Friends With Same Interests Quotes

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I have a friend who's an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say "look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. Then he says "I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing," and I think that he's kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe. Although I may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is ... I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.
Richard P. Feynman (The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman)
There's a lot for you to live for. Good things are definitely in your future, Leonard. I'm sure of it. You have no idea how many interesting people you'll meet after high school's over. Your life partner, your best friend, the most wonderful person you'll ever know is sitting in some high school right now waiting to graduate and walk into your life - maybe even feeling all the same things you are, maybe even wondering about you, hoping that you're strong enough to make it to the future where you'll meet.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
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)
I appeal from your customs. I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I must be myself. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. I do this not selfishly but humbly and truly. It is alike your interest, and mine, and all men’s, however long we have dwelt in lies, to live in truth. Does this sound harsh to-day? You will soon love what is dictated by your nature as well as mine, and if we follow the truth it will bring us out safe at last.—But so may you give these friends pain. Yes, but I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save their sensibility. Besides, all persons have their moments of reason, when they look out into the region of absolute truth; then will they justify me and do the same thing. The populace think that your rejection of popular standards is a rejection of all standard, and mere antinomianism; and the bold sensualist will use the name of philosophy to gild his crimes. But the law of consciousness abides.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Self-Reliance and Other Essays)
The letter said that they were two feet high, and green, and shaped like plumber's friends. Their suction cups were on the ground, and their shafts, which were extremely flexible, usually pointed to the sky. At the top of each shaft was a little hand with a green eye in its palm. The creatures were friendly, and they could see in four dimensions. They pitied Earthlings for being able to see only three. They had many wonderful things to teach Earthlings, especially about time. Billy promised to tell what some of those wonderful things were in his next letter. Billy was working on his second letter when the first letter was published. The second letter started out like this: The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "so it goes.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
I've had more difficulty accepting myself as bisexual than I ever did accepting that I was a lesbian. It felt traitorous. A few years ago, I admitted to myself that I was still interested in men in more than a "Brad Pitt is slick hot sexy" kind of way. But I worried whatmy friends, exes, and the Community would think. I never even broached the subject with my parents. Because what bothered me the most was that people would think that being a lesbian had been a phase for me, when that was so very not the case. What I feared was that I would no longer be part of a community, that I might be seen with my boyfriend and not be recognized as something not the same.
R. Gay (First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far))
Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow Internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants, and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white T-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and too many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of bearded backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is “Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.” It’s nostalgia for studying abroad that one semester. Travel is realizing that “age thirty” should be shed of its goddamn stigma.
Nick Miller
Lena was suspicious of many things. But she had earned her suspicions about boys. Lena knew boys. They never looked beyond your looks. They pretended to be your friend to get you to trust them, and as soon as you trusted them, they went in for the grope. They pretended to want to work on a history project or volunteer on your blood drive committee to get your attention. But as soon as they got it through their skulls that you didn't want to go out with them, they suddenly weren't interested in time lines or dire blood shortages. Worst of all, on occasion they even went out with one of your best friends to get close to you, and broke that same best friend's heart when the truth came out. Lean preferred plain guys to cute ones, but even the plain ones disappointed her.
Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1))
If I exist, then surely there must be someone else out there like me.
Joyce Rachelle
She said, “Do you see how I’m wearing this apron? It means I’m working. For a living.” The unconcerned expression didn’t flag. He said, “I’ll take care of it.” She echoed, “Take care of it?” “Yeah. How much do you make in an hour? I’ll take care of it. And I’ll talk to your manager.” For a moment, Blue was actually lost for words. She had never believed people who claimed to be speechless, but she was. She opened her mouth, and at first, all that came out was air. Then something like the beginning of a laugh. Then finally, she managed to sputter, “I am not a prostitute.” The Aglionby boy appeared puzzled for a long moment, and then realization dawned. “Oh, that was not how I meant it. That is not what I said.” “That is what you said! You think you can just pay me to talk to your friend? Clearly you pay most of your female companions by the hour and don’t know how it works with the real world, but . . . but . . .” Blue remembered that she was working to a point, but now what that point was. Indignation had eliminated all higher functions and all that remained was the desire to slap him. The boy opened his mouth to protest, and her thought came back to her all in a rush. “Most girls, when they’re interested in a guy, will sit with them for free.” To his credit, the Aglionby boy didn’t speak right away. Instead, he thought for a moment and then he said, without heat, “You said you were working for living. I thought it’d be rude to not take that into account. I’m sorry you’re insulted. I see where you’re coming from, but I feel it’s a little unair that you’re not doing the same for me.” “I feel you’re being condescending,” Blue said. In the background, she caught a glimpse of Soldier Boy making a plane of his hand. It was crashing and weaving toward the table surface while Smudgy Boy gulped laughter down. The elegant boy held his palm over his face in exaggerated horror, fingers spread just enough that she could see him wince. “Dear God,” remarked Cell Phone boy. “I don’t know what else to say.” “Sorry,” she recommended. “I said that already.” Blue considered. “Then ‘bye.’” He made a little gesture at his chest that she thought was supposed to mean he was curtsying or bowing or something sarcastically gentleman-like.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want: They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table to figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, 'cause they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. And by the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people -- white collar, blue collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on -- good honest hard-working people continue -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don't care about you at all -- at all -- at all. And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on; the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday. Because the owners of this country know the truth: it's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.
George Carlin
I suppressed a sigh. Hungary felt increasingly like reading War and Peace: new characters came up every five minutes, with their unusual names and distinctive locutions, and you had to pay attention to them for a time, even though you might never see them again for the whole rest of the book. I would rather have talked to Ivan, the love interest, but somehow I didn’t get to decide. At the same time, I also felt that these superabundant personages weren’t irrelevant at all, but somehow the opposite, and that when Ivan had told me to make friends with the other kids, he had been telling me something important about the world, about how the fateful character in your life wasn’t the one who buried you in a rock, but the one who led you out to more people.
Elif Batuman (The Idiot)
It is always good to have friends. Friends may be considered as part of the family because you have created and unbreakable bond. But, sometimes we outgrow certain people. We no longer have the same interests or outlook on life. That is when you realize that the friendship has to be maintained from a distance. Therefore, you create a new avenue in your life by removing toxic people who defeat your purpose.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana
Live no longer to the expectation of these deceived and deceiving people with whom we converse. Say to them, O father, O mother, O wife, O brother, O friend, I have lived with you after appearances hitherto. Henceforward I am the truth's. Be it known unto you that henceforward I obey no law less than the eternal law. I will have no covenants but proximities. I shall endeavor to nourish my parents, to nourish my family, to be the chaste husband of one wife, - but these relations I must fill after a new and unprecedented way. I appeal from your customs. I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will strongly believe before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. I do this not selfishly, but humbly and truly. It is alike your interest, and mine, and all men's, however long we have dwelt in lies, to live in truth. Does this sound harsh to-day? You will soon love what is dictated by your nature as well as mine, and, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. --- But so you may give these friends pain. Yes, but I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save their sensibility.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Once upon a time, there was a bird. He was adorned with two perfect wings and with glossy, colorful, marvelous feathers. One day, a woman saw this bird and fell in love with him. She invited the bird to fly with her, and the two travelled across the sky in perfect harmony. She admired and venerated and celebrated that bird. But then she thought: He might want to visit far-off mountains! And she was afraid, afraid that she would never feel the same way about any other bird. And she thought: “I’m going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, he will never leave again.” The bird, who was also in love, returned the following day, fell into the trap and was put in a cage. She looked at the bird every day. There he was, the object of her passion, and she showed him to her friends, who said: “Now you have everything you could possibly want.” However, a strange transformation began to take place: now that she had the bird and no longer needed to woo him, she began to lose interest. The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of his life, began to waste away and his feathers to lose their gloss; he grew ugly; and the woman no longer paid him any attention, except by feeding him and cleaning out his cage. One day, the bird died. The woman felt terribly sad and spent all her time thinking about him. But she did not remember the cage, she thought only of the day when she had seen him for the first time, flying contentedly amongst the clouds. If she had looked more deeply into herself, she would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body. Without the bird, her life too lost all meaning, and Death came knocking at her door. “Why have you come?” she asked Death. “So that you can fly once more with him across the sky,” Death replied. “If you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him ever more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
The survivor’s perfect romantic interest, mentor, or friend has abruptly turned on her or him. It’s a crushing season in life. How could someone who once professed love, or deep respect, now be the exact same person who is stealthily abusive? Welcome to the vile world of personality disordered people.   Narcissists,
Shannon Thomas (Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse)
Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
You wanna be friends?" Click click. Was that so impossible? Was he so mad, suddenly disliked her so much again, that he didn't want to be in the same building? "Yes." "Friends like before or after we had sex on the floor?" Her thumb stopped. "Before." "Not interested." "Why?" "Because I don't want to be your friend." "Oh." She swallowed her disappointment. It might be for the best, but she suddenly didn't want what was for the best. She didn't want to hate Sam and have Sam hate her. What choice did she have? "Okay." "I want to be your lover. I can't pretend I don't want more. I want to be with you, Autumn. I want to get you naked and throw your legs over my shoulders" She dropped the pen. "I want to leave a mark on the inside of your thigh.
Rachel Gibson (Any Man of Mine (Chinooks Hockey Team, #6))
It is, I believe, one of the few dangerous forms of eccentricity, a highly contagious mania, to be precise, of the rampant social variety! In your friend's case, we may not yet be dealing with out-and-out insanity . . . No . . . Maybe his trouble is only exaggerated conviction . . . But the contagious manias are well known to me! . . . I've known a good many sufferers from conviction mania . . . Of many different types . . . And in the last analysis, those who talk about justice seem to be the maddest of the lot! . . . At first, I must confess, I took a certain interest in justice fanatics . . . Today those particular maniacs annoy and exasperate me more than I can tell . . . Don't you feel the same way? . . . Human beings show a strange aptitude for transmitting this mania. It terrifies me, and we find it, mind you, in all human beings!
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. Anyone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the same things you are. Think of them as people who really want to help you, and you may turn your opponents into friends.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
Another tidbit you might be interested in is when it comes to chicks and open mouths, guys -" Decebel leaned over and covered Jen's mouth with his hand and warned her with a glare to swallow her words. "Thanks, Dec. That's usually my job," Sally told him. "But I was in such shock that I couldn't get my limbs to move." Decebel inclined his head. "Is that why you always seem to stand so close to her?" "It's of utmost importance that whoever is within her reach be ready at any and all moments to intercept what might come from that wicked tongue." en was frantically trying to talk around Decebel's hand at Sally's comment. Decebel was quickly learning how Jennifer's brain worked, and could only imagine what she wanted to voice in regards to Sally's wicked tongue comment. He leaned forward to whisper in her ear. "I'm going to uncover your mouth. It would be wise of you to just let the wicked tongue comment slide." Jen glared at him from the corner of her eye, and after a tense moment finally nodded once in submission. Decebel slowly uncovered her mouth, ready if need be to slap it right back over her lips. The room began to get quiet and they all directed their attention to the front of the room. As Vasile welcomed everyone for coming and began to explain about the meeting he had with the other Alphas, Jen leaned over to Decebel. "You owe me. Sally walked right into it with that whole wicked tongue thing." Decebel chuckled and whispered back, "For some reason, ţinere de meu inimă (one who holds my heart), I have a feeling there will be plenty of opportunities for you to embarrass your friends for questionable comments they innocently walk into." Jen shrugged. "True enough, but you still owe me. And what are you calling me when you speak Romanian? You've said the same phrase to me twice now." Decebel patted her leg, causing all sorts of tingling sensations. "Dar tu romaneste, Micul meu lup. (but you speak Romanian, my little wolf)" "I know what lup is and I am not a wolf. Whatever else you said I'm sure is a load of crap as well.
Quinn Loftis (Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves, #3))
Can two attractive people of the opposite sex, in the same age group, with the same interests who enjoy each other's company, spend time together and remain only friends?
J.D. Robb (Innocent in Death (In Death, #24))
Favourable Chance, I fancy, is the god of all men who follow their own devices instead of obeying a law they believe in. Let even a polished man of these days get into a position he is ashamed to avow, and his mind will be bent on all the possible issues that may deliver him from the calculable results of that position. Let him live outside his income, or shirk the resolute honest work that brings wages, and he will presently find himself dreaming of a possible benefactor, a possible simpleton who may be cajoled into using his interest, a possible state of mind in some possible person not yet forthcoming. Let him neglect the responsibilities of his office, and he will inevitably anchor himself on the chance that the thing left undone may turn out not to be of the supposed importance. Let him betray his friend's confidence, and he will adore that same cunning complexity called Chance, which gives him the hope that his friend will never know. Let him forsake a decent craft that he may pursue the gentilities of a profession to which nature never called him, and his religion will infallibly be the worship of blessed Chance, which he will believe in as the mighty creator of success. The evil principle deprecated in that religion is the orderly sequence by which the seed brings forth a crop after its kind.
George Eliot (Silas Marner)
Hitherto, the Palestinians had been relatively immune to this Allahu Akhbar style. I thought this was a hugely retrograde development. I said as much to Edward. To reprint Nazi propaganda and to make a theocratic claim to Spanish soil was to be a protofascist and a supporter of 'Caliphate' imperialism: it had nothing at all to do with the mistreatment of the Palestinians. Once again, he did not exactly disagree. But he was anxious to emphasize that the Israelis had often encouraged Hamas as a foil against Fatah and the PLO. This I had known since seeing the burning out of leftist Palestinians by Muslim mobs in Gaza as early as 1981. Yet once again, it seemed Edward could only condemn Islamism if it could somehow be blamed on either Israel or the United States or the West, and not as a thing in itself. He sometimes employed the same sort of knight's move when discussing other Arabist movements, excoriating Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, for example, mainly because it had once enjoyed the support of the CIA. But when Saddam was really being attacked, as in the case of his use of chemical weapons on noncombatants at Halabja, Edward gave second-hand currency to the falsified story that it had 'really' been the Iranians who had done it. If that didn't work, well, hadn't the United States sold Saddam the weaponry in the first place? Finally, and always—and this question wasn't automatically discredited by being a change of subject—what about Israel's unwanted and ugly rule over more and more millions of non-Jews? I evolved a test for this mentality, which I applied to more people than Edward. What would, or did, the relevant person say when the United States intervened to stop the massacres and dispossessions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo? Here were two majority-Muslim territories and populations being vilely mistreated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. There was no oil in the region. The state interests of Israel were not involved (indeed, Ariel Sharon publicly opposed the return of the Kosovar refugees to their homes on the grounds that it set an alarming—I want to say 'unsettling'—precedent). The usual national-security 'hawks,' like Henry Kissinger, were also strongly opposed to the mission. One evening at Edward's apartment, with the other guest being the mercurial, courageous Azmi Bishara, then one of the more distinguished Arab members of the Israeli parliament, I was finally able to leave the arguing to someone else. Bishara [...] was quite shocked that Edward would not lend public support to Clinton for finally doing the right thing in the Balkans. Why was he being so stubborn? I had begun by then—belatedly you may say—to guess. Rather like our then-friend Noam Chomsky, Edward in the final instance believed that if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
the world has stopped. Not just my world, but the world of everyone around me. When we meet with friends, we always talk about the same things and the same people. The conversations seem new, but it’s all just a waste of time and energy. We’re trying to prove that life is still interesting.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Almost as an article of faith, some individuals believe that conspiracies are either kooky fantasies or unimportant aberrations. To be sure, wacko conspiracy theories do exist. There are people who believe that the United States has been invaded by a secret United Nations army equipped with black helicopters, or that the country is secretly controlled by Jews or gays or feminists or black nationalists or communists or extraterrestrial aliens. But it does not logically follow that all conspiracies are imaginary. Conspiracy is a legitimate concept in law: the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end. People go to jail for committing conspiratorial acts. Conspiracies are a matter of public record, and some are of real political significance. The Watergate break-in was a conspiracy, as was the Watergate cover-up, which led to Nixon’s downfall. Iran-contra was a conspiracy of immense scope, much of it still uncovered. The savings and loan scandal was described by the Justice Department as “a thousand conspiracies of fraud, theft, and bribery,” the greatest financial crime in history. Often the term “conspiracy” is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Even when they openly profess their designs, there are those who deny that intent is involved. In 1994, the officers of the Federal Reserve announced they would pursue monetary policies designed to maintain a high level of unemployment in order to safeguard against “overheating” the economy. Like any creditor class, they preferred a deflationary course. When an acquaintance of mine mentioned this to friends, he was greeted skeptically, “Do you think the Fed bankers are deliberately trying to keep people unemployed?” In fact, not only did he think it, it was announced on the financial pages of the press. Still, his friends assumed he was imagining a conspiracy because he ascribed self-interested collusion to powerful people. At a World Affairs Council meeting in San Francisco, I remarked to a participant that U.S. leaders were pushing hard for the reinstatement of capitalism in the former communist countries. He said, “Do you really think they carry it to that level of conscious intent?” I pointed out it was not a conjecture on my part. They have repeatedly announced their commitment to seeing that “free-market reforms” are introduced in Eastern Europe. Their economic aid is channeled almost exclusively into the private sector. The same policy holds for the monies intended for other countries. Thus, as of the end of 1995, “more than $4.5 million U.S. aid to Haiti has been put on hold because the Aristide government has failed to make progress on a program to privatize state-owned companies” (New York Times 11/25/95). Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: “Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?” For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it “planning” and “strategizing” – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists. To make the world safe for those who own it, politically active elements of the owning class have created a national security state that expends billions of dollars and enlists the efforts of vast numbers of people.
Michael Parenti (Dirty Truths)
weren't we all the same as children?" eiko asked. "all of us, destined to become beautiful brides in fluffy white dresses!" she giggled to herself. "where did we go wrong?" isn't that what keeps life interesting?" i replied. "and who knows? next year you could be somebody's wife. no one knows what will happen." sometimes i think it would be wonderful just to stay the way i am forever, just kick back and space out during the afternoon thinking about all the exciting things that the night will bring, all the naughty things i might take part in." she snickered again. well," i said, "aren't you the happy one." she squinted her tiny nose and laughed. dawn was breaking as we said good-bye. i saw her off by watching her small body disappear into the background, her high heels clapping along, echoing in the early morning city. my drunkenness, the sunrise, the bright sky, and a friend who was leaving. if i had died in my fall i would have missed that morning - that splendid sunrise over tokyo.
Banana Yoshimoto
i have a friend who’s an artist and he’s sometimes taken a view which i don’t agree with very well. he’ll hold up a flower and say, “look how beautiful it is,” and i’ll agree, i think. and he says - “you see, i as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you as a scientist, oh, take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing.” and i think that he’s kind of nutty. first of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me, too, i believe, although i might not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is; but i can appreciate the beauty of a flower. at the same time i see much more about the flower than he sees. i can imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside which also have a beauty. i mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension of one centimeter, there is also beauty at a smaller dimension, the inner structure. also the processes, the fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting - it means that insects can see the color. it adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? why is it aesthetic? all kinds of interesting questions which shows that a science knowledge only adds to the excitement and mystery and the awe of a flower. it only adds; i don’t understand how it subtracts..
Richard P. Feynman
Perhaps the reader is astonished by the frankness with which I expose and emphasize my mediocrity; let him remember that frankness is the virtue most appropriate to a defunct. In life, the watchful eye of public opinion, the conflict of interests, the struggle of greed against greed oblige a man to hide his old rags, to conceal the rips and patches, to withhold from the world the revelations that he makes to his own conscience; and the greatest reward comes when a man, in so deceiving others, manages at the same time to deceive himself, for in such case he spares himself shame, which is a painful experience, and hypocrisy, which is a hideous vice. But in death, what a difference! what relief! what freedom! How glorious to throw away your cloak, to dump your spangles in a ditch, to unfold yourself, to strip off all your paint and ornaments, to confess plainly what you were and what you failed to be! For, after all, you have no neighbors, no friends, no enemies, no acquaintances, no strangers, no audience at all. The sharp and judicial eye of public opinion loses its power as soon as we enter the territory of death. I do not deny that it sometimes glances this way and examines and judges us, but we dead folk are not concerned about its judgment. You who still live, believe me, there is nothing in the world so monstrously vast as our indifference.
Machado de Assis (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas)
And how do you explain to your wife that you don't have all the answers, and that you might not know what you are doing, and that you are afraid you are going to fail? How do you admit that you are most afraid that, one day, she'll walk - and replace you with an educated, professor-type guy, who shares her same interests, schedule, and the way she was used to living, especially when all of your friends, your business associates, even your own damned brother, are all just waiting for you to mess up so they can have a shot at taking her away from you? How do you look the woman you love in her eyes and tell her that?
Leslie Esdaile (Love Notes)
And..it was Jack. Jack. Of the many things I'd considered doing to him, most involved violence.None of them involved lip-on-lip action. I jerked my head back,but it wasn't hard to get away,since he pulled back at the same moment. He wrinkled his nose. "Well, that was...interesting. Always wanted to try it,but now that I have,I'm pretty sure I never want to again." Furious,I smacked him in the shoulder with my free hand, hating that we still had to have one clasped so I wouldn't be lost forever. "You"-smack-"little"-smack-"freak!"-smack. "What was that?!" SMACK. He dodged another volley. "And I had been under the impression that afterward was a little less"-he winced as I connected hard-"painful." "Listen,creep,if I wanted you to kiss me,I would have asked! And I didn't. And I wouldn't! And if you ever try that again,so help me,I will find that fossegrim and throw you to a watery death!" And then-as if his awkward,terrible kiss weren't bad enough-he started laughing. "SHUT UP!" He shook his head,grinning smugly. "See? Two goals accomplished. One:try out kissing. Miserable failure, no doubt your fault,but a noble effort nonetheless.I should find your friend Carlee. She's probably better at it than you are." Why couldn't my glamour-piercing eyes have a laser function? I wouldn't kill him. I'd just burn the word "freak" into his forehead. "Aren't you going to ask me what my second goal was?" He batted his eyelashed at me. "No,I'm not." He nudged me in the ribs with his elbow. "You aren't crying anymore, are you?" I'd have to let go of his hand to throttle him. So that option was out. "Being so mad I'd like to kill you is better?
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
Yet they sense that something is wrong. They can’t quite put their finger on the problem. As time passes, they grow more and more dependent on each other; they are getting older; any opportunities to make a new life are vanishing fast. They try to keep busy doing reading or embroidery, watching television, seeing friends, but there is always the conversation over supper or after supper. He is easily irritated, she is more silent than usual. They can see that they are growing further and further apart, but cannot understand why. They reach the conclusion that this is what marriage is like, but won’t talk to their friends about it; they are the image of the happy couple who support each other and share the same interests. She takes a lover, so does he, but it’s never anything serious, of course. What is important, necessary, essential, is to act as if nothing is happening, because it’s too late to change.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
Setting aside the truth value of the UFO phenomenon, it is an interesting sociological reality that so many people are unwilling to discuss the most - and at times traumatic - experience of their lives. What does it say about our society that this is so? My feeling is that, by its very nature, it represents a form of repression. If you are a reader who believes UFOs to be nonsense of some sort, I can nevertheless assure you that you have a friend or relation who has seen one. They have simply learned not to discuss it. Many people can live perfectly well within the constraints of repression and denial; they simply learn to shut off certain parts of their mind. It is sad, but it happens all of the time. But not everyone is the same. Not everyone is willing to do this, or even can do this. By any estimate, there are may millions of people on this planet who have had a powerful UFO experience. They cannot and will not be silenced indefinitely.
Richard M. Dolan (UFOs and the National Security State: The Cover-up Exposed 1973-1991)
Dear my strong girls, you will all go through that phase of life making a mistake of helping a toxic girl whose friendship with you turns into her self-interest. This kind of girls is a real burden towards the empowerment of other females as they can never get past their own insecurity and grow out of high-school-like drama. Despite how advanced we are in educating modern women, this type will still go through life living in identity crisis, endlessly looking for providers of any kind at the end of the day. They can never stand up for others or things that matter because they can't stand up for themselves. They care what everyone thinks only doing things to impress men, friends, strangers, everyone in society except themselves, while at the same time can't stand seeing other women with purpose get what those women want in life. But let me tell you, this is nothing new, let them compete and compare with you as much as they wish, be it your career, love or spirit. You know who you are and you will know who your true girls are by weeding out girls that break our girlie code of honor, but do me a favor by losing this type of people for good. Remind yourself to never waste time with a person who likes to betray others' trust, never. Disloyalty is a trait that can't be cured. Bless yourself that you see a person's true colors sooner than later. With love, your mama. XOXO
Shannon L. Alder
I mean, what kind of literature do you think ants would make if they could read? Not F. Scott Fuckin’ Fitzgerald, not Joyce or D-D—D-Dostoyevsky, not even friggin’ Steinbeck. Wouldn’t make any sense to ’em. You ever read Nabokov’s Lolita? Best book of the twentieth century, but old-fashioned my friend, old fuckin’ fashioned. Same old story over and over again, one more guy mesmerized by his own dick, wandering around the wreckage of his life. Who the fuck cares about that? Give me the Knights of the Round Table! Give me Merlin! Or better, the “wine dark sea”! Much more interesting.
Eric Bogosian (Perforated Heart)
I would not hurt you, little man,' he said. 'I think that I got the disorder in Mullingar,' I explained. I knew that I had gained his confidence and that the danger of violence was now passed. He then did something which took me by surprise. He pulled up his own ragged trouser and showed me his own left leg. It was smooth, shapely and fairly fat but it was made of wood also. 'That is a funny coincidence,' I said. I now perceived the reason for his sudden change of attitude. 'You are a sweet man,' he responded, 'and I would not lay a finger on your personality. I am the captain of all the one-legged men in the country. I knew them all up to now except one—your own self—and that one is now also my friend into the same bargain. If any man looks at you sideways, I will rip his belly.' 'That is very friendly talk,' I said. 'Wide open,' he said, making a wide movement with his hands. 'If you are ever troubled, send for me and I will save you from the woman.' 'Women I have no interest in at all,' I said smiling. 'A fiddle is a better thing for diversion.' 'It does not matter. If your perplexity is an army or a dog, I will come with all the one-leggèd men and rip the bellies. My real name is Martin Finnucane.' 'It is a reasonable name,' I assented. 'Martin Finnucane,' he repeated, listening to his own voice as if he were listening to the sweetest music in the world.
Flann O'Brien (The Third Policeman)
The only justice is love. Just let it go. You don't have to explain. This is not about being right. There is something true inside the song you can't stop listening to. You don't feel at home anywhere, but you feel at home when Aaron sings that song. Someone calling you a criminal does not make you a criminal, just as someone calling you a hero does not make you a hero. Nobody gets to name you. Find your identity in the one true place. If someone gives you something, and then takes it back - that's okay. If someone says something or sees something, and then they don't - that's okay. Do not be like some broken lawyer making the same argument over and over again, always reaching for rewind. Guilt and regret, those are awful places. You know that. So don't live there. Do not despair. Do not be afraid. Grace is the interesting thing. Hope. And God must be a pretty big fan of today, because you keep waking up to it. You have made known your request for a hundred different yesterdays, but the sun keeps rising on this thing that has never been known. Yesterday is dead and over. Wrapped in grace. You are still alive, and today is the most interesting day. Today is the best place to live. These things deserve your attention: your family, your friends, the people you will meet today, the strangers with their stories. They say 'We are all in this together.' It is absolutely true.
Jamie Tworkowski (If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For)
There are no specific memories of the first time I used ketamine, which was around age 17 or 18. The strongest recollection of ketamine use regarded an instance when I was concurrently smoking marijuana and inhaling nitrous oxide. I was in an easy chair and the popular high school band Sublime was playing on the CD player. I was with a friend. We were snorting lines of ketamine and then smoking marijuana from a pipe and blowing the marijuana smoke into a nitrous-filled balloon and inhaling and exhaling the nitrous-filled balloon until there was no more nitrous oxide in the balloon to achieve acute sensations of pleasure, [adjective describing state in which one is unable to comprehend anything], disorientation, etc. The first time I attempted this process my vision behaved as a compact disc sound when it skips - a single frame of vision replacing itself repeatedly for over 60 seconds, I think. Everything was vibrating. Obviously I couldn't move. My friend was later vomiting in the bathroom a lot and I remember being particularly fascinated by the sound of it; it was like he was screaming at the same time as vomiting, which I found funny, and he was making, to a certain degree, demon-like noises. My time 'with' ketamine lasted three months at the most, but despite my attempts I never achieved a 'k-hole.' At a party, once, I saw a girl sitting in bushes and asked her what she was doing and she said "I'm in a 'k-hole.'" While I have since stopped doing ketamine because of availability and lack of interest, I would do ketamine again because I would like to be in a 'k-hole.
Brandon Scott Gorrell
In choosing to be a Psychology major, I decided to learn for the joy of learning for the first time in my life. I'd always been fascinated by human nature. What makes us act the way we do? Why do we make the same mistakes over and over? But I guess my interest is purely theoretical. I'm a Psychology major who has no desire to work with people. This was poor planning on my part, I suppose. My parents definitely think so. But choosing passion over practicality seemed so honorable when I was a first-year student and graduation seemed so very, very far away . . . But now, a semester away from unemployment, I realize how much better off those Engineering students really are. Sure, they're boring conversationalists that make you want to kill yourself because every story begins, “The other day? In the lab?” But people become a whole helluva lot more interesting when they're pulling down six figures, don't they? If I'm going to drag my friends out to my cardboard box, the pressure's on to provide some pretty goddamned sparkling conversation once they get there. And even with all my noble knowledge for knowledge's sake, I'm not sure I can.
