not than anyone else in your life you have contacted with. So, dream big, work hard, and make it happen no matter what.
Jared Leto
Let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.
Daniel Webster
The important question regarding spirituality is not which God you follow but are you true to your soul? Are you living a spiritual life? Are you a kind person here on earth, getting joy from your existence, causing no harm, and doing good to others?
Brian L. Weiss (Same Soul, Many Bodies: Discover the Healing Power of Future Lives through Progression Therapy)
There followed a time when everything was dull. The things that had meant something lost importance, though they were still there, like bruises on the body that fade to hard lumps under the skin.
Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring)
I'm still agnostic. But in the words of Elton Richards, I'm now a reverant agnostic. Which isn't an oxymoron, I swear. I now believe that whether or not there's a God, there is such a thing as sacredness. Life is sacred. The Sabbath can be a sacred day. Prayer can be a sacred ritual. There is something transcendent, beyond the everyday. It's possible that humans created this sacredness ourselves, but that doesn't take away from its power or importance.
A.J. Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible)
Don't listen to those who say, you are taking too big a chance. Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely be rubbed out by today. Most important, don't listen when the little voice of fear inside you rears its ugly head and says "They are all smarter than you out there. They're more talented, they're taller, blonder, prettier, luckier, and they have connections." I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criteria by which you live, the chances are you'll be a person worthy of your own respects.
Neil Simon
Here are a few important principles to remember with regard to the giving and receiving between males and females. When a male demands, a female reacts; she doesn’t respond. When a male gives, a female responds. When a male commits, a female submits. Nothing is more precious to a female than a committed male. Nothing is no more depressing to a female than an uncommitted male. Here’s the secret, guys: If you want a submitted female, be a committed male. It’s that simple. When a male abuses, a female refuses. Whenever a man abuses a woman, she refuses to respond. When a male shares, a female cares. If you find a man who is willing to share with the woman in his life, you will find a woman who is willing to care for her man. When a male leads, a female follows. When a man carries out his God-given responsibility for leadership, a woman responds by following his lead. Leadership does not mean being bossy, always telling others what to do. No, leadership means going ahead, not putting others in the front. Good leaders lead by example, not by decree. Jesus led by example, and so did Moses, Peter, Paul, and all the other great leaders in the Bible. Leading by example means doing ourselves the things we wish others to do.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
Maybe it is not important to go to bed together but get up the following day and make a cup of tea for the other?
Janusz Leon Wiśniewski
Whatever happened to our dreams? The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind. The sheer number of experiences I could have is uncountable, breathtaking, and I'm sitting here refreshing my inbox. We live trapped in loops, reliving a few days over and over, and we envision only a handful of paths laid out ahead of us. We see the same things each day, we respond the same way, we think the same thoughts, each day a slight variation on the last, every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of societal norms. We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us. And no, I don't have all the answers. I don't know how to jolt myself into seeing what each moment could become. But I do know one thing: the solution doesn't involve watering down my every little idea and creative impulse for the sake of someday easing my fit into a mold. It doesn't involve tempering my life to better fit someone's expectations. It doesn't involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up. This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly as I can: FUCK. THAT. SHIT.
Randall Munroe
If an important decision is to be made, they [the Persians] discuss the question when they are drunk, and the following day the master of the house where the discussion was held submits their decision for reconsideration when they are sober. If they still approve it, it is adopted; if not, it is abandoned. Conversely, any decision they make when they are sober, is reconsidered afterwards when they are drunk.
Herodotus
Our great mistake in education is, as it seems to me, the worship of book-learning–the confusion of instruction and education. We strain the memory instead of cultivating the mind. The children in our elementary schools are wearied by the mechanical act of writing, and the interminable intricacies of spelling; they are oppressed by columns of dates, by lists of kings and places, which convey no definite idea to their minds, and have no near relation to their daily wants and occupations; while in our public schools the same unfortunate results are produced by the weary monotony of Latin and Greek grammar. We ought to follow exactly the opposite course with children–to give them a wholesome variety of mental food, and endeavor to cultivate their tastes, rather than to fill their minds with dry facts. The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. What does it matter if the pupil know a little more or a little less? A boy who leaves school knowing much, but hating his lessons, will soon have forgotten almost all he ever learned; while another who had acquired a thirst for knowledge, even if he had learned little, would soon teach himself more than the first ever knew.
John Lubbock (The Pleasures of Life)
You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle… Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs
A pale, slightly luminescent form materialized in front of us. Mason. He looked the same as ever-or did he? The usual sadness was there, but I could see something else, something else I couldn't quite put my finger on. Panic? Frustration? I could have almost sworn it was fear, but honestly, what would a ghost have to be afraid of. "What's wrong?" asked Dimitri. "Do you see him?" I whispered. Dimitri followed my gaze. "See who?" "Mason." Mason's troubled expression grew darker. I might not have been able to adequately identify it, but I knew it wasn't anything good. The nauseous feeling within me intensified, but somehow, I knew it had nothing to do with him. "Rose...we should go back..." said Dimitri carefully. He still wasn't on board with me seeing ghosts. But I didn't move. Mason's face was saying something else to me-or trying to. There was something here, something important that I needed to know. But he couldn't communicate it. "What?" I asked. "What is it?" A look of frustration crossed his face. He pointed off behind me, the dropped his hand. "Tell me," I said, my frustration mirroring his. Dimitri was looking back and forth between me and Mason, though mason was probably only and empty space to him. I was too fixated on Mason to worry what Dimitri might think. There was something here. Something big. Mason opened his mouth, wanting to speak as in previous times but still unable to get the words out. Except, this time, after several agonizing seconds, he managed it. The words were nearly inaudible. "They're...coming....
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
WARNING: The following is a transcript of a digital recording. In certain places, the audio quality was poor, so some words and phrases represent the author's best guesses. Where possible, illustrations of important symbols mentioned in the recording have been added. Background noises such as scuffling, hitting, and cursing by the two speakers have not been transcribed The author makes no claims for the authenticity of the recording. It seems impossible that the two young narrators are telling the truth, but you, the reader, must decide for yourself.
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
Think it over carefully. This is very important," I say, "because to believe something, whatever it might be, is the doing of the mind. Do you follow? When you say you believe, you allow the possibility of disappointment. And from disappointment or betrayal, there may come despair. Such is the way of the mind.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
A Ritual to Read to Each Other If you don’t know the kind of person I am and I don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star. For there is many a small betrayal in the mind, a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood storming out to play through the broken dyke. And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail, but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park, I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty to know what occurs but not recognize the fact. And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy, a remote important region in all who talk: though we could fool each other, we should consider--- lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark. For it is important that awake people be awake, or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; the signals we give---yes or no, or maybe--- should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
William Stafford
Mrs. Darling loved to have everything just so, and Mr. Darling had a passion for being exactly like his neighbours; so, of course, they had a nurse. As they were poor, owing to the amount of milk the children drank, this nurse was a prim Newfoundland dog, called Nana, who had belonged to no one in particular until the Darlings engaged her. She had always thought children important, however, and the Darlings had become acquainted with her in Kensington Gardens, where she spent most of her spare time peeping into perambulators, and was much hated by careless nursemaids, whom she followed to their homes and complained of to their mistresses. She proved to be quite a treasure of a nurse.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
Who you are is not determined by what you wear, the money in your wallet, nor how you look. Who you are is simply determined by who or what you follow. If you follow money you will only seek after such, giving your all for it. If you seek after what they call, 'fun,' your life will be aimed towards finding a way to fame, or a new way to party. If you follow the Lord Jesus your life will be given to Him, and the hopes and dreams you have will be in pleasing Him!! Everyone follows someone or something. Who will it be? Choose wisely- you are important!!
Mary Kate
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
Kind people are brave people. Brave is not something you should wait to feel. Brave is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd. Trust me, baby, it is. It is more important.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed)
Scarlet blinked tears from her eyes. “I … this is … it’s perfect, but I think you might have forgotten one important element.” She turned back to Wolf. “There’s no officiant here. Who’s going to marry us?” Wolf’s grin widened, and he glanced at Kai. Scarlet followed the look. “Seriously?
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5))
Sam Vimes could parallel process. Most husbands can. They learn to follow their own line of thought while at the same time listening to what their wives say. And the listening is important, because at any time they could be challenged and must be ready to quote the last sentence in full. A vital additional skill is being able to scan the dialogue for telltale phrases such as "and they can deliver it tomorrow" or "so I've invited them for dinner?" or "they can do it in blue, really quite cheaply.
Terry Pratchett
And I hate to tell you... but I think that once you have a fair idea where you want to go, your first move will be to apply yourself in a school. You'll have to. You're a student—whether the idea appeals to you or not. You're in love with knowledge. And I think you'll find, once... you get past all the Mr. Vinsons, you're going to start getting closer and closer—that is, if you want to, and if you look for it and wait for it—to the kind of information that will be very, very dear to your heart. Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior... Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of thier troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry... But I do say that educated and scholarly men, if they’re brilliant and creative to begin with—which, unfortunately, is rarely the case—tend to leave infinitely more valuable records behind them than men do who are merely brilliant and creative. They tend to express themselves more clearly, and they usually have a passion for following their thoughts through to the end. And—most important—nine times out of ten they have more humility than the unscholarly thinker.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
I think the most important quality of a mentor is that they are open to following students where they want to go. Not always pushing their own agenda.
Cordelia Jensen (Skyscraping)
To keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm. This is the important thing for long-term projects. Once you set the pace, the rest will follow.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
From that day on, it was the desert that would be important. She would look to it everyday, and would try to guess which star the boy was following in search of his treasure. She would have to send her kisses on the wind hoping that the wind would touch the boy's face, and would tell him that she was alive.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Monogamy, it follows, is the sacred cow of the romantic ideal, for it is the marker of our specialness: I have been chosen and others renounced. When you turn your back on other loves, you confirm my uniqueness; when your hand or mind wanders, my importance is shattered. Conversely, if I no longer feel special, my own hands and mind tingle with curiosity. The disillusioned are prone to roam. Might someone else restore my significance
Esther Perel (Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic)
Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions down out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs
The most important thing in my life is to be the best mother that I can be to my daughter and two sons; full of blessings and love. I can guide them, pray for their goals to be achieved, and follow a good path; but ultimately it will be up to them to live their own lives and make their own choices knowing there are rewards and consequences.
Ana Monnar
The single most important thing [you can do] is to shift [your] internal stance from "I understand" to "Help me understand." Everything else follows from that. . . . Remind yourself that if you think you already understand how someone feels or what they are trying to say, it is a delusion. Remember a time when you were sure you were right and then discovered one little fact that changed everything. There is always more to learn.
Douglas Stone (Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most)
The best agencies understood the importance of routines. The worst agencies were headed by people who never thought about it, and then wondered why no one followed their orders.
Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business)
Ammanas slipped noiselessly forward until he was on the other side of the corpse. ‘It’s her, isn’t it.’ ‘It is.’ ‘How many times do our followers have to die, Cotillion?’ the god asked, then sighed. ‘Then again, she clearly ceased being a follower some time ago.’ ‘She thought we were gone, Ammanas. The Emperor and Dancer. Gone. Dead.’ ‘And in a way, she was right.’ ‘In a way, aye. But not in the most important way.’ ‘Which is?’ Cotillion glanced up, then grimaced. ‘She was a friend.’ ‘Ah, that most important way.
Steven Erikson (House of Chains (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #4))
Discipling our children is not about teaching them to behave in a way that won’t embarrass us. We’re working toward something much more important than that. We’re actually raising our children with a view toward leading them to trust and to follow Christ.
Voddie T. Baucham Jr. (Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes)
I"m often accused of being irreligious, and I suppose it's for this very reason. Whether it's Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Judaism, or any other ism, when a religioin is created on the subtle premise that God withholds his love and you must submit to the system to earn that love, I consider it the worst of corruptions... For centuries, the church has been telling us that if we want God to love us, we need to follow the rules. It's been far more important to focus on the sin problem than the love problem.
Erwin Raphael McManus
A little boy and his friends are being called bastards and bitches by bullies at school. The boy goes home and asks, "Dad, what are bastards and bitches?" And his dad replies, "Bitches are ladies and bastards are gentlemen." Then the boy goes upstairs to see his mom. As he enters the room, he accidentally drops a perfume bottle, and his mom says, "Shit!" "Mom, what is shit?" and she says, "Perfume." So he goes to see his dad (who is carving a chicken), and his dad cuts himself and yells, "Fuck!" The boy asks, "Dad, what does fuck mean?" and dad says "preparing." Then he follows his dad upstairs. A few minutes later his mom and dad are about to have sex when his dad says, "Where are the condoms?" The little boy asks, "What are condoms?" and his father says, "Condoms are coats and jackets." The following night his father invites over some important business clients. The boy opens the door for them and says, "Hello! Please come in, Bastards and bitches. Hang your condoms up here, my mom is upstairs rubbing shit on her face and my dad is downstairs fucking the chicken.
Various (101 Dirty Jokes - sexual and adult's jokes)
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done. I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer's features as a lip or an eye. But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face. “Is it?...is it?” I whispered to my guide. “Not at all,” said he. “It's someone ye'll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.” “She seems to be...well, a person of particular importance?” “Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.” “And who are these gigantic people...look! They're like emeralds...who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?” “Haven't ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.” “And who are all these young men and women on each side?” “They are her sons and daughters.” “She must have had a very large family, Sir.” “Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.” “Isn't that a bit hard on their own parents?” “No. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.” “And how...but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs...why, I can't count them. And the birds. And the horses.” “They are her beasts.” “Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.” “Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.” I looked at my Teacher in amazement. “Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough int the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs
That’s why signing kids up for piano lessons or sports is so important. It has nothing to do with creating a good musician or a five-year-old soccer star,” said Heatherton. “When you learn to force yourself to practice for an hour or run fifteen laps, you start building self-regulatory strength. A five-year-old who can follow the ball for ten minutes becomes a sixth grader who can start his homework on time.
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
The pause that followed felt very important. It was one of those moments in a marriage when you have to make a critical decision with alarming speed and the consequences could last a long time, even forever.
