Good Accompany Quotes

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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Humility must accompany all our actions, must be with us everywhere; for as soon as we glory in our good works they are of no further value to our advancement in virtue.
Augustine of Hippo
I learned that just beneath the surface there's another world, and still different worlds as you dig deeper. I knew it as a kid, but I couldn't find the proof. It was just a kind of feeling. There is goodness in blue skies and flowers, but another force--a wild pain and decay--also accompanies everything.
David Lynch
MAKING THE LIE MAKE SENSE: When denial (his or ours) can no longer hold and we finally have to admit to ourselves that we’ve been lied to, we search frantically for ways to keep it from disrupting our lives. So we rationalize. We find “good reasons” to justify his lying, just as he almost always accompanies his confessions with “good reasons” for his lies. He tells us he only lied because…. We tell ourselves he only lied because…. We make excuses for him: The lying wasn’t significant/Everybody lies/He’s only human/I have no right to judge him. Allowing the lies to register in our consciousness means having to make room for any number of frightening possibilities: • He’s not the man I thought he was. • The relationship has spun out of control and I don’t know what to do • The relationship may be over. Most women will do almost anything to avoid having to face these truths. Even if we yell and scream at him when we discover that he’s lied to us, once the dust settles, most of us will opt for the comforting territory of rationalization. In fact, many of us are willing to rewire our senses, short-circuit our instincts and intelligence, and accept the seductive comfort of self-delusion.
Susan Forward (When Your Lover Is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal)
The good enemy accompanies you on the journey, but you will never reach your destination with him.
Toba Beta (My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut)
I’ve come to understand that there’s a good deal of value in the ritual accompanying death. It’s hard to say good- bye and almost impossible to accomplish this alone and ritual is the railing we hold to, all of us together, that keeps us upright and connected until the worst is past.
William Kent Krueger (Ordinary Grace)
Learning After some time, you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and imprisoning a soul; You learn that love does not equal sex, and that company does not equal security, and you start to learn…. That kisses are not contracts and gifts are not promises, and you start to accept defeat with the head up high and open eyes, and you learn to build all roads on today, because the terrain of tomorrow is too insecure for plans… and the future has its own way of falling apart in half. And you learn that if it’s too much even the warmth of the sun can burn. So you plant your own garden and embellish your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring flowers to you. And you learn that you can actually bear hardship, that you are actually strong, and you are actually worthy, and you learn and learn…and so every day. Over time you learn that being with someone because they offer you a good future, means that sooner or later you’ll want to return to your past. Over time you comprehend that only who is capable of loving you with your flaws, with no intention of changing you can bring you all happiness. Over time you learn that if you are with a person only to accompany your own solitude, irremediably you’ll end up wishing not to see them again. Over time you learn that real friends are few and whoever doesn’t fight for them, sooner or later, will find himself surrounded only with false friendships. Over time you learn that words spoken in moments of anger continue hurting throughout a lifetime. Over time you learn that everyone can apologize, but forgiveness is an attribute solely of great souls. Over time you comprehend that if you have hurt a friend harshly it is very likely that your friendship will never be the same. Over time you realize that despite being happy with your friends, you cry for those you let go. Over time you realize that every experience lived, with each person, is unrepeatable. Over time you realize that whoever humiliates or scorns another human being, sooner or later will suffer the same humiliations or scorn in tenfold. Over time you learn to build your roads on today, because the path of tomorrow doesn’t exist. Over time you comprehend that rushing things or forcing them to happen causes the finale to be different form expected. Over time you realize that in fact the best was not the future, but the moment you were living just that instant. Over time you will see that even when you are happy with those around you, you’ll yearn for those who walked away. Over time you will learn to forgive or ask for forgiveness, say you love, say you miss, say you need, say you want to be friends, since before a grave, it will no longer make sense. But unfortunately, only over time…
Jorge Luis Borges
She certainly did not hate him. No; hatred had vanished long ago, and she had almost as long been ashamed of ever feeling a dislike against him, that could be so called. The respect created by the conviction of his valuable qualities, though at first unwillingly admitted, had for some time ceased to be repugnant to her feelings; and it was now heightened into somewhat of a friendlier nature, by the testimony so highly in his favour, and bringing forward his disposition in so amiable a light, which yesterday had produced. But above all, above respect and esteem, there was a motive within her of good will which could not be overlooked. It was gratitude.--Gratitude not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her still well enough, to forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him, and all the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection. He who, she had been persuaded, would avoid her as his greatest enemy, seemed, on this accidental meeting, most eager to preserve the acquaintance, and without any indelicate display of regard, or any peculiarity of manner, where their two selves only were concerned, was soliciting the good opinion of her friends, and bent on making her known to his sister. Such a change in a man of so much pride, excited not only astonishment but gratitude--for to love, ardent love, it must be attributed; and as such its impression on her was of a sort to be encouraged, as by no means unpleasing, though it could not exactly be defined.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
Up to a certain point it is good for us to know that there are people in the world who will give us love and unquestioned loyalty to the limit of their ability. I doubt, however, if it is good for us to feel assured of this without the accompanying obligation of having to justify this devotion by our behavior.
Eleanor Roosevelt (This is My Story)
Hence a commander who advances without any thought of winning personal fame and withdraws in spite of certain punishment, whose only concern is to protect his people and promote the interests of his ruler, is the nation's treasure. Because he fusses over his men as if they were infants, they will accompany him into the deepest valleys; because he fusses over his men as if they were his own beloved sons, they will die by his side. If he is generous with them and yet they do not do as he tells them, if he loves them and yet they do not obey his commands, if he is so undisciplined with them that he cannot bring them into proper order, they will be like spoiled children who can be put to no good use at all.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
I heard the universe as an oratorio sung by a master choir of stars, accompanied by the orchestra of the planets and the percussion of satellites and moons. The aria they performed was a song to break the heart, full of tragic dissonance and deferred hope, and yet somewhere beneath it all was a piercing refrain of glory, glory, glory. And I sensed that not only the grand movements of the cosmos, but everything that had happened in my life, was a part of that song. Even the hurts that seemed most senseless, the mistakes I would have done anything to erase--nothing could make those things good, but good could still come out of them all the same, and in the end the oratorio would be no less beautiful for it.
R.J. Anderson (Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1))
The Violins waltzed. The Cellos and Basses provided accompaniment. The Violas mourned their fate, while the Concertmaster showed off. The Flutes did bird imitations…repeatedly, and the reed instruments had the good taste to admire my jacket. The Trumpets held a parade in honor of our great nation, while the French Horns waxed nostalgic about something or other. The Trombones had too much to drink. The Percussion beat the band, and the Tuba stayed home playing cards with his landlady, the Harp, taking sips of warm milk a blue little cup. “But the Composer is still dead.
Lemony Snicket (The Composer Is Dead)
How often since then has she wondered what might have happened if she'd tried to remain with him; if she’d returned Richard's kiss on the corner of Bleeker and McDougal, gone off somewhere (where?) with him, never bought the packet of incense or the alpaca coat with rose-shaped buttons. Couldn’t they have discovered something larger and stranger than what they've got. It is impossible not to imagine that other future, that rejected future, as taking place in Italy or France, among big sunny rooms and gardens; as being full of infidelities and great battles; as a vast and enduring romance laid over friendship so searing and profound it would accompany them to the grave and possibly even beyond. She could, she thinks, have entered another world. She could have had a life as potent and dangerous as literature itself. Or then again maybe not, Clarissa tells herself. That's who I was. This is who I am--a decent woman with a good apartment, with a stable and affectionate marriage, giving a party. Venture too far for love, she tells herself, and you renounce citizenship in the country you've made for yourself. You end up just sailing from port to port. Still, there is this sense of missed opportunity. Maybe there is nothing, ever, that can equal the recollection of having been young together. Maybe it's as simple as that. Richard was the person Clarissa loved at her most optimistic moment. Richard had stood beside her at the pond's edge at dusk, wearing cut-off jeans and rubber sandals. Richard had called her Mrs. Dalloway, and they had kissed. His mouth had opened to hers; (exciting and utterly familiar, she'd never forget it) had worked its way shyly inside until she met its own. They'd kissed and walked around the pond together. It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk. The anticipation of dinner and a book. The dinner is by now forgotten; Lessing has been long overshadowed by other writers. What lives undimmed in Clarissa's mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk on a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
Not that the heart can be good without knowledge, for without knowledge the heart is empty. But there are two kinds of knowledge: the first is alone in its bare speculation of things, and the second is accompanied by the grace of faith and love, which causes a man to do the will of God from the heart. "The
John Bunyan (The Pilgrim's Progress: From This World to That Which Is to Come)
If I could forgive, it meant I was a strong good person who could take responsibility for the path I had chosen for myself, and all the consequences that accompanied that choice. And it gave me the simple but powerful satisfaction of extending a kindness to another person in a tough spot.
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black)
Past experience told me he could smell my fear; it also told me that the anger accompanying it would pretty much cover the scent. It's good to know how to compensate for your own weaknesses.​
Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1))
Oh, certainly, sir. Would you like me to accompany you?” “That won’t be necessary, Lieutenant, but thank you for the offer.” “I—s-sir,” he stammers. “Of course, it’s m-my pleasure, sir, to assist you—” Good God, I have taken leave of my senses. I never thank Delalieu. I’ve likely given the poor man a heart attack.
Tahereh Mafi
True openness is the accompaniment of the desire to know, hence of the awareness of ignorance. To deny the possibility of knowing good and bad is to suppress true openness.
Allan Bloom
Tigers, except when wounded or when man-eaters, are on the whole very good-tempered...Occassionally a tiger will object to too close an approach to its cubs or to a kill that it is guarding. The objection invariably takes the form of growling, and if this does not prove effective itis followed by short rushes accompanied by terrifying roars. If these warnings are disregarded, the blame for any injury inflicted rests entirely with the intruder"- Jim Corbett
Jim Corbett
There is indeed a certain sense of gratification when we do a good deed that gives us inward satisfaction, and a generous pride that accompanies a good conscience…These testimonies of a good conscience are pleasant; and such a natural pleasure is very beneficial to us; it is the only payment that can never fail. “On Repentance
Michel de Montaigne
If we only have great companies, we will merely have a prosperous society, not a great one. Economic growth and power are the means, not the definition, of a great nation.