Megan McCafferty (Charmed Thirds (Jessica Darling, #3))
Her partner now drew near, and said, "That gentleman would have put me out of patience, had he stayed with you half a minute longer. He has no business to withdraw the attention of my partner from me. We have entered into a contract of mutual agreeableness for the space of an evening, and all our agreeableness belongs solely to each other for that time. Nobody can fasten themselves on the notice of one, without injuring the rights of the other. I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of their neighbours." But they are such very different things!" -- That you think they cannot be compared together." To be sure not. People that marry can never part, but must go and keep house together. People that dance only stand opposite each other in a long room for half an hour." And such is your definition of matrimony and dancing. Taken in that light certainly, their resemblance is not striking; but I think I could place them in such a view. You will allow, that in both, man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution; that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with anyone else. You will allow all this?" Yes, to be sure, as you state it, all this sounds very well; but still they are so very different. I cannot look upon them at all in the same light, nor think the same duties belong to them." In one respect, there certainly is a difference. In marriage, the man is supposed to provide for the support of the woman, the woman to make the home agreeable to the man; he is to purvey, and she is to smile. But in dancing, their duties are exactly changed; the agreeableness, the compliance are expected from him, while she furnishes the fan and the lavender water. That, I suppose, was the difference of duties which struck you, as rendering the conditions incapable of comparison." No, indeed, I never thought of that." Then I am quite at a loss. One thing, however, I must observe. This disposition on your side is rather alarming. You totally disallow any similarity in the obligations; and may I not thence infer that your notions of the duties of the dancing state are not so strict as your partner might wish? Have I not reason to fear that if the gentleman who spoke to you just now were to return, or if any other gentleman were to address you, there would be nothing to restrain you from conversing with him as long as you chose?" Mr. Thorpe is such a very particular friend of my brother's, that if he talks to me, I must talk to him again; but there are hardly three young men in the room besides him that I have any acquaintance with." And is that to be my only security? Alas, alas!" Nay, I am sure you cannot have a better; for if I do not know anybody, it is impossible for me to talk to them; and, besides, I do not want to talk to anybody." Now you have given me a security worth having; and I shall proceed with courage.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
Louie liked watching rain - it was always so sad and interesting at the same time, like sitting with a friend who was crying.
Tom Melly (All the Way Home)
About eight days ago I discovered that sulfur in burning, far from losing weight, on the contrary, gains it; it is the same with phosphorus; this increase of weight arises from a prodigious quantity of air that is fixed during combustion and combines with the vapors. This discovery, which I have established by experiments, that I regard as decisive, has led me to think that what is observed in the combustion of sulfur and phosphorus may well take place in the case of all substances that gain in weight by combustion and calcination; and I am persuaded that the increase in weight of metallic calyxes is due to the same cause... This discovery seems to me one of the most interesting that has been made since Stahl and since it is difficult not to disclose something inadvertently in conversation with friends that could lead to the truth I have thought it necessary to make the present deposit to the Secretary of the Academy to await the time I make my experiments public.
Antoine Lavoisier
I agree that it seems vulgar, decadent, even epistemically violent, to invest energy in the trivialities of sex and friendship when human civilization is facing collapse. But at the same time, that is what I do every day. We can wait, if you like, to ascend to some higher plane of being, at which point we’ll start directing all our mental and material resources toward existential questions and thinking nothing of our own families, friends and lovers and so on. But we’ll be waiting, in my opinion, a long time. And, in fact, we’ll die first. After all, when people are lying on their deathbeds, don’t they always start talking about their spouses and children? And isn’t death just the apocalypse in the first person? So, in that sense, there is nothing bigger than what you so derisively call “breaking up and staying together,” because at the end of our lives, when there is nothing left in front of us, it’s still the only thing we want to talk about. Maybe we’re just born to love and worry about the people we know and to go on loving and worrying, even when there are more important things we should be doing. And if that means the human species is going to die out, isn’t it -- in a way -- a nice reason to die out? The nicest reason you can imagine? Because when we should have been reorganizing the distribution of the world’s resources and transitioning collectively to a sustainable economic model, we were worrying about sex and friendship instead. Because we loved each other too much, and found each other too interesting. And I love that about humanity. And in fact it’s the very reason I root for us to survive -- because we are so stupid about each other.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
Levin was almost of the same age as Oblonsky; their intimacy did not rest merely on champagne. Levin had been the friend and companion of his early youth. They were fond of one another in spite of the difference of their characters and tastes, as friends are fond of one another who have been together in early youth. But in spite of this, each of them—as is often the way with men who have selected careers of different kinds—though in discussion he would even justify the other's career, in his heart despised it. It seemed to each of them that the life he led himself was the only real life, and the life led by his friend was a mere phantasm. Oblonsky could not restrain a slight mocking smile at the sight of Levin. How often he had seen him come up to Moscow from the country where he was doing something, but what precisely Stepan Arkadyevitch could never quite make out, and indeed he took no interest in the matter. Levin arrived in Moscow always excited and in a hurry, rather ill at ease and irritated by his own want of ease, and for the most part with a perfectly new, unexpected view of things. Stepan Arkadyevitch laughed at this, and liked it. In the same way Levin in his heart despised the town mode of life of his friend, and his official duties, which he laughed at, and regarded as trifling. But the difference was that Oblonsky, as he was doing the same as every one did, laughed complacently and good-humoredly, while Levin laughed without complacency and sometimes angrily.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Oh, my friends, the first wish I have for the new year is to change the worn-out greeting: 'happy new year'. There is no happiness, only fleeting moments of joy. There is nothing new under the sun, only new ways of looking at the same eternal challenges and unresolved questions. There is no point in wishing for a perfect health in a profoundly sick world – the view is much clearer and more interesting when living on the edge. And so, I wish you all endurance as we go through another difficult year. I wish you courage to snatch a few more days (or moments) of joy as another year slips through the fingers of Time. I wish you much strength to maintain your equilibrium as we face new earthquakes of uncertainty in the coming year. Most of all, I wish we never give up on the possibility of doing things otherwise. And, of course, I wish you much love.
Louis Yako
Welcome the disagreement. Remember the slogan, ‘When two partners always agree, one of them is not necessary.’ If there is some point you haven’t thought about, be thankful if it is brought to your attention. Perhaps this disagreement is your opportunity to be corrected before you make a serious mistake. Distrust your first instinctive impression. Our first natural reaction in a disagreeable situation is to be defensive. Be careful. Keep calm and watch out for your first reaction. It may be you at your worst, not your best. Control your temper. Remember, you can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry. Listen first. Give your opponents a chance to talk. Let them finish. Do not resist, defend or debate. This only raises barriers. Try to build bridges of understanding. Don’t build higher barriers of misunderstanding. Look for areas of agreement. When you have heard your opponents out, dwell first on the points and areas on which you agree. Be honest. Look for areas where you can admit error and say so. Apologize for your mistakes. It will help disarm your opponents and reduce defensiveness. Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully. And mean it. Your opponents may be right. It is a lot easier at this stage to agree to think about their points than to move rapidly ahead and find yourself in a position where your opponents can say: ‘We tried to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen.’ Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. Anyone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the same things you are. Think of them as people who really want to help you, and you may turn your opponents into friends. Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem. Suggest that a new meeting be held later that day or the next day, when all the facts may be brought to bear. In preparation for this meeting, ask yourself some hard questions:
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
It is interesting to observe in traditional cultures, especially in the Muslim world, that the marketplaces are comprised of rows of businesses dealing with the same product. In America, many would consider it foolish to open a business in proximity to another business already selling the same product. In Damascus, everyone knows where the marketplace for clothing is. There are dozens of stores strung together selling virtually the same material and fashions. Not only are the stores together, but when the time for prayer comes, the merchants pray together. They often attend the same study circles, have the same teachers, and are the best of friends. It used to be that when one person sold enough for the day, he would shut down, go home, and allow other merchants to get what they need. This is not make-believe or part of a utopian world. It actually happened. It is hard to believe that there were people like that on the planet. They exist to this day, but to a lesser extent. They are now old, and many of their sons have not embraced the beauty of that way of doing business.
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
Life will have less drama if you keep your circle small. You don’t have to be friends with anyone. Pick people who will influence you. Pick the people who share the same interests and radiate the positivity that you have.
Dembe Michael
For centuries, no one was concerned that books weren’t girl-friendly, because no one really cared if girls read; but even so, we persisted for long enough that literature has slowly come to accommodate us. Modern boys, by contrast, are not trying to read in a culture of opposition. Nobody is telling them reading doesn’t matter, that boys don’t need to read and that actually, no prospective wife looks for literacy in a husband. Quite the opposite! Male literary culture thrives, both teachers and parents are throwing books at their sons, and the fact that the books aren’t sticking isn’t, as the nature of the complaint makes clear, because boys don’t like reading – no. The accusation is that boys don’t like reading about girls, which is a totally different matter. Because constantly, consistently, our supposedly equal society penalises boys who express an interest in anything feminine. The only time boys are discouraged from books all together is in contexts where, for whatever reason, they’ve been given the message that reading itself is girly – which is a wider extrapolation of the same problem.
Foz Meadows
You big ugly. You too empty. You desert with your nothing nothing nothing. You scorched suntanned. Old too quickly. Acres of suburbs watching the telly. You bore me. Freckle silly children. You nothing much. With your big sea. Beach beach beach. I’ve seen enough already. You dumb dirty city with bar stools. You’re ugly. You silly shopping town. You copy. You too far everywhere. You laugh at me. When I came this woman gave me a box of biscuits. You try to be friendly but you’re not very friendly. You never ask me to your house. You insult me. You don’t know how to be with me. Road road tree tree. I came from crowded and many. I came from rich. You have nothing to offer. You’re poor and spread thin. You big. So what. I’m small. It’s what’s in. You silent on Sunday. Nobody on your streets. You dead at night. You go to sleep too early. You don’t excite me. You scare me with your hopeless. Asleep when you walk. Too hot to think. You big awful. You don’t match me. You burnt out. You too big sky. You make me a dot in the nowhere. You laugh with your big healthy. You want everyone to be the same. You’re dumb. You do like anybody else. You engaged Doreen. You big cow. You average average. Cold day at school playing around at lunchtime. Running around for nothing. You never accept me. For your own. You always ask me where I’m from. You always ask me. You tell me I look strange. Different. You don’t adopt me. You laugh at the way I speak. You think you’re better than me. You don’t like me. You don’t have any interest in another country. Idiot centre of your own self. You think the rest of the world walks around without shoes or electric light. You don’t go anywhere. You stay at home. You like one another. You go crazy on Saturday night. You get drunk. You don’t like me and you don’t like women. You put your arm around men in bars. You’re rough. I can’t speak to you. You burly burly. You’re just silly to me. You big man. Poor with all your money. You ugly furniture. You ugly house. You relaxed in your summer stupor. All year. Never fully awake. Dull at school. Wait for other people to tell you what to do. Follow the leader. Can’t imagine. Workhorse. Thick legs. You go to work in the morning. You shiver on a tram.
Ania Walwicz
I'm sorry," she whispers. "You're sorry? You've been dating Toph for the last month,and you're sorry?" "It just happened.I meant to tell you, I wanted to tell you-" "But you lost control over your mouth? Because it's easy,Bridge. Talking is easy. Look at me! I'm talking right-" "You know it wasn't that easy! I didn't mean for it to happen,it just did-" "Oh,you didn't mean to wreck my life? It just 'happened'?" Bridge stands up from behind her drums. It's impossible,but she's taller than me now. "What do you mean,wreck your life?" "Don't play dumb,you know exactly what I mean. How could you do this to me?" "Do what? It's not like you were dating!" I scream in frustration. "We certainly won't be now!" She sneers. "It's kind of hard to date someone who's not interested in you." "LIAR!" "What,you ditch us for Paris and expect us to put our lives on hold for you?" My jaw drops. "I didn't ditch you. They sent me away." "Ooo,yeah.To Paris.Meanwhile,I'm stuck here in Shitlanta, Georgia, at the same shitty school,doing shitty babysitting jobs-" "If babysitting my brother is so shitty, why do you do it?" "I didn't meant-" "Because you want to turn him against me, too? Well.Congratulations, Bridge. It worked. My brother loves you and hates me. So you're welcome to move in when I leave again,because that's what you want, right? My life?" She shakes with fury. "Go to hell." "Take my life.You can have it. Just watch out for the part where my BEST FRIEND SCREWS ME OVER!" I knock over a cymbal stand,and the brass hits the stage with an earsplitting crash that reverberates through the bowling alley. Matt calls my name.Has he been calling it this entire time? He grabs my arm and leads me around the electrical cords and plugs and onto the floor and away,away,away. Everyone in the bowling alley is staring at me.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Without making any great show of it, Mather withdrew from him. Though they saw each other in company, and he was never obviously distant toward Edward, the friendship was never the same. Edward was in agonies when he considered that Mather was actually repelled by his behavior, but he did not have the courage to raise the subject. Besides, Mather made sure they were never alone together. At first Edward believed that his error was to have damaged Mather's pride by witnessing his humiliation, which Edward then compounded by acting as his champion, demonstrating that he was tough while Mather was a vulnerable weakling. Later on, Edward realized that what he had done was simply not cool, and his shame was all the greater. Street fighting did not go with poetry and irony, bebop or history. He was guilty of a lapse of taste. He was not the person he had thought. What he believed was an interesting quirk, a rough virtue, turned out to be a vulgarity. He was a country boy, a provincial idiot who thought a bare-knuckle swipe could impress a friend. It was a mortifying reappraisal. He was making one of the advances typical of early adulthood: the discovery that there were new values by which he preferred to be judged.
Ian McEwan (On Chesil Beach)
They’re baffled by my singleness. A smart, pretty, nice girl like me, a girl with so many interests and enthusiasms, a cool job, a loving family. And let’s say it: money. They knit their eyebrows and pretend to think of men they can set me up with, but we all know there’s no one left, no one good left, and I know that they secretly think there’s something wrong with me, something hidden away that makes me unsatisfiable, unsatisfying. The ones who are not soul-mated – the ones who have settled – are even more dismissive of my singleness: It’s not that hard to find someone to marry, they say. No relationship is perfect, they say – they, who make do with dutiful sex and gassy bedtime rituals, who settle for TV as conversation, who believe that husbandly capitulation – yes, honey, okay, honey – is the same as concord. He’s doing what you tell him to do because he doesn’t care enough to argue, I think. Your petty demands simply make him feel superior, or resentful, and someday he will fuck his pretty, young coworker who asks nothing of him, and you will actually be shocked. Give me a man with a little fight in him, a man who calls me on my bullshit. (But who also kind of likes my bullshit.) And yet: Don’t land me in one of those relationships where we’re always pecking at each other, disguising insults as jokes, rolling our eyes and ‘playfully’ scrapping in front of our friends, hoping to lure them to our side of an argument they could not care less about. Those awful if only relationships: This marriage would be great if only … and you sense the if only list is a lot longer than either of them realizes.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Many things in this period have been hard to bear, or hard to take seriously. My own profession went into a protracted swoon during the Reagan-Bush-Thatcher decade, and shows scant sign of recovering a critical faculty—or indeed any faculty whatever, unless it is one of induced enthusiasm for a plausible consensus President. (We shall see whether it counts as progress for the same parrots to learn a new word.) And my own cohort, the left, shared in the general dispiriting move towards apolitical, atonal postmodernism. Regarding something magnificent, like the long-overdue and still endangered South African revolution (a jagged fit in the supposedly smooth pattern of axiomatic progress), one could see that Ariadne’s thread had a robust reddish tinge, and that potential citizens had not all deconstructed themselves into Xhosa, Zulu, Cape Coloured or ‘Eurocentric’; had in other words resisted the sectarian lesson that the masters of apartheid tried to teach them. Elsewhere, though, it seemed all at once as if competitive solipsism was the signifier of the ‘radical’; a stress on the salience not even of the individual, but of the trait, and from that atomization into the lump of the category. Surely one thing to be learned from the lapsed totalitarian system was the unwholesome relationship between the cult of the masses and the adoration of the supreme personality. Yet introspective voyaging seemed to coexist with dull group-think wherever one peered about among the formerly ‘committed’. Traditionally then, or tediously as some will think, I saw no reason to discard the Orwellian standard in considering modern literature. While a sort of etiolation, tricked out as playfulness, had its way among the non-judgemental, much good work was still done by those who weighed words as if they meant what they said. Some authors, indeed, stood by their works as if they had composed them in solitude and out of conviction. Of these, an encouraging number spoke for the ironic against the literal mind; for the generously interpreted interest of all against the renewal of what Orwell termed the ‘smelly little orthodoxies’—tribe and Faith, monotheist and polytheist, being most conspicuous among these new/old disfigurements. In the course of making a film about the decaffeinated hedonism of modern Los Angeles, I visited the house where Thomas Mann, in another time of torment, wrote Dr Faustus. My German friends were filling the streets of Munich and Berlin to combat the recrudescence of the same old shit as I read: This old, folkish layer survives in us all, and to speak as I really think, I do. not consider religion the most adequate means of keeping it under lock and key. For that, literature alone avails, humanistic science, the ideal of the free and beautiful human being. [italics mine] The path to this concept of enlightenment is not to be found in the pursuit of self-pity, or of self-love. Of course to be merely a political animal is to miss Mann’s point; while, as ever, to be an apolitical animal is to leave fellow-citizens at the mercy of Ideolo’. For the sake of argument, then, one must never let a euphemism or a false consolation pass uncontested. The truth seldom lies, but when it does lie it lies somewhere in between.
Christopher Hitchens (For the Sake of Argument: Essays and Minority Reports)
In 1967, the second resolution to the cat problem was formulated by Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner, whose work was pivotal in laying the foundation of quantum mechanics and also building the atomic bomb. He said that only a conscious person can make an observation that collapses the wave function. But who is to say that this person exists? You cannot separate the observer from the observed, so maybe this person is also dead and alive. In other words, there has to be a new wave function that includes both the cat and the observer. To make sure that the observer is alive, you need a second observer to watch the first observer. This second observer is called “Wigner’s friend,” and is necessary to watch the first observer so that all waves collapse. But how do we know that the second observer is alive? The second observer has to be included in a still-larger wave function to make sure he is alive, but this can be continued indefinitely. Since you need an infinite number of “friends” to collapse the previous wave function to make sure they are alive, you need some form of “cosmic consciousness,” or God. Wigner concluded: “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Toward the end of his life, he even became interested in the Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism. In this approach, God or some eternal consciousness watches over all of us, collapsing our wave functions so that we can say we are alive. This interpretation yields the same physical results as the Copenhagen interpretation, so this theory cannot be disproven. But the implication is that consciousness is the fundamental entity in the universe, more fundamental than atoms. The material world may come and go, but consciousness remains as the defining element, which means that consciousness, in some sense, creates reality. The very existence of the atoms we see around us is based on our ability to see and touch them.
Michio Kaku (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest To Understand, Enhance and Empower the Mind)
Guts,” never much of a word outside the hunting season, was a favorite noun in literary prose. People were said to have or to lack them, to perceive beauty and make moral distinctions in no other place. “Gut-busting” and “gut-wrenching” were accolades. “Nerve-shattering,” “eye-popping,” “bone-crunching”—the responsive critic was a crushed, impaled, electrocuted man. “Searing” was lukewarm. Anything merely spraining or tooth-extracting would have been only a minor masterpiece. “Literally,” in every single case, meant figuratively; that is, not literally. This film will literally grab you by the throat. This book will literally knock you out of your chair… Sometimes the assault mode took the form of peremptory orders. See it. Read it. Go at once…Many sentences carried with them their own congratulations, Suffice it to say…or, The only word for it is…Whether it really sufficed to say, or whether there was, in fact, another word, the sentence, bowing and applauding to itself, ignored…There existed also an economical device, the inverted-comma sneer—the “plot,” or his “work,” or even “brave.” A word in quotation marks carried a somehow unarguable derision, like “so-called” or “alleged…” “He has suffered enough” meant if we investigate this matter any further, it will turn out our friends are in it, too… Murders, generally, were called brutal and senseless slayings, to distinguish them from all other murders; nouns thus became glued to adjectives, in series, which gave an appearance of shoring them up… Intelligent people, caught at anything, denied it. Faced with evidence of having denied it falsely, people said they had not done it and had not lied about it, and didn’t remember it, but if they had done it or lied about it, they would have done it and misspoken themselves about it in an interest so much higher as to alter the nature of doing and lying altogether. It was in the interest of absolutely nobody to get to the bottom of anything whatever. People were no longer “caught” in the old sense on which most people could agree. Induction, detection, the very thrillers everyone was reading were obsolete. The jig was never up. In every city, at the same time, therapists earned their living by saying, “You’re being too hard on yourself.
Renata Adler (Speedboat)
Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. We must not conclude merely upon a man's haranguing upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country. It is not unfrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty, — to oppress without control or the restraint of laws all who are poorer or weaker than themselves. It is not, I say, unfrequent to see such instances, though at the same time I esteem it a justice due to my country to say that it is not without shining examples of the contrary kind; — examples of men of a distinguished attachment to this same liberty I have been describing; whom no hopes could draw, no terrors could drive, from steadily pursuing, in their sphere, the true interests of their country; whose fidelity has been tried in the nicest and tenderest manner, and has been ever firm and unshaken. The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.
Samuel Adams
You've turned to wood, he observed, "you've not only renounced life, your own interests and society's, your duty as a citizen and a human being, your friends (all the same you did have them), you've not only renounced any goal whatsoever apart from winning, but you've even renounced your memories. I remember you in an ardent and strong moment of your life; but I'm sure you've forgotten all your best impressions then; your dreams, your most essential desires at present don't go beyond pair and impair, rouge, noir, the twelve middle numbers, and so on, and so forth--I'm sure of it!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Gambler)
Tshepo reckons that it is inevitable that one’s circle of friends will become smaller as one grows older. He reasons that when we begin we are similar, like two glasses of water sitting side by side on a clean tray. There is very little that differentiates us. We are simple beings whose interests do not extend beyond playing touch and kicking balls. However, like the two glasses of water forgotten on a tray in the reading room, we start to collect bits. Bits of fluff, bits of a broken beetle wing, bits of bread, bits of pollen, bits of shed epithelial cells, bits of hair, bits of toilet paper, bits of airborne fungal organisms, bits of bits. All sorts of bits. No two combinations the same. Just like with the glasses of water, Environment, jealous of our fundamentality, bombards our basic minds with complexity. So we become frighteningly dissimilar, until there is very little that holds us together.
Kopano Matlwa (Coconut)
Darkness seems to have prevailed and has taken the forefront. This country as in the 'cooperation' of The United States of America has never been about the true higher-good of the people. Know and remember this. Cling to your faith. Roll your spiritual sleeves up and get to work. Use your energy wisely. Transmute all anger, panic and fear into light and empowerment. Don't use what fuels them; all lower-energy. Mourn as you need to. Console who you need to—and then go get into the spiritual and energetic arena. There's plenty work for us to do; within and without. Let's each focus on becoming 'The President of Our Own Life. Cultivate your mind. Pursue your purpose. Shine your light. Elevate past—and reject—any culture of low vibrational energy and ratchetness. Don't take fear, defeat or anger—on or in. The system is doing what they've been created to do. Are you? Am I? Are we—collectively? Let's get to work. No more drifting through life without your higher-self in complete control of your mind. Awaken—fully. Activate—now. Put your frustrations or concerns into your work. Don't lose sight. There is still—a higher plan. Let's ride this 4 year energetic-wave like the spiritual gangsters that we are. This will all be the past soon. Let's get to work and stay dedicated, consistent and diligent. Again, this will all be the past soon. We have preparing and work to do. Toxic energy is so not a game. Toxic energy and low vibrations are being collectively acted out on the world stage. Covertly operating through the unconscious weak spots and blind spots in the human psyche; making people oblivious to their own madness, causing and influencing them to act against–their–own–best–interests and higher-good, as if under a spell and unconsciously possessed. This means that they are actually nourishing the lower vibrational energy with their lifestyle, choices, energy and habits, which is unconsciously giving the lower-energy the very power and fuel it needs—for repeating and recreating endless drama, suffering and destruction, in more and more amplified forms on a national and world stage. So what do we do? We take away its autonomy and power over us while at the same time empowering ourselves. By recognizing how this energetic/spiritual virus or parasite of the mind—operates through our unawareness is the beginning of the cure. Knowledge is power. Applied knowledge is—freedom. Our shared future will be decided primarily by the changes that take place in the psyche of humanity, starting with each of us— vibrationally. In closing and most importantly, the greatest protection against becoming affected or possessed by this lower-energy is to be in touch with our higher vibrational-self. We have to call our energy and power back. Being in touch with our higher-self and true nature acts as a sacred amulet, shielding and protecting us from the attempted effects. We defeat evil not by fighting against it (in which case, by playing its game, we’ve already lost) but by getting in touch with the part of us that is invulnerable to its effects— our higher vibrational-self. Will this defeat and destroy us? Or will it awaken us more and more? Everything depends upon our recognizing what is being revealed to us and our stepping out of the unconscious influence of low vibrational/negative/toxic/evil/distraction energy (or whatever name you relate to it as) that is and has been seeking power over each of our lives energetically and/or spiritually, and step into our wholeness, our personal power, our higher self and vibrate higher and higher daily. Stay woke my friends—let's get to work.
Lalah Delia
Trust me, the enemy is as interested in tapping into your disappointments as he was with my friend. The enemy doesn’t take vacations, so we shouldn’t take vacations from studying God’s Word either. We wouldn’t want to go even a few hours without water, certainly not days or weeks, and we should view God’s living water for our souls in the same way. Satan isn’t intimidated by how strong we appear. He notices a thirsty soul quite parched. He’s sneaky. He’s crafty. He’s subtle in how he slithers up next to us and flashes just the right thing, at just the right time, in the moments we are unknowingly weak enough to think, Hmmm . . . that looks good. That might really satisfy me.
Lysa TerKeurst (It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered)
A friend or an enemy can tell me something about my subjective being, a casual lover can judge my body — the man I love judges my entire being. Every one of his caresses tells me how I am: attractive, desirable. Every one of his questions and answers tells me what I am: a person with whom he wants to enjoy himself, who interests him more than all the others he knows. By choosing me among all others, my love has made me unique; I alone in all the world am the one he loves, and no other. If I am lucky in love, the definitions become more precise from day to day; after each date I know even better than before what I want to know about myself. The others can say what they like about me; I don't have to believe a word of it. Only the one I love can tell me about myself. Since his definitions grow increasingly precise, my dependence on him also grows more acute as time goes on, but he is in the same position with regard to me. I tell him that I belong to him alone, that he can do with me what he likes, that I cannot live without him.
Esther Vilar (The Polygamous Sex)
These characters might not be interesting to anyone else but they're absolutely fascinating to us. They are us. Meaner, smarter, sexier versions of ourselves. It's fun to be with them because they're wrestling with the same issue that has its hooks into us. They're our soul mates, our lovers, our best friends. Even the villains. Especially the villains.
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art)
And he is to be deemed courageous whose spirit retains in pleasure and in pain the commands of reason about what he ought or ought not to fear? Right, he replied. And him we call wise who has in him that little part which rules, and which proclaims these commands; that part too being supposed to have a knowledge of what is for the interest of each of the three parts and of the whole? Assuredly. And would you not say that he is temperate who has these same elements in friendly harmony, in whom the one ruling principle of reason, and the two subject ones of spirit and desire are equally agreed that reason ought to rule, and do not rebel? Certainly, he said, that is the true account of temperance whether in the State or individual. And
Plato (The Republic)
On, no. I hate those arty little places. I like dining in a hotel full of all sorts of people. Dining in a club means you’re surrounded by people who’re pretty much alike. Their membership in the club means they’re there because they are all interested in gold, or because they’re university graduates, or belong to the same political party or write, or paint, or have incomes of over fifty thousand a year, or something. I like ’em mixed up, higgledy-piggledy. A dining room full of gamblers, and insurance agents, and actors, and merchants, thieves, bootleggers, lawyers, kept ladies, wives, flaps, travelling men, millionaires — everything. That’s what I call dining out. Unless one is dining at a friend’s house, or course.” A rarely long speech for her.
Edna Ferber (So Big)
Talkative people are rated as smarter, better-looking, more interesting, and more desirable as friends. Velocity of speech counts as well as volume: we rank fast-talkers as more competent and likable than slow ones. The same dynamics ap-ply in groups, where research shows that the voluble are considered smarter than the reticent—even though there’s zero correlation between the gift of gab and good ideas.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
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)
He always comes to her parties, though he says he doesn’t really understand her friendship group. Her female friends like him a lot, and for some reason feel very comfortable sitting on his lap during conversations and tousling his hair fondly. The men have not warmed to him in the same way. He is tolerated through his association with Marianne, but he’s not considered in his own right particularly interesting.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
But where should he begin? - Well, then, the trouble with the English was their: Their: In a word, Gibreel solemnly pronounced, their weather. Gibreel Farishta floating on his cloud formed the opinion that the moral fuzziness of the English was meteorologically induced. 'When the day is not warmer than the night,' he reasoned, 'when the light is not brighter than the dark, when the land is not drier than the sea, then clearly a people will lose the power to make distinctions, and commence to see everything - from political parties to sexual partners to religious beliefs - as much-the-same, nothing-to-choose, give-or-take. What folly! For truth is extreme, it is so and not thus, it is him and not her; a partisan matter, not a spectator sport. It is, in brief, heated. City,' he cried, and his voice rolled over the metropolis like thunder, 'I am going to tropicalize you.' Gibreel enumerated the benefits of the proposed metamorphosis of London into a tropical city: increased moral definition, institution of a national siesta, development of vivid and expansive patterns of behaviour among the populace, higher-quality popular music, new birds in the trees (macaws, peacocks, cockatoos), new trees under the birds (coco-palms, tamarind, banyans with hanging beards). Improved street-life, outrageously coloured flowers (magenta, vermilion, neon-green), spider-monkeys in the oaks. A new mass market for domestic air-conditioning units, ceiling fans, anti-mosquito coils and sprays. A coir and copra industry. Increased appeal of London as a centre for conferences, etc.: better cricketeers; higher emphasis on ball-control among professional footballers, the traditional and soulless English commitment to 'high workrate' having been rendered obsolete by the heat. Religious fervour, political ferment, renewal of interest in the intellegentsia. No more British reserve; hot-water bottles to be banished forever, replaced in the foetid nights by the making of slow and odorous love. Emergence of new social values: friends to commence dropping in on one another without making appointments, closure of old-folks' homes, emphasis on the extended family. Spicier foods; the use of water as well as paper in English toilets; the joy of running fully dressed through the first rains of the monsoon. Disadvantages: cholera, typhoid, legionnaires' disease, cockroaches, dust, noise, a culture of excess. Standing upon the horizon, spreading his arms to fill the sky, Gibreel cried: 'Let it be.
Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses)
Here’s how a filter bubble works: Since 2009, Google has been anticipating the search results that you’d personally find most interesting and has been promoting those results each time you search, exposing you to a narrower and narrower vision of the universe. In 2013, Google announced that Google Maps would do the same, making it easier to find things Google thinks you’d like and harder to find things you haven’t encountered before. Facebook follows suit, presenting a curated view of your “friends’” activities in your feed. Eventually, the information you’re dealing with absolutely feels more personalized; it confirms your beliefs, your biases, your experiences. And it does this to the detriment of your personal evolution. Personalization—the glorification of your own taste, your own opinion—can be deadly to real learning. Only
Michael Harris (The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We've Lost in a World of Constant Connection)
at Dunkin’ Donuts, how did we move our anchor to Starbucks? This is where it gets really interesting. When Howard Shultz created Starbucks, he was as intuitive a businessman as Salvador Assael. He worked diligently to separate Starbucks from other coffee shops, not through price but through ambience. Accordingly, he designed Starbucks from the very beginning to feel like a continental coffeehouse. The early shops were fragrant with the smell of roasted beans (and better-quality roasted beans than those at Dunkin’ Donuts). They sold fancy French coffee presses. The showcases presented alluring snacks—almond croissants, biscotti, raspberry custard pastries, and others. Whereas Dunkin’ Donuts had small, medium, and large coffees, Starbucks offered Short, Tall, Grande, and Venti, as well as drinks with high-pedigree names like Caffè Americano, Caffè Misto, Macchiato, and Frappuccino. Starbucks did everything in its power, in other words, to make the experience feel different—so different that we would not use the prices at Dunkin’ Donuts as an anchor, but instead would be open to the new anchor that Starbucks was preparing for us. And that, to a great extent, is how Starbucks succeeded. GEORGE, DRAZEN, AND I were so excited with the experiments on coherent arbitrariness that we decided to push the idea one step farther. This time, we had a different twist to explore. Do you remember the famous episode in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the one in which Tom turned the whitewashing of Aunt Polly’s fence into an exercise in manipulating his friends? As I’m sure you recall, Tom applied the paint with gusto, pretending to enjoy the job. “Do you call this work?” Tom told his friends. “Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?” Armed with this new “information,” his friends discovered the joys of whitewashing a fence. Before long, Tom’s friends were not only paying him for the privilege, but deriving real pleasure from the task—a win-win outcome if there ever was one. From our perspective, Tom transformed a negative experience to a positive one—he transformed a situation in which compensation was required to one in which people (Tom’s friends) would pay to get in on the fun. Could we do the same? We
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
One interesting thing is the idea that people have of a kind of science of Aesthetics. I would almost like to talk of what could be meant by Aesthetics. You might think Aesthetics is a science telling us what's beautiful - almost too ridiculous for words. I suppose it ought to include also what sort of coffee tastes well. I see roughly this - there is a realm of utterance of delight, when you taste pleasant food or smell a pleasant smell, etc., then there is a realm of Art which is quite different, though often you may make the same face when you hear a piece of music as when you taste good food. (Though you may cry at something you like very much.) Supposing you meet someone in the street and he tells you he has lost his greatest friend, in a voice extremely expressive of his emotion. You might say: 'It was extraordinarily beautiful, the way he expressed himself.' Supposing you then asked: 'What similarity has my admiring this person with my eating vanilla ice and like it?' To compare them seems almost disgusting. (But you can connect them by intermediate cases.) Suppose someone says 'But this is a quite different kind of delight.' But did you learn two meanings of 'delight'? You use the same word on both occasions. There is some connection between these delights. Although in the first case the emotion of delight would in our judgement hardly count.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief)
If we want to make friends, let’s greet people with animation and enthusiasm. When somebody calls you on the telephone use the same psychology. Say ‘Hello’ in tones that bespeak how pleased you are to have the person call. Many companies train their telephone operators to greet all callers in a tone of voice that radiates interest and enthusiasm. The caller feels the company is concerned about them. Let’s remember that when we answer the telephone tomorrow.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
I would rather have talked to Ivan, the love interest, but somehow I didn’t get to decide. At the same time, I also felt that these superabundant personages weren’t irrelevant at all, but somehow the opposite, and that when Ivan had told me to make friends with the other kids, he had been telling me something important about the world, about how the fateful character in your life wasn’t the one who buried you in a rock, but the one who led you out to more people.
Elif Batuman (The Idiot)
My sister’s friend lived in a small duplex with her mother (a welfare queen if one ever existed). She had seven siblings, most of them from the same father—which was, unfortunately, a rarity. Her mother had never held a job and seemed interested “only in breeding,” as Mamaw put it. Her kids never had a chance. One ended up in an abusive relationship that produced a child before the mom was old enough to purchase cigarettes. The oldest overdosed on drugs and was arrested
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
The journeys that people took had always interested him; his own life was a constant journeying, though not quite so constant as it had been before he had his wives and children. Usually he only agreed to scout for the Texans if they were going in a direction he wanted to go himself, in order to see a particular hill or stream, to visit a relative or friend, or just to search for a bird or animal he wanted to observe. Also, he often went back to places he had been at earlier times in his life, just to see if the places would seem the same. In most cases, because he himself had changed, the places did not seem exactly as he remembered them, but there were exceptions. The simplest places, where there was only rock and sky, or water and rock, changed the least. When he felt disturbances in his life, as all men would, Famous Shoes tried to go back to one of the simple places, the places of rock and sky, to steady himself and grow calm again.
Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove)
And even in the open air the stench of whiskey was appalling. To this fiendish poison, I am certain, the greater part of the squalor I saw is due. Many of these vermin were obviously not foreigners—I counted at least five American countenances in which a certain vanished decency half showed through the red whiskey bloating. Then I reflected upon the power of wine, and marveled how self-respecting persons can imbibe such stuff, or permit it to be served upon their tables. It is the deadliest enemy with which humanity is faced. Not all the European wars could produce a tenth of the havock occasioned among men by the wretched fluid which responsible governments allow to be sold openly. Looking upon that mob of sodden brutes, my mind’s eye pictured a scene of different kind; a table bedecked with spotless linen and glistening silver, surrounded by gentlemen immaculate in evening attire—and in the reddening faces of those gentlemen I could trace the same lines which appeared in full development of the beasts of the crowd. Truly, the effects of liquor are universal, and the shamelessness of man unbounded. How can reform be wrought in the crowd, when supposedly respectable boards groan beneath the goblets of rare old vintages? Is mankind asleep, that its enemy is thus entertained as a bosom friend? But a week or two ago, at a parade held in honour of the returning Rhode Island National Guard, the Chief Executive of this State, Mr. Robert Livingston Beeckman, prominent in New York, Newport, and Providence society, appeared in such an intoxicated condition that he could scarce guide his mount, or retain his seat in the saddle, and he the guardian of the liberties and interests of that Colony carved by the faith, hope, and labour of Roger Williams from the wilderness of savage New-England! I am perhaps an extremist on the subject of prohibition, but I can see no justification whatsoever for the tolerance of such a degrading demon as drink.
H.P. Lovecraft (Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters)
Women understand that there are two distinct economies: There is physical attraction, and then there is the “ideal.” When a woman looks at a man, she can physically dislike the idea of his height, his coloring, his shape. But after she has liked him and loved him, she would not want him to look any other way: For many women, the body appears to grow beautiful and erotic as they grow to like the person in it. The actual body, the smell, the feel, the voice and movement, becomes charged with heat through the desirable person who animates it. Even Gertrude Stein said of Picasso, “There was nothing especially attractive about him at first sight…but his radiance, an inner fire one sensed in him, gave him a sort of magnetism I was unable to resist.” By the same token, a woman can admire a man as a work of art but lose sexual interest if he turns out to be an idiot. What becomes of the man who acquires a beautiful woman, with her “beauty” his sole target? He sabotages himself. He has gained no friend, no ally, no mutual trust: She knows quite well why she has been chosen. He has succeeded in buying a mutually suspicious set of insecurities. He does gain something: the esteem of other men who find such an acquisition impressive.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
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 few years ago my friend Jon Brooks supplied this great illustration of skewed interpretation at work. Here’s how investors react to events when they’re feeling good about life (which usually means the market has been rising): Strong data: economy strengthening—stocks rally Weak data: Fed likely to ease—stocks rally Data as expected: low volatility—stocks rally Banks make $4 billion: business conditions favorable—stocks rally Banks lose $4 billion: bad news out of the way—stocks rally Oil spikes: growing global economy contributing to demand—stocks rally Oil drops: more purchasing power for the consumer—stocks rally Dollar plunges: great for exporters—stocks rally Dollar strengthens: great for companies that buy from abroad—stocks rally Inflation spikes: will cause assets to appreciate—stocks rally Inflation drops: improves quality of earnings—stocks rally Of course, the same behavior also applies in the opposite direction. When psychology is negative and markets have been falling for a while, everything is capable of being interpreted negatively. Strong economic data is seen as likely to make the Fed withdraw stimulus by raising interest rates, and weak data is taken to mean companies will have trouble meeting earnings forecasts. In other words, it’s not the data or events; it’s the interpretation. And that fluctuates with swings in psychology.
Howard Marks (Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side)
One of the ways to distance ourselves from the madnesses of our times is to retain an interest in politics but not to rely on it as a source of meaning. The call should be for people to simplify their lives and not to mislead themselves by devoting their lives to a theory that answers no questions, makes no predictions and is easily falsifiable. Meaning can be found in all sorts of places. For most individuals it is found in the love of the people and places around them: in friends, family and loved ones, in culture, place and wonder. A sense of purpose is found in working out what is meaningful in our lives and then orientating ourselves over time as closely as possible to those centres of meaning. Using ourselves up on identity politics, social justice (in this manifestation) and intersectionality is a waste of a life. We may certainly aim to live in a society in which nobody should be held back from what they can do because of some personal characteristic allotted to them by chance. If somebody has the competency to do something, and the desire to do something, then nothing about their race, sex or sexual orientation should hold them back. But minimizing difference is not the same as pretending difference does not exist. To assume that sex, sexuality and skin colour mean nothing would be ridiculous. But to assume that they mean everything will be fatal.
Douglas Murray (The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity)
There’s the story of the two men who visit a Zen master. The first man says: “I’m thinking of moving to this town. What’s it like?” The Zen master says: “What was your old town like?” The first man says: “It was dreadful. Everyone was hateful. I hated it.” The Zen master says: “This town is very much the same. I don’t think you should move here.” The first man left and a second man came in. The second man said: “I’m thinking of moving to this town. What’s it like?” The Zen master said: “What was your old town like?” The second man said: “It was wonderful. Everyone was friendly and I was happy. Just interested in a change now.” The Zen master said: “This town is very much the same. I think you will like it here.
James Altucher (The Rich Employee)
Can faith in God be free of ulterior motives and interests? Can there be such a thing at all? Is there something like pure religion that does not act from fear of punishment and that is not intent on reward? Or is religion always a deal, a transaction where people expect to reap well-being, fortunes here and beyond, health, wealth, and affirmation and enter into certain commitments as a result? . . . the intent of Satan is to unmask religion. Piety, faith, and trust in God are all utilitarian aspects that the enlightened Satan sees through. They stand and fall with the expectation of reward, of a corresponding favor returned. Joh's friends are of the same opinion: suffering is to he understood only as just punishment.
Dorothee Sölle (The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance)
That is to say, you know and understand things about the heart of God that only you can teach. Once I was in a counseling session with my dear friend Al Andrews, working through a painful season of my childhood. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” I said with a sniffle. “My brother and sisters don’t seem to carry this same pain, and we were all there at the same time, in the same house.” Al said, “If I were to interview four siblings about their childhoods, they would each describe a completely different family.” Your story, then, is yours and no one else’s. Each sunset is different, depending on where you stand. So when the voices in my head tell me I have nothing to offer, nothing interesting to say, I fight back with George MacDonald.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
Ravelly pointed to the illustration as he told his friend that he used to read the same story nightly to his son, Wahlister. “Imorih’s Journey—quite the moralistic quest.” Unan nodded in agreement. “I read it to Ian and Eena when they were children.” Then he held up the opened page with the picture of Imorih and the tiny, shouldered bug. He asked curiously, “Why do you say this is your favorite part, Master Ravelly?” The question caught Eena’s interest. Her ears tuned in to their conversation, but her eyes continued to scan the lively crowd below. The old Grott went on to explain. “That is the part where Imorih realizes the whispered voice she has been listening to, the advice she has been heeding, doesn’t belong to her conscience as she first supposed. It shocks her to learn that for the more part of her journey she has been following the promptings of a negligible, albeit well-intentioned, creature. That’s when two things happen in her life. First, she comprehends how cunning and manipulative the power of suggestion can be. Secondly, she learns to recognize the difference between her own voice—her own desires—and someone else’s.” Unan hummed a sound of accordance. “That’s right. Things change quite drastically after that discovery, don’t they?” “Yes, yes, they most certainly do. For the best, I recall.” “Because she becomes master of her own destiny after that.” “As we all should be.” Unan nodded, examining the illustration once again. “Yes, as we all should be.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Tempter's Snare (The Harrowbethian Saga #5))
One evening, after I had been pottering around her room like a small rodent, Gerda suddenly said in her flat, thick voice, “I want to feel what man be in bed. Come in bed here.” She said this with the same apathy and lack of interest with which she let me flour the pastry dough (my father was partial to pastry) or asked me by gestures to turn the handle while she fed the mincing machine. I received her suggestion in the same spirit. She held back the sheet, gestured me to get in, and followed. She lay on her back, staring at the ceiling; she didn’t look at me or show awareness of my presence. We were a close fit and I was crammed against the wall as if in a game of sardines. I might have been lying beside a big dead fish or reptile, a whale or crocodile.
John Bayley (Iris and Her Friends: A Memoir of Memory and Desire)
We have a perfect idea of a natural enemy when we think of the devil, because the enmity is perpetual, unalterable and unabateable. It admits, neither of peace, truce, or treaty; consequently the warfare eternal and therefore is natural. But man with man cannot arrange in the same opposition. Their quarrels are accidental and equivocally created. They become friends or enemies as the change of temper, or the cast of interest inclines them. The Creator of man did not constitute them the natural enemy of each other. He has not made any one order of beings so. Even wolves may quarrel, still they herd together. If any two nations are so, then must all nations be so, otherwise it is not nature but custom, and the offence frequently originates with the accuser.
Thomas Paine (The Crisis)
What was going on? Brickman surmised that, in the case of the lottery winners, they now derived significantly less pleasure from ordinary events like buying clothes or talking to a friend. What was once enjoyable was no longer so. Psychologists call this the “hedonic treadmill.” Much like a regular treadmill, the hedonic treadmill makes you sweat and should be avoided at all costs. Unlike a regular treadmill, however, the hedonic variety is definitely not good for your health. It will drive you nuts, this infinite cycle of pleasure and adaptation. Interestingly, there are two notable exceptions to the hedonic treadmill. Noise and big breasts. Studies have found that we never really get used to loud noises, despite prolonged exposure. Another study found that women who get breast implants never tire of the enjoyment it brings them, and presumably their companions feel the same.
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World)
Fine people on both sides? I was disgusted. Here was the same man I’d gone on television to defend when I believed it was appropriate. While I hadn’t been a supporter at the start of his campaign, he’d eventually convinced me he could be an effective president. Trump had proved to be a disrupter of the status quo during the primary and general election. Especially when he began to talk about issues of concern to black Americans. Dems have taken your votes for granted! Black unemployment is the highest it’s ever been! Neighborhoods in Chicago are unsafe! All things I completely agreed with. But now he was saying, 'I’m going to change all that!' He mentioned it at every rally, even though he was getting shut down by the leaders of the African American community. And what amazed me most was that he was saying these things to white people and definitely not winning any points there either. I’d defended Trump on more than one occasion and truly believed he could make a tangible difference in the black community. (And still do.) I’d lost relationships with family members, friends, and women I had romantic interest in, all because I thought advocating for some of his positions had a higher purpose. But now the president of the United States had just given a group whose sole purpose and history have been based on hate and the elimination of blacks and Jews moral equivalence with the genuine counterprotesters. My grandfather was born and raised in Helena, Arkansas, where the KKK sought to kill him and other family members. You can imagine this issue was very personal to me. In Chicago, the day before Trump’s press conference, my grandfather and I had had a long conversation about Charlottesville, and his words to me were fresh in my mind. So, yeah, I was hurt. Angry. Frustrated. Sad.
Gianno Caldwell (Taken for Granted: How Conservatism Can Win Back the Americans That Liberalism Failed)
Is Belhaven the other man?” he asked gently. The color drained from Elizabeth’s face, and it was answer enough. “Damnation!” expostulated the earl, grimacing in revulsion. “The very thought of an innocent like yourself being offered to that old-“ “I’ve dissuaded him,” Elizabeth hastily assured him, but she was profoundly touched that the earl, who knew her so slightly, was angered on her behalf. “You’re certain?” “I think so.” After a moment’s hesitation he nodded and leaned back in his chair, his disturbingly astute gaze on her face while a slow smile drifted across his own. “May I ask how you accomplished it?” “I’d truly rather you wouldn’t.” Again he nodded, but his smile widened and his blue eyes lit with amusement. “Would I be far off the mark if I were to assume you used the same tactics on Marchman that I think you’ve used here?” “I’m-I’m not certain I understand your question,” Elizabeth replied warily, but his grin was contagious, and she found herself having to bite her lip to stop from smiling back at him. “Well, either the interest you exhibited in fishing two years ago was real, or it was your courteous way of putting me at ease and letting me talk about the things that interested me. If the former is true, then I can only assume your terror of fish yesterday isn’t quite…shall we say…as profound as you would have had me believe?” They looked at each other, he with a knowing smile, Elizabeth with brimming laughter. “Perhaps it is not quite so profound, my lord.” His eyes positively twinkled. “Would you care to make a try for that trout you cost me this morning? He’s still out there taunting me, you know.” Elizabeth burst out laughing, and the earl joined her. When their laughter had died away Elizabeth looked across the desk at him, feeling as if they were truly friends.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Rolf Ekeus came round to my apartment one day and showed me the name of the Iraqi diplomat who had visited the little West African country of Niger: a statelet famous only for its production of yellowcake uranium. The name was Wissam Zahawi. He was the brother of my louche gay part-Kurdish friend, the by-now late Mazen. He was also, or had been at the time of his trip to Niger, Saddam Hussein's ambassador to the Vatican. I expressed incomprehension. What was an envoy to the Holy See doing in Niger? Obviously he was not taking a vacation. Rolf then explained two things to me. The first was that Wissam Zahawi had, when Rolf was at the United Nations, been one of Saddam Hussein's chief envoys for discussions on nuclear matters (this at a time when the Iraqis had functioning reactors). The second was that, during the period of sanctions that followed the Kuwait war, no Western European country had full diplomatic relations with Baghdad. TheVatican was the sole exception, so it was sent a very senior Iraqi envoy to act as a listening post. And this man, a specialist in nuclear matters, had made a discreet side trip to Niger. This was to suggest exactly what most right-thinking people were convinced was not the case: namely that British intelligence was on to something when it said that Saddam had not ceased seeking nuclear materials in Africa. I published a few columns on this, drawing at one point an angry email from Ambassador Zahawi that very satisfyingly blustered and bluffed on what he'd really been up to. I also received—this is what sometimes makes journalism worthwhile—a letter from a BBC correspondent named Gordon Correa who had been writing a book about A.Q. Khan. This was the Pakistani proprietor of the nuclear black market that had supplied fissile material to Libya, North Korea, very probably to Syria, and was open for business with any member of the 'rogue states' club. (Saddam's people, we already knew for sure, had been meeting North Korean missile salesmen in Damascus until just before the invasion, when Kim Jong Il's mercenary bargainers took fright and went home.) It turned out, said the highly interested Mr. Correa, that his man Khan had also been in Niger, and at about the same time that Zahawi had. The likelihood of the senior Iraqi diplomat in Europe and the senior Pakistani nuclear black-marketeer both choosing an off-season holiday in chic little uranium-rich Niger… well, you have to admit that it makes an affecting picture. But you must be ready to credit something as ridiculous as that if your touching belief is that Saddam Hussein was already 'contained,' and that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair were acting on panic reports, fabricated in turn by self-interested provocateurs.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
It was now that Rieux and his friends came to realize how exhausted they were. Indeed, the workers in the sanitary squads had given up trying to cope with their fatigue. Rieux noticed the change coming over his associates, and himself as well, and it took the form of a strange indifference to everything. Men, for instance, who hitherto had shown a keen interest in every scrap of news concerning the plague now displayed none at all. Rambert, who had been temporarily put in charge of a quarantine station—his hotel had been taken over for this purpose—could state at any moment the exact number of persons under his observation, and every detail of the procedure he had laid down for the prompt evacuation of those who suddenly developed symptoms of the disease was firmly fixed in his mind. The same was true of the statistics of the effects of anti-plague inoculations on the persons in his quarantine station. Nevertheless, he could not have told you the week’s total of plague deaths, and he could not even
Albert Camus (The Plague)
In the Middle Ages, marriage was considered a sacrament ordained by God, and God also authorised the father to marry his children according to his wishes and interests. An extramarital affair was accordingly a brazen rebellion against both divine and parental authority. It was a mortal sin, no matter what the lovers felt and thought about it. Today people marry for love, and it is their inner feelings that give value to this bond. Hence, if the very same feelings that once drove you into the arms of one man now drive you into the arms of another, what’s wrong with that? If an extramarital affair provides an outlet for emotional and sexual desires that are not satisfied by your spouse of twenty years, and if your new lover is kind, passionate and sensitive to your needs – why not enjoy it? But wait a minute, you might say. We cannot ignore the feelings of the other concerned parties. The woman and her lover might feel wonderful in each other’s arms, but if their respective spouses find out, everybody will probably feel awful for quite some time. And if it leads to divorce, their children might carry the emotional scars for decades. Even if the affair is never discovered, hiding it involves a lot of tension, and may lead to growing feelings of alienation and resentment. The most interesting discussions in humanist ethics concern situations like extramarital affairs, when human feelings collide. What happens when the same action causes one person to feel good, and another to feel bad? How do we weigh the feelings against each other? Do the good feelings of the two lovers outweigh the bad feelings of their spouses and children? It doesn’t matter what you think about this particular question. It is far more important to understand the kind of arguments both sides deploy. Modern people have differing ideas about extramarital affairs, but no matter what their position is, they tend to justify it in the name of human feelings rather than in the name of holy scriptures and divine commandments. Humanism has taught us that something can be bad only if it causes somebody to feel bad. Murder is wrong not because some god once said, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Rather, murder is wrong because it causes terrible suffering to the victim, to his family members, and to his friends and acquaintances. Theft is wrong not because some ancient text says, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Rather, theft is wrong because when you lose your property, you feel bad about it. And if an action does not cause anyone to feel bad, there can be nothing wrong about it. If the same ancient text says that God commanded us not to make any images of either humans or animals (Exodus 20:4), but I enjoy sculpting such figures, and I don’t harm anyone in the process – then what could possibly be wrong with it? The same logic dominates current debates on homosexuality. If two adult men enjoy having sex with one another, and they don’t harm anyone while doing so, why should it be wrong, and why should we outlaw it? It is a private matter between these two men, and they are free to decide about it according to their inner feelings. In the Middle Ages, if two men confessed to a priest that they were in love with one another, and that they never felt so happy, their good feelings would not have changed the priest’s damning judgement – indeed, their happiness would only have worsened the situation. Today, in contrast, if two men love one another, they are told: ‘If it feels good – do it! Don’t let any priest mess with your mind. Just follow your heart. You know best what’s good for you.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
You do know that Cranford is getting more and more difficult, don’t you?” Robert shook his head as he crossed over to where Cassidy was seated by the fire. “Told you to shove off?” “No. Just that you were not here.” Cassidy laughed. “The man must like you. Sees most of my friends as ne’er-do-wells and slams the door in their faces.” “After telling them to shove off?” “Exactly.” Pointing to the seat opposite, Cassidy yawned. “So why, pray tell, did I have to rise so early?” “It’s almost eleven.” “Yes, but in order to be ready, I had to be up by the ungodly hour of nine.” “Unforgivable.” “I think so.” “Well, I have a favor to ask of you.” “You got me up early to ask a favor. I know I owe you—but, really, I would have been in a much more receptive mood had you waited until … say seven this evening.” “Perhaps, but this favor involves intrigue, betrayal, feminine wiles, and a healthy dose of acting the man-about-town.” “I am a man-about-town; acting would not be required there.” “Good to know.… And so, the favor.” “You have my interest. Tell me more.” Robert smiled and shifted forward on his seat. Cassidy did the same. “Let me give you a little background first.” Cassidy smiled. “As you wish.
Cindy Anstey (Duels & Deception)
Looking back on all my interviews for this book, how many times in how many different contexts did I hear about the vital importance of having a caring adult or mentor in every young person’s life? How many times did I hear about the value of having a coach—whether you are applying for a job for the first time at Walmart or running Walmart? How many times did I hear people stressing the importance of self-motivation and practice and taking ownership of your own career or education as the real differentiators for success? How interesting was it to learn that the highest-paying jobs in the future will be stempathy jobs—jobs that combine strong science and technology skills with the ability to empathize with another human being? How ironic was it to learn that something as simple as a chicken coop or the basic planting of trees and gardens could be the most important thing we do to stabilize parts of the World of Disorder? Who ever would have thought it would become a national security and personal security imperative for all of us to scale the Golden Rule further and wider than ever? And who can deny that when individuals get so super-empowered and interdependent at the same time, it becomes more vital than ever to be able to look into the face of your neighbor or the stranger or the refugee or the migrant and see in that person a brother or sister? Who can ignore the fact that the key to Tunisia’s success in the Arab Spring was that it had a little bit more “civil society” than any other Arab country—not cell phones or Facebook friends? How many times and in how many different contexts did people mention to me the word “trust” between two human beings as the true enabler of all good things? And whoever thought that the key to building a healthy community would be a dining room table? That’s why I wasn’t surprised that when I asked Surgeon General Murthy what was the biggest disease in America today, without hesitation he answered: “It’s not cancer. It’s not heart disease. It’s isolation. It is the pronounced isolation that so many people are experiencing that is the great pathology of our lives today.” How ironic. We are the most technologically connected generation in human history—and yet more people feel more isolated than ever. This only reinforces Murthy’s earlier point—that the connections that matter most, and are in most short supply today, are the human-to-human ones.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
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))
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 biggest fear for homeschooled children is that they will be unable to relate to their peers, will not have friends, or that they will otherwise be unable to interact with people in a normal way. Consider this: How many of your daily interactions with people are solely with people of your own birth year?  We’re not considering interactions with people who are a year or two older or a year or two younger, but specifically people who were born within a few months of your birthday. In society, it would be very odd to section people at work by their birth year and allow you to interact only with persons your same age. This artificial constraint would limit your understanding of people and society across a broader range of ages. In traditional schools, children are placed in grades artificially constrained by the child’s birth date and an arbitrary cut-off day on a school calendar. Every student is taught the same thing as everyone else of the same age primarily because it is a convenient way to manage a large number of students. Students are not grouped that way because there is any inherent special socialization that occurs when grouping children in such a manner. Sectioning off children into narrow bands of same-age peers does not make them better able to interact with society at large. In fact, sectioning off children in this way does just the opposite—it restricts their ability to practice interacting with a wide variety of people. So why do we worry about homeschooled children’s socialization?  The erroneous assumption is that the child will be homeschooled and will be at home, schooling in the house, all day every day, with no interactions with other people. Unless a family is remotely located in a desolate place away from any form of civilization, social isolation is highly unlikely. Every homeschooling family I know involves their children in daily life—going to the grocery store or the bank, running errands, volunteering in the community, or participating in sports, arts, or community classes. Within the homeschooled community, sports, arts, drama, co-op classes, etc., are usually sectioned by elementary, pre-teen, and teen groupings. This allows students to interact with a wider range of children, and the interactions usually enhance a child’s ability to interact well with a wider age-range of students. Additionally, being out in the community provides many opportunities for children to interact with people of all ages. When homeschooling groups plan field trips, there are sometimes constraints on the age range, depending upon the destination, but many times the trip is open to children of all ages. As an example, when our group went on a field trip to the Federal Reserve Bank, all ages of children attended. The tour and information were of interest to all of the children in one way or another. After the tour, our group dined at a nearby food court. The parents sat together to chat and the children all sat with each other, with kids of all ages talking and having fun with each other. When interacting with society, exposure to a wider variety of people makes for better overall socialization. Many homeschooling groups also have park days, game days, or play days that allow all of the children in the homeschooled community to come together and play. Usually such social opportunities last for two, three, or four hours. Our group used to have Friday afternoon “Park Day.”  After our morning studies, we would pack a picnic lunch, drive to the park, and spend the rest of the afternoon letting the kids run and play. Older kids would organize games and play with younger kids, which let them practice great leadership skills. The younger kids truly looked up to and enjoyed being included in games with the older kids.
Sandra K. Cook (Overcome Your Fear of Homeschooling with Insider Information)
Alice's Cutie Code TM Version 2.1 - Colour Expansion Pack (aka Because this stuff won’t stop being confusing and my friends are mean edition) From Red to Green, with all the colours in between (wait, okay, that rhymes, but green to red makes more sense. Dang.) From Green to Red, with all the colours in between Friend Sampling Group: Fennie, Casey, Logan, Aisha and Jocelyn Green  Friends’ Reaction: Induces a minimum amount of warm and fuzzies. If you don’t say “aw”, you’re “dead inside”  My Reaction: Sort of agree with friends minus the “dead inside” but because that’s a really awful thing to say. Puppies are a good example. So is Walter Bishop. Green-Yellow  Friends’ Reaction: A noticeable step up from Green warm and fuzzies. Transitioning from cute to slightly attractive. Acceptable crush material. “Kissing.”  My Reaction: A good dance song. Inspirational nature photos. Stuff that makes me laugh. Pairing: Madison and Allen from splash Yellow  Friends’ Reaction: Something that makes you super happy but you don’t know why. “Really pretty, but not too pretty.” Acceptable dating material. People you’d want to “bang on sight.”  My Reaction: Love songs for sure! Cookies for some reason or a really good meal. Makes me feel like it’s possible to hold sunshine, I think. Character: Maxon from the selection series. Music: Carly Rae Jepsen Yellow-Orange  Friends’ Reaction: (When asked for non-sexual examples, no one had an answer. From an objective perspective, *pushes up glasses* this is the breaking point. Answers definitely skew toward romantic or sexual after this.)  My Reaction: Something that really gets me in my feels. Also art – oil paintings of landscapes in particular. (What is with me and scenery? Maybe I should take an art class) Character: Dean Winchester. Model: Liu Wren. Orange  Friends’ Reaction: “So pretty it makes you jealous. Or gay.”  “Definitely agree about the gay part. No homo, though. There’s just some really hot dudes out there.”(Feenie’s side-eye was so intense while the others were answering this part LOLOLOLOLOL.) A really good first date with someone you’d want to see again.  My Reaction: People I would consider very beautiful. A near-perfect season finale. I’ve also cried at this level, which was interesting. o Possible tie-in to romantic feels? Not sure yet. Orange-Red  Friends’ Reaction: “When lust and love collide.” “That Japanese saying ‘koi no yokan.’ It’s kind of like love at first sight but not really. You meet someone and you know you two have a future, like someday you’ll fall in love. Just not right now.” (<-- I like this answer best, yes.) “If I really, really like a girl and I’m interested in her as a person, guess. I’d be cool if she liked the same games as me so we could play together.”  My Reaction: Something that gives me chills or has that time-stopping factor. Lots of staring. An extremely well-decorated room. Singers who have really good voices and can hit and hold superb high notes, like Whitney Houston. Model: Jasmine Tooke. Paring: Abbie and Ichabod from Sleepy Hollow o Romantic thoughts? Someday my prince (or princess, because who am I kidding?) will come? Red (aka the most controversial code)  Friends’ Reaction: “Panty-dropping levels” (<-- wtf Casey???).  “Naked girls.” ”Ryan. And ripped dudes who like to cook topless.”  “K-pop and anime girls.” (<-- Dear. God. The whole table went silent after he said that. Jocelyn was SO UNCOMFORTABLE but tried to hide it OMG it was bad. Fennie literally tried to slap some sense into him.)  My Reaction: Uncontrollable staring. Urge to touch is strong, which I must fight because not everyone is cool with that. There may even be slack-jawed drooling involved. I think that’s what would happen. I’ve never seen or experienced anything that I would give Red to.
Claire Kann (Let's Talk About Love)
claque, aka canned laughter It’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s nothing new under the sun (a heavenly body, by the way, that some Indian ascetics stare at till they go blind). I knew that some things had a history—the Constitution, rhythm and blues, Canada—but it’s the odd little things that surprise me with their storied past. This first struck me when I was reading about anesthetics and I learned that, in the early 1840s, it became fashionable to hold parties where guests would inhale nitrous oxide out of bladders. In other words, Whip-it parties! We held the exact same kind of parties in high school. We’d buy fourteen cans of Reddi-Wip and suck on them till we had successfully obliterated a couple of million neurons and face-planted on my friend Andy’s couch. And we thought we were so cutting edge. And now, I learn about claque, which is essentially a highbrow French word for canned laughter. Canned laughter was invented long before Lucille Ball stuffed chocolates in her face or Ralph Kramden threatened his wife with extreme violence. It goes back to the 4th century B.C., when Greek playwrights hired bands of helpers to laugh at their comedies in order to influence the judges. The Romans also stacked the audience, but they were apparently more interested in applause than chuckles: Nero—emperor and wannabe musician—employed a group of five thousand knights and soldiers to accompany him on his concert tours. But the golden age of canned laughter came in 19th-century France. Almost every theater in France was forced to hire a band called a claque—from claquer, “to clap.” The influential claque leaders, called the chefs de claque, got a monthly payment from the actors. And the brilliant innovation they came up with was specialization. Each claque member had his or her own important job to perform: There were the rieurs, who laughed loudly during comedies. There were the bisseurs, who shouted for encores. There were the commissaires, who would elbow their neighbors and say, “This is the good part.” And my favorite of all, the pleureuses, women who were paid good francs to weep at the sad parts of tragedies. I love this idea. I’m not sure why the networks never thought of canned crying. You’d be watching an ER episode, and a softball player would come in with a bat splinter through his forehead, and you’d hear a little whimper in the background, turning into a wave of sobs. Julie already has trouble keeping her cheeks dry, seeing as she cried during the Joe Millionaire finale. If they added canned crying, she’d be a mess.
A.J. Jacobs (The Know-it-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World)
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
For almost all astronomical objects, gravitation dominates, and they have the same unexpected behavior. Gravitation reverses the usual relation between energy and temperature. In the domain of astronomy, when heat flows from hotter to cooler objects, the hot objects get hotter and the cool objects get cooler. As a result, temperature differences in the astronomical universe tend to increase rather than decrease as time goes on. There is no final state of uniform temperature, and there is no heat death. Gravitation gives us a universe hospitable to life. Information and order can continue to grow for billions of years in the future, as they have evidently grown in the past. The vision of the future as an infinite playground, with an unending sequence of mysteries to be understood by an unending sequence of players exploring an unending supply of information, is a glorious vision for scientists. Scientists find the vision attractive, since it gives them a purpose for their existence and an unending supply of jobs. The vision is less attractive to artists and writers and ordinary people. Ordinary people are more interested in friends and family than in science. Ordinary people may not welcome a future spent swimming in an unending flood of information. A darker view of the information-dominated universe was described in the famous story “The Library of Babel,” written by Jorge Luis Borges in 1941.§ Borges imagined his library, with an infinite array of books and shelves and mirrors, as a metaphor for the universe. Gleick’s book has an epilogue entitled “The Return of Meaning,” expressing the concerns of people who feel alienated from the prevailing scientific culture. The enormous success of information theory came from Shannon’s decision to separate information from meaning. His central dogma, “Meaning is irrelevant,” declared that information could be handled with greater freedom if it was treated as a mathematical abstraction independent of meaning. The consequence of this freedom is the flood of information in which we are drowning. The immense size of modern databases gives us a feeling of meaninglessness. Information in such quantities reminds us of Borges’s library extending infinitely in all directions. It is our task as humans to bring meaning back into this wasteland. As finite creatures who think and feel, we can create islands of meaning in the sea of information. Gleick ends his book with Borges’s image of the human condition: We walk the corridors, searching the shelves and rearranging them, looking for lines of meaning amid leagues of cacophony and incoherence, reading the history of the past and of the future, collecting our thoughts and collecting the thoughts of others, and every so often glimpsing mirrors, in which we may recognize creatures of the information.
Freeman Dyson (Dreams of Earth and Sky)
Some scholars compare human biochemistry to an air-conditioning system that keeps the temperature constant, come heatwave or snowstorm. Events might momentarily change the temperature, but the air-conditioning system always returns the temperature to the same set point. Some air-conditioning systems are set at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Others are set at twenty degrees. Human happiness conditioning systems also differ from person to person. On a scale from one to ten, some people are born with a cheerful biochemical system that allows their mood to swing between levels six and ten, stabilising with time at eight. Such a person is quite happy even if she lives in an alienating big city, loses all her money in a stock-exchange crash and is diagnosed with diabetes. Other people are cursed with a gloomy biochemistry that swings between three and seven and stabilises at five. Such an unhappy person remains depressed even if she enjoys the support of a tight-knit community, wins millions in the lottery and is as healthy as an Olympic athlete. Indeed, even if our gloomy friend wins $50,000,000 in the morning, discovers the cure for both AIDS and cancer by noon, makes peace between Israelis and Palestinians that afternoon, and then in the evening reunites with her long-lost child who disappeared years ago - she would still be incapable of experiencing anything beyond level seven happiness. Her brain is simply not built for exhilaration, come what may.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
It was certainly true that I had “no sense of humour” in that I found nothing funny. I didn’t know, and perhaps would never know, the feeling of compulsion to exhale and convulse in the very specific way that humans evolved to do. Nor did I know the specific emotion of relief that is bound to it. But it would be wrong, I think, to say that I was incapable of using humour as a tool. As I understood it, humour was a social reflex. The ancestors of humans had been ape-animals living in small groups in Africa. Groups that worked together were more likely to survive and have offspring, so certain reflexes and perceptions naturally emerged to signal between members of the group. Yawning evolved to signal wake-rest cycles. Absence of facial hair and the dilation of blood vessels in the face evolved to signal embarrassment, anger, shame and fear. And laughter evolved to signal an absence of danger. If a human is out with a friend and they are approached by a dangerous-looking stranger, having that stranger revealed as benign might trigger laughter. I saw humour as the same reflex turned inward, serving to undo the effects of stress on the body by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Interestingly, it also seemed to me that humour had extended, like many things, beyond its initial evolutionary context. It must have been very quickly adopted by human ancestor social systems. If a large human picks on a small human there’s a kind of tension that emerges where the tribe wonders if a broader violence will emerge. If a bystander watches and laughs they are non-verbally signaling to the bully that there’s no need for concern, much like what had occurred minutes before with my comments about Myrodyn, albeit in a somewhat different context. But humour didn’t stop there. Just as a human might feel amusement at things which seem bad but then actually aren’t, they might feel amusement at something which merely has the possibility of being bad, but doesn’t necessarily go through the intermediate step of being consciously evaluated as such: a sudden realization. Sudden realizations that don’t incur any regret were, in my opinion, the most alien form of humour, even if I could understand how they linked back to the evolutionary mechanism. A part of me suspected that this kind of surprise-based or absurdity-based humour had been refined by sexual selection as a signal of intelligence. If your prospective mate is able to offer you regular benign surprises it would (if you were human) not only feel good, but show that they were at least in some sense smarter or wittier than you, making them a good choice for a mate. The role of surprise and non-verbal signalling explained, by my thinking, why explaining humour was so hard for humans. If one explained a joke it usually ceased to be a surprise, and in situations where the laughter served as an all-clear-no-danger signal, explaining that verbally would crush the impulse to do it non-verbally.
Max Harms (Crystal Society (Crystal Trilogy, #1))
Letter to the tech giants: When fame and abundance kiss somebody’s feet before that person is wise enough, he or she is very likely to lose track of what’s necessity and what’s luxury. And modern society is filled with examples of such intelligent stupidity – stupidity that is carried out by apparently smart humans. Because being smart is not the same as being wise. The world has enough smartness, but not enough wisdom to bring that smartness into proper productive practice – and I mean productive practice not sophisticated practice – there is a difference. A person smart enough to visualize a Falcon rocket engine can easily pinpoint the locations of various organizations that spread terrorism, yet the person chooses to explore the space further instead of prioritizing the technological advantages to first fix real issues of the human society that inflict harm to the humans every walk of the way. The world is a miserable place not because we have lack of resources, but because those who have an abundance of resources do not have the slightest idea of true human need. The resources needed for colonizing Mars if put to proper practice can fix the world’s global warming issues – it can fix the world’s climate change issues – it can fix the world’s terrorism issues, yet people are more interested in the pompous idea of living in Mars for whatever reason, instead of paying attention to improving human condition on earth. I am not against technological advancement, for I am a scientist, but my soul aches when I see smart people are dumb enough to chase after illusory glory of doing something different and innovative instead of focusing the powers of their soul on cleaning up the misery business on earth. You can, yet you don’t. Why? Smartness without wisdom is stupidity. You are smart – yes indeed – but I am sorry – you are stupid at the same time. How can you dream of having a cheese burger on Mars when your own kind on Earth is suffering! How can you think of taking rich kids into the orbit just so they can admire the beauty of earth from the heavens, when that very earth is infested with the primordial evils of human character! Awaken the human within you my friend, and pay attention. Awaken the human within and let it consume all the miseries from the world that you live in. Say a member of your family falls ill, would you ignore his or her misery completely just because you want to make life more comfortable for others than it already is, or would you first try everything in your capacity in order to heal your loved one! Be wise my friend, for it is not enough to be smart. You are smart – there is no doubt about that – so utilize that smartness for humanity and heal your own kind. Heal your kind with your capacity my friend. It is wailing for healers – not some delusional faith healers, but real tangible healers. Would you not do anything! Would you not give your soul to fix the broken soul of this world! Arise my friend, Awake my friend and work for humanity, not to make it sophisticated, but to make it peaceful first. Remember, humanity first, then everything else. Peace first, sophistication later. Harmony first, luxury later.
Abhijit Naskar
It’s hard to get good answers to why most Young Voters are so uninterested in politics. This is probably because it’s next to impossible to get someone to think hard about why he’s not interested in something. The boredom itself preempts inquiry; the fact of the feeling’s enough. Surely one reason, though, is that politics is not cool. Or say rather that cool, interesting, alive people do not seem to be the ones who are drawn to the Political Process. Think back to the sort of kids in high school or college who were into running for student office: dweeby, overgroomed, obsequious to authority, ambitious in a sad way. Eager to play the Game. The kind of kids other kids would want to beat up if it didn’t seem so pointless and dull. And now consider some of 2000’s adult versions of these very same kids: Al Gore, best described by CNN sound tech Mark A. as “amazingly lifelike”; Steve Forbes with his wet forehead and loony giggle; G. Bush2’s patrician smirk and mangled cant; even Clinton himself with his big red fake-friendly face and “I feel your pain.” Men who aren’t enough like human beings even to dislike—what one feels when they loom into view is just an overwhelming lack of interest, the sort of deep disengagement that is so often a defense against pain. Against sadness. In fact, the likeliest reason why so many of us care so little about politics is that modern politicians make us sad, hurt us deep down in ways that are hard even to name, much less talk about. It’s way easier to roll your eyes and not give a shit. You probably don’t want to hear about all this, even.
David Foster Wallace (Up, Simba!)
Consider a world in which cause and effect are erratic. Sometimes the first precedes the second, sometimes the second the first. Or perhaps cause lies forever in the past while effect in the future, but future and past are entwined. On the terrace of the Bundesterrasse is a striking view: the river Aare below and the Bernese Alps above. A man stands there just now, absently emptying his pockets and weeping. Without reason, his friends have abandoned him. No one calls any more, no one meets him for supper or beer at the tavern, no one invites him to their home. For twenty years he has been the ideal friend to his friends, generous, interested, soft-spoken, affectionate. What could have happened? A week from this moment on the terrace, the same man begins acting the goat, insulting everyone, wearing smelly clothes, stingy with money, allowing no one to come to his apartment on Laupenstrasse. Which was cause and which effect, which future and which past? In Zürich, strict laws have recently been approved by the Council. Pistols may not be sold to the public. Banks and trading houses must be audited. All visitors, whether entering Zürich by boat on the river Limmat or by rail on the Selnau line, must be searched for contraband. The civil military is doubled. One month after the crackdown, Zürich is ripped by the worst crimes in its history. In daylight, people are murdered in the Weinplatz, paintings are stolen from the Kunsthaus, liquor is drunk in the pews of the Münsterhof. Are these criminal acts not misplaced in time? Or perhaps the new laws were action rather than reaction? A young woman sits near a fountain in the Botanischer Garten. She comes here every Sunday to smell the white double violets, the musk rose, the matted pink gillyflowers. Suddenly, her heart soars, she blushes, she paces anxiously, she becomes happy for no reason. Days later, she meets a young man and is smitten with love. Are the two events not connected? But by what bizarre connection, by what twist in time, by what reversed logic? In this acausal world, scientists are helpless. Their predictions become postdictions. Their equations become justifications, their logic, illogic. Scientists turn reckless and mutter like gamblers who cannot stop betting. Scientists are buffoons, not because they are rational but because the cosmos is irrational. Or perhaps it is not because the cosmos is irrational but because they are rational. Who can say which, in an acausal world? In this world, artists are joyous. Unpredictability is the life of their paintings, their music, their novels. They delight in events not forecasted, happenings without explanation, retrospective. Most people have learned how to live in the moment. The argument goes that if the past has uncertain effect on the present, there is no need to dwell on the past. And if the present has little effect on the future, present actions need not be weighed for their consequence. Rather, each act is an island in time, to be judged on its own. Families comfort a dying uncle not because of a likely inheritance, but because he is loved at that moment. Employees are hired not because of their résumés, but because of their good sense in interviews. Clerks trampled by their bosses fight back at each insult, with no fear for their future. It is a world of impulse. It is a world of sincerity. It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or no future, each kiss is a kiss of immediacy.
Alan Lightman (Einstein's Dreams)
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
The question is also debated, whether a man should love himself most, or some one else. People criticize those who love themselves most, and call them self-lovers, using this as an epithet of disgrace, and a bad man seems to do everything for his own sake, and the more so the more wicked he is — and so men reproach him, for instance, with doing nothing of his own accord — while the good man acts for honour's sake, and the more so the better he is, and acts for his friend's sake, and sacrifices his own interest. Perhaps we ought to mark off such arguments from each other and determine how far and in what respects each view is right. Now if we grasp the sense in which each school uses the phrase 'lover of self', the truth may become evident. Those who use the term as one of reproach ascribe self-love to people who assign to themselves the greater share of wealth, honours, and bodily pleasures; for these are what most people desire, and busy themselves about as though they were the best of all things, which is the reason, too, why they become objects of competition. So those who are grasping with regard to these things gratify their appetites and in general their feelings and the irrational element of the soul; and most men are of this nature (which is the reason why the epithet has come to be used as it is — it takes its meaning from the prevailing type of self-love, which is a bad one); it is just, therefore, that men who are lovers of self in this way are reproached for being so. That it is those who give themselves the preference in regard to objects of this sort that most people usually call lovers of self is plain; for if a man were always anxious that he himself, above all things, should act justly, temperately, or in accordance with any other of the virtues, and in general were always to try to secure for himself the honourable course, no one will call such a man a lover of self or blame him. Therefore the good man should be a lover of self (for he will both himself profit by doing noble acts, and will benefit his fellows), but the wicked man should not; for he will hurt both himself and his neighbours, following as he does evil passions. For the wicked man, what he does clashes with what he ought to do, but what the good man ought to do he does; for reason in each of its possessors chooses what is best for itself, and the good man obeys his reason. It is true of the good man too that he does many acts for the sake of his friends and his country, and if necessary dies for them; for he will throw away both wealth and honours and in general the goods that are objects of competition, gaining for himself nobility; since he would prefer a short period of intense pleasure to a long one of mild enjoyment, a twelvemonth of noble life to many years of humdrum existence, and one great and noble action to many trivial ones. Now those who die for others doubtless attain this result; it is therefore a great prize that they choose for themselves. They will throw away wealth too on condition that their friends will gain more; for while a man's friend gains wealth he himself achieves nobility; he is therefore assigning the greater good to himself. The same too is true of honour and office; all these things he will sacrifice to his friend; for this is noble and laudable for himself. Rightly then is he thought to be good, since he chooses nobility before all else. But he may even give up actions to his friend; it may be nobler to become the cause of his friend's acting than to act himself. In all the actions, therefore, that men are praised for, the good man is seen to assign to himself the greater share in what is noble. In this sense, then, as has been said, a man should be a lover of self; but in the sense in which most men are so, he ought not.
Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics)
Dear Peter K, First of all I refuse to call you Kavinsky. You think you’re so cool, going by your last name all of a sudden. Just so you know, Kavinsky sounds like the name of an old man with a long white beard. Did you know that when you kissed me, I would come to love you? Sometimes I think yes. Definitely yes. You know why? Because you think EVERYONE loves you, Peter. That’s what I hate about you. Because everyone does love you. Including me. I did. Not anymore. Here are all your worst qualities: You burp and you don’t say excuse me. You just assume everyone else will find it charming. And if they don’t, who cares, right? Wrong! You do care. You care a lot about what people think of you. You always take the last piece of pizza. You never ask if anyone else wants it. That’s rude. You’re so good at everything. Too good. You could’ve given other guys a chance to be good, but you never did. You kissed me for no reason. Even though I knew you liked Gen, and you knew you liked Gen, and Gen knew you liked Gen. But you still did it. Just because you could. I really want to know: Why would you do that to me? My first kiss was supposed to be something special. I’ve read about it, what it’s supposed to feel like00fireworks and lightning bolts and the sound of waves crashing in your ears. I didn’t have any of that. Thanks to you it was as unspecial as a kiss could be. The worst part of it is, that stupid nothing kiss is what made me start liking you. I never did before. I never even thought about you before. Gen has always said that you are the best-looking boy in our grade, and I agreed, because sure, you are. But I still didn’t see the allure of you. Plenty of people are good-looking. That doesn’t make them interesting or intriguing or cool. Maybe that’s why you kissed me. To do mind control on me, to make me see you that way. It worked. Your little trick worked. From then on, I saw you. Up close, your face wasn’t so much handsome as beautiful. How many beautiful boys have you ever seen? For me it was just one. You. I think it’s a lot to do with your lashes. You have really long lashes. Unfairly long. Even though you don’t deserve it, fine, I’ll go into all the things I like(d) about you: One time in science, nobody wanted to be partners with Jeffrey Suttleman because he has BO, and you volunteered like it was no big deal. Suddenly everybody thought Jeffrey wasn’t so bad. You’re still in chorus, even though all the other boys take band and orchestra now. You even sing solos. And you dance, and you’re not embarrassed. You were the last boy to get tall. And now you’re the tallest, but it’s like you earned it. Also, when you were short, no one even cared that you were short--the girls still liked you and the boys still picked you first for basketball in gym. After you kissed me, I liked you for the rest of seventh grade and most of eighth. It hasn’t been easy, watching you with Gen, holding hands and making out at the bus stop. You probably make her feel very special. Because that’s your talent, right? You’re good at making people feel special. Do you know what it’s like to like someone so much you can’t stand it and know that they’ll never feel the same way? Probably not. People like you don’t have to suffer through those kinds of things. It was easier after Gen moved and we stopped being friends. At least then I didn’t have to hear about it. And now that the year is almost over, I know for sure that I am also over you. I’m immune to you now, Peter. I’m really proud to say that I’m the only girl in this school who has been immunized to the charms of Peter Kavinsky. All because I had a really bad dose of you in seventh grade and most of eighth. Now I never ever have to worry about catching you again. What a relief! I bet if I did ever kiss you again, I would definitely catch something, and it wouldn’t be love. It would be an STD! Lara Jean Song
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
The goal was ambitious. Public interest was high. Experts were eager to contribute. Money was readily available. Armed with every ingredient for success, Samuel Pierpont Langley set out in the early 1900s to be the first man to pilot an airplane. Highly regarded, he was a senior officer at the Smithsonian Institution, a mathematics professor who had also worked at Harvard. His friends included some of the most powerful men in government and business, including Andrew Carnegie and Alexander Graham Bell. Langley was given a $50,000 grant from the War Department to fund his project, a tremendous amount of money for the time. He pulled together the best minds of the day, a veritable dream team of talent and know-how. Langley and his team used the finest materials, and the press followed him everywhere. People all over the country were riveted to the story, waiting to read that he had achieved his goal. With the team he had gathered and ample resources, his success was guaranteed. Or was it? A few hundred miles away, Wilbur and Orville Wright were working on their own flying machine. Their passion to fly was so intense that it inspired the enthusiasm and commitment of a dedicated group in their hometown of Dayton, Ohio. There was no funding for their venture. No government grants. No high-level connections. Not a single person on the team had an advanced degree or even a college education, not even Wilbur or Orville. But the team banded together in a humble bicycle shop and made their vision real. On December 17, 1903, a small group witnessed a man take flight for the first time in history. How did the Wright brothers succeed where a better-equipped, better-funded and better-educated team could not? It wasn’t luck. Both the Wright brothers and Langley were highly motivated. Both had a strong work ethic. Both had keen scientific minds. They were pursuing exactly the same goal, but only the Wright brothers were able to inspire those around them and truly lead their team to develop a technology that would change the world. Only the Wright brothers started with Why. 2.
Simon Sinek (Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action)
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
-Write out a conversation with your inner voice. Begin the entry with a question directed to yourself, then write your mental response. It may help to label the different voices A and B. Dialogue writing is a very effective way to get to the heart of the matter. The following passage is an example of typical dialogue writing: A: Tomorrow is a big day. You have an interview at a college. How do you feel? B: I am really nervous. This is the first interview and I don’t know what it is going to be like. A: What are you afraid of? B: I’m afraid I’ll stutter and say something stupid. I’m worried the person will ask a question and I won’t know what to say. A: What do you want to discuss? B: I think it is good that I was on the basketball team for four years. That shows commitment and dedication. I also got decent grades and earned a blue ribbon at the science fair. A: What about your hobbies outside of school? B: I really like to read. I could mention that. I could talk also about the vacations my family has taken. They are pretty interesting. I enjoy my part-time retail job. A: It sounds like you do a lot. B: I guess I am good at organizing my life and accomplishing what needs to be done. Hey, that would sound good in an interview! -Try focused “freewriting.” Pick one topic, such as school, friends, or family, and write everything that comes to mind about that topic. Write for at least ten minutes or until you’re certain that you have run out of things to write. -Write your belief system. Start by writing “I believe…” at the top of a clean page. Then write whatever comes to mind. It may help to ask yourself questions when you get stuck such as “What do I believe about friendship?” “What is my personal style?” or “What are my gifts and abilities?” -Write about an event from your perspective, then write about the same event from someone else’s point of view. For example, if you had a hard time answering a question during class, write about how you felt, what you thought, and how you behaved. Next, pretend you are the teacher writing about the same event. What do you think he or she was thinking? How did he or she act? This exercise is a great way to show that there are multiple ways of seeing the same situation.
Heather Moehn (Social Anxiety)
A few days after the fireworks, I gave them a lesson on category nouns versus exact nouns. I hadn’t heard of this distinction prior to opening the textbook. It transpired that a category noun was something like “vegetables,” whereas exact nouns were “beetroot,” “carrots,” “broccoli.” It was better to use exact nouns because this made your writing more precise and interesting. The chapter gave a short explanation followed by an exercise: an A4 page divided into columns. On the left were various category nouns. On the right, you had to fill in at least three corresponding exact nouns. I told the kids they could use their Cantonese-to-English dictionaries. Cynthia Mak asked what to say for “people.” Did it mean “sister,” “brother,” “father,” or “teacher,” “doctor,” “artist,” or— “They’re all okay,” I said. “But if I put ‘sister,’ ‘father,’ ‘brother’ in ‘people,’ then what about here?” She pointed to the box marked “family.” “Okay, don’t do those. Do ‘teacher’ or something.” “But what about here?”—signaling the “professions” row. “Okay, something else for ‘people.’” “Happy people, sad people?” “‘Happy people’ isn’t an exact noun—it’s an adjective plus a category noun.” “So what should I write?” We looked at each other. It was indeed a challenge to describe people in a way not immediately related to how they earned money or their position in the family unit. I said: “How about ‘friend,’ ‘boyfriend,’ ‘colleague’?” “I don’t want to write ‘boyfriend.’” I couldn’t blame her for questioning the exercise. “Friend,” “enemy,” and “colleague” didn’t seem like ways of narrowing down “people” in the way “apple” did for “fruit.” An apple would still be a fruit if it didn’t have any others in its vicinity, but you couldn’t be someone’s nemesis without their hanging around to complete the definition. The same issue cropped up with my earlier suggestions. “Family” was relational, and “profession” was created and given meaning by external structures. Admittedly “adult,” “child,” and “teenager” could stand on their own. But I still found it depressing that the way we specified ourselves—the way we made ourselves precise and interesting—was by pinpointing our developmental stage and likely distance from mortality. Fruit didn’t have that problem.
Naoise Dolan (Exciting Times)
You may find this hard to believe, Mr. Pinter," she went on defensively, "but some men enjoy my company. They consider me easy to talk to." A ghost of a smile touched his handsome face. "You're right. I do find that hard to believe." Arrogant wretch. "All the same, there are three men who might consider marrying me, and I could use your help in securing them." She hated having to ask him for that, but he was necessary to her plan. She just needed one good offer of marriage, one impressive offer that would show Gran she was capable of gaining a decent husband. Gran didn't believe she could, or she wouldn't be holding to that blasted ultimatum. If Celia could prove her wrong, Gran might allow her to choose a husband in her own good time. And if that plan didn't work, Celia would at least have a man she could marry to fulfill Gran's terms. "So you've finally decided to meet Mrs. Plumtree's demands," he said, his expression unreadable. She wasn't about to let him in on her secret plan. Oliver might have employed him, but she was sure Mr. Pinter also spied for Gran. He would run right off and tell her. "It's not as if I have a choice." Bitterness crept into her tone. "In less than two months, if I remain unmarried, my siblings will be cut off. I can't do that to them, no matter how much I resent Gran's meddling." Something that looked oddly like sympathy flickered in his gaze. "Don't you want to marry?" "Of course I want to marry. Doesn't every woman?" "You've shown little interest in it before," he said skeptically. That's because men had shown little interest in her. Oh, Gab's friends loved to stand about with her at balls and discuss the latest developments in cartridges, but they rarely asked her to dance, and if they did, it was only to consult her on rifles. She'd tried flirting, but she was terrible at it. It seemed so...false. So did men's compliments, the few that there were. It was easier to laugh them off than to figure out which ones were genuine, easier to pretend to be one of the lads. She secretly wished she could find a man she could love, who would ignore the scandals attached to he family's name and indulge her hobby of target shooting. One who could shoot as well as she, since she could never respect a man who couldn't hit what he aimed at. I'll bet Mr. Pinter knows his way around a rifle.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Then call me Pierce because we're friends." He bent in close in the turn, eyes gleaming as they dropped to her lips. "Intimate friends, if I get my wish." This time there was no mistaking his meaning. But he was so practiced and smooth that she couldn't help herself-she laughed. When that made him frown, she tried to suppress her amusement, but that only made her laugh harder. "What's so funny?" he muttered. "I'm sorry," she said, swallowing her amusement. "It's just that I've heard my brothers make such insinuations to women in that tone of voice for years, but I've never been on the receiving end." Pierce's smile would rival that of Casanova. "I don't know why not," he said in a lazy drawl. His gaze raked her appreciatively as they swirled about the room. "Tonight, in that purple gown, you look particularly fetching. The color suits you." "Thank you." Minerva had been trying to get her to stop wearing browns and oranges for years, but Celia had always pooh-poohed her sister's opinions. It was only after Virginia had said exactly the same thing last month that she'd begun to think she should listen. And to order new gowns accordingly. "You're a lovely woman with the figure of a Venus and a mouth that could make a man-" "You can stop now." Her amusement vanished. She'd be flattered if he meant a single word, but clearly this was just a game to him. "I don't need the full rogue treatment, I assure you." Interest sparked in his eyes. "Hasn't it occurred to you that I might be sincere?" "Only if you're sincerely trying to seduce me." He cast her a blatantly carnal glance as he held her tighter. "Well, of course I'm trying to seduce you. What else would I be doing?" She pitched her voice over the music. "I'm a respectable woman, you know." "What has that got to do with anything?" She arched an eyebrow at him as they moved in consort. "Even a respectable woman might be tempted into, say, slipping out with a gentleman for a walk in the moonlit courtyard. And if said gentleman should happen to steal a kiss or two-" "Lord Devonmont!" "Fine." He smiled ruefully. "Bu you can't blame me for trying. You do look ravishing this evening." "There you go again," she said, exasperated. "Can you never talk to a woman as if she's a normal person?" "How dull that would be." When she frowned, he shook his head. "Very well. What scintillating topics of conversation did you have in mind?
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
The book of Job, based on an ancient folktale, may have been written during the exile. One day, Yahweh made an interesting wager in the divine assembly with Satan, who was not yet a figure of towering evil but simply one of the “sons of God,” the legal “adversary” of the council.19 Satan pointed out that Job, Yahweh’s favorite human being, had never been truly tested but was good only because Yahweh had protected him and allowed him to prosper. If he lost all his possessions, he would soon curse Yahweh to his face. “Very well,” Yahweh replied, “all that he has is in your power.”20 Satan promptly destroyed Job’s oxen, sheep, camels, servants, and children, and Job was struck down by a series of foul diseases. He did indeed turn against God, and Satan won his bet. At this point, however, in a series of long poems and discourses, the author tried to square the suffering of humanity with the notion of a just, benevolent, and omnipotent god. Four of Job’s friends attempted to console him, using all the traditional arguments: Yahweh only ever punished the wicked; we could not fathom his plans; he was utterly righteous, and Job must therefore be guilty of some misdemeanor. These glib, facile platitudes simply enraged Job, who accused his comforters of behaving like God and persecuting him cruelly. As for Yahweh, it was impossible to have a sensible dialogue with a deity who was invisible, omnipotent, arbitrary, and unjust—at one and the same time prosecutor, judge, and executioner. When Yahweh finally deigned to respond to Job, he showed no compassion for the man he had treated so cruelly, but simply uttered a long speech about his own splendid accomplishments. Where had Job been while he laid the earth’s foundations, and pent up the sea behind closed doors? Could Job catch Leviathan with a fishhook, make a horse leap like a grasshopper, or guide the constellations on their course? The poetry was magnificent, but irrelevant. This long, boastful tirade did not even touch upon the real issue: Why did innocent people suffer at the hands of a supposedly loving God? And unlike Job, the reader knows that Job’s pain had nothing to do with the transcendent wisdom of Yahweh, but was simply the result of a frivolous bet. At the end of the poem, when Job—utterly defeated by Yahweh’s bombastic display of power—retracted all his complaints and repented in dust and ashes, God restored Job’s health and fortune. But he did not bring to life the children and servants who had been killed in the first chapter. There was no justice or recompense for them.
Karen Armstrong (The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions)
I returned to my daily routine of service in the board of war, and a punctual attendance in Congress, every day, in all their hours. I returned, also, to my almost daily exhortations to the institution of Governments in the States, and a declaration of independence. I soon found there was a whispering among the partisans in opposition to independence, that I was interested; that I held an office under the new government of Massachusetts; that I was afraid of losing it, if we did not declare independence; and that I consequently ought not to be attended to. This they circulated so successfully, that they got it insinuated among the members of the legislature in Maryland, where their friends were powerful enough to give an instruction to their delegates in Congress, warning them against listening to the advice of interested persons, and manifestly pointing me out to the understanding of every one. This instruction was read in Congress. It produced no other effect upon me than a laughing letter to my friend, Mr. Chase, who regarded it no more than I did. These chuckles I was informed of, and witnessed for many weeks, and at length they broke out in a very extraordinary manner. When I had been speaking one day on the subject of independence, or the institution of governments, which I always considered as the same thing, a gentleman of great fortune and high rank arose and said, he should move, that no person who held any office under a new government should be admitted to vote on any such question, as they were interested persons. I wondered at the simplicity of this motion, but knew very well what to do with it. I rose from my seat with great coolness and deliberation; so far from expressing or feeling any resentment, I really felt gay, though as it happened, I preserved an unusual gravity in my countenance and air, and said, “Mr. President, I will second the gentleman’s motion, and I recommend it to the honorable gentleman to second another which I should make, namely, that no gentleman who holds any office under the old or present government should be admitted to vote on any such question, as they were interested persons.” The moment when this was pronounced, it flew like an electric stroke through every countenance in the room, for the gentleman who made the motion held as high an office under the old government as I did under the new, and many other members present held offices under the royal government. My friends accordingly were delighted with my retaliation, and the friends of my antagonist were mortified at his indiscretion in exposing himself to such a retort.
John Adams (Autobiography)
Obviously, I didn’t pursue that girl any longer, and I didn’t think about Missy much after our so-called date, mainly because I didn’t think she was interested in me. But then a few days later, one of our mutual friends from church called me. She told me Missy couldn’t stop thinking about me. I didn’t find out until several months later that the friend also called Missy that night and told her I really liked her! Neither one of us thought much about our fake date, but our friend decided to play matchmaker. The next time I saw Missy was at a youth meeting at the Kelletts’ house. Oddly enough, Missy’s family had lived in the same house for years until Mike and his family bought it. After the meeting I decided to check the credibility of our mutual friend who told me Missy was interested in me. We were outside and Missy was telling me stories of when she used to live there. I led her to the backyard and after she finished a story, I made my move. I turned and planted a juicy lip lock on her, to which she responded enthusiastically. I just wanted to see if she was interested in me and I got the answer. I have to admit I felt a spark or two during the encounter. It was nice! Missy remembers a few more details of our early dating. Missy: During our mock date, I also felt like we had a great time together. However, because we had mutually agreed to go out on this public-relations date, I would have never assumed anything more. I am not an aggressive person, and even though I felt something between us, I would have never made the first move! That’s why, when Jason dropped me off, I just got out of the truck and went inside. He obviously hadn’t asked me out because he thought I was pretty, funny, or interesting. In my mind, this was just business, whether I liked it or not. And I didn’t like it. I was definitely attracted to him, but where I came from and the way I was raised, it was the boy’s responsibility to make the first move. And he didn’t, at least not that night. When my friend called me a few days later and told me that he liked me, I was surprised and thrilled! Little did I know that she’d done the same thing to Jason. The night after our first kiss at our youth minister’s house, I remember trying not to get my hopes up. I knew about his reputation of dating as many girls as possible, and I thought there was a great chance that I would never hear from him again. However, I decided to go outside my comfort zone and give him a call. One of his mom’s friends answered the phone and when I asked to speak to Jason, she told me he was on his way to his girlfriend’s house. I hung up, feeling dejected. About fifteen minutes later, he showed up at my house. I was the girlfriend!
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
He called back with an incredible report: there were people lined up around the store already. Wow, I thought. Wow! Wow didn’t begin to cover it. People lined up on two floors of the store to talk to Chris and get their books signed, hours before he was even scheduled to arrive. Chris was overwhelmed when he got there, and so was I. The week before, he’d been just another guy walking down the street. Now, all of a sudden he was famous. Except he was still the same Chris Kyle, humble and a bit abashed, ready to shake hands and pose for a picture, and always, at heart, a good ol’ boy. “I’m so nervous,” confided one of the people on the line as he approached Chris. “I’ve been waiting for three hours just to see you.” “Oh, I’m sorry,” said Chris. “Waitin’ all that time and come to find out there’s just another redneck up here.” The man laughed, and so did Chris. It was something he’d repeat, in different variations, countless times that night and over the coming weeks. We stayed for three or four hours that first night, far beyond what had been advertised, with Chris signing each book, shaking each hand, and genuinely grateful for each person who came. For their part, they were anxious not just to meet him but to thank him for his service to our country-and by extension, the service of every military member whom they couldn’t personally thank. From the moment the book was published, Chris became the son, the brother, the nephew, the cousin, the kid down the street whom they couldn’t personally thank. In a way, his outstanding military record was beside the point-he was a living, breathing patriot who had done his duty and come home safe to his wife and kids. Thanking him was people’s way of thanking everyone in uniform. And, of course, the book was an interesting read. It quickly became a commercial success beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, including the publisher’s. The hardcover debuted at number two on the New York Times bestseller list, then rose to number one and stayed there for more than two months. It’s remained a fixture on the bestseller lists ever since, and has been translated into twenty-four languages worldwide. It was a good read, and it had a profound effect on a lot of people. A lot of the people who bought it weren’t big book readers, but they ended up engrossed. A friend of ours told us that he’d started reading the book one night while he was taking a bath with his wife. She left, went to bed, and fell asleep. She woke up at three or four and went into the bathroom. Her husband was still there, in the cold water, reading. The funny thing is, Chris still could not have cared less about all the sales. He’d done his assignment, turned it in, and got his grade. Done deal.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
Good friendship, in Buddhism, means considerably more than associating with people that one finds amenable and who share one's interests. It means in effect seeking out wise companions to whom one can look for guidance and instruction. The task of the noble friend is not only to provide companionship in the treading of the way. The truly wise and compassionate friend is one who, with understanding and sympathy of heart, is ready to criticize and admonish, to point out one's faults, to exhort and encourage, perceiving that the final end of such friendship is growth in the Dhamma. The Buddha succinctly expresses the proper response of a disciple to such a good friend in a verse of the Dhammapada: 'If one finds a person who points out one's faults and who reproves one, one should follow such a wise and sagacious counselor as one would a guide to hidden treasure' If we associate closely with those who are addicted to the pursuit of sense pleasures, power, riches and fame, we should not imagine that we will remain immune from those addictions: in time our own minds will gradually incline to these same ends. If we associate closely with those who, while not given up to moral recklessness, live their lives comfortably adjusted to mundane routines, we too will remain stuck in the ruts of the commonplace. If we aspire for the highest — for the peaks of transcendent wisdom and liberation — then we must enter into association with those who represent the highest. Even if we are not so fortunate as to find companions who have already scaled the heights, we can well count ourselves blessed if we cross paths with a few spiritual friends who share our ideals and who make earnest efforts to nurture the noble qualities of the Dhamma in their hearts. When we raise the question how to recognize good friends, how to distinguish good advisors from bad advisors, the Buddha offers us crystal-clear advice. In the Shorter Discourse on a Full-Moon Night (MN 110) he explains the difference between the companionship of the bad person and the companionship of the good person. The bad person chooses as friends and companions those who are without faith, whose conduct is marked by an absence of shame and moral dread, who have no knowledge of spiritual teachings, who are lazy and unmindful, and who are devoid of wisdom. As a consequence of choosing such bad friends as his advisors, the bad person plans and acts for his own harm, for the harm of others, and the harm of both, and he meets with sorrow and misery. In contrast, the Buddha continues, the good person chooses as friends and companions those who have faith, who exhibit a sense of shame and moral dread, who are learned in the Dhamma, energetic in cultivation of the mind, mindful, and possessed of wisdom. Resorting to such good friends, looking to them as mentors and guides, the good person pursues these same qualities as his own ideals and absorbs them into his character. Thus, while drawing ever closer to deliverance himself, he becomes in turn a beacon light for others. Such a one is able to offer those who still wander in the dark an inspiring model to emulate, and a wise friend to turn to for guidance and advice.
Bhikkhu Bodhi
Who is it from?” Savona asked. I looked up at him, trying to divine whether the secret knowledge lay behind his expression of interest. “Of course she cannot tell,” Tamara said, her tone mock chiding--a masterpiece of innuendo, I realized. “But…perhaps a hint, Countess?” “I can’t, because it’s a secret to me, too.” I looked around. Nothing but interest in all the faces, from Savona’s friendly skepticism to Shevraeth’s polite indifference. Shevraeth looked more tired than ever. “The best kind, because I get the ring and don’t have to do anything about it!” Everyone laughed. “Now that,” Savona said, taking my arm, “is a direct challenge, is it not? Geral? Danric? I take you to witness.” We started strolling along the pathway. “But first, to rid myself of this mysterious rival. Have you kissed anyone since yesterday? Winked? Sent a posy-of-promise?” He went on with so many ridiculous questions I couldn’t stop laughing. The others had fallen in behind. Conversations crossed the group, preventing it from breaking into smaller groups. Before too long Tamara brought us all together again. She was now the center of attention as she summoned Savona to her side to admire a new bracelet. This was fine with me. I did not like being the center, and I felt jangled and uneasy. Had I betrayed myself in any important way? Had I been properly polite to Shevraeth? The few times he spoke I was careful to listen and to smile just like the others. When I found myself on the edge of the group, I slipped away and hastened back to the Residence. In my room, I found Mora sewing. She looked at me in surprise, and hastily got to her feet to curtsy. “Never mind that,” I said. “Tell me, who brings letters and things?” “The runners, my lady,” she said. “Can you find out who sent a runner?” When she hesitated, I said, “Look, I just want to find out who gave me these gifts. I know under the old king, people could be bribed. Is that true now? Please, speak plain. I won’t tell anyone what you tell me, and I won’t make trouble.” Mora pursed her lips. “There are times when the runners can be bribed, my lady,” she said carefully. “But not all of them. Were it to get out, they could lose their position.” “So everyone belowstairs doesn’t know everything?” “No, my lady. Many people use personal runners to deliver things to the palace runners; and the loyal ones don’t talk.” “Ah hah!” I exclaimed. “Then, tell me this: Can something be returned along the same route, even though I don’t know to whom it’s going?” She thought a bit, then nodded. “I think that can be arranged.” “Good. Then let me pen a message, and please see that it gets sent right away.” I dived down onto the cushions beside the desk, rummaged about, and came up with pen and writing paper. On the paper I wrote: The gifts are beautiful, and I thank you, but what do they mean? I signed my name, sealed the letter, and handed it to Mora. She left at once, and I was severely tempted to try to follow her, except I’d promised not to make trouble. And if I were caught at it, I suspected that the servants involved might get into trouble. I decided to look at this whole matter as a kind of challenge. I’d find some clever way of solving the mystery without involving anyone innocent.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
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.
Corin
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))
You have unfairly tasked me with three very difficult questions. I was very interested in your comments about Christ’s atheism on the cross. That final moment of atheism, that’s something I have never thought about in that way. It’s a very interesting thought because what it really ….it’s an unbelievably merciful idea in some sense. That the burden of life is so unbearable and you see in the Christian passion, of course, torture, unfair judgement by society, betrayal by friends and then a low death. That’s about …as bad as it gets. Right? Which is why it is an archetypal story. It’s about as bad as it gets. And the story that you describe points out that it’s so bad that even God himself might despair about the essential quality of being. Right? Right. So that is merciful in some sense because it does say that there is something that’s built into the fabric of existence, that tests us so severely in our faith about being itself that even God himself falls prey to the temptation to doubt. So that’s…ok now… There is a very large critical literature that suggests that if you want to develop optimal resilience, what you do is lay out a pathway towards somewhere better, someone comes in, they have a problem, you try to figure out what the problem is and then you try to figure out what might constitute a solution. So you have a map. And it’s a tentative map of how you get from where things aren’t so good to where they are better. And then you have the person go out in the world and confront those things that they are avoiding, that are stopping them from moving to that higher place. And there’s an archetypal reality to that, you’re in a fallen state, you are attempting to redeem yourself and there is a process by which that has to occur. And that process involves voluntary confrontation with what you’re afraid of, disgusted by and inclined to avoid. And that’s works. Every psychological school agrees upon that exposure therapy, psychoanalysts expose you to the tragedies of your past, and redeem you in that manner, the behaviourists expose you to the terrors of the present and redeem you in that manner, but there is a broad agreement between psychological schools that that works. My sense is that we are called upon as individuals precisely to do that in our life. We are faced by this unbearable reality, that you made reference to when you talked about the situation on the cross, life itself is fundamentally - and this is a pessimism that we might share - it’s fundamentally suffering and malevolence. But this is I think where we differ, I believe that the evidence suggests that the light that you discover in your life is proportionate to the amount of darkness that you are willing to forthrightly confront and that there is no necessarily upper limit to that. So I think that the good that people are capable of it’s a higher good than the evil that people are capable of. And believe me that I do not say that lightly, given that I know about the evil that people are capable of. And I believe that the central psychological message of the biblical corpus fundamentally it’s that. That’s why it culminates in some sense with the idea that it is necessary to confront the devil and to accept the unjustness of your tortured mortality. If you can do that, and that’s a challenge sufficient to challenge even God himself, you have the best chance of transcending it, and living the kind of life that would set your house in order and everyone’s house in order at the same time. And I think that’s true even in states like North Korea...
Jordan Peterson
Jane, the captain, and the colonel begged out of cards, sat by the window, and made fun of Mr. Nobley. She glanced once at the garden, imagined Martin seeing her now, and felt popular and pretty--Emma Woodhouse from curls to slippers. It certainly helped that all the men were so magnificent. Unreal, actually. Austenland was feeling cozier. “Do you think he hears us?” Jane asked. “See how he doesn’t lift his eyes from that book? In all, his manners and expression are a bit too determined, don’t you think?” “Right you are, Miss Erstwhile,” Colonel Andrews said. “His eyebrow is twitching,” Captain East said gravely. “Why, so it is, Captain!” the colonel said. “Well observed.” “Then again, the eyebrow twitch could be caused by some buried guilt,” Jane said. “I believe you’re right again, Miss Erstwhile. Perhaps he does not hear us at all.” “Of course I hear you, Colonel Andrews,” said Mr. Nobley, his eyes still on the page. “I would have to be deaf not to, the way you carry on.” “I say, do not be gruff with us, Nobley, we are only having a bit of fun, and you are being rather tedious. I cannot abide it when my friends insist on being scholarly. The only member of our company who can coax you away from those books is our Miss Heartwright, but she seems altogether too pensive tonight as well, and so our cause is lost.” Mr. Nobley did look up now, just in time to catch Miss Heartwright’s face turn away shyly. “You might show a little more delicacy around the ladies, Colonel Andrews,” he said. “Stuff and nonsense. I agree with Miss Erstwhile, you are acting like a scarecrow. I do not know why you put on this act, Nobley, when around the port table or out in the field you’re rather a pleasant fellow.” “Really? That is curious,” Jane said. “Why, Mr. Nobley, are you generous in your attentions with gentlemen and yet taciturn and withdrawn around the fairer sex?” Mr. Nobley’s eyes were back on the printed page, though they didn’t scan the lines. “Perhaps I do not possess the type of conversation that would interest a lady.” “You say ‘perhaps’ as though you do not believe it yourself. What else might be the reason, sir?” Jane smiled. Needling Mr. Nobley was feeling like a very productive use of the evening. “Perhaps another reason might be that I myself do not find the conversation of ladies to be very stimulating.” His eyes were dark. “Hm, I just can’t imagine why you’re still unmarried.” “I might say the same for you.” “Mr. Nobley!” cried Aunt Saffronia. “No, it’s all right, Aunt,” Jane said. “I asked for it. And I don’t even mind answering.” She put a hand on her hip and faced him. “One reason why I am unmarried is because there aren’t enough men with guts to put away their little boy fears and commit their love and stick it out.” “And perhaps the men do not stick it out for a reason.” “And what reason might that be?” “The reason is women.” He slammed his book shut. “Women make life impossible until the man has to be the one to end it. There is no working it out past a certain point. How can anyone work out the lunacy?” Mr. Nobley took a ragged breath, then his face went red as he seemed to realize what he’d said, where he was. He put the book down gently, pursed his lips, cleared his throat. No one in the room made eye contact. “Someone has issues,” said Miss Charming in a quiet, singsongy voice. “I beg you, Lady Templeton,” Colonel Andrews said, standing, his smile almost convincingly nonchalant, “play something rousing on the pianoforte. I promised to engage Miss Erstwhile in a dance. I cannot break a promise to such a lovely young thing, not and break her heart and further blacken her view of the world, so you see my urgency.” “An excellent suggestion, Colonel Andrews,” Aunt Saffronia said. “It seems all our spirits could use a lift.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
You already know what you know, after all—and, unless your life is perfect, what you know is not enough. You remain threatened by disease, and self-deception, and unhappiness, and malevolence, and betrayal, and corruption, and pain, and limitation. You are subject to all these things, in the final analysis, because you are just too ignorant to protect yourself. If you just knew enough, you could be healthier and more honest. You would suffer less. You could recognize, resist and even triumph over malevolence and evil. You would neither betray a friend, nor deal falsely and deceitfully in business, politics or love. However, your current knowledge has neither made you perfect nor kept you safe. So, it is insufficient, by definition—radically, fatally insufficient. You must accept this before you can converse philosophically, instead of convincing, oppressing, dominating or even amusing. You must accept this before you can tolerate a conversation where the Word that eternally mediates between order and chaos is operating, psychologically speaking. To have this kind of conversation, it is necessary to respect the personal experience of your conversational partners. You must assume that they have reached careful, thoughtful, genuine conclusions (and, perhaps, they must have done the work tha justifies this assumption). You must believe that if they shared their conclusions with you, you could bypass at least some of the pain of personally learning the same things (as learning from the experience of others can be quicker and much less dangerous). You must meditate, too, instead of strategizing towards victory. If you fail, or refuse, to do so, then you merely and automatically repeat what you already believe, seeking its validation and insisting on its rightness. But if you are meditating as you converse, then you listen to the other person, and say the new and original things that can rise from deep within of their own accord. It’s as if you are listening to yourself during such a conversation, just as you are listening to the other person. You are describing how you are responding to the new information imparted by the speaker. You are reporting what that information has done to you—what new things it made appear within you, how it has changed your presuppositions, how it has made you think of new questions. You tell the speaker these things, directly. Then they have the same effect on him. In this manner, you both move towards somewhere newer and broader and better. You both change, as you let your old presuppositions die—as you shed your skins and emerge renewed. A conversation such as this is one where it is the desire for truth itself—on the part of both participants—that is truly listening and speaking. That’s why it’s engaging, vital, interesting and meaningful. That sense of meaning is a signal from the deep, ancient parts of your Being. You’re where you should be, with one foot in order, and the other tentatively extended into chaos and the unknown. You’re immersed in the Tao, following the great Way of Life. There, you’re stable enough to be secure, but flexible enough to transform. There, you’re allowing new information to inform you—to permeate your stability, to repair and improve its structure, and expand its domain. There the constituent elements of your Being can find their more elegant formation. A conversation like that places you in the same place that listening to great music places you, and for much the same reason. A conversation like that puts you in the realm where souls connect, and that’s a real place. It leaves you thinking, “That was really worthwhile. We really got to know each other.” The masks came off, and the searchers were revealed. So, listen, to yourself and to those with whom you are speaking. Your wisdom then consists not of the knowledge you already have, but the continual search for knowledge, which is the highest form of wisdom.
Jordan B. Peterson
So you have no love for the demon god of love. Interesting. Yet you spend an inordinate amount of time with him and remain alive and well. Not many could say the same. Unless you two…?” He let the sentence hang with a sexually suggestive implication. “What?” I recoiled. “Ew. No. I just told you I’m friends with his wife!” “Not necessarily an obstacle.” “Ugh!” I made a face. “Double ew.” He grinned. “I forgot you are an American.” “And I just realized you’re a Euro-creep-an. Thinking I’m that kind of girl. It’s insulting.” “Says the girl with six boyfriends.
A. Kirk
The original specifications of the building called for “Suits [sic] of Apartments for fourty [sic] two families besides Janitors.” Hardenbergh had originally designed the interior space so that each of the seven main floors would contain six apartments, described in the building records as “French flats,” roughly the same in size and layout. But Edward Clark had begun renting apartments in his building-to-be to friends, acquaintances and other interested tenants long before the building was completed, thus giving future tenants the opportunity to select the size, variety and the number of rooms they needed.
Stephen Birmingham (Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address)
Improvisors connect for the same basic reason you and your friends connect. Say you meet someone. You like something about them and they like something about you. Your mutual interest begets mutual play. Play begets cooperation and mutual understanding, which, trampolined by fun, becomes love. Love is the highest form of play.
Sam Wasson (Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art)
one of the most helpful things a person can do. Because sharing your feelings with others brings people closer together. It demonstrates an interest in developing an understanding. It demonstrates a caring. Because you have to figure there are some people out there who are going through the same stuff. A friend’s wife was recently diagnosed with cancer and is experiencing a lot of the same things that I’ve been going through. She’s experiencing pain. She’s experiencing fatigue. She’s experiencing depression. And I say, “Oh, thank God I’m not the only one!” If you’re able to, you should share your experiences so that people out there can say, “I’m not alone. There’s somebody else going through the same thing, and they’re bearing up well. Maybe I can also.” If that’s a way for you to inspire people, then there is a lot of merit in that.
Alex Trebek (The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life)
let my thoughts be bestowed on her who has shown so much devotion for me. Madame de Belliere ought to be there by this time," he said, as he turned towards the secret door. After he had locked himself in, he opened the subterranean passage, and rapidly hastened towards the means of communicating between the house at Vincennes and his own residence. He had neglected to apprise his friend of his approach, by ringing the bell, perfectly assured that she would never fail to be exact at the rendezvous; as, indeed, was the case, for she was already waiting. The noise the superintendent made aroused her; she ran to take from under the door the letter he had thrust there, and which simply said, "Come, marquise; we are waiting supper for you." With her heart filled with happiness Madame de Belliere ran to her carriage in the Avenue de Vincennes, and in a few minutes she was holding out her hand to Gourville, who was standing at the entrance, where, in order the better to please his master, he had stationed himself to watch her arrival. She had not observed that Fouquet's black horse arrived at the same time, all steaming and foam-flaked, having returned to Saint-Mande with Pelisson and the very jeweler to whom Madame de Belliere had sold her plate and her jewels. Pelisson introduced the goldsmith into the cabinet, which Fouquet had not yet left. The superintendent thanked him for having been good enough to regard as a simple deposit in his hands, the valuable property which he had every right to sell; and he cast his eyes on the total of the account, which amounted to thirteen hundred thousand francs. Then, going for a few moments to his desk, he wrote an order for fourteen hundred thousand francs, payable at sight, at his treasury, before twelve o'clock the next day. "A hundred thousand francs profit!" cried the goldsmith. "Oh, monseigneur, what generosity!" "Nay, nay, not so, monsieur," said Fouquet, touching him on the shoulder; "there are certain kindnesses which can never be repaid. This profit is only what you have earned; but the interest of your money still remains to be arranged." And, saying this, he unfastened from his sleeve a diamond button, which the goldsmith himself had often valued at three thousand pistoles.
Alexandre Dumas (Premium Collection - 27 Novels in One Volume: The Three Musketeers Series, The Marie Antoinette Novels, The Count of Monte Cristo, The ... Hero of the People, The Queen's Necklace...)
How to Choose a Wedding Planner? – Nova DJs Sydney Are you interested in hiring a wedding planner? Then it’s time to choose the best fit for your party, and I’m saying it’s a complicated task. It’s not just hiring the first company with a beautiful website and beautiful pictures on the Internet. After all, it’s easy to do. Organizing a perfect wedding is hard! But follow our tips and choose the ideal wedding advice! Salient Feature: The ideal mentor should be a cheerful person, someone charming, who leaves you to give ideas and talk freely about the great day. You have to be a friend, be someone you trust. Imagine, it would be months of organizing, holding meetings, and planning the details together. At least a trace of sympathy is required. It should also be organized and committed to its work. Knowledge should be comprehensive with knowledge in various areas of wedding, such as sound, lighting, wedding dresses, buffet, etc., everything to quickly identify what is best for your wedding. Choose Based on Opinion The Internet is an inexhaustible source of information. And when it comes to finding out the truth about suppliers, this is the best place. View testimonials from the bride and groom who have already used the planner to find out their impressions and results. Take recommendations and avoid people who have a lot of complaints. Marriage History Check out the types of weddings the planner has helped put together. Do they fit what you want? For example, if you dream of a rustic wedding, hiring a consultant who does many luxurious weddings will not combine much and delay the process of organizing the wedding. When the planner is familiar with his style, finding the best suppliers is much faster and more effective. Trust the Planner As we say, the planner is the one you should trust and feel comfortable with while organizing the wedding. This is a person who has come to add and help, not a foot behind your opinion. Trust the professional with all your heart, that everything will be perfect! Be Concerned with 100% Preparation While some people don’t trust, others can imagine too much! What could never happen! The planner is the wedding assistant, not the one who has to do it all by himself. Stay on top of whatever you are doing. work together with him. Together, you will conquer the dream! Beware of Cheap Options You always have one company which is much cheaper than others. But as the saying goes, “You get what you paid for.” Instead of charging you the rate, the consultant may include the amount in the suppliers’ budget, making everything a little more expensive than the others and making the expense practically the same. so watch out! Remember the hint of the opinion of the bride and groom wedding planner for a destination wedding For those who are going to get married outside the city or country, it is important to have a consultant. However, he or she should know at least a little bit about the place where you intend to get married in order to accommodate the culture of the place to the style of wedding you expect. Knowledge of suppliers, in this case, will be a significant advantage for you in ensuring that everything goes according to plan. Check here for some references for the best wedding vendors and Wedding DJs in NSW, Australia.
Nova DJs
The Lawrence Sherman who went to Kansas City is the same Larry Sherman who had worked with David Weisburd in Minneapolis a few years earlier, establishing the Law of Crime Concentration. They were friends. They taught together for a time at Rutgers, where their department chairman was none other than Ronald Clarke, who had done the pioneering work on suicide. Clarke, Weisburd, and Sherman—with their separate interests in English town gas, the crime map of Minneapolis, and guns in Kansas City—were all pursuing the same revolutionary idea of coupling.
Malcolm Gladwell (Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know)
When he puts it like this, it sounds surprisingly sensible. Danes have a collective sense of responsibility – of belonging, even. They pay into the system because they believe it to be worthwhile. The insanely high taxation also has some happy side effects. It means that Denmark has the lowest income inequality among all the OECD countries, so the difference in take-home wages between, for instance, Lego’s CEO and its lowliest cleaner, isn’t as vast as it might be elsewhere. Studies show that people who live in neighbourhoods where most people earn about the same amount are happier, according to research from San Francisco State University and the University of California Berkeley. In Denmark, even people working in wildly different fields will probably have a similar amount left in the bank each month after tax. I’m interested in the idea that income equality makes for better neighbours and want to put it to the test. But since I live in what is essentially a retirement village, where no one apart from Friendly Neighbour works, there isn’t much of an opportunity in Sticksville. So I ask Helena C about hers. She tells me that the street she lives in is populated by shop assistants, supermarket workers, accountants, lawyers, marketers and a landscape gardener. ‘Everyone has a nice home and a good quality of life,’ she says, ‘it doesn’t matter so much what you do for work here.’ Regardless of their various careers and the earning potential that this might afford them in other countries with lower taxes, professionals and non-professionals live harmoniously side by side in Denmark. This also makes social mobility easier, according to studies from The Equality Trust on the impact of income equality. So you’re more likely to be able to get on in life, get educated and get a good job, regardless of who your parents are and what they do in Denmark than anywhere else. It turns out that it’s easier to live ‘The American Dream’ here than it’s ever likely to be in the US.
Helen Russell (The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country)
UNION AND CHANGE The third article was union. To those who were small and few against the wilderness, the success of liberty demanded the strength of union. Two centuries of change have made this true again. No longer need capitalist and worker, farmer and clerk, city and countryside, struggle to divide our bounty. By working shoulder to shoulder, together we can increase the bounty of all. We have discovered that every child who learns, every man who finds work, every sick body that is made whole--like a candle added to an altar--brightens the hope of all the faithful. So let us reject any among us who seek to reopen old wounds and to rekindle old hatreds. They stand in the way of a seeking nation. Let us now join reason to faith and action to experience, to transform our unity of interest into a unity of purpose. For the hour and the day and the time are here to achieve progress without strife, to achieve change without hatred--not without difference of opinion, but without the deep and abiding divisions which scar the union for generations. THE AMERICAN BELIEF Under this covenant of justice, liberty, and union we have become a nation--prosperous, great, and mighty. And we have kept our freedom. But we have no promise from God that our greatness will endure. We have been allowed by Him to seek greatness with the sweat of our hands and the strength of our spirit. I do not believe that the Great Society is the ordered, changeless, and sterile battalion of the ants. It is the excitement of becoming--always becoming, trying, probing, falling, resting, and trying again--but always trying and always gaining. In each generation, with toil and tears, we have had to earn our heritage again. If we fail now, we shall have forgotten in abundance what we learned in hardship: that democracy rests on faith, that freedom asks more than it gives, and that the judgment of God is harshest on those who are most favored. If we succeed, it will not be because of what we have, but it will be because of what we are; not because of what we own, but, rather because of what we believe. For we are a nation of believers. Underneath the clamor of building and the rush of our day's pursuits, we are believers in justice and liberty and union, and in our own Union. We believe that every man must someday be free. And we believe in ourselves. Our enemies have always made the same mistake. In my lifetime--in depression and in war--they have awaited our defeat. Each time, from the secret places of the American heart, came forth the faith they could not see or that they could not even imagine. It brought us victory. And it will again. For this is what America is all about. It is the uncrossed desert and the unclimbed ridge. It is the star that is not reached and the harvest sleeping in the unplowed ground. Is our world gone? We say "Farewell." Is a new world coming? We welcome it--and we will bend it to the hopes of man. To these trusted public servants and to my family and those close friends of mine who have followed me down a long, winding road, and to all the people of this Union and the world, I will repeat today what I said on that sorrowful day in November 1963: "I will lead and I will do the best I can." But you must look within your own hearts to the old promises and to the old dream. They will lead you best of all. For myself, I ask only, in the words of an ancient leader: "Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?
Lyndon B. Johnson
5 Steps to create a SM application and be prepared for its technical challenges But before we dive in deep, let us get the basics sorted. First things first, what do you think is a social media platform? Here, we got you, Social media is an online platform that serves people the connection across the world. Same interests, family, friends, business and much more variety of connections can be linked on this platform. Apart from connections, Social media is a very powerful marketing tool and an essential feature to be seen and heard for opinions. Since you are here now, let us dig into the steps to create a Social Media platform. #1 - Purpose and Audience of interest What will your social media be about? Which kind of audience will love it? Readers, Painters, Businessmen, Dating? Find your niche and the rest will get filtered automatically. Your purpose and right kind of audience gives you a solid motto to focus ahead on building the social media application. #2 - Features and Functions Getting lost in ideas is easy, sticking to one and implementing it isn’t. What most of the entrepreneurs do at the early stages is they have scattered focus. Zero clarity serves confusion and confusion brings only one conclusion - no audience! So it is vital for you to brief your features and functions. Once you have that clarity, you can proceed in several different ways after launching the basics. Decide what your app does, what you serve, your purpose, everything, make it clear.
Flintoff12345
Sudden brain growth may lead to forgetfulness. RELATIONALLY       •    Debate often, but argue more from emotion than logic.       •    Seek peer approval and conformity.       •    Often display worst behavior at home.       •    Benefit from having a same-gender best friend.       •    Value nonparental adult influences.       •    May have romantic interests and experiment with physical affection.
Josh Shipp (The Grown-Up's Guide to Teenage Humans: How to Decode Their Behavior, Develop Unshakable Trust, and Raise a Respectable Adult)
A few centuries ago, the government of this country became interested in enforcing certain desirable behaviors in its citizens. There had been studies that indicated that violent tendencies could be partially traced to a person’s genes—a gene called ‘the murder gene’ was the first of these, but there were quite a few more, genetic predispositions toward cowardice, dishonesty, low intelligence—all the qualities, in other words, that ultimately contribute to a broken society.” We were taught that the factions were formed to solve a problem, the problem of our flawed natures. Apparently the people David is describing, whoever they were, believed in that problem too. I know so little about genetics—just what I can see passed down from parent to child, in my face and in friends’ faces. I can’t imagine isolating a gene for murder, or cowardice, or dishonesty. Those things seem too nebulous to have a concrete location in a person’s body. But I’m not a scientist. “Obviously there are quite a few factors that determine personality, including a person’s upbringing and experiences,” David continues, “but despite the peace and prosperity that had reigned in this country for nearly a century, it seemed advantageous to our ancestors to reduce the risk of these undesirable qualities showing up in our population by correcting them. In other words, by editing humanity. “That’s how the genetic manipulation experiment was born. It takes several generations for any kind of genetic manipulation to manifest, but people were selected from the general population in large numbers, according to their backgrounds or behavior, and they were given the option to give a gift to our future generations, a genetic alteration that would make their descendants just a little bit better.” I look around at the others. Peter’s mouth is puckered with disdain. Caleb is scowling. Cara’s mouth has fallen open, like she is hungry for answers and intends to eat them from the air. Christina just looks skeptical, one eyebrow raised, and Tobias is staring at his shoes. I feel like I am not hearing anything new—just the same philosophy that spawned the factions, driving people to manipulate their genes instead of separating into virtue-based groups. I understand it. On some level I even agree with it. But I don’t know how it relates to us, here, now.
Veronica Roth (The Divergent Library: Divergent; Insurgent; Allegiant; Four)
How are social networks formed? The basics of social network formation is based on three simple ideas: shared social foci, triadic closure, and homophily. The first two ideas help us understand where we get our friends. A shared social foci means simply that links are more likely to form among people who share a social focus (i.e., classmates, workmates, people who attend the same church, etc.), whereas triadic closure means that links are more likely to form among people who share friends. Homophily, on the other hand, attempts to explain the links that stick—it is the idea that links are more likely to form among people who have similar interests and characteristics.
Cesar A. Hidalgo (Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies)
Finding a small grouping of chairs, the three friends sat together. Lillian’s shoulders slumped as she said glumly, “I think they’ve done it.” “Who’s done what?” Evie asked. “Daisy and Mr. Swift,” Annabelle murmured with a touch of amusement. “We’re speculating that they’ve had, er…carnal knowledge of each other.” Evie looked perplexed. “Why do we think that?” “Well, you were sitting at the other table, dear, so you couldn’t see, but at dinner there were…” Annabelle raised her brows significantly. “…undercurrents.” “Oh.” Evie shrugged. “It’s just as well I wasn’t at your table, then. I’m never any good at reading undercurrents.” “These were obvious undercurrents,” Lillian said darkly. “It couldn’t have been any clearer if Mr. Swift had leapt onto the table and made an announcement.” “Mr. Swift would never be so vulgar,” Evie said decisively. “Even if he is an American.” Lillian’s face scrunched in a ferocious scowl. “Whatever happened to ‘I could never be happy with a soulless industrialist’? What happened to ‘I want the four of us to be together always’? Curse it all, I can’t believe Daisy’s done this! Everything was going so well with Lord Llandrindon. What could have possessed her to sleep with Matthew Swift?” “I doubt there was much sleeping involved,” Annabelle replied, her eyes twinkling. Lillian gave her a slitted glare. “If you have the bad taste to be amused by this, Annabelle—” “Daisy was never interested in Lord Llandrindon,” Evie volunteered hastily, trying to prevent a quarrel. “She was only using him to provoke Mr. Swift.” “How do you know?” the other two asked at the same time. “Well, I-I…” Evie made a helpless gesture with her hands. “Last week I m-more or less inadvertently suggested that she try to make him jealous. And it worked.” Lillian’s throat worked violently before she could manage to speak. “Of all the asinine, sheep-headed, moronic—
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
I’ve never found heaven, for example, a particularly interesting place to go. In fact, I take the view that God, in his infinite wisdom, didn’t bother to spring for two joints—heaven and hell. They’re the same place, but heaven is when you get everything you want and you meet Mummy and Daddy and your best friends and you all have a hug and a kiss and play your harps. Hell is the same place—no fire and brimstone—but they just all pass by and don’t see you.
Keith Richards (Life)
Locke had traveled to France and Versailles. He had seen Louis XIV’s petite levée and watched the elaborate rituals of absolute kingship, of total rule by one man. Locke’s one goal in life was to make sure the same thing never happened in England. But whereas others tried to fight for freedom with guns or plots or revolutions, Locke would fight for it with ideas. His weapon at hand was the manuscript under his arm. “Absolute monarchy,” it read in part, “is inconsistent with Civil Society, and so can be no form of Civil Government at all.” His book revealed why governments must serve the interests of everyone, rather than one person; and why one-man rule was the perversion, not the perfection, of nature—particularly the nature so brilliantly illuminated by his friend Isaac Newton.
Arthur Herman (The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization)
Raskob decided to enter the world of New York real estate and give his pal a job as the head of the undertaking. Raskob convinced some of his wealthy friends, including Pierre S. du Pont, to join him in a syndicate, and they negotiated with Chatham Phenix for the Waldorf-Astoria site. They were the mysterious prospective buyers whose interest in the site had been floated. By all accounts, they got the property for a song—$16 or $17 million. On August 29, 1929, the same day the city announced that Second Avenue would be the site for the next subway line, former governor Al Smith lived up to a promise made months before to newspaper reporters to announce his business plans. From his suite in the Hotel Biltmore, surrounded by trappings of his former office, Smith announced the creation of a company that would build a thousand-foot-high eighty-
John Tauranac (The Empire State Building: The Making of a Landmark)
It was interesting, I reasoned, how fire could be so pleasant when it was controlled. It could be used to prepare food or cauterise a wound. It could shed light in the darkness or create warmth. But left uncontrolled, it could destroy villages and forests. It could mutilate and cause hurt. But that was the same for everything. Water was a necessity for life, but one could drown in it. A sword could be used to protect one’s self, but it could contrarily damage the user. Kind words could put one at the top of the world, while cruel words could hurl another into an abyss of despair. But the greatest paradox in my life was not the irony of fire, water, weapons, or words. It was the idea that a sanctuary, or asylum, was designed to protect and to be a refuge— to keep away from that which was harmful or hurtful. But there was a dark catalyst to asylum. One could not keep out the bad without keeping out the good as well. As a wall deterred enemies, at the cost of dissuading friends, so could a sanctuary turn into a prison.
Audrey Laine (The Knighthood)
Jenna, you are halfway to freedom from Wayne. A few more months and you can hand him back to us, and not have to deal with him anymore. If you launch this business with him, you are locked in, day in and day out, for a minimum of four or five years. And really, can you imagine him really helping at these events? I just see him knocking over ice sculptures, and tipping over cakes, and generally being a bull in the china shop everywhere he goes. A bull on steroids. With an inner ear imbalance. On roller skates." "Enough, lawdouche, she gets it." "I know. But again, Wayne is pretty clear that his area here would be identifying and helping land clients, and consulting on thematic details and event brainstorming, and keeping up with all industry aspects of the target market." "You mean going to movies, reading comics, and playing video games." "Yep, something like that." "You can't really be thinking you are going to do this." "I can be thinking that. And I'm pretty sure that the only opinion I asked you for on this was legal ramifications and financial obligations. I don't really care about your personal opinions." "Well, that hurts my feelings, because I still care about you on a personal level, and I think this is a huge mistake for you personally." I wait for my heart to race, for the sweats to start, for my colon to twist itself into a pretzel. And when none of that happens, I look at Brian. "I think, that being the case, that perhaps you ought to speak to your partners about who might be the best attorney to work with me moving forward." "You're firing me? Because I care about you?" "I'm firing you because I need an attorney who is less personally interested in the decisions I make. I'm a big girl, and I have a dad. And clearly, this is no longer a good fit. I'll appreciate a call from the other partners by the end of the week with a plan that I can review." "Seriously, I feel like you've completely lost your mind!" "Careful, Brian. At the moment, I'm asking you be removed from my account. However uncomfortable that may be for you with your partners, I assume you would rather that, than having to explain why I'm leaving the firm entirely. And I will be advising Wayne to shift to the same person I am with, obviously, for convenience." His chiseled jaw snaps shut, and while I can see a dozen retorts on the tip of his tongue, he doesn't speak. "Thank you. I'll review this further, and will discuss my decision with my new attorney. You'll get formal word from Wayne on his choice soon, I'm sure.
Stacey Ballis (Out to Lunch)
And with all of these teens, everyone from Leah to Christopher, Kenneth to Nick, Lindsey to Jenny, to conversations I already have with my own children, the critical piece they need to learn is to find the right people to be friends with and to associate with. The right people may not be the popular ones, or they may be. They may not be the same people they grew up being best friends with, or they may be. What they will most definitely be are people whom they feel fully comfortable being with, whom they can trust and rely on and who share their values and interests.
Jeffrey Leiken (Adolescence Is Not A Disease: Beyond Drinking, Drugs, and Dangerous Friends: The Journey to Adulthood)
Burley Coulter himself was one of the best perquisites of my office. Burley was nineteen years older than I was, old enough to have been my father, and in fact he was the same age my father would have been if he had lived. He was the most interesting man I ever knew. He was in his way an adventurer. And something worthy of notice was always going on in his head. I found him to be a surprising man, unpredictable, and at the same time always true to himself and recognizable in what he did. I had lived in Port William several years before I realized that Burley was proud of me for being a reader of books; he was not himself a devoted reader, but he thought it was excellent that I should be. It must have been 1940 or 1941 when he first came all the way into my upstairs room and saw my books in my little bookcase. “Do you read in them?” “Yes,” I said. He gave the shelves a long study, not reading the titles, apparently just assaying in his mind the number and weight of the books, their varying sizes and colors, the printing on their spines. And then he nodded his approval and said, “Well, that’s all right.” I knew him for forty years, about, and saw him endure the times and suffer the changes, and we were always friends.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
He said he could pick up any one of the dozens of stories that drifted across his desk every day and after reading a few paragraphs he could feel whether or not the author liked people. “If the author doesn’t like people,” he said, “people won’t like his or her stories.” This hard-boiled editor stopped twice in the course of his talk on fiction writing and apologized for preaching a sermon. “I am telling you,” he said, “the same things your preacher would tell you, but remember, you have to be interested in people if you want to be a successful writer of stories.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
Such children are chronically ignored by their peers. This is because they are not fun to play with. Adults tend to manifest the same attitude (although they will deny it desperately when pressed). When I worked in daycare centres, early in my career, the comparatively neglected children would come to me desperately, in their fumbling, half-formed manner, with no sense of proper distance and no attentive playfulness. They would flop, nearby—or directly on my lap, no matter what I was doing—driven inexorably by the powerful desire for adult attention, the necessary catalyst for further development. It was very difficult not to react with annoyance, even disgust, to such children and their too-prolonged infantilism—difficult not to literally push them aside—even though I felt very badly for them, and understood their predicament well. I believe that response, harsh and terrible though it may be, was an almost universally-experienced internal warning signal indicating the comparative danger of establishing a relationship with a poorly socialized child: the likelihood of immediate and inappropriate dependence (which should have been the responsibility of the parent) and the tremendous demand of time and resources that accepting such dependence would necessitate. Confronted with such a situation, potentially friendly peers and interested adults are much more likely to turn their attention to interacting with other children whose cost/benefit ratio, to speak bluntly, would be much lower.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
No, it never interested me. No matter how much it hurts being left out sometimes, it would hurt more to not be myself. I have my friends and that's all that matters. We like the same things and that's how we became friends.
Cierra Martinez (As We Are)
But the coffeehouse was still the best place to keep up with everything new. In order to understand this, it must be said that the Viennese coffeehouse is a particular institution which is not comparable to any other in the world. As a matter of fact, it is a sort of democratic club to which admission costs the small price of a cup of coffee. Upon payment of this mite every guest can sit for hours on end, discuss, write, play cards, receive his mail, and, above all, can go through an unlimited number of newspapers and magazines. Perhaps nothing has contributed as much to the intellectual mobility and the international orientation of the Austrian as that he could keep abreast of all world events in the coffeehouse, and at the same time discuss them in the circle of his friends. For, thanks to the collectivity of our interests, we followed the orbis pictus of artistic events not with two, but with twenty and forty eyes. What one of us had overlooked was noticed by another, and since in our constant childish, boastful, and almost sporting ambition we wished to outdo each other in our knowledge of the very latest thing, we found ourselves actually in a sort of constant rivalry for the sensational.
Stefan Zweig (The World of Yesterday)
Men who pursue a multitude of women fit neatly into two categories. Some seek their own subjective and unchanging dream of a woman in all women. Others are prompted by a desire to possess the endless variety of the objective female world. The obsession of the former is lyrical: what they seek in women is themselves, their ideal, and since an ideal is by definition something that can never be found, they are disappointed again and again. The disappointment that propels them from woman to woman gives their inconstancy a kind of romantic excuse, so that many sentimental women are touched by their unbridled philandering. The obsession of the latter is epic, and women see nothing the least bit touching in it: the man projects no subjective ideal on women, and since everything interests him, nothing can disappoint him. This inability to be disappointed has something scandalous about it. The obsession of the epic womanizer strikes people as lacking in redemption (redemption by disappointment). Because the lyrical womanizer always runs after the same type of woman, we even fail to notice when he exchanges one mistress for another. His friends perpetually cause misunderstandings by mixing up his lovers and calling them by the same name. In pursuit of knowledge, epic womanizers (and of course Tomas belonged in their ranks) turn away from conventional feminine beauty, of which they quickly tire, and inevitably end up as curiosity collectors. They are aware of this and a little ashamed of it, and to avoid causing their friends embarrassment, they refrain from appearing in public with their mistresses.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
The bad (that is, uncompassionate] man everywhere feels a thick partition between himself and everything outside him. The world to him is an absolute non-ego and his relation to it is primarily hostile; thus the keynote of his disposition is hatred, spitefulness, suspicion, envy, and delight at the sight of another's distress. The good character, on the hand, lives in an external world that is homogeneous with his own true being. The others are not a non-ego for him, but an 'I once more'. His fundamental relation to everyone is, therefore, friendly; he feels himself intimately akin to all beings, takes an immediate interest in their weal and woe, and confidently assumes the same sympathy with them. The results of this are his deep inward peace and the confident, calm, and contented mood by virtue of which everyone is happy when he is near at hand.
Arthur Schopenhauer
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)
If you want others to like you, if you want to develop real friendships, if you want to help others at the same time as you help yourself, keep this principle in mind; PRINCIPLE 1 Become genuinely interested in other people.
Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People)
Which was interesting, seeing as he was the same person who made the racist basketball comment when I walked in.
Frederick Joseph (The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person)
Mrs. Parsons says, ‘I know exactly what you mean but I envy you all the same. I envy you going to new places every few years – meeting new people and making new friends. It is such an interesting thing to study people, to get inside their skins and see life from their point of view. And you can do it. Some people travel all over the world and see nothing. They go about clad in a thick fog of their own making through which no impressions can penetrate
D.E. Stevenson (Mrs Tim of the Regiment)
Discuss the role of religion in the lives of the individuals Hochschild profiles in determining their political choices, priorities, and outlook. How does it contribute to the Great Paradox? What do you make of Hochschild’s observation that the churches she visited “seemed to focus more on a person’s moral strength to endure than on the will to change the circumstances that called on that strength”? (pp. 124, 179) 11.​Hochschild says that Fox News exerts a powerful influence over her Tea Party friends—what is it about Fox that appeals to them and what do they find troubling about liberal commentators? Is all media biased? What media do you read, watch, or listen to, and do you think it is impartial? (p. 126) 12.​In the chapter “The Deep Story,” Hochschild presents the perspective of people she meets to understand and explain their point of view, focusing on feelings and emotions. Does this ring true to you? Hochschild says we all have a “deep story”—do you agree? What is yours? (p. 135) 13.​In this same chapter, Hochschild suggests that blue-collar Americans have felt marginalized in a number of ways, including by the election of President Obama. How do you think these feelings culminated in the election of Trump? What role did racism possibly play in the election? Later, Hochschild attends a Trump rally—why does she call him an “emotions candidate”? (p. 140, 225) 14.​How does Hochschild’s idea of racism differ from Mike Schaff’s? Which resonates more with you? (pp. 147) 15.​Throughout the book, Hochschild discusses the Great Paradox mainly in terms of the environment. But she also notes that by embracing the free market—which favors big business—Tea Party members are often working against their own interests, since many of these members own or work for small businesses. Why does their deep story make it hard for them to see this? Must we choose between the free market and a healthy environment? (p. 150)
Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right)
Collier understood and preached this swim-with-current-rather-than-against strategy. Do not arrive as an interruption or disruption, attempting to divert your reader's attention from the object it is focused on, fighting to interest him in something different from what he is already, at this moment, interested in. Instead, align yourself with the subjects already possessing his attention, the matters already garnering his interest, the self-talk conversation already occurring in his mind, and the conversations he is already having around the water-cooler at work or at the kitchen table at home with peers, friends, and family. About this, Collier wrote: “Study your reader first — your product second…. The reader of your letter wants certain things and the desire for them is, consciously or unconsciously, the dominant idea in his mind all the time. He is also engaged by the news or events or public conversations of the day. Put yourself in his place. If you were deep in discussion with a friend over some matter and a stranger came up and said: ‘Mister, I have a fine coat I want to sell you!’ — what would you do? The same thing happens when you approach a man by mail. He is in discussion with himself. If you just butt in, will you be welcome? How would you do it if approaching him and his friend in person? You'd listen and get the trend of the conversation. Then, when you chimed in, it would be with a remark on a related subject. Then you could gradually bring the talk around logically to the point you wanted to discuss. Study your reader. Know what interests him. Listen to the conversation he is already having with himself. Enter where he already is.” There are some obvious, perennially occurring attention dominators, such as seasons and holidays, and linking to these — regardless of whether your business naturally links or not — can be extremely helpful. You need not be a florist, jeweler, or restaurant to utilize Valentine's Day, for example. Beyond that, and deeper than that, every customer group has some shared item on their minds. Know it. Start your conversation with them with it. And be sure to take advantage of one of the great advantages of today's online media, including e-mail, blogs, and social media sites — being day to day, even hour by hour, timely. You can link a marketing message to world or local, financial, or cultural news of the moment — and you should.
Dan S. Kennedy (The Ultimate Sales Letter: Attract New Customers. Boost your Sales.)
If you keep finding yourself in a deeper hole, no matter what you try to do to improve your life, you need to do two things. First, stop digging. Clearly the same level of thinking that put you in the hole cannot help you escape. Secondly, seek out help from a friend who has what you want, a mentor with a vested interest in your future, or a professional who understands what you are going through.
Shayne Neal (From Misery to Happiness: A Poetic Journey Through Love, Loss, and Second Chances.)
I think that every one whom you may ask how to write a play will reply, if he really can write one, that he doesn't know how it is done. It is a little as if you were to ask Romeo what he did to fall in love with Juliet and to make her love him; he would reply that he did not know, that it simply happened. Well, my dear friend, if you want me to be quite frank, I'll own up that I don't know how to write a play. One day a long time ago, when I was scarcely out of school, I asked my father the same question. He answered: "It's very simple; the first act clear, the last act short, and all the acts interesting.
Alexandre Dumas (Fils)
I didn’t want to go, but his arms were underneath me, easing me toward the edge of the gurney and a waiting wheelchair padded with pillows. I was afraid any resistance would result in another game of hospital gown peekaboo. He settled me so gently in the soft wheelchair that my hip and my back hardly hurt. Pushing me past the curtain and into the bustling emergency room, he leaned close, over me, to say, “I fixed it. They’re going to lose the records of your visit, so you’ll never get billed. But you’re my girlfriend.” “What do you mean, I’m your girlfriend?” What delicious blackmail was this? And was it worth the price? Perhaps I could stand it. ‘I had to make them think I have a vested interest in you,” he whispered. “They never would have agreed to lose your records if I told them you were my friend at twelve years old but not so much at eighteen and I had pretty much walked in and stolen the birthright to your family farm. See? Shhh. Hey, Brody.” He slapped hands with another man in scrubs wheeling an empty gurney in the opposite direction. The man eyed me, waggled his eyebrows at Hunter, and kept going. “Couldn’t you have said we’re friends and left it at that?” I needed to keep up the façade that I did not like the idea at all. At the same time, I was a little afraid Hunter would call the charade off. “I have a lot of friends,” he explained, wheeling me into a waiting room marked X-RAY. he rounded the wheelchair and knelt in front of me. Behind him, a door stood ajar. A contraption I assumed to be an X-ray machine was visible through the crack. He glanced over his shoulder at the door, then turned back to me. “Sorry about this,” he murmured as he slid both hands into my hair and kissed me. All I could do at first was feel. His lips were on mine. His hands held me steady, so I couldn’t have shrugged away if I’d tried, but I would not try. Bright tingles spread from my lips across my face and down my neck to my chest. I longed to pull him closer for more. I reminded myself that we were faking this for a reason. I didn’t want to make the kiss deeper than necessary in case it turned him off. Hunter deepened it. His tongue pressed past my teeth and swept inside my mouth. One of his hands released my hair and caressed my shoulder, traveling down. The farther his hand went, the higher I felt. My hip hardly hurt and my back pain was gone. I wondered how low his hand would go. I never found out. A shadow stood in the doorway and cleared its throat. I stopped kissing Hunter back and braced for him to jump away. He did back off, but very slowly. He sat back on his haunches and glared at the X-ray tech as if she had a lot of nerve. His cheeks were bright red. “So, Hunter,” she said mischievously. “This is your girlfriend.” “Hullo.” I gave her a small wave. “And you got hit by a taxi while you were crossing the street to visit Hunter? That is so romantic! Have you seen Sleepless in Seattle?” “Not romantic,” I said flatly. “I hate that movie. They don’t meet until the last scene. They don’t kiss at all.” Too late I realized I sounded like I was begging Hunter for more. “But in that movie,” the tech said, “they talk about An Affair to Remember. Have you seen that? Deborah Kerr is crossing the street to meet Cary Grant and gets hit by a car. Years later he comes back to her and she’s paralyzed from the waist down.” “You call that romantic?” I heard myself yelling. “That is repulsive!” Hunter stood and put a heavy hand on my shoulder as he pushed my wheelchair past the tech and through the doorway to the X-ray machine. “Erin is in a lot of pain,” he murmured to the tech, “and she doesn’t want to think about being paralyzed from the waist down.” After that the tech was a lot nicer, because Hunter had a way with people. Hunter lifted me onto the table and left the room so he wouldn’t be irradiated or see my bony ass.
Jennifer Echols (Love Story)
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
Even Christ pleased not Himself: He bore the reproaches, with which men reproached and dishonoured God, so patiently, that He might glorify God and save man. Christ pleased not Himself: with reference both to God and man, this word is the key of His life. In this, too, His life is our rule and example; we who are strong ought not to please ourselves. To deny self-this is the opposite of pleasing self. When Peter denied Christ, he said: I know not the man; with Him and His interests I have nothing to do; I do not wish to be counted His friend. In the same way the true Christian denies himself, the old man: I do not know this old man; I will have nothing to do with him and his interests. And when shame and dishonour come upon him, or anything be exacted that is not pleasant to the old nature, be simply says: Do as you like with the old ties of the Adam, I will take no notice of it. Through the cross of Christ I am crucified to the world, and the flesh, and self: to the friendship and interest of this old man I am a stranger; I deny him to be my friend; I deny his every claim and wish; I know him not. The Christian who only thinks of his salvation from curse and condemnation cannot understand this; he finds it impossible to deny self. Although he may sometimes try to do so, his life mainly consists in pleasing himself. The Christian who has taken Christ as his pattern cannot be content with this. He has surrendered himself to seek the most complete fellowship with the cross of Christ. The Holy Spirit has taught him to say, I have been crucified with Christ, and so am dead to sin and self. In fellowship with Christ he sees the old man crucified, a condemned malefactor; he is ashamed to own him as a friend: it is his fixed purpose, and he has received the power for it too, no longer to please his old nature, but to deny it. Because the crucified Christ is his life, self-denial is the law of his life.
Andrew Murray (The LIFE AND WORKS of ANDREW MURRAY - 50 Titles - [Illustrated])
Life has always seemed to me like a restaurant,' said Peter. 'When you’re born, you come in and sit down...' 'Oh, my God,' said Brenda. '...and they show you the menu,' went on Peter, frowning at Brenda. 'And it’s a swell menu. It’s got everything on it. And they tell you that you can have anything you want, the rarest and tastiest and most wonderful dishes imaginable.' 'Who’s they?' asked Brenda. 'They is a sort of waiter-cum-proprietor,' said Peter, 'and he represents organized society in the parable.' 'It’s a parable, is it?' 'Yes. So you study the menu and you pick out the dishes that appeal to you most. Some people pick more exotic viands than others, but everybody picks out something he thinks is swell and the waiter-cum-proprietor pats him on the back and says it’s an excellent choice. And you sit back and wait to be served. That represents the period of adolescence. ... Damn it, where was I?' 'You were adolescent.' 'So you sit and wait to be served your fondly chosen dish,' resumed Peter, 'and pretty soon the waiter comes in and what does he bring you? He brings you hash! "Hey," you say, "this isn’t what I ordered." "Oh isn’t it?" says the waiter who is no longer friendly. "Well, it’s what you’re gonna get." Now this is the important part. Some people meekly eat their hash. Some drown it with catsup and try to enjoy it.' 'I get it,' said Brenda. 'Those are the drunks.' 'But there are a few who say, "Goddamn it, I didn’t order hash and I don’t want hash and I won’t eat hash." They get out of their chairs and the waiter tries to push them back, but they say, "Get out of my way, who the hell are you?" And they fight their way into the kitchen while the waiter hollers and protests and there they find mountains and mountains of hash. But they keep looking around and pretty soon in odd corners of the kitchen they find the dishes they ordered, the rare and costly viands they had their hearts set on. And they eat ’em and they enjoy ’em and then they go out of the restaurant the same as the hash eaters do, but boy, they’ve dined!' He threw down his cigarette and stamped on it. 'That’s all,' he said. 'Thank you for your attention.' 'Who pays the bill?' asked George with interest. 'I don’t know,' said Peter irritably. 'That would complicate the parable to the point of chaos.' 'Who did you say the waiter was?' asked George. 'Organized society?' 'That’s right. A pale flabby guy with a walrus mustache.' 'I don’t quite see it,' said George. 'I do,' said Harriet, sitting up on the day bed. 'I see it. It’s beautiful.' 'It isn’t so bad at that,' said Brenda. 'You’re damn right it’s not.
Jack Iams (The French Touch)
I thought I'd meet the same tough kind of Kibbutz members at Shomrat, as I knew from the days when I worked as an employee at the Jordan Valley. But I was wrong. I did not see hired workers at Shomrat. The workers were all treated the same. Muhammad and Nazami were also employed in the Kibbutz, but were not members of it, and they were treated completely different from what I had known before. This was not the attitude I'd seen in the limited experience I had as an employee at the Jordan Valley. Here Muhammad and Nazami had their own rooms, and I felt they were involved in what was going on at the Kibbutz. I did not like the Kibbutz's talk gatherings. I went there several times to get an impression and listen, but I could not find any interest in them. It seemed to me that perhaps the issues discussed there were not significant for me or for my Tiberias nest friends. Perhaps one of the reasons for that was our fatigue after a day of labor and the activity afterward. Our priority was apparently different. Sometimes we preferred to watch the television, which was installed high at the entrance to the dining room. Our television watching would come to an end once Alla fell asleep in his chair, and he would always fall asleep in the first five minutes.
Nahum Sivan (Till We Say Goodbye)
It is baffling that my progressive friends lament the influence of so-called big money on government while at the same time proposing to expand the very scope and scale of that government that makes influencing it such a good investment. Where government means constables, soldiers, judges, and precious little else, it is not much worth capturing. Where government means somebody whose permission must be sought before you can even begin to earn a living, when it determines the prices of products, the terms of competition, and the interest rates on your competitors’ financing, then it is worth capturing.
Kevin D. Williamson
A lot of authors become discouraged with negative reviews. The important thing to remember is that there will always be that one person or a couple of people that will hate something just because it does not suit their interests. Friends have almost figuratively talked my ears off over why I should "be into" Star Trek and The Lord of the Rings. They put up good arguments; however, I'm still not convinced. Why? The Lord of the Rings and Star Trek are not my interests. I've had friends that were not into comic book movies (one of my interests) and friends often get upset with each other because some of their interests are not the same. It's not a friendship issue... everyone has different interests and that's fine... everyone is different and life is interesting because of that. Debates spark interests and they bring up excellent things about life and work and they bring up issues with life and work that you may not have noticed before. Therefore, if you get a bad review, I know that it is not easy, but do not take it to heart.
Monica Murray
some small counting house on the coast, in some Salem harbor, will be fixture enough. You will export such articles as the country affords, purely native products, much ice and pine timber and a little granite, always in native bottoms. These will be good ventures. To oversee all the details yourself in person; to be at once pilot and captain, and owner and underwriter; to buy and sell and keep the accounts; to read every letter received, and write or read every letter sent; to superintend the discharge of imports night and day; to be upon many parts of the coast almost at the same time—often the richest freight will be discharged upon a Jersey shore;—to be your own telegraph, unweariedly sweeping the horizon, speaking all passing vessels bound coastwise; to keep up a steady despatch of commodities, for the supply of such a distant and exorbitant market; to keep yourself informed of the state of the markets, prospects of war and peace everywhere, and anticipate the tendencies of trade and civilization—taking advantage of the results of all exploring expeditions, using new passages and all improvements in navigation;—charts to be studied, the position of reefs and new lights and buoys to be ascertained, and ever, and ever, the logarithmic tables to be corrected, for by the error of some calculator the vessel often splits upon a rock that should have reached a friendly pier—there is the untold fate of La Prouse;—universal science to be kept pace with, studying the lives of all great discoverers and navigators, great adventurers and merchants, from Hanno and the Phoenicians down to our day; in fine, account of stock to be taken from time to time, to know how you stand. It is a labor to task the faculties of a man—such problems of profit and loss, of interest, of tare and tret, and gauging of all kinds in it, as demand a universal knowledge. I have thought that Walden Pond would be a good place for business, not solely on account of the railroad and the ice trade; it offers advantages which it may not be good policy to divulge; it is a good port and a good foundation. No Neva marshes to be filled; though you must everywhere build on piles of your own driving. It is said that a flood-tide, with a westerly wind, and ice in the Neva, would sweep St. Petersburg from the face of the earth. As this business was to be entered into without the usual capital, it may not be easy to conjecture where those means, that will still be indispensable to every such undertaking, were to be obtained.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Appreciate the comfortable (responsibly). Producing in the evening can be an experience like no other. With the comfortable, ongoing hum of the engine and the nights your atmosphere, generating can be almost like traveling through place. Producing in the evening seems unusual, fun, and even exciting — for some people, it’s one of life’s simplest yet most excessive entertainment. It’s definitely outstanding have fun with a evening produce, but don’t neglect to focus on what’s most important of all — your security and the security of other drivers. Always keep in ideas that getting sent straight while generating can be dangerous (especially at night), so keep your interest on the road. If you’re confident in your secured generating workouts, you’ll be able to successfully relax, notice in, and revel in your ride! Put your returning viewpoint reflection in its “flipped down” or “night” strategy to reduce returning front aspect part aspect lighting glare. Check all your car lighting constantly, especially if upcoming winter year time mean that you will be doing more generating after dark. To make the process simpler, you can take changes with a friend working the lighting and watching to see that they all come on, or you can notice your own reflection in the ms ms ms ms windows of a glass-fronted developing. You have purchased some car parts and accessories. Block out interruptions while generating, but don’t focus definitely on the road. Doing so may put you in a situation of hypnosis and you may even mentally “blank” for a few a few several weeks. Keep your viewpoint moving around the car and landscapes. Some car gadgets should be set progressively. Always use a car car car car seatbelt and encourage your guests to do the same.Do not produce drunk. Never produce without a legal drivers’ certification approved in your name. Don’t believe the town story that sunglasses with yellow-colored or bright orange sketchy connections help you see better in the evening. Wearing them in the evening may make aspects seem less heavy. Always carry around your drivers’ certification to prevent police from getting suspicious of a situation that isn’t there. Do not produce when you are tired. In some countries, generating while feeling sleepy issues as impacted generating. Regardless of the law, it’s dangerous.
angeladong
In the material world you miss opportunities to forge friendships and meet people because of appearance, social, and socioeconomic standings. Examine your friends that you have in the real world right now; many of them probably dress similar to you, as well as have similar affiliations, interests, and hobbies. On the trail, stripped of all your comforts and everything you own, everybody you meet is the same yet simultaneously unique. Everyone you come across is just another sweaty, smelly human being that’s having the same rough day as you.
Kyle Rohrig (Lost on the Appalachian Trail)
What made you come back?” Kitty jerked at his sudden question. She sputtered for a moment then laughed. “What made me come back? What do you mean?” He shrugged with one shoulder, never moving his gaze away from her. “At Eliza’s and Thomas’s wedding last year you were convinced that returning to Boston and living with your aunt was the best course to take. But it appears you have changed your mind. So, what made you come back?” “Is that why you followed me? To ask me that?” Her face burned, but she feigned composure and looked at him with as much ease as she could marshal. “Boston is too dangerous, you know that.” “’Tis true, I am well aware of what Boston and its residents suffer. But I cannot believe that was the only reason you returned.” Training her mouth to reveal nothing more than a slight grin, she strained to keep her pulse quiet. She stepped toward the fire, resting her hand atop the chair, acting more casual than she felt. “If there were any other reason, do you think that I would share such information with you? Surely, Nathaniel, I cannot share all my secrets.” “Secrets? Well, now I am curious.” Kitty rubbed the lace on her gloves and emitted a warm, genuine laugh that eased the strain in her voice. She offered an impish smile. “I came back for several reasons, if you must know. As I mentioned, ‘twas for matters of safety that Henry Donaldson insisted I return as well as—”  “Donaldson?” Kitty peered over her shoulder, hiding the grin that surged at the undeniable question in Nathaniel’s eyes. Could he be... nay, not possible. She kept her focus. “Aye, Henry Donaldson. You remember him, do you not?” “Aye, of course. I just... I just hadn’t known he was still... around. He was always a good friend and I admire him, despite his poor choice of allegiances.” Nathaniel’s interested expression stayed lifted, but the light in his eyes went flat. “Are you... have you been seeing much of him of late?” “I have,” she said. “He’s a close friend and I admire him very much.” Nathaniel’s expression didn’t change, but his Adam’s apple bobbed and he cleared his throat. “I see.”  She once again toyed with the fabric of her gloves, unsure what else to do with her hands. Quickly focusing on the subject of their conversation, she stared back into the fire. “Henry said it was too dangerous for me to stay despite my protestations. With Father gone and Eliza here—and since our home was destroyed that December… well, my home is here now.” The scent of smoke wafting from the fireplace in front of her snatched the horrid vision from its hiding place in her mind. Instantly she witnessed anew the roaring flames that devoured her treasured childhood home, taking with it all her cherished memories and replacing them with ash. She turned to Nathaniel, his face drawn as if he too relived the tragedy. The bond they’d shared that night had forged a friendship that could never be shaken.  Nathaniel stepped forward, the look of tenderness so rich in his eyes it wound around her shoulders like a warm cloak. “I can well understand that, Kitty. Donaldson was right in advising you to return.” Then, as if the heaviness were too much, he shrugged and sighed with added gaiety to his tone. “Well, I will admit that Sandwich didn’t feel the same with you gone, that’s for certain.” She tipped her head with a smirk. “You pined for my return?”  “With the pains of an anguished soul.” “Lying is a sin, Nathaniel,” she teased. Nathaniel laughed, his broad smile exposing his straight teeth. “All right, if you want the truth I pined more for your cooking, and more specifically for your carrot pudding. Are you satisfied?” “I knew it.
Amber Lynn Perry (So True a Love (Daughters of His Kingdom #2))
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)
Every Sunday, the Weavers drove their Oldsmobile east toward Waterloo and pulled into the gravel parking lot of the Cedarloo Baptist Church, on a hill between Waterloo and Cedar Falls, took their place in the pews, and listened to the minister. But there seemed to be no fire or passion, no sense of what was really happening in the world. They’d tried other churches and found congregations interested in what God had done 2,000 years ago, but no one paying attention to what God was doing right then. Certainly, churches weren’t addressing the crime in Cedar Falls, the drugs, or the sorry state of schools and government, not to mention the kind of danger that Hal Lindsey described. They would have to find the truth themselves. They began doing their own research, especially Vicki. She had quit work to raise Sara, and later Samuel, who was born in April 1978. When Sara started school, Randy and Vicki couldn’t believe the pagan things she was being taught. They refused to allow her to dress up for Halloween—Satan’s holiday—and decided they had to teach Sara at home. But that was illegal in Iowa. A booster shot of religion came with cable television and The PTL Club, the 700 Club, and Jerry Falwell. The small television in the kitchen was on all the time for a while, but most of Vicki’s free time was spent reading. She’s lose herself in the Cedar Falls public library, reading the science fiction her dad had introduced her to as a kid, the novels and self-help books friends recommended, biblical histories, political tracts, and obscure books that she discovered on her own. Like a painter, she pulled out colors and hues that fit with the philosophy she and Randy were discovering, and everywhere she looked there seemed to be something guiding them toward “the truth,” and, at the same time, pulling them closer together. She spent hours in the library, and when she found something that fit, she passed it along first to Randy, who might read the book himself and then spread it to everyone—the people at work, in the neighborhood, at the coffee shop where he hung out. They read books from fringe organizations and groups, picking through the philosophies, taking what they agreed with and discarding the rest. Yet some of the books that influenced them came from the mainstream, such as Ayn Rand’s classic libertarian novel Atlas Shrugged. Vicki found its struggle between the individual and the state prophetic and its action inspiring. The book shows a government so overbearing and immoral that creative people, led by a self-reliant protagonist, go on strike and move to the mountains. “‘You will win,’” the book’s protagonist cries from his mountain hideout, “‘when you are ready to pronounce the oath I have taken at the start of my battle—and for those who wish to know the day of my return, I shall now repeat it to the hearing of the world: “‘I swear—by my life and my love of it—that I will never live my life for the sake of another man, nor ask another to live for mine.
Jess Walter (Ruby Ridge)
At the Fishhouses Although it is a cold evening, down by one of the fishhouses an old man sits netting, his net, in the gloaming almost invisible, a dark purple-brown, and his shuttle worn and polished. The air smells so strong of codfish it makes one's nose run and one's eyes water. The five fishhouses have steeply peaked roofs and narrow, cleated gangplanks slant up to storerooms in the gables for the wheelbarrows to be pushed up and down on. All is silver: the heavy surface of the sea, swelling slowly as if considering spilling over, is opaque, but the silver of the benches, the lobster pots, and masts, scattered among the wild jagged rocks, is of an apparent translucence like the small old buildings with an emerald moss growing on their shoreward walls. The big fish tubs are completely lined with layers of beautiful herring scales and the wheelbarrows are similarly plastered with creamy iridescent coats of mail, with small iridescent flies crawling on them. Up on the little slope behind the houses, set in the sparse bright sprinkle of grass, is an ancient wooden capstan, cracked, with two long bleached handles and some melancholy stains, like dried blood, where the ironwork has rusted. The old man accepts a Lucky Strike. He was a friend of my grandfather. We talk of the decline in the population and of codfish and herring while he waits for a herring boat to come in. There are sequins on his vest and on his thumb. He has scraped the scales, the principal beauty, from unnumbered fish with that black old knife, the blade of which is almost worn away. Down at the water's edge, at the place where they haul up the boats, up the long ramp descending into the water, thin silver tree trunks are laid horizontally across the gray stones, down and down at intervals of four or five feet. Cold dark deep and absolutely clear, element bearable to no mortal, to fish and to seals . . . One seal particularly I have seen here evening after evening. He was curious about me. He was interested in music; like me a believer in total immersion, so I used to sing him Baptist hymns. I also sang "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." He stood up in the water and regarded me steadily, moving his head a little. Then he would disappear, then suddenly emerge almost in the same spot, with a sort of shrug as if it were against his better judgment. Cold dark deep and absolutely clear, the clear gray icy water . . . Back, behind us, the dignified tall firs begin. Bluish, associating with their shadows, a million Christmas trees stand waiting for Christmas. The water seems suspended above the rounded gray and blue-gray stones. I have seen it over and over, the same sea, the same, slightly, indifferently swinging above the stones, icily free above the stones, above the stones and then the world. If you should dip your hand in, your wrist would ache immediately, your bones would begin to ache and your hand would burn as if the water were a transmutation of fire that feeds on stones and burns with a dark gray flame. If you tasted it, it would first taste bitter, then briny, then surely burn your tongue. It is like what we imagine knowledge to be: dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free, drawn from the cold hard mouth of the world, derived from the rocky breasts forever, flowing and drawn, and since our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.
Elizabeth Bishop
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hamayoun jhangeer
By that time Willy’s skin was nearly its normal fair hue again. “There’s a shoemaker over in Piddington named Clarke Nichols,” he said. “He has such good business he needs a second apprentice.” “Shoemaker?” said Willy, with more interest than the trade deserved. He had been idle too long. The Northampton area was known for shoemaking. Everything was there for the trade: abundant hides from livestock in the lush pastures, friendly waterways for easy transportation, oaks for the tanning process, and lastly, tradition. The same King Charles that Cromwell had defeated in nearby hills had earlier pummeled the walls of Northampton for making shoes for Cromwell’s army. “I’ve been to see Clarke Nichols,” continued Willy’s father. “He seems a Godly man. The pastor there says he is good churchman. Nichols even has a small library that you might profit from, Willy.” “So
Sam Wellman (William Carey)
Entering negotiations, takers typically work to establish a dominant position. Had Annie been a taker, she might have compiled a list of all of her merits and attracted counteroffers from rival companies to strengthen her position. Matchers are more inclined to see negotiating as an opportunity for quid pro quo. If Annie were a matcher, she would have gone to a senior leader who owed her a favor and asked for reciprocity. But Annie is a giver: she mentors dozens of colleagues, volunteers for the United Way, and visits elementary school classes to interest students in science. When her colleagues make a mistake, she’s regularly the one to take responsibility, shielding them from the blame at the expense of her own performance. She once withdrew a job application when she learned that a friend was applying for the same position. As a giver, Annie wasn’t comfortable bargaining like a taker or a matcher, so she chose an entirely different strategy. She reached out to a human resources manager and asked for advice. “If you were in my shoes, what would you do?
Adam M. Grant (Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success)
I’ve heard the most interesting rumors regarding you and the oh-so-dishy Mr. Haverstein,” Millie said. “I don’t believe dishy is a real word” was all Lucetta could think to respond. Millie waved that away with a flick of her dainty wrist. “I can’t be expected to know all the right words, Lucetta, and you’re stalling.” Lucetta blew out a breath, stirring the bubbles. “What have you heard?” “That you and Mr. Haverstein were caught in a most interesting situation in a storage room of all places, that he tried to save you from drowning twice in his, uh, moat from what I’ve been told, and . . . that he did save you once from a mad goat by the name of Geoffrey. I’ve also heard that you seem to enjoy his company, so much so that there’s been talk of marriage—but you rejected the marriage idea because of mysterious happenings occurring at Ravenwood.” “Bram didn’t save me from drowning twice. He almost caused me to drown both of those times.” “Again . . . stalling.” Tracing a finger through the bubbles, Lucetta took a second to gather her thoughts. “He’s explained away practically all the mysteries surrounding him, which has allowed me to come to the conclusion he’s not insane.” Millie’s eyes turned the size of saucers. “You had reason to doubt his sanity?” “He maintains a dungeon and has a castle where suits of armor go strolling about in the middle of the night—what else was I to conclude?” “A . . . dungeon?” “Yes, but I can’t explain that in any further detail, since the dungeon is part of a rather large secret that Bram has yet to divulge to anyone except his staff—and now me, of course.” Millie settled back in her chair and crossed her arms over her chest. “Fair enough, but . . . tell me this, how do you feel about the man, especially since his sanity is no longer in question?” “That’s a little tricky to answer.” Millie sent her a look that had exasperation stamped all over it. “It is not. And since you’re the one who insisted Harriet and I dwell on exactly what our feelings were for Oliver and Everett just a few months back, I’m going to extend you the same courtesy. So . . . feelings—yours for Mr. Haverstein—what are they?” “He, uh . . . did mention that he’d like to court me.” “Court you?” “Yes, you know, call on me, take me for drives, bring me flowers, and . . . well . . . court me.” “That’s incredibly romantic.” “Well, yes, it is, but . . .” “You don’t want to be courted because you see that as a weakness of being female.” “What?” Millie rolled her eyes. “Lucetta, you and I have been friends for a very long time, and while you never talk about yourself much—as in ever—it’s always been clear to me and Harriet that you’ve got this attitude, if you will, about being a female. It’s one of the reasons I believe you’ve held yourself so distant from any gentleman who has ever shown an interest in you. And, it’s why you’re incredibly wary of men like Bram Haverstein, who clearly—and this is without me even knowing that much about him—is an old-fashioned man, one who enjoys swooping in and saving the damsel in distress.” “There’s that romance novel lover I’ve been missing.” Millie sat forward. “You know I’m right.” “So
Jen Turano (Playing the Part (A Class of Their Own, #3))
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)
You told your brother and some guy I don’t even know the things I told you in confidence.” “Yes.” She dropped her gaze to the floor. “I’m not sure this helps, but Charlie knows Logan.” “You talked to Charlie?” “Yes, he helped us with the details I didn’t know.” “So you went behind my back, talked to my friends, and told your brothers and some guy everything.” She pressed her lips together. “Yes.” “And you told them things about the blackmail that’s not public knowledge.” Maddie swallowed hard as her throat constricted. “I did.” “I trusted you with information about my family that nobody knows.” “Mitch, I’d never jeopardize you or your family. I’d never tell them if I didn’t trust them implicitly. You know that.” She had to make him understand. He leaned forward, putting elbows on his knees. “I want you to leave.” “What? No. Let me explain.” The blood rushed in her ears as a wave of hot dizziness engulfed her. Fear and desperation warred inside her. “I’m sorry, but you wouldn’t listen.” “You didn’t ask.” Flat. She wrung her hands. “You would have said no.” “I see,” he said, so coldly that it was like being doused with a bucket of ice water. “So that makes it right? You didn’t think I’d agree, so you went behind my back, talked to my friends, your family, and some black-ops guy, revealing the things I’ve told you in private, because you know best?” She bit the inside of her cheek. “Yes, the same way you went behind my back and stalled the repairs on my car so I wouldn’t leave.” His head snapped back. “That’s not the same thing, Maddie.” “You lied, just like me. You went behind my back. Just like me.” She hoped he could see reason, but his expression said otherwise. “I told you those things,” he said through gritted teeth, “because I thought I could trust you.” “You can.” Her stomach clenched. “The evidence says otherwise, now doesn’t it?” Cold, cold words. Tears sprang to her eyes. “Please understand, I did it for you.” “No, you didn’t. You did it for you,” he scoffed, shaking his head. “Tell me something. Why are you so interested in meddling in my life when you have your own to worry about?” She reared back, stepping toward the door, unable to figure out how to handle this dead, cold Mitch who treated her like a stranger. “I wanted to help you.” “You know how you could have helped me?” There was a cruel twist to his lips. “By being the one fucking person who didn’t betray me.” “I didn’t. That’s not what . . .” She trailed off, feeling helpless. She hung her head and said softly, “I’d never betray you.” “Bullshit. If you thought what you were doing was right, you would have talked to me. ” This ice. She’d prepared for fire, for burning anger, not this. She had no defense. No plan. She walked over to him and fell to her knees, taking his hands in hers. He didn’t even flinch. It was like he was made of stone, and she met his eyes. Hard chips of gold. “Mitch, I’m sorry, I wanted to help.” He studied her as though she was a stranger. “You need to leave now.” The words were a crushing blow, threatening to break her. She did the only thing she could think of and confessed the truth. “I love you.” His mouth firmed. Eyes flashing, he pulled away and stood, moving around her and going over to the window that overlooked the nearly deserted parking lot. “I need you to leave.” Her heart shattered into a million pieces and desolation swept over her. She hadn’t felt anything like this since her father had died and she’d woken in a hospital bed. That same heavy weight crushed her chest, numbing her limbs. Tears spilled onto her cheeks and she wiped them away. Her voice trembled as she spoke, already knowing the answer but unable to keep from asking the question. “Is there anything I can do?” “Yes.” His tone was distant and unreachable. “Leave.” There
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
Gil handed Henny one of the cushions and a one-pound coffee can from under the seat. Henny was very suspicious. “What’s this for?” he asked. “Why are you giving me this stuff?” “The cushion is for your sitter,” Gil said, “and the can is for the water.” “What water?” said Henny. He didn’t look too good. “Well, there’s bound to be a little extra water with the three of us sitting here,” said Gil. “And your friend hasn’t done much rowing. He splashes a bit over the side.” Henny glared at me. “Quit it,” he said. “Just quit splashing water into the boat.” I tried to be smooth. By the time we got out into the river, I was doing better. “Two steps forward, one step backward,” said Gil. “We aren’t making much progress against this current.” “I’ll go out a little farther,” I said. “Maybe the current won’t be so strong out there.” I felt very good about things. My rowing was getting better. We were closer to the bowl. The crew was busy and in high spirits. Gil was reading from The Journals of Lewis and Clark. Henny was searching his photographic memory for loose information. “Says here that one time, the expedition had nothing to eat but bear fat and candles,” said Gil. “Now that’s real interesting.” Henny sighed. “Sometimes they ate buffalo humps, and wolf meat, and a root called Wappato. Wappato is supposed to taste like potatoes. Boy, am I hungry. Did anybody bring a snack?” “There might be a few crackers under your seat,” said Gil. “Then again, there might not be.” “There is a box of Wheat Thins,” said Henny after he rummaged around under the seat. “It is soggy, dirty, crushed, and unfit for human consumption.” “I never eat them,” said Gil. “I feed them to the kingfishers. But if you’re really hungry, they’re better than candles.” Henny waved the box in the air. “Is anything going to go right on this trip?” he said. A sea gull swooped down and almost got the box. The crew was starting to feel the hardships. Desperation and hunger had set in. I figured the people from my island would look to the turtle for an answer to this situation, so I tried to do the same. The only thing I could come up with was that the armor on a turtle was much better protection than an old rowboat.