Megan Abbott (You Will Know Me)
Integrity is the sound follow through of your heart, and an important part in the process of manifesting what it is that you aspire to. If you say that you are going to do something, do it. If you fail to complete the task at hand, or fulfill a promise you made, you are not operating at the right frequency. Don't lie to yourself and to others, follow through. Complete yourself, Expand your consciousness.
Will Barnes (The Expansion of The Soul)
My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn't understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.
Anne Rice
Self-esteem is earned! When you dare to dream, dare to follow that dream, dare to suffer through the pain, sacrifice, self-doubts, and friction from the world--when you show such courage and tenacity--you will genuinely impress yourself. And most important, you will treat yourself accordingly and not settle for less from others--at least, not for long.
Laura Schlessinger (Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives)
Sometimes I run fast when I feel like it, but if I increase the pace I shorten the amount of time I run, the point being to let the exhilaration I feel at the end of each run carry over to the next day. This is the same sort of tack I find necessary when writing a novel. I stop every day right at the point where I feel I can write more. Do that, and the next day's work goes surprisingly smoothly. I think Ernest Hemingway did something like that. To keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm. This is the important thing for long-term projects. Once you set the pace, the rest will follow. The problem is getting the flywheel to spin at a set speed-and to get to that point takes as much concentration and effort as you can manage.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
Kazuhiko could have taken his gun and aimed it at the person behind them. But Sakura wouldn't want that. What she wanted was to leave this world quietly before they got sucked into this horrible massacre. Nothing was more important to him than her. There was no room for compromise. If this were what her trembling soul wanted, then he would follow her. Had he been more eloquent he might have described his feelings as something like, "I'm going to die for her honor." Their two bodies danced in the air beyond the cliff, their hands still clasped together, the black sea under them.
Koushun Takami (Battle Royale)
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
T.D. Jakes (Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive)
So you never know who you are going to touch. You never know how or when you'll have an impact, or how important your example can be to someone else" (20) - Denzel Washington, "So that We Might Follow
Denzel Washington (A Hand to Guide Me)
This "sir, yes sir" business, which would probably sound like horseshit to any civilian in his right mind, makes sense to Shaftoe and to the officers in a deep and important way. Like a lot of others, Shaftoe had trouble with military etiquette at first. He soaked up quite a bit of it growing up in a military family, but living the life was a different matter. Having now experienced all the phases of military existence except for the terminal ones (violent death, court-martial, retirement), he has come to understand the culture for what it is: a system of etiquette within which it becomes possible for groups of men to live together for years, travel to the ends of the earth, and do all kinds of incredibly weird shit without killing each other or completely losing their minds in the process. The extreme formality with which he addresses these officers carries an important subtext: your problem, sir, is deciding what you want me to do, and my problem, sir, is doing it. My gung-ho posture says that once you give the order I'm not going to bother you with any of the details--and your half of the bargain is you had better stay on your side of the line, sir, and not bother me with any of the chickenshit politics that you have to deal with for a living. The implied responsibility placed upon the officer's shoulders by the subordinate's unhesitating willingness to follow orders is a withering burden to any officer with half a brain, and Shaftoe has more than once seen seasoned noncoms reduce green lieutenants to quivering blobs simply by standing before them and agreeing, cheerfully, to carry out their orders.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
There are so many important lessons I’ve learned in my journey to now. Trust your instincts, follow your bliss, make plans, work hard, learn to let things go. Don’t be late. Remember that fortune favors the brave. Live. If you need to run, try and run toward something. Study for tests. Laugh at silly cartoons. Be organized. If you fall seven times, get up eight. Always carry an extra pen. Believe you can do everything. Find your key. And the most valuable lesson I’ve learned will forever live in my heart, right beside my husband. Love the one who proves to you that happily ever after is only the beginning.
Nina Lane (Awaken (Spiral of Bliss, #3))
First, when we are busy, we naturally believe that we are achieving. But busyness does not equal productivity. Activity is not necessarily accomplishment. Second, prioritizing requires leaders to continually think ahead, to know what's important, to know what's next, to see how everything relates to the overall vision. That's hard work. Third, prioritizing causes us to do things that are at the least uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful.
John C. Maxwell (The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You)
In past ages, a war, almost by definition, was something that sooner or later came to an end, usually in unmistakable victory or defeat. In the past, also, war was one of the main instruments by which human societies were kept in touch with physical reality. All rulers in all ages have tried to impose a false view of the world upon their followers, but they could not afford to encourage any illusion that tended to impair military efficiency. So long as defeat meant the loss of independence, or some other result generally held to be undesirable, the precautions against defeat had to be serious. Physical facts could not be ignored. In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four. Inefficient nations were always conquered sooner or later, and the struggle for efficiency was inimical to illusions. Moreover, to be efficient it was necessary to be able to learn from the past, which meant having a fairly accurate idea of what had happened in the past. Newspapers and history books were, of course, always coloured and biased, but falsification of the kind that is practiced today would have been impossible. War was a sure safeguard of sanity, and so far as the ruling classes were concerned it was probably the most important of all safeguards. While wars could be won or lost, no ruling class could be completely irresponsible.
George Orwell (1984)
What was most important in Epicurus’ philosophy of nature was the overall conviction that our life on this earth comes with no strings attached; that there is no Maker whose puppets we are; that there is no script for us to follow and be constrained by; that it is up to us to discover the real constraints which our own nature imposes on us.
Epicurus (The Epicurus Reader (HPC Classics))
Who you choose to walk with through life will be the most important decision that you will ever, ever make. You will have your children and you will love them because they are yours and because they will be wonderful. Just like you ... But who you marry is a choice. The man you choose should make you happy, encourage you in following your dreams, big ones and little ones.
Heather Gudenkauf (The Weight of Silence)
Ironically, it was the father's blessing that actually "financed" the prodigal son's trip away from the Father's face! and it was the son's new revelation of his poverty of heart that propelled him back into his Father's arms. Sometimes we use the very blessings that God gives us to finance our journey away from the centrality of Christ. It's very important that we return back to ground zero, to the ultimate eternal goal of abiding with the Father's in intimate communion. (pg. 243)
Tommy Tenney (The God Chasers: "My Soul Follows Hard After Thee")
The year showed me beyond a doubt that everyone practices cafeteria religion... But the important lesson was this: there's nothing wrong with choosing. Cafeterias aren't bad per se... the key is in choosing the right dishes. You need to pick the nurturing ones (compassion), the healthy ones (love thy neighbor), not the bitter ones.
A.J. Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible)
The LSD phenomenon, on the other hand, is—to me at least—more interesting. It is an intentionally achieved schizophrenia, with the expectation of a spontaneous remission—which, however, does not always follow. Yoga, too, is intentional schizophrenia: one breaks away from the world, plunging inward, and the ranges of vision experienced are in fact the same as those of a psychosis. But what, then, is the difference? What is the difference between a psychotic or LSD experience and a yogic, or a mystical? The plunges are all into the same deep inward sea; of that there can be no doubt. The symbolic figures encountered are in many instances identical (and I shall have something more to say about those in a moment). But there is an important difference. The difference—to put it sharply—is equivalent simply to that between a diver who can swim and one who cannot. The mystic, endowed with native talents for this sort of thing and following, stage by stage, the instruction of a master, enters the waters and finds he can swim; whereas the schizophrenic, unprepared, unguided, and ungifted, has fallen or has intentionally plunged, and is drowning.
Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)
As I look back on my life, I think of how few rules should be followed. As for men, we must learn bravery and live for Pleasure and for Beauty. More important than those two things should stand only one thing for us... Honor. A man's honor should be more sacred to him than his life — especially in our age, a time when very few men know what honor is.
Roman Payne
In this America, too, the Christian teaching that every human soul is unique and precious has been stressed, by the prophets of self-fulfillment and gurus of self-love, at the expense of the equally important teaching that every human soul is fatally corrupted by original sin. Absent the latter emphasis, religion becomes a license for egotism and selfishness, easily employed to justify what used to be considered deadly sins. The result is a society where pride becomes 'healthy self-esteem', vanity becomes 'self-improvement', adultery becomes 'following your heart', greed and gluttony become 'living the American dream'.
Ross Douthat (Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics)
I give myself credit for having seen clearly in a number of important situations. In itself, this is not so difficult to achieve, and yet it is rather unusual. To my mind, it is less a question of an exalted or shrewd intelligence, than of good sense, goodwill, and a certain sort of courage to enable one to rise above both the pressures of one's environment and the natural inclination to close one's eyes to facts, a temptation that arises from our immediate interests and from the fear which problems inspire in us. A French essayist has said: 'What is terrible when you seek the truth, is that you find it.' You find it, and then you are no longer free to follow the biases of your personal circle, or to accept fashionable clichés.
Victor Serge
For a Coming Extinction Gray whale Now that we are sending you to The End That great god Tell him That we who follow you invented forgiveness And forgive nothing I write as though you could understand And I could say it One must always pretend something Among the dying When you have left the seas nodding on their stalks Empty of you Tell him that we were made On another day The bewilderment will diminish like an echo Winding along your inner mountains Unheard by us And find its way out Leaving behind it the future Dead And ours When you will not see again The whale calves trying the light Consider what you will find in the black garden And its court The sea cows the Great Auks the gorillas The irreplaceable hosts ranged countless And fore-ordaining as stars Our sacrifices Join your word to theirs Tell him That it is we who are important
W.S. Merwin
I remember a time when I was rejected for speaking my truth. The rejection hurt very much. I kept going over and over in my mind my motives for sharing my truth, and each time I realized that I had come from my heart. This person refuses to be my friend anymore. Over the years I have come to the feeling that Leo was able to access right away. This person is missing out on so much, for I am a loving person and a good devoted friend. I could have enriched this person's life. I no longer feel the personal pain of rejection, but the sadness for what my former friend is missing. I realized also from this experience that it is most important to speak one's deepest truth and to follow the calling of our heart. As we do so we are filled with an inner power and conviction to give the precious gift that we came to earth to give.
Joyce Vissell
Life is a series of decisions. Whether you make the correct decisions or not doesn’t matter. The important thing is to keep going forward. Years later, when you look back, perhaps you’ll find that the incorrect decisions you made… weren’t really incorrect. Similarly, the correct decisions… might not necessarily have been correct.  Why struggle with frustration? Why proceed with confusion? In all things… resolution only comes from continuing to move forward. Following this line of reasoning, if there is no such thing as ‘incorrect,’ then how can the ‘correct’ exist? Similarly, if there is no ‘correct,’ then how can the ‘incorrect’ exist?
Er Gen (Nirvanic Rebirth. Blood Everywhere! (I Shall Seal the Heavens, #5))
I did not know what I was going to do with my life; before anything else I wanted to find an answer, my answer, to the timeless questions, and then after that I would decide what I would become. If I did not begin by discovering what was the grand purpose of life on earth, I said to myself, how would I be able to discover the purpose of my tiny ephemeral life? And if I did not give my life a purpose, how would I be able to engage in action? I was not interested in finding what life's purpose was objectively - this, I divined, was impossible and futile - but simply what purpose I, of my own free will, could give it in accord with my spiritual and intellectual needs. Whether or not this purpose was the true one did not, at that time, have any great significance for me. The important thing was that I should find (should create) a purpose congruent with my own self, and thus, by following it, reel out my particular desires and abilities to the furthest possible limit. For then at last I would be collaborating harmoniously with the totality of the universe.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Report to Greco)
It’s important to understand that in the Third World most driving is done with the horn, or “Egyptian Brake Pedal,” as it is known. There is a precise and complicated etiquette of horn use. Honk your horn only under the following circumstances: 1. When anything blocks the road 2. When anything doesn’t. 3. When anything might. 4. At red lights 5. At green lights. 6. At all other times.
P.J. O'Rourke (Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny about This?")
Adventure is important in life. Making memories matters. It doesn’t have to be a secret sea plane and an historic sports moment. But to have a great life, you need great memories. Grab any intriguing offer. Say yes to a challenge, and to the unknown. Be creative in adding drama and scope to your own life. Work at it, like a job. Money from effort comes and goes. But effort from imagination and following adventure creates stories that you keep forever. And anyone can do it.
Rob Lowe (Love Life)
These thoughts were as familiar to her, and as comforting, as the precise configuration of her knees, their matching but competing, symmetrical and reversible, look. A second thought always followed the first, one mystery bred another: Was everyone else really as alive as she was? For example, did her sister really matter to herself, was she as valuable to herself as Briony was? Was being Cecilia just as vivid an affair as being Briony? Did her sister also have a real self concealed behind a breaking wave, and did she spend time thinking about it, with a finger held up to her face? Did everybody, including her father, Betty, Hardman? If the answer was yes, then the world, the social world, was unbearably complicated, with two billion voices, and everyone’s thoughts striving in equal importance and everyone’s claim on life as intense, and everyone thinking they were unique, when no one was. One could drown in irrelevance. But if the answer was no, then Briony was surrounded by machines, intelligent and pleasant enough on the outside, but lacking the bright and private inside feeling she had. This was sinister and lonely, as well as unlikely. For, though it offended her sense of order, she knew it was overwhelmingly probably that everyone else had thoughts like hers. She knew this, but only in a rather arid way; she didn’t really feel it.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
The appeal to the intellectually insecure is also more important than it might seem. Because economics touches so much of life, everyone wants to have an opinion. Yet the kind of economics covered in the textbooks is a technical subject that many people find hard to follow. How reassuring, then, to be told that it is all irrelevant -- that all you really need to know are a few simple ideas! Quite a few supply-siders have created for themselves a wonderful alternative intellectual history in which John Maynard Keynes was a fraud, Paul Samuelson and even Milton Friedman are fools, and the true line of deep economic thought runs from Adam Smith through obscure turn-of-the-century Austrians straight to them.
Paul Krugman
When you ask what are electrons and protons I ought to answer that this question is not a profitable one to ask and does not really have a meaning. The important thing about electrons and protons is not what they are but how they behave, how they move. I can describe the situation by comparing it to the game of chess. In chess, we have various chessmen, kings, knights, pawns and so on. If you ask what chessman is, the answer would be that it is a piece of wood, or a piece of ivory, or perhaps just a sign written on paper, or anything whatever. It does not matter. Each chessman has a characteristic way of moving and this is all that matters about it. The whole game os chess follows from this way of moving the various chessmen.
Paul A.M. Dirac
Item one: the law of the will. We just talked about this: one should only do that which truly fills our hearts with enthusiasm. If we brush this aside, if we put off the moment to live that which we dream of, we lose the energy necessary for any important transformation in our lives. Someone once put this most succinctly: “I don’t know the secret of success - but the secret of failure is to always try to follow the will of others.
Paulo Coelho (Warrior of the Light)
Children stay in alignment with their true self if the important adults in their lives support doing so. However, when they’re criticized or shamed, they learn to feel embarrassed by their true desires. By pretending to be what their parents want, children think they’ve found the way to win their parents’ love. They silence their true selves and instead follow the guidance of their role-selves and fantasies. In the process, they lose touch with both their inner and outer reality.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents)
Writing is a strange and solitary activity. There are dispiriting times when you start working on the first few pages of a novel. Every day, you have the feeling you are on the wrong track. This creates a strong urge to go back and follow a different path. It is important not to give in to this urge, but to keep going. It is a little like driving a car at night, in winter, on ice, with zero visibility. You have no choice, you cannot go into reverse, you must keep going forward while telling yourself that all will be well when the road becomes more stable and the fog lifts.
Patrick Modiano
To live with integrity, it is important to know what's right and what's wrong, to be educated morally. However, merely KNOWING is not enough. Virtuous character matters more than moral knowledge. The reason is simple: like the self-confessing apostle Paul in Romans 7, most of those who do wrong know what's right but find themselves irresistibly attracted to its opposite. Faith idles when character shrivels
Miroslav Volf (A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good)
Sam Vimes could parallel process. Most husbands can. They learn to follow their own line of thought while at the same time listening to what their wives say. And the listening is important, because at any time they could be challenged and must be ready to quote the last sentence in full. A vital additional skill is being able to scan the dialogue for telltale phrases, such as “and they can deliver it tomorrow” or “so I’ve invited them for dinner” or “they can do it in blue, really quite cheaply.
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24))
How we treat Sarah Hayes is important. But we must follow up this meeting with a call to action. I do not want to see any innocent citizen, white or black, killed unnecessarily by a police officer. When something like this happens to a black kid, my natural instinct is to say, ‘Thank God it’s not my kid’ or to ask, ‘What if that were my kid?’ Wouldn’t any officer feel the same way if a person of their race was killed?
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal In Black (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller #4))
A fact was the hard outer cover of meaning, and meaning was the soft living stuff inside a fact. Fact and meaning were the driving cogs of living. If the gear of fact drove the gear of meaning, then they revolved in opposite directions, but put the gear of fantasy between the two and they both revolved in the same direction. Fantasy was and is important; it leads to heaven knows where, but follow it and see. Sometimes it pays off.
Fynn (Mister God, This is Anna)
Both man and woman have their own parts to play in bringing faith to the next generation, and the woman's role is particularly important. How can we ever think that the female sex is inferior when we see the essential responsibility God has given women in this world? Their sensitivity to spiritual concerns seems to be farm more innate and natural than a man's. Mothers and wives often are the medium for our intercourse with the heavenly world, the faithful repositories of spiritual knowledge and wisdom. We should all be careful to avail ourselves of the benefits they have to offer both the present generation and the one that will follow us.
William Wilberforce
Men that had understanding of the times." 1 Chr. 12:32 I cannot doubt that this sentence, like every sentence in Scripture was written for our learning. These men of Issachar are set before us as a pattern to be imitated, and an example to be followed, for it is a most important thing to understand the times in which we live, and to understand what those times require. Next to our Bibles and our own hearts, our Lord would have us study our own times.
J.C. Ryle (Holiness)
At the end of the day, you should try to remember that it's not about the number of followers you have or the numbers of likes, comments, and shares your posts are getting. It's the number of people who will be present in the hospital room when you fall terribly sick. It's the number of people who will remember your birthday like they remember their first name. It's the number of people who will invite you to celebrate Christmas or new year's eve. It's the number of people who will actually show up to look at your newborn child or to bless your newly bought house. It's the number of people who will actually cross an ocean to see your face. It's the number of people who will wipe your tears when one of your parents passes away. It's the number of people who will make a slightly larger than a thumb effort to be there for you.
Malak El Halabi
Consider how challenging it is to negotiate or compromise with a man who operates on the following tenets (whether or not he ever says them aloud): 1. “An argument should only last as long as my patience does. Once I’ve had enough, the discussion is over and it’s time for you to shut up.” 2. “If the issue we’re struggling over is important to me, I should get what I want. If you don’t back off, you’re wronging me.” 3. “I know what is best for you and for our relationship. If you continue disagreeing with me after I’ve made it clear which path is the right one, you’re acting stupid.” 4. “If my control and authority seem to be slipping, I have the right to take steps to reestablish the rule of my will, including abuse if necessary.” The last item on this list is the one that most distinguishes the abuser from other people: Perhaps any of us can slip into having feelings like the ones in numbers one through three, but the abuser gives himself permission to take action on the basis of his beliefs. With him, the foregoing statements aren’t feelings; they are closely held convictions that he uses to guide his actions. That is why they lead to so much bullying behavior.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
IT SEEMS DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE, but there was once a time when human beings did not feel the need to share their every waking moment with hundreds of millions, even billions, of complete and utter strangers. If one went to a shopping mall to purchase an article of clothing, one did not post minute-by-minute details on a social networking site; and if one made a fool of oneself at a party, one did not leave a photographic record of the sorry episode in a digital scrapbook that would survive for all eternity. But now, in the era of lost inhibition, it seemed no detail of life was too mundane or humiliating to share. In the online age, it was more important to live out loud than to live with dignity. Internet followers were more treasured than flesh-and-blood friends, for they held the illusive promise of celebrity, even immortality. Were Descartes alive today, he might have written: I tweet, therefore I am.
Daniel Silva (The Heist (Gabriel Alon#14))
The Dichotomy of Leadership A good leader must be: • confident but not cocky; • courageous but not foolhardy; • competitive but a gracious loser; • attentive to details but not obsessed by them; • strong but have endurance; • a leader and follower; • humble not passive; • aggressive not overbearing; • quiet not silent; • calm but not robotic, logical but not devoid of emotions; • close with the troops but not so close that one becomes more important than another or more important than the good of the team; not so close that they forget who is in charge. • able to execute Extreme Ownership, while exercising Decentralized Command. A good leader has nothing to prove, but everything to prove. APPLICATION
Jocko Willink (Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win)
Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you’re on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far. The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them. I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children’s books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. I’ve seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy. It’s tosh. It’s snobbery and it’s foolishness. There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea isn’t hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you. Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant. We need our children to get onto the reading ladder: anything that they enjoy reading will move them up, rung by rung, into literacy. [from, Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming]
Neil Gaiman
I won't marry you." "Of course you will," he said. "Why wouldn't you? You followed me around like a puppy dog all those years ago, which was pure misery, because I wanted nothing more than to toss you down in the straw and despoil you, and you were too damned young. Back then I had scruples. Fortunantly, nowadays I have none." "Then why do you want to marry me?" She said, shoving her hair away from her face. "I have no idea." He said idly. "I expect I love you. Nothing else could account for such bizarre behavior on my part. I expect the captain of the packet ship can perform a ceremony. Are you ready?" She didn't move. She couldn't marry him, and she needed shoes, and she wasn't sure which was the most important to argue about.
Anne Stuart (The Wicked House of Rohan (The House of Rohan, #0.5))
The most important thing is love," said Leigh-Cheri. "I know that now. There's no point in saving the world if it means losing the moon." Leigh-Cheri sent that message to Bernard through his attorney. The message continued, "I'm not quite 20, but, thanks to you, I've learned something that many women these days never learn: Prince Charming really is a toad. And the Beautiful Princess has halitosis. The bottom line is that (a) people are never perfect, but love can be, (b) that is the one and only way that the mediocre and the vile can be transformed, and (c) doing that makes it that. Loving makes love. Loving makes itself. We waste time looking for the perfect lover instead of creating the perfect love. Wouldn't that be the way to make love stay?" The next day, Bernard's attorney delivered to her this reply: Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words "make" and "stay" become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free. Leigh-Cheri went out in the blackberries and wept. "I'll follow him to the ends of the earth," she sobbed. Yes, darling. But the earth doesn't have any ends. Columbus fixed that.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: Akashic U.S. Presidents Series)
As I look back on my life, I think of how few rules should be followed. As for men, they must learn bravery and live for Pleasure and for Beauty. More important than those two things should stand only one thing for him... Honor. A man's honor should be more sacred to him than his life — especially in our age, a time when very few men know what honor is. As for girls, they should risk everything for Freedom, and give everything for Passion, loving everything that their hearts and their bodies love. The only thing higher for a girl and more sacred for a young woman than her freedom and her passion should be her desire to make her life into poetry, surrendering everything she has to create a life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in her imagination.
Roman Payne
resisting the temptation whose logic was “In this extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s OK” has proven to be one of the most important decisions of my life. Why? My life has been one unending stream of extenuating circumstances. Had I crossed the line that one time, I would have done it over and over in the years that followed. The lesson I learned from this is that it’s easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time. If you give in to “just this once,” based on a marginal cost analysis, as some of my former classmates have done, you’ll regret where you end up. You’ve got to define for yourself what you stand for and draw the line in a safe place.
Clayton M. Christensen
I have always been thoroughly bewildered by North Korea. They cannot be threatened, as they feel themselves superior to the one making the threat. They cannot be reasoned with, and most importantly, they are 100 percent convinced of their righteousness, so they cannot be bought. Megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur are notoriously difficult to handle, but how generations of them can follow one another is beyond me.
Sylvain Neuvel (Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1))
The Lord doesn’t want your service as much as He wants you. He loves you more than He loves what you can do for Him. Now, that’s an important point to make, because in our day and age—especially in the type of church atmosphere that I grew up in—it’s all about service, a push to do something for God. It’s true that you were created for God’s pleasure and glory, but God ’s acceptance of you is not related to what you do for Him. The Lord sacrificed Himself so He could have you, not your service.
Andrew Wommack (How to Find, Follow, Fulfill God's Will)
Don't you know anything at all about numbers?" "Well, I don't think they're very important," snapped Milo, too embarrassed to admit the truth. "NOT IMPORTANT!" roared the Dodecahedron, turning red with fury. "Could you have tea for two without the two — or three blind mice without the three? Would there be four corners of the earth if there weren't a four? And how would you sail the seven seas without a seven?" "All I meant was—" began Milo, but the Dodecahedron, overcome with emotion and shouting furiously, carried right on. "If you had high hopes, how would you know how high they were? And did you know that narrow escapes come in all different widths? Would you travel the whole wide world without ever knowing how wide it was? And how could you do anything at long last," he concluded, waving his arms over his head, "without knowing how long the last was? Why, numbers are the most beautiful and valuable things in the world. Just follow me and I'll show you." He turned on his heel and stalked off into the cave.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
When an important writer recommends a work to you -- whether by openly naming the title; or by shy=covert use of it (which perhaps is the greater praise) then go right ahead and follow his [sic!, etc] momentous hint ! A man with expertise and taste has done trusty spade-work for you : {pre=reading} and winnowing 1000 volumes of antiquated chaff for you. Not to make grateful use of such a hint would mean my thoughtless=arrogant shoving aside all the precious, irreplaceable hours that a venerable predecessor spent reading for me.
Arno Schmidt (Radio Dialogs II)
Even a moment's reflection will help you see that the problem of using your time well is not a problem of the mind but of the heart. It will only yield to a change in the very way we feel about time. The value of time must change for us. And then the way we think about it will change, naturally and wisely. That change in feeling and in thinking is combined in the words of a prophet of God in this dispensation. It was Brigham Young, and the year was 1877, and he was speaking at April general conference. He wasn't talking about time or schedules or frustrations with too many demands upon us. Rather, he was trying to teach the members of the Church how to unite themselves in what was called the united order. The Saints were grappling with the question of how property should be distributed if they were to live the celestial law. In his usual direct style, he taught the people that they were having trouble finding solutions because they misunderstood the problem. Particularly, he told them they didn't understand either property or the distribution of wealth. Here is what he said: With regard to our property, as I have told you many times, the property which we inherit from our Heavenly Father is our time, and the power to choose in the disposition of the same. This is the real capital that is bequeathed unto us by our Heavenly Father; all the rest is what he may be pleased to add unto us. To direct, to counsel and to advise in the disposition of our time, pertains to our calling as God's servants, according to the wisdom which he has given and will continue to give unto us as we seek it. [JD 18:354] Time is the property we inherit from God, along with the power to choose what we will do with it. President Young calls the gift of life, which is time and the power to dispose of it, so great an inheritance that we should feel it is our capital. The early Yankee families in America taught their children and grandchildren some rules about an inheritance. They were always to invest the capital they inherited and live only on part of the earnings. One rule was "Never spend your capital." And those families had confidence the rule would be followed because of an attitude of responsibility toward those who would follow in later generations. It didn't always work, but the hope was that inherited wealth would be felt a trust so important that no descendent would put pleasure ahead of obligation to those who would follow. Now, I can see and hear Brigham Young, who was as flinty a New Englander as the Adams or the Cabots ever hoped to be, as if he were leaning over this pulpit tonight. He would say something like this, with a directness and power I wish I could approach: "Your inheritance is time. It is capital far more precious than any lands or stocks or houses you will ever get. Spend it foolishly, and you will bankrupt yourself and cheapen the inheritance of those that follow you. Invest it wisely, and you will bless generations to come. “A Child of Promise”, BYU Speeches, 4 May 1986
Henry B. Eyring
Time is so subjective, its measure totally dependent upon the means by which we mark its passage. When we follow the conventional milestones, meting out our lives with birthdays and graduations and anniversaries and funerals, we are left with voids along the way-vast stretches of empty space lost forever, never to be filled. As time grows short, the significance of each moment increases, until finally every heartbeat is of monumental importance. Or so it seems at first. I have discovered, almost too late, that time is not just arbitrary, but of no great consequence after all. She has taught me that a touch is a lifetime, a kiss forever, and that passion will transcend the limitations of fragile existence to span eternity. I no longer worry about the beat of my heart-I need only the memory of her to live on. My soul, my very being, pulses with wonder at the places within me that she has filled, with gratitude for the wounds she has healed, and with everlasting devotion for the love she has given. In her arms, I found passion and peace and a place to rest. No matter where I travel or what road I take to reach my detestation, I will always have the comfort of her hand in my and the soft whisper of her voice reminding me that I do not need to be afraid. This, this has always been my secret desire, and now I need search no further. I am Loved, and I am content,
Radclyffe (Love's Masquerade)
Fatima went back to her tent, and, when daylight came, she went out to do the chores she had done for years. But everything had changed. The boy was no longer at the oasis, and the oasis would never again have the same meaning it had had only yesterday. It would no longer be a place with fifty thousand palm trees and three hundred wells, where the pilgrims arrived, relieved at the end of their long journeys. From that day on, the oasis would be an empty place for her. From that day on, it was the desert that would be important. She would look to it everyday, and would try to guess which star the boy was following in search of his treasure. She would have to send her kisses on the wind, hoping that the wind would touch the boy's face, and would tell him that she was alive. That she was waiting for him, a woman awaiting a courageous man in search of his treasure. From that day on, the desert would represent only one thing to her: the hope for his return.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
When people say that school prepares children for the real world, what's implied is that it is the difficult parts of school (doing things you don't want to do, forced interaction with peers, following rules that you don't believe in) that are important. What's implied is that the real world is going to be an unhappy place and that being treated unfairly by people is a part of life. It may be a part of life in school, but it is not a part of our lives. School is as far away from the real world as possible. In school we learn that we cannot control our own destinies and that it is acceptable to let others govern our lives. In the real world we can take responsibility for choosing our own paths and governing our own lives. The real world is what we make it.
Rue Kream (The Unschooling Unmanual)
It’s amazing to think where adventure can lead when you trust your crazy ideas, when you’re bold enough to look at only what lies ahead of you. I don’t want the normal life. I don’t want to go to college because it’s the next practical step, just to join the pack, just to follow a leader. I don’t want to sit inside a room under fluorescent lights and study and read and memorize other people’s ideas about the world. I want to form my own ideas. I want to experience the world with my own eyes. I’m not going to follow my old friends to avoid the effort of making new ones. I don’t want to settle for any job just to get a paycheck, just to pay rent, just to need furniture and cable and more bills and be tied down with routine and monotony. I don’t want to own things because they’ll eventually start to own me. Most importantly, I don’t want to be told who I am or who I should be. I want to find myself—the bits and pieces that are scattered in places and in people waiting to meet me. If I fall down, I’ll learn how to pick myself up again. You need to fall apart once in a while before you understand how you best fit together.
Katie Kacvinsky (Second Chance (First Comes Love, #2))
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
For half a century now, a new consciousness has been entering the human world, a new awareness that can only be called transcendent, spiritual. If you find yourself reading this book, then perhaps you already sense what is happening, already feel it inside. It begins with a heightened perception of the way our lives move forward. We notice those chance events that occur at just the right moment, and bring forth just the right individuals, to suddenly send our lives in a new and important direction. Perhaps more than any other people in any other time, we intuit higher meaning in these mysterious happenings. We know that life is really about a spiritual unfolding that is personal and enchanting an unfolding that no science or philosophy or religion has yet fully clarified. And we know something else as well: know that once we do understand what is happening, how to engage this allusive process and maximize its occurrence in our lives, human society will take a quantum leap into a whole new way of life one that realizes the best of our tradition and creates a culture that has been the goal of history all along. The following story is offered toward this new understanding. If it touches you, if it crystalizes something that you perceive in life, then pass on what you see to another for I think our new awareness of the spiritual is expanding in exactly this way, no longer through hype nor fad, but personally, through a kind of positive psychological contagion among people. All that any of us have to do is uspend our doubts and distractions just long enough... and miraculously,this reality can be our own.
James Redfield
2.  Being careful with my commitments. We easily jump on board with anything that sounds good for us. A diet? Of course. Volunteering with church this Saturday? Absolutely. We know these things are important and good, so we say yes, assuming the value of the commitment will motivate us into following through. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Slow down your yes. Only commit to things you know you can accomplish because they’re incredibly important to you. Otherwise you set yourself up for continued failure.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be)
Tatiana fretted over him before he left as if he were a five-year-old on his first day of school. Shura, don't forget to wear your helmet wherever you go, even if it's just down the trail to the river. Don't forget to bring extra magazines. Look at this combat vest. You can fit more than five hundred rounds. It's unbelievable. Load yourself up with ammo. Bring a few extra cartridges. You don't want to run out. Don't forget to clean your M-16 every day. You don't want your rifle to jam." Tatia, this is the third generation of the M-16. It doesn't jam anymore. The gunpowder doesn't burn as much. The rifle is self-cleaning." When you attach the rocket bandolier, don't tighten it too close to your belt, the friction from bending will chafe you, and then irritation follows, and then infection... ...Bring at least two warning flares for the helicopters. Maybe a smoke bomb, too?" Gee, I hadn't thought of that." Bring your Colt - that's your lucky weapon - bring it, as well as the standard -issue Ruger. Oh, and I have personally organized your medical supplies: lots of bandages, four complete emergency kits, two QuickClots - no I decided three. They're light. I got Helena at PMH to write a prescription for morphine, for penicillin, for -" Alexander put his hand over her mouth. "Tania," he said, "do you want to just go yourself?" When he took the hand away, she said, "Yes." He kissed her. She said, "Spam. Three cans. And keep your canteen always filled with water, in case you can't get to the plasma. It'll help." Yes, Tania" And this cross, right around your neck. Do you remember the prayer of the heart?" Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Good. And the wedding band. Right around your finger. Do you remember the wedding prayer?" Gloria in Excelsis, please just a little more." Very good. Never take off the steel helmet, ever. Promise?" You said that already. But yes, Tania." Do you remember what the most important thing is?" To always wear a condom." She smacked his chest. To stop the bleeding," he said, hugging her. Yes. To stop the bleeding. Everything else they can fix." Yes, Tania.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. 'When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "so it goes.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
You’re going to go through a time where you’re not going to make any money. It’s not going to be a week, it’s not going to be a month, it’s not going to be one year. It’s going to be years. And during that time, if you don’t love what you do, it’s going to be very hard to stick it out. That is something that people don’t understand when they hear, “Follow your passion.” They hear rainbows, unicorns, bullshit. But the truth of it is that it’s important, because if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re going to be that much more likely to quit when shit’s hard.
Gary Vaynerchuk (Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too)
This is our part in spiritual war. We proclaim Christ's truth by praying it, speaking it and (undoubtedly most importantly) by demonstrating it. We are not to accept with sere pious resignation the evil aspects of our world as "coming from a father's hand." Rather, following the example of our Lord and Savior, and going forth with the confidence that he has in principle already defeated his (and our) foes, we are to revolt against the evil aspects of our world as coming from the devil's hand. Our revolt is to be broad--as broad as the evil we seek to confront, and as broad as the work of the cross we seek to proclaim. Wherever there is destruction, hated, apathy, injustice, pain or hopelessness, whether it concerns God's creation, a structural feature of society, or the physical, psychological or spiritual aspect of an individual, we are in word and deed to proclaim to the evil powers that be, "You are defeated." As Jesus did, we proclaim this by demonstrating it.
Gregory A. Boyd (God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict)
It is very important that you understand the true innocence of all feelings, for each of them, if left alone and followed, will lead you back to the reality of love . -In their way the hateful or revengeful thoughts are natural therapeutic devices, for if you follow them, accepting them with their own validity as feelings, they will automatically lead you beyond themselves; they will change into other feelings, carrying you from hatred into ... fear - which is always behind hatred. (1 1;220-22 1) 2. Regardless of what you have been told, hatred does not initiate strong violence ... The outbreak of violence is often the result of a built-in sense of powerlessness. (21;418) 3. There are adults who quail when one of their children say, "I hate you'. Often children quickly learn not to be honest. What the child is really saying is, “I love you so. Why are you so mean to me?' or 'What stands between us and the love for you that I feel?' (21;423)4. You become conditioned so that you feel guilty when you even contemplate hating another. You try to hide such thoughts from yourself. You may succeed so well that you literally do not know what you are feeling on a conscious level. The emotions are there but they are invisible to you because you are afraid to look. To that extent you are divorced from your own reality and disconnected from your own feelings of love. (21;424) 5. Even your hateful fantasies, left alone, will return you to a reconciliation and release of love. A fantasy of beating a parent or a child, even to death, will if followed through lead to tears of love and understanding. (2 1;424) 6. You may love a parent, and if the parent does not seem to return the love...you may 'hate' the parent .... Hatred is not a denial of love then but an attempt to regain it
Jane Roberts
The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre. With the feeling that he was speaking to O’Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote:   Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
George Orwell (1984)
She heard a chirp and a twitter, and when she looked at the bare flower-bed at her left side there he was hopping about and pretending to peck things out of the earth to persuade her that he had not followed her. But she knew he had followed her and the surprise so filled her with delight that she almost trembled a little. "You do remember me!" she cried out. "You do! You are prettier than anything else in the world!" She chirped, and talked, and coaxed and he hopped, and flirted his tail and twittered. It was as if he were talking. His red waistcoat was like satin and he puffed his tiny breast out and was so fine and so grand and so pretty that it was really as if he were showing her how important and like a human person a robin could be. Mistress Mary forgot that she had ever been contrary in her life when he allowed her to draw closer and closer to him, and bend down and talk and try to make something like robin sounds. Oh! to think that he should actually let her come as near to him as that! He knew nothing in the world would make her put out her hand toward him or startle him in the least tiniest way. He knew it because he was a real person—only nicer than any other person in the world. She was so happy that she scarcely dared to breathe.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden)
The most common theory points to the fact that men are stronger than women and that they have used their greater physical power to force women into submission. A more subtle version of this claim argues that their strength allows men to monopolize tasks that demand hard manual labor, such as plowing and harvesting. This gives them control of food production, which in turn translates into political clout. There are two problems with this emphasis on muscle power. First, the statement that men are stronger is true only on average and only with regard to certain types of strength. Women are generally more resistant to hunger, disease, and fatigue than men. There are also many women who can run faster and lift heavier weights than many men. Furthermore, and most problematically for this theory, women have, throughout history, mainly been excluded from jobs that required little physical effort, such as the priesthood, law, and politics, while engaging in hard manual labor in the fields....and in the household. If social power were divided in direct relation to physical strength or stamina, women should have got far more of it. Even more importantly, there simply is no direct relation between physical strength and social power among humans. People in their sixties usually exercise power over people in their twenties, even though twenty-somethings are much stronger than their elders. ...Boxing matches were not used to select Egyptian pharaohs or Catholic popes. In forager societies, political dominance generally resides with the person possessing the best social skills rather than the most developed musculature. In fact, human history shows that there is often an inverse relation between physical prowess and social power. In most societies, it’s the lower classes who do the manual labor. Another theory explains that masculine dominance results not from strength but from aggression. Millions of years of evolution have made men far more violent than women. Women can match men as far as hatred, greed, and abuse are concern, but when push comes to shove…men are more willing to engage in raw physical violence. This is why, throughout history, warfare has been a masculine prerogative. In times of war, men’s control of the armed forces has made them the masters of civilian society too. They then use their control of civilian society to fight more and more wars. …Recent studies of the hormonal and cognitive systems of men and women strengthen the assumption that men indeed have more aggressive and violent tendencies and are…on average, better suited to serve as common soldiers. Yet, granted that the common soldiers are all men, does it follow that the ones managing the war and enjoying its fruits must also be men? That makes no sense. It’s like assuming that because all the slaves cultivating cotton fields are all Black, plantation owners will be Black as well. Just as an all-Black workforce might be controlled by an all-White management, why couldn’t an all-male soldiery be controlled by an all-female government?
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Moderately fast growers (20 to 25 percent) in nongrowth industries are ideal investments. • Look for companies with niches. • When purchasing depressed stocks in troubled companies, seek out the ones with the superior financial positions and avoid the ones with loads of bank debt. • Companies that have no debt can’t go bankrupt. • Managerial ability may be important, but it’s quite difficult to assess. Base your purchases on the company’s prospects, not on the president’s resume or speaking ability. • A lot of money can be made when a troubled company turns around. • Carefully consider the price-earnings ratio. If the stock is grossly overpriced, even if everything else goes right, you won’t make any money. • Find a story line to follow as a way of monitoring a company’s progress. • Look for companies that consistently buy back their own shares.
Peter Lynch (One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In)
The all-powerful Zahir seemed to be born with every human being and to gain full strength in childhood, imposing rules that would thereafter always be respected: People who are different are dangerous; they belong to another tribe; they want our lands and our women. We must marry, have children, reproduce the species. Love is only a small thing, enough for one person, and any suggestion that the heart might be larger than this may seem perverse. When we are married we are authorised to take possession of the other person, body and soul. We must do jobs we detest because we are part of an organised society, and if everyone did what they wanted to do, the world would come to a standstill. We must buy jewelry; it identifies us with our tribe. We must be amusing at all times and sneer at those who express their real feelings; it's dangerous for a tribe to allow its members to show their feelings. We must at all costs avoid saying no because people prefer those who always say yes, and this allows us to survive in hostile territory. What other people think is more important than what we feel. Never make a fuss--it might attract the attention of an enemy tribe. If you behave differently you will be expelled from the tribe because you could infect others and destroy something that was extremely difficult to organise in the first place. We must always consider the look of our new cave, and if we don't have a clear idea of our own, then we must call a decorator who will do his best to show others what good taste we have. We must eat three meals a day, even if we're not hungry, and when we fail to fit the current ideal of beauty we must fast, even if we're starving. We must dress according to the dictates of fashion, make love whether we feel like it or not, kill in the name of our country, wish time away so that retirement comes more quickly, elect politicians, complain about the cost of living, change our hair-style, criticise anyone who is different, go to a religious service on Sunday, Saturday or Friday, depending on our religion, and there beg forgiveness for our sins and puff ourselves up with pride because we know the truth and despise he other tribe, who worship false gods. Our children must follow in our footsteps; after all we are older and know more about the world. We must have a university degree even if we never get a job in the area of knowledge we were forced to study. We must never make our parents sad, even if this means giving up everything that makes us happy. We must play music quietly, talk quietly, weep in private, because I am the all-powerful Zahir, who lays down the rules and determines the meaning of success, the best way to love, the importance of rewards.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
People say that being a mother is the most important job you will ever have. And it is very important. But it is even more important, I believe, to be a wife, a good wife....I don't mean you have to be a floor mat. That's not what I mean at all. I mean, who you choose to walk with through life will be the most important decision that you will ever, ever make. You will have your children and you will love them because they are yours and because they will be wonderful. Just like you.... But who you marry is a choice. the man you choose should make you happy, encourage you in following your dreams, big ones and little ones.
Heather Gudenkauf (The Weight of Silence)
One by one, I'll face the tasks before me and complete them as best I can. Focusing on each stride forward, but at the same time taking a long-range view, scanning the scenery as far ahead as I can. I am, after all, a long distance runner. My time, the rank I attain, my outward appearance - all of these are secondary. For a runner like me, what's really important is reaching the goal I set myself, under my own power. I give it everything I have, endure what needs enduring, and am able, in my own way, to be satisfied. From out of the failures and joys I always try to come away having grasped a concrete lesson. (It's got to be concrete, no matter how small it is.) And I hope that, over time, as one race follows another, in the end I'll reach a place I'm content with. Or maybe just catch a glimpse of it.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
It is a highly valued function of society to prevent changes in the rules of the many games it embraces... Deviancy, however, is the very essence of culture. Whoever merely follows the script, merely repeating the past, is culturally impoverished. There are variations in the quality of deviation; not all divergence from the past is culturally significant. Any attempt to vary from the past in such a way as to cut the past off, causing it to be forgotten, has little cultural importance. Greater significance attaches to those variations that bring the tradition into view in a new way, allowing the familiar to be seen as unfamiliar, as requiring a new appraisal of all that we have been- and therefore all that we are. Cultural deviation does not return us to the past, but continues what was begun but not finished in the past... Properly speaking, a culture does not have a tradition; it is a tradition.
James P. Carse (Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
I even have a welcoming speech prepared for fear, which I deliver right before embarking upon any new project or big adventure. It goes something like this: “Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously. Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting—and, may I say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still—your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
If Mohammed had been a false prophet. there is no reason why Christ should not have spoken of him as he spoke of Antichrist but if Mohammed is a true Prophet the passages referring to the Paraclete must inevitably concern him - not exclusively but eminently - for it is inconceivable that Christ, when speaking of the future, should have passed over in silence a manifestation of such magnitude. The same reasoning excludes a priori the possibility that Christ. when making his predictions, intended to include Mohammed under the general denomination of'' false prophets", for in the history of our era Mohammed is in no sense a typical example among others of the same kind, but on the contrary, a unique and incomparable apparition(1). If he had been one of the false prophets announced by Christ he would have been followed by others and there would exist in our day a multitude of false religions subsequent to Christ and comparable in importance and extension to Islam. The spirituality to be found within Islam from its origins up to our days is an incontestable fact. and "by their fruits ye shall know them." Moreover, it will be recalled that the Prophet in his doctrine has testified to the second coming of Christ without attributing to himself any glory. unless it be that of being the last Prophet of the cycle and history proves that he spoke the truth, no comparable manifestation having followed after him.
Frithjof Schuon (Transcendent Unity of Religions)
Here’s why the life of Muhammad [and Jesus] matters: Contrary to what many secularists would have us believe, religions are not entirely determined (or distorted) by the faithful over time. The lives and words of the founders remain central, no matter how long ago they lived. The idea that believers shape religion is derived, instead, from the fashionable 1960s philosophy of deconstructionism, which teaches that written words have no meaning other than that given to them by the reader. Equally important, it follows that if the reader alone finds meaning, there can be no truth (and certainly no religious truth); one person’s meaning is equal to another’s. Ultimately, according to deconstructionism, we all create our own set of “truths,” none better, or worse than any other. Yet for the religious man or woman on the streets of Chicago, Rome, Jerusalem, Damascus, Calcutta, and Bangkok, the words of Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, Krishna, and Buddha mean something far greater than any individual’s rendering of them. And even to the less-than-devout reader, the words of these great religious leaders are clearly not equal in their meaning.
Robert Spencer
The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsulated by these four points: ▪ When one past thought has ceased and a future thought has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn’t there a consciousness of the present moment; fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a hair’s breadth of a concept, a luminous, naked awareness? Well, that is what Rigpa is! ▪ Yet it doesn’t stay in that state forever, because another thought suddenly arises, doesn’t it? This is the self-radiance of that Rigpa. ▪ However, if you do not recognize this thought for what it really is, the very instant it arises, then it will turn into just another ordinary thought, as before. This is called the “chain of delusion,” and is the root of samsara. ▪ If you are able to recognize the true nature of the thought as soon as it arises, and leave it alone without any follow-up, then whatever thoughts arise all automatically dissolve back into the vast expanse of Rigpa and are liberated. Clearly this takes a lifetime of practice to understand and realize the full richness and majesty of these four profound yet simple points, and here I can only give you a taste of the vastness of what is meditation in Dzogchen. … Dzogchen meditation is subtly powerful in dealing with the arisings of the mind, and has a unique perspective on them. All the risings are seen in their true nature, not as separate from Rigpa, and not as antagonistic to it, but actually as none other–and this is very important–than its “self-radiance,” the manifestation of its very energy. Say you find yourself in a deep state of stillness; often it does not last very long and a thought or a movement always arises, like a wave in the ocean.  Don’t reject the movement or particulary embrace the stillness, but continue the flow of your pure presence. The pervasive, peaceful state of your meditation is the Rigpa itself, and all risings are none other than this Rigpa’s self-radiance. This is the heart and the basis of Dzogchen practice. One way to imagine this is as if you were riding on the sun’s rays back to the sun: …. Of couse there are rough as well as gentle waves in the ocean; strong emotions come, like anger, desire, jealousy. The real practitioner recognizes them not as a disturbance or obstacle, but as a great opportunity. The fact that you react to arisings such as these with habitual tendencies of attachment and aversion is a sign not only that you are distracted, but also that you do not have the recognition and have lost the ground of Rigpa. To react to emotions in this way empowers them and binds us even tighter in the chains of delusion. The great secret of Dzogchen is to see right through them as soon as they arise, to what they really are: the vivid and electric manifestation of the energy of Rigpa itself. As you gradually learn to do this, even the most turbulent emotions fail to seize hold of you and dissolve, as wild waves rise and rear and sink back into the calm of the ocean. The practitioner discovers–and this is a revolutionary insight, whose subtlety and power cannot be overestimated–that not only do violent emotions not necessarily sweep you away and drag you back into the whirlpools of your own neuroses, they can actually be used to deepen, embolden, invigorate, and strengthen the Rigpa. The tempestuous energy becomes raw food of the awakened energy of Rigpa. The stronger and more flaming the emotion, the more Rigpa is strengthened.
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
Religion asks followers to believe in things nobody can see, however, animal activists ask people to see things they can prove. When Christian animal and environmental activists finally demand that their church be better stewards over the world, we will see change. Until then, one percent of sermons will teach parishioners about the importance of being stewards over our animals in a year. Mega churches and corporate religious empires will continue to own stock in companies that pollute our earth and exploit our animals. Ignorance and hypocrisy will continue to corrupt the pureness of the Gospel. From here, we will not be truly “saved” because we choose not to save ourselves.
Shannon L. Alder
The texts of agreements made by the Prophet (saas) and those who succeeded him with various Christian, Jewish and other religious groups are today conserved as important documents. In the text of an agreement he had prepared for the Christian Ibn Harris bin Ka'b and his co-religionists, for instance, the Prophet (saas) first had the following words written: "The religion, churches, lives, chastity and goods of all Christians living in the East are under the protection of Allah and all believers. None of those living by Christianity will be forced to turn to Islam. If any Christian is subjected to any killing or injustice, Muslims must help him"65 and then read this verse from the Qur'an: "Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way …" (Surat al-'Ankabut: 46)
Harun Yahya (The Prophet Muhammad)
Why have so many schools reduced the time and emphasis they place on art, music, and physical education? The answer is beyond simple: those areas aren’t measured on the all-important tests. You know where those areas are measured… in life! Art, music, and a healthy lifestyle help us develop a richer, deeper, and more balanced perspective. Never before have we needed more of an emphasis on the development of creativity, but schools have gone the exact opposite direction in an effort to make the best test-taking automatons possible. Our economy no longer rewards people for blindly following rules and becoming a cog in the machine. We need risk-takers, outside-the-box thinkers, and entrepreneurs; our school systems do the next generation a great disservice by discouraging these very skills and attitudes. Instead of helping and encouraging them to find and develop their unique strengths, they're told to shut up, put the cell phones away, memorize these facts and fill in the bubbles.
Dave Burgess (Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator)
Yes, it struck her now that this whole business of the bull was like a life; the important birth, the fair chance, the tentative, then assured, then half-dispairing circulations of the ring, an obstacle negotiated - a feat improperly recognized - boredom, resignation, collapse: then another, more convulsive birth, a new start; the circumspect endeavours to obtain one's bearings in a world now frankly hostile, the apparent but deceptive encouragement of one's judges, half of whom were asleep, the swervings into the beginnings of disaster because of that same negligible obstacle one had surely taken before at a stride, the final enmeshment in the toils of enemies one was never quite certain weren't friends more clumsy than actively ill-disposed, followed by disaster, capitulation, disintegration.
Malcolm Lowry (Under the Volcano)
Favourable Chance, I fancy, is the god of all men who follow their own devices instead of obeying a law they believe in. Let even a polished man of these days get into a position he is ashamed to avow, and his mind will be bent on all the possible issues that may deliver him from the calculable results of that position. Let him live outside his income, or shirk the resolute honest work that brings wages, and he will presently find himself dreaming of a possible benefactor, a possible simpleton who may be cajoled into using his interest, a possible state of mind in some possible person not yet forthcoming. Let him neglect the responsibilities of his office, and he will inevitably anchor himself on the chance that the thing left undone may turn out not to be of the supposed importance. Let him betray his friend's confidence, and he will adore that same cunning complexity called Chance, which gives him the hope that his friend will never know. Let him forsake a decent craft that he may pursue the gentilities of a profession to which nature never called him, and his religion will infallibly be the worship of blessed Chance, which he will believe in as the mighty creator of success. The evil principle deprecated in that religion is the orderly sequence by which the seed brings forth a crop after its kind.
George Eliot (Silas Marner)
As I look back on my life, I think of how few rules should be followed. As for men, they must learn bravery and live for Pleasure and for Beauty. More important than those two things should stand only one thing for him... Honor. A man's honor should be more sacred to him than his life — especially in our age, a time when very few men know what honor is. As for us girls, we must risk everything for Freedom, and give everything for Passion, loving everything that our hearts and our bodies love. The only thing higher for a girl and more sacred for a young woman than her freedom and her passion should be her desire to make her life into poetry, surrendering everything she has to create a life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in her imagination.
Roman Payne
The parental eye shed no tears when the time for leave-taking came; a half-rouble in copper coins was given to the boy by way of pocket-money and for sweets, and what is more important, the following admonition: "Mind now, Pavlusha, be diligent, don't fool or gad about, and above all please your teachers and superiors. If you please your superiors, then you will be popular and get ahead of everyone even if you lag behind in knowledge and talent. Don't be too friendly with the other boys, they will teach you no good; but if you do make friends, cultivate those who are better off and might be useful. Don't invite or treat anyone, but conduct yourself in such a way as to be treated yourself, and above all, take care of and save your pennies, that is the most reliable of all things. A comrade or friend will cheat you and be the first to put all the blame on you when in a fix, but the pennies won't betray you in any difficulty. With money you can do anything in the world." Having admonished his son thus, the father took leave of him and trundled off home on his 'magpie'. Though from that day the son never set eyes on him more, his words and admonitions had sunk deep into his soul.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
The Sunflowers Come with me into the field of sunflowers. Their faces are burnished disks, their dry spines creak like ship masts, their green leaves, so heavy and many, fill all day with the sticky sugars of the sun. Come with me to visit the sunflowers, they are shy but want to be friends; they have wonderful stories of when they were young-- the important weather, the wandering crows. Don't be afraid to ask them questions! Their bright faces, which follows the sun, will listen, and all those rows of seeds-- each one a new life!-- hope for a deeper acquaintance; each of them, though it stands in a crowd of many, like a separate universe, is lonely, the long work of turning their lives into a celebration is not easy. Come and let us talk with those modest faces, the simple garments of leaves, the coarse roots in the earth so uprightly burning.
Mary Oliver
You are not really dying,” he said, the oddest tone to his voice, “are you?”Jem nodded. “So they tell me.”“I am sorry,” Will said.“No,” Jem said softly. He drew his jacket aside and took a knife from the belt at his waist.“Don’t be ordinary like that. Don’t say you’re sorry. Say you’ll train with me.” He held out the knife to Will, hilt rst. Charlotte held her breath, afraid to move. She feltas if she were watching something very important happen, though she could not have saidwhat.Will reached out and took the knife, his eyes never leaving Jem’s face. His fingers brushedthe other boy’s as he took the weapon from him. It was the rst time, Charlotte thought,that she had ever seen him touch any other person willingly.“I’ll train with you,” he said. Jem, Will’s parabatai, treated her with the distant sweet kindness reserved for the littlesisters of one’s friends, but he would always side with Will. Kindly, but rmly, he put Willabove everything else in the world.Well, nearly everything. She had been most struck by Jem when she rst came to theInstitute—he had an unearthly, unusual beauty, with his silvery hair and eyes and delicate features. He looked like a prince in a fairy-tale book, and she might have considered developing an attachment to him, were it not so absolutely clear that he was entirely inlove with Tessa Gray. His eyes followed her where she went, and his voice changed when hespoke to her. Cecily had once heard her mother say in amusement that one of theirneighbors’ boys looked at a girl as if she were “the only star in the sky” and that was theway Jem looked at Tessa.Cecily didn’t resent it: Tessa was pleasant and kind to her, if a little shy, and with herface always stuck in a book, like Will. If that was the sort of girl Jem wanted, she and henever would have suited—and the longer she remained at the Institute, the more sherealized how awkward it would have made things with Will. He was ferociously protectiveof Jem, and he would have watched her constantly in case she ever distressed or hurt him inany way. No—she was far better out of the whole thing.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
The overwhelming consensus is that the traditions contained within the epistle can confidently be traced to James the Just. That would make James’s epistle arguably one of the most important books in the New Testament. Because one sure way of uncovering what Jesus may have believed is to determine what his brother James believed. The first thing to note about James’s epistle is its passionate concern with the plight of the poor. This, in itself, is not surprising. The traditions all paint James as the champion of the destitute and dispossessed; it is how he earned his nickname, “the Just.” The Jerusalem assembly was founded by James upon the principle of service to the poor. There is even evidence to suggest that the first followers of Jesus who gathered under James’s leadership referred to themselves collectively as “the poor.
Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)
Similar ecological disasters occurred on almost every one of the thousands of islands that pepper the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Archaeologists have discovered on even the tiniest islands evidence of the existence of birds, insects and snails that lived there for countless generations, only to vanish when the first human farmers arrived. None but a few extremely remote islands escaped man’s notice until the modern age, and these islands kept their fauna intact. The Galapagos Islands, to give one famous example, remained uninhabited by humans until the nineteenth century, thus preserving their unique menagerie, including their giant tortoises, which, like the ancient diprotodons, show no fear of humans. The First Wave Extinction, which accompanied the spread of the foragers, was followed by the Second Wave Extinction, which accompanied the spread of the farmers, and gives us an important perspective on the Third Wave Extinction, which industrial activity is causing today. Don’t believe tree-huggers who claim that our ancestors lived in harmony with nature. Long before the Industrial Revolution, Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving the most plant and animal species to their extinctions. We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of biology. Perhaps if more people were aware of the First Wave and Second Wave extinctions, they’d be less nonchalant about the Third Wave they are part of. If we knew how many species we’ve already eradicated, we might be more motivated to protect those that still survive. This is especially relevant to the large animals of the oceans.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it. But if you break it, a surprising result will follow. If in your working hours you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. You will be one of the sound craftsmen, and other sound craftsmen will know it. This group of craftsmen will by no means coincide with the Inner Ring or the Important People or the People in the Know. It will not shape that professional policy or work up that professional influence which fights for the profession as a whole against the public: nor will it lead to those periodic scandals and crises which the Inner Ring produces. But it will do those things which that profession exists to do and will in the long run be responsible for all the respect which that profession in fact enjoys and which the speeches and advertisements cannot maintain. And if in your spare time you consort simply with the people you like, you will again find that you have come unawares to a real inside: that you are indeed snug and safe at the center of something which, seen from without, would look exactly like an Inner Ring. But the difference is that its secrecy is accidental, and its exclusiveness a by-product, and no one was led thither by the lure of the esoteric: for it is only four or five people who like one another meeting to do things that they like. This is friendship. Aristotle placed it among the virtues. It causes perhaps half of all the happiness in the world, and no Inner Ring can ever have it.
C.S. Lewis
Thousands of years ago tribes of human beings suffered great privations in the struggle to survive. In this struggle it was important not only to be able to handle a club, but also to possess the ability to think reasonably, to take care of the knowledge and experience garnered by the tribe, and to develop the links that would provide cooperation with other tribes. Today the entire human race is faced with a similar test. In infinite space many civilizations are bound to exist, among them civilizations that are also wiser and more "successful" than ours. I support the cosmological hypothesis which states that the development of the universe is repeated in its basic features an infinite number of times. In accordance with this, other civilizations, including more "successful" ones, should exist an infinite number of times on the "preceding" and the "following" pages of the Book of the Universe. Yet this should not minimize our sacred endeavors in this world of ours, where, like faint glimmers of light in the dark, we have emerged for a moment from the nothingness of dark unconsciousness of material existence. We must make good the demands of reason and create a life worthy of ourselves and of the goals we only dimly perceive.
Andrei D. Sakharov
Bolshevik intellectuals did not confine their reading to Marxist works. They knew Russian and European literature and philosophy and kept up with current trends in art and thoughts. Aspects of Nietzsche’s thought were either surprisingly compatible with Marxism or treated issues that Marx and Engels had neglected. Nietzsche sensitized Bolsheviks committed to reason and science to the importance of the nonrational aspects of the human psyche and to the psychpolitical utility of symbol, myth, and cult. His visions of “great politics” (grosse Politik) colored their imaginations. Politik, like the Russian word politika, means both “politics” and “policy”; grosse has also been translated as “grand” or “large scale.” The Soviet obsession with creating a new culture stemmed primarily from Nietzsche, Wagner, and their Russian popularizers. Marx and Engels never developed a detailed theory of culture because they considered it part of the superstructure that would change to follow changes in the economic base.
Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal (New Myth, New World: From Nietzsche to Stalinism)
Of all the dangerous ideas that health officials could have embraced while trying to understand why we get fat, they would have been hard-pressed to find one ultimately more damaging than calories-in/calories-out. That it reinforces what appears to be so obvious - obesity as the penalty for gluttony and sloth - is what makes it so alluring. But it's misleading and misconceived on so many levels that it's hard to imagine how it survived unscathed and virtually unchallenged for the last fifty years. It has done incalculable harm. Not only is this thinking at least partly responsible for the ever-growing numbers of obese and overweight in the world - while directing attention away from the real reasons we get fat - but it has served to reinforce the perception that those who get fat have no one to blame but themselves. That eating less invariably fails as a cure for obesity is rarely perceived as the single most important reason to make us question our assumptions, as Hilde Bruch suggested half a century ago. Rather, it is taken as still more evidence that the overweight and obese are incapable of following a diet and eating in moderation. And it put the blame for their physical condition squarely on their behavior, which couldn't be further from the truth.
Gary Taubes (Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It)
I saw what Andrew did in our family. I saw that he came in and listened and watched and understood who we were, each individual one of us. He tried to discover our need and then supply it. He took responsibility for other people and it didn't seem to matter to him how much it cost him. And in the end, while he could never make the Ribeira family normal, he gave us peace and pride and identity. Stability. He married Mother and was kind to her. He loved us all. He was always there when we wanted him, and seemed unhurt by it when we didn't. He was firm with us about expecting civilized behavior, but never indulged his whims at our expense. And I thought: This is so much more important than science. Or politics, either. Or any particular profession or accomplishment or thing you can make. I thought: If I could just make a good family, if I could just learn to be to other children, their whole lives, what Andrew was, coming so late into ours, then that would mean more in the long run, it would be a finer accomplishment than anything I could ever do with my mind or hands." "So you're a career father," said Valentine. "Who works at a brick factory to feed and clothe the family. Not a brick-maker who also has kids. Lini also feels the same way... She followed her own road to the same place. We do what we must to earn our place in the community, but we live for the hours at home. For each other, for the children.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
When clients relinquish symptoms, succeed in achieving a personal goal, or make healthier choices for themselves, subsequently many will feel anxious, guilty, or depressed. That is, when clients make progress in treatment and get better, new therapists understandably are excited. But sometimes they will also be dismayed as they watch the client sabotage her success by gaining back unwanted weight or missing the next session after an important breakthrough and deep sharing with the therapist. Thus, loyalty and allegiance to symptoms—maladaptive behaviors originally developed to manage the “bad” or painfully frustrating aspects of parents—are not maladaptive to insecurely attached children. Such loyalty preserves “object ties,” or the connection to the “good” or loving aspects of the parent. Attachment fears of being left alone, helpless, or unwanted can be activated if clients disengage from the symptoms that represent these internalized “bad” objects (for example, if the client resolves an eating disorder or terminates a problematic relationship with a controlling/jealous partner). The goal of the interpersonal process approach is to help clients modify these early maladaptive schemas or internal working models by providing them with experiential or in vivo re-learning (that is, a “corrective emotional experience”). Through this real-life experience with the therapist, clients learn that, at least sometimes, some relationships can be different and do not have to follow the same familiar but problematic lines they have come to expect.
Edward Teyber (Interpersonal Process in Therapy: An Integrative Model)
First, relax. ... And my second helpful hint is that you should not try to memorize anything you read in this book. ... My two words of advice are exemplified in what I call the Russian Novel Phenomenon. Every reader must have experienced that depressing moment about fifty pages into a Russian novel when we realize that we have lost track of all the characters, the variety of names by which they are known, their family relationships and relative ranks in the civil service. At this point we can give in to our anxiety, and start again to read more carefully, trying to memorize all the details on the offchance that some may prove to be important. If such a course is followed, the second reading is almost certain to be more incomprehensible than the first. The probable result: one Russian novel lost forever. But there is another alternative: to read faster, to push ahead, to make sense of what we can and to enjoy whatever we make sense of. And suddenly the book becomes readable, the story makes sense, and we find that we can remember all the important characters and events simply because we know what is important. Any re-reading we then have to do is bound to make sense, because at least we comprehend what is going on and what we are looking for.
Frank Smith
Quentin took a deep breath. “My true name,” he said, “ . . . is SUN WUKONG.” A cold wind passed through the open window, rustling my loose papers like tumbleweed. “I have no idea who that is,” I said. Quentin was still trying to cement his “look at me being serious” face. It took him a few seconds to realize I wasn’t flipping out over whoever he was. “The Sun Wukong,” he said, scooping the air with his fingers. “Sun Wukong the Monkey King.” “I said, I don’t know who that is.” His jaw dropped. Thankfully his teeth were still normal-size. “You’re Chinese and you don’t know me?” he sputtered. “That’s like an American child not knowing Batman!” “You’re Chinese Batman?” “No! I’m stronger than Batman, and more important, like—like. Tian na, how do you not know who I am!?” I didn’t know why he expected me to recognize him. He couldn’t have been a big-time actor or singer from overseas. I never followed mainland pop culture, but a lot of the other people at school did; word would have gotten around if we had a celebrity in our midst. Plus that was a weird stage name. Monkey King? Was that what passed for sexy among the kids these days?
F.C. Yee (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, #1))
The fundamental metaphor of National Socialism as it related to the world around it was the garden, not the wild forest. One of the most important Nazi ideologists, R.W. Darré, made clear the relationship between gardening and genocide: “He who leaves the plants in a garden to themselves will soon find to his surprise that the garden is overgrown by weeds and that even the basic character of the plants has changed. If therefore the garden is to remain the breeding ground for the plants, if, in other words, it is to lift itself above the harsh rule of natural forces, then the forming will of a gardener is necessary, a gardener who, by providing suitable conditions for growing, or by keeping harmful influences away, or by both together, carefully tends what needs tending and ruthlessly eliminates the weeds which would deprive the better plants of nutrition, air, light, and sun. . . . Thus we are facing the realization that questions of breeding are not trivial for political thought, but that they have to be at the center of all considerations, and that their answers must follow from the spiritual, from the ideological attitude of a people. We must even assert that a people can only reach spiritual and moral equilibrium if a well-conceived breeding plan stands at the very center of its culture.
Derrick Jensen (The Culture of Make Believe)
Here’s how to get started: 1. Sit still and stay put . Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, or sit cross-legged on a cushion. Sit up straight and rest your hands in your lap. It’s important not to fidget when you meditate—that’s the physical foundation of self-control. If you notice the instinct to scratch an itch, adjust your arms, or cross and uncross your legs, see if you can feel the urge but not follow it. This simple act of staying still is part of what makes meditation willpower training effective. You’re learning not to automatically follow every single impulse that your brain and body produce. 2. Turn your attention to the breath. Close your eyes or, if you are worried about falling asleep, focus your gaze at a single spot (like a blank wall, not the Home Shopping Network). Begin to notice your breathing. Silently say in your mind “inhale” as you breathe in and “exhale” as you breathe out. When you notice your mind wandering (and it will), just bring it back to the breath. This practice of coming back to the breath, again and again, kicks the prefrontal cortex into high gear and quiets the stress and craving centers of your brain . 3. Notice how it feels to breathe, and notice how the mind wanders. After a few minutes, drop the labels “inhale/exhale.” Try focusing on just the feeling of breathing. You might notice the sensations of the breath flowing in and out of your nose and mouth. You might sense the belly or chest expanding as you breathe in, and deflating as you breathe out. Your mind might wander a bit more without the labeling. Just as before, when you notice yourself thinking about something else, bring your attention back to the breath. If you need help refocusing, bring yourself back to the breath by saying “inhale” and “exhale” for a few rounds. This part of the practice trains self-awareness along with self-control. Start with five minutes a day. When this becomes a habit, try ten to fifteen minutes a day. If that starts to feel like a burden, bring it back down to five. A short practice that you do every day is better than a long practice you keep putting off to tomorrow. It may help you to pick a specific time that you will meditate every day, like right before your morning shower. If this is impossible, staying flexible will help you fit it in when you can.
Kelly McGonigal (The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It)
There are individuals, who unfortunately are built with an immense amount of negativity. People will always tell you to run away from these types and when you follow that advice, you’ll be surprised to find yourself running into the same negativity in new people, and that scenario to be repeated again and again and again. Why? Well that’s only because it is in darkness that our light may shine it’s brightest. The more difficult the battle, the more important the victory. It’s easy to bring life forth from life; but to bring life forth from dry bones is truly a magical miracle. Those lights who have learned to shine in the deepest of darkness, are those lights that shine the strongest, the biggest, the hardest, the brightest. See the negativity in your life as a training ground and learn to love those who embody that darkness, because without them— you wouldn’t have gained any victories! Victories are gained through battles. This is the essence of the commandment “love your enemy.” There is no real enemy, for even the darkness is there to mold you into all that you may become.
C. JoyBell C.
When The Matrix debuted in 1999, it was a huge box-office success. It was also well received by critics, most of whom focused on one of two qualities—the technological (it mainstreamed the digital technique of three-dimensional “bullet time,” where the on-screen action would freeze while the camera continued to revolve around the participants) or the philosophical (it served as a trippy entry point for the notion that we already live in a simulated world, directly quoting philosopher Jean Baudrillard’s 1981 reality-rejecting book Simulacra and Simulation). If you talk about The Matrix right now, these are still the two things you likely discuss. But what will still be interesting about this film once the technology becomes ancient and the philosophy becomes standard? I suspect it might be this: The Matrix was written and directed by “the Wachowski siblings.” In 1999, this designation meant two brothers; as I write today, it means two sisters. In the years following the release of The Matrix, the older Wachowski (Larry, now Lana) completed her transition from male to female. The younger Wachowski (Andy, now Lilly) publicly announced her transition in the spring of 2016. These events occurred during a period when the social view of transgender issues radically evolved, more rapidly than any other component of modern society. In 1999, it was almost impossible to find any example of a trans person within any realm of popular culture; by 2014, a TV series devoted exclusively to the notion won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series. In the fifteen-year window from 1999 to 2014, no aspect of interpersonal civilization changed more, to the point where Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner attracted more Twitter followers than the president (and the importance of this shift will amplify as the decades pass—soon, the notion of a transgender US president will not seem remotely implausible). So think how this might alter the memory of The Matrix: In some protracted reality, film historians will reinvestigate an extremely commercial action movie made by people who (unbeknownst to the audience) would eventually transition from male to female. Suddenly, the symbolic meaning of a universe with two worlds—one false and constructed, the other genuine and hidden—takes on an entirely new meaning. The idea of a character choosing between swallowing a blue pill that allows him to remain a false placeholder and a red pill that forces him to confront who he truly is becomes a much different metaphor. Considered from this speculative vantage point, The Matrix may seem like a breakthrough of a far different kind. It would feel more reflective than entertaining, which is precisely why certain things get remembered while certain others get lost.
Chuck Klosterman (But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past)
One thing he would tell me, though, he said, had to do with babies. Not that he was any kind of expert, but for a brief while, long ago, he had cared for his son, and that experience more than any other had taught him the importance of following your instincts. Tuning in to the situation with all your five senses, and your body, not your brain. A baby cries in the night, and you go to pick him up. Maybe he’s screaming so hard his face is the color of a radish, or he’s gasping for breath, he’s got himself so worked up. What are you going to do, take a book off the shelf, and read what some expert has to say? You lay your hand against his skin and just rub his back. Blow into his ear. Press that baby up against your own skin and walk outside with him, where the night air will surround him, and moonlight fall on his face. Whistle, maybe. Dance. Hum. Pray. Sometimes a cool breeze might be just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes a warm hand on the belly. Sometimes doing absolutely nothing is the best. You have to pay attention. Slow things way down. Tune out the rest of the world that really doesn’t matter. Feel what the moment calls for.
Joyce Maynard (Labor Day)
It seems right now that all I’ve ever done in my life is making my way here to you.’ I could see that Rosie could not place the line from The Bridges of Madison County that had produced such a powerful emotional reaction on the plane. She looked confused. ‘Don, what are you…what have you done to yourself?’ ‘I’ve made some changes.’ ‘Big changes.’ ‘Whatever behavioural modifications you require from me are a trivial price to pay for having you as my partner.’ Rosie made a downwards movement with her hand, which I could not interpret. Then she looked around the room and I followed her eyes. Everyone was watching. Nick had stopped partway to our table. I realised that in my intensity I had raised my voice. I didn’t care. ‘You are the world’s most perfect woman. All other women are irrelevant. Permanently. No Botox or implants will be required. ‘I need a minute to think,’ she said. I automatically started the timer on my watch. Suddenly Rosie started laughing. I looked at her, understandably puzzled at this outburst in the middle of a critical life decision. ‘The watch,’ she said. ‘I say “I need a minute” and you start timing. Don is not dead. 'Don, you don’t feel love, do you?’ said Rosie. ‘You can’t really love me.’ ‘Gene diagnosed love.’ I knew now that he had been wrong. I had watched thirteen romantic movies and felt nothing. That was not strictly true. I had felt suspense, curiosity and amusement. But I had not for one moment felt engaged in the love between the protagonists. I had cried no tears for Meg Ryan or Meryl Streep or Deborah Kerr or Vivien Leigh or Julia Roberts. I could not lie about so important a matter. ‘According to your definition, no.’ Rosie looked extremely unhappy. The evening had turned into a disaster. 'I thought my behaviour would make you happy, and instead it’s made you sad.’ ‘I’m upset because you can’t love me. Okay?’ This was worse! She wanted me to love her. And I was incapable. Gene and Claudia offered me a lift home, but I did not want to continue the conversation. I started walking, then accelerated to a jog. It made sense to get home before it rained. It also made sense to exercise hard and put the restaurant behind me as quickly as possible. The new shoes were workable, but the coat and tie were uncomfortable even on a cold night. I pulled off the jacket, the item that had made me temporarily acceptable in a world to which I did not belong, and threw it in a rubbish bin. The tie followed. On an impulse I retrieved the Daphne from the jacket and carried it in my hand for the remainder of the journey. There was rain in the air and my face was wet as I reached the safety of my apartment.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The Predator is our lord and master. It has rendered us docile, helpless. If we want to protest, it suppresses our protest. If we want to act independently, it demands that we don't do so... I have been beating around the bush all this time, insinuating to you that something is holding us prisoner. Indeed we are held prisoner! "This was an energetic fact for the sorcerers of ancient Mexico ... They took us over because we are food for them, and they squeeze us mercilessly because we are their sustenance. just as we rear chickens in chicken coops, the predators rear us in human coops, humaneros. Therefore, their food is always available to them." "No, no, no, no," [Carlos replies] "This is absurd don Juan. What you're saying is something monstrous. It simply can't be true, for sorcerers or for average men, or for anyone." "Why not?" don Juan asked calmly. "Why not? Because it infuriates you? ... You haven't heard all the claims yet. I want to appeal to your analytical mind. Think for a moment, and tell me how you would explain the contradictions between the intelligence of man the engineer and the stupidity of his systems of beliefs, or the stupidity of his contradictory behaviour. Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of belief, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores. They are the ones who set up our hopes and expectations and dreams of success or failure. They have given us covetousness, greed, and cowardice. It is the predators who make us complacent, routinary, and egomaniacal." "'But how can they do this, don Juan? [Carlos] asked, somehow angered further by what [don Juan] was saying. "'Do they whisper all that in our ears while we are asleep?" "'No, they don't do it that way. That's idiotic!" don Juan said, smiling. "They are infinitely more efficient and organized than that. In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous manoeuvre stupendous, of course, from the point of view of a fighting strategist. A horrendous manoeuvre from the point of view of those who suffer it. They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind. The predators' mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, filled with the fear of being discovered any minute now." "I know that even though you have never suffered hunger... you have food anxiety, which is none other than the anxiety of the predator who fears that any moment now its manoeuvre is going to be uncovered and food is going to be denied. Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them. And they ensure, in this manner, a degree of security to act as a buffer against their fear." "The sorcerers of ancient Mexico were quite ill at ease with the idea of when [the predator] made its appearance on Earth. They reasoned that man must have been a complete being at one point, with stupendous insights, feats of awareness that are mythological legends nowadays. And then, everything seems to disappear, and we have now a sedated man. What I'm saying is that what we have against us is not a simple predator. It is very smart, and organized. It follows a methodical system to render us useless. Man, the magical being that he is destined to be, is no longer magical. He's an average piece of meat." "There are no more dreams for man but the dreams of an animal who is being raised to become a piece of meat: trite, conventional, imbecilic.
Carlos Castaneda (The Active Side of Infinity)
How can man know himself? It is a dark, mysterious business: if a hare has seven skins, a man may skin himself seventy times seven times without being able to say, “Now that is truly you; that is no longer your outside.” It is also an agonizing, hazardous undertaking thus to dig into oneself, to climb down toughly and directly into the tunnels of one’s being. How easy it is thereby to give oneself such injuries as no doctor can heal. Moreover, why should it even be necessary given that everything bears witness to our being — our friendships and animosities, our glances and handshakes, our memories and all that we forget, our books as well as our pens. For the most important inquiry, however, there is a method. Let the young soul survey its own life with a view of the following question: “What have you truly loved thus far? What has ever uplifted your soul, what has dominated and delighted it at the same time?” Assemble these revered objects in a row before you and perhaps they will reveal a law by their nature and their order: the fundamental law of your very self. Compare these objects, see how they complement, enlarge, outdo, transfigure one another; how they form a ladder on whose steps you have been climbing up to yourself so far; for your true self does not lie buried deep within you, but rather rises immeasurably high above you, or at least above what you commonly take to be your I.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Last night, at a press conference, the City Council reminded everyone that the Dog Park is there for our community enjoyment and use, and so it is important that no one enter, look at, or think about the Dog Park. They are adding a new advanced camera system to keep an eye on the great black walls of the Dog Park at all times, and if anyone is caught trying to enter it, they will be forced to enter it, and will never be heard from again. If you see hooded figures in the Dog Park, no you didn’t. The hooded figures are perfectly safe, and should not be approached at any costs. The City Council ended the conference by devouring a raw potato in quick, small bites of their sharp teeth and rough tongues. No follow-up questions were asked, although there were a few follow-up screams. We have also received word via encrypted radio pulses about the opening of a new store: Lenny’s Bargain House of Gardenwares and Machine Parts, which until recently was that abandoned warehouse the government was using for the highly classified and completely secret tests I was telling you about last week. Lenny’s will serve as a helpful new source for all needs involving landscaping and lawn-decorating materials and also as a way for the government to unload all the machines and failed tests and dangerous substances that otherwise would be wasted on things like “safe disposal” or “burying in a concrete tomb until the sun goes out.” Get out to Lenny’s for their big grand opening sale. Find eight government secrets and get a free kidnapping and personality reassignment so that you’ll forget you found them!
Joseph Fink (Welcome to Night Vale (Welcome to Night Vale, #1))
Cannabis sativa and its derivatives are strictly prohibited in Turkey, and the natural correlative of this proscription is that alcohol, far from being frowned upon as it is in other Moslem lands, is freely drunk; being a government monopoly it can be bought at any cigarette counter. This fact is no mere detail; it is of primary social importance, since the psychological effects of the two substances are diametrically opposed to each other. Alcohol blurs the personality by loosening inhibitions. The drinker feels, temporarily at least, a sense of participation. Kif abolishes no inhibitions; on the contrary it reinforces them, pushes the individual further back into the recesses of his own isolated personality, pledging him to contemplation and inaction. It is to be expected that there should be a close relationsip between the culture of a given society and the means used by its members to achieve release and euphoria. For Judaism and Christianity the means has always been alcohol; for Islam it has been hashish. The first is dynamic in its effects, the other static. If a nation wishes, however mistakenly, to Westernize itself, first let it give up hashish. The rest will follow, more or less as a manner of course. Conversely, in a Western country, if a whole segment of the population desires, for reasons of protest (as has happened in the United States), to isolate itself in a radical fashion from the society around it, the quickest and surest way is for it to replace alcohol by cannabis.
Paul Bowles (Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue: Scenes from the Non-Christian World)
The news is supposed to be a mirror held up to the world, but the world is far too vast to fit in our mirror. The fundamental thing the media does all day, every day, is decide what to cover — decide, that is, what is newsworthy. Here’s the dilemma: to decide what to cover is to become the shaper of the news rather than a mirror held up to the news. It makes journalists actors rather than observers. It annihilates our fundamental conception of ourselves. And yet it’s the most important decision we make. If we decide to give more coverage to Hillary Clinton’s emails than to her policy proposals — which is what we did — then we make her emails more important to the public’s understanding of her character and potential presidency than her policy proposals. In doing so, we shape not just the news but the election, and thus the country. While I’m critical of the specific decision my industry made in that case, this problem is inescapable. The news media isn’t just an actor in politics. It’s arguably the most powerful actor in politics. It’s the primary intermediary between what politicians do and what the public knows. The way we try to get around this is by conceptually outsourcing the decisions about what we cover to the idea of newsworthiness. If we simply cover what’s newsworthy, then we’re not the ones making those decisions — it’s the neutral, external judgment of news worthiness that bears responsibility. The problem is that no one, anywhere, has a rigorous definition of newsworthiness, much less a definition that they actually follow.
Ezra Klein (Why We're Polarized)
Summary of the Science of Getting Rich There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe. A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the thought. Man can form things in his thought, and by impressing his thought upon formless substance can cause the thing he thinks about to be created. In order to do this, man must pass from the competitive to the creative mind; otherwise he cannot be in harmony with the Formless Intelligence, which is always creative and never competitive in spirit. Man may come into full harmony with the Formless Substance by entertaining a lively and sincere gratitude for the blessings it bestows upon him. Gratitude unifies the mind of man with the intelligence of Substance, so that man’s thoughts are received by the Formless. Man can remain upon the creative plane only by uniting himself with the Formless Intelligence through a deep and continuous feeling of gratitude. Man must form a clear and definite mental image of the things he wishes to have, to do, or to become; and he must hold this mental image in his thoughts, while being deeply grateful to the Supreme that all his desires are granted to him. The man who wishes to get rich must spend his leisure hours in contemplating his Vision, and in earnest thanksgiving that the reality is being given to him. Too much stress cannot be laid on the importance of frequent contemplation of the mental image, coupled with unwavering faith and devout gratitude. This is the process by which the impression is given to the Formless, and the creative forces set in motion. The creative energy works through the established channels of natural growth, and of the industrial and social order. All that is included in his mental image will surely be brought to the man who follows the instructions given above, and whose faith does not waver. What he wants will come to him through the ways of established trade and commerce. In order to receive his own when it shall come to him, man must be active; and this activity can only consist in more than filling his present place. He must keep in mind the Purpose to get rich through the realization of his mental image. And he must do, every day, all that can be done that day, taking care to do each act in a successful manner. He must give to every man a use value in excess of the cash value he receives, so that each transaction makes for more life; and he must so hold the Advancing Thought that the impression of increase will be communicated to all with whom he comes in contact. The men and women who practice the foregoing instructions will certainly get rich; and the riches they receive will be in exact proportion to the definiteness of their vision, the fixity of their purpose, the steadiness of their faith, and the depth of their gratitude.
Wallace D. Wattles (The Science of Getting Rich)
In the original form of the word, to worry someone else was to harass, strangle, or choke them. Likewise, to worry oneself is a form of self-harassment. To give it less of a role in our lives, we must understand what it really it is. Worry is the fear we manufacture—it is not authentic. If you choose to worry about something, have at it, but do so knowing it’s a choice. Most often, we worry because it provides some secondary reward. There are many variations, but a few of the most popular follow. Worry is a way to avoid change; when we worry, we don’t do anything about the matter. Worry is a way to avoid admitting powerlessness over something, since worry feels like we’re doing something. (Prayer also makes us feel like we’re doing something, and even the most committed agnostic will admit that prayer is more productive than worry.) Worry is a cloying way to have connection with others, the idea being that to worry about someone shows love. The other side of this is the belief that not worrying about someone means you don’t care about them. As many worried-about people will tell you, worry is a poor substitute for love or for taking loving action. Worry is a protection against future disappointment. After taking an important test, for example, a student might worry about whether he failed. If he can feel the experience of failure now, rehearse it, so to speak, by worrying about it, then failing won’t feel as bad when it happens. But there’s an interesting trade-off: Since he can’t do anything about it at this point anyway, would he rather spend two days worrying and then learn he failed, or spend those same two days not worrying, and then learn he failed? Perhaps most importantly, would he want to learn he had passed the test and spent two days of anxiety for nothing? In Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman concludes that worrying is a sort of “magical amulet” which some people feel wards off danger. They believe that worrying about something will stop it from happening. He also correctly notes that most of what people worry about has a low probability of occurring, because we tend to take action about those things we feel are likely to occur. This means that very often the mere fact that you are worrying about something is a predictor that it isn’t likely to happen!
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
To the extent that propaganda is based on current news, it cannot permit time for thought or reflection. A man caught up in the news must remain on the surface of the event; be is carried along in the current, and can at no time take a respite to judge and appreciate; he can never stop to reflect. There is never any awareness -- of himself, of his condition, of his society -- for the man who lives by current events. Such a man never stops to investigate any one point, any more than he will tie together a series of news events. We already have mentioned man's inability to consider several facts or events simultaneously and to make a synthesis of them in order to face or to oppose them. One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones. Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact, modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but be does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man's capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandist, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks. Moreover, there is a spontaneous defensive reaction in the individual against an excess of information and -- to the extent that he clings (unconsciously) to the unity of his own person -- against inconsistencies. The best defense here is to forget the preceding event. In so doing, man denies his own continuity; to the same extent that he lives on the surface of events and makes today's events his life by obliterating yesterday's news, he refuses to see the contradictions in his own life and condemns himself to a life of successive moments, discontinuous and fragmented. This situation makes the "current-events man" a ready target for propaganda. Indeed, such a man is highly sensitive to the influence of present-day currents; lacking landmarks, he follows all currents. He is unstable because he runs after what happened today; he relates to the event, and therefore cannot resist any impulse coming from that event. Because he is immersed in current affairs, this man has a psychological weakness that puts him at the mercy of the propagandist. No confrontation ever occurs between the event and the truth; no relationship ever exists between the event and the person. Real information never concerns such a person. What could be more striking, more distressing, more decisive than the splitting of the atom, apart from the bomb itself? And yet this great development is kept in the background, behind the fleeting and spectacular result of some catastrophe or sports event because that is the superficial news the average man wants. Propaganda addresses itself to that man; like him, it can relate only to the most superficial aspect of a spectacular event, which alone can interest man and lead him to make a certain decision or adopt a certain attitude. But here we must make an important qualification. The news event may be a real fact, existing objectively, or it may be only an item of information, the dissemination of a supposed fact. What makes it news is its dissemination, not its objective reality.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
Epicurus founded a school of philosophy which placed great emphasis on the importance of pleasure. "Pleasure is the beginning and the goal of a happy life," he asserted, confirming what many had long thought, but philosophers had rarely accepted. Vulgar opinion at once imagined that the pleasure Epicurus had in mind involved a lot of money, sex, drink and debauchery (associations that survive in our use of the word 'Epicurean'). But true Epicureanism was more subtle. Epicurus led a very simple life, because after rational analysis, he had come to some striking conclusions about what actually made life pleasurable - and fortunately for those lacking a large income, it seemed that the essential ingredients of pleasure, however elusive, were not very expensive. The first ingredient was friendship. 'Of all the things that wisdom provides to help one live one's entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of friendship,' he wrote. So he bought a house near Athens where he lived in the company of congenial souls. The desire for riches should perhaps not always be understood as a simple hunger for a luxurious life, a more important motive might be the wish to be appreciated and treated nicely. We may seek a fortune for no greater reason than to secure the respect and attention of people who would otherwise look straight through us. Epicurus, discerning our underlying need, recognised that a handful of true friends could deliver the love and respect that even a fortune may not. Epicurus and his friends located a second secret of happiness: freedom. In order not to have to work for people they didn't like and answer to potentially humiliating whims, they removed themselves from employment in the commercial world of Athens ('We must free ourselves from the prison of everyday affairs and politics'), and began what could best have been described as a commune, accepting a simpler way of life in exchange for independence. They would have less money, but would never again have to follow the commands of odious superiors. The third ingredient of happiness was, in Epicurus's view, to lead an examined life. Epicurus was concerned that he and his friends learn to analyse their anxieties about money, illness, death and the supernatural. There are few better remedies for anxiety than thought. In writing a problem down or airing it in conversation we let its essential aspects emerge. And by knowing its character, we remove, if not the problem itself, then its secondary, aggravating characteristics: confusion, displacement, surprise. Wealth is of course unlikely ever to make anyone miserable. But the crux of Epicurus's argument is that if we have money without friends, freedom and an analysed life, we will never be truly happy. And if we have them, but are missing the fortune, we will never be unhappy.
Alain de Botton
Ren followed along behind me somewhere quietly. I couldn’t hear him, but I knew he was there. I was acutely aware of his presence. I had an intangible connection with him, the man. It was almost as if he were walking next to me. Almost as if he were touching me. I must have started walking down the wrong path because he trotted ahead, pointedly moving in a different direction. I muttered, “Show-off. I’ll walk the wrong way if I want to.” But, I still followed after him. After a while, I made out the Jeep parked on the hill and saw Mr. Kadam waving at us. I walked up to his camp, and he grabbed me in a brief hug. “Miss Kelsey! You’re back. Tell me what happened.” I sighed, set down my backpack, and sat on the back bumper of the Keep. “Well, I have to tell you, these past few days have been some of the worst of my life. There were monkeys, and Kappa, and rotted kissing corpses, and snakebites, and trees covered with needles, and-“ He held up a hand. “What do you mean a few days? You just left last night.” Confused, I said, “No. We’ve been gone at least,” I counted on my fingers, “at least four or five days.” “I’m sorry, Miss Kelsey, but you and Ren left me last night. In fact, I was going to say you should get some rest and then try again tomorrow night. You were really gone almost a week?” “Well, I was asleep for two of the days. At least that’s what tiger boy over there told me.” I glared at Ren who stared back at me with an innocuous tiger expression while listening to our conversation. Ren appeared to be sweet and attentive, as harmless as a little kitten. He was about as harmless as a Kappa. I, on the other hand, was like a porcupine. I was bristling. All of my quills were standing on end so I could defend my soft belly from being devoured by the predator who had taken an interest. “Two days? My, my. Why don’t we return to the hotel and rest? We can try to get the fruit again tomorrow night.” “But, Mr. Kadam,” I said an unzipped the backpack, “we don’t have to come back. We got Durga’s first gift, the Golden Fruit.” I pulled out my quilt and unfolded it, revealing the Golden Fruit nestled within. He gently picked it up out of its cocoon. “Amazing!” he exclaimed. “It’s a mango.” With a smirk, I added, “It only makes sense. After all, mangoes are very important to Indian culture and trade.” Ren huffed at me and rolled onto his side in the grass.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Above all, believe. Cultivate your swagger. Make this your new religion: You are funny and talented, and you’re going to try something new. This is the exact right time for that. This is the most important year of your life, and for once you are NOT going to let yourself down. If you fall down and feel depressed, you will get back up. If you feel lethargic and scared, you will try something else: a new routine, a new roommate situation, a healthier diet. You will read books about comedy. You will work tirelessly and take pride in your tireless work. And you will take time every few hours to stop and say to yourself, “Look at me. I’m doing it. I’m chasing my dream. I am following my calling.” It doesn’t matter if your dreams come true, if agents swoon and audiences cheer. Trust me on that: It truly doesn’t matter. What matters is the feeling that you’re doing it, every day. What matters is the work—diving in, feeling your way in the dark, finding the words, trusting yourself, embracing your weird voice, celebrating your quirks on the page, believing in all of it. What matters is the feeling that you’re not following someone else around, that you’re not half-assing this, that you’re not waiting for something to happen, that you’re not waiting for your whole life to start. What matters is you, all alone at your desk at five in the morning. I write this from my own desk at five in the morning, my favorite place, a place where I know who I am and what I’m meant to accomplish in this life. Savor that precious space. That space will feel like purgatory at first, because you’ll realize that it all depends on you. That space will feel like salvation eventually, because you’ll realize that it all depends on you.
Heather Havrilesky (How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly's Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life)
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
Physiological stress, then, is the link between personality traits and disease. Certain traits — otherwise known as coping styles — magnify the risk for illness by increasing the likelihood of chronic stress. Common to them all is a diminished capacity for emotional communication. Emotional experiences are translated into potentially damaging biological events when human beings are prevented from learning how to express their feelings effectively. That learning occurs — or fails to occur — during childhood. The way people grow up shapes their relationship with their own bodies and psyches. The emotional contexts of childhood interact with inborn temperament to give rise to personality traits. Much of what we call personality is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms a person acquired in childhood. There is an important distinction between an inherent characteristic, rooted in an individual without regard to his environment, and a response to the environment, a pattern of behaviours developed to ensure survival. What we see as indelible traits may be no more than habitual defensive techniques, unconsciously adopted. People often identify with these habituated patterns, believing them to be an indispensable part of the self. They may even harbour self-loathing for certain traits — for example, when a person describes herself as “a control freak.” In reality, there is no innate human inclination to be controlling. What there is in a “controlling” personality is deep anxiety. The infant and child who perceives that his needs are unmet may develop an obsessive coping style, anxious about each detail. When such a person fears that he is unable to control events, he experiences great stress. Unconsciously he believes that only by controlling every aspect of his life and environment will he be able to ensure the satisfaction of his needs. As he grows older, others will resent him and he will come to dislike himself for what was originally a desperate response to emotional deprivation. The drive to control is not an innate trait but a coping style. Emotional repression is also a coping style rather than a personality trait set in stone. Not one of the many adults interviewed for this book could answer in the affirmative when asked the following: When, as a child, you felt sad, upset or angry, was there anyone you could talk to — even when he or she was the one who had triggered your negative emotions? In a quarter century of clinical practice, including a decade of palliative work, I have never heard anyone with cancer or with any chronic illness or condition say yes to that question. Many children are conditioned in this manner not because of any intended harm or abuse, but because the parents themselves are too threatened by the anxiety, anger or sadness they sense in their child — or are simply too busy or too harassed themselves to pay attention. “My mother or father needed me to be happy” is the simple formula that trained many a child — later a stressed and depressed or physically ill adult — into lifelong patterns of repression.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
I probably should say that this is what makes you a good traveler in my opinion, but deep down I really think this is just universal, incontrovertible truth. There is the right way to travel, and the wrong way. And if there is one philanthropic deed that can come from this book, maybe it will be that I teach a few more people how to do it right. So, in short, my list of what makes a good traveler, which I recommend you use when interviewing your next potential trip partner: 1. You are open. You say yes to whatever comes your way, whether it’s shots of a putrid-smelling yak-butter tea or an offer for an Albanian toe-licking. (How else are you going to get the volcano dust off?) You say yes because it is the only way to really experience another place, and let it change you. Which, in my opinion, is the mark of a great trip. 2. You venture to the places where the tourists aren’t, in addition to hitting the “must-sees.” If you are exclusively visiting places where busloads of Chinese are following a woman with a flag and a bullhorn, you’re not doing it. 3. You are easygoing about sleeping/eating/comfort issues. You don’t change rooms three times, you’ll take an overnight bus if you must, you can go without meat in India and without vegan soy gluten-free tempeh butter in Bolivia, and you can shut the hell up about it. 4. You are aware of your travel companions, and of not being contrary to their desires/​needs/​schedules more often than necessary. If you find that you want to do things differently than your companions, you happily tell them to go on without you in a way that does not sound like you’re saying, “This is a test.” 5. You can figure it out. How to read a map, how to order when you can’t read the menu, how to find a bathroom, or a train, or a castle. 6. You know what the trip is going to cost, and can afford it. If you can’t afford the trip, you don’t go. Conversely, if your travel companions can’t afford what you can afford, you are willing to slum it in the name of camaraderie. P.S.: Attractive single people almost exclusively stay at dumps. If you’re looking for them, don’t go posh. 7. You are aware of cultural differences, and go out of your way to blend. You don’t wear booty shorts to the Western Wall on Shabbat. You do hike your bathing suit up your booty on the beach in Brazil. Basically, just be aware to show the culturally correct amount of booty. 8. You behave yourself when dealing with local hotel clerks/​train operators/​tour guides etc. Whether it’s for selfish gain, helping the reputation of Americans traveling abroad, or simply the spreading of good vibes, you will make nice even when faced with cultural frustrations and repeated smug “not possible”s. This was an especially important trait for an American traveling during the George W. years, when the world collectively thought we were all either mentally disabled or bent on world destruction. (One anecdote from that dark time: in Greece, I came back to my table at a café to find that Emma had let a nearby [handsome] Greek stranger pick my camera up off our table. He had then stuck it down the front of his pants for a photo. After he snapped it, he handed the camera back to me and said, “Show that to George Bush.” Which was obviously extra funny because of the word bush.) 9. This last rule is the most important to me: you are able to go with the flow in a spontaneous, non-uptight way if you stumble into something amazing that will bump some plan off the day’s schedule. So you missed the freakin’ waterfall—you got invited to a Bahamian family’s post-Christening barbecue where you danced with three generations of locals in a backyard under flower-strewn balconies. You won. Shut the hell up about the waterfall. Sally
Kristin Newman (What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding)