Good Lesson Learned Quotes

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I've learned... . That being kind is more important than being right.
H. Jackson Brown Jr. (Live and Learn and Pass It on: People Ages 5 to 95 Share What They'Ve Discovered About Life, Love, and Other Good Stuff (002))
You need to spend time crawling alone through shadows to truly appreciate what it is to stand in the sun.
Shaun Hick
I definitely learned a lesson this time. I know that I can be broken. I am not as tough as I thought. I see it now. At this point, it's the only thing good that came out of all of this. I know myself better now and know what I have to do.
Henry Rollins (The Portable Henry Rollins)
Humans were so circular; they lived the same slow cycles of joy and misery over and over, never learning. Every lesson in the universe had to be taught billions of times, and it never stuck. Maybe it was good that the world forgot every lesson, every good and bad memory, every triumph and failure, all of it dying with each generation. Perhaps this cultural amnesia spared them all. Perhaps if they remembered everything, hope would die instead.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Sometimes it is good to be in uncomfortable situations because it is in finding our way out of such difficulties that we learn valuable lessons.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
I’ve already learned my lesson here: when you catch someone lying about a murdered girl, you go ask them why.
Holly Jackson (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder #1))
It's in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish. Good night.
J.B. Priestley (An Inspector Calls)
Life's trials will test you, and shape you, but don’t let them change who you are.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
I am your instructor", he says."My name is Four". Christina asks, "Four? Like the number?" "Yes", Four says. "Is there a problem?" "No." "Good. We're about to go into the Pit, which you will someday learn to love. It-" Christina snickers. "The Pit? Clever name." Four walks up to Christina and leans his face close to hers. His eyes narrow, and for a second he just stares at her. "What's your name?" he asks quietly. "Christina", she squeaks. "Well, Christina, if I wanted to put up with Candor smart-mouths, I would have joined their faction", he hisses. "The first lesson you will learn from me is to keep your mouth shut.Got that?
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
It is not until you change your identity to match your life blueprint that you will understand why everything in the past never worked.
Shannon L. Alder
People who have a religion should be glad, for not everyone has the gift of believing in heavenly things. You don't necessarily even have to be afraid of punishment after death; purgatory, hell, and heaven are things that a lot of people can't accept, but still a religion, it doesn't matter which, keeps a person on the right path. It isn't the fear of God but the upholding of one's own honor and conscience. How noble and good everyone could be if, every evening before falling asleep, they were to recall to their minds the events of the while day and consider exactly what has been good and bad. Then, without realizing it you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn't know it must learn and find by experience that: "A quiet conscience mades one strong!
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
Live your life in such a way that you'll be remembered for your kindness, compassion, fairness, character, benevolence, and a force for good who had much respect for life, in general.
Germany Kent
True friends don't come with conditions.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
From this point forward, you don’t even know how to quit in life.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen
I can get my head turned by a good-looking guy as much as the next girl. But sexy doesn't impress me. Smart impresses me, strength of character impresses me. But most of all, I am impressed by kindness. Kindness, I think, comes from learning hard lessons well, from falling and picking yourself up. It comes from surviving failure and loss. It implies an understanding of the human condition, forgives its many flaws and quirks. When I see that in someone, it fills me with admiration.
Lisa Unger (Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones, #1))
Forget what hurt you in the past, but never forget what it taught you. However, if it taught you to hold onto grudges, seek revenge, not forgive or show compassion, to categorize people as good or bad, to distrust and be guarded with your feelings then you didn’t learn a thing. God doesn’t bring you lessons to close your heart. He brings you lessons to open it, by developing compassion, learning to listen, seeking to understand instead of speculating, practicing empathy and developing conflict resolution through communication. If he brought you perfect people, how would you ever learn to spiritually evolve?
Shannon L. Alder
Don't live the same day over and over again and call that a life. Life is about evolving mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
Germany Kent
I have always thought that librarians are a little bit like doctors, travel agents and professors all rolled into one. We all know that a great story can lift spirits, take you anywhere in the world you want to go and in any time period to boot, and the lessons you learn from a good book can buoy your own convictions and even change your life.
Dorothea Benton Frank
Those who achieve the extraordinary are usually the most ordinary because they have nothing to prove to anybody. Be Humble.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Every day is a good day. There is something to learn, care and celebrate.
Amit Ray (Walking the Path of Compassion)
This is the great lesson the depressive learns: Nothing in the world is inherently compelling. Whatever may be really “out there” cannot project itself as an affective experience. It is all a vacuous affair with only a chemical prestige. Nothing is either good or bad, desirable or undesirable, or anything else except that it is made so by laboratories inside us producing the emotions on which we live. And to live on our emotions is to live arbitrarily, inaccurately—imparting meaning to what has none of its own. Yet what other way is there to live? Without the ever-clanking machinery of emotion, everything would come to a standstill. There would be nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to be, and no one to know. The alternatives are clear: to live falsely as pawns of affect, or to live factually as depressives, or as individuals who know what is known to the depressive. How advantageous that we are not coerced into choosing one or the other, neither choice being excellent. One look at human existence is proof enough that our species will not be released from the stranglehold of emotionalism that anchors it to hallucinations. That may be no way to live, but to opt for depression would be to opt out of existence as we consciously know it.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
I hope you feel better about yourself. I hope you feel alive. I hope that good things happen to you, and I hope that when the inevitable bad things happen you can handle them and learn a lesson and move on. I hope you know you're not alone and I hope you spend plenty of time with your family and/or friends and I hope you write more and get a seven-figure book deal. I hope next year no more celebrities die and I hope you get an iPhone if you want one. Or maybe a pony. I hope someone writes a song for you on Valentines Day that's a bit like Hey There Delilah, and I hope they have a good singing voice, or at least one better than mine. I hope that you accept yourself the way you are, and figure out that losing 20 pounds isn't going to magically make you love yourself. I hope you read a lot. I hope you don't have to almost die to figure out how valuable life is. I hope you find the perfect nail polish/digital camera/home/life partner. I hope you stop being jealous of others. I hope you feel good, about yourself and the people around you and the world. I hope you eat heaps of salt and vinegar chips because they're the best kind. I hope you accomplish all your hopes & dreams & aspirations and are blissfully happy & get married to Edward Cullen/George Clooney/Megan Fox/Angelina Jolie (delete whichever are inappropriate) & ride a pretty white horse into the sunset & I hope it's all sweet and wonderful because you deserve it because you did well this year in the face of sparkly vampires/great evil/low self-esteem.