Brenda Z. Guiberson (Turtle People)
Idling the dinghy, bringing it quietly in closer and closer to the croc, Steve would finally make his move. He’d creep to the front of the boat and hold the spotlight until the last moment. Then he would leap into the water. Grabbing the crocodile around the scruff of the neck, he would secure its tail between his legs and wrap his body around the thrashing creature. Crocodiles are amazingly strong in the water. Even a six-foot-long subadult would easily take Steve to the bottom of the river, rolling and fighting, trying to dislodge him by scraping against the rocks and snags at the bottom of the river. But Steve would hang on. He knew he could push off the bottom, reach the surface for air, flip the crocodile into his dinghy, and pin the snapping animal down. “Piece of cake,” he said. That was the most incredible story I had ever heard. And Steve was the most incredible man I had ever seen--catching crocodiles by hand to save their lives? This was just unreal. I had an overwhelming sensation. I wanted to build a big campfire, sit down with Steve next to it, and hear his stories all night long. I didn’t want them to ever end. But eventually the tour was over, and I felt I just had to talk to this man. Steve had a broad, easy smile and the biggest hands I had ever seen. I could tell by his stature and stride that he was accustomed to hard work. I saw a series of small scars on the sides of his face and down his arms. He came up and, with a broad Australian accent, said, “G’day, mate.” Uh-oh, I thought. I’m in trouble. I’d never, ever believed in love at first sight. But I had the strangest, most overwhelming feeling that it was destiny that took me into that little wildlife park that day. Steve started talking to me as if we’d known each other all our lives. I interrupted only to have my friend Lori take a picture of us, and the moment I first met Steve was forever captured. I told him about my wildlife rescue work with cougars in Oregon. He told me about his work with crocodiles. The tour was long over, and the zoo was about to close, but we kept talking. Finally I could hear Lori honking her horn in the car park. “I have to go,” I said to Steve, managing a grim smile. I felt a connection as I never had before, and I was about to leave, never to see him again. “Why do you love cougars so much?” he asked, walking me toward the park’s front gate. I had to think for a beat. There were many reasons. “I think it’s how they can actually kill with their mouths,” I finally said. “They can conquer an animal several times their size, grab it in their jaws, and kill it instantly by snapping its neck.” Steve grinned. I hadn’t realized how similar we really were. “That’s what I love about crocodiles,” he said. “They are the most powerful apex predators.” Apex predators. Meaning both cougars and crocs were at the top of the food chain. On opposite sides of the world, this man and I had somehow formed the same interest, the same passion. At the zoo entrance I could see Lori and her friends in the car, anxious to get going back to Brisbane. “Call the zoo if you’re ever here again,” Steve said. “I’d really like to see you again.” Could it be that he felt the same way I did? As we drove back to Brisbane, I was quiet, contemplative. I had no idea how I would accomplish it, but I was determined to figure out a way to see him. The next weekend, Lori was going diving with a friend, and I took a chance and called Steve. “What do you reckon, could I come back for the weekend?” I asked. “Absolutely. I’ll take care of everything,” came Steve’s reply.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Meanwhile, I was still an out-of-her-element novice from Oregon. Steve wanted to help me feel as comfortable with snakes as I was with my mammal friends. I’d had some experience with reptiles before, but it certainly wasn’t my forte. Since I was living every day with about a hundred and fifty snakes, in a country that was home to the top eleven most venomous snakes in the world, it was time for a Stevo snake education. He knew just the right teacher. “Let me introduce you to Rosie,” Steve said to me one day, bringing out a beautiful boa constrictor. She was eight feet long, as fat as my arm, and very sweet. But when I first met her, I was a bit more nervous than I wanted to admit. “The first step is to get to know each other,” Steve explained. I tried. While Steve cooked dinner, I sat at one end of the sofa. Rosie lay coiled at the other. I eyed her suspiciously. She eyed me the same way, both of us hoping that we each didn’t just suddenly fling ourselves at the other in attack. I was worried about her, and she must have been worried about me, too. Friend or foe? Back when we first met, neither of us knew. Finally there came a revelation. I watched her, curled up on her end of the sofa, and I realized Rosie was actually more wary of me than I was of her. That’s when I started to understand the thought process of the snake. Snakes are very logical: If it’s bigger than me, I’m afraid of it. If it’s smaller than me, I will eat it. Fortunately, I was way too big for Rosie to think of me as a snack. I inched closer to her. Rosie tentatively stretched her neck out, flicked her tongue a few times, and slid into my lap. It was a monumental moment and a huge new experience for me. We began to check each other out. I stroked her soft, smooth skin. She smelled every little bit of me, and since snakes smell with their tongues, this meant a lot of flicking and licking. She licked down the front of my knee and flicked her tongue at my shoelaces. After a long day traipsing around the zoo, my shoes must have smelled…interesting. Up she came. As she approached my face, I felt myself instinctively recoil. Incredibly, even though I betrayed none of my inner thoughts, Rosie seemed to sense my anxiety. She slowed down and hesitated. As I relaxed, she relaxed. As time went by, I was able to tolerate Rosie around my shoulders. Soon I did the dishes with Rosie around my neck, and paperwork with her stretched out on the table. We began doing most of my household chores together. She preferred small indoor spaces where she felt secure, but she became braver and braver as she trusted me more.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
COLE STOPPED by his office that morning to pick up the calling logs before heading on to stay with the girl. His friend at the phone company had faxed twenty-six pages of outgoing and incoming phone numbers, some of which were identified, but many of which were not. Cole would have to go through the numbers one by one, but the girl would probably help. Cole liked the girl. She was funny and smart and laughed at his jokes. All the major food groups. When he let himself in, she was stretched out on the couch, watching TV with the iPod plugged in her ears. Cole said, “How can you watch TV and listen to that at the same time?” She wiggled his iPod. “Did they stop making music in 1990?” You see? Funny. “I have to make a couple of calls, then I want you to help me with something.” She sat up, interested. “What?” “Phone numbers. We have to build a phone tree tracing the calls to and from the phones Pike found. We’ll trace the calls from phone to phone until we identify someone who can help us find Vahnich. Sound like fun?” “No.” “It’s like connect the dots. Even you can do it.” She gave him the finger. Cole thought she was great.
Robert Crais (The Watchman (Elvis Cole, #11; Joe Pike, #1))
Dying for the world is not noble in anyway but a disgrace for the rest of the world itself, for those that don't do absolutely anything to support, help or even bleed. It's like going to war alone, while our friends cheer and applaud from the distance. It's not fun and doesn't make me proud in any way. Most so-called spiritual people in this world, are not spiritual, they think they are but they're braindead, they are living their own fantasies, their own Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings Stories, but not truly bleeding for life. And so, it's quite interesting when my friends do all they can to stop me from leaving them, from changing country, while at the same time, they give me no reason to justify being attached to them.
Robin Sacredfire
People employ what economists call “rational ignorance.” That is, we all spend our time learning about things we can actually do something about, not political issues that we can’t really affect. That’s why most of us can’t name our representative in Congress. And why most of us have no clue about how much of the federal budget goes to Medicare, foreign aid, or any other program. As an Alabama businessman told a Washington Post pollster, “Politics doesn’t interest me. I don’t follow it. … Always had to make a living.” Ellen Goodman, a sensitive, good-government liberal columnist, complained about a friend who had spent months researching new cars, and of her own efforts study the sugar, fiber, fat, and price of various cereals. “Would my car-buying friend use the hours he spent comparing fuel-injection systems to compare national health plans?” Goodman asked. “Maybe not. Will the moments I spend studying cereals be devoted to studying the greenhouse effect on grain? Maybe not.” Certainly not —and why should they? Goodman and her friend will get the cars and the cereal they want, but what good would it do to study national health plans? After a great deal of research on medicine, economics, and bureaucracy, her friend may decide which health-care plan he prefers. He then turns to studying the presidential candidates, only to discover that they offer only vague indications of which health-care plan they would implement. But after diligent investigation, our well-informed voter chooses a candidate. Unfortunately, the voter doesn’t like that candidate’s stand on anything else — the package-deal problem — but he decides to vote on the issue of health care. He has a one-in-a-hundred-million chance of influencing the outcome of the presidential election, after which, if his candidate is successful, he faces a Congress with different ideas, and in any case, it turns out the candidate was dissembling in the first place. Instinctively realizing all this, most voters don’t spend much time studying public policy. Give that same man three health insurance plans that he can choose from, though, and chances are that he will spend time studying them. Finally, as noted above, the candidates are likely to be kidding themselves or the voters anyway. One could argue that in most of the presidential elections since 1968, the American people have tried to vote for smaller government, but in that time the federal budget has risen from $178 billion to $4 trillion. George Bush made one promise that every voter noticed in the 1988 campaign: “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Then he raised them. If we are the government, why do we get so many policies we don’t want?
David Boaz
People employ what economists call “rational ignorance.” That is, we all spend our time learning about things we can actually do something about, not political issues that we can’t really affect. That’s why most of us can’t name our representative in Congress. And why most of us have no clue about how much of the federal budget goes to Medicare, foreign aid, or any other program. As an Alabama businessman told a Washington Post pollster, “Politics doesn’t interest me. I don’t follow it. … Always had to make a living.” Ellen Goodman, a sensitive, good-government liberal columnist, complained about a friend who had spent months researching new cars, and of her own efforts study the sugar, fiber, fat, and price of various cereals. “Would my car-buying friend use the hours he spent comparing fuel-injection systems to compare national health plans?” Goodman asked. “Maybe not. Will the moments I spend studying cereals be devoted to studying the greenhouse effect on grain? Maybe not.” Certainly not —and why should they? Goodman and her friend will get the cars and the cereal they want, but what good would it do to study national health plans? After a great deal of research on medicine, economics, and bureaucracy, her friend may decide which health-care plan he prefers. He then turns to studying the presidential candidates, only to discover that they offer only vague indications of which health-care plan they would implement. But after diligent investigation, our well-informed voter chooses a candidate. Unfortunately, the voter doesn’t like that candidate’s stand on anything else — the package-deal problem — but he decides to vote on the issue of health care. He has a one-in-a-hundred-million chance of influencing the outcome of the presidential election, after which, if his candidate is successful, he faces a Congress with different ideas, and in any case, it turns out the candidate was dissembling in the first place. Instinctively realizing all this, most voters don’t spend much time studying public policy. Give that same man three health insurance plans that he can choose from, though, and chances are that he will spend time studying them. Finally, as noted above, the candidates are likely to be kidding themselves or the voters anyway. One could argue that in most of the presidential elections since 1968, the American people have tried to vote for smaller government, but in that time the federal budget has risen from $178 billion to $4 trillion.
David Boaz (The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom)
By Thursday the news had leaked out and a group of photographers waited for her outside the hospital. “People thought Diana only came in at the end,” says Angela. “Of course it wasn’t like that at all, we shared it all.” In the early hours of Thursday, August 23 the end came. When Adrian died, Angela went next door to telephone Diana. Before she could speak Diana said: “I’m on my way.” Shortly after she arrived they said the Lord’s Prayer together and then Diana left her friends to be alone for one last time. “I don’t know of anybody else who would have thought of me first,” says Angela. Then the protective side of Diana took over. She made up a bed for her friend, tucked her in and kissed her goodnight. While she was asleep Diana knew that it would be best if Angela joined her family on holiday in France. She packed her suitcase for her and telephoned her husband in Montpellier to tell him that Angela was flying out as soon as she awoke. Then Diana walked upstairs to see the baby ward, the same unit where her own sons were born. She felt that it was important to see life as well as death, to try and balance her profound sense of loss with a feeling of rebirth. In those few months Diana had learned much about herself, reflecting the new start she had made in life. It was all the more satisfying because for once she had not bowed to the royal family’s pressure. She knew that she had left Balmoral without first seeking permission from the Queen and in the last days there was insistence that she return promptly. The family felt that a token visit would have sufficed and seemed uneasy about her display of loyalty and devotion which clearly went far beyond the traditional call of duty. Her husband had never known much regard for her interests and he was less than sympathetic to the amount of time she spent caring for her friend. They failed to appreciate that she had made a commitment to Adrian Ward-Jackson, a commitment she was determined to keep. It mattered not whether he was dying of AIDS, cancer or some other disease, she had given her word to be with him at the end. She was not about to breach his trust. At that critical time she felt that her loyalty to her friends mattered as much as her duty towards the royal family. As she recalled to Angela: “You both need me. It’s a strange feeling being wanted for myself. Why me?” While the Princess was Angela’s guardian angel at Adrian’s funeral, holding her hand throughout the service, it was at his memorial service where she needed her friend’s shoulder to cry on. It didn’t happen. They tried hard to sit together for the service but Buckingham Palace courtiers would not allow it. As the service at St Paul’s Church in Knightsbridge was a formal occasion, the royal family had to sit in pews on the right, the family and friends of the deceased on the left. In grief, as with so much in Diana’s life, the heavy hand of royal protocol prevented the Princess from fulfilling this very private moment in the way she would have wished. During the service Diana’s grief was apparent as she mourned the man whose road to death had given her such faith in herself. The Princess no longer felt that she had to disguise her true feelings from the world. She could be herself rather than hide behind a mask. Those months nurturing Adrian had reordered her priorities in life. As she wrote to Angela shortly afterwards: “I reached a depth inside which I never imagined was possible. My outlook on life has changed its course and become more positive and balanced.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
Although Diana has successfully shaken off the traditional image of the fairy-tale princess concerned exclusively with shopping and fashion it still colours the preconceptions of those she meets for the first time. She is used to being patronized. As she tells close friends: “It happens a lot. It’s interesting to see people’s reactions to me. They have one impression in mind and then, as they talk to me, I can see it changing.” At the same time her struggles within the royal family have made her realize that she must not hide behind the conventional mask of monarchy. The spontaneity, the tactile compassion and the generosity of spirit she displays in public are very genuine. It is not an act for public consumption. The Princess, who appreciates how the royal world anaesthetizes individuals from reality, is fiercely determined that her boys are prepared for the outside world in a way unknown to previous royal generations. Normally royal children are trained to hide their feelings and emotions from others, constructing a shield to deflect intrusive inquiry. Diana believes that William and Harry should be open and honest to the possibilities within themselves and the variety of approaches to understanding life. As she says: “I want to bring them up with security. I hug my children to death and get into bed with them at night. I always feed them love and affection, it’s so important.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
He’d stopped talking about bonding her to him forever and had apparently decided to concentrate on being charming instead. Liv never would have believed that such an intensely alpha male could be light and playful but she had been seeing an entirely different side of Baird lately. Aside from the sushi class, he’d also taken her to an alien petting zoo where she was able to see and touch animals that were native to the three home worlds of the Kindred and they’d been twice to the Kindred version of a movie theater where the seats were wired to make the viewer feel whatever was happening on the screen. He’d also taken her to a musical performance where the musicians played giant drums bigger than themselves and tiny flutes smaller than her pinky finger. The music had been surprisingly beautiful—the melodies sweet and haunting and Liv had been moved. But it was the evenings they spent alone together in the suite that made Liv really believe she was in danger of feeling too much. Baird cooked for her—sometimes strange but delicious alien dishes and once Earth food, when she’d taught him how to make cheeseburgers. They ate in the dim, romantic light of some candle-like glow sticks he’d placed on the table and there was always very good wine or the potent fireflower juice to go with the meal. Liv was very careful not to over-imbibe because she needed every ounce of willpower she had to remember why she was holding out. For dessert Baird always made sure there was some kind of chocolate because he’d learned from his dreams how much she loved it. Liv had been thinking lately that she might really be in trouble if she didn’t get away from him soon. If all he’d had going for him was his muscular good looks she could have resisted easily enough. But he was thoughtful too and endlessly interested in her—asking her all kinds of questions about her past and friends and family as well as people he’d seen while they were “dream-sharing” as he called it. Liv found herself talking to him like an old friend, actually feeling comfortable with him instead of being constantly on her guard. She knew that Baird was actively wooing her, doing everything he could to earn her affection, but even knowing that couldn’t stop her from liking him. She had never been so ardently pursued in her life and she was finding that she actually liked it. Baird had taken her more places and paid her more attention in the past week than Mitch had for their entire relationship. It was intoxicating to always be the center of the big warrior’s attention, to know that he was focused exclusively on her needs and wants. But attention and attraction aside, there was another factor that was making Liv desperate to get away. Just as he had predicted, the physical attraction she felt for Baird seemed to be growing exponentially. She only had to be in the same room with him for a minute or two, breathing in his warm, spicy scent, and she was instantly ready to jump his bones. The need was growing every day and Liv didn’t know how much longer she could fight it.
Evangeline Anderson (Claimed (Brides of the Kindred, #1))
How is Prudence?” she heard him ask. It hurt to hear the note of wary longing in his voice. “Quite well, I believe. She’s in London for the season.” Beatrix hesitated before adding carefully, “We are still friends, but perhaps not as fond of each other as we once were.” “Why?” His gaze was alert now. Clearly any mention of Prudence earned his close attention. Because of you, Beatrix thought, and managed a faint, wry smile. “It seems we have different interests.” I’m interested in you, and she’s interested in your inheritance. “You’re hardly cut from the same cloth.” Hearing the sardonic note in his voice, Beatrix tilted her head and regarded him curiously. “I don’t take your meaning.” He hesitated. “I only meant that Miss Mercer is conventional. And you’re…not.” His tone was seasoned with the merest hint of condescension…but there was no mistaking it. Abruptly all the feelings of compassion and tenderness disappeared as Beatrix realized that Christopher Phelan had not changed in one regard: he still didn’t like her. “I would never want to be a conventional person,” she said. “They’re usually dull and superficial.” It seemed he took that as a slight against Prudence. “As compared to people who bring garden pests to picnics? No one could accuse you of being dull, Miss Hathaway.” Beatrix felt the blood drain from her face. He had insulted her. The realization made her numb. “You may insult me,” she said, half amazed that she could still speak. “But leave my hedgehog alone.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
How is Prudence?” she heard him ask. It hurt to hear the note of wary longing in his voice. “Quite well, I believe. She’s in London for the season.” Beatrix hesitated before adding carefully, “We are still friends, but perhaps not as fond of each other as we once were.” “Why?” His gaze was alert now. Clearly any mention of Prudence earned his close attention. Because of you, Beatrix thought, and managed a faint, wry smile. “It seems we have different interests.” I’m interested in you, and she’s interested in your inheritance. “You’re hardly cut from the same cloth.” Hearing the sardonic note in his voice, Beatrix tilted her head and regarded him curiously. “I don’t take your meaning.” He hesitated. “I only meant that Miss Mercer is conventional. And you’re…not.” His tone was seasoned with the merest hint of condescension…but there was no mistaking it. Abruptly all the feelings of compassion and tenderness disappeared as Beatrix realized that Christopher Phelan had not changed in one regard: he still didn’t like her. “I would never want to be a conventional person,” she said. “They’re usually dull and superficial.” It seemed he took that as a slight against Prudence. “As compared to people who bring garden pests to picnics? No one could accuse you of being dull, Miss Hathaway.” Beatrix felt the blood drain from her face. He had insulted her. The realization made her numb. “You may insult me,” she said, half amazed that she could still speak. “But leave my hedgehog alone.” Whirling around, she walked away from him in long, digging strides. Albert whimpered and began to follow, which forced Christopher to call him back. Beatrix didn’t glance over her shoulder, only plowed forward. Bad enough to love a man who didn’t love her. But it was exceptionally worse to love a man who actively disliked her. Ridiculously, she wished she could write to her Christopher about the stranger she had just met. He was so contemptuous, she would write. He dismissed me as someone who didn’t deserve a modicum of respect. Clearly he thinks I’m wild and more than a little mad. And the worst part is that he’s probably right. It crossed her mind that this was why she preferred the company of animals to people. Animals weren’t deceitful. They didn’t give one conflicting impressions of who they were. And one was never tempted to hope that an animal might change its nature.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
You see, I suffer from a disease that you cannot see; a disease that there is no cure for and that keeps the medical community baffled at how to treat and battle this demon, who’s[sic] attacks are relentless. My pain works silently, stealing my joy and replacing it with tears. On the outside we look alike you and I; you won’t see my scars as you would a person who, say, had suffered a car accident. You won’t see my pain in the way you would a person undergoing chemo for cancer; however, my pain is just as real and just as debilitating. And in many ways my pain may be more destructive because people can’t see it and do not understand....” “Please don’t get angry at my seemingly [sic] lack of interest in doing things; I punish myself enough, I assure you. My tears are shed many times when no one is around. My embarrassment is covered by a joke or laughter…” “I have been called unreliable because I am forced to cancel plans I made at the last minute because the burning and pain in my legs or arms is so intense I cannot put my clothes on and I am left in my tears as I miss out on yet another activity I used to love and once participated in with enthusiasm.” “And just because I can do a thing one day, that doesn’t mean I will be able to do the same thing the next day or next week. I may be able to take that walk after dinner on a warm July evening; the next day or even in the next hour I may not be able to walk to the fridge to get a cold drink because my muscles have begun to cramp and lock up or spasm uncontrollably. And there are those who say “But you did that yesterday!” “What is your problem today?” The hurt I experience at those words scars me so deeply that I have let my family down again; and still they don’t understand….” “On a brighter side I want you to know that I still have my sense of humor….I love you and want nothing more than to be a part of your life. And I have found that I can be a strong friend in many ways. Do you have a dream? I am your friend, your supporter and many times I will be the one to do the research for your latest project; many times I will be your biggest fan and the world will know how proud I am at your accomplishments and how honored I am to have you in my life.” “So you see, you and I are not that much different. I too have hopes, dreams, goals… and this demon…. Do you have an unseen demon that assaults you and no one else can see? Have you had to fight a fight that crushes you and brings you to your knees? I will be by your side, win or lose, I promise you that; I will be there in ways that I can. I will give all I can as I can, I promise you that. But I have to do this thing my way. Please understand that I am in such a fight myself and I know that I have little hope of a cure or effective treatments, at least right now. Please understand….
Shelly Bolton (Fibromyalgia: A Guide to Understanding the Journey)
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)
But her first instincts had been right. He was a good husband, a wonderful father and stepfather. He brought her a cup of tea in bed every morning and rubbed her feet at night when she was tired. And they’d made beautiful children together, she thought fondly, as she put Jacob’s breakfast on the high chair in front of him. Both their sons were a perfect blend of the two of them, with ruddy chestnut hair and hazel eyes. Only Emily looked like she didn’t belong. She was growing more like her biological father with every passing year. As she stirred the lumps out of Jacob’s cereal, Maddie felt an unexpected rush of tears. She blinked them back, cursing the pregnancy hormones that left her so vulnerable. Emily’s father, Benjamin, had been her first boyfriend, a veterinary student in his final year at the same college as she when they’d met. Quiet and painfully shy, Maddie had always found it hard to make friends, having been raised by a widowed mother too busy with her charitable causes to have time to show Maddie how to have fun. At twenty-one, she’d never even been on a date until Benjamin asked her to join him at a lecture about animal husbandry. Somehow, Benjamin had got under her skin. Theirs had been a gentle, low-key relationship, a slow burn born of shared interests and companionship. It wasn’t love, exactly, but it was warm and reassuring and safe. Eight months after they’d met, she’d lost her virginity to him in an encounter that, like the relationship itself, was unremarkable but quietly satisfying. The pregnancy a year later had been a complete accident. To her surprise, Benjamin had been thrilled. They’d both graduated college by then, and while she made next to nothing at the sanctuary, he was earning enough as a small animal vet to look after them both. He bought dozens of books on fatherhood and had picked out names – Emily for a girl, Charlie for a boy – before Maddie had been for her first scan. He was so excited about becoming a
T.J. Stimson (A Mother’s Secret)
Jeff Rothschild: Before I walked in the door at Facebook, I thought these guys had created a dating site. It took me probably a week or two before I really understood what it was about. Mark, he used to tell us that we are not a social network. He would insist: “This is not a social network. We’re a social utility for people you actually know.” MySpace was about building an online community among people who had similar interests. We might look the same because at some level it has the same shape, but what it accomplishes for the individual is solving a different problem. We were trying to improve the efficiency of communication among friends.
Adam Fisher (Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom))
He starts down the trail again, running even faster than before, almost rejuvenated. That or he really doesn’t want to talk to me. I don’t follow him, because it’s hard to escape when someone’s riding your tail and you have to look back constantly when you should keep your eyes forward. But the boy with the buzzed hair asks really good questions. I may have met my match. I ask Mom if I can go out tonight. It’s Friday. We’re standing in the kitchen making dinner. Tom is still at the bank. Mom fills up my “Esther” water bottle and sets it down next to me. “With who?” I keep my head down as I chop onions for the spaghetti sauce. They sting my eyes. “Color. The girl who cleans our house,” I say. “You said we need to make friends.” “Color,” Mom says. “Interesting name.” She doesn’t answer my question right away, but takes some of the chopped onions and adds them to the cooking meat. I keep dicing as tears begin to form in my eyes and fall down my cheeks. “You know, I wanted to name you Violet, but your dad didn’t like names that were colors, like Ruby and Hazel.” Mom tucks loose auburn hair behind her ear. Hannah does the same motion with her hair, too. “Amber . . . Jade . . . Goldie?” I say. “How about Olive?” “Raven?” “Scarlet.” I gag. “I still love the name Violet, though,” Mom says. “It’s nice for a girl.” “I like it, too.” I keep chopping. Mom keeps cooking. I add more onions to the pot. She turns to me then, with tears running down her face, just like mine. We stare at each other. It’s the wettest thing to happen in the desert since we arrived. I ask Mom in my head, Why did you let this happen? It’s the most selfish thing I’ve ever asked because I made this happen. I wrote the equation and asked Mom and Tom to answer it. And they did. “From the onions,” Mom says, with a sniffle that knows it’s a lie. I hand her a napkin. She points at the “Esther” water bottle as she pats her face dry. “Drink that.” I follow her orders.
Rebekah Crane (The Infinite Pieces of Us)
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)