James C. Collins (Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great)
All authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and degrades those over whom it is exercised. When it is violently, grossly, and cruelly used, it produces a good effect by creating, or at any rate bringing out, the spirit of revolt and individualism that is to kill it. When it is used with a certain amount of kindness, and accompanied by prizes and rewards, it is dreadfully demoralising. People, in that case, are less conscious of the horrible pressure that is being put on them, and so go through their lives in a sort of coarse comfort, like petted animals, without ever realising that they are probably thinking other people's thoughts, living by other people's standards, wearing practically what one may call other people's second-hand clothes, and never being themselves for a single moment.
Oscar Wilde (The Soul of Man Under Socialism)
Our subject is, you see, impelled towards the good by, paradoxically, being impelled towards evil. The intention to act violently is accompanied by strong feelings of physical distress. To counter these the subject has to switch to a diametrically opposed attitude.
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
However you define success—a happy family, good friends, a satisfying career, robust health, financial security, the freedom to pursue your passions—it tends to be accompanied by a couple of qualities.
Roy F. Baumeister (Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength)
Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed, this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: Is it good? Is it fair? Is it just? Is it right? Will it help bring about a better society or a better world? Those used to be the political questions, even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them. The materialistic and selfish quality of contemporary life is not inherent in the human condition. Much of what appears "natural" today dates from the 1980s: the obsession with wealth creation, the cult of privatization and the private sector, the growing disparities of rich and poor. And above all, the rhetoric that accompanies these: uncritical admiration for unfettered markets, disdain for the public sector, the delusion of endless growth. We cannot go on living like this. The little crash of 2008 was a reminder that unregulated capitalism is its own worst enemy: sooner or later it must fall prey to its own excesses and turn again to the state for rescue. But if we do no more than pick up the pieces and carry on as before, we can look forward to greater upheavals in years to come.
Tony Judt (Ill Fares the Land)
If from morning to night we just took care of one thing after another, thoroughly and completely and without accompanying thoughts, such as “I’m a good person for doing this” or “Isn’t it wonderful, that I can take care of everything?,” then that would be sufficient.
Charlotte Joko Beck
Every good thing that comes is accompanied by trouble.
Maxwell Perkins
What is there to see if I go outside? Don't tell me. I know. I can see other people. I don't want to see other people. They look awful. The men look like slobs and the women look like men. The men have mush faces framed by long hair and the women have big noses, big jaws, big heads, and stick-like bodies. That depresses me. Its no fun to people-watch anymore because there's so little variety in types. You say it's good to get a change of scenery. What scenery? New buildings? New cars? New freeways? New shopping malls? Go to the woods or a park? I saw a tree once. The new ones look the same, which is fine. I even remember what the old ones look like. My memory isn't that short. But it's not worth going to see a squirrel grab a nut, or fish swimming around in a big tank if I must put up with the ugly contemporary human pollution that accompanies each excursion. The squirrel may enliven me and remind me of better vistas but the price in social interaction isn't worth it. If, on my way to visit the squirrel, I encounter a single person who gains stimulation by seeing me, I feel like I have given more than I've received and I get sore. If every time I go somewhere to see a fish swimming, I become someone else's stimulation, I feel shortchanged. I'll buy my own fish and watch it swim. Then, I can watch the fish, the fish can watch me, we can be friends, and nobody else interferes with the interaction, like trying to hear what the fish and I are talking about. I won't have to get dressed a certain way to visit the fish. I needn't dress the way my pride dictates, because who's going to see me? I needn't wear any pants. The fish doesn't care. He doesn't read the tabloids. But, if I go out to see a fish other than my own, I'm right back where I started: entertaining others, which is more depleting than visiting the new fish is entertaining. Maybe I should go to a coffee house. I find no stimulation in watching ordinary people trying to put the make on other uninteresting people. I can fix my own cup of coffee and not have to look at or talk to other people. No matter where I go, I stimulate others, and have been doing so all my life. It used to be I'd sometimes get stimulated back.
Anton Szandor LaVey
In spring, hundreds of flowers; in autumn, a harvest moon; In summer, a refreshing breeze; in winter, snow will accompany you. If useless things do not hang in your mind, Any season is a good season for you.
Mu-mon (The Gateless Gate)
the unhappy person is expected to conceal negative feelings, putting on a polite smile to accompany the “Just fine, thank you, and how are you?” reply to the “How are you today?” The true feelings will probably go undetected, not because the smile is such a good mask but because in polite exchanges people rarely care how the other person actually feels.
Paul Ekman (Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage)
the basis of our preferential option for the poor to say: I accompany them not because they are all good, or because I am all good, but because God is good.
Paul Farmer (In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez)
Your message is only as loud as the actions that accompany it. Live your message and it will be heard loud and clear.
Rev. Kellen Roggenbuck
Is the beauty of the Whole really enhanced by our agony? And is the Whole really beautiful? And what is beauty? Throughout all his existence man has been striving to hear the music of the spheres, and has seemed to himself once and again to catch some phrase of it, or even a hint of the whole form of it. Yet he can never be sure that he has truly heard it, nor even that there is any such perfect music at all to be heard. Inevitably so, for if it exists, it is not for him in his littleness. But one thing is certain. Man himself, at the very least, is music, a brave theme that makes music also of its vast accompaniment, its matrix of storms and stars. Man himself in his degree is eternally a beauty in the eternal form of things. It is very good to have been man. And so we may go forward together with laughter in our hearts, and peace, thankful for the past, and for our own courage. For we shall make after all a fair conclusion to this brief music that is man.
Olaf Stapledon (Last and First Men)
The first time he talked in that way he said something that I've never forgotten, because it horrified me; he said that the world isn't a creation, for out of nothing nothing comes, but a manifestation of the eternal nature; well, that was all right, but then he added that evil is as direct a manifestation of the divine as good. They were strange words to hear in that sordid, noisy café, to the accompaniment of dance tunes on the mechanical piano.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor’s Edge)
Sex had nothing to do with feeling good, everything to do with superficialities, and was always accompanied by a masochistic agenda to feel anything but dead inside.
Justin Donner (I Just Woke Up Dead: A Memoir)
I know. But I hate weddings.” “Because of Darcy?” “Because a wedding is a ceremony where a symbolic virgin surrounded by women in ugly dresses marries a hungover groom accompanied by friends he hasn’t seen in years but made them show up anyway. After that, there’s a reception where the guests are held hostage for two hours with nothing to eat except lukewarm chicken winglets or those weird coated almonds, and the DJ tries to brainwash everyone into doing the electric slide and the Macarena, which some drunk idiots always go for. The only good part about a wedding is the free booze.” “Can you say that again?” Sam asked. “Because I might want to write it down and use it as part of my speech.
Lisa Kleypas (Dream Lake (Friday Harbor, #3))
Typically, the daughter of a narcissistic mother will choose a spouse who cannot meet her emotional needs. Even though our intuition will tell us in some way when something is not right for us, we tend to block it out if it isn’t saying what we want to hear. When the hope for love blossoms, we override the intuitive inner voice or gut feeling. Years of treating and interviewing daughters with maternal deprivation have shown me that we have a deep sense of intelligent intuition, but it seems to be accompanied by a special brand of “deafness.” In the desperate search for love that did not exist in her childhood, the daughter chooses not to pay attention to the red flags that may be waving. We do know. We just don’t listen. In
Karyl McBride (Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers)
Your time is your life, and your life is your capital: by it you make your trade, and by it you will reach the eternal bounties in the proximity of Allah. Every single breath of yours is a priceless jewel, because it is irreplaceable; once it is gone, there is no return for it. So do not be like fools who rejoice each day as their wealth increases while their lives decrease. What good is there in wealth that increases while one's lifespan decreases? Do not rejoice except in an increase of knowledge or an increase of good works. Truly they are your two friends who will accompany you in your grave, when your spouse, your wealth, your children, and your friends will remain behind.
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (بداية الهداية)
The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous “turn” (for there is no true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially “escapist,” nor “fugitive.” In its fairy-tale--or otherworld--setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief. It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art, and having a peculiar quality ... In such stories when the sudden “turn” comes we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart's desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of story, and lets a gleam come through.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Tolkien On Fairy-stories)
If I could forgive, it meant I was a strong, good person who could take responsibility for the path I had chosen for myself, and all the consequences that accompanied that choice.
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black)
A culture of discipline is not a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness.
James C. Collins (Good To Great And The Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great)
Elise hid her face in his shoulder, embarassed, "Kane! What will they think?" She whispered against his neck. "That we're newly bonded and I can't keep my hands off of my lovely mate." And sure enough, the good natured calls that accompanied them across the yard left her in no doubt that the others were thinking exactly that.
Nicky Charles (The Mating (Law of the Lycans, #1))
I had worked and waited for this day. In solving this mystery I had also proved something, at least to myself, and I finally knew what real research would feel like. But as satisfying as it was, it still stands out as one of the loneliest moments of my life. On some deep level, the realization that I could do good science was accompanied by the knowledge that I had formally and terminally missed my chance to become like any of the women that I had ever known. In
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
Hardly had the light been extinguished, when a peculiar trembling began to affect the netting under which the three children lay. It consisted of a multitude of dull scratches which produced a metallic sound, as if claws and teeth were gnawing at the copper wire. This was accompanied by all sorts of little piercing cries. The little five-year-old boy, on hearing this hubbub overhead, and chilled with terror, jogged his brother's elbow; but the elder brother had already shut his peepers, as Gavroche had ordered. Then the little one, who could no longer control his terror, questioned Gavroche, but in a very low tone, and with bated breath:-- "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche, who had just closed his eyes. "What is that?" "It's the rats," replied Gavroche. And he laid his head down on the mat again. The rats, in fact, who swarmed by thousands in the carcass of the elephant, and who were the living black spots which we have already mentioned, had been held in awe by the flame of the candle, so long as it had been lighted; but as soon as the cavern, which was the same as their city, had returned to darkness, scenting what the good story-teller Perrault calls "fresh meat," they had hurled themselves in throngs on Gavroche's tent, had climbed to the top of it, and had begun to bite the meshes as though seeking to pierce this new-fangled trap. Still the little one could not sleep. "Sir?" he began again. "Hey?" said Gavroche. "What are rats?" "They are mice." This explanation reassured the child a little. He had seen white mice in the course of his life, and he was not afraid of them. Nevertheless, he lifted up his voice once more. "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche again. "Why don't you have a cat?" "I did have one," replied Gavroche, "I brought one here, but they ate her." This second explanation undid the work of the first, and the little fellow began to tremble again. The dialogue between him and Gavroche began again for the fourth time:-- "Monsieur?" "Hey?" "Who was it that was eaten?" "The cat." "And who ate the cat?" "The rats." "The mice?" "Yes, the rats." The child, in consternation, dismayed at the thought of mice which ate cats, pursued:-- "Sir, would those mice eat us?" "Wouldn't they just!" ejaculated Gavroche. The child's terror had reached its climax. But Gavroche added:-- "Don't be afraid. They can't get in. And besides, I'm here! Here, catch hold of my hand. Hold your tongue and shut your peepers!