Steph Bowe
Each person that comes into your life offers you a new world, a new place and feelings, not always good, and from each one we have the opportunity to learn. Whether we accept those lessons is on us.
K.A. Knight (Den of Vipers)
it's good to have things done with when they don't work it's also good not to hate or even forget the person you've failed with.
Charles Bukowski (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit)
We are all damaged. We have all been hurt. We have all had to learn painful lessons. We are all recovering from some mistake, loss, betrayal, abuse, injustice or misfortune. All of life is a process of recovery that never ends. We each must find ways to accept and move through the pain and to pick ourselves back up. For each pang of grief, depression, doubt or despair there is an inverse toward renewal coming to you in time. Each tragedy is an announcement that some good will indeed come in time. Be patient with yourself.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
Because secrets do not increase in value if kept in a gore-ian lockbox, because one's past is either made useful or else mutates and becomes cancerous. We share things for the obvious reasons: it makes us feel un-alone, it spreads the weight over a larger area, it holds the possibility of making our share lighter. And it can work either way - not simply as a pain-relief device, but, in the case of not bad news but good, as a share-the-happy-things-I've-seen/lessons-I've-learned vehicle. Or as a tool for simple connectivity for its own sake, a testing of waters, a stab at engagement with a mass of strangers.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
You will realize one day that all the money in the world cannot buy you happiness. Nor can it make you a person of good character. 
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
No one else knows exactly what the future holds for you, no one else knows what obstacles you've overcome to be where you are, so don't expect others to feel as passionate about your dreams as you do.
Germany Kent
To me who dreamed so much as a child, who made a dreamworld in which I was the heroine of an unending story, the lives of people around me continued to have a certain storybook quality. I learned something which has stood me in good stead many times — The most important thing in any relationship is not what you get but what you give.
Eleanor Roosevelt (This is My Story)
The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
I stand here because of you, my Aslan, my Faye, my protectors and I make the promise that what you gave me, what you taught me, I will live those lessons. I cannot repay you for what you gave me. That's all I can do. All I can do is learn the lesson you taught me and go forward in my life good and pure and right." His voice dipped to a whisper in the microphone and he finished, "Thank you."
Kristen Ashley (Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4))
Optimism. One of the most important qualities of a good leader is optimism, a pragmatic enthusiasm for what can be achieved. Even in the face of difficult choices and less than ideal outcomes, an optimistic leader does not yield to pessimism. Simply put, people are not motivated or energized by pessimists.
Robert Iger (The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company)
Back To December is a song that addresses a first for me. In that I've never apologized in a song before. Whether it be good or bad or an apology. The person I wrote this song about deserves this. This is about a person who was incredible to me- just perfect in a relationship- and I was very careless with him. So, this is a song full of words that I would say to him that he deserves to hear. I’ve never felt the need to apologize in a song before, but in the last two years I’ve experienced a lot, a lot of different kinds of learning lessons And sometimes you learn a lesson too late and at that point you need to apologize because you were careless. ['Back To December'] is about a person who was incredible to me, just perfect to me in a relationship, and I was really careless with him I’ve written songs about things like burning my ex boyfriends pictures… I’ve written songs about the times that I’ve been hurt by love. But then one day I woke up and realized that I had hurt somebody… And so I wrote this song to tell him I’m sorry
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift - Speak Now Songbook: Piano/Vocal/Guitar)
We try so hard to instruct our children in all the right things―teaching good from bad, explaining choices and consequences―when in reality most lessons are learned through observation and experience. Perhaps we'd be better off training our youth to be highly observant.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
What I learned in this tragedy was the eternal lesson of good people going bad.
Steven Ramirez (Tell Me When I'm Dead)
Bingo pup. It's a lesson best learned early. They're all afraid of us." He strolled over to Derek. "You're trying to be a good kid, aren't you? You think that'll show them they're wrong. So how'd that working out for you? Guess what? They don't care. To them, you're a monster, and nothing you do--or don't do--will change their minds. My advice? Give 'em what they want. It's a short, brutal life." He smiled. "Live it up." Derek stared straight ahead, patiently waiting. "He can't hear a word I'm saying, can he?" Liam said. "Nope.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Tough love and brutal truth from strangers are far more valuable than Band-Aids and half-truths from invested friends, who don’t want to see you suffer any more than you have.
Shannon L. Alder
Lieutenant Chatrand: I don’t understand this omnipotent-benevolent thing. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: You are confused because the Bible describes God as an omnipotent and benevolent deity. Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning. Lieutenant Chatrand: I understand the concept. It’s just... there seems to be a contradiction. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man’s starvation, war, sickness... Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly! Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn’t he? Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would He? Lieutenant Chatrand: Well... if God Loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Do you have children? Lieutenant Chatrand: No, signore. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Imagine you had an eight-year-old son... would you love him? Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would you let him skateboard? Lieutenant Chatrand: Yeah, I guess. Sure I’d let him skateboard, but I’d tell him to be careful. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So as this child’s father, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes? Lieutenant Chatrand: I wouldn’t run behind him and mollycoddle him if that’s what you mean. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: But what if he fell and skinned his knee? Lieutenant Chatrand: He would learn to be more careful. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child’s pain, you would choose to show you love by letting him learn his own lessons? Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It’s how we learn. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Exactly.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
Maybe the hardest lesson Han had learned was that nobody is purely bad or good. Everybody seemed to be a mixture of both.
Cinda Williams Chima (The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms, #3))
Evil conquered?' said Gwydion. 'You have learned much, but learn this last and hardest of lessons. You have conquered only the enchantments of evil. That was the easiest of your tasks, only a beginning, not an ending. Do you believe evil itself to be so quickly overcome? Not so long as men still hate and slay each other, when greed and anger goad them. Against these even a flaming sword cannot prevail, but only that portion of good in all men's hearts whose flame can never be quenched.
Lloyd Alexander (The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain, #5))
The course of history is determined not by battles, by sieges, or usurpation, but by the individuals. The strongest army is, at its most basic level, a collection of individuals. Their decisions, their passions, their foolishness, and their dreams shape the years to come. If there is any lesson to be learned from history, it is that all too often the fate of armies, of cities, of entire realms rests upon the actions of one person's decision, good or bad, right or wrong, big or small, can unwittingly change the world. But history can be quite the slattern. One never knows who that person is, where he might be, or what decision he might male. It is almost enough to make me believe in destiny.
Jim Butcher (Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, #1))
Be the girl you want your daughter to be. Be the girl you want your son to date. Be classy, be smart, be real, but most importantly be nice.
Germany Kent
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
Good morning, Hell-A. In the land of the lotus-eaters, time plays tricks on you. One day you’re dreaming, the next, your dream has become your reality. It was the best of times. If only someone had told me. Mistakes were made, hearts were broken, harsh lessons learned. My family goes on without me, while I drown in a sea of pointless pussy. I don’t know how I got here. But here I am, rotting away in the warm California sun. There are things I need to figure out, for her sake, at least. The clock is ticking. The gap is widening. She won’t always love me “no matter what
Hank Moody
People are more than one thing. Warlocks, no less. I would not even hesitate to say that Malcolm once did much good, before he did evil. It is one of the great lessons of growing up, learning that people can do both.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
I have learned one lesson in all this and I will share it knowing it will do no one any good. The lesson is this: "There are none more complicit in one's undoing than one's own heart".
James Pratt (The Woman in the Portrait)
Learn to recognize good luck when it's waving at you, hoping to get your attention.
Sally Koslow
Perhaps she had not succeeded in 'inspiring' any wonderful ambitions in her pupils, but she had taught them, more by her own sweet personality than by all her careful precepts, that it was good and necessary in the years that were before them to live their lives finely and graciously, holding fast to truth and courtesy and kindness, keeping aloof from all that savoured of falsehood and meanness and vulgarity. They were, perhaps, all unconscious of having learned such lessons; but they would remember and practice them long after they had forgotten the capital of Afghanistan and the dates of the Wars of the Roses.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2))
Maybe you lost someone you never expected you would lose. Maybe you lost yourself. That’s even worse. When you have bad days that just won’t let up, I just hope that you will look in the mirror and remind yourself of what you are and what you are not. You are not your mistakes. You are not damaged goods or money from your failed explorations. You are not the opinion of someone who doesn’t know you. You are a product of the lessons that you’ve learned. You are wiser because you went through something terrible. And you are the person who survived a bunch of rainstorms and kept walking. I now believe that pain makes you stronger. And now I believe that walking through a lot of rainstorms gets you clean.
Taylor Swift
An attentive reader will always learn more, and more quickly, from good authors than from life.
Hervé Le Tellier (Enough About Love)
Be around people that make you want to be a better person, who make you feel good, make you laugh, and remind you what's important in life.
Germany Kent
If you wanna stay stuck in the same place and keep getting spanked with the same lessons over and over, be negative, resentful, and victimized. If you want to get over your issues and rock your life, be grateful, look for the good and learn.
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass®: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
The high road of grace will get you somewhere a whole lot faster then the freeway of spite.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
I confess I have yet to learn that a lesson of the purest good may not be drawn from the vilest evil.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
We love our partners for who they are, not for who they are not.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Learn to love better. This should be our goal in the world: learn to love. Life offers us thousands of opportunities for learning. Every man and every woman, in every day of our lives, always has a good opportunity to surrender to Love. Life is not a long vacation, but a constant learning process. And the most important lesson is learning to love. Loving better and better... But one thing will be forever marked on the soul of the universe: my Love. All in spite of my mistakes, my decisions that caused others to suffer, and the moments when I thought it didn't exist.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
When stress is the basic state of mind, even good things stress us out. We have to learn to let go.
Sakyong Mipham (Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind)
Every corner and room of a house will carry memories, make these the most pleasurable times you shared with your family.
Anthony Liccione
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] concluded the learned discourse that came to be known as the 'loving your enemies' sermon this way: 'So this morning, as I look into your eyes and into the eyes of all my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you,'I love you. I would rather die than hate you.'' Go ahead and reread that. That is hands down the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical thing a human being can say. And it comes from reading the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical civics lesson ever taught, when Jesus of Nazareth went to a hill in Galilee and told his disciples, 'Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you.
Sarah Vowell (The Wordy Shipmates)
Obedience is not a virtue. I wanted to please everyone but myself, and I had to lose everything to learn that lesson. For my pride I had to lie in a glass coffin for twenty years to learn my lesson. By the time I was released, I understood. My husband was a good man, but he did not rescue me. I rescued myself.
Kathryn Wesley (The 10th Kingdom)
We try to fight the enemy with yesterday’s anointing for today’s battle. Yesterday’s anointing was good for yesterday—and for yesterday’s victory—but when we try to fight the new battles and new spiritual warfare of today, we learn a hard lesson: There are new levels and new devils.
John Ramirez (Conquer Your Deliverance: How to Live a Life of Total Freedom)
Rejoice in every aspect of life—big or small. Let nothing pass you by. Appreciate everything—whether it is perceived as good or bad. You have the power to turn any experience into a pleasurable one. Challenge your preconceptions and luxuriate in the simple things of life.
Jennifer L. Scott (Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris)
I've learned my lesson. For good this time. Seriously. If I come home and Kate is screwing some random guy in our bed? I won't freak out - I won't say a word. I'll just pick her up, toss her over my shoulder, and carry her to the nearest DNA lab to make sure it's actually Kate, and not some evil long-lost twin hell-bent on wrecking our lives.
Emma Chase (Twisted (Tangled, #2))
This is the most important lesson you must learn about magic," Miss Ochiba went on. "There are many ways of seeing. Each has an element of truth, but none is the whole truth. If you limit yourselves to one way of seeing, one truth, you will limit your power. You will also place limits on the kinds of spells you can cast, as well as their strength. To be a good magician, you must see in many ways. You must be flexible. You must be willing to learn from different sources. And you must always remember that the truths you see are incomplete.
Patricia C. Wrede (Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic, #1))
Since Mom wasn't exactly the most useful person in the world, one lesson I learned at an early age was how to get things done, and this was a source of both amazement and concern for Mom, who considered my behavior unladylike but also counted on me. "I never knew a girl to have such gumption," she'd say. "But I'm not too sure it's a good thing.
Jeannette Walls (Half Broke Horses)
We sometimes hurt those we love because they need to be “taught a lesson,” when we really want to punish. We were depressed and complained we felt bad, when in fact we were mainly asking for sympathy and attention. This odd trait of mind and emotion, this perverse wish to hide a bad motive underneath a good one, permeates human affairs from top to bottom. This subtle and elusive kind of self-righteousness can underlie the smallest act or thought. Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws is the essence of character-building and good living. An honest regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and a willingness to try for better things tomorrow will be the permanent assets we shall seek.
Alcoholics Anonymous (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions)
As Sidda joined Vivi in staring out into the darkness of the fields, where hundreds of sunflowers grew, she thought: I will never fully know my mother, any more than I will ever know my father or Connor, or myself. I have been missing the point. The point is not knowing another person, or learning to love another person. The point is simply this: how tender can we bear to be? What good manners can we show as we welcome ourselves and others into our hearts?
Rebecca Wells (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)
Sometimes in life our master will teach us and then test us like this. He will send the same painful circumstances to us over and over again until we no longer want what isn’t good for us; until he is sure that we have learned what we need to know so that he can move us on to new kinds of lessons and experience.
Kate McGahan (JACK McAFGHAN: Reflections on Life with my Master)
At its essence, good leadership isn’t about being indispensable; it’s about helping others be prepared to possibly step into your shoes—giving them access to your own decision making, identifying the skills they need to develop and helping them improve, and, as I’ve had to do, sometimes being honest with them about why they’re not ready for the next step up.
Robert Iger (The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company)
Alice sighed wearily. "I think you might do something better with the time," she said, "than wasting it in asking riddles that have no answers." If you knew Time as well as I do," said the Hatter, "you wouldn't talk about wasting it. It's him." I don't know what you mean," said Alice. Of course you don't!" the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. "I dare say you never even spoke to Time!" Perhaps not," Alice cautiously replied: "but I know I have to beat time when I learn music." Ah! That accounts for it," said the Hatter. "He won't stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he'd do almost anything you liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it were nine o'clock in the morning, just time to begin lessons: you'd only have to whisper a hint to Time, and round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past one, time for dinner!
Lewis Carroll
That’s why signing kids up for piano lessons or sports is so important. It has nothing to do with creating a good musician or a five-year-old soccer star,” said Heatherton. “When you learn to force yourself to practice for an hour or run fifteen laps, you start building self-regulatory strength. A five-year-old who can follow the ball for ten minutes becomes a sixth grader who can start his homework on time.
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
My mom used to say sometimes it's actually about the other person and you just happen to be there. Like sometimes the other person needs to learn a lesson or go through an experience, good or bad, and you're just and accessory in some way, like a supporting actor in whatever their scene happens to be
Jennifer Niven (Holding Up the Universe)
You see, I came into this world just like I’m assuming you did—full of excitement and promise. I wanted to do so much good work, help so many people, and give as much as I could to those who needed me. But then I learned a very harsh lesson—the world doesn’t always give back. I am not a tragic case of the world; I am the world—cruel, unfair, and not a fairy tale. People are not born heroes or villains; they’re created by the people around them. And one day when your bright-eyed and bushy-tailed view of life gets its first taste of reality, when bitterness and anger first run through your veins, you’ll discover that you are just like me—and it’ll scare you to death.
Chris Colfer (The Enchantress Returns (The Land of Stories, #2))
There are no lessons to be learned from the past. This is the first thing I learned from it. There is nothing back then that there isn't here now. There is nothing here now - nothing that matters - that wasn't back then. What matters. Are you a good person? Do you have any love in your heart? What would you do in a given circumstance? It all comes down to something like that.
Tom Lichtenberg (Time Zone)
This has been a really tough lesson for me to learn. The people I love, I love hard and without conditions. My loyalty, once earned, will be with you for a lifetime. I really get that we are all connected and that until we all get it, no-one is getting it. That said, I'm also learning that some people are not a good match for us and their presence in our life is incredibly toxic. We can still love them, we just need to love them from a distance. Maybe after a few more reincarnations, we'll be able to love them up close again.
Brooke Hampton
When hiring, try to surround yourself with people who are good in addition to being good at what they do. Genuine decency—an instinct for fairness and openness and mutual respect—is a rarer commodity in business than it should be, and you should look for it in the people you hire and nurture it in the people who work for you.
Robert Iger (The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company)
I have spent a lifetime looking for remedies to all manner of life's problems -- personal, social, political, global. I am deeply suspicious of those who offer simple solutions and statements of absolute certainty or who claim full possession of the truth. Yet I have grown equally skeptical of those who suggest that all is too nuanced and complex for us to learn any lessons, that there are so many sides to every thing that we can pursue knowledge every day of our lives and still know nothing for sure. I believe we can recognize truth when we see it, just not a first and not without ever relenting in our efforts to learn more. This is because the goal we seek, and the good we hope for, comes not as some final reward but as the hidden companion to our quest. It is not what we find, but the reason we cannot stop looking and striving, that tells us why we are here.
Madeleine K. Albright (Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948)
It’s important to learn to quiet the mind since all the best ideas seem to come out of nowhere. All the great minds working on big problems have all spoken about how creative discoveries always come during breaks and rests from thinking and seemingly from someplace other than themselves, like a bolt of lightning or a seed being planted in their brain.
Todd Perelmuter (Spiritual Words to Live by : 81 Daily Wisdoms and Meditations to Transform Your Life)
Its always hard to find out that a person you once considered a great friend has completely turned their back on you. Life is full of surprises, some good and some bad. From my experience, bumping into bad ones never gets easier, but you learn to expect it, learn from it, and move on. Thats the only thing we can do... is move on.
Hilda Yacoubian
How we feel about ourselves, the joy we get from living, ultimately depend directly on how to the mind filters and interprets everyday experiences. Whether we are happy depends on inner harmony, not on the controls we are able to exert over the great forces of the universe. Certainly we should keep on learning how to master the external environment, because our physical survival may depend on it. But such mastery is not going to add one jot to how good we as individuals feel, or reduce the chaos of the world as we experience it. To do that we must learn to achive mastery over conciousness itself.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
I was a good dog. I had fulfilled my purpose. Lessons I had learned from being feral had taught me how to escape and how to hide from people when it was necessary, scavenging for food from trash containers. Being with Ethan had taught me love and had taught me my most important purpose, which was taking care of my boy. Jakob and Maya had taught me Find, Show, and, most important of all, how to save people, and it was all of these things, everything I had learned as a dog, that had led me to find Ethan and Hannah and to bring them both together.
W. Bruce Cameron (A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose, #1))
My advice to women who habitually gravitate toward musicians is that they learn how to play an instrument and start making music themselves. Not only will they see that it's not that hard, but sometimes I think women just want to be the very thing they think they want to sleep with. Because if you're bright enough--no offense, Tawny Kitaen--sleeping with a musician probably won't be enough for you to feel good about yourself. Even if he writes you a song for your birthday. Don't you know that a musician who writes a song for you is like a baker you're dating making you a cake? Aim higher.
Julie Klausner (I Don't Care About Your Band: Lessons Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated)
Pam (from The Office) is not intimidating, like one of those women who wears makeup and tailored clothes, and has a good job that she enjoys, and confidence, and an adult woman's sexuality. There's nothing scary about Pam, because there's no mystery; she's just like the boys who like her; mousy and shy. The ultimate emo-boy fantasy is to meet a nerdy, cute girl just like him, and nobody else will realize she's pretty. And she'll melt when she sees his record collection because it's just like hers....and she'll never want to go out to a party for which he'll be forced to comb his hair, or buy grown-up shoes or tie a tie, or demonstrate a hearty handshake, or make eye contact, or relate to people who work in different fields, or to basically act like a man.
Julie Klausner (I Don't Care About Your Band: Lessons Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated)
The one sure thing about Marbury is that it’s a horrible place. But so is right here, too. And there’s certain benefit in the obviousness of its brutality, because in Marbury there’s no doubt about the nature of things: good and evil, or guilt and innocence, for example. Not like here, where you could be sitting in the park next to a doctor or someone and not have any idea what a sick and dangerous sonofabitch he really is. Because we always expect things to be proper, even if we haven’t learned our fucking lesson that it just doesn’t work out like that all the time.
Andrew Smith (The Marbury Lens (The Marbury Lens, #1))
It is funny,’ she said, ‘That even after all this time, you still believe you should be rewarded, just because you have been obedient. I thought you would have learned that lesson in your father’s halls. None shrank and simpered as you did, and yet the great Helios stepped on you all the faster, because you were already crouched at his feet.’ She was leaning forward, her golden hair loose, embroidering the sheets around her. ‘Let me tell you the truth about Helios and all the rest. They do not care if you are good. They barely care if you are wicked. The only thing that makes them listen is power.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning.' 'I understand the concept. It's just . . . there seems to be a contradiction.' 'Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man's starvation, war, sickness . . .' 'Exactly!' Chartrand knew the camerlengo would understand. 'Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn't He?' The camerlengo frowned. 'Would He?' Chartrand felt uneasy. Had he overstepped his bounds? Was this one of those religious questions you just didn't ask? 'Well . . . if God loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help.' 'Do you have children, Lieutenant?' Chartrand flushed. 'No, signore.' 'Imagine you had an eight-year-old son . . . would you love him?' 'Of course.' 'Would you let him skateboard?' Chartrand did a double take. The camerlengo always seemed oddly "in touch" for a clergyman. 'Yeah, I guess,' Chartrand said. 'Sure, I'd let him skateboard, but I'd tell him to be careful.' 'So as this child's father, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes?' 'I wouldn't run behind him and mollycoddle him if that's what you mean.' 'But what if he fell and skinned his knee?' 'He would learn to be more careful.' The camerlengo smiled. 'So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child's pain, you would choose to show your love by letting him learn his own lessons?' 'Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It's how we learn.' The camerlengo nodded. 'Exactly.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
Barry, let me give you a history lesson, Ladybird Hope-style. When the Vietnamese got kids hooked on drugs and we had to fight a war to stop it, did we give in? No! We said, “Crack is wack!” and we made sure everybody could have guns instead of drugs. Back before the British were our friends, and they had a mean king who made us pay too much tax instead of just having hot princes who go to nightclubs, they wanted to keep us from bringing freedom to the people of Mexico and making it a state, and George Washington had to chop down that cherry tree and write the “Star-Spangled Banner,” and that’s the reason we fought World War II, and why we keep fighting, because those freedom-hating people out there want to take away our right to be rich and good-lookin’ and have gated communities and designer sweatpants like the ones from my Ladybird Hope Don’t Sweat it line, and they want us all to learn to speak Muslim and let the lawyers stop us from teaching about Adam and Eve and that will be the day that every child gets left behind.
Libba Bray (Beauty Queens)
MY BETH. Sitting patient in the shadow Till the blessed light shall come, A serene and saintly presence Sanctifies our troubled home. Earthly joys and hopes and sorrows Break like ripples on the strand Of the deep and solemn river Where her willing feet now stand. O my sister, passing from me, Out of human care and strife, Leave me, as a gift, those virtues Which have beautified your life. Dear, bequeath me that great patience Which has power to sustain A cheerful, uncomplaining spirit In its prison-house of pain. Give me, for I need it sorely, Of that courage, wise and sweet, Which has made the path of duty Green beneath your willing feet. Give me that unselfish nature, That with charity divine Can pardon wrong for love's dear sake— Meek heart, forgive me mine! Thus our parting daily loseth Something of its bitter pain, And while learning this hard lesson, My great loss becomes my gain. For the touch of grief will render My wild nature more serene, Give to life new aspirations, A new trust in the unseen. Henceforth, safe across the river, I shall see for evermore A beloved, household spirit Waiting for me on the shore. Hope and faith, born of my sorrow, Guardian angels shall become, And the sister gone before me By their hands shall lead me home.
Louisa May Alcott (Good Wives)
Value all relationships for the lessons they teach. Make sure you learn the lessons well. If not you will repeat those mistakes over and over. Focus on the kind of relationship you do want! Surround yourself with people who manifest those characteristics. Avoid and eliminate negativity at all cost. Become a producer of that which is positive. Look for the good in every situation and praise it. talk about it & be about it. Be about only good things.Create and manifest around you joy and peace and happiness. Let the presence of God be your model. Gods' kingdom consists of 3 things, righteousness, peace and joy in Gods words. When you become a positive producer, you will begin to attract what you produced ---- positives!
Stella Payton
Isn’t it funny how we make rational excuses for being out of alignment? We say, “Well, this ____ and that ____ happened, so it makes perfect sense for me to be feeling like this ____ and wanting to do this ____.” Yet, to this day, I have never met a happy person who adheres to those excuses. In fact, each time I – or anyone else – decide to give in to “rational excuses” that justify feeling bad – it’s interesting that only further suffering is the result. There is never a good enough reason for us to be out of alignment with peace. Sure, we can go there and make choices that dim our lights… and that is fine; there certainly is purpose for it and the contrast gives us lessons to learn… yet if we’re aware of what we are doing and we’re ready to let go of the suffering – then why go there at all? It’s like beating a dead horse. Been there, done that… so why do we keep repeating it? Pain is going to happen; it’s inevitable in this human experience, yet it is often so brief. When we make those excuses, what happens is: we pick up that pain and begin to carry it with us into the next day… and the next day… into next week… maybe next month… and some of us even carry it for years or to our graves! Forgive, let it go! It is NOT worth it! It is NEVER worth it. There is never a good enough reason for us to pick up that pain and carry it with us. There is never a good enough reason for us to be out of alignment with peace. Unforgiveness hurts you; it hurts others, so why even go there? Why even promote pain? Why say painful things to yourself or others? Why think pain? Just let it go! Whenever I look back on painful things or feel pain today, I know it is my EGO that drives me to “go there.” The EGO likes to have the last word, it likes to feel superior, it likes to make others feel less than in hopes that it will make itself (me) feel better about my insecurities. Maybe if I hurt them enough, they will feel the pain I felt over what they did to me. It’s only fair! It’s never my fault; it’s always someone else’s. There is a twisted sense of pleasure I get from feeling this way, and my EGO eats it right up. YET! With awareness that continues to grow and expand each day, I choose to not feed my pain (EGO) or even go there. I still feel it at times, of course, so I simply acknowledge it and then release it. I HAVE power and choice over my speech and actions. I do not need to ever “go there” again. It’s my choice; it’s your choice. So it’s about damn time we start realizing this. We are not victims of our impulses or emotions; we have the power to control them, and so it’s time to stop acting like we don’t. It’s time to relinquish the excuses.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings For Enriching Life)
I learned two very important lessons from Carl Jung, the famous Swiss depth psychologist, about “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you” or “loving your neighbour as yourself.” The first lesson was that neither of these statements has anything to do with being nice. The second was that both are equations, rather than injunctions. If I am someone’s friend, family member, or lover, then I am morally obliged to bargain as hard on my own behalf as they are on theirs. If I fail to do so, I will end up a slave, and the other person a tyrant. What good is that? It is much better for any relationship when both partners are strong. Furthermore, there is little difference between standing up and speaking for yourself, when you are being bullied or otherwise tormented and enslaved, and standing up and speaking for someone else. As Jung points out, this means embracing and loving the sinner who is yourself, as much as forgiving and aiding someone else who is stumbling and imperfect.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
This is life. Learning to love through loss. Seeking warm pockets in the bitter cold. Finding the worth of a smile on a cloudy day. Carrying the weight of the world on weary shoulders—mistakes, sins, injustices—added upon daily. Enduring burdens that spur greater strength. This is life. Sorting through layers of expressions staring you straight in the eye. A battle to be right when wrong, to be good when bad, to be content when in need, and to laugh when tearing up. This is life. Valuing things of no worth. Reevaluating dreams. Laboring ceaselessly against the current. Seeing less, wanting more, having enough. This is life. Chasing the moon when the sun would extend its warmth. Slapping the hand that would offer a gentle caress. Cowering at personal, monstrous shadows. Giving and taking in unbalanced weights. Diminishing the majesty of mountains in order to form our own lowly hills. Hoping for more than we deserve. This is life. Hurting. Despairing. Losing. Weeping. Suffering. Laboring. Sinking. Mourning. Appreciating with greater capacity and sincerity a learned knowledge that these adversities do have their opposites. This is life. A taste. A revelation. A banishment. A mercy. A test. An experience. A turbulent sea-voyage that shall assuredly reach the unseen shore, making seasoned sailors of us all. This is life.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
It is said that there are four kinds of horses: excellent ones, good ones, poor ones, and bad ones. The best horse will run slow and fast, right and left, at the driver’s will, before it sees the shadow of the whip; the second best will run as well as the first one does, just before the whip reaches its skin; the third one will run when it feels pain on its body; the fourth will run after the pain penetrates to the marrow of its bones. You can imagine how difficult it is for the fourth one to learn how to run! When we hear this story, almost all of us want to be the best horse. If it is impossible to be the best one, we want to be the second best. That is, I think, the usual understanding of this story, and of Zen. You may think that when you sit in zazen you will find out whether you are one of the best horses or one of the worst ones. Here, however, there is a misunderstanding of Zen. If you think the aim of Zen practice is to train you to become one of the best horses, you will have a big problem. This is not the right understanding. If you practice Zen in the right way it does not matter whether you are the best horse or the worst one. When you consider the mercy of Buddha, how do you think Buddha will feel about the four kinds of horses? He will have more sympathy for the worst one than for the best one. When you are determined to practice zazen with the great mind of Buddha, you will find the worst horse is the most valuable one. In your very imperfections you will find the basis for your firm, way-seeking mind. Those who can sit perfectly physically usually take more time to obtain the true way of Zen, the actual feeling of Zen, the marrow of Zen. But those who find great difficulties in practicing Zen will find more meaning in it. So I think that sometimes the best horse may be the worst horse, and the worst horse can be the best one. If you study calligraphy you will find that those who are not so clever usually become the best calligraphers. Those who are very clever with their hands often encounter great difficulty after they have reached a certain stage. This is also true in art and in Zen. It is true in life. So when we talk about Zen we cannot say, 'He is good,' or 'He is bad,' in the ordinary sense of the words. The posture taken in zazen is not the same for each of us. For some it may be impossible to take the cross-legged posture. But even though you cannot take the right posture, when you arouse your real, way-seeking mind, you can practice Zen in its true sense. Actually it is easier for those who have difficulties in sitting to arouse the true way-seeking mind that for those who can sit easily.
Shunryu Suzuki
Jonathan Safran Foer’s 10 Rules for Writing: 1.Tragedies make great literature; unfathomable catastrophes (the Holocaust, 9/11) are even better – try to construct your books around them for added gravitas but, since those big issues are such bummers, make sure you do it in a way that still focuses on a quirky central character that’s somewhat like Jonathan Safran Foer. 2. You can also name your character Jonathan Safran Foer. 3. If you’re writing a non-fiction book you should still make sure that it has a strong, deep, wise, and relatable central character – someone like Jonathan Safran Foer. 4. If you reach a point in your book where you’re not sure what to do, or how to approach a certain scene, or what the hell you’re doing, just throw in a picture, or a photo, or scribbles, or blank pages, or some illegible text, or maybe even a flipbook. Don’t worry if these things don’t mean anything, that’s what postmodernism is all about. If you’re not sure what to put in, you can’t go wrong with a nice photograph of Jonathan Safran Foer. 5. If you come up with a pun, metaphor, or phrase that you think is really clever and original, don’t just use it once and throw it away, sprinkle it liberally throughout the text. One particularly good phrase that comes to mind is “Jonathan Safran Foer.” 6. Don’t worry if you seem to be saying the same thing over and over again, repetition makes the work stronger, repetition is good, it drives the point home. The more you repeat a phrase or an idea, the better it gets. You should not be afraid of repeating ideas or phrases. One particularly good phrase that comes to mind is “Jonathan Safran Foer.” 7. Other writers are not your enemies, they are your friends, so you should feel free to borrow some of their ideas, words, techniques, and symbols, and use them completely out of context. They won’t mind, they’re your friends, just like my good friend Paul Auster, with whom I am very good friends. Just make sure you don’t steal anything from Jonathan Safran Foer, it wouldn’t be nice, he is your friend. 8. Make sure you have exactly three plots in your novel, any more and it gets confusing, any less and it’s not postmodern. At least one of those plots should be in a different timeline. It often helps if you name these three plots, I often use “Jonathan,” “Safran,” and “Foer.” 9. Don’t be afraid to make bold statements in you writing, there should always be a strong lesson to be learned, such as “don’t eat animals,” or “the Holocaust was bad,” or “9/11 was really really sad,” or “the world would be a better place if everyone was just a little bit more like Jonathan Safran Foer.” 10. In the end, don’t worry if you’re unsuccessful as a writer, it probably wasn’t meant to be. Not all of us are chosen to become writers. Not all of us can be Jonathan Safran Foer.
Jonathan Safran Foer
We have time for everything: to sleep, to run from one place to another, to regret having mistaken and to mistake again, to judge the others and to forgive ourselves we have time for reading and writing, for making corrections to our texts, to regret ever having written we have time to make plans and time not to respect them, we have time for ambitions and sicknesses, time to blame the destiny and the details, we have time to watch the clouds, advertisements or some ordinary accident, we have time to chase our wonders away and to postpone the answers, we have time to break a dream to pieces and then to reinvent it, we have time to make friends, to lose friends, we have time to receive lessons and forget them afterwards, we have time to receive gifts and not to understand them. We have time for them all. There is no time for just a bit of tenderness. When we are aware about to do this we die. I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you; All you can do is to be a loved person. the rest … depends on the others. I’ve learned that as much as I care others might not care. I’ve learned that it takes years to earn trust and just a few seconds to lose it. I’ve learned that it does not matter WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have. I’ve learned that your charm is useful for about 15 minutes Afterwards, you should better know something. I’ve learned that no matter how you cut it, everything has two sides! I’ve learned that you should separate from your loved ones with warm words It might be the last time you see them! I’ve learned that you can still continue for a long time after saying you cannot continue anymore I’ve learned that heroes are those who do what they have to do, when they have to do it, regardless the consequences I’ve learned that there are people who love But do not know how to show it ! I’ve learned that when I am upset I have the RIGHT to be upset But not the right to be bad! I’ve learned that real friendship continues to exist despite the distance And this is true also for REAL LOVE !!! I’ve learned that if someone does not love you like you want them to It does not mean that they do not love you with all their heart. I’ve learned that no matter how good of a friend someone is for you that person will hurt you every now and then and that you have to forgive him. I’ve learned that it is not enough to be forgiven by others Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. I’ve learned that no matter how much you suffer, The world will not stop for your pain. I’ve learned that the past and the circumstances might have an influence on your personality But that YOU are responsible for what you become !!! I’ve learned that if two people have an argument it does not mean that they do not love each other I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put on the first place the person, not the facts I’ve learned that two people can look at the same thing and can see something totally different I’ve learned that regardless the consequences those WHO ARE HONEST with themselves go further in life. I’ve learned that life can be changed in a few hours by people who do not even know you. I’ve learned that even when you think there is nothing more you can give when a friend calls you, you will find the strength to help him. I’ve learned that writing just like talking can ease the pains of the soul ! I’ve learned that those whom you love the most are taken away from you too soon … I’ve learned that it is too difficult to realise where to draw the line between being friendly, not hurting people and supporting your oppinions. I’ve learned to love to be loved.
Octavian Paler
Colored like a sunset tide is a gaze sharply slicing through the reflective glass. A furrowed brow is set much too seriously, as if trying to unfold the pieces of the face that stared back at it. One eyebrow is raised skeptically, always calculating and analyzing its surroundings. I tilt my head trying to see the deeper meaning in my features, trying to imagine the connection between my looks and my character as I stare in the mirror for the required five minutes. From the dark brown hair fastened tightly in a bun, a curl as bright as woven gold comes loose. A flash of unruly hair prominent through the typical browns is like my temper; always there, but not always visible. I begin to grow frustrated with the girl in the mirror, and she cocks her hip as if mocking me. In a moment, her lips curve in a half smile, not quite detectable in sight but rather in feeling, like the sensation of something good just around the corner. A chin was set high in a stubborn fashion, symbolizing either persistence or complete adamancy. Shoulders are held stiff like ancient mountains, proud but slightly arrogant. The image watches with the misty eyes of a daydreamer, glazed over with a sort of trance as if in the middle of a reverie, or a vision. Every once and a while, her true fears surface in those eyes, terror that her life would amount to nothing, that her work would have no impact. Words written are meant to be read, and sometimes I worry that my thoughts and ideas will be lost with time. My dream is to be an author, to be immortalized in print and live forever in the minds of avid readers. I want to access the power in being able to shape the minds of the young and open, and alter the minds of the old and resolute. Imagine the power in living forever, and passing on your ideas through generations. With each new reader, a new layer of meaning is uncovered in writing, meaning that even the author may not have seen. In the mirror, I see a girl that wants to change the world, and change the way people think and reason. Reflection and image mean nothing, for the girl in the mirror is more than a one dimensional picture. She is someone who has followed my footsteps with every lesson learned, and every mistake made. She has been there to help me find a foothold in the world, and to catch me when I fall. As the lights blink out, obscuring her face, I realize that although that image is one that will puzzle me in years to come, she and I aren’t so different after all.
K.D. Enos
Many things in this period have been hard to bear, or hard to take seriously. My own profession went into a protracted swoon during the Reagan-Bush-Thatcher decade, and shows scant sign of recovering a critical faculty—or indeed any faculty whatever, unless it is one of induced enthusiasm for a plausible consensus President. (We shall see whether it counts as progress for the same parrots to learn a new word.) And my own cohort, the left, shared in the general dispiriting move towards apolitical, atonal postmodernism. Regarding something magnificent, like the long-overdue and still endangered South African revolution (a jagged fit in the supposedly smooth pattern of axiomatic progress), one could see that Ariadne’s thread had a robust reddish tinge, and that potential citizens had not all deconstructed themselves into Xhosa, Zulu, Cape Coloured or ‘Eurocentric’; had in other words resisted the sectarian lesson that the masters of apartheid tried to teach them. Elsewhere, though, it seemed all at once as if competitive solipsism was the signifier of the ‘radical’; a stress on the salience not even of the individual, but of the trait, and from that atomization into the lump of the category. Surely one thing to be learned from the lapsed totalitarian system was the unwholesome relationship between the cult of the masses and the adoration of the supreme personality. Yet introspective voyaging seemed to coexist with dull group-think wherever one peered about among the formerly ‘committed’. Traditionally then, or tediously as some will think, I saw no reason to discard the Orwellian standard in considering modern literature. While a sort of etiolation, tricked out as playfulness, had its way among the non-judgemental, much good work was still done by those who weighed words as if they meant what they said. Some authors, indeed, stood by their works as if they had composed them in solitude and out of conviction. Of these, an encouraging number spoke for the ironic against the literal mind; for the generously interpreted interest of all against the renewal of what Orwell termed the ‘smelly little orthodoxies’—tribe and Faith, monotheist and polytheist, being most conspicuous among these new/old disfigurements. In the course of making a film about the decaffeinated hedonism of modern Los Angeles, I visited the house where Thomas Mann, in another time of torment, wrote Dr Faustus. My German friends were filling the streets of Munich and Berlin to combat the recrudescence of the same old shit as I read: This old, folkish layer survives in us all, and to speak as I really think, I do. not consider religion the most adequate means of keeping it under lock and key. For that, literature alone avails, humanistic science, the ideal of the free and beautiful human being. [italics mine] The path to this concept of enlightenment is not to be found in the pursuit of self-pity, or of self-love. Of course to be merely a political animal is to miss Mann’s point; while, as ever, to be an apolitical animal is to leave fellow-citizens at the mercy of Ideolo’. For the sake of argument, then, one must never let a euphemism or a false consolation pass uncontested. The truth seldom lies, but when it does lie it lies somewhere in between.
Christopher Hitchens (For the Sake of Argument: Essays and Minority Reports)