Friends With Common Interests Quotes

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Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend. The rest of us know that though we can have erotic love and friendship for the same person yet in some ways nothing is less like a Friendship than a love-affair. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest. Above all, Eros (while it lasts) is necessarily between two only. But two, far from being the necessary number for Friendship, is not even the best. And the reason for this is important. ... In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets... Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves. Two friends delight to be joined by a third, and three by a fourth, if only the newcomer is qualified to become a real friend. They can then say, as the blessed souls say in Dante, 'Here comes one who will augment our loves.' For in this love 'to divide is not to take away.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
The Cowboy Way Being a Cowboy is doing the right thing; common wisdom born of simple virtues and strong ideals. Above all, it is a strict adherence to honesty even when it is not in our best interests. It is having an inherent sense of justice in a world where the cards are often stacked against us. We try to hold enough common sense to recognize the value of a lost cause and the cost of lost values. Generally speaking, we are quietly reserved in all things except freedom, fresh air and Saturday night. We have a keen eye for a good horse, a good gun,and a good Cowgirl. Constant to friends, we are more so when friends need us, less so when they don't. Familiar with hard work we also know hard knocks and hard roads. Often given to tears when lesser individuals would display indifference; we are as well given to joy in a few places others would only find disdain. We enjoy plain living, not because we relish doing without, but because we have discovered the treasures within. And, finally, we have that elusive emotion called courage which is, at worst, a badly directed sense of conceit and, at best, it is the stuff of which dreams are made. . . .
Charly Gullett
But today the united city has ceased to exist; there is no more communion of ideas. The town is a chance agglomeration of people who do not know one another, who have no common interest, save that of enriching themselves at the expense of one another.
Pyotr Kropotkin (The Conquest of Bread (Working Classics))
Valette?" Elend asked, stupefied. Vin jumped up, grabbing him in a joyful embrace, hanging onto him tightly and burying her face into his shoulder. "You came back," she whispered. "You came back, you came back, you came back..." "Um, yes. And ... I see that you're a Mistborn. That's rather interesting. You know, it's generally common courtesy to tell one's friends about things like that." "Sorry," she mumbled, still holding on to him. "Well, yes," he said, sounding very distracted. "Um, Valette? What happened to your clothes?" "They're on the floor over there," she said, looking up at him. "Elend, how did you find me?" "Your friend, one Master Dockson, told me that you'd been captured in the palace. And well, this fine gentleman here - Captain Goradel, I believe his name is - happens to be a palace soldier, and he knew the way here. With his help - and as a nobleman of some rank - I was able to get into the building without much problem, and then we heard screaming down this hallway ... And, um, yes. Valette? Do you think you could go put your clothes on? This is ... kind of distracting." She smiled up at him. "You found me." "For all the good it did," he said wryly. "It doesn't look like you needed our help very much..." "That doesn't matter," she said. "You came back. No one's ever come back before.
Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
Men have nothing in common with me--there is no point of contact; they have foolish little feelings and foolish little vanities and impertinences and ambitions; their foolish little life is but a laugh, a sigh, and extinction; and they have no sense. Only the Moral Sense. I will show you what I mean. Here is a red spider, not so big as a pin's head. Can you imagine an elephant being interested in him-- caring whether he is happy or isn't, or whether he is wealthy or poor, whether his sweetheart returns his love or not, whether his mother is sick or well, whether he is looked up to in society or not, whether his enemies will smite him or his friends desert him, whether his hopes will suffer blight or his political ambitions fail, whether he shall die in the bosom of his family or neglected and despised in a foreign land? These things can never be important to the elephant; they are nothing to him; he cannot shrink his sympathies to the microscopic size of them. Man is to me as the red spider is to the elephant. The elephant has nothing against the spider--he cannot get down to that remote level; I have nothing against man. The elephant is indifferent; I am indifferent.
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)
When you're a child, your best friend in the world is the kid who lives next door. It doesn't occur to you then that this is a matter of arbitrary circumstance. When you grow up you like to imagine that your friendships have a more substantial basis - common interests, like-mindedness, some genuine affinity. It's always a sad revelation that when a good friend acquires a girlfriend or a husband and disappears. You realize that,for them, your friendships was always only a matter of convenience, a fallback, and they simply don't need you anymore. There's nothing especially cynical about this; people are drawn to each other because they're giving each other something they both need, and they drift apart when they aren't getting it or don't need it anymore. Friendship have natural life spans, like love affairs or favorite songs.
Tim Kreider (We Learn Nothing)
... I regularly frequent St. George';s, Hanover Square, during the genteel marriage season; and though I have never seen the bridegroom's male friends give way to tears, or the beadles and officiating clergy in any way affected, yet it is not at all uncommon to see women who are not in the least concerned in the operations going on -- old ladies who are long past marrying, stout middle-aged females with plenty of sons and daughters, let alone pretty young creatures in pink bonnets, who are on their promotion, and may naturally taken an interest in the ceremony -- I say it is quite common to see the women present piping, sobbing, sniffling; hiding their little faces in their little useless pocket-handkerchiefs; and heaving, old and young, with emotion.
William Makepeace Thackeray (Vanity Fair)
It’s much easier for me, for all of us, to complain and gossip because it holds the listener’s interest, but it does have a negative residual effect. I thought I was making fun dinner conversation, but it was actually just a release for me. My friend had no choice but to open up those “low vibrational” topics because that’s what I’d been talking about the most. Things people have done or said that are fucked up, ways people have let me down, failures, bad behavior, rudeness, lies. The shortcut to human connection is meeting on the common ground of hating a third person. But that shit is low vibrational and leaves a fart fog of shittiness in the air. And sometimes, people already have so much shittiness going on in their lives, they just can’t take another moment of it. Remember that.
Karen Kilgariff (Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide)
In 1908, in a wild and remote area of the North Caucasus, Leo Tolstoy, the greatest writer of the age, was the guest of a tribal chief “living far away from civilized life in the mountains.” Gathering his family and neighbors, the chief asked Tolstoy to tell stories about the famous men of history. Tolstoy told how he entertained the eager crowd for hours with tales of Alexander, Caesar, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. When he was winding to a close, the chief stood and said, “But you have not told us a syllable about the greatest general and greatest ruler of the world. We want to know something about him. He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock….His name was Lincoln and the country in which he lived is called America, which is so far away that if a youth should journey to reach it he would be an old man when he arrived. Tell us of that man.” “I looked at them,” Tolstoy recalled, “and saw their faces all aglow, while their eyes were burning. I saw that those rude barbarians were really interested in a man whose name and deeds had already become a legend.” He told them everything he knew about Lincoln’s “home life and youth…his habits, his influence upon the people and his physical strength.” When he finished, they were so grateful for the story that they presented him with “a wonderful Arabian horse.” The next morning, as Tolstoy prepared to leave, they asked if he could possibly acquire for them a picture of Lincoln. Thinking that he might find one at a friend’s house in the neighboring town, Tolstoy asked one of the riders to accompany him. “I was successful in getting a large photograph from my friend,” recalled Tolstoy. As he handed it to the rider, he noted that the man’s hand trembled as he took it. “He gazed for several minutes silently, like one in a reverent prayer, his eyes filled with tears.” Tolstoy went on to observe, “This little incident proves how largely the name of Lincoln is worshipped throughout the world and how legendary his personality has become. Now, why was Lincoln so great that he overshadows all other national heroes? He really was not a great general like Napoleon or Washington; he was not such a skilful statesman as Gladstone or Frederick the Great; but his supremacy expresses itself altogether in his peculiar moral power and in the greatness of his character. “Washington was a typical American. Napoleon was a typical Frenchman, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country—bigger than all the Presidents together. “We are still too near to his greatness,” Tolstoy concluded, “but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and too powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when its light beams directly on us.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (仁者无敌:林肯的政治天才)
However close you are, you know that's another friend you won't be seeing anymore. You won't have anything in common anymore, since you are not interested in babies, and they are no longer interested in life.
Jane Green (Babyville)
We read a good novel not in order to know more people, but in order to know fewer. Instead of the humming swarm of human beings, relatives, customers, servants, postmen, afternoon callers, tradesmen, strangers who tell us the time, strangers who remark on the weather, beggars, waiters, and telegraph-boys--instead of this bewildering human swarm which passes us every day, fiction asks us to follow one figure (say the postman) consistently through his ecstasies and agonies. That is what makes one impatient with that type of pessimistic rebel who is always complaining of the narrowness of his life and demanding a larger sphere. Life is too large for us as it is: we have all too many things to attend to. All true romance is an attempt to simplify it, to cut it down to plainer and more pictorial proportions. What dullness there is in our life arises mostly from its rapidity; people pass us too quickly to show us their interesting side. By the end of the week we have talked to a hundred bores; whereas, if we had stuck to one of them, we might have found ourselves talking to a new friend, or a humorist, or a murderer, or a man who had seen a ghost.
G.K. Chesterton (The Glass Walking Stick)
What keeps [friends] together? Common history, some shared conquests, a delight in ideas and people and living. But they will also be distinguished by their ability to listen to you. They will not be uncritical, but they will understand and accept you. You will be interested in each other's happiness and well-being.
Margaux Bergen (Navigating Life: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me)
Democracy is a political form, a system of government. It has no social content, although it is frequently misused in that sense. It is wrong to say, “Mr. Green is very democratic; on his trips he sits down for lunch with his chauffeur.” He is, rather, a friend of simple people, and so is appropriately called demophile, not democratic. “Democracy” is a Greek word composed of demos (the people) and krátos (power in a strong, almost brutal sense). The milder form would be arché which implies leadership rather than rule. Hence “monarchy” is the fatherlike rule of a man in the interest of the common good, whereas “monocracy” is a one-man tyranny.
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (Leftism Revisited: from de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot)
Each blooming flower breathe an open soul of nature's gratitude. Every blooming friendship is an opening of both heart and mind to touch a unique growth of one's soul. Jolly good friends make you bloom with joy even on a coldest winter as you share your common interests in life, in work, in art, with people and of your passion. Treasure your true friends and feel blessed in your life to have them.
Angelica Hopes (Landscapes of a Heart, Whispers of a Soul (Speranza Odyssey Trilogy, #1))
Like with Rob, that’s my friend who died,” he says. “I wouldn’t say we clicked on this very deep level or anything but we were friends. We didn’t have a lot in common like in terms of interests or whatever, and on the political side of things we probably wouldn’t have had the same views. But in school, stuff like that didn’t really matter as much. We were just in the same group so we were friends, ya know?
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
The thing you don't understand about yourself, Vivian, is that you're not an interesting person. You are pretty, yes -- but that's only because you are young. The prettiness will soon fade. But you will never be an interesting person ... What you are, Vivian, is a type of person. To be more specific, you are a type of woman. A tediously common type of a woman. Do you think I've not encountered your type before? Your sort will always be slinking around, playing your boring and vulgar little games, cause your boring and vulgar little problems. You are the type of woman who cannot be a friend to another woman, Vivian, because you will always be playing with toys that are not your own. A woman of your type often believes she is a person of significance because she can make trouble and spoil things for others. But she is neither important nor interesting.
Elizabeth Gilbert (City of Girls)
You will find life to be interesting and fulfilling if you can simply take satisfaction from the small, common, unforced events and circumstances that are part of your daily life — a smile from a child, a friendly conversation with your neighbor, a quiet walk with someone you love.... Don't bother working to make life interesting and worthwhile. The riches of personal relationships surround you. Don't let them slip by without you becoming aware of them. And when they have gone, let them go.
Don Huntington
The depth and intensity of the friendship will depend upon variety and extent of the things we do and enjoy together. Will the friendship be constant? That again depends upon the permanence of our common interests, and upon whether or not our interests grow into ever-widening circles, so that we do not stagnate. The highest friendship demands growth. “It must be progressive as life itself is progressive.” Friends must walk together; they cannot long stand still together, for that means death to friendship and to life.
Frank C. Laubach (Letters by a Modern Mystic)
They were also natives of Belgium, and this Avi prized above all. They knew Brussels in particular, inside and out, and they not only had excellent contacts throughout the country but seemed to excel at making new contacts that proved equally valuable. Jacob had never had friends like this in Siegen. His friends were not as interesting, not as well-read, and not nearly as committed to a common goal against a common foe. But here, in the danger-drenched climate of Nazi-controlled Europe, it was a combination that quickly bonded these four young men to each other and to Avi.
Joel C. Rosenberg (The Auschwitz Escape)
The social codes are different, distinctly preppy, fraternity-sorority, hip, flip, fast-and-cute, nauseating, and artificial. I have no doubt that the majority of these people are interesting, likeable, intelligent people. Unfortunately, they've been taught not to show it. The problem lies in socializing. When these people socialize, they don a common "mask." They talk a certain way (hip, flip) act a certain way, do certain things, all of which have been defined as socially acceptable. By acting in such a way, one makes "friends." With time, friends use their masks less and less, and a true, deep friendship results.
Juan F. Thompson
Composers do not remember this lost fatherland, but each of them remains all his life unconsciously attuned to it; he is delirious with joy when he sings in harmony with his native land, betrays it at times with his thirst for fame, but then, in seeking fame, turns his back on it, and it is only by scorning fame that he finds it when he breaks out into that distinctive strain the sameness of which—for whatever its subject it remains identical with itself—proves the permanence of the elements that compose his soul. But in that case is it not true that those elements—all the residuum of reality which we are obliged to keep to ourselves, which cannot be transmitted in talk, even from friend to friend, from master to disciple, from lover to mistress, that ineffable something which differentiates qualitatively what each of us has felt and what he is obliged to leave behind at the threshold of the phrases in which he can communicate with others only by limiting himself to externals, common to all and of no interest—are brought out by art, the art of a Vinteuil like that of an Elstir, which exteriorises in the colours of the spectrum the intimate composition of those worlds which we call individuals and which, but for art, we should never know? A pair of wings, a different respiratory system, which enabled us to travel through space, would in no way help us, for if we visited Mars or Venus while keeping the same senses, they would clothe everything we could see in the same aspect as the things of Earth. The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is; and this we can do with an Elstir, with a Vinteuil; with men like these we do really fly from star to star.
Marcel Proust (The Captive / The Fugitive (In Search of Lost Time, #5-6))
A blind date is when well-meaning friends select two people from opposite ends of the earth, with as little in common as humanly possible, and lie to each of them about just how fabulous, interesting, normal, well adjusted, intelligent, and attractive the other half of the blind date is. Reality hits as they come through the door. You then pursue the same formula as on a regular date, hopefully in less time, and you pray that they wrote down your phone number wrong. After that you go home and cry, eventually laugh, and never speak to the friends who set you up again. And after you forget just how bad it was, you let the same friends, or others, do it to you again. With love and empathy. d.s.
Danielle Steel (Dating Game)
Just being nice is not a winning strategy. Nice sends a message that the woman is willing to sacrifice pay to be liked by others. This is why a woman needs to combine niceness with insistence, a style that Mary sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan, calls "relentlessly pleasant." This method requires smiling frequently, expressing appreciation and concern, invoking common interests, emphasizing larger goals, and approaching the negotiation as solving a problem as opposed to taking a critical stance. Most negotiations involve drawn-out, successive moves, so women need to stay focused... and smile. No wonder women don't negotiate as much as men. It's like trying to cross a minefield backward in high heels. So what should we do? Should we play by the rules that others created? Should we figure out a way to put on a friendly expression while not being too nice, displaying the right levels of loyalty and using "we" language? I understand the paradox of advising women to change the world by adhering to biased rules and expectations. I know it is not a perfect answer but a means to a desirable end. It is also true, as any good negotiator knows, that having a better understanding of the other side leads to a superior outcome. So at the very least, women can enter these negotiations with the knowledge that showing concern for the common good, even as they negotiate for themselves, will strengthen their position.
Sheryl Sandberg
Are they still friends?” I asked, stirring my tea again. “Not really,” she said. “He came to Paul’s wedding, but I think they drifted apart after that. You know what it’s like—when you’re married with kids, you sort of lose touch with your single pals, don’t you? You don’t have that much in common anymore . . .” I had neither knowledge nor experience of the situation she’d described, but I nodded as though I did, while all the while the same phrase was scrolling across my brain: he is single, he is single, he is single. I took my tea back to my desk. Their laughter seemed to have turned into low whispering now. It never ceases to amaze me, the things they find interesting, amusing or unusual. I can only assume they’ve led very sheltered lives.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
He writes neither in the character of a Frenchman nor an Englishman, but in the fawning character of that creature known in all countries, and a friend to none - a courtier. Whether it be the Court of Versailles, or the Court of St. James, or Carlton-House, or the Court in expectation, signifies not; for the caterpillar principle of all Courts and Courtiers are alike. They form a common policy throughout Europe, detached and separate from the interest of Nations: and while they appear to quarrel, they agree to plunder. Nothing can be more terrible to a Court or Cartier than the Revolution of France. That which is a blessing to Nations is bitterness to them: and as their existence depends on the duplicity of a country, they tremble at the approach of principles, and dread the precedent that threatens their overthrow.
Thomas Paine (Rights of Man)
To come back to the question, the wise man, self-sufficient as he is, still desires to have a friend if only for the purpose of practising friendship and ensuring that those talents are not idle. Not, as Epicurus put it in the same letter, ‘for the purpose of having someone to come and sit beside his bed when he is ill or come to his rescue when he is hard up or thrown into chains’, but so that on the contrary he may have someone by whose sickbed he himself may sit or whom he may himself release when that person is held prisoner by hostile hands. Anyone thinking of his own interests and seeking out friendship with this in view is making a great mistake. Things will end as they began; he has secured a friend who is going to come to his aid if captivity threatens: at the first clank of a chain that friend will disappear. These are what are commonly called fair-weather friendships. A person adopted as a friend for the sake of his usefulness will be cultivated only for so long as he is useful. This explains the crowd of friends that clusters about successful men and the lonely atmosphere about the ruined – their friends running away when it comes to the testing point; it explains the countless scandalous instances of people deserting or betraying others out of fear for themselves. The ending inevitably matches the beginning: a person who starts being friends with you because it pays him will similarly cease to be friends because it pays him to do so. If there is anything in a particular friendship that attracts a man other than the friendship itself, the attraction of some reward or other will counterbalance that of the friendship. What is my object in making a friend? To have someone to be able to die for, someone I may follow into exile, someone for whose life I may put myself up as security and pay the price as well. The thing you describe is not friendship but a business deal, looking to the likely consequences, with advantage as its goal. There can be no doubt that the desire lovers have for each other is not so very different from friendship – you might say it was friendship gone mad. Well, then, does anyone ever fall in love with a view to a profit, or advancement, or celebrity? Actual love in itself, heedless of all other considerations, inflames people’s hearts with a passion for the beautiful object, not without the hope, too, that the affection will be mutual. How then can the nobler stimulus of friendship be associated with any ignoble desire?
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
The thing you don't understand about yourself, Vivian, is that you're not an interesting person. You are pretty, yes -- but that's only because you are young. The prettiness will soon fade. But you will never be an interesting person ... What you are, Vivian, is a type of person. To be more specific, you are a type of woman. A tediously common type of a woman. Do you think I've not encountered your type before? Your sort will always be slinking around, playing your boring and vulgar little games, cause your boring and vulgar little problems. You are the type of woman who cannot be a friend to another woman, Vivian, because you will always be playing with toys that are not your own. A woman of your type often believes she is a person of significance because she can make trouble and spoil things for others. But she is neither important nor interesting
Elizabeth Gilbert (City of Girls)
I found that those of my friends who were admirers of Marx, Freud, and Adler, were impressed by a number of points common to these theories, and especially by their apparent explanatory power. These theories appeared to be able to explain practically everything that happened within the fields to which they referred. The study of any of them seemed to have the effect of an intellectual conversion or revelation, opening your eyes to a new truth hidden from those not yet initiated. Once your eyes were thus opened you saw confirming instances everywhere: the world was full of verifications of the theory. Whatever happened always confirmed it. Thus its truth appeared manifest; and unbelievers were clearly people who did not want to see the manifest truth; who refused to see it, either because it was against their class interest, or because of their repressions which were still 'un-analysed' and crying aloud for treatment. The most characteristic element in this situation seemed to me the incessant stream of confirmations, of observations which 'verified' the theories in question; and this point was constantly emphasized by their adherents. A Marxist could not open a newspaper without finding on every page confirming evidence for his interpretation of history; not only in the news, but also in its presentation--which revealed the class bias of the paper--and especially of course in what the paper did not say. The Freudian analysts emphasized that their theories were constantly verified by their 'clinical observations'. As for Adler, I was much impressed by a personal experience. Once, in 1919, I reported to him a case which to me did not seem particularly Adlerian, but which he found no difficulty in analysing in terms of his theory of inferiority feelings, although he had not even seen the child. Slightly shocked, I asked him how he could be so sure. 'Because of my thousandfold experience,' he replied; whereupon I could not help saying: 'And with this new case, I suppose, your experience has become thousand-and-one-fold.
Karl Popper (Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (Routledge Classics))
Dare I ask how you were received?” “Warily, at first. Then somewhat belligerently.” His eyebrow quirked. “But my reception improved markedly, once I extended the invitation to a dinner party with my aunt.” A rueful smile curved Sophia’s lips. Yes, that would be her parents’ reaction. They’d dine with the Devil himself, if a duchess were in attendance. “They are dreadful, aren’t they?” He shrugged. “Isn’t everyone’s family? I doubt your father and I will ever be great friends, but we did discover one interest in common.” “What’s that?” “You.” Strong fingers cupped her chin. “We both want to see you happy. We both love you.” For a moment, Sophia did not trust herself to speak. Relief and joy swelled within her, until there was room for nothing else. His lips brushed hers in a gentle kiss. “Am I forgiven, for not telling you first?” Yes, yes. Forgiven, cherished, treasured, adored. Loved, beyond reason. “I suppose,” she said coyly, tracing the line of his jaw with her fingertips. “So long as you will extend me the same forgiveness.” “Why?” His eyes narrowed. “Have you been keeping secrets again?” “Just one.” Smiling, she took his hand and pressed it meaningfully against her gently rounded abdomen. “A very, very tiny one.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Nonconformity is an affront to those in the mainstream. Our impulse is to dismiss this lifestyle, create reasons why it can’t work, why it doesn’t even warrant consideration. Why not? Living outdoors is cheap and can be afforded by a half year of marginal employment. They can’t buy things that most of us have, but what they lose in possessions, they gain in freedom. In Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, lead character Larry returns from the First World War and declares that he would like to “loaf.”23 The term “loafing” inadequately describes the life he would spend traveling, studying, searching for meaning, and even laboring. Larry meets with the disapproval of peers and would-be mentors: “Common sense assured…that if you wanted to get on in this world, you must accept its conventions, and not to do what everybody else did clearly pointed to instability.” Larry had an inheritance that enabled him to live modestly and pursue his dreams. Larry’s acquaintances didn’t fear the consequences of his failure; they feared his failure to conform. I’m no maverick. Upon leaving college I dove into the workforce, eager to have my own stuff and a job to pay for it. Parents approved, bosses gave raises, and my friends could relate. The approval, the comforts, the commitments wound themselves around me like invisible threads. When my life stayed the course, I wouldn’t even feel them binding. Then I would waiver enough to sense the growing entrapment, the taming of my life in which I had been complicit. Working a nine-to-five job took more energy than I had expected, leaving less time to pursue diverse interests. I grew to detest the statement “I am a…” with the sentence completed by an occupational title. Self-help books emphasize “defining priorities” and “staying focused,” euphemisms for specialization and stifling spontaneity. Our vision becomes so narrow that risk is trying a new brand of cereal, and adventure is watching a new sitcom. Over time I have elevated my opinion of nonconformity nearly to the level of an obligation. We should have a bias toward doing activities that we don’t normally do to keep loose the moorings of society. Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform? Hiking the AT before joining the workforce was an opportunity not taken. Doing it in retirement would be sensible; doing it at this time in my life is abnormal, and therein lay the appeal. I want to make my life less ordinary.
David Miller (AWOL on the Appalachian Trail)
Have you ever known someone who worried about dating a long-time friend? If you have, you’ve probably heard that person say something like this: “He asked me out, but I’m just afraid that if we start actually dating it will change our friendship.” What is this person really saying? People who make statements like that, whether or not they realize it, recognize that dating encourages romantic expectations. In a true friendship you don’t feel pressured by knowing you “like” the other [35] person or that he or she “likes” you back. You feel free to be yourself and do things together without spending three hours in front of the mirror, making sure you look perfect. C. S. Lewis describes friendship as two people walking side by side toward a common goal. Their mutual interest brings them together. . . . In dating, romantic attraction is often the relationship’s cornerstone. The premise of dating is “I’m attracted to you; therefore, let’s get to know each other.” The premise of friendship, on the other hand, is “We’re interested in the same things; let’s enjoy these common interests together.” If, after developing a friendship, romantic attraction forms, that’s an added bonus. . . . A relationship based only on physical attraction and romantic feelings will last only as long as the feelings last.
Joshua Harris
We have so little in common, but we were both avid readers growing up. I read almost nonstop when I was little, and it saved me in school. I hated classes, hated teachers. They always wanted me to do things I didn't want to do. But because I was a reader, they knew I wasn't stupid, just different. They cut me slack. It got me through. Reading couldn't help me make friends, though. I never got the hang of it. I would talk to kids, and over the years a handful of them even seemed to like me enough to ask to come over, but after that first visit to the house they never lasted. Ma told me what I did wrong but I could never manage to do it right. 'Act interested in what they say,' she said, but they never said anything interesting. 'Don't talk too much,' she said, but it never seemed like too much to me. So it wasn't like people threw tomatoes at me, or dipped my pigtails in inkwells, or stood up to move their desks away from mine, but I never really managed to make friends that I could keep. And I got used to it. I got used to a lot of things. Writing extra papers to make up for falling short in class participation. Volunteering to do the planning and the typing up whenever we had group work assigned, because I knew I could never really work right with a group. And the coping always worked. Up until three years into college, where despite Ma's repeated demands to try harder, I stalled. Every semester since, I was always still trying to finish that last Oral Communications class, which I had repeatedly failed. This semester I only made it six weeks in before it became obvious I wouldn't pass. I think we'd both finally given up.
Jael McHenry (The Kitchen Daughter)
The Company We Keep So now we have seen that our cells are in relationship with our thoughts, feelings, and each other. How do they factor into our relationships with others? Listening and communicating clearly play an important part in healthy relationships. Can relationships play an essential role in our own health? More than fifty years ago there was a seminal finding when the social and health habits of more than 4,500 men and women were followed for a period of ten years. This epidemiological study led researchers to a groundbreaking discovery: people who had few or no social contacts died earlier than those who lived richer social lives. Social connections, we learned, had a profound influence on physical health.9 Further evidence for this fascinating finding came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania. Epidemiologists were interested in Roseto because of its extremely low rate of coronary artery disease and death caused by heart disease compared to the rest of the United States. What were the town’s residents doing differently that protected them from the number one killer in the United States? On close examination, it seemed to defy common sense: health nuts, these townspeople were not. They didn’t get much exercise, many were overweight, they smoked, and they relished high-fat diets. They had all the risk factors for heart disease. Their health secret, effective despite questionable lifestyle choices, turned out to be strong communal, cultural, and familial ties. A few years later, as the younger generation started leaving town, they faced a rude awakening. Even when they had improved their health behaviors—stopped smoking, started exercising, changed their diets—their rate of heart disease rose dramatically. Why? Because they had lost the extraordinarily close connection they enjoyed with neighbors and family.10 From studies such as these, we learn that social isolation is almost as great a precursor of heart disease as elevated cholesterol or smoking. People connection is as important as cellular connections. Since the initial large population studies, scientists in the field of psychoneuroimmunology have demonstrated that having a support system helps in recovery from illness, prevention of viral infections, and maintaining healthier hearts.11 For example, in the 1990s researchers began laboratory studies with healthy volunteers to uncover biological links to social and psychological behavior. Infected experimentally with cold viruses, volunteers were kept in isolation and monitored for symptoms and evidence of infection. All showed immunological evidence of a viral infection, yet only some developed symptoms of a cold. Guess which ones got sick: those who reported the most stress and the fewest social interactions in their “real life” outside the lab setting.12 We Share the Single Cell’s Fate Community is part of our healing network, all the way down to the level of our cells. A single cell left alone in a petri dish will not survive. In fact, cells actually program themselves to die if they are isolated! Neurons in the developing brain that fail to connect to other cells also program themselves to die—more evidence of the life-saving need for connection; no cell thrives alone. What we see in the microcosm is reflected in the larger organism: just as our cells need to stay connected to stay alive, we, too, need regular contact with family, friends, and community. Personal relationships nourish our cells,
Sondra Barrett (Secrets of Your Cells: Discovering Your Body's Inner Intelligence)
Mr. Wrayburn, I have had a bitter trial to-night, and I hope you will not think me ungrateful, or mysterious, or changeable. I am neither; I am wretched. Pray remember what I said to you. Pray, pray, take care.’ ‘My dear Lizzie,’ he returned, in a low voice, bending over her on the other side; ‘of what? Of whom?’ ‘Of any one you have lately seen and made angry.’ He snapped his fingers and laughed. ‘Come,’ said he, ‘since no better may be, Mr Aaron and I will divide this trust, and see you home together. Mr Aaron on that side; I on this. If perfectly agreeable to Mr Aaron, the escort will now proceed.’ He knew his power over her. He knew that she would not insist upon his leaving her. He knew that, her fears for him being aroused, she would be uneasy if he were out of her sight. For all his seeming levity and carelessness, he knew whatever he chose to know of the thoughts of her heart. And going on at her side, so gaily, regardless of all that had been urged against him; so superior in his sallies and self-possession to the gloomy constraint of her suitor and the selfish petulance of her brother; so faithful to her, as it seemed, when her own stock was faithless; what an immense advantage, what an overpowering influence, were his that night! Add to the rest, poor girl, that she had heard him vilified for her sake, and that she had suffered for his, and where the wonder that his occasional tones of serious interest (setting off his carelessness, as if it were assumed to calm her), that his lightest touch, his lightest look, his very presence beside her in the dark common street, were like glimpses of an enchanted world, which it was natural for jealousy and malice and all meanness to be unable to bear the brightness of, and to gird at as bad spirits might.
Charles Dickens (Our Mutual Friend)
No one acts in a void. We all take cues from cultural norms, shaped by the law. For the law affects our ideas of what is reasonable and appropriate. It does so by what it prohibits--you might think less of drinking if it were banned, or more of marijuana use if it were allowed--but also by what it approves. . . . Revisionists agree that it matters what California or the United States calls a marriage, because this affects how Californians or Americans come to think of marriage. Prominent Oxford philosopher Joseph Raz, no friend of the conjugal view, agrees: "[O]ne thing can be said with certainty [about recent changes in marriage law]. They will not be confined to adding new options to the familiar heterosexual monogamous family. They will change the character of that family. If these changes take root in our culture then the familiar marriage relations will disappear. They will not disappear suddenly. Rather they will be transformed into a somewhat different social form, which responds to the fact that it is one of several forms of bonding, and that bonding itself is much more easily and commonly dissoluble. All these factors are already working their way into the constitutive conventions which determine what is appropriate and expected within a conventional marriage and transforming its significance." Redefining civil marriage would change its meaning for everyone. Legally wedded opposite-sex unions would increasingly be defined by what they had in common with same-sex relationships. This wouldn't just shift opinion polls and tax burdens. Marriage, the human good, would be harder to achieve. For you can realize marriage only by choosing it, for which you need at least a rough, intuitive idea of what it really is. By warping people's view of marriage, revisionist policy would make them less able to realize this basic way of thriving--much as a man confused about what friendship requires will have trouble being a friend. . . . Redefining marriage will also harm the material interests of couples and children. As more people absorb the new law's lesson that marriage is fundamentally about emotions, marriages will increasingly take on emotion's tyrannical inconstancy. Because there is no reason that emotional unions--any more than the emotions that define them, or friendships generally--should be permanent or limited to two, these norms of marriage would make less sense. People would thus feel less bound to live by them whenever they simply preferred to live otherwise. . . . As we document below, even leading revisionists now argue that if sexual complementarity is optional, so are permanence and exclusivity. This is not because the slope from same-sex unions to expressly temporary and polyamorous ones is slippery, but because most revisionist arguments level the ground between them: If marriage is primarily about emotional union, why privilege two-person unions, or permanently committed ones? What is it about emotional union, valuable as it can be, that requires these limits? As these norms weaken, so will the emotional and material security that marriage gives spouses. Because children fare best on most indicators of health and well-being when reared by their wedded biological parents, the same erosion of marital norms would adversely affect children's health, education, and general formation. The poorest and most vulnerable among us would likely be hit the hardest. And the state would balloon: to adjudicate breakup and custody issues, to meet the needs of spouses and children affected by divorce, and to contain and feebly correct the challenges these children face.
Sherif Girgis
Many of those who have experienced trauma in early childhood grow up to become adults with dysfunctional lives and dysfunctional relationships, never being able to solve such issues within themselves, not even with the help of the best therapists in the world, because the root cause of it has been removed by the institutions in control of mental health training programs, mainstream media and public opinion. And the root cause of all evil, including self-inflicted evil, lays on the capacity to differentiate good from evil, which has helped us survive as a society and as individuals throughout the entirety of human history and up to this day. Once you remove this natural ability from anyone's awareness, no theory, despite the amount of logic and common sense in it, will ever work. As a matter of fact, not many people know what serves their best interest, because they don't even know what is good or evil. They relativize their ignorance to justify their stupidity. And this constitutes a thicker layer on top of their innate capacity to perceive reality. Many problems, including those related to self-esteem, could easily be solved, if one was able of properly differentiating what promotes survival from what leads to death. Whenever a large group of people lacks such capacity, they are promoting a dysfunctional society by default, and in doing so, replicating the same traumas that made them themselves dysfunctional as humans. And that’s how an overall mindset rooted on victimization and justification promotes the power of those in control. One cannot ever be free unless he rebels against his own status quo and towards a higher level of individualization, risking that which he depends the most upon — the respect and acceptance of friends and family. The battle of ego and social validation against ethics, has made many souls captive to a world created to weaken them and blind them. Indeed, it is interesting to see how humanity replicates the tortures of medieval times with more sophisticated weapons, and how wars developed towards a higher degree of abstraction, in order to nullify any resistance, or the mere level of awareness justifying it.
Robin Sacredfire
Just as there are batterers who will victimize partner after partner, so are there serial victims, women who will select more than one violent man. Given that violence is often the result of an inability to influence events in any other way, and that this is often the result of an inability or unwillingness to effectively communicate, it is interesting to consider the wide appeal of the so-called strong and silent type. The reason often cited by women for the attraction is that the silent man is mysterious, and it may be that physical strength, which in evolutionary terms brought security, now adds an element of danger. The combination means that one cannot be completely certain what this man is feeling or thinking (because he is silent), and there might be fairly high stakes (because he is strong and potentially dangerous). I asked a friend who has often followed her attraction to the strong and silent type how long she likes men to remain silent. “About two or three weeks,” she answered, “Just long enough to get me interested. I like to be intrigued, not tricked. The tough part is finding someone who is mysterious but not secretive, strong but not scary.” One of the most common errors in selecting a boyfriend or spouse is basing the prediction on potential. This is actually predicting what certain elements might add up to in some different context: He isn’t working now, but he could be really successful. He’s going to be a great artist—of course he can’t paint under present circumstances. He’s a little edgy and aggressive these days, but that’s just until he gets settled. Listen to the words: isn’t working; can’t paint; is aggressive. What a person is doing now is the context for successful predictions, and marrying a man on the basis of potential, or for that matter hiring an employee solely on the basis of potential, is a sure way to interfere with intuition. That’s because the focus on potential carries our imagination to how things might be or could be and away from how they are now. Spousal abuse is committed by people who are with remarkable frequency described by their victims as having been “the sweetest, the gentlest, the kindest, the most attentive,” etc. Indeed, many were all of these things during the selection process and often still are—between violent incidents. But even though these men are frequently kind and gentle in the beginning, there are always warning signs. Victims, however, may not always choose to detect them.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
There was worse. Philosophers needed to be able to think freely and to follow their ideas wherever they might lead. There was a kind of sociopathic madness to their endeavor. They were the ultimate iconoclasts, subversive by their very nature, because social and political activity was based on popular opinion, public dogma, and unexamined tradition, whereas philosophy existed to scrutinize all opinions, dogmas, and traditions. For those bounded by a belief in common morality, which is to say just about everyone, philosophers were immoralists or, at best, amoralists. These suspicions of the general public were not unfounded. Philosophers really were subversive! (Here, too, Strauss and Arendt shared a common—one might say Nietzschean—perspective. “Thinking,” Arendt wrote, “inevitably has a destructive, undermining effect on all established criteria, values, measurements for good and evil, in short on those customs and rules of conduct we treat of in morals and ethics.”) To survive in a world intrinsically hostile to freethinking, philosophers had to employ “esoteric writing” while presenting a public face of moderation and quiescence, whatever radical ideas they might be harboring. “Thought must be not moderate, but fearless, not to say shameless. But moderation is a virtue controlling the philosopher’s speech.” Or as Strauss also put it: “In political things it is a sound rule to let sleeping dogs lie.” The best hope for the preservation of freedom of thought was to remain inconspicuous. The wise knew not to poke the beast. Inconspicuousness was not always possible. Constantly vulnerable to tyrants and to tyrannical majorities, philosophers were in need of friends, not only other philosophers with whom they could exchange ideas but also more practical people who could mediate between the contemplative elite and the vulgar masses. The philosophers’ best friends in the ordinary world were the people Strauss called “gentlemen.” Philosophers were not equipped to plunge into the political world, which consisted of “very long conversations with very dull people on very dull subjects.” Neither did they have the power to impose their will on the majority even if they had wanted to, which they didn’t. Instead, they needed the help of gentlemen who appreciated the value of freedom of thought yet could function among the ignorant populace. Philosophers, who were disinterested by definition, could instruct these gentlemen to shun private advantage and personal gain for the common good—and it would help if the gentlemen were wealthy so that the prospect of acquiring riches at the public expense would be less enticing—but it was up to the gentlemen to act as the bridge between the pure thinking of the minority and the material self interest of the majority and to win the support of the citizenry at large.
Barry Gewen (The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World)
To see how we separate, we first have to examine how we get together. Friendships begin with interest. We talk to someone. They say something interesting and we have a conversation about it. However, common interests don’t create lasting bonds. Otherwise, we would become friends with everyone with whom we had a good conversation. Similar interests as a basis for friendship doesn’t explain why we become friends with people who have completely different interests than we do. In time, we discover common values and ideals. However, friendship through common values and ideals doesn’t explain why atheists and those devout in their faith become friends. Vegans wouldn’t have non-vegan friends. In the real world, we see examples of friendships between people with diametrically opposed views. At the same time, we see cliques form in churches and small organizations dedicated to a particular cause, and it’s not uncommon to have cliques inside a particular belief system dislike each other. So how do people bond if common interests and common values don’t seem to be the catalyst for lasting friendships? I find that people build lasting connections through common problems and people grow apart when their problems no longer coincide. This is why couples especially those with children tend to lose their single friends. Their primary problems have become vastly different. The married person’s problems revolve around family and children. The single person’s problem revolves around relationships with others and themselves. When the single person talks about their latest dating disaster, the married person is thinking I’ve already solved this problem. When the married person talks about finding good daycare, the single person is thinking how boring the problems of married life can be. Eventually marrieds and singles lose their connection because they don’t have common problems. I look back at friends I had in junior high and high school. We didn’t become friends because of long nights playing D&D. That came later. We were all loners and outcasts in our own way. We had one shared problem that bound us together: how to make friends and relate to others while feeling so “different”. That was the problem that made us friends. Over the years as we found our own answers and went to different problems, we grew apart. Stick two people with completely different values and belief systems on a deserted island where they have to cooperate to survive. Then stick two people with the same values and interests together at a party. Which pair do you think will form the stronger bond? When I was 20, I was living on my own. I didn’t have many friends who were in college because I couldn’t relate to them. I was worrying about how to pay rent and trying to stretch my last few dollars for food at the end of the month. They were worried about term papers. In my life now, the people I spend the most time with have kids, have careers, are thinking about retirement and are figuring out their changing roles and values as they get older. These are problems that I relate to. We solve them in different ways because our values though compatible aren’t similar. I feel connected hearing about how they’ve chosen to solve those issues in a way that works for them.
He sent messages to all fifteen of my former suitors, asking if they were still interested in marrying me-“ “Oh, my God,” Alex breathed. “-and, if they were, he volunteered to send me to them for a few days, properly chaperoned by Lucinda,” Elizabeth recited in that same strangled tone, “so that we could both discover if we still suit.” “Oh, my God,” Alex said again, with more force. “Twelve of them declined,” she continued, and she watched Alex wince in embarrassed sympathy. “But three of them agreed, and now I am to be sent off to visit them. Since Lucinda can’t return from Devon until I go to visit the third-suitor, who’s in Scotland,” she said, almost choking on the word as she applied it to Ian Thornton, “I shall have to pass Berta off as my aunt to the first two.” “Berta!” Bentner burst out in disgust. “Your aunt? The silly widgeon’s afraid of her shadow.” Threatened by another uncontrollable surge of mirth, Elizabeth looked at both her friends. “Berta is the least of my problems However, do continue invoking God’s name, for it’s going to take a miracle to survive this.” “Who are the suitors?” Alex asked, her alarm increased by Elizabeth’s odd smile as she replied, “I don’t recall two of them. It’s quite remarkable, isn’t it,” she continued with dazed mirth, “that two grown men could have met a young girl at her debut and hared off to her brother to ask for her hand, and she can’t remember anything about them, except one of their names.” “No,” Alex said cautiously, “it isn’t remarkable. You were, are, very beautiful, and that is the way it’s done. A young girl makes her debut at seventeen, and gentlemen look her over, often in the most cursory fashion, and decide if they want her. Then they apply for her hand. I can’t think it is reasonable or just to betroth a young girl to someone with whom she’s scarcely acquainted and then expect her to develop a lasting affection for him after she is wed, but the ton does regard it as the civilized way to manage marriages.” “It’s actually quite the opposite-it’s rather barbaric, when you reflect on it,” Elizabeth stated, willing to be diverted from her personal calamity by a discussion of almost anything else. “Elizabeth, who are the suitors? Perhaps I know of them and can help you remember.” Elizabeth sighed. “The first is Sir Francis Belhaven-“ “You’re joking!” Alex exploded, drawing an alarmed glance from Bentner. When Elizabeth merely lifted her delicate brows and waited for information, Alex continued angrily, “Why, he’s-he’s a dreadful old roué. There’s no polite way to describe him. He’s stout and balding, and his debauchery is a joke among the ton because he’s so flagrant and foolish. He’s an unparalleled pinchpenny to boot-a nipsqueeze!” “At least we have that last in common,” Elizabeth tried to tease, but her glance was on Bentner, who in his agitation was deflowering an entire healthy bush. “Benter,” she said gently, touched by how much he obviously cared for her plight, “you can tell the dead blooms from the live ones by their color.” “Who’s the second suitor?” Alex persisted in growing alarm. “Lord John Marchman.” When Alex looked blank, Elizabeth added, “The Earl of Canford.” Comprehension dawned, and Alex nodded slowly. “I’m not acquainted with him, but I have heard of him.” “Well, don’t keep me in suspense,” Elizabeth said, choking back a laugh, because everything seemed more absurd, more unreal by the moment.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
O happy age, which our first parents called the age of gold! Not because of gold, so much adored in this iron age, was then easily purchased, but because those two fatal words mine and thine, were distinctions unknown to the people of those fortunate times; for all things were in common in that holy age: men, for their sustenance, needed only lift their hands and take it from the sturdy oak, whose spreading arms liberally invited them to gather the wholesome savoury fruit; while the clear springs, and silver rivulets, with luxuriant plenty, ordered them their pure refreshing water. In hollow trees, and in the clefts of rocks, the laboring and industrious bees erected their little commonwealths, that men might reap with pleasure and with ease the the sweet and fertile harvest of their toils. The tough and strenuous cork-trees did of themselves, and without other art than their native liberality, dismiss and impart their broad light bark, which served to cover these lowly huts, propped up with rough-hewn stakes, that were first built as a shelter against the inclemencies of air. All then was union, all peace, all love and friendship in the world; as yet no rude plough-share with violence to pry into the pious bowels of our mother earth, for she, without compulsion, kindly yielded from every part of her fruitful and spacious bosom, whatever might at once satisfy, sustain, and indulge her frugal children. Then was the when innocent, beautiful young sheperdesses went tripping over the hills and vales; their lovely hairs sometimes plaited, sometimes loose and flowing, clad in no other vestment but what was necessary to cover decently what modesty would always have concealed. The Tyrian dye and the rich glossy hue of silk, martyred and dissembled into every color, which are now esteemed so fine and magnificent, were unknown to the innocent plainness of that age; arrayed in the most magnificent garbs, and all the most sumptous adornings which idleness and luxury have taught succeeding pride: lovers then expressed the passion of their souls in the unaffected language of the heart, with the native plainness and sincerity in which they were conceived, and divested of all that artificial contexture, which enervates what it labours to enforce: imposture, deceit and malice had not yet crept in and imposed themselves unbribed upon mankind in the disguise of truth and simplicity: justice, unbiased either by favour or interest, which now so fatally pervert it, was equally and impartially dispensed; nor was the judge's fancy law, for then there were neither judges nor causes to be judged: the modest maid might walk wherever she pleased alone, free from the attacks of lewd, lascivious importuners. But, in this degenerate age, fraud and a legion of ills infecting the world, no virtue can be safe, no honour be secure; while wanton desires, diffused into the hearts of men, corrupt the strictest watches, and the closest retreats; which, though as intricate and unknown as the labyrinth of Crete, are no security for chastity. Thus that primitive innocence being vanished, the opression daily prevailing, there was a necessity to oppose the torrent of violence: for which reason the order of knight-hood-errant was instituted to defend the honour of virgins, protect widows, relieve orphans, and assist all the distressed in general. Now I myself am one of this order, honest friends; and though all people are obliged by the law of nature to be kind to persons of my order; yet, since you, without knowing anything of this obligation, have so generously entertained me, I ought to pay you my utmost acknowledgment; and, accordingly, return you my most hearty thanks for the same.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest USA) - Clip This Article on Location 56 | Added on Friday, May 16, 2014 12:06:55 AM Words of Lasting Interest Looking Out for The Lonely One teacher’s strategy to stop violence at its root BY GLENNON DOYLE MELTON  FROM MOMASTERY.COM PHOTOGRAPH BY DAN WINTERS A few weeks ago, I went into my son Chase’s class for tutoring. I’d e-mailed Chase’s teacher one evening and said, “Chase keeps telling me that this stuff you’re sending home is math—but I’m not sure I believe him. Help, please.” She e-mailed right back and said, “No problem! I can tutor Chase after school anytime.” And I said, “No, not him. Me. He gets it. Help me.” And that’s how I ended up standing at a chalkboard in an empty fifth-grade classroom while Chase’s teacher sat behind me, using a soothing voice to try to help me understand the “new way we teach long division.” Luckily for me, I didn’t have to unlearn much because I’d never really understood the “old way we taught long division.” It took me a solid hour to complete one problem, but I could tell that Chase’s teacher liked me anyway. She used to work with NASA, so obviously we have a whole lot in common. Afterward, we sat for a few minutes and talked about teaching children and what a sacred trust and responsibility it is. We agreed that subjects like math and reading are not the most important things that are learned in a classroom. We talked about shaping little hearts to become contributors to a larger community—and we discussed our mutual dream that those communities might be made up of individuals who are kind and brave above all. And then she told me this. Every Friday afternoon, she asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student who they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her. And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, she takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her, and studies them. She looks for patterns. Who is not getting requested by anyone else? Who can’t think of anyone to request? Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated? Who had a million friends last week and none this week? You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down—right away—who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying. As a teacher, parent, and lover of all children, I think this is the most brilliant Love Ninja strategy I have ever encountered. It’s like taking an X-ray of a classroom to see beneath the surface of things and into the hearts of students. It is like mining for gold—the gold being those children who need a little help, who need adults to step in and teach them how to make friends, how to ask others to play, how to join a group, or how to share their gifts. And it’s a bully deterrent because every teacher knows that bullying usually happens outside her eyeshot and that often kids being bullied are too intimidated to share. But, as she said, the truth comes out on those safe, private, little sheets of paper. As Chase’s teacher explained this simple, ingenious idea, I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I said. Ever since Columbine, she said. Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine. Good Lord. This brilliant woman watched Columbine knowing that all violence begins with disconnection. All
That or some kind of glass bead or lesser gemstone made to look like a ruby,” Sera said. “It’s hard to tell while it’s still in the dirt.” Josh and Lauren’s animated conversation as they took measurements and recorded data sparked a fire in the pit of Sera’s stomach. It wasn’t like her to be so possessive over a find, but she couldn’t help the jealousy that burned inside, especially because she couldn’t hear what they were saying about the amulet. She dropped her gaze. Gulping half of her water bottle, she choked on the last bit as it went down the wrong tube. Nora gave her a few hard pats on the shoulder to help clear her airway. Sera waved her away as she coughed. Hardly the first time she needed rescuing while doing something as simple as drinking water. Being the opposite of graceful came with risks, a fact Nora knew well when it came to Sera. It wasn’t all that unusual to still be friends with the same people from elementary school, but it was far less common to share similar interests all the way through college. Serafina and Eleanor had formed a lifelong bond the moment they met in their Li’l Archaeologists summer program, despite being opposites in just about every way. Nora was the light to her dark—blonde and outgoing next to brunette and reserved. “Didn’t Chad tell you not to dig in that area? I’ll bet he’s kicking himself so hard right now.
Stephanie Mirro (Curse of the Vampire (Immortal Relics #1))
You need a Community to Parent your child. If you are the only one doing the "Parenting" trust me, you have a long way to go. Your child needs SOME skills you DON'T HAVE. If you had THOSE SKILLS, they still would need others YOU STILL WOULDN'T HAVE. My point? You ain't perfect! If you are the only one doing the parenting you are just starting. And I bet You, YOU WILL BE SO SLOW at it and their would be certain areas you can't touch. You need PARTNERS. Partners of your CHOOSING! Partners to help you reach your goal of PARENTING your child. Your pastor or imam for CERTAIN spiritual goals. Your FRIEND (who has been there, done that) for INSPIRING your child through an EXAM. Your Child's TEACHER for CERTAIN Learning objectives. A Mentor to TEACH your child (un)COMMON SENSE. A coach to SHOW your child the Way. Your Child's FRIENDS to teach him SOCIAL SKILLS. YOUR dad, to teach your child HISTORY of your FAMILY. YOUR GRANDMA to TEACH him Service to Elders. And so on like that... Small, small deliberate goals...for which you need a COMMUNITY of your CHOOSING. The key is to be DELIBERATE and PLAN ahead while sourcing for your PARENTING PARTNERS. It's your GOAL, not theirs. It's their STYLE not YOURS. It's their TIME not YOURS. AND YES, Its your CHILD, not theirs! It takes more than love to parent a child.
Asuni LadyZeal
Community First Community is a fundamental societal unit. From Sol’s r/Fitness subreddit to yoga classes to family to the group of friends we game with in the middle of the night, communities are a place where we can connect, learn, and have fun. For minimalist entrepreneurs, communities are the starting point of any successful enterprise. That doesn’t mean you should run out and find a community to join just for the purpose of starting a business. It means that most businesses fail because they aren’t built with a particular group of people in mind. Often, the ones that succeed do so because they’re focused on a community that a founder knows well. That process can’t be rushed because it comes from authentic relationships and a willingness to serve, both of which take time to uncover and develop. You may even have to learn a new language—or at least some insider lingo. Communities used to be limited by geography, but it’s never been easier to connect to people with whom you share something in common, whether it be an interest, a favorite artist, or a belief system. But a community isn’t a group of people who all think, act, look, or behave the same. That’s a cult. A community is the opposite. That’s what I discovered when I moved from San Francisco to Provo and got out of the Silicon Valley bubble. For one of the first times in my life, I saw that the best communities are made up of individuals who might be otherwise dissimilar but who have shared interests, values, and abilities. It’s a group of people who would likely never hang out with each other in any other situational context, and it often encompasses virtually every identity, including, yes, politics.
Sahil Lavingia (The Minimalist Entrepreneur: How Great Founders Do More with Less)
There are two kinds, I think. The first, a friend with a small ‘f,’ is one you see from time to time, maybe go to a restaurant or a show with, talk with about general things. The relationship is inspired in a large part by either physical proximity or some particular interest in common.” “And the second kind?” “A friend with a capital ‘F’ is one you trust implicitly, one you go out of your way for and one who’ll go out of his or her way for you, one you might choose as a relative if relatives could be chosen. A big ‘F’ friend is someone you share deeper things with, emotional things like feelings and dreams.
Barbara Delinsky (Straight from the Heart)
Whipped or ice cream on your dumplings?" she asked them, once the crust browned and the filling bubbled. She sprinkled additional cinnamon sugar on top. Grace and Cade responded as one, "Ice cream." Cade leaned his elbows on the table, cut her a curious look. "I didn't think we had a thing in common." She gave him a repressive look. "Ice cream doesn't make us friends." Amelia scooped vanilla bean into the bowls with the dumplings. Her smile was small, secret, when she served their dessert, and she commented, "Friendships are born of likes and dislikes. Ice cream is binding." Not as far as Grace was concerned. Cade dug into his dessert. Amelia kept the conversation going. "I bet you're more alike than you realize." Why would that matter? Grace thought. She had no interest in this man. A simultaneous "doubtful" surprised them both. Amelia kept after them, Grace noted, pointing out, "You were both born, grew up, and never left Moonbright." "It's a great town," Cade said. "Family and friends are here." "You're here," Grace emphasized. Amelia patted her arm. "I'm very glad you've stayed. Cade, too. You're equally civic-minded." Grace blinked. We are? "The city council initiated Beautify Moonbright this spring, and you both volunteered." We did? Grace was surprised. Cade scratched his stubbled chin, said, "Mondays, I transport trees and mulch from Wholesale Gardens to grassy medians between roadways. Flower beds were planted along the nature trails to the public park." Grace hadn't realized he was part of the community effort. "I help with the planting. Most Wednesdays." Amelia was thoughtful. "You're both active at the senior center." Cade acknowledged, "I've thrown evening horseshoes against the Benson brothers. Lost. Turned around and beat them at cards." "I've never seen you there," Grace puzzled. "I stop by in the afternoons, drop off large-print library books and set up audio cassettes for those unable to read because of poor eyesight." "There's also Build a Future," Amelia went on to say. "Cade recently hauled scaffolding and worked on the roof at the latest home for single parents. Grace painted the bedrooms in record time." "The Sutter House," they said together. Once again. "Like minds," Amelia mused, as she sipped her sparkling water.
Kate Angell (The Cottage on Pumpkin and Vine)
We must be willing, too, to seek common ground and shared interests. Perhaps you and the other person have very different views on some things but both share a concern for the emotional health of gay people who feel hurt by the church. If so, that’s a starting point. You can find ways to build on that without having to compromise on your most deeply held values. This kind of gracious dialogue is hard for a lot of people. It feels wishy-washy to them, as if it requires that they stop thinking the other side is wrong. However, it’s not as if there are only two ways of relating to a person—either agree on everything, or preach at them about the things you disagree on. We already know this. Every day, we all interact with many people in our lives, and we probably disagree with the vast majority of them on a lot of things: politics, religion, sex, relationships, morality, you name it. Very few of my friends share my theological beliefs, and yet I don’t feel compelled to bring those differences up time and time again, making them feel self-conscious about them. If I did, I’d probably lose those people as friends. Most of the time, I’m not even thinking about our differences; I’m just thinking about who they are as people and the many reasons I like them. Grace sees people for what makes them uniquely beautiful to God, not for all the ways they’re flawed or all the ways I disagree with them. That kind of grace is what enables loving bridges to be built over the strongest disagreements. Gracious dialogue is hard work. It requires effort and patience, and it’s tempting to put it off. All of us have busy lives and a lot of other issues to address. But for anyone who cares about the future of the church, this can’t be put off. The next generation is watching how we handle these questions, and they’re using that to determine how they should treat people and whether this Christianity business is something they want to be involved in. Moms like Cindy are waiting to know that their churches are willing to stand with them in working through a difficult issue. And gay Christians everywhere, in every church and denomination, are trying to find their place in the world. Will we rise to the challenge? Will we represent Jesus well? Or will we be more like modern-day Pharisees?
Justin Lee (Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate)
Throughout our lives, we will come to accrue an audience of individuals who share a platform of commonality, such as - interests, experiences, thoughts, and emotions. We call them friends.
Jay D'Cee
told me I needed to assess my strengths and weaknesses, to chart what I wanted to do and how I could do it, and to lay a plan for success that was reasonable and probable. And she told me something that probably seems even more filled with common sense than all the above thoughts combined. She told me I needed to get out in public more, to exercise in the fresh air, to find a job that might help me meet friends, to do the things I most enjoyed, to cultivate my interests and hobbies and most important – never to apologize for my imperfections or my idiosyncrasies.
Liane Holliday Willey (Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Expanded Edition)
Women who seek a lasting mate, for example, have at their disposal a wide range of tactics, including displays of loyalty, signals of common interests, and acts of intelligence. Women purchase beauty products not because they have been brainwashed by the media, but because they have determined that using beauty products will increase their power to get what they want. Women are not unsuspecting dupes manipulated by the forces of Madison Avenue, but determine through their preferences which products they will consume—products that they perceive will enhance their value as a mate, friend, or group member.
David M. Buss (The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating)
The presidential election itself had avoided real issues; there was no clear understanding of which interests would gain and which would lose if certain policies were adopted. It took the usual form of election campaigns, concealing the basic similarity of the parties by dwelling on personalities, gossip, trivialities. Henry Adams, an astute literary commentator on that era, wrote to a friend about the election: We are here plunged in politics funnier than words can express. Very great issues are involved…. But the amusing thing is that no one talks about real interests. By common consent they agree to let these alone. We are afraid to discuss them. Instead of this the press is engaged in a most amusing dispute whether Mr. Cleveland had an illegitimate child and did or did not live with more than one mistress.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
What you are, Vivian, is a type of person. To be more specific, you are a type of woman. A tediously common type of a woman. Do you think I’ve not encountered your type before? Your sort will always be slinking around, playing your boring and vulgar little games, causing your boring and vulgar little problems. You are the type of woman who cannot be a friend to another woman, Vivian, because you will always be playing with toys that are not your own. A woman of your type often believes she is a person of significance because she can make trouble and spoil things for others. But she is neither important nor interesting.
Elizabeth Gilbert (City of Girls)
The second main argument to support the idea that simple living enhances our capacity for pleasure is that it encourages us to attend to and appreciate the inexhaustible wealth of interesting, beautiful, marvelous, and thought-provoking phenomena continually presented to us by the everyday world that is close at hand. As Emerson says: “Things near are not less beautiful and wondrous than things remote. . . . This perception of the worth of the vulgar is fruitful in discoveries.”47 Here, as elsewhere, Emerson elegantly articulates the theory, but it is his friend Thoreau who really puts it into practice. Walden is, among other things, a celebration of the unexotic and a demonstration that the overlooked wonders of the commonplace can be a source of profound pleasure readily available to all. This idea is hardly unique to Emerson and Thoreau, of course, and, like most of the ideas we are considering, it goes back to ancient times. Marcus Aurelius reflects that “anyone with a feeling for nature—a deeper sensitivity—will find it all gives pleasure,” from the jaws of animals to the “distinct beauty of old age in men and women.”48 “Even Nature’s inadvertence has its own charms, its own attractiveness,” he observes, citing as an example the way loaves split open on top when baking.49 With respect to the natural world, celebrating the ordinary has been a staple of literature and art at least since the advent of Romanticism in the late eighteenth century. Wordsworth wrote three separate poems in praise of the lesser celandine, a common wildflower; painters like van Gogh discover whole worlds of beauty and significance in a pair of peasant boots; many of the finest poems crafted by poets like Thomas Hardy, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, William Carlos Williams, and Seamus Heaney take as their subject the most mundane objects, activities, or events and find in these something worth lingering over and commemorating in verse: a singing thrush, a snowy woods, a fish, some chilled plums, a patch of mint. Of course, artists have also celebrated the extraordinary, the exotic, and the magnificent. Homer gushes over the splendors of Menelaus’s palace; Gauguin left his home country to seek inspiration in the more exotic environment of Tahiti; Handel composed pieces to accompany momentous ceremonial occasions. Yet it is striking that a humble activity like picking blackberries—the subject of well-known poems by, among others, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney, and Richard Wilbur—appears to be more inspirational to modern poets, more charged with interest and significance, than, say, the construction of the world’s tallest building, the Oscar ceremonies, the space program, or the discovery of DNA’s molecular structure. One might even say that it has now become an established function of art to help us discover the remarkable in the commonplace
Emrys Westacott (The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less)
Choose to surround yourself with an inseparable support network of friends, who share common interests and ideas.
Jay D'Cee
Let’s explore how your Approval Seeker shows up in your life. What things do you do to make sure people like you? What things do you avoid, so others won’t be upset? Take a moment to reflect on this now. The more self-aware you can become, the more power you have to transform yourself and your results. Be sure to think about each of the core areas in your life–your work and career, dating and romantic life, friends and family. 15 Common Signs of Approval Seeking 1. Avoiding No You avoid saying no to others. You fear they will become upset or think you’re a bad person, so you usually say yes, even if it adds more stress to your life. 2. Hesitation You often wait for the “right thing” to say (and thus speak way less than you normally do). 3. Nervous Laughter You’re quick to laugh at whatever another person says, even if it’s not that funny. Your laugh might come too quickly, too often, or at inappropriate times. 4. Difficulty with Endings You have difficulty ending things, from conversations to friendships to romantic relationships. As a result, you may drag things out longer than you really want to. 5. Overly Agreeable You smile, nod, and are very agreeable with others (regardless of your actual opinions on the subject). 6. Avoiding Disagreement You avoid disagreeing with others, challenging others, or stating alternative perspectives. 7. Fear of Judgment You’re afraid of the judgments of others (which can lead to nervousness, hesitation, over-thinking, and social anxiety). 8. Fear of Upset You’re often afraid that others are secretly angry or critical of you, even though they seem to like you when you’re together. This can lead to a constant background unease that you may have “done something wrong” that someone is upset about. 9. Pressure to Entertain You feel pressure to have something great to share, such as a funny or highly engaging story about an adventure you’ve had. 10. Second Guessing & Conversational Replays During an interaction, you experience self-consciousness and doubt about how you are coming across. You imagine you should be someone “better” than you are. Afterwards, you replay the interaction in your mind and find all the things you did wrong, ways you may have upset the other person, and things you should have said. 11. Habitual Apologies You’re quick to apologize out of habit, even for minor transgressions, like starting to speak at the same time as someone else. 12. Submissive Body Language You demonstrate submissive body language, such as looking away frequently or keeping your eyes down. 13. Putting Others First You have a strong habit of putting others’ needs ahead of your own, thinking it is selfish to do otherwise. 14. Not Stating Desires You rarely state what you want directly. Instead, you may suggest or imply something and hope the other person detects it. You often question your desires and think they might be either too much or not worth asking for. 15. Attempting to Fit In & Impress You try to fit in to groups by pretending to be interested in things you are not, or exaggerating about your experiences, wealth, or achievements. All submission to peer pressure is approval seeking.
Aziz Gazipura (Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty... And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself)
political friendship is ‘an application of united front principles to divide the enemy by focusing on contradictions and uniting all forces that can be united around a common goal’. In the language of the CCP, ‘friendship’ does not refer to an intimate personal bond, but to a strategic relationship. The Party’s terminology of friendship ‘is a means to neutralise opposition psychologically and to reorder reality’. Foreign friends, writes Brady, are those willing and able to promote China’s interests.
Clive Hamilton (Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World)
There is definitely an audience for feminist-friendly porn, just a small audience and a small fraction of women overall. What is fascinating is that women commonly promote the idea of feminist porn and socially want to believe in it. Activists argue that there needs to be more of it, women support it in public and I see women start erotic websites all the time. But when it comes down to it, that is just not what they are interested in looking at,
The church of Jesus Christ is...a community...that is not held together by common interest and that is not held together by common blood and not even by common opinions and convictions but certainly a community held together rather by that voice that we hear at the beginning and at the end of our text, a voice that (Romans 5:5-13) sounds repeatedly and that is never to be falsified nor ever confused with any other tones in the world, "The God of patience and of comfort give you all...! The God of hope fill you all...! The voice that speaks to us in this way, so pleadingly and at the same time so giving so serious and also so friendly, is, in the words of the apostle Paul, the voice of the divine Word himself, from whom the church of Jesus Christ is born and from whom she must always feed and from whom alone she may be fed. God knows who God is; and in his Word he tells us : he is the God who give patience, comfort, and hope. God knows that we need him as we need nothing else and that we have no power over him; and in his Word he tells us this, he pulls our thinking and longing together and brings these to himself, that we must implore; May he grant us! May he fill us! May this voice, with which God tells us what he knows of himself and of us, ring out from the past." Karl Barth
Dean Stroud Karl Barth
Our election has not yet come off, and to one who like myself is not a candidate it is a time replete with feelings of disgust and contempt. The candidates of course are interested and busy. I could start out here now and eat myself dead on ‘election cake,’ be hugged into a perfect ‘sqush’ by most particular, eternal, disinterested, affectionate friends. A man is perfectly bewildered by the intensity of the affection that is lavished upon him. I never dreamed before that I was half as popular, fine looking, and talented as I found out I am during the past few days.”9
Bell Irvin Wiley (The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy)
And so we were friends of a sort once more. We began to talk, stiltedly at first, but then with more ease. We had, after all, many interests in common. And if there was still a deep reserve, if fingers about to brush moved hastily apart, and if our eyes did not linger but met and winced away from hurt, outwardly, at least, there was tranquillity. I slept the better for it.
Elizabeth Newark (Jane Eyre's Daughter)
The most famous child survivor of the Holocaust in the 1950s was not Anne Frank—after all, she didn’t survive—but a young woman named Hannah Bloch Kohner. NBC television’s This Is Your Life was one of television’s first reality shows, in which host Ralph Edwards surprised a guest, often a celebrity, by reuniting him or her with friends and family members the guest hadn’t heard from in years. The program didn’t shy away from either political controversy or questionable sentimentality, as when guest Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto, who had survived the atomic bombing of Hirsohima in 1945, was introduced to the copilot of the Enola Gay. On May 27, 1953, This Is Your Life ambushed a beautiful young woman in the audience, escorted her to the stage, and proceeded, in a matter of minutes, to package, sanitize, and trivialize the Holocaust for a national television audience. Hannah Bloch Kohner’s claim to fame was that she had survived Auschwitz before emigrating, marrying, and settling in Los Angeles. She was the first Holocaust survivor to appear on a national television entertainment program. “Looking at you, it’s hard to believe that during seven short years of a still short life, you lived a lifetime of fear, terror, and tragedy,” host Edwards said to Kohner in his singsong baritone. “You look like a young American girl just out of college, not at all like a survivor of Hitler’s cruel purge of German Jews.” He then reunited a stunned Kohner with Eva, a girl with whom she’d spent eight months in Auschwitz, intoning, “You were each given a cake of soap and a towel, weren’t you, Hannah? You were sent to the so-called showers, and even this was a doubtful procedure, because some of the showers had regular water and some had liquid gas, and you never knew which one you were being sent to. You and Eva were fortunate. Others were not so fortunate, including your father and mother, your husband Carl Benjamin. They all lost their lives in Auschwitz.” It was an extraordinary lapse of sympathy, good taste, and historical accuracy—history that, if not common knowledge, had at least been documented on film. It would be hard to explain how Kohner ever made it on This Is Your Life to be the Holocaust’s beautiful poster girl if you didn’t happen to know that her husband—a childhood sweetheart who had emigrated to the United States in 1938—was host Ralph Edwards’s agent. Hannah Bloch’s appearance was a small, if crass, oasis of public recognition for Holocaust survivors—and child survivors especially—in a vast desert of indifference. It would be decades before the media showed them this much interest again.
R.D. Rosen (Such Good Girls: The Journey of the Holocaust's Hidden Child Survivors)
In the Bible, the word hypocrite shows up 33 times. Interestingly, hypocrite was a common Greek term for an actor who worked behind a mask. Stage players in antiquity wore masks to hide their true identity as they played the part of their characters. We live in a society today where people are paid millions of dollars to be hypocrites. A friend of mine, before he passed away, built movie sets for a living. Many movies are filmed on studio lots, but these designed sets are not the reality you might think they are when watching a movie. Actors and actresses play the part of someone they really are not. The better they are at pretending or lying, the more convincing they will be as an actor, and typically, the more money they make. I rarely darken the door of a movie theatre because I don’t want to give those liars my money, and I don’t want to support the totally ungodly world of Hollywood. This is also why I don’t own a television. I don’t want my cable or satellite fees funding that wicked industry. In the time of the Greeks, it was easy to figure out the real identity of the actors. You could walk up to them, take off their masks, and see their faces. Jesus is doing the same here. He is unmasking the Pharisees. He is showing us their real character. He is revealing their true colors. Don’t live a lie. Don’t be a hypocrite. It is not a healthy way to go through life, and you will have regrets when the time of unmasking comes.
Mark Cahill (Ten Questions from the King)
11 Tips for Building Rapport 1. Adapt to the other person’s energy level. 2. Assume rapport. 3. Be open and friendly. 4. Exude warmth and approachability. 5. Find common ground or mutual agreement. 6. Keep your commitments and always follow through. 7. Make eye contact. 8. Soften your voice, your smile, and your eye contact to convey openness and interest. 9. Match and mirror a person’s gestures and body language. 10. Pay attention. 11. Validate the other person by asking questions and showing sincere interest in their answers.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Connection: 8 Ways to Enrich Rapport & Kinship for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #6))
Luke was welcomed by the brothers and drawn in with friendly approval. The conversation quickly turned to missions and commands as they compared notes, trying to figure out if they had mutual friends or had served in common battle arenas at the same time. Then more women began to arrive and Luke watched curiously as the men greeted each one as if she could be a sister or girlfriend. When Paige came out of her quarters with the new baby, the tot was passed around from man to man, each of whom took her close and affectionately, praised her beauty and snuggled her like any fond uncle might. Her son, Christopher, was soon riding on various shoulders while Paige was being embraced. Brie came in from the RV behind the bar, her home until her house was finished, and damned if each one of those men didn’t have his hands all over her belly like he’d been the one to put that baby in there. After a quick feel, they’d compliment Mike on his excellent potency. “You got her cooking a good one here, brother,” Josh said. “Baby, you are more gorgeous than ever!” said Tom. Then came Vanessa and Nikki and the whole process was repeated again, with bone-rattling hugs and sloppy kisses. It was a whole new experience for Luke. Even in his own family of biological brothers, he hadn’t seen anything like it. But it interested him, the way these men behaved toward each other’s women, as though it was expected. As if they idolized each other’s wives as much as their own, treating them with a fondness that was hardly superficial; an intimacy that was at once deep and completely respectful. The trust was implicit; the affection appeared genuine. The security they felt in their relationships was obvious. Luke had never lived in this kind of world. Preacher
Robyn Carr (Temptation Ridge)
My “boyfriend” at the time (let’s call him Mike) was an emotionally withholding, conventionally attractive jock whose sole metric for expressing affection was the number of hours he spent sitting platonically next to me in coffee shops and bars without ever, ever touching me. To be fair, by that metric he liked me a lot. Despite having nearly nothing in common (his top interests included cross-country running, fantasy cross-country running [he invented it], New England the place, New England the idea, and going outside on Saint Patrick’s Day; mine were candy, naps, hugging, and wizards), we spent a staggering amount of time together—I suppose because we were both lonely and smart, and, on my part, because he was the first human I’d ever met who was interested in touching my butt without keeping me sequestered in a moldy basement, and I was going to hold this relationship together if it killed me. Mike had only been in “official” relationships with thin women, but all his friends teased him for perpetually hooking up with fat chicks. Every few months he would get wasted and hold my hand, or tell me I was beautiful, and the first time I tried to leave him, he followed me home and said he loved me, weeping, on my doorstep. The next day, I told him I loved him, too, and it was true for both of us, probably, but it was a shallow, watery love—born of repetition and resignation. It condensed on us like dew, only because we waited long enough. But “I have grown accustomed to you because I have no one else” is not the same as “Please tell me more about your thoughts on the upcoming NESCAC cross-country season, my king.
Lindy West (Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman)
The Kaiser’s friend, the Jewish intellectual Walter Rathenau, who had inherited his father’s great electrical industry, the Allgemeine Electrizitäts Gesellschaft, watched the darkening scene with desperation. The cult of nationalism was to blame; the only solution was a European Common Market. There is one possibility left [he wrote on Christmas Day 1913]: an industrial customs union, of which sooner or later, for better or for worse, the states of Western Europe would become members… Fuse the industries of Europe into one… and political interests will fuse too. This is not world peace or disarmament, nor is it general debility; but it is an alleviation of conflicts, an economy of power and the solidarity of civilization.
Virginia Cowles (1913: The Defiant Swan Song)
Spaghetti alla puttanesca is typically made with tomatoes, olives, anchovies, capers, and garlic. It means, literally, "spaghetti in the style of a prostitute." It is a sloppy dish, the tomatoes and oil making the spaghetti lubricated and slippery. It is the sort of sauce that demands you slurp the noodles Goodfellas style, staining your cheeks with flecks of orange and red. It is very salty and very tangy and altogether very strong; after a small plate, you feel like you've had a visceral and significant experience. There are varying accounts as to when and how the dish originated- but the most likely explanation is that it became popular in the mid-twentieth century. The first documented mention of it is in Raffaele La Capria's 1961 novel, Ferito a Morte. According to the Italian Pasta Makers Union, spaghetti alla puttanesca was a very popular dish throughout the sixties, but its exact genesis is not quite known. Sandro Petti, a famous Napoli chef and co-owner of Ischian restaurant Rangio Fellone, claims to be its creator. Near closing time one evening, a group of customers sat at one of his tables and demanded to be served a meal. Running low on ingredients, Petti told them he didn't have enough to make anything, but they insisted. They were tired, and they were hungry, and they wanted pasta. "Facci una puttanata qualsiasi!" they cried. "Make any kind of garbage!" The late-night eater is not usually the most discerning. Petti raided the kitchen, finding four tomatoes, two olives, and a jar of capers, the base of the now-famous spaghetti dish; he included it on his menu the next day under the name spaghetti alla puttanesca. Others have their own origin myths. But the most common theory is that it was a quick, satisfying dish that the working girls of Naples could knock up with just a few key ingredients found at the back of the fridge- after a long and unforgiving night. As with all dishes containing tomatoes, there are lots of variations in technique. Some use a combination of tinned and fresh tomatoes, while others opt for a squirt of puree. Some require specifically cherry or plum tomatoes, while others go for a smooth, premade pasta. Many suggest that a teaspoon of sugar will "open up the flavor," though that has never really worked for me. I prefer fresh, chopped, and very ripe, cooked for a really long time. Tomatoes always take longer to cook than you think they will- I rarely go for anything less than an hour. This will make the sauce stronger, thicker, and less watery. Most recipes include onions, but I prefer to infuse the oil with onions, frying them until brown, then chucking them out. I like a little kick in most things, but especially in pasta, so I usually go for a generous dousing of chili flakes. I crush three or four cloves of garlic into the oil, then add any extras. The classic is olives, anchovies, and capers, though sometimes I add a handful of fresh spinach, which nicely soaks up any excess water- and the strange, metallic taste of cooked spinach adds an interesting extra dimension. The sauce is naturally quite salty, but I like to add a pinch of sea or Himalayan salt, too, which gives it a slightly more buttery taste, as opposed to the sharp, acrid salt of olives and anchovies. I once made this for a vegetarian friend, substituting braised tofu for anchovies. Usually a solid fish replacement, braised tofu is more like tuna than anchovy, so it was a mistake for puttanesca. It gave the dish an unpleasant solidity and heft. You want a fish that slips and melts into the pasta, not one that dominates it. In terms of garnishing, I go for dried oregano or fresh basil (never fresh oregano or dried basil) and a modest sprinkle of cheese. Oh, and I always use spaghetti. Not fettuccine. Not penne. Not farfalle. Not rigatoni. Not even linguine. Always spaghetti.
Lara Williams (Supper Club)
Friendship is often depicted as some kind of Platonic love thing, but often you are not sure why you call somebody a friend. Perhaps it’s common interests, or aversions, or ‘friendly’ competition- but you rarely say that you fell in love with somebody without knowing it. Probably more friendships are based on mutual tolerance than anything else. Sometimes you just don’t want to be alone and will put up with almost anything to avoid it, even while your friend is annoying the shit out of you.
Todd Rundgren (The Individualist: Digressions, Dreams & Dissertations)
Research shows the negative effects of diversity on the United States. Robert Putnam of Harvard studied 41 different American communities that ranged from the extreme homogeneity of rural South Dakota to the very mixed populations of Los Angeles. He found a strong correlation between homogeneity and levels of trust, with the greatest distrust in the most diverse areas. He was unhappy with these results, and checked his findings by controlling for any other variable that might affect trust, such as poverty, age, crime rates, population densities, education, commuting time, home ownership, etc. These played some role but he was forced to conclude that “diversity per se has a major effect.” Prof. Putnam listed the following consequences of diversity: 'Lower confidence in local government, local leaders and the local news media. Lower political efficacy—that is, confidence in their own influence. Lower frequency of registering to vote, but more interest and knowledge about politics and more participation in protest marches and social reform groups. Less expectation that others will cooperate to solve dilemmas of collective action (e.g., voluntary conservation to ease a water or energy shortage). Less likelihood of working on a community project. Lower likelihood of giving to charity or volunteering. Fewer close friends and confidants. Less happiness and lower perceived quality of life. More time spent watching television and more agreement that “television is my most important form of entertainment.”' Other research confirms that people in “diverse” workgroups—not only of race but also age and professional background—are less loyal to the group, more likely to resign, and generally less satisfied than people who work with people like themselves. Carpooling is less common in racially mixed neighborhoods because it means counting on your neighbors, and people trust people who are like themselves.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
Far from looking for friends, the friends they used to enjoy now irritate them. Here is agony and despair. Joy cannot be found. Does this surprise you? God takes everything because you do not know how to love, so do not speak of friendship. The very idea brings tears to your eyes. Everything overcomes you. You do not know what you want.  You are moody and cry like a child. You are a mass of swirling emotions which change from moment to moment. Do you find it hard to believe that a strong and high-minded person can be reduced to such a state? To speak of friendship is like speaking of dancing to a sick person. Wait until the winter is past. Your true friends will come back to you. You will no longer love for yourself, but in and for God. Before, you were somehow always afraid of losing—no matter how generous you appeared. If you didn't seek wealth or honor, you sought common interest or confidence or understanding. Take away these comforts and you are pained, hurt, and offended. Doesn't this show who you really love? When it is God you love in someone, you stand by that person no matter what. If the friendship is broken in the order of God, you are at peace. You may feel a deep pain, for the friendship was a great gift, but it is a calm suffering, and free from the cutting grief of a possessive love. God's love sets you free.
François Fénelon (The Seeking Heart (Library of Spiritual Classics))
And until then?” The dim, flickering light of the lantern created an eerie atmosphere and seemed to finish my question: Can we trust her? “Honestly?” Narian said, staring into my eyes and unintentionally increasing my foreboding. “I don’t want to think about it.” “Well, then, is there anything I can do for you?” His brow furrowed. “What do you mean?” “From what I knew of Saadi, he was not only respected, but well-liked. And you would have known him better than I. You must feel his loss yourself.” “He was a good man.” Narian stretched out on his back, and I tucked pillows underneath his head. “Saadi made it possible for me to believe that our goals were attainable, that Hytanicans and Cokyrians could come to understand one another and to cooperate with each other. His death, especially under suspicious circumstances, leaves me feeling defeated.” He put his arm around me, and I curled up at his side, and I could almost feel him becoming more introspective. “In some ways, Alera,” he quietly revealed, “I had more in common with Saadi than I did with any other Cokyrian stationed here.” “You know, we Hytanicans have a name for someone like Saadi. We would call him a friend.” “Interesting,” Narian said, and I knew I had given him even more to think about. “Are you tired?” I asked, aware that he could not sleep on his back. “Not particularly.” “Good. Then I don’t have to move.” He gave a soft laugh and kissed the top of my head. “I will make any sacrifice for you,” he murmured, letting me drift into sleep.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Liberty, next to religion, has been the motive of good deeds and the common pretext of crime, from the sowing of the seed at Athens, two thousand four hundred and sixty years ago, until the ripened harvest was gathered by men of our race. It is the delicate fruit of a mature civilisation; and scarcely a century has passed since nations, that knew the meaning of the term, resolved to be free. In every age its progress has been beset by its natural enemies, by ignorance and superstitution, by lust of conquest and by love of ease, by the strong man’s craving for power, and the poor man’s craving for food. During long intervals it has been utterly arrested, when nations were being rescued from barbarism and from the grasp of strangers, and when the perpetual struggle for existence, depriving men of all interest and understanding in politics, has made them eager to sell their birthright for a pottage, and ignorant of the treasure they resigned. At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities, that have prevailed by associating themselves with auxiliaries whose objects often differed from their own; and this association, which is always dangerous, has been sometimes disastrous, by giving to opponents just grounds of opposition, and by kindling dispute over the spoils in the hour of success. No obstacle has been so constant, or so difficult to overcome, as uncertainty and confusion touching the nature of true liberty. If hostile interests have wrought much injury, false ideas have wrought still more; and its advance is recorded in the increase of knowledge, as much as in the improvement of laws. The history of institutions is often a history of deception and illusions; for their virtue depends on the ideas that produce and on the spirit that preserves them, and the form may remain unaltered when the substance has passed away.
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton (The History of Freedom and Other Essays)
In this case, Russia had me reexamining the bullshitty, fake-nice communication that is so common in Anglo culture, and asking myself if this wasn’t somehow making us more insecure around each other and worse at intimacy. I remember discussing this dynamic with my Russian teacher one day, and he had an interesting theory. Having lived under communism for so many generations, with little to no economic opportunity and caged by a culture of fear, Russian society found the most valuable currency to be trust. And to build trust you have to be honest. That means when things suck, you say so openly and without apology. People’s displays of unpleasant honesty were rewarded for the simple fact that they were necessary for survival—you had to know whom you could rely on and whom you couldn’t, and you needed to know quickly. But, in the “free” West, my Russian teacher continued, there existed an abundance of economic opportunity—so much economic opportunity that it became far more valuable to present yourself in a certain way, even if it was false, than to actually be that way. Trust lost its value. Appearances and salesmanship became more advantageous forms of expression. Knowing a lot of people superficially was more beneficial than knowing a few people closely. This is why it became the norm in Western cultures to smile and say polite things even when you don’t feel like it, to tell little white lies and agree with someone whom you don’t actually agree with. This is why people learn to pretend to be friends with people they don’t actually like, to buy things they don’t actually want. The economic system promotes such deception. The downside of this is that you never know, in the West, if you can completely trust the person you’re talking to. Sometimes this is the case even among good friends or family members. There is such pressure in the West to be likable that people often reconfigure their entire personality depending on the person they’re dealing with.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
I don’t think that I believe any more in the party; — or rather in the men who lead it. I used to have a faith that now seems to me to be marvellous. Even twelve months ago, when I was beginning to think of standing for Tankerville, I believed that on our side the men were patriotic angels, and that Daubeny and his friends were all fiends or idiots, — mostly idiots, but with a strong dash of fiendism to control them. It has all come now to one common level of poor human interests.
Anthony Trollope (Complete Works of Anthony Trollope)
I don’t think that I believe any more in the party; — or rather in the men who lead it. I used to have a faith that now seems to me to be marvellous. Even twelve months ago, when I was beginning to think of standing for Tankerville, I believed that on our side the men were patriotic angels, and that Daubeny and his friends were all fiends or idiots, — mostly idiots, but with a strong dash of fiendism to control them. It has all come now to one common level of poor human interests. I doubt whether patriotism can stand the wear and tear and temptation of the front benches in the House of Commons. Men are flying at each other’s throats, thrusting and parrying, making false accusations and defences equally false, lying and slandering
Anthony Trollope (Complete Works of Anthony Trollope)
I don’t think that I believe any more in the party; — or rather in the men who lead it. I used to have a faith that now seems to me to be marvellous. Even twelve months ago, when I was beginning to think of standing for Tankerville, I believed that on our side the men were patriotic angels, and that Daubeny and his friends were all fiends or idiots, — mostly idiots, but with a strong dash of fiendism to control them. It has all come now to one common level of poor human interests. I doubt whether patriotism can stand the wear and tear and temptation of the front benches in the House of Commons. Men are flying at each other’s throats, thrusting and parrying, making false accusations and defences equally false, lying and slandering, — sometimes picking and stealing, — till they themselves become unaware of the magnificence of their own position, and forget that they are expected to be great.
Anthony Trollope (Complete Works of Anthony Trollope)
And I’m thinking of marrying a couple friends of mine, see.” I had to pause for a moment there. “Plural friends?” “Yeah, good business match it would be.We’ve been close since we were kids. “Perhaps my Nuryeven isn’t as good as I thought. When you say marry, you mean joining your households together and producing hiers, yes?” It wasn’t that the concept was alien to me, it’s just that I hadn’t expected such an arrangement to be commonplace in Nuryevet. Well, no, I’ll be honest, iots that I hadn’t spent even a blink of time thinking about their practices, and if you’d asked me at that time I probably would have told you that all Nuryevens lumber along like they're made of stone. Not a drop of hot blood in their bodies and no interest whatsoever in romance, and that they acquired children by filing paperwork in quintuplicate and being assigned one by an advocate. My new friend Ilias said, “Iy that’s right, though I don't think that Anya and Micket will care to manage it themselves. Heirs are cheap though. You can scrape together half a dozen of them right off the street. So longs you've got flxible standards” I shook my head, “Is this a common thing in these parts?” “Ey? Oh, iy, common enough. I’ve seen marriages with more partners than that.” He pulled his chair to face me fully. “The Oomack only ever have two partner marriages, did you know that? And it's not about business. They don't even seem to care about their assets at all!” “Well, no, the Oomack marry for love and sex.” “Is that right? That seems messy. Lots of feelings involved if you combine sex and business.” Ilias had certain opinions, shall we say which may have not been representative of the general Nuryeven philosophy. Marriage here is a great amalgamation of every kind legal partnership. They get married when they are going into business together. They get married when they want to own property jointly. They get married when they're in love. Some of these arrangements do involve a physical element or the biological production of heirs, as they do elsewhere. Some, as Ilia mentioned before, simply involve formally adopting half a dozen heirs off the street. Some are a mere legal formality. Like many things in Nuryevet , you can do as you please so long as you’ve got your paperwork in order. I didn’t quite understand all this at the time. It took me a while to glean the intricacies of it, or rather, the lack of intricacies. At the time, I only asked Ilia if he had a separate lover. “Not right now. I hire a private contractor for that.” “A prostitute you mean??” “No, a contractor. Prostitutes are, well you’re foreign, you wouldn't know. We don't have those here. Prostitutes just stand on the street and don't have a license or pay taxes, right? They juits have sex with whoever in an ally.” “Oh… some of them, in some places. In other places.” I waved vaguely, “ higher status.” “Meaning what?” “Meaning they’re more expensive. Meaning they do other things besides the act. In some places they're priests and priestesses. In some places they're popular society figures with property and businesses, patrons of the arts and so forth.” “Here you hire one of them like you’d hire a doctor or a tailor or someone to build a house for you, and you wouldn’t graba just anybody off the street for that would you. They show you their l;icence and you sign a contract together and so on. It's a good system.” “What about those who don't have a licence?” “Arrested! Just like a doctor practicing without a license would be.
Alexandra Rowland (A Conspiracy of Truths (The Tales of the Chants, #1))
What happened? These things no longer mean anything to you? I lost interest, is all. How? Well, I don't know. Love is love, love lost is love lost. Now there's no common interest, are we still friends? When I feel like so. Wow, that is brutal.
Et Imperatrix Noctem
A belief in invisible cats cannot perhaps be logically disproved, but it tells us a good deal about those who hold it. Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend. The rest of us know that though we can have erotic love and friendship for the same person yet in some ways nothing is less like a Friendship than a love-affair. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest. Above all, Eros (while it lasts) is necessarily between two only. But two, far from being the necessary number for Friendship, is not even the best. And the reason for this is important.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
Darnell had received what is called a sound commercial education, and would therefore have found very great difficulty in putting into articulate speech any thought that was worth thinking; but he grew certain on these mornings that the “common sense” which he had always heard exalted as man’s supremest faculty was, in all probability, the smallest and least-considered item in the equipment of an ant of average intelligence. And with this, as an almost necessary corollary, came a firm belief that the whole fabric of life in which he moved was sunken, past all thinking, in the grossest absurdity; that he and all his friends and acquaintances and fellow-workers were interested in matters in which men were never meant to be interested, were pursuing aims which they were never meant to pursue, were, indeed, much like fair stones of an altar serving as a pigsty wall.
Arthur Machen (The Arthur Machen MEGAPACK ®: 25 Classic Works)
As the carriage rumbled northwards, Ellie began to plan how she might impress upon Forrest that he would be as happy with her as she knew she would be with him. She was not beautiful, she knew, or especially accomplished, but she and the Earl appeared to have many common interests. Surely that must count for something! He seemed to enjoy her company. She refused to put too much hope in that one kiss they had shared, despite the tingle that still ran through her at the memory. It might have meant nothing at all to him, she reminded herself. Briefly, she even considered the idea of trapping him into marriage, which would be absurdly easy across the border, but quickly discarded it. No, she had to know first what his feelings for her were. If he regarded her merely as a friend, as she suspected, he would never forgive her for such a step —and that would certainly not be conducive to a happy marriage.
Brenda Hiatt (Lord Dearborn's Destiny (Hiatt Regency Classics, #3))
The next day, Clare had an afternoon playdate. Samantha was in her class at school, collected Littlest Pet Shops, and could rattle off the names and evolutions of three hundred Pokémon, ergo they were best friends forever. In this way, little girls are like grown men: They only need one or two things in common to become official buddies. Fishing. Golf. An interest in breasts. Unfortunately, Samantha’s mother and I couldn’t even find two things in common, so I just dropped and ran.
Abbi Waxman (The Garden of Small Beginnings)
If it’s so very important to Russia that the West be a house divided against itself, then it should be equally important to the free nations that they stand together, not simply as old friends who have a common interest but as a going political concern.
E.B. White (Essays of E. B. White)
To Get to know another person, you have to commit yourself to his company and interests, and be ready to identify yourself with his concerns. Without this, your relationship with him can only be superficial and flavorless. [...] We do not know another person's real quality till we have "tasted" the experience of friendship. Friends are, so to speak, communicating flavors to each other all the time, by sharing their attitudes both toward each other (think people in love) and toward everything else that is of common concern. As they thus open their hearts to each other by what they say and do, each "tastes" the quality of the other, for sorrow or for joy. They have identified themselves with, and so are personally and emotionally involved in, each other's concerns. They feel for each other, as well as thinking of each other. This is an essential aspect of the knowledge which friends have of each other; and the same applies to the Christian's knowledge of God, which, as we have seen, is itself a relationship between friends.
J.I. Packer (Knowing God)
Like Newt Gingrich shifting the focus from local to national, social media has transformed politics from the public to the personal. Whereas, in the past, people associated with their friends and families based on proximity, common history, or blood relation, social media gives the person the power to structure their relationships based on common interests and shared political goals. This grouping, often called an echo chamber, creates a world in which people are rarely confronted by disparate opinions or facts and ensures their persuasion goes unchallenged. And the more they become entrenched in their opinions, and the more they see others touting similar belief structures, the more the user's beliefs deepen.
Jared Yates Sexton (The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage)
Andy’s Message Around the time I received Arius’ email, Andy’s message arrived. He wrote: Young, I do remember Rick Samuels. I was at the seminar in the Bahriji when he came to lecture. Like you I was at once mesmerized by his style and beauty, which of course was a false image manufactured by the advertising agencies and sales promoters. I was surprised to hear your backroom story of him being gangbanged in the dungeon. We are not ones to judge since both of us had been down that negative road of self-loathing. This seems to be a common thread with people whom others considered good-looking or beautiful. In my opinion, it’s a fake image that handsome people know they cannot live up to. Instead of exterior beauty being an asset, it often becomes a psychological burden. During the years when I was with Toby, I delved in some fashion modeling work in New Zealand. I ventured into this business because it was my subconscious way of reminding me of the days we posed for Mario and Aziz. It was also my twisted way of hoping to meet another person like me, with the hope of building a loving long-term relationship. It was also a desperate attempt to break loose from Toby’s psychosomatic grip on my person. Ian was his name and he was a very attractive 24 year old architecture student. He modeled to earn some extra spending money. We became fast friends, but he had this foreboding nature which often came on unexpectedly. A sentence or a word could trigger his depression, sending the otherwise cheerful man into bouts of non-verbal communication. It was like a brightly lit light bulb suddenly being switched off in mid-sentence. We did have an affair while I was trying to patch things up with Toby. As delightful as our sexual liaisons were there was a hidden missing element, YOU! Much like my liaisons with Oscar, without your presence, our sexual communications took on a different dynamic which only you as the missing link could resolve. There were times during or after sex when Ian would abuse himself with negative thoughts and self-denigration. I tried to console him, yet I was deeply sorrowed about my own unresolved issues with Toby. It was like the blind leading the blind. I was gravely saddened when Ian took his own life. Heavily drugged on prescriptive anti-depressant and a stomach full of extensive alcohol consumption, he fell off his ten story apartment building. He died instantly. This was the straw that threw me into a nervous breakdown. Thank God I climbed out of my despondencies with the help of Ari and Aria. My dearest Young, I have a confession to make; you are the only person I have truly loved and will continue to love. All these years I’ve tried to forget you but I cannot. That said I am not trying to pry you away from Walter and have you return to me. We are just getting to know each other yet I feel your spirit has never left. Please make sure that Walter understands that I’m not jeopardizing your wonderful relationship. I am happy for the both of you. You had asked jokingly if I was interested in a triplet relationship. Maybe when the time and opportunity arises it may happen, but now I’m enjoying my own company after Albert’s passing. In a way it is nice to have my freedom after 8 years of building a life with Albert. I love you my darling boy and always will. As always, I await your cheerful emails. Andy. Xoxoxo
Young (Unbridled (A Harem Boy's Saga, #2))
Debbie truly had Tess’s best interest at heart with the promoting of romanticized contemplation, and she hoped that such contemplation would make transparent a roses and chocolate candy theme that would ignite a passionate desire in her friend for deep intimate companionship that would make lengthy modifications until it became a candlelight connection that would light up brightly and cause a common smile to take form in the lives of two singles. But the detailed scene of Tess’s grander purview on the overall picture placed her friend’s intent in a corner of stagnant nothingness that had no realistic chance of ever modifying into the romantic reality that she advocated.
Calvin W. Allison (Strong Love Church)
Three Opening Topics of Conversation Use your information-gathering skills to devise topics that would interest you both. As your conversation proceeds, listen carefully to the answers to your questions; they will provide you with material for further conversation. 1. The situation you’re both in. For example, if you meet someone in a continuing-education class, you know that you share an interest in learning, as well as in the topic of the course itself. Questions such as “Have you taken other adult education classes?” or “How did you become interested in English history?” should get the ball rolling. If you meet someone at a party, you might start off by talking about how you know the people throwing the party. “Oh, you and Bob went to sailing camp together? Do you still sail?” And so on. Take your cues from them, and let them know you are interested by following up—both verbally with questions, and nonverbally with your body language. 2. The other person. First, observe what the person is doing, wearing, saying, or reading. Look for things you share in common, or find something that you’d like to know more about. (But watch their body language to be sure they are approachable. A person who is busy changing a tire or engrossed in a book may not want to be disturbed, even by friendly, approachable you.) 3. Yourself. Talking about yourself is a step leading toward conversational intimacy. But it is only effective if you provide an easy way for you intended companion to turn the conversation around to him or her. A compliment such as “I wish I had your sense of color” starts out with you, but focuses on the other person. It makes her feel immediately appreciated, and offers her a chance to take the conversation further if she likes. When someone mentions something you know about or like, indicate it by nodding or by a short sentence (“I’ve been interested in gardening for years!”). Be careful not to talk about yourself too much—especially at first. That can be a real turnoff.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
A CHANGING SOCIETY What does today’s high incidence of social anxiety tell us about modern society? As we’ve seen, social anxiety is connected to a person’s drive for self-preservation and a feeling of safety. It is natural to withdraw from situations that we expect will lead to pain. Avoidance—while not necessarily healthy—is logical. Because the negative social experience of a growing number of people has caused them emotional pain and suffering, the number of individuals who choose to avoid socializing is increasing at an alarming rate. The sometimes wide distance among family members these days only adds to isolation. And the anonymity of large cities creates a vacuum in which many lonely people co-exist, often leading solitary lives in which they pursue their interests and activities alone. We live in a society in which social fears are perhaps not unjustified. As cities become denser, isolation seems to be the best way to counter urban decay. Consider the dangers of the outside world: Crime rates are soaring. Caution—and its companion, fear—are in the air. As the twentieth century draws to a close, we find ourselves in a society where meeting people can be difficult. These larger forces can combine to create a further sense of distance among people. Particularly significant is the change that has taken place as the social organization of the smaller-scale community gives way to that of the larger, increasingly fragmented city. In a “hometown” setting, the character of daily life is largely composed of face-to-face relations with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members. But in the hustle and bustle of today’s cities, whose urban sprawls extend to what author Joel Garreau has called Edge Cities—creating light industrial suburbs even larger than the cities they surround—the individual can get lost. It is common in these areas for people to focus solely on themselves, seldom getting to know their neighbors, and rarely living close to family. We may call these places home, but they are a far cry from the destination of that word as we knew it when we were children. Today’s cities are hotbeds of competition on all levels, from the professional to the social. It often seems as if only the most sophisticated “win.” To be ready for this constant challenge, you have to be able to manage in a stressful environment, relying on a whole repertoire of social skills just to stay afloat. This competitive environment can be terrifying for the socially anxious person. The 1980s were a consumer decade in which picture-perfect images on television and in magazines caused many of us to cast our lots with either the haves or the have-nots. Pressure to succeed grew to an all-time high. For those who felt they could not measure up, the challenge seemed daunting. I think the escalating crime rate in today’s urban centers—drugs, burglary, rape, and murder—ties into this trend and society’s response to the pressure. In looking at the forces that influence the social context of modern life, it is clear that feelings of frustration at not “making it” socially and financially are a component in many people’s choosing a life of crime. Interactive ability determines success in establishing a rewarding career, in experiencing relationships. Without these prospects, crime can appear to be a quick fix for a lifelong problem.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
Here is Lee De Forest addressing young people on the joys of the wireless: If you haven’t a hobby—get one. Ride it. Your interest and zest in life will triple. You will find common ground with others—a joy in getting together, in exchange of ideas—which only hobbyists can know. Wireless is of all hobbies the most interesting. It offers the widest limits, the keenest fascination, either for intense competition with others, near and far, or for quiet study and pure enjoyment in the still night hours as you welcome friendly visitors from the whole wide world.10
Tim Wu (The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires)
February 24 The Delight of Sacrifice I will very gladly spend and be spent for you. 2 Corinthians 12:15 When the Spirit of God has shed abroad the love of God in our hearts, we begin deliberately to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ’s interests in other people, and Jesus Christ is interested in every kind of man there is. We have no right in Christian work to be guided by our affinities; this is one of the biggest tests of our relationship to Jesus Christ. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, not fling it away, but deliberately lay my life out for Him and His interests in other people, not for a cause. Paul spent himself for one purpose only—that he might win men to Jesus Christ. Paul attracted to Jesus all the time, never to himself. “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” When a man says he must develop a holy life alone with God, he is of no more use to his fellow men: he puts himself on a pedestal, away from the common run of men. Paul became a sacramental personality; wherever he went, Jesus Christ helped Himself to his life. Many of us are after our own ends, and Jesus Christ cannot help Himself to our lives. If we are abandoned to Jesus, we have no ends of our own to serve. Paul said he knew how to be a “door-mat” without resenting it, because the mainspring of his life was devotion to Jesus. We are apt to be devoted not to Jesus Christ but to the things which emancipate us spiritually. That was not Paul’s motive: “I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren”—wild, extravagant—is it? When a man is in love it is not an exaggeration to talk in that way, and Paul is in love with Jesus Christ.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
1.          They were perfect… initially. We’ve discussed this one, but it’s worth mentioning again. A narcissist wants you to believe they’re totally into you and put you on a pedestal. Once they have you, though, they stop trying as hard and you end up being the one working to keep them. 2.          Others don’t see the narcissist the way you do. It’s hard enough to see it yourself, but when those around you, especially their friends and family, make excuses for them, you start doubting yourself even more. Stick to what you see. 3.          They’re making you look bad. In order to maintain their facade of perfection, they make you look like a bad person. Usually this involves spreading rumors, criticizing you behind your back, or creating lies you supposedly told. The worst part is that when you try rectifying the situation, or laying the blame where it should belong, the narcissist uses your defense to back their own lies. It’s frustrating because the generous, wonderful person they displayed initially is what those around you still see, even if you see them for who they really are. 4.          You feel symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. The toxic person may have caused you to worry about not acting the way you’re expected to, or that you haven’t done something right or good enough. In making this person your entire world, you may lose sleep, have no interest in things you used to or have developed a, “What’s the point?” attitude. You essentially absorb all of the negative talk and treatment so deeply, you believe it all. This is a dangerous mindset to be in so if you feel you’re going any steps down this path, seek outside help as soon as possible. 5.          You have unexplained physical ailments. It’s not surprising that when you internalize a great deal of negativity, you begin to feel unwell. Some common symptoms that aren’t related to any ongoing condition might be: changes in appetite, stomach issues, body aches, insomnia, and fatigue. These are typical bodily responses to stress, but if they intensify or become chronic, see a physician as soon as you can. 6.          You feel alone. Also a common symptom of abuse. If things are really wrong, the narcissist may have isolated you from friends or family either by things they’ve done themselves or by making you believe no one is there for you. 7.          You freeze. When you emotionally remove yourself from the abuse, you’re freezing. It’s a coping mechanism to reduce the intensity of the way you’re being treated by numbing out the pain. 8.          You don’t trust yourself even with simple decisions. When your self-esteem has been crushed through devaluing and criticism, it’s no wonder you can’t make decisions. If you’re also being gaslighted, it adds another layer of self-doubt. 9.          You can’t make boundaries. The narcissist doesn’t have any, nor do they respect them, which is why it’s difficult to keep them away even after you’ve managed to get away. Setting boundaries will be discussed in greater detail in an upcoming chapter. 10.    You lost touch with the real you. The person you become when with a narcissistic abuser is very different from the person you were before you got involved with them. They’ve turned you into who they want you to be, making you feel lost and insecure with no sense of true purpose. 11.    You never feel like you do anything right. We touched on this briefly above, but this is one of the main signs of narcissistic abuse. Looking at the big picture, you may be constantly blamed when things go wrong even when it isn’t your fault. You may do something exactly the way they tell you to, but they still find fault with the results. It’s similar to how a Private feels never knowing when the Drill Sergeant will find fault in their efforts. 12.    You walk on eggshells. This happens when you try avoiding any sort of conflict, maltreatment or backlash by going above and beyond to make the abuser happy.
Linda Hill (Recovery from Narcissistic Abuse, Gaslighting, Codependency and Complex PTSD (4 Books in 1): Workbook and Guide to Overcome Trauma, Toxic Relationships, ... and Recover from Unhealthy Relationships))