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
My dad: “Emily, this risotto…” My mom: “It’s just delicious.” Gus’s mom: “Oh, thanks. I’d be happy to give you the recipe.” Gus, swallowing a bite: “You know, this primary taste I’m getting is not-Oranjee.” Me: “Good observation, Gus. This food, while delicious, does not taste like Oranjee.” My mom: “Hazel.” Gus: “It tastes like…” Me: “Food.” Gus: “Yes, precisely. It tastes like food, excellently prepared. But it does not taste, how do I put this delicately…?” Me: “It does not taste like God Himself cooked heaven into a series of five dishes which were then served to you accompanied by several luminous balls of fermented, bubbly plasma while actual and literal flower petals floated down all around your canal-side dinner table.” Gus: “Nicely phrased.” Gus’s father: “Our children are weird.” My dad: “Nicely phrased.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
But above all, above respect and esteem, there was a motive within her of good will which could not be overlooked. It was gratitude. -- Gratitude, not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her still well enough, to forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him, and all the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection. He who, she had been persuaded, would avoid her as his greatest enemy, seemed, on this accidental meeting, most eager to preserve the acquaintance, and without any indelicate display of regard, or any peculiarity of manner, where their two selves only were concerned, was soliciting the good opinion of her friends, and bent on making her known to his sister.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
I admire a contented mind. I revere enjoyment of the simple things. I can imagine that contentment has a high degree of truth. But the human tendency is to take good as normal, and one's natural right, and so no cause for satisfaction and pleasure. This is accompanied by the habit of regarding bad as abnormal and a personal outrage.
Florida Scott-Maxwell (The Measure of My Days: One Woman's Vivid, Enduring Celebration of Life and Aging)
They’re like little boys, men. Sometimes of course they’re rather naughty and you have to pretend to be angry with them. They attach so much importance to such entirely unimportant things that it’s really touching. And they’re so helpless. Have you never nursed a man when he’s ill? It wrings your heart. It’s just like a dog or a horse. They haven’t got the sense to come in out of the rain, poor darlings. They have all the charming qualities that accompany general incompetence. They’re sweet and good and silly, and tiresome and selfish. You can’t help liking them, they’re so ingenuous, and so simple. They have no complexity or finesse. I think they’re sweet, but it’s absurd to take them seriously.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Constant Wife)
Let the preacher tell the truth. Let him make audible the silence of the news of the world with the sound turned off so that in the silence we can hear the tragic truth of the Gospel, which is that the world where God is absent is a dark and echoing emptiness; and the comic truth of the Gospel, which is that it is into the depths of his absence that God makes himself present in such unlikely ways and to such unlikely people that old Sarah and Abraham and maybe when the time comes even Pilate and Job and Lear and Henry Ward Beecher and you and I laugh till the tears run down our cheeks. And finally let him preach this overwhelming of tragedy by comedy, of darkness by light, of the ordinary by the extraordinary, as the tale that is too good not to be true because to dismiss it as untrue is to dismiss along with it that catch of the breath, that beat and lifting of the heart near to or even accompanied by tears, which I believe is the deepest intuition of truth that we have.
Frederick Buechner (Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale)
It can be hidden only in complete silence and perfect passivity, but its disclosure can almost never be achieved as a willful purpose, as though one possessed and could dispose of this "who" in the same manner he has and can dispose of his qualities. On the contrary, it is more than likely that the "who," which appears so clearly and unmistakably to others, remains hidden from the person himself, like the daimon in Greek religion which accompanies each man throughout his life, always looking over his shoulder from behind and thus visible only to those he encounters. This revelatory quality of speech and action comes to the fore where people are with others and neither for (the doer of good works) nor against them (the criminal) that is, in sheer human togetherness. Although nobody knows whom he reveals when he discloses himself in deed or word, he must be willing to risk the disclosure.
Hannah Arendt (The Human Condition)
There are three ways to say, I love you, man. The first one is an announcement, said at full volume and often accompanied by a swear word. It’s sort of Thank you, sort of You’re cool, with a little And damn, you make me look good thrown in. This is how kellen said it. The second one is a diss, said with four and a half tons of sarcasm and most likely a reference to the father, son, or Holy Ghost. There’s no sort of about it. It means I hate you right now. The third one comes wrapped in caution tape. It is said quietly and on its own, without any adjectives. There’s no ‘sort of’ to this one, either, because you mean it. Like I did.
Sarah Tregay (Fan Art)
Good government should maintain the balance where every individual may have a place if he will take it, where every individual may find safety if he wishes it, where every individual may attain such power as his ability permits, consistent with his assuming the accompanying responsibility.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (Looking Forward)
Nowhere can I think so happily as in a train. I am not inspired; nothing so uncomfortable as that. I am never seized with a sudden idea for a masterpiece, nor form a sudden plan for some new enterprise. My thoughts are just pleasantly reflective. I think of all the good deeds I have done, and (when these give out) of all the good deeds I am going to do. I look out of the window and say lazily to myself, “How jolly to live there”; and a little farther on, “How jolly not to live there.” I see a cow, and I wonder what it is like to be a cow, and I wonder whether the cow wonders what it is to be like me; and perhaps, by this time, we have passed on to a sheep, and I wonder if it is more fun being a sheep. My mind wanders on in a way which would annoy Pelman a good deal, but it wanders on quite happily, and the “clankety-clank” of the train adds a very soothing accompaniment. So soothing, indeed, that at any moment I can close my eyes and pass into a pleasant state of sleep.
A.A. Milne
Years and years ago, I read a great interview with Jam and Lewis, the R&B producers, in which they described what it was like to be members of Prince's band. They'd sit down, and Prince would tell them what he wanted them to play, and they'd explain that they couldn't--they weren't quick enough, or good enough. And Prince would push them and push them until they mastered it, and then just when they were feeling pleased with themselves for accomplishing something they didn't know they had the capacity for, he'd tell them the dance steps he needed to accompany the music. This story has stuck with me, I think, because it seems like an encapsulation of the very best and most exciting kind of creative process.
Nick Hornby (The Polysyllabic Spree)
Of what use is it that we know the truth, if we lack its spirit? Our knowledge, in this event, becomes a condemnation to us, failing to bear fruit. It is not sufficient that we know the truth, but we must be humble with this knowledge possess the spirit to actuate us to good deeds. Baptism, as well as all other outward ordinances, without the spirit accompanying, is useless. We remain but baptized sinners.
Joseph F. Smith
A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. ... ... Every woman's presence regulates what is and is not 'permissible' within her presence. Every one of her actions - whatever its direct purpose or motivation - is also read as an indication of how she would like to be treated. If a woman throws a glass on the floor, this is an example of how she treats her own emotion of anger and so of how she would wish it to be treated by others. If a man does the same, his action is only read as an expression of his anger. If a woman makes a good joke this is an example of how she treats the joker in herself and accordingly of how she as a joker-woman would like to be treated by others. Only a man can make a good joke for its own sake. One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object - and most particularly an object of vision : a sight.
John Berger (Ways of Seeing)
The problem is that the desire to change is fundamentally a form of aggression toward yourself. The other problem is that our hangups, unfortunately or fortunately, contain our wealth. Our neurosis and our wisdom are made out of the same material. If you throw out your neurosis, you also throw out your wisdom. Someone who is very angry also has a lot of energy; that energy is what’s so juicy about him or her. That’s the reason people love that person. The idea isn’t to try to get rid of your anger, but to make friends with it, to see it clearly with precision and honesty, and also to see it with gentleness. That means not judging yourself as a bad person, but also not bolstering yourself up by saying, “It’s good that I’m this way, it’s right that I’m this way. Other people are terrible, and I’m right to be so angry at them all the time.” The gentleness involves not repressing the anger but also not acting it out. It is something much softer and more openhearted than any of that. It involves learning how, once you have fully acknowledged the feeling of anger and the knowledge of who you are and what you do, to let it go. You can let go of the usual pitiful little story line that accompanies anger and begin to see clearly how you keep the whole thing going. So whether it’s anger or craving or jealousy or fear or depression—whatever it might be—the notion is not to try to get rid of it, but to make friends with it. That means getting to know it completely, with some kind of softness, and learning how, once you’ve experienced it fully, to let go. The
Pema Chödrön (The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving-Kindness)
It is impossible to derive happiness from the company of those whom we deprive of happiness. To be happy in old age it is necessary that we accustom ourselves to objects than can accompany the mind all the way through life, and that we take the rest as good in their day. The mere man of pleasure is miserable in old age; and the mere drudge in business is but little better: whereas, natural philosophy, mathematical and mechanical science, are a continual source of tranquil pleasure, and in spite of the gloomy study of the true theology; it teaches man to know and to admire the Creator, for the principles of science are in the creation, and are unchangeable, and of divine origin.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
Grace to me is a little bit of extra help when you're feeling stuck or doomed or, probably, hopefully, out of good ideas on how to save yourself, and how to salvage the situation or the friendship or the whatever it is,” Anne Lamott once told me. “I wish it was accompanied by harp music so you could know that's what was happening, but for me it's that extra pause or that extra breath or that extra minute's patience against all odds.” On that first trip to Ireland, grace—the kick-in-the-pants, clarifying, cosmic-pause-button kind of grace—didn't just have a harp. It had an entire soundtrack...
Cathleen Falsani (Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace)
Having neurons wire together can be a good thing. A positive experience with a math teacher can lead to neural connections that link math with pleasure, accomplishment, and feeling good about yourself as a student. But the opposite is equally true. Negative experiences with a harsh instructor or a timed test and the anxiety that accompanies it can form connections in the brain that create a serious obstacle to the enjoyment not only of math and numbers, but exams and even school in general.
Daniel J. Siegel (No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind)
The right use of the exercise of the will is a condition of salvation, necessary without a doubt, but remote, inferior, very subordinated, purely negative. Muscular effort pulls up weeds, but only the sun and water can make wheat grow. The will cannot produce any good in the soul. The efforts of the will are only in place for accomplishing specific obligations. Wherever there is no specific obligation, we must follow our natural inclination or our vocation, which to say the commandment of God. The acts proceeding from inclination are evidently not efforts of the will. And in acts of obedience to God, we remain passive. Whatever pains might accompany it, whatever deployment of activity might be apparent, they produce nothing analogous in the soul to muscular effort. There is only expectant waiting, attentiveness, silence and immobility through suffering and joy. The crucifixion of Christ is the model of all acts of obedience.
Simone Weil (Waiting for God)
Don’t strive to be a well-rounded leader. Instead, discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else. Admitting a weakness is a sign of strength. Acknowledging weakness doesn’t make a leader less effective. Everybody in your organization benefits when you delegate responsibilities that fall outside your core competency. Thoughtful delegation will allow someone else in your organization to shine. Your weakness is someone’s opportunity. Leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people. The people who follow us are exactly where we have led them. If there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is our own fault. As a leader, gifted by God to do a few things well, it is not right for you to attempt to do everything. Upgrade your performance by playing to your strengths and delegating your weaknesses. There are many things I can do, but I have to narrow it down to the one thing I must do. The secret of concentration is elimination. Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing. My competence in these areas defines my success as a pastor. A sixty-hour workweek will not compensate for a poorly delivered sermon. People don’t show up on Sunday morning because I am a good pastor (leader, shepherd, counselor). In my world, it is my communication skills that make the difference. So that is where I focus my time. To develop a competent team, help the leaders in your organization discover their leadership competencies and delegate accordingly. Once you step outside your zone, don’t attempt to lead. Follow. The less you do, the more you will accomplish. Only those leaders who act boldly in times of crisis and change are willingly followed. Accepting the status quo is the equivalent of accepting a death sentence. Where there’s no progress, there’s no growth. If there’s no growth, there’s no life. Environments void of change are eventually void of life. So leaders find themselves in the precarious and often career-jeopardizing position of being the one to draw attention to the need for change. Consequently, courage is a nonnegotiable quality for the next generation leader. The leader is the one who has the courage to act on what he sees. A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It is not his insight that sets the leader apart from the crowd. It is his courage to act on what he sees, to speak up when everyone else is silent. Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside. The first person to step out in a new direction is viewed as the leader. And being the first to step out requires courage. In this way, courage establishes leadership. Leadership requires the courage to walk in the dark. The darkness is the uncertainty that always accompanies change. The mystery of whether or not a new enterprise will pan out. The reservation everyone initially feels when a new idea is introduced. The risk of being wrong. Many who lack the courage to forge ahead alone yearn for someone to take the first step, to go first, to show the way. It could be argued that the dark provides the optimal context for leadership. After all, if the pathway to the future were well lit, it would be crowded. Fear has kept many would-be leaders on the sidelines, while good opportunities paraded by. They didn’t lack insight. They lacked courage. Leaders are not always the first to see the need for change, but they are the first to act. Leadership is about moving boldly into the future in spite of uncertainty and risk. You can’t lead without taking risk. You won’t take risk without courage. Courage is essential to leadership.
Andy Stanley (Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future)
The Marquis dusted off the Italian theorbo. He restrung it, tuned it with a perseverance that could be understood only as love, and once again accompanied the songs of the past, sung with the good voice and bad ear that neither years nor troubled memories had changed. This was when she asked him whether it was true that love conquered all, as the songs said. "It is true," he replied, "but you would do well not to believe it.
Gabriel García Márquez (Of Love and Other Demons)
Because after having overcome the defeats - and we always overcome them - we feel much more euphoria and confidence. In the silence of our hearts, we know we are worthy of the miracle of life. Each day, each hour, is part of the Good Combat. We begin to live with enthusiasm and pleasure. Very intense and unexpected suffering begins passing faster than apparently tolerable suffering: that drags on for years, eroding our soul without us noticing what is happening - until one day we can no longer free ourselves of the bitterness, and it accompanies us for the rest of our lives.
Paulo Coelho (Warrior of the Light)
It is a special blessing to belong among those who can and may devote their best energies to the contemplation and exploration of objective and timeless things. How happy and grateful I am for having been granted this blessing, which bestows upon one a large measure of independence from one's personal fate and from the attitude of one's contemporaries. Yet this independence must not inure us to the awareness of the duties that constantly bind us to the past, present and future of humankind at large. Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here, involuntarily and uninvited, for a short stay, without knowing the why and the wherefore. In our daily lives we feel only that man is here for the sake of others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own. I am often troubled by the thought that my life is based to such a large extent on the work of my fellow human beings, and I am aware of my great indebtedness to them. I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer's words: 'Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,' accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper. I have never coveted affluence and luxury and even despise them a good deal. My passion for social justice has often brought me into conflict with people, as has my aversion to any obligation and dependence I did not regard as absolutely necessary. [Part 2] I have a high regard for the individual and an insuperable distaste for violence and fanaticism. All these motives have made me a passionate pacifist and antimilitarist. I am against any chauvinism, even in the guise of mere patriotism. Privileges based on position and property have always seemed to me unjust and pernicious, as does any exaggerated personality cult. I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I know well the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual have always seemed to me the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice keeps me from feeling isolated. The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is.
Albert Einstein
She thought of the women at Chicken Little's funeral. The women who shrieked over the bier and at the lip of the open grave. What she had regarded since as unbecoming behavior seemed fitting to her now; they were screaming at the neck of God, his giant nape, the vast back-of-the-head that he had turned on them in death. But it seemed to her now that it was not a fist-shaking grief they were keening but rather a simple obligation to say something, do something, feel something about the dead. They could not let that heart-smashing event pass unrecorded, unidentified. It was poisonous, unnatural to let the dead go with a mere whimpering, a slight murmur, a rose bouquet of good taste. Good taste was out of place in the company of death, death itself was the essence of bad taste. And there must be much rage and saliva in its presence. The body must move and throw itself about, the eyes must roll, the hands should have no peace, and the throat should release all the yearning, despair and outrage that accompany the stupidity of loss.
Toni Morrison (Sula)
Man himself, at the very least, is music, a brave theme that makes music also of its vast accompaniment, its matrix of storms and stars. Man himself in his degree is eternally a beauty in the eternal form of things. It is very good to have been man. And so we may go forward together with laughter in our hearts, and peace, thankful for the past, and for our own courage. For we shall make after all a fair conclusion to this brief music that is man.
Olaf Stapledon (Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future)
How can someone who's stood by you your whole life – who helped you empty the contents of the kitchen bin onto the floor when you were seventeen because you accidentally threw away a piece of hash the size of a cocoa nib, or who accompanied you, when she was eighty years old, to the Southbank Cinema on Mother's Day to watch hardcore gay and lesbian sex films because no one else would go with you (ditto a Sparks concert at the Royal Festival Hall) – how can that person, who you've been through so much with and who is now lying in front of you with snow-white hair, pale-grey eyes, soft pink skin and worry lines, not be beautiful?
Viv Albertine (To Throw Away Unopened)
And this feeling had been more painfully perceived by young d'Artagnan—for so was the Don Quixote of this second Rosinante named—from his not being able to conceal from himself the ridiculous appearance that such a steed gave him, good horseman as he was. He had sighed deeply, therefore, when accepting the gift of the pony from M. d'Artagnan the elder. He was not ignorant that such a beast was worth at least twenty livres; and the words which had accompanied the present were above all price.
Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1))
Hypercritical, Shaming Parents Hypercritical and shaming parents send the same message to their children as perfectionistic parents do - that they are never good enough. Parents often deliberately shame their children into minding them without realizing the disruptive impact shame can have on a child's sense of self. Statements such as "You should be ashamed of yourself" or "Shame on you" are obvious examples. Yet these types of overtly shaming statements are actually easier for the child to defend against than are more subtle forms of shaming, such as contempt, humiliation, and public shaming. There are many ways that parents shame their children. These include belittling, blaming, contempt, humiliation, and disabling expectations. -BELITTLING. Comments such as "You're too old to want to be held" or "You're just a cry-baby" are horribly humiliating to a child. When a parent makes a negative comparison between his or her child and another, such as "Why can't you act like Jenny? See how she sits quietly while her mother is talking," it is not only humiliating but teaches a child to always compare himself or herself with peers and find himself or herself deficient by comparison. -BLAMING. When a child makes a mistake, such as breaking a vase while rough-housing, he or she needs to take responsibility. But many parents go way beyond teaching a lesson by blaming and berating the child: "You stupid idiot! Do you think money grows on trees? I don't have money to buy new vases!" The only thing this accomplishes is shaming the child to such an extent that he or she cannot find a way to walk away from the situation with his or her head held high. -CONTEMPT. Expressions of disgust or contempt communicate absolute rejection. The look of contempt (often a sneer or a raised upper lip), especially from someone who is significant to a child, can make him or her feel disgusting or offensive. When I was a child, my mother had an extremely negative attitude toward me. Much of the time she either looked at me with the kind of expectant expression that said, "What are you up to now?" or with a look of disapproval or disgust over what I had already done. These looks were extremely shaming to me, causing me to feel that there was something terribly wrong with me. -HUMILIATION. There are many ways a parent can humiliate a child, such as making him or her wear clothes that have become dirty. But as Gershen Kaufman stated in his book Shame: The Power of Caring, "There is no more humiliating experience than to have another person who is clearly the stronger and more powerful take advantage of that power and give us a beating." I can personally attest to this. In addition to shaming me with her contemptuous looks, my mother often punished me by hitting me with the branch of a tree, and she often did this outside, in front of the neighbors. The humiliation I felt was like a deep wound to my soul. -DISABLING EXPECTATIONS. Parents who have an inordinate need to have their child excel at a particular activity or skill are likely to behave in ways that pressure the child to do more and more. According to Kaufman, when a child becomes aware of the real possibility of failing to meet parental expectations, he or she often experiences a binding self-consciousness. This self-consciousness - the painful watching of oneself - is very disabling. When something is expected of us in this way, attaining the goal is made harder, if not impossible. Yet another way that parents induce shame in their children is by communicating to them that they are a disappointment to them. Such messages as "I can't believe you could do such a thing" or "I am deeply disappointed in you" accompanied by a disapproving tone of voice and facial expression can crush a child's spirit.
Beverly Engel (The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself)
We have no way to quantify the damage done by telling tens of millions of children that masturbation will make them blind, or that impure thoughts will lead to an eternity of torment, or that members of other faiths including members of their own families will burn, or that venereal disease will result from kisses. Nor can we hope to quantify the damage done by holy instructors who rammed home these lies and accompanied them with floggings and rapes and public humiliations. Some of those who "rest in unvisited tombs" may have contributed to the good of the world, but tho who preached hatred and fear and guilt and who ruined innumerable childhoods should have been thankful that the hell they preached was only one among their wicked falsifications, and that they were not sent to rot there.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
Good,” Brigida said with a nod. “Now, you’ll need one of Arranz’s kin to accompany you. Take that one with you.” She motioned to Addolgar. “And the one with the thick neck over there.” Ghleanna’s hand went to her throat. “Me neck isn’t thick.” “Thick like a tree trunk,” Brigida muttered. “It’s graceful. This neck is long and graceful.” Powerful legs landed on the table and Ghleanna crossed her arms over her chest. “Graceful,” she growled, appearing to fight an instinct to yell. Addolgar shrugged at Braith. “Me sister’s graceful.” “Yes,” Braith replied, her eyes briefly crossing. “I can see that.
G.A. Aiken (A Tale of Two Dragons (Dragon Kin, #0.2))
Behind my office, to the south-east, was Police Headquarters, and I imagined all the good hard work that was being done there to crack down on Berlin's crime. Villainies like speaking disrespectfully of the Führer, displaying a 'Sold Out' sign in your butcher's shop window, not giving the Hitler Salute, and homosexuality. That was Berlin under the National Socialist Government: a big, haunted house with dark corners, gloomy staircases, sinister cellars, locked rooms and a whole attic full of poltergeists on the loose, throwing books, banging doors, breaking glass, shouting in the night and generally scaring the owners so badly that there were times when they were ready to sell up and get out. But most of the time they just stopped up their ears, covered their blackened eyes and tried to pretend that there was nothing wrong. Cowed with fear, they spoke very little, ignoring the carpet moving underneath their feet, and their laughter was the thin, nervous kind that always accompanies the boss's little joke.
Philip Kerr (March Violets (Bernie Gunther, #1))
All that is left in the world is an enormous machine, made of white steel. It has innumerable flexible arms, made of steel. Long, thin arms. At the end of each arm is an eye, the eyelashes stiff with mascara. When I look more closely I see that only some of the arms have these eyes–others have lights. The arms that carry the eyes and the arms that carry the lights are all extraordinarily flexible and very beautiful. But they grey sky, which is the background, terrifies me. . . . And the arms wave to an accompaniment of music and of song. Like this: 'Hotcha–hotcha–hotcha. . . .' And I know the music; I can sing the song. . . .
Jean Rhys (Good Morning, Midnight)
...one could argue that it is reasonable to suppose that cultures that have provided the horizon of meaning for large numbers of human beings, of diverse characters and temperaments, over a long period of time - that have, in other words, articulated their sense of the good, the holy, the admirable - are almost certain to have something that deserves our admiration and respect, even if it is accompanied by much that we have to abhor and reject... We need only a sense of our own limited part in the whole human story to accept [this] presumption. It is only arrogance, or some analogous moral failing, that can deprive us of this.
Charles Taylor (Multiculturalism)
G. K. Chesterton wrote in Charles Dickens, that The Pickwick Papers was neither a good novel nor a bad novel but in fact ‘not a novel at all.’ He believed it was “something nobler than a novel”. Certainly it was never conceived as a novel but merely as the letterpress to accompany the “cockney sporting plates”. Unfortunately Robert Seymour committed suicide after the first two instalments so the third one was undertaken by Robert Buss whose work Dickens did not like and consequently the task fell to Hablot Knight Browne, who took the name “Phiz” and continued an artistic relationship with Dickens, illustrating many of his novels.
Charles Dickens (The Complete Works of Charles Dickens)
At any other time it's better. You can do the things you feel you should; you're an expert at going through the motions. Your handshakes with strangers are firm and your gaze never wavers; you think of steel and diamonds when you stare. In monotone you repeat the legendary words of long-dead lovers to those you claim to love; you take them into bed with you, and you mimic the rhythmic motions you've read of in manuals. When protocol demands it you dutifully drop to your knees and pray to a god who no longer exists. But in this hour you must admit to yourself that this is not enough, that you are not good enough. And when you knock your fist against your chest you hear a hollow ringing echo, and all your thoughts are accompanied by the ticks of clockwork spinning behind your eyes, and everything you eat and drink has the aftertaste of rust.
Dexter Palmer (The Dream of Perpetual Motion)
When criminals are hanged, priests always officiate, annoying the malefactors by their presence. In Prussia a pastor conducts the poor wretch to the block ; in Austria a Catholic priest escorts him to the gallows ; in France to the guillotine ; in America a clergyman accompanies him to the electric chair ; in Spain to the ingenious appliance by which he is strangled, etc. Everywhere they have to carry a crucifix about on these occasions, as if to say: "You're only having your head chopped off, you're only being hanged, you're only being strangled, you're only having 15,000 volts shoved into you, but don't forget what He had to go through.
Jaroslav Hašek (The Good Soldier Schweik)
I had no keener pleasure than in following Holmes in his professional investigations, and in admiring the rapid deductions, as swift as intuitions, and yet always founded on a logical basis, with which he unravelled the problems which were submitted to him. I rapidly threw on my clothes, and was ready in a few minutes to accompany my friend down to the sitting-room. A lady dressed in black and heavily veiled, who had been sitting in the window, rose as we entered. 'Good morning, madam, said Holmes, cheerily. 'My name is Sherlock Holmes. This is my intimate friend and associate, Dr. Watson, before whom you can speak as freely as before myself.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Speckled Band)
We must not eat dripping any more,’ warned Mma Makutsi from behind a healthy living magazine. ‘We must give up such things, Mma.’ This advice had been accompanied by a stern look in Mma Ramotswe’s direction. Mma Ramotswe had not taken that lying down. ‘Soon they will be telling us not to eat anything,’ she countered. ‘They will say that only air is good for you. Air and water.’ Mma Makutsi had not approved. ‘You cannot fight science, Mma. Science is telling us that many of the things we like to eat in this country are not good for us. They say that these things are making us too large.’ ‘I am not fighting science, Mma,’ replied Mma Ramotswe. ‘I am just saying that we have to have some things that we like, otherwise we shall be very unhappy. And if you are very unhappy you can die – we all know that.’ She allowed that to sink in before she continued. ‘There are many people who have been thinking a lot about science who are now late. It would have been better for them to spend more time being happy while they had the chance. That is well known, Mma – it is very well known.’ Mma Makutsi had become silent.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #16))
One day, soon after her disappearance, an attack of abominable nausea forced me to pull up on the ghost of an old mountain road that now accompanied, now traversed a brand new highway, with its population of asters bathing in the detached warmth of a pale-blue afternoon in late summer. After coughing myself inside out I rested a while on a boulder and then thinking the sweet air might do me good, walked a little way toward a low stone parapet on the precipice side of the highway. Small grasshoppers spurted out of the withered roadside weeds. A very light cloud was opening its arms and moving toward a slightly more substantial one belonging to another, more sluggish, heavenlogged system. As I approached the friendly abyss, I grew aware of a melodious unity of sounds rising like vapor from a small mining town that lay at my feet, in a fold of the valley. One could make out the geometry of the streets between blocks of red and gray roofs, and green puffs of trees, and a serpentine stream, and the rich, ore-like glitter of the city dump, and beyond the town, roads crisscrossing the crazy quilt of dark and pale fields, and behind it all, great timbered mountains. But even brighter than those quietly rejoicing colors - for there are colors and shades that seem to enjoy themselves in good company - both brighter and dreamier to the ear than they were to the eye, was that vapory vibration of accumulated sounds that never ceased for a moment, as it rose to the lip of granite where I stood wiping my foul mouth. And soon I realized that all these sounds were of one nature, that no other sounds but these came from the streets of the transparent town, with the women at home and the men away. Reader! What I heard was but the melody of children at play, nothing but that, and so limpid was the air that within this vapor of blended voices, majestic and minute, remote and magically near, frank and divinely enigmatic - one could hear now and then, as if released, an almost articulate spurt of vivid laughter, or the crack of a bat, or the clatter of a toy wagon, but it was all really too far for the eye to distinguish any movement in the lightly etched streets. I stood listening to that musical vibration from my lofty slope, to those flashes of separate cries with a kind of demure murmur for background, and then I knew that the hopelessly poignant thing was not Lolita's absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from that concord.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Our behavior is as absurd and incomprehensible with respect to the first drink as that of an individual with a passion, say, for jay-walking. He gets a thrill out of skipping in front of fast-moving vehicles. He enjoys himself for a few years in spite of friendly warnings. Up to this point you would label him as a foolish chap having queer ideas of fun. Luck then deserts him and he is slightly injured several times in succession. You would expect him, if he were normal, to cut it out. Presently he is hit again and this time has a fractured skull. Within a week after leaving the hospital a fast-moving trolley car breaks his arm. He tells you he has decided to stop jay-walking for good, but in a few weeks he breaks both legs. On through the years this conduct continues, accompanied by his continual promises to be
Alcoholics Anonymous (Alcoholics Anonymous)
Their attitude toward another aspect of organization shows the same bias. What of the "group life", the loss of individualism? Once upon a time it was conventional for young men to view the group life of the big corporations as one of its principal disadvantages. Today, they see it as a positive boon. Working with others, they believe, will reduce the frustration of work, and they often endow the accompanying suppression of ego with strong spiritual overtones. They will concede that there is often a good bit of wasted time in the committee way of life and that the handling of human relations involves much suffering of fools gladly. But this sort of thing, they say, is the heart of the organization man's job, not merely the disadvantages of it. "Any man who feels frustrated by these things," one young trainee with face unlined said to me, "can never be an executive".
William H. Whyte (The Organization Man)
Sit down," she ordered Peabody. "I prefer to stand." "And I prefer to give you a good boot in the ass, but I'm restraining myself." Eve reached up, fisted her hands in her own hair and yanked until the pain cleared most of the rage. "Okay, stand. You couldn't sit with that stick up your butt, anyway. One you shove up it every time Subject Monroe, Charles, is mentioned. You want to be filled in, you want to be briefed? Fine. Here it is." She had to take another deep breath to insure her tone was professional. "On the evening of March twenty-six, at or about nineteen-thirty, I, accompanied by Roarke, had occasion to visit Areena Mansfield's penthouse suite at The Palace Hotel, this city. Upon entering said premises, investigation officer found subject Mansfield in the company of one Charles Monroe, licensed companion. It was ascertained and confirmed that LC Monroe was there in a professional capacity and had no links to the deceased or the current investigation. His presence, and the salient details pertaining to it, were noted in the report of the interview and marked Level Five in a stupid, ill-conceived attempt by the investigating officer to spare her fat-headed aide any unnecessary embarrassment." Eve stomped back to her desk, snatched up her coffee, gulped some down. "Record that," she snapped. Peabody's lip trembled. She sat. She sniffled. "Oh, no." In genuine panic, Eve stabbed out a finger. "No, you don't. No crying. We're on duty. There is no crying on duty.
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
He was scowling. "What the hell? If I had a daughter and she was dating a guy like me, I'd take him out back and threaten him with a shotgun to make sure he treated her right." Kit's mouth fell open. "You?" "Yeah." He folded his arms, his scowl growing heavier. "Jeez, Kit, he didn't even tell me to be good to you. That's bullshit." Realizing he was dead serious, she bit the inside of her cheek to keep from smiling. "Where did you pick up this chivalrous instinct?" "My father," he said, the sneer that usually accompanied any mention of Robert St. John missing from his voice. "He's a son of a bitch, but he brought me up to look after any women under my care." "Under your care?" Kit raised an eyebrow. "Chauvinistic much?" He shrugged. "Yeah, well, maybe it is, but I'm not changing. My imaginary daughters are never dating musicians. Ever." Stomach somersaulting at the idea of little girls with Noah's features and talent, she shook her head. "Noah St. John, bad boy of rock and concerned father of imaginary daughters. Hell hath frozen over and become an ice rink.
Nalini Singh (Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss, #3))
I'd finally reached the end of myself, all my self-reliance and denial and pride unraveling into nothingness, leaving only a blank Alison-shaped space behind. It was finished. I was done. But just as I felt myself dissolving on the tide of my own self-condemnation, the dark waves receded, and I floated into a celestial calm. I saw the whole universe laid out before me, a vast shining machine of indescribable beauty and complexity. Its design was too intricate for me to understand, and I knew I could never begin to grasp more than the smallest idea of its purpose. But I sensed that every part of it, from quark to quasar, was unique and - in some mysterious way - significant. I heard the universe as an oratorio sung by a master choir of stars, accompanied by the orchestra of the planets and the percussion of satellites and moons. The aria they performed was a song to break the heart, full of tragic dissonance and deferred hope, and yet somewhere beneath it all was a peircing refrain of glory, glory, glory. And I sensed that not only the grand movements of the cosmos, but everything that had happened in my life, was a part of that song. Even the hurts that seemed most senseless, the mistakes I would have done anything to erase - nothing could make those things good, but good could still come out of them all the same, and in the end the oratorio would be no less beautiful for it. I realized then that even though I was a tiny speck in an infinite cosmos, a blip on the timeline of eternity, I was not without purpose. And as long as I had a part in the music of the spheres, even if it was only a single grace not, I was not worthless. Nor was I alone. God help me, I prayed as I gathered up my raw and weary sense, flung them into the wormhole - And at last, found what I'd been looking for.
R.J. Anderson (Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1))
Hungry?” he asks. “The wager?” I remind him. “I’m getting there—it’s related to my question.” He lifts his chin to the meat locker. “They have good steaks here.” And just like that, I’m interested in whatever he’s suggesting. “They do. What’re you thinking?” “They have a porterhouse for two, three, or four.” I haven’t eaten in nearly twenty-four hours, and the idea of a big juicy steak has me salivating. “Yeah?” “So, I say we split the one for three, and whoever eats more wins.” “I’m going to guess their porterhouse for three could feed us both for a week.” “I’m betting you’re right.” His adorable grin should be accompanied by the sound of a silvery ding. “And your dinner is on me.” For not the first time, it occurs to me to ask him how he makes ends meet, but I can’t—not here, and maybe not when we’re alone, either. “You don’t have to do that.” “I think I can handle treating my wife to dinner on our wedding night.” Our wedding night. My heart thuds heavily. “That’s a lot of meat. No pun intended.” He grins enthusiastically. “I’d sure like to see how you handle it.” “You’re betting Holland can’t finish a steak?” Lulu chimes in from behind me. “Oh, you sweet summer child.” *** As we get up, I groan, clutching my stomach. “Is this what pregnancy feels like? Not interested.” “I could carry you,” Calvin offers sweetly, helping me with my coat. Lulu pushes between us, giddy from wine as she throws her arms around our shoulders. “You’re supposed to carry the bride across the threshold to be romantic, not because she’s broken from eating her weight in beef.” I stifle a belch. “The way to impress a man is to show him how much meat you can handle, don’t you know this, Lu?” Calvin laughs. “It was a close battle.” “Not that close,” Mark says, beside him. We went so far as to have the waiter split the cooked steak into two equal portions, much to the amused fascination of our tablemates. I ate roughly three-quarters of mine. Calvin was two ounces short. “Calvin Bakker has a pretty solid ring to it,” I say. He laugh-groans. “What did I get myself into?” “A marriage to a farm girl,” I say. “It’s best you learn on day one that I take my eating very seriously.
Christina Lauren (Roomies)
[A] people needs to understand what freedom is. We Americans are fortunate that the Founders and their generation possessed that understanding. They knew that freedom, per se, is not enough. They knew that freedom must be limited to be preserved. This paradox is difficult for many students to grasp. Young people generally think freedom means authority figures leaving them alone so they can "do their own thing." That's part of what it means to be free, but true freedom involves much, much more. As understood by our Founders and by the best minds of the young republic, true freedom is always conditioned by morality. John Adams wrote, "I would define liberty as a power to do as we would be done by." In other words, freedom is not the power to do what one can, but what one ought. Duty always accompanies liberty. Tocqueville similarly observed, "No free communities ever existed without morals." The best minds concur: there must be borders: freedom must be limited to be preserved. What kinds of limits are we talking about? * The moral limits of right and wrong, which we did not invent but owe largely to our Judeo-Christian heritage. * Intellectual limits imposed by sound reasoning. Again, we did not invent these but are in debt largely to Greco-Roman civilization, from the pre-Socratic philosophers forward. * Political limits such as the rule of law, inalienable rights, and representative institutions, which we inherited primarily from the British. * Legal limits of the natural and common law, which we also owe to our Western heritage. * Certain social limits, which are extremely important to the survival of freedom. These are the habits of our hearts--good manners, kindness, decency, and willingness to put others first, among other things--which are learned in our homes and places of worship, at school and in team sports, and in other social settings. All these limits complement each other and make a good society possible. But they cannot be taken for granted. It takes intellectual and moral leadership to make the case that such limits are important. Our Founders did that. To an exceptional degree, their words tutored succeeding generations in the ways of liberty. It is to America's everlasting credit that our Founders got freedom right.
Russell Kirk (The American Cause)
Later on, towards the middle of my life, I grew more and more opposed to alcoholic drinks: I, an opponent of vegetarianism, who have experienced what vegetarianism is, — just as Wagner, who converted me back to meat, experienced it, — cannot with sufficient earnestness advise all more spiritual natures to abstain absolutely from alcohol. Water answers the purpose. . . . I have a predilection in favour of those places where in all directions one has opportunities of drinking from running brooks. In vino Veritas: it seems that here once more I am at variance with the rest of the world about the concept 'Truth' — with me spirit moves on the face of the waters. . . . Here are a few more indications as to my morality. A heavy meal is digested more easily than an inadequate one. The first principle of a good digestion is that the stomach should become active as a whole. A man ought, therefore, to know the size of his stomach. For the same reasons all those interminable meals, which I call interrupted sacrificial feasts, and which are to be had at any table d'hôte, are strongly to be deprecated. Nothing should be eaten between meals, coffee should be given up — coffee makes one gloomy. Tea is beneficial only in the morning. It should be taken in small quantities, but very strong. It may be very harmful, and indispose you for the whole day, if it be taken the least bit too weak. Everybody has his own standard in this matter, often between the narrowest and most delicate limits. In an enervating climate tea is not a good beverage with which to start the day: an hour before taking it an excellent thing is to drink a cup of thick cocoa, feed from oil. Remain seated as little as possible, put no trust in any thought that is not born in the open, to the accompaniment of free bodily motion — nor in one in which even the muscles do not celebrate a feast. All prejudices take their origin in the intestines. A sedentary life, as I have already said elsewhere, is the real sin against the Holy Spirit.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Ecce Homo)
And the son bursting into his father's house, killing him, and at the same time not killing him, this is not even a novel, not a poem, it is a sphinx posing riddles, which it, of course, will not solve itself. If he killed him, he killed him; how can it be that he killed him and yet did not kill him--who can understand that? Then it is announced to us that our tribune is the tribune of truth and sensible ideas, and so from this tribune of 'sensible ideas' an axiom resounds, accompanied by an oath, that to call the murder of a father parricide is simply a prejudice! But if parricide is a prejudice, and if every child ought to ask his father, 'Father, why should I love you?'--what will become of us, what will become of the foundations of society, where will the family end up? Parricide--don't you see, it's just the 'brimstone' of some Moscow merchant's wife? The most precious, the most sacred precepts concerning the purpose and future of the Russian courts are presented perversely and frivolously, only to achieve a certain end, to achieve the acquittal of that which cannot be acquitted. 'Oh, overwhelm him with mercy,' the defense attorney exclaims, and that is just what the criminal wants, and tomorrow everyone will see how overwhelmed he is! And is the defense attorney not being too modest in asking only for the defendant's acquittal? Why does he not ask that a fund be established in the parricide's name, in order to immortalize his deed for posterity and the younger generation? The Gospel and religion are corrected: it's all mysticism, he says, and ours is the only true Christianity, tested by the analysis of reason and sensible ideas. And so a false image of Christ is held up to us! With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you,' the defense attorney exclaims, and concludes then and there that Christ commanded us to measure with the same measure as it is measured to us--and that from the tribune of truth and sensible ideas! We glance into the Gospel only on the eve of our speeches, in order to make a brilliant display of our familiarity with what is, after all, a rather original work, which may prove useful and serve for a certain effect, in good measure, all in good measure! Yet Christ tells us precisely not to do so, to beware of doing so, because that is what the wicked world does, whereas we must forgive and turn our cheek, and not measure with the same measure as our offenders measure to us. This is what our God taught us, and not that it is a prejudice to forbid children to kill their own fathers. And let us not, from the rostrum of truth and sensible ideas, correct the Gospel of our God, whom the defense attorney deems worthy of being called merely 'the crucified lover of mankind,' in opposition to the whole of Orthodox Russia, which calls out to him: 'For thou art our God...!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Speaking to a foreigner was the dream of every student, and my opportunity came at last. When I got back from my trip down the Yangtze, I learned that my year was being sent in October to a port in the south called Zhanjiang to practice our English with foreign sailors. I was thrilled. Zhanjiang was about 75 miles from Chengdu, a journey of two days and two nights by rail. It was the southernmost large port in China, and quite near the Vietnamese border. It felt like a foreign country, with turn-of-the-century colonial-style buildings, pastiche Romanesque arches, rose windows, and large verandas with colorful parasols. The local people spoke Cantonese, which was almost a foreign language. The air smelled of the unfamiliar sea, exotic tropical vegetation, and an altogether bigger world. But my excitement at being there was constantly doused by frustration. We were accompanied by a political supervisor and three lecturers, who decided that, although we were staying only a mile from the sea, we were not to be allowed anywhere near it. The harbor itself was closed to outsiders, for fear of 'sabotage' or defection. We were told that a student from Guangzhou had managed to stow away once in a cargo steamer, not realizing that the hold would be sealed for weeks, by which time he had perished. We had to restrict our movements to a clearly defined area of a few blocks around our residence. Regulations like these were part of our daily life, but they never failed to infuriate me. One day I was seized by an absolute compulsion to get out. I faked illness and got permission to go to a hospital in the middle of the city. I wandered the streets desperately trying to spot the sea, without success. The local people were unhelpful: they did not like non-Cantonese speakers, and refused to understand me. We stayed in the port for three weeks, and only once were we allowed, as a special treat, to go to an island to see the ocean. As the point of being there was to talk to the sailors, we were organized into small groups to take turns working in the two places they were allowed to frequent: the Friendship Store, which sold goods for hard currency, and the Sailors' Club, which had a bar, a restaurant, a billiards room, and a ping-pong room. There were strict rules about how we could talk to the sailors. We were not allowed to speak to them alone, except for brief exchanges over the counter of the Friendship Store. If we were asked our names and addresses, under no circumstances were we to give our real ones. We all prepared a false name and a nonexistent address. After every conversation, we had to write a detailed report of what had been said which was standard practice for anyone who had contact with foreigners. We were warned over and over again about the importance of observing 'discipline in foreign contacts' (she waifi-lu). Otherwise, we were told, not only would we get into serious trouble, other students would be banned from coming.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Towards the end of our conversation in the churchyard today I got the impression that pastor Jón thinks that all gods that men worship are equally good. In the Bhagavad Gita, which pastor Jón cites, Krishna is reported as saying, as I recall: You are free to address your prayers to any god at all; but the one who answers the prayers, I am he. Is this what pastor Jón means when he says that all gods are equally good except the god that answers the prayers, because he is nowhere? Neither of these two standpoints can be accommodated within the framework of our confession of faith. The god who speaks through Krishna's words isn't particularly pleasant, either, because he alone controls the card-game and the other gods are only dummies and he is the one who declares on their cards. At any rate this god is rather far removed from the seventy-year-old grandfather with the large beard who came to breakfast with the farmer Abraham of Ur accompanied by two angels, his attendants, and settled in with him, and whom the Jews inherited and thereafter the pope and finally the Saxons. When Krishna says he is the one god who answers prayers, then this is actually just our orthodox god of the catechism, the one who says: I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me. Pastor Jón says, on the other hand, Thou shalt have all other gods before the Lord thy God. What is the answer to that?
Halldór Laxness (Under the Glacier)
It was raining and I had to walk on the grass. I’ve got mud all over my shoes. They’re brand-new, too.” “I’ll carry you across the grass on the return trip, if you like,” Colby offered with twinkling eyes. “It would have to be over one shoulder, of course,” he added with a wry glance at his artificial arm. She frowned at the bitterness in his tone. He was a little fuzzy because she needed glasses to see at distances. “Listen, nobody in her right mind would ever take you for a cripple,” she said gently and with a warm smile. She laid a hand on his sleeve. “Anyway,” she added with a wicked grin, “I’ve already given the news media enough to gossip about just recently. I don’t need any more complications in my life. I’ve only just gotten rid of one big one.” Colby studied her with an amused smile. She was the only woman he’d ever known that he genuinely liked. He was about to speak when he happened to glance over her shoulder at a man approaching them. “About that big complication, Cecily?” “What about it?” she asked. “I’d say it’s just reappeared with a vengeance. No, don’t turn around,” he said, suddenly jerking her close to him with the artificial arm that looked so real, a souvenir of one of his foreign assignments. “Just keep looking at me and pretend to be fascinated with my nose, and we’ll give him something to think about.” She laughed in spite of the racing pulse that always accompanied Tate’s appearances in her life. She studied Colby’s lean, scarred face. He wasn’t anybody’s idea of a pinup, but he had style and guts and if it hadn’t been for Tate, she would have found him very attractive. “Your nose has been broken twice, I see,” she told Colby. “Three times, but who’s counting?” He lifted his eyes and his eyebrows at someone behind her. “Well, hi, Tate! I didn’t expect to see you here tonight.” “Obviously,” came a deep, gruff voice that cut like a knife. Colby loosened his grip on Cecily and moved back a little. “I thought you weren’t coming,” he said. Tate moved into Cecily’s line of view, half a head taller than Colby Lane. He was wearing evening clothes, like the other men present, but he had an elegance that made him stand apart. She never tired of gazing into his large black eyes which were deep-set in a dark, handsome face with a straight nose, and a wide, narrow, sexy mouth and faintly cleft chin. He was the most beautiful man. He looked as if all he needed was a breastplate and feathers in his hair to bring back the heyday of the Lakota warrior in the nineteenth century. Cecily remembered him that way from the ceremonial gatherings at Wapiti Ridge, and the image stuck stubbornly in her mind. “Audrey likes to rub elbows with the rich and famous,” Tate returned. His dark eyes met Cecily’s fierce green ones. “I see you’re still in Holden’s good graces. Has he bought you a ring yet?” “What’s the matter with you, Tate?” Cecily asked with a cold smile. “Feeling…crabby?” His eyes smoldered as he glared at her. “What did you give Holden to get that job at the museum?” he asked with pure malice. Anger at the vicious insinuation caused her to draw back her hand holding the half-full coffee cup, and Colby caught her wrist smoothly before she could sling the contents at the man towering over her. Tate ignored Colby. “Don’t make that mistake again,” he said in a voice so quiet it was barely audible. He looked as if all his latent hostilities were waiting for an excuse to turn on her. “If you throw that cup at me, so help me, I’ll carry you over and put you down in the punch bowl!” “You and the CIA, maybe!” Cecily hissed. “Go ahead and try…!” Tate actually took a step toward her just as Colby managed to get between them. “Now, now,” he cautioned. Cecily wasn’t backing down an inch. Neither was Tate.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
ONE OF THE main differences between standard and behavioral economics involves this concept of “free lunches.” According to the assumptions of standard economics, all human decisions are rational and informed, motivated by an accurate concept of the worth of all goods and services and the amount of happiness (utility) all decisions are likely to produce. Under this set of assumptions, everyone in the marketplace is trying to maximize profit and striving to optimize his experiences. As a consequence, economic theory asserts that there are no free lunches—if there were any, someone would have already found them and extracted all their value. Behavioral economists, on the other hand, believe that people are susceptible to irrelevant influences from their immediate environment (which we call context effects), irrelevant emotions, shortsightedness, and other forms of irrationality (see any chapter in this book or any research paper in behavioral economics for more examples). What good news can accompany this realization? The good news is that these mistakes also provide opportunities for improvement. If we all make systematic mistakes in our decisions, then why not develop new strategies, tools, and methods to help us make better decisions and improve our overall well-being? That’s exactly the meaning of free lunches from the perspective of behavioral economics—the idea that there are tools, methods, and policies that can help all of us make better decisions and as a consequence achieve what we desire.
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
In Middlemarch a wife could not long remain ignorant that the town held a bad opinion of her husband. No feminine intimate might carry her friendship so far as to make a plain statement to the wife of the unpleasant fact known or believed about her husband; but when a woman with her thoughts much at leisure got them suddenly employed on something grievously disadvantageous to her neighbors, various moral impulses were called into play which tended to stimulate utterance. Candor was one. To be candid, in Middlemarch phraseology, meant, to use an early opportunity of letting your friends know that you did not take a cheerful view of their capacity, their conduct, or their position; and a robust candor never waited to be asked for its opinion. Then, again, there was the love of truth--a wide phrase, but meaning in this relation, a lively objection to seeing a wife look happier than her husband's character warranted, or manifest too much satisfaction in her lot--the poor thing should have some hint given her that if she knew the truth she would have less complacency in her bonnet, and in light dishes for a supper-party. Stronger than all, there was the regard for a friend's moral improvement, sometimes called her soul, which was likely to be benefited by remarks tending to gloom, uttered with the accompaniment of pensive staring at the furniture and a manner implying that the speaker would not tell what was on her mind, from regard to the feelings of her hearer. On the whole, one might say that an ardent charity was at work setting the virtuous mind to make a neighbor unhappy for her good.
George Eliot
The tattoos around his eyes burned as he scanned the surrounding area. No one but him probably noticed, but the plumes of darkness branching in every direction were writhing and groaning, desperate to avoid the light of the moon and street lamps. Come to me, he beseeched them. They didn’t hesitate. As if they’d merely been waiting for the invitation, they danced toward him, flattening against his car, shielding it—and thereby him—from prying eyes. “Freaks me out every damn time you do that,” Rowan said as he crawled into the front passenger seat. For the first time, Sean’s friend had accompanied him to “keep you from doing something you’ll regret.” Not that Gabby had known. Rowan had lain in the backseat the entire drive. “I can’t see a damn thing.” “I can.” Sean’s gaze could cut through shadows as easily as a knife through butter. Gabby was in the process of settling behind the wheel of her car. Though more than two weeks had passed since their kiss, they hadn’t touched again. Not even a brush of fingers. He was becoming desperate for more. That kiss . . . it was the hottest of his life. He’d forgotten where he was, what—and who—was around him. He’d never, never, risked discovery like that. But that night, having Gabby so close, those lush lips of hers parted and ready, those brown eyes watching him as if he were something delicious, he’d been unable to stop himself. He’d beckoned the shadows around them, meshed their lips together, touched her in places a man should only touch a woman in private, and tasted her. Oh, had he tasted her. Sugar and lemon. Which meant she’d been sipping lemonade during her breaks. Lemonade had never been sexy to him before. Now he was addicted to the stuff. Drank it every chance he got. Hell, he sported a hard-on if he even spotted the yellow fruit. At night he thought about pouring lemon juice over her lean body, sprinkling that liquid with sugar, and then feasting. She’d come, he’d come, and then they could do it all over again. Seriously. Lemonade was like his own personal brand of cocaine now—which he’d once been addicted to, had spent years in rehab combating, and had sworn never to let himself become so obsessed with a substance again. Good luck with that. “I’m getting nowhere with her,” Rowan said. “You, she watches. You, she kissed.” “Yeah, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.” Gabby’s car passed his and he accelerated, staying close enough to her that anyone trying to merge into her lane wouldn’t clip his car because they couldn’t see him. Not that anyone was out and about at this time of night. “She’s mine. I don’t want you touching her.” “Finally. The truth. Which is a good thing, because I already called Bill and told him you were gonna be the one to seduce her.” “Thanks.” This was one of the reasons he and Rowan were such good friends. “But I thought you were here tonight to keep me from her.” “First, you’re welcome. Second, I lied.
Gena Showalter (The Bodyguard (Includes: T-FLAC, #14.5))
ultimately, most of us would choose a rich and meaningful life over an empty, happy one, if such a thing is even possible. “Misery serves a purpose,” says psychologist David Myers. He’s right. Misery alerts us to dangers. It’s what spurs our imagination. As Iceland proves, misery has its own tasty appeal. A headline on the BBC’s website caught my eye the other day. It read: “Dirt Exposure Boosts Happiness.” Researchers at Bristol University in Britain treated lung-cancer patients with “friendly” bacteria found in soil, otherwise known as dirt. The patients reported feeling happier and had an improved quality of life. The research, while far from conclusive, points to an essential truth: We thrive on messiness. “The good life . . . cannot be mere indulgence. It must contain a measure of grit and truth,” observed geographer Yi-Fu Tuan. Tuan is the great unheralded geographer of our time and a man whose writing has accompanied me throughout my journeys. He called one chapter of his autobiography “Salvation by Geography.” The title is tongue-in-cheek, but only slightly, for geography can be our salvation. We are shaped by our environment and, if you take this Taoist belief one step further, you might say we are our environment. Out there. In here. No difference. Viewed that way, life seems a lot less lonely. The word “utopia” has two meanings. It means both “good place” and “nowhere.” That’s the way it should be. The happiest places, I think, are the ones that reside just this side of paradise. The perfect person would be insufferable to live with; likewise, we wouldn’t want to live in the perfect place, either. “A lifetime of happiness! No man could bear it: It would be hell on Earth,” wrote George Bernard Shaw, in his play Man and Superman. Ruut Veenhoven, keeper of the database, got it right when he said: “Happiness requires livable conditions, but not paradise.” We humans are imminently adaptable. We survived an Ice Age. We can survive anything. We find happiness in a variety of places and, as the residents of frumpy Slough demonstrated, places can change. Any atlas of bliss must be etched in pencil. My passport is tucked into my desk drawer again. I am relearning the pleasures of home. The simple joys of waking up in the same bed each morning. The pleasant realization that familiarity breeds contentment and not only contempt. Every now and then, though, my travels resurface and in unexpected ways. My iPod crashed the other day. I lost my entire music collection, nearly two thousand songs. In the past, I would have gone through the roof with rage. This time, though, my anger dissipated like a summer thunderstorm and, to my surprise, I found the Thai words mai pen lai on my lips. Never mind. Let it go. I am more aware of the corrosive nature of envy and try my best to squelch it before it grows. I don’t take my failures quite so hard anymore. I see beauty in a dark winter sky. I can recognize a genuine smile from twenty yards. I have a newfound appreciation for fresh fruits and vegetables. Of all the places I visited, of all the people I met, one keeps coming back to me again and again: Karma Ura,
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World)
Specialisation, accompanied by exchange, is the source of economic prosperity. Here, in my own words, is what a modern version of Smithism claims. First, the spontaneous and voluntary exchange of goods and services leads to a division of labour in which people specialise in what they are good at doing. Second, this in turn leads to gains from trade for each party to a transaction, because everybody is doing what he is most productive at and has the chance to learn, practise and even mechanise his chosen task. Individuals can thus use and improve their own tacit and local knowledge in a way that no expert or ruler could. Third, gains from trade encourage more specialisation, which encourages more trade, in a virtuous circle. The greater the specialisation among producers, the greater is the diversification of consumption: in moving away from self-sufficiency people get to produce fewer things, but to consume more. Fourth, specialisation inevitably incentivises innovation, which is also a collaborative process driven by the exchange and combination of ideas. Indeed, most innovation comes about through the recombination of existing ideas for how to make or organise things. The more people trade and the more they divide labour, the more they are working for each other. The more they work for each other, the higher their living standards. The consequence of the division of labour is an immense web of cooperation among strangers: it turns potential enemies into honorary friends. A woollen coat, worn by a day labourer, was (said Smith) ‘the produce of a great multitude of workmen. The shepherd, the sorter of the wool, the wool-comber or carder, the dyer, the scribbler, the spinner, the weaver, the fuller, the dresser . . .’ In parting with money to buy a coat, the labourer was not reducing his wealth. Gains from trade are mutual; if they were not, people would not voluntarily engage in trade. The more open and free the market, the less opportunity there is for exploitation and predation, because the easier it is for consumers to boycott the predators and for competitors to whittle away their excess profits. In its ideal form, therefore, the free market is a device for creating networks of collaboration among people to raise each other’s living standards, a device for coordinating production and a device for communicating information about needs through the price mechanism. Also a device for encouraging innovation. It is the very opposite of the rampant and selfish individualism that so many churchmen and others seem to think it is. The market is a system of mass cooperation. You compete with rival producers, sure, but you cooperate with your customers, your suppliers and your colleagues. Commerce both needs and breeds trust.
Matt Ridley (The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge)
He had thought himself, so long as nobody knew, the most disinterested person in the world, carrying his concentrated burden, his perpetual suspense, ever so quietly, holding his tongue about it, giving others no glimpse of it nor of its effect upon his life, asking of them no allowance and only making on his side all those that were asked. He hadn't disturbed people with the queerness of their having to know a haunted man, though he had had moments of rather special temptation on hearing them say they were forsooth "unsettled." If they were as unsettled as he was—he who had never been settled for an hour in his life—they would know what it meant. Yet it wasn't, all the same, for him to make them, and he listened to them civilly enough. This was why he had such good—though possibly such rather colourless—manners; this was why, above all, he could regard himself, in a greedy world, as decently—as in fact perhaps even a little sublimely—unselfish. Our point is accordingly that he valued this character quite sufficiently to measure his present danger of letting it lapse, against which he promised himself to be much on his guard. He was quite ready, none the less, to be selfish just a little, since surely no more charming occasion for it had come to him. "Just a little," in a word, was just as much as Miss Bartram, taking one day with another, would let him. He never would be in the least coercive, and would keep well before him the lines on which consideration for her—the very highest—ought to proceed. He would thoroughly establish the heads under which her affairs, her requirements, her peculiarities—he went so far as to give them the latitude of that name—would come into their intercourse. All this naturally was a sign of how much he took the intercourse itself for granted. There was nothing more to be done about that. It simply existed; had sprung into being with her first penetrating question to him in the autumn light there at Weatherend. The real form it should have taken on the basis that stood out large was the form of their marrying. But the devil in this was that the very basis itself put marrying out of the question. His conviction, his apprehension, his obsession, in short, wasn't a privilege he could invite a woman to share; and that consequence of it was precisely what was the matter with him. Something or other lay in wait for him, amid the twists and the turns of the months and the years, like a crouching Beast in the Jungle. It signified little whether the crouching Beast were destined to slay him or to be slain. The definite point was the inevitable spring of the creature; and the definite lesson from that was that a man of feeling didn't cause himself to be accompanied by a lady on a tiger-hunt. Such was the image under which he had ended by figuring his life.
Henry James (The Beast in the Jungle)
for ordinary African Americans, coping with hegemonic gender ideology can be so demanding that generating alternatives can seem virtually impossible. But the importance of this task cannot be underestimated because African American survival may depend on it. One important task lies in rejecting dominant gender ideology, in particular, its use of the thesis of "weak men, strong women" as a source of Black social control. Because hegemonic masculinity equates strength with dominance, an antiracist politics must challenge this connection. Within this project, the fundamental premise of any progressive Black gender ideology is that it cannot be based on someone else's subordination. This means that definitions of Black masculinity that rely on the subordination of Black women, poor people, children, LGBT people, or anyone else become invalid. Definitions of Black femininity that do not challenge relations of sexism, economic exploitation, age, heterosexism, and other markers of social inequality also become suspect. Rather than trying to be strong within existing gender ideology, the task lies in rejecting a gender ideology that measures masculinity and femininity using gendered definitions of strength. In this endeavor to craft a more progressive Black gender ideology, African American men and women face similar yet distinctive challenges. The task for African American men lies in developing new definitions of masculinity that uncouple strength from its close ties to male dominance. Good Black men need not rule their families with an iron hand, assault one another, pursue endless booty calls, and always seem to be "in control" in order to avoid the sigma of weakness. The task for African American women lies in redefining strength in ways that simultaneously enable Black women to reclaim historical sources of female power, yet reject the exploitation that has often accompanied that power. Good Black women need not be stoic mules whose primary release from work and responsibility comes once a week on Sunday morning. New definitions of strength would enable Black men and women alike to be seen as needing and worthy of one another's help and support without being stigmatized as either overly weak or unnaturally strong.
Patricia Hill Collins (Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism)