Good Provider Quotes

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A bit of trash now and then is good for the severest reader. It provides the necessary roughage in the literary diet.
Phyllis McGinley
I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
Benjamin Franklin
Relationships never provide you with everything. They provide you with some things. You take all you want from a person - sexual chemistry, let's say, or good conversation, or financial support, or intellectual compatibility, or niceness, or loyalty - and you get to pick three of them.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Genuine love is rarely an emotional space where needs are instantly gratified. To know love we have to invest time and commitment...'dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of the love -- which is to transform us.' Many people want love to function like a drug, giving them an immediate and sustained high. They want to do nothing, just passively receive the good feeling.
bell hooks
Fiction has been maligned for centuries as being "false," "untrue," yet good fiction provides more truth about the world, about life, and even about the reader, than can be found in non-fiction.
Clark Zlotchew
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
Carl Sagan
I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know - unless it be to share our laughter. We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love. For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.
James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)
Chasing a man is not winning. The only thing you win is the loss of your dignity. Confidence is knowing your value, instead of expecting a man’s love to provide you with value.
Shannon L. Alder
All you have to do is speak up. Tell him straight up: "I need you here to protect and provide for us, to give us security in our lives, to help raise these children, to set an example for this boy, who needs to see what real men do, and for this girl, who needs to know what a real man is so she can find one of her own someday. I need you to be the head of this family." Lay it out like this, and your requirements will trump his mother's every time.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
And now...farewell to kindness, humanity and gratitude. I have substituted myself for Providence in rewarding the good; may the God of vengeance now yield me His place to punish the wicked.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
My tendency to make up stories and lie compulsively for the sake of my own amusement takes up a good portion of my day and provides me with a peace of mind not easily attainable in this economic climate.
Chelsea Handler (Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang)
Well and good if all things change, O Lord God, provided I am rooted in You.
Juan de la Cruz
....a good book can teach you about the world and about yourself. You learn more than how to read better; you also learn more about life. You become wiser. Not just more knowledgeable - books that provide nothing but information can produce that result. But wiser, in the sense that you are more deeply aware of the great and enduring truths of human life.
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
How people themselves perceive what they are doing is not a question that interests me. I mean, there are very few people who are going to look into the mirror and say, 'That person I see is a savage monster'; instead, they make up some construction that justifies what they do. If you ask the CEO of some major corporation what he does he will say, in all honesty, that he is slaving 20 hours a day to provide his customers with the best goods or services he can and creating the best possible working conditions for his employees. But then you take a look at what the corporation does, the effect of its legal structure, the vast inequalities in pay and conditions, and you see the reality is something far different.
Noam Chomsky
Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government-- in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.
Milton Friedman
Nothing ever invented provides such sustenance, such infinite reward for time spent, as a good book.
David McCullough
Relationships never provide you with everything. They provide you with some things. You take all the things you want from a person -- sexual chemistry, let's say, or good conversation, or financial support, or intellectual compatibility, or niceness, or loyalty -- and you get to pick three of those things. The rest you have to look for elsewhere. It's only in the movies that you find someone who gives you all those things. But this isn't the movies. In the real world, you have to identify which three qualities you want to spend the rest of your life with, and then you look for those qualities in another person. That's real life. Don't you see it's a trap? If you keep trying to find everything, you'll wind up with nothing.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Charlie Chaplin
Desperate times call for desperate measures" is an aphorism which here means "sometimes you need to change your facial expression in order to create a workable disguise." The quoting of an aphorism, such as "It takes a village to raise a child," "No news is good news," and "Love conquers all," rarely indicates that something helpful is about to happen, which is why we provide our volunteers with a disguise kit in addition to helpful phrases of advice.
Lemony Snicket (Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography)
When I have something to say that I think will be too difficult for adults, I write it in a book for children. Children are excited by new ideas; they have not yet closed the doors and windows of their imaginations. Provided the story is good... nothing is too difficult for children.
Madeleine L'Engle
Then she (Gossamer) turns to Jeb. "Elfin knight, do you wish for pleasure on your quest? I can provide it, if you so desire." Rubbing his labret with his thumb, Jeb glances at me, adorably bewildered. "Um. No thanks. I'm good.
A.G. Howard (Splintered (Splintered, #1))
Remember to celebrate the small accomplishments along your journey because they will provide the support needed when the road gets rocky. 
C. Toni Graham
I spit on your happiness! I spit on your idea of life--that life that must go on, come what may. You are all like dogs that lick everything they smell. You with your promise of a humdrum happiness--provided a person doesn't ask much of life. I want everything of life, I do; and I want it now! I want it total, complete: otherwise I reject it! I will not be moderate. I will not be satisfied with the bit of cake you offer me if I promise to be a good little girl. I want to be sure of everything this very day; sure that everything will be as beautiful as when I was a little girl. If not, I want to die!
Jean Anouilh (Antigone)
What a lovely thing a rose is!" He walked past the couch to the open window and held up the drooping stalk of a moss-rose, looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me, for I had never before seen him show any keen interest in natural objects. "There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as religion," said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. "It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Naval Treaty - a Sherlock Holmes Short Story)
Sometimes human beings are very much like bees. Bees are fiercely protective of their hive, provided you are outside it. Once you’re in, the workers sort of assume that it must have been cleared by management and take no notice; various freeloading insects have evolved a mellifluous existence because of this very fact. Humans act the same way.
Neil Gaiman (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
She doesn't follow me. She doesn't call out my name and chase after me in the rain. It isn't even raining. The sky doesn't even have the decency to provide me with a good movie cliché.
Melissa Keil (Life in Outer Space)
Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories like Joseph and Job and Esther and Ruth is to help us feel in our bones (not just know in our heads) that God is for us in all these strange turns. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.
John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.
Albert Camus
I'm sure anyone who likes a good crime, provided it is not the victim.
Alfred Hitchcock
Daughter! Get you an honest Man for a Husband, and keep him honest. No matter whether he is rich, provided he be independent. Regard the Honour and moral Character of the Man more than all other Circumstances. Think of no other Greatness but that of the soul, no other Riches but those of the Heart. An honest, Sensible humane Man, above all the Littlenesses of Vanity, and Extravagances of Imagination, labouring to do good rather than be rich, to be usefull rather than make a show, living in a modest Simplicity clearly within his Means and free from Debts or Obligations, is really the most respectable Man in Society, makes himself and all about him the most happy.
John Adams (Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife)
Man provides his own goods and his own evils, neither God nor the Devil has anything to do with it.
Ariana Franklin
Good sense is the most equitably distributed of all things because no matter how much or little a person has, everyone feels so abundantly provided with good sense that he feels no desire for more than he already possesses.
René Descartes
Remember that there are two kinds of beauty: one of the soul and the other of the body. That of the soul displays its radiance in intelligence, in chastity, in good conduct, in generosity, and in good breeding, and all these qualities may exist in an ugly man. And when we focus our attention upon that beauty, not upon the physical, love generally arises with great violence and intensity. I am well aware that I am not handsome, but I also know that I am not deformed, and it is enough for a man of worth not to be a monster for him to be dearly loved, provided he has those spiritual endowments I have spoken of.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
No matter how many precautions we take, none of us are truly in control. Only God can claim that kind of authority. All we can do is use the good sense he provides and trust him to guide us.
Karen Witemeyer (Short-Straw Bride (Archer Brothers, #1))
An attempt to achieve the good by force is like an attempt to provide a man with a picture gallery at the price of cutting out his eyes.
Ayn Rand
Don't waste your time trying to provide people with proof of deceit, in order to keep their love, win their love or salvage their respect for you. The truth is this: If they care they will go out of their way to learn the truth. If they don't then they really don't value you as a human being. The moment you have to sell people on who you are is the moment you let yourself believe that every good thing you have ever done or accomplished was invisible to the world. And, it is not!
Shannon L. Alder
Set faith at work on Christ for the killing of thy sin. His blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls. Live in this, and thou wilt die a conqueror; yea, thou wilt, through the good providence of God, live to see thy lust dead at thy feet.
John Owen (Mortification of Sin)
Appearances are significant, and never more than in politics. You can always sway the crowd, provided you have a good story.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Has anyone provided proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close. Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close. Have our sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close. Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough. Has rationalism and moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough. Has secularism in the terrible 20th century been a force for good? Not even close, to being close. Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? Close enough. Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ball park. Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.
David Berlinski (The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions)
A good book is like a good friend. It will stay with you for the rest of your life. When you first get to know it, it will give you excitement and adventure, and years later it will provide you with comfort and familiarity. And best of all, you can share it with your children or your grandchildren or anyone you love enough to let into its secrets.
Charlie Lovett (First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen)
If we constantly focus only on the stones in our mortal path, we will almost surely miss the beautiful flower or cool stream provided by the loving Father who outlined our journey. Each day can bring more joy than sorrow when our mortal and spiritual eyes are open to God's goodness. Joy in the gospel is not something that begins only in the next life. It is our privilege now, this very day. We must never allow our burdens to obscure our blessings. There will always be more blessings than burdens--even if some days it doesn't seem so. Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Enjoy those blessings right now. They are yours and always will be.
Jeffrey R. Holland
You don’t question Providence. If you can’t have the reality, a dream is just as good.
Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles)
What can I say to you that I haven't already said? What can I give you that I haven't already given? Is there anything of me that isn't yours already? My body, my mind, my heart, even my soul. Everything that is me belonged to you long before this, and it shall be yours long after this. I will follow you anywhere and everywhere you lead. I will keep you and anyone created with our love safe from all harm. From this day on, I choose you, my beloved, to be my wife. To live with you and laugh with you; to stand by your side, and sleep in your arms; to bring out the best in you always, and, for you, to be the most that I can. I promise to laugh with you in good times, to struggle with you in bad; to wipe your tears with my hands; to comfort you with my words; to mirror you with my soul; and savor every moment, happy or sad, until the end of our lives and beyond.
Jamie McGuire (Eden (Providence, #3))
Christian does a great job helping an aspiring writer get inspired to write and finish their book. It’s easy to read and understand, and provides encouragement and specific guidance, without being too harsh or detailed on fiction writing only. If you are struggling with how to put your thoughts onto paper, give this a read and establish a rhythm for your writing. Christian’s success at completing over 21 published manuscripts while leading a busy life are testament in if there is a will, there is a way. And it provides some good humor throughout.” Rachel Braynin, Sr Program Manager at Lulu Publishing
Christian Warren Freed (So...You Want to Write a Book?)
Words provide a voice to our deepest feelings. I tell you, words have started and stopped wars. Words have built and lost fortunes. Words have saved and taken lives. Words have won and lost great kingdoms. Even Buddha said, 'Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.
Camron Wright (The Rent Collector)
Close your eyes, Maxon." "What?" "Close your eyes. Somewhere in this palace, there is a woman who will be your wife. This girl? Imagine that she depends on you. She needs you to cherish her and make her feel like the Selection didn't even happen. Like if you were dropped in your own out in the middle of the country to wander around door to door, she's still the one you would have found. She was always the one you would have picked. She needs you to provide for her and protect her. And if it came to a point where there was absolutely nothing to eat, and you couldn't even fall asleep at night because the sound of her stomach growling kept you awake—" "Stop it!" "Sorry." "Is that really what it's like? Out there... does that happen? Are people hungry like that a lot?" "Maxon, I..." "Tell me the truth." "Yes. That happens. I know of families where people give up their share for their children or siblings. I know of a boy who was whipped in the town square for stealing food. Sometimes you do crazy things when you are desperate." "A boy? How old?" "Nine." "Have you ever been like that? Starving?...How bad?" "Maxon, it will only upset you more." "Probably, but I'm only starting to realize how much I don't know about my own country. Please." "We've been pretty bad. Most time if it gets to where we have to choose, we keep the food and lose electricity. The worst was when it happened near Christmas one year. May didn't understand why we couldn't exchange gifts. As a general rule, there are never any leftovers at my house. Someone always wants more. I know the checks we've gotten over the last few weeks have really helped, and my family is really smart about money. I'm sure they have already tucked it away so it will stretch out for a long time. You've done so much for us, Maxon." "Good God. When you said that you were only here for the food, you weren't kidding, were you?" "Really, Maxon, we've been doing pretty well lately. I—" "I'll see you at dinner.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it is actually big. That's the paradox of making small improvements.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Chocolate, coffee, and ice cream were far more reliable when it came to providing a good time, and at least they would never disappoint me.
Keri Arthur (The Darkest Kiss (Riley Jenson Guardian #6))
The nature of heaven is to provide a place there for all who lead good lives, no matter what their religion may be.
Emanuel Swedenborg
Why are...poor people more ready to share their goods than rich people? The answer is easy: The poor have little to lose; the rich have more to lose and they are more attached to their possessions. Poverty provides a deeper motivation for understanding your neighbors, welcoming others and attending to those who are suffering. I would go so far as to say that poverty helps you understand what happiness is, what serenity is in life.
Piero Gheddo
Providence is wiser than you, and you may be confident it has suited all things better to your eternal good than you could do had you been left to your own option.
John Flavel (The Mystery of Providence)
I wanted to have something good to remember about today,” she replied quietly. “Something that wasn't petty and mean. Sometimes you have to provide such moments yourself.
Tamora Pierce (Trickster's Queen (Daughter of the Lioness, #2))
They had once.. at Adam's instigation.. tried a health food diet for a whole afternoon. Their verdict was that you could live very well on healthy food provided you had a big cooked lunch beforehand.
Neil Gaiman (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
To escape the distress caused by regret for the past or fear about the future, this is the rule to follow: leave the past to the infinite mercy of God, the future to His good Providence, give the present wholly to His love by being faithful to His grace.
Jean-Pierre de Caussade (Abandonment to Divine Providence)
My trust is in the mercy and wisdom of a kind Providence, who ordereth all things for our good.
Robert E. Lee
You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit. —HARRY S. TRUMAN1
James C. Collins (Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't)
To know who I am is a species of knowing where I stand. My identity is defined by the commitments and identifications which provide the frame or horizon within which I can try to determine from case to case what is good, or valuable, or what ought to be done, or what I endorse or oppose. In other words, it is the horizon within which I am capable of taking a stand.
Charles Taylor (Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity)
Barack intrigued me. He was not like anyone I’d dated before, mainly because he seemed so secure. He was openly affectionate. He told me I was beautiful. He made me feel good. To me, he was sort of like a unicorn—unusual to the point of seeming almost unreal. He never talked about material things, like buying a house or a car or even new shoes. His money went largely toward books, which to him were like sacred objects, providing ballast for his mind. He read late into the night, often long after I’d fallen asleep, plowing through history and biographies and Toni Morrison, too. He read several newspapers daily, cover to cover. He kept tabs on the latest book reviews, the American League standings, and what the South Side aldermen were up to. He could speak with equal passion about the Polish elections and which movies Roger Ebert had panned and why.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Given good yarn, good workmanship, and good care, a knitted shawl and outlive its knitter, providing warmth and pleasure to several generations of family and friends.
Martha Waterman
I saw my reflection in their eyes, but not the men themselves, not clearly. This preserved the idea that all intelligent and even vaguely attractive men were essentially good. Delusion detest focus and romance provides the veil.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion," said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. "It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #4))
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)
Where God guides, He provides. No matter how things look, God is still in control. Stay in peace and be hopeful. Your blessing is coming soon.
Germany Kent
Taken as a whole, the story of Ruth is one of those signs. It was written to give us encouragement and hope that all the perplexing turns in our lives are going somewhere good. They do not lead off a cliff. In all the setbacks of our lives as believers, God is plotting for our joy.
John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
The sharia is like a candle,” said Shams of Tabriz. “It provides us with much valuable light. But let us not forget that a candle helps us to go from one place to another in the dark. If we forget where we are headed and instead concentrate on the candle, what good is it?
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
It is not the fault of the entrepreneurs that the consumers, the people, the common man, prefer liquor to Bibles and detective stories to serious books, and that governments prefer guns to butter. The entrepreneur does not make greater profits in selling bad things than in selling good things. His profits are the greater the better he succeeds in providing the consumers with those things they ask for most intensely.
Ludwig von Mises (Human Action: A Treatise on Economics)
Dear Max - You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever. ... And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy. But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right. Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it. The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray. I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while. ... You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet. ... At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you. But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock. Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again. Please make us only go through this once. ... I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me. ... You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without. ... Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it. Good-bye, my love. Fang P.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them
James Patterson
Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest shall be provided or its loss shall not be felt.
Francis Bacon
Are small, critical actions enough? Small gestures make us feel good—about ourselves, about others. Small things connect us. They feel like everything. A lot depends on them. It’s not unlike religion and God. We believe in certain constructs that help us understand life. Not only to understand it, but as a means of providing comfort.
Iain Reid (I'm Thinking of Ending Things)
Good checklists, on the other hand are precise. They are efficient, to the point, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. They do not try to spell out everything--a checklist cannot fly a plane. Instead, they provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps--the ones that even the highly skilled professional using them could miss. Good checklists are, above all, practical.
Atul Gawande (The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right)
What makes a good salesperson? Let me be clear that it’s not the person who can talk someone into anything. It’s not the hustler who is a smooth talker. The best salespeople are the ones who put themselves in their customer’s shoes and provide a solution that makes the customer happy.
Mark Cuban (How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It)
I ask you neither for health nor for sickness, for life nor for death; but that you may dispose of my health and my sickness, my life and my death, for your glory ... You alone know what is expedient for me; you are the sovereign master, do with me according to your will. Give to me, or take away from me, only conform my will to yours. I know but one thing, Lord, that it is good to follow you, and bad to offend you. Apart from that, I know not what is good or bad in anything. I know not which is most profitable to me, health or sickness, wealth or poverty, nor anything else in the world. That discernment is beyond the power of men or angels, and is hidden among the secrets of your providence, which I adore, but do not seek to fathom.
Blaise Pascal
Kindness consents very readily to the removal of its object – we have all met people whose kindness to animals is constantly leading them to kill animals lest they should suffer. Kindness, merely as such, cares not whether its object becomes good or bad, provided only that it escapes suffering.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
Peace has in it trust in the Lord, that He governs all things, provides all things, and leads to a good end.
Emanuel Swedenborg
The Lord is kind. He is good to all who take refuge under his wings.
John Piper (A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God)
Abusive relationships exist because they provide enough rations of warmth, laughter, and affection to clutch onto like a security blanket in the heap of degradation. The good times are the initial euphoria that keeps addicts draining their wallets for toxic substances to inject into their veins. Scraps of love are food for an abusive relationship.
Maggie Georgiana Young
The biologist and intellectual E. O. Wilson was once asked what represented the most hindrance to the development of children; his answer was the soccer mom. He did not use the notion of the Procrustean bed, but he outlined it perfectly. His argument is that they repress children's natural biophilia, their love of living things. But the problem is more general; soccer moms try to eliminate the trial and error, the antifragility, from children's lives, move them away from the ecological and transform them into nerds working on preexisting (soccer-mom-compatible) maps of reality. Good students, but nerds--that is, they are like computers except slower. Further, they are now totally untrained to handle ambiguity. As a child of civil war, I disbelieve in structured learning . . . . Provided we have the right type of rigor, we need randomness, mess, adventures, uncertainty, self-discovery, near-traumatic episodes, all those things that make life worth living, compared to the structured, fake, and ineffective life of an empty-suit CEO with a preset schedule and an alarm clock.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder)
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
Carl Sagan
The garden is one of the two great metaphors for humanity. The garden is about life and beauty and the impermanence of all living things. The garden is about feeding your children, providing food for the tribe. It’s part of an urgent territorial drive that we can probably trace back to animals storing food. It’s a competitive display mechanism, like having a prize bull, this greed for the best tomatoes and English tea roses. It’s about winning; about providing society with superior things; and about proving that you have taste, and good values, and you work hard. And what a wonderful relief, every so often, to know who the enemy is. Because in the garden, the enemy is everything: the aphids, the weather, time. And so you pour yourself into it, care so much, and see up close so much birth, and growth, and beauty, and danger, and triumph. And then everything dies anyway, right? But you just keep doing it.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
Every good book should be entertaining. A good book will be more; it must not be less. Entertainment…is like a qualifying examination. If a fiction can’t provide that, we may be excused from inquiring into its higher qualities.
C.S. Lewis
Having a lot of money is about providing for your family, enjoying the beautiful moments, minimizing stress, and having the liberty to live a heart-centered spirit-centered life. It’s good to have a lot of money.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr (The Wealth Reference Guide: An American Classic)
The rage of the Beast Lord was a terrible thing to behold. Some people stormed, some punched things, but Curran slipped into this icy, bone-chilling calm. His face hardened into a flat mask, and his eyes turned into a molten inferno of pure gold. If you looked at it for longer than two seconds, your muscles locked, your knees shook, and you had to fight to keep from cringing. It was easier to look at the floor, but I didn’t. Besides, he wasn’t angry with me. He wasn’t even angry with Kate. He was angry with Anapa. I had no doubt that if he could’ve gotten a hold of the god at that moment, he would’ve broken him in half. “It’s only ribs,” Kate told him. “And they’re not even broken. They are fractured.” “And the hip,” Doolittle said. “And the knee.” There you go. Don’t expect mercy from a honeybadger. “How long do you need to keep her?” Curran looked to Doolittle. “She can go to her quarters, provided she doesn’t leave them,” Doolittle said. “I can’t do anything else with the magic down. She must stay down until I can patch her up.” “She will.” Curran reached for Kate. “Hey, baby. Ready?” She nodded. Curran slid his hands under her and picked her up, gently, as if she weighed nothing. “Good?” he asked. She put her arm around him. “Never better.
Ilona Andrews (Gunmetal Magic (World of Kate Daniels, #6 & #6.5; Andrea Nash, #1, Kate Daniels, #5.5))
No matter what advantages you are born with-- money, intelligence, an appealing personality, a sunny outlook, or good social connections-- none of these provides a magic key to an easy existence. Somehow life manages to bring difficult problems, the causes of untold suffering and struggle. How you meet your challenges makes all the difference between the promise of success and the specter of failure.
Deepak Chopra (Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life's Greatest Challenges)
(Riley:)...I just wasn't up to coping with the whims and foibles of men right now. Chocolate, coffee and ice cream were far more reliable when it came to providing a good time, and at least they> would never disappoint me.
Keri Arthur (The Darkest Kiss (Riley Jenson Guardian #6))
Holding the space is crucial, and exactly what we are missing. To hold the space is to create a ring of safety around the family and friends of the dead, providing a place where they can grieve openly and honestly, without fear of being judged.
Caitlin Doughty (From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death)
Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for every one thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.
René Descartes (Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences)
If one prevents a man from working for the good of society while at the same time providing for the satisfaction of his own needs, then only one way remains open to him: to make himself richer and others poorer by the violent oppression and spoliation of his fellow men.
Ludwig von Mises (Liberalism: The Classical Tradition)
Every single one of you has something you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That's the opportunity an education can provide.
Barack Obama
Men come to sex hoping that it will provide them with all of the emotional satisfaction that would have come from love. Most men think that sex will provide them with a sense of being alive, connected, that sex will offer closeness, intimacy, pleasure. And more often than not sex simply does not deliver the goods. This fact does not lead men to cease obsessing about sex; it intensifies their lust and their longing.
bell hooks (The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love)
When a woman does not want to have a child, she usually has good reason. She may be unmarried or in a bad marriage. She may consider herself too poor to raise a child. She may think her life is too unstable or unhappy, or she may think that her drinking or drug use will damage the baby’s health. She may believe that she is too young or hasn’t yet received enough education. She may want a child badly but in a few years, not now. For any of a hundred reasons, she may feel that she cannot provide a home environment that is conducive to raising a healthy and productive child.
Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything)
People don’t mind immoral messages. They don’t mind art which says that murder is good, cruelty is good, sex for sex’s sake is good. They like it, provided the message is wrapped up a little. And they like messages saying that murder is bad, cruelty is bad, and love is love is love is love. What they can’t stand is to be told it all doesn’t matter, they can’t stand formlessness.
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
Here is my creed: I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion. --Benjamin Franklin
W. Cleon Skousen (The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World)
Your body is a Temple. You are what you eat. Do not eat processed food, junk foods, filth, or disease carrying food, animals, or rodents. Some people say of these foods, 'well, it tastes good'. Most of the foods today that statically cause sickness, cancer, and disease ALL TATSE GOOD; it's well seasoned and prepared poison. THIS IS WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE SICK; mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually; because of being hooked to the 'taste' of poison, instead of being hooked on the truth and to real foods that heal and provide you with good health and wellness. Respect and honor your Temple- and it will honor you.
SupaNova Slom (The Remedy: The Five-Week Power Plan to Detox Your System, Combat the Fat, and Rebuild Your Mind and Body)
When I propose a candidate for a job I don't do it because the person in question is the best but because he is the one the client will employ. I provide them with a head that is good enough, placed on a body they want. [...] The world is full of people who pay serious money for bad pictures by good artists. And mediocre heads on tall bodies.
Jo Nesbø (Headhunters)
It's good to celebrate the value your business adds. Every employee in the business should celebrate the value the business adds. What you celebrate, you give life to. At Mayflower-Plymouth, we're here to help your business figure this out, and to provide holistic solutions.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr
....I understood why those who had lived through war or economic disasters, and who had built for themselves a good life and a high standard of living, were rightly proud to be able to provide for their children those things which they themselves had not had. And why their children, inevitably, took those things for granted. It meant that new values and new expectations had crept into our societies along with new standards of living. Hence the materialistic and often greedy and selfish lifestyle of so many young people in the Western world, especially in the United States.
Jane Goodall (Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey)
We are not obligated to provide everyone who comes to this country with a good life,” Morgan went on. “We are obligated to provide them with a chance to attain that life, through discipline and hard work. That chance is more than they have anywhere else. That is why they keep coming.
Caleb Carr (The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #1))
In addition, if a person makes the error of identifying self with his work (rather than with the internal virtues that make the work possible), if self-esteem is tied primarily to accomplishments, success, income, or being a good family provider, the danger is that economic circumstances beyond the individual’s control may lead to the failure of the business or the loss of a job, flinging him into depression or acute demoralization.
Nathaniel Branden (The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem)
A man worth being with is one… That never lies to you Is kind to people that have hurt him A person that respects another’s life That has manners and shows people respect That goes out of his way to help people That feels every person, no matter how difficult, deserves compassion Who believes you are the most beautiful person he has ever met Who brags about your accomplishments with pride Who talks to you about anything and everything because no bad news will make him love you less That is a peacemaker That will see you through illness Who keeps his promises Who doesn’t blame others, but finds the good in them That raises you up and motivates you to reach for the stars That doesn’t need fame, money or anything materialistic to be happy That is gentle and patient with children Who won’t let you lie to yourself; he tells you what you need to hear, in order to help you grow Who lives what he says he believes in Who doesn’t hold a grudge or hold onto the past Who doesn’t ask his family members to deliberately hurt people that have hurt him Who will run with your dreams That makes you laugh at the world and yourself Who forgives and is quick to apologize Who doesn’t betray you by having inappropriate conversations with other women Who doesn’t react when he is angry, decides when he is sad or keep promises he doesn’t plan to keep Who takes his children’s spiritual life very seriously and teaches by example Who never seeks revenge or would ever put another person down Who communicates to solve problems Who doesn’t play games or passive aggressively ignores people to hurt them Who is real and doesn’t pretend to be something he is not Who has the power to free you from yourself through his positive outlook Who has a deep respect for women and treats them like a daughter of God Who doesn’t have an ego or believes he is better than anyone Who is labeled constantly by people as the nicest person they have ever met Who works hard to provide for the family Who doesn’t feel the need to drink alcohol to have a good time, smoke or do drugs Who doesn't have to hang out a bar with his friends, but would rather spend his time with his family Who is morally free from sin Who sees your potential to be great Who doesn't think a woman's place has to be in the home; he supports your life mission, where ever that takes you Who is a gentleman Who is honest and lives with integrity Who never discusses your private business with anyone Who will protect his family Who forgives, forgets, repairs and restores When you find a man that possesses these traits then all the little things you don’t have in common don’t matter. This is the type of man worth being grateful for.
Shannon L. Alder
Youth was the time for happiness, its only season; young people, leading a lazy, carefree life, partially occupied by scarcely absorbing studies, were able to devote themselves unlimitedly to the liberated exultation of their bodies. They could play, dance, love, and multiply their pleasures. They could leave a party, in the early hours of the morning, in the company of sexual partners they had chosen, and contemplate the dreary line of employees going to work. They were the salt of the earth, and everything was given to them, everything was permitted for them, everything was possible. Later on, having started a family, having entered the adult world, they would be introduced to worry, work, responsibility, and the difficulties of existence; they would have to pay taxes, submit themselves to administrative formalities while ceaselessly bearing witness--powerless and shame-filled--to the irreversible degradation of their own bodies, which would be slow at first, then increasingly rapid; above all, they would have to look after children, mortal enemies, in their own homes, they would have to pamper them, feed them, worry about their illnesses, provide the means for their education and their pleasure, and unlike in the world of animals, this would last not just for a season, they would remain slaves of their offspring always, the time of joy was well and truly over for them, they would have to continue to suffer until the end, in pain and with increasing health problems, until they were no longer good for anything and were definitively thrown into the rubbish heap, cumbersome and useless. In return, their children would not be at all grateful, on the contrary their efforts, however strenuous, would never be considered enough, they would, until the bitter end, be considered guilty because of the simple fact of being parents. From this sad life, marked by shame, all joy would be pitilessly banished. When they wanted to draw near to young people's bodies, they would be chased away, rejected, ridiculed, insulted, and, more and more often nowadays, imprisoned. The physical bodies of young people, the only desirable possession the world has ever produced, were reserved for the exclusive use of the young, and the fate of the old was to work and to suffer. This was the true meaning of solidarity between generations; it was a pure and simple holocaust of each generation in favor of the one that replaced it, a cruel, prolonged holocaust that brought with it no consolation, no comfort, nor any material or emotional compensation.
Michel Houellebecq (The Possibility of an Island)
I may be deemed superstitious, and even egotistical, in regarding this event as a special interposition of divine Providence in my favor. But I should be false to the earlierst sentiments of my soul, if I suppressed the opinion. I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence. From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
Rejoice! Know that I am with you and for you and will never leave you; take courage that I will fight for you and be your shield and buckler and provide for you when you are old; I will supply your every need, I will give you victory over death, I have prepared a place for you in heaven
Jan Karon (Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good (Mitford Years, #12))
Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquility; and I affirm that tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send thee back free from all discontent with the things to which thou returnest. For with what art thou discontented? With the badness of men? Recall to thy mind this conclusion, that rational animals exist for one another, and that to endure is a part of justice, and that men do wrong involuntarily; and consider how many already, after mutual enmity, suspicion, hatred, and fighting, have been stretched dead, reduced to ashes; and be quiet at last.- But perhaps thou art dissatisfied with that which is assigned to thee out of the universe.- Recall to thy recollection this alternative; either there is providence or atoms, fortuitous concurrence of things; or remember the arguments by which it has been proved that the world is a kind of political community, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps corporeal things will still fasten upon thee.- Consider then further that the mind mingles not with the breath, whether moving gently or violently, when it has once drawn itself apart and discovered its own power, and think also of all that thou hast heard and assented to about pain and pleasure, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps the desire of the thing called fame will torment thee.- See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgement in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of the space within which it is circumscribed, and be quiet at last. For the whole earth is a point, and how small a nook in it is this thy dwelling, and how few are there in it, and what kind of people are they who will praise thee.
Marcus Aurelius (The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius)
Plato argued that good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will always find a way around law. By pretending that procedure will get rid of corruption, we have succeeded only in humiliating honest people and provided a cover of darkness and complexity for the bad people. There is a scandal here, but it's not the result of venal bureaucrats. (1994) p. 99
Philip K. Howard (The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America)
Pain is good. Heartache is good. These things will provide you with knowledge that will help you grow and deal with future struggles. To waste a painful moment and let emption overwhelm you so much that you gain absolutely no insight is to get hurt inefficiently.
Lilly Singh (How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life)
Buy Experiences Not Goods. Want to buy happiness? Then spend your hard-earned cash on experiences. Go out for a meal. Go to a concert, cinema or theatre. Go on holiday. Go and learn how to pole dance. Go paintballing. Go bungee jumping. In fact, get involved in anything that provides an opportunity to do things with others, and then tell even more people about it afterwards. When it comes to happiness, remember that it is experiences that represent really good value for money.
Richard Wiseman (59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot)
If there is one thing developmental psychologists have learned over the years, it is that parents don’t have to be brilliant psychologists to succeed. They don’t have to be supremely gifted teachers. Most of the stuff parents do with flashcards and special drills and tutorials to hone their kids into perfect achievement machines don’t have any effect at all. Instead, parents just have to be good enough. They have to provide their kids with stable and predictable rhythms. They need to be able to fall in tune with their kids’ needs, combining warmth and discipline. They need to establish the secure emotional bonds that kids can fall back upon in the face of stress. They need to be there to provide living examples of how to cope with the problems of the world so that their children can develop unconscious models in their heads.
David Brooks (The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement)
Profit is good. Profit motivates businesses to be: (a) efficient - to do more with less, to consume fewer resources, to reduce and reuse waste. (b) productive - to allow for bigger profit margins. (c) Valuable - income, and therefore profit is only possible when we add value to our customers lives. When the value of our product or service is worth more to them than what it cost us to provide it, we profit.
Hendrith Smith
He’s ashamed of himself, because he left you when you were three, did nothing for you, and you ended up being very successful without him, and then you buy him stuff. You are not only a better person than he is, but you are kind and responsible where he is not, and you’re providing where he did not. Not just as his child, but as a woman, providing for him. Your goodness holds up a mirror to his ugliness, and that is too painful for him, so he has to project this onto you, by saying you make him feel less about himself. It’s nothing you did. It’s guilt.
Tiffany Haddish (The Last Black Unicorn)
In 2014, my friend Herbie Hancock was invited to give the prestigious Norton Lectures at Harvard University, where he shared great insights on the topics of mentorship and changing poison into medicine. Herbie related lessons from his jazz mentor, Miles Davis, who taught him that “a great mentor can provide a path to finding your own true answers,” and to always “reach up while reaching down; grow while helping others.
Tina Turner (Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good)
We stand at the crossroads, each minute, each hour, each day, making choices. We choose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the passions we allow ourselves to feel, and the actions we allow ourselves to perform. Each choice is made in the context of whatever value system we have selected to govern our lives. In selecting that value system, we are, in a very real way, making the most important choice we will ever make. Those who believe there is one God who made all things and who governs the world by this providence will make many choices different from those who do not. Those who hold in reverence that being who gave them life and worship Him through adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving will make choices different from those who do not. Those who believe that mankind are all of a family and that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man will make many choices different from those who do not. Those who believe in a future state in which all that is wrong here will be made right will make many choices different from those who do not. Those who subscribe to the morals of Jesus will make many choices different from those who do not. Since the foundation of all happiness is thinking rightly, and since correct action is dependent on correct opinion, we cannot be too careful in choosing the value system we allow to govern our thoughts and actions. And to know that God governs in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayers, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, is, indeed, a powerful regulator of human conduct.
Benjamin Franklin (the Art of Virtue: His Formula for Successful Living)
Besides, all evil is relative. Something that is evil at one level of evolution can be good at an earlier stage because it provides the essential stimulus for development. But you want to judge everything by your own standards. You have reached a comparatively high level and so you see what you fight against as evil. Just think of the others, those who are at an earlier stage of development. Do not bar them from the path toward progress and evolution.
P.D. Ouspensky (Talks with a Devil)
In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or the propaganda might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies - the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions. In the past most people never got a chance of fully satisfying this appetite. They might long for distractions, but the distractions were not provided. Christmas came but once a year, feasts were "solemn and rare," there were few readers and very little to read, and the nearest approach to a neighborhood movie theater was the parish church, where the performances though frequent, were somewhat monotonous. For conditions even remotely comparable to those now prevailing we must return to imperial Rome, where the populace was kept in good humor by frequent, gratuitous doses of many kinds of entertainment - from poetical dramas to gladiatorial fights, from recitations of Virgil to all-out boxing, from concerts to military reviews and public executions. But even in Rome there was nothing like the non-stop distractions now provided by newspapers and magazines, by radio, television and the cinema. In "Brave New World" non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situation. The other world of religion is different from the other world of entertainment; but they resemble one another in being most decidedly "not of this world." Both are distractions and, if lived in too continuously, both can become, in Marx's phrase "the opium of the people" and so a threat to freedom. Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in their calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those would manipulate and control it.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
But what if he neglect the care of his soul? I answer: What if he neglect the care of his health or of his estate, which things are nearlier related to the government of the magistrate than the other? Will the magistrate provide by an express law that such a one shall not become poor or sick? Laws provide, as much as is possible, that the goods and health of subjects be not injured by the fraud and violence of others; they do not guard them from the negligence or ill-husbandry of the possessors themselves. No man can be forced to be rich or healthful whether he will or no. Nay, God Himself will not save men against their wills.
John Locke (A Letter Concerning Toleration)
There is here, what is not in the old country. In spite of hard, unfamiliar things, there is here - hope. In the old country, a man can be no more than his father, providing he works hard. If his father was a carpenter, he may be a carpenter. He many not be a teacher or a priest. He may rise - but only to his father's state. In the old country, a man is given to the past. Here he belongs to the future. In this land, he may be what he will, if he has the good heart and the way of working honestly at the right things.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Mr. Beaumaris, who had picked Ulysses up, paid no heed to all these attempts at self-justification, but addressed himself to his adorer. "What a fool you are!" he observed. "No, I have the greatest dislike of having my face licked, and must request you to refrain. Quiet, Ulysses! quiet! I am grateful to you for your solicitude, but you must perceive that I am in the enjoyment of my customary good health. I would I could say the same of you. You have once more reduced yourself to skin and bone, my friend, a process which I shall take leave to inform you I consider as unjust as it is ridiculous. Anyone setting eyes on you would suppose that I grudged you even the scraps from my table!" He added, without the slightest change of voice, and without raising his eyes from the creature in his arms. "You would also appear to have bereft my household of its sense, so that the greater part of it, instead of providing me with the breakfast I stand in need of, is engaged in excusing itself from any suspicion of blame and - I may add - doing itself no good thereby.
Georgette Heyer (Arabella)
Truth usually makes no sense. If your desire is for everything to make perfect sense, then you should take refuge in fiction. In fiction, all threads tie together in a neat bow and everything moves smoothly from one point to the next to the next. In real life, though... nothing makes sense. Bad things happen to good people. The pious die young while the wicked live until old age. War, famine, pestilence, death all occur randomly and senselessly and leave us more often than not scratching our heads and hurling the question 'why?' into a void that provides no answers.
Peter David (Tigerheart)
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. I want to grow really old with my wife, Annie, whom I dearly love. I want to see my younger children grow up and to play a role in their character and intellectual development. I want to meet still unconceived grandchildren. There are scientific problems whose outcomes I long to witness—such as the exploration of many of the worlds in our Solar System and the search for life elsewhere. I want to learn how major trends in human history, both hopeful and worrisome, work themselves out: the dangers and promise of our technology, say; the emancipation of women; the growing political, economic, and technological ascendancy of China; interstellar flight. If there were life after death, I might, no matter when I die, satisfy most of these deep curiosities and longings. But if death is nothing more than an endless dreamless sleep, this is a forlorn hope. Maybe this perspective has given me a little extra motivation to stay alive. The world is so exquisite, with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
Carl Sagan (Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium)
Parents and schoolteachers counsel black children that, if they ever hope to escape this system and avoid prison time, they must be on their best behavior, raise their arms and spread their legs for the police without complaint, stay in failing schools, pull up their pants, and refuse all forms of illegal work and moneymaking activity, even if jobs in the legal economy are impossible to find. Girls are told not to have children until they are married to a "good" black man who can help provide for a family with a legal job. They are told to wait and wait for Mr. Right even if that means, in a jobless ghetto, never having children at all.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
It seems obvious, looking back, that the artists of Weimar Germany and Leninist Russia lived in a much more attenuated landscape of media than ours, and their reward was that they could still believe, in good faith and without bombast, that art could morally influence the world. Today, the idea has largely been dismissed, as it must in a mass media society where art's principal social role is to be investment capital, or, in the simplest way, bullion. We still have political art, but we have no effective political art. An artist must be famous to be heard, but as he acquires fame, so his work accumulates 'value' and becomes, ipso-facto, harmless. As far as today's politics is concerned, most art aspires to the condition of Muzak. It provides the background hum for power.
Robert Hughes (The Shock of the New)
It’s often said that cowards make the best torturers. Cowards have good imaginations, imaginations that torment them with all the worst stuff of nightmare, all the horrors that could befall them. This provides an excellent arsenal when it comes to inflicting misery on others. And their final qualification is that they understand the fears of their victim better than the victim does himself.
Mark Lawrence (Prince of Fools (The Red Queen's War, #1))
SETH: But don’t you understand, Amy? You’re wrong. Relationships never provide you with everything. They provide you with some things. You take all the things you want from a person—sexual chemistry, let’s say, or good conversation, or financial support, or intellectual compatibility, or niceness, or loyalty—and you get to pick three of those things. Three—that’s it. Maybe four, if you’re very lucky. The rest you have to look for elsewhere. It’s only in the movies that you find someone who gives you all of those things. But this isn’t the movies. In the real world, you have to identify which three qualities you want to spend the rest of your life with, and then you look for those qualities in another person. That’s real life. Don’t you see it’s a trap? If you keep trying to find everything, you’ll wind up with nothing.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
The fantastic and the imaginative aren't escapism . . . Good stories introduce the marvelous. The whole story, paradoxically, strengthens our relish for real life. This excursion sends us back with renewed pleasure to the actual world. It provides meaning. . . It takes us out of ourselves and lets us view reality from new angles. It expands our awareness of the world.
Patti Callahan (Once Upon a Wardrobe)
I have been Madoc’s protégé and Dain’s creature. I don’t know how to win any other way but theirs. It is no recipe for being a hero, but it is a recipe for success. I know how to drive a knife through my own hand. I know how to hate and be hated. And I know how to win the day, provided I am willing to sacrifice everything good in me for it. I said that if I couldn’t be better than my enemies, then I would become worse. Much, much worse.
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900. To You WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands; Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true Soul and Body appear before me, They stand forth out of affairs—out of commerce, shops, law, science, work, forms, clothes, the house, medicine, print, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem; I whisper with my lips close to your ear, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you. O I have been dilatory and dumb; I should have made my way straight to you long ago; I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you. I will leave all, and come and make the hymns of you; None have understood you, but I understand you; None have done justice to you—you have not done justice to yourself; None but have found you imperfect—I only find no imperfection in you; None but would subordinate you—I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you; I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself. Painters have painted their swarming groups, and the centre figure of all; From the head of the centre figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color’d light; But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color’d light; From my hand, from the brain of every man and woman it streams, effulgently flowing forever. O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you! You have not known what you are—you have slumber’d upon yourself all your life; Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time; What you have done returns already in mockeries; (Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in mockeries, what is their return?) The mockeries are not you; Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk; I pursue you where none else has pursued you; Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the accustom’d routine, if these conceal you from others, or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me; The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these balk others, they do not balk me, The pert apparel, the deform’d attitude, drunkenness, greed, premature death, all these I part aside. There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you; There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman, but as good is in you; No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you; No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you. As for me, I give nothing to any one, except I give the like carefully to you; I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner than I sing the songs of the glory of you. Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard! These shows of the east and west are tame, compared to you; These immense meadows—these interminable rivers—you are immense and interminable as they; These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution—you are he or she who is master or mistress over them, Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution. The hopples fall from your ankles—you find an unfailing sufficiency; Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest, whatever you are promulges itself; Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided, nothing is scanted; Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way.
Walt Whitman
Are small, critical actions enough? Small gestures make us feel good—about ourselves, about others. Small things connect us. They feel like everything. A lot depends on them. It’s not unlike religion and God. We believe in certain constructs that help us understand life. Not only to understand it, but as a means of providing comfort. The idea that we are better off with one person for the rest of our lives is not an innate truth of existence. It’s a belief we want to be true.
Iain Reid (I'm Thinking of Ending Things)
I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
Benjamin Franklin
These reflections made me very sensible of the goodness of Providence to me, and very thankful for my present condition, with all its hardships and misfortunes ; and this part also I cannot but recommend to the reflection of those who are apt, in their misery, to say, Is any affliction like mine? Let them consider how much worse the cases of some people are, and their case might have been, if Providence had thought fit.
Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe (Robinson Crusoe, #1))
I have a hunch that our obsession with photography arises from an unspoken pessimism; it is our nature to believe the good things will not last. . . But photos provide a false sense of security> like our flawed memory, they are guaranteed to fade. . . . We take photographs in order to remember, but it is in the nature of a photograph to forget (pg 157)
Michelle Richmond (The Year of Fog)
Eventually the Woodsman spoke. ‘We all have our routines,’ he said softly. ‘But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.’ The Woodsman stood and showed David his axe. ‘See here,’ he said, pointing with his finger at the blade. Every morning, I make certain that me axe is clean and keen. I look to my house and check that its windows and doors remain secure. I tend to my land, disposing of weeds and ensuring that the soil is watered. I walk through the forest, clearing those paths that need to be kept open. Where trees have been damaged, I do my best to repair what has been harmed. these are my routines and I enjoy doing them well.’ He laid a hand gently on David’s shoulder, and David saw understanding in his face. ‘Rules and routines are good, but they must give you satisfaction. Can you truly say you gain that from touching and counting?’ David shook his head. ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I get scared when I don’t do them. I’m afraid of what might happen.’ ‘Then find routines that allow you to feel secure when they are done. You told me that you have a new brother: look to him each morning. Look to your father, and your stepmother. Tend to the flowers in the garden, or in the pots upon the window sill. Seek others who are weaker than you are, and try to give them comfort where you can. Let these be your routines, and the rules that govern your life.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
It was the first time that ever George had sat down on equal terms at any white man's table; and he sat down, at first, with some constraint, and awkwardness; but they all exhaled and went off like fog, in the genial morning rays of this simple overflowing kindness. This indeed, was a home, - home, -a word that George had never yet known a meaning for; and a belief in God, and trust in His providence, began to encircle his heart, as, with a golden cloud of protection and confidence, dark, misanthropic, pining, atheistic doubts, and fierce despair, melted away before the light of a living Gospel, breathed in living faces, preached by a thousand unconscious acts of love and good-will, which, like the cup of cold water given in the name of a disciple, shall never lose their reward.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
I learned a lot, when I was a child, from novels and stories, even fairytales have some point to them--the good ones. The thing that impressed me most forcibly was this: the villains went to work with their brains and always accomplished something. To be sure they were "foiled" in the end, but that was by some special interposition of Providence, not by any equal exertion of intellect on the part of the good people. The heroes and middle ones were mostly very stupid. If bad things happened, they practised patience, endurance, resignation, and similar virtues; if good things happened they practised modesty and magnanimity and virtues like that, but it never seemed to occur to any of them to make things move their way. Whatever the villains planned for them to do, they did, like sheep. The same old combinations of circumstances would be worked off on them in book after book--and they always tumbled. It used to worry me as a discord worries a musician. Hadn't they ever read anything? Couldn't they learn anything from what they read--ever? It appeared not. And it seemed to me, even as a very little child, that what we wanted was good people with brains, not just negative, passive, good people, but positive, active ones, who gave their minds to it. "A good villain. That's what we need!" I said to myself. "Why don't they write about them? Aren't there ever any?" I never found any in all my beloved story books, or in real life. And gradually, I made up my mind to be one.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Benigna Machiavelli)
Haven't you noticed, too, on the part of nearly everyone you know, a growing rebellion against the present? And an increasing longing for the past? I have. Never before in all my long life have I heard so many people wish that they lived 'at the turn of the century,' or 'when life was simpler,' or 'worth living,' or 'when you could bring children into the world and count on the future,' or simply 'in the good old days.' People didn't talk that way when I was young! The present was a glorious time! But they talk that way now. For the first time in man's history, man is desperate to escape the present. Our newsstands are jammed with escape literature, the very name of which is significant. Entire magazines are devoted to fantastic stories of escape - to other times, past and future, to other worlds and planets - escape to anywhere but here and now. Even our larger magazines, book publishers and Hollywood are beginning to meet the rising demand for this kind of escape. Yes, there is a craving in the world like a thirst, a terrible mass pressure that you can almost feel, of millions of minds struggling against the barriers of time. I am utterly convinced that this terrible mass pressure of millions of minds is already, slightly but definitely, affecting time itself. In the moments when this happens - when the almost universal longing to escape is greatest - my incidents occur. Man is disturbing the clock of time, and I am afraid it will break. When it does, I leave to your imagination the last few hours of madness that will be left to us; all the countless moments that now make up our lives suddenly ripped apart and chaotically tangled in time. Well, I have lived most of my life; I can be robbed of only a few more years. But it seems too bad - this universal craving to escape what could be a rich, productive, happy world. We live on a planet well able to provide a decent life for every soul on it, which is all ninety-nine of a hundred human beings ask. Why in the world can't we have it? ("I'm Scared")
Jack Finney (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940's Until Now)
Of course there was the big one, the biggest reason for not marrying the right spouse. If you married that one, the one you loved and desired and who loved and desired you back, with the union providing true and good and replete with the most fulfilling happiness, well, what if this wonderful spouse didn't fall out of love with you, or you with them, and neither of you either, got killed in the political problems? All those joyful evers and infinites? Are you sure, really, really sure, you could cope with the prospect of that? The community decided that no, it couldn't.
Anna Burns (Milkman)
People who will not turn a shovel full of dirt on the project nor contribute a pound of material, will collect more money from the United States than will the People who supply all the material and do all the work. This is the terrible thing about interest ...But here is the point: If the Nation can issue a dollar bond it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good also. The difference between the bond and the bill is that the bond lets the money broker collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20%. Whereas the currency, the honest sort provided by the Constitution pays nobody but those who contribute in some useful way. It is absurd to say our Country can issue bonds and cannot issue currency. Both are promises to pay, but one fattens the usurer and the other helps the People. If the currency issued by the People were no good, then the bonds would be no good, either. It is a terrible situation when the Government, to insure the National Wealth, must go in debt and submit to ruinous interest charges at the hands of men who control the fictitious value of gold.
Thomas A. Edison
Just as rapport-building has a good reputation, explicitness applied by women in this culture has a terrible reputation. A woman who is clear and precise is viewed as cold, or a bitch, or both. A woman is expected, first and foremost, to respond to every communication from a man. And the response is expected to be one of willingness and attentiveness. It is considered attractive if she is a bit uncertain (the opposite of explicit). Women are expected to be warm and open, and in the context of approaches from male strangers, warmth lengthens the encounter, raises his expectations, increases his investment, and, at best, wastes time. At worst, it serves the man who has sinister intent by providing much of the information he will need to evaluate and then control his prospective victim.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
And so sovereign Providence has often produced a remarkable effect--evil men making other evil men good. For some, when they think they suffer injustice at the hands of the worst of men, burn with hatred for evil men, and being eager to be different from those they hate, have reformed and become virtuous. It is only the power of God to which evils may also be good, when by their proper use He elicits some good result.
Boethius (The Consolation of Philosophy)
That bodies should be lent us, while they can afford us pleasure, assist us in acquiring knowledge, or doing good to our fellow creatures, is a kind and benevolent act of God - when they become unfit for these purposes and afford us pain instead of pleasure-instead of an aid, become an encumbrance and answer none of the intentions for which they were given, it is equally kind and benevolent that a way is provided by which we may get rid of them. Death is that way.
Benjamin Franklin
And that is why I consider promiscuity immoral. Not because sex is evil, but because sex is too good and too important... What sex should involve is a very serious relationship. Whether that relationship should or should not become a marriage is a question which depends on the circumstances and the context of the two persons' lives. I consider marriage a very important institution, but it is important when and if two people have found the person with whom they wish to spend the rest of their lives -- a question of which no man or woman can be automatically certain. When one is certain that one's choice is final, then marriage is, of course, a desirable state. But this does not mean that any relationship based on less than total certainty is improper. I think the question of an affair or a marriage depends on the knowledge and the position of the two persons involved and should be left up to them. Either is moral, provided only that both parties take the relationship seriously and that it is based on values.
Ayn Rand
When you can’t provide for them anymore, their true character comes out. They treat you like pure shit. To make matters worse, they talk trash behind your back, as if what you’ve done for them was useless. That’s how some people are—they will use you up and break you down until you have nothing left to give them or yourself. People who do not have anything to lose will make sure you lose everything you’ve work so hard for.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
It is very difficult for me to come to terms with my spiritual illness because of my great pride, disguised by my material successes and my intellectual power. Intelligence is not incompatible with humility, provided I place humility first. To seek prestige and wealth is the ultimate goal for many in the modern world. To be fashionable and to seem better than I really am is a spiritual illness. To recognize and to admit my weaknesses is the beginning of good spiritual health. It is a sign of spiritual health to be able to ask God every day to enlighten me, to recognize His will, and to have the strength to execute it. My spiritual health is excellent when I realize that the better I get, the more I discover how much help I need from others.
Alcoholics Anonymous (Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members)
It does not answer the aim which God had in this institution, merely for men to have good commentaries and expositions on the Scripture, and other good books of divinity; because, although these may tend, as well as preaching, to give a good doctrinal or speculative understanding of the word of God, yet they have not an equal tendency to impress them on men's hearts and affections. God hath appointed a particular and lively application of his word, in the preaching of it, as a fit means to affect sinners with the importance of religion, their own misery, the necessity of a remedy, and the glory and sufficiency of a remedy provided; to stir up the pure minds of the saints, quicken their affections by often bringing the great things of religion in their remembrance, and setting them in their proper colours, though they know them, and have been fully instructed in them already.
Jonathan Edwards
Maybe you cannot be the CEO of a multinational corporation, but you can frighten a few people, or cause them to scurry around like chickens, or steal from them, or—maybe best of all—create situations that cause them to feel bad about themselves. And this is power, especially when the people you manipulate are superior to you in some way. Most invigorating of all is to bring down people who are smarter or more accomplished than you, or perhaps classier, more attractive or popular or morally admirable. This is not only good fun; it is existential vengeance. And without a conscience, it is amazingly easy to do. You quietly lie to the boss or to the boss's boss, cry some crocodile tears, or sabotage a coworker's project, or gaslight a patient (or a child), bait people with promises, or provide a little misinformation that will never be traced back to you.
Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door)
On accepting adversity in our lives: Always it is initiated by an act of will on our part; we set ourselves to believe in the overruling goodness, providence, and sovereignty of God and refuse to turn aside no matter what may come, no matter how we may feel. I mistakenly thought I could not trust God unless I felt like trusting Him. Now I am learning that trusting God is first of all a matter of the will. I choose to trust in God, and my feelings eventually follow.
Margaret Clarkson (Grace Grows Best in Winter)
In discourse more sweet (For Eloquence the Soul, Song charms the Sense) Others apart sat on a hill retired, In thoughts more elevate, and reasoned high Of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will, and Fate- Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute, And found no end, in wandering mazes lost. Of good and evil much they argued then, Of happiness and final misery, Passion and apathy, and glory and shame: Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy!- Yet, with a pleasing sorcery, could charm Pain for a while or anguish, and excite Fallacious hope, or arm th' obdurate breast With stubborn patience as with triple steel.
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
Harry’s letter to his daughter: If I could give you just one thing, I’d want it to be a simple truth that took me many years to learn. If you learn it now, it may enrich your life in hundreds of ways. And it may prevent you from facing many problems that have hurt people who have never learned it. The truth is simply this: No one owes you anything. Significance How could such a simple statement be important? It may not seem so, but understanding it can bless your entire life. No one owes you anything. It means that no one else is living for you, my child. Because no one is you. Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel. When you realize that no one owes you happiness or anything else, you’ll be freed from expecting what isn’t likely to be. It means no one has to love you. If someone loves you, it’s because there’s something special about you that gives him happiness. Find out what that something special is and try to make it stronger in you, so that you’ll be loved even more. When people do things for you, it’s because they want to — because you, in some way, give them something meaningful that makes them want to please you, not because anyone owes you anything. No one has to like you. If your friends want to be with you, it’s not out of duty. Find out what makes others happy so they’ll want to be near you. No one has to respect you. Some people may even be unkind to you. But once you realize that people don’t have to be good to you, and may not be good to you, you’ll learn to avoid those who would harm you. For you don’t owe them anything either. Living your Life No one owes you anything. You owe it to yourself to be the best person possible. Because if you are, others will want to be with you, want to provide you with the things you want in exchange for what you’re giving to them. Some people will choose not to be with you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. When that happens, look elsewhere for the relationships you want. Don’t make someone else’s problem your problem. Once you learn that you must earn the love and respect of others, you’ll never expect the impossible and you won’t be disappointed. Others don’t have to share their property with you, nor their feelings or thoughts. If they do, it’s because you’ve earned these things. And you have every reason to be proud of the love you receive, your friends’ respect, the property you’ve earned. But don’t ever take them for granted. If you do, you could lose them. They’re not yours by right; you must always earn them. My Experience A great burden was lifted from my shoulders the day I realized that no one owes me anything. For so long as I’d thought there were things I was entitled to, I’d been wearing myself out —physically and emotionally — trying to collect them. No one owes me moral conduct, respect, friendship, love, courtesy, or intelligence. And once I recognized that, all my relationships became far more satisfying. I’ve focused on being with people who want to do the things I want them to do. That understanding has served me well with friends, business associates, lovers, sales prospects, and strangers. It constantly reminds me that I can get what I want only if I can enter the other person’s world. I must try to understand how he thinks, what he believes to be important, what he wants. Only then can I appeal to someone in ways that will bring me what I want. And only then can I tell whether I really want to be involved with someone. And I can save the important relationships for th
Harry Browne
Occasionally, I get a letter from someone who is in “contact” with extraterrestrials. I am invited to “ask them anything.” And so over the years I’ve prepared a little list of questions. The extraterrestrials are very advanced, remember. So I ask things like, “Please provide a short proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem.” Or the Goldbach Conjecture. And then I have to explain what these are, because extraterrestrials will not call it Fermat’s Last Theorem. So I write out the simple equation with the exponents. I never get an answer. On the other hand, if I ask something like “Should we be good?” I almost always get an answer.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
Operating by trial and error mostly, we've evolved a tacitly agreed upon list of the elements that make for a good fantasy. The first decision the aspiring fantasist must make is theological. King Arthur and Charlemagne were Christians. Siegfried and Sigurd the Volsung were pagans. My personal view is that pagans write better stories. When a writer is having fun, it shows, and pagans have more fun than Christians. Let's scrape Horace's Dulche et utile off the plate before we even start the banquet. We're writing for fun, not to provide moral instruction. I had much more fun with the Belgariad/Malloreon than you did, because I know where all the jokes are. All right, then, for item number one, I chose paganism. (Note that Papa Tolkien, a devout Anglo-Catholic, took the same route.)
David Eddings (The Rivan Codex: Ancient Texts of the Belgariad and the Malloreon)
A providence is shaping our ends; a plan is developing in our lives; a supremely wise and loving Being is making all things work together for good. In the sequel of our life's story, we shall see that there was a meaning and necessity in all the previous incidents, except those that were the result of our own folly and sin, and that even these have been made to contribute to the final result. Trust Him, child of God: He is leading you by a right way to the celestial city of habitation; and as from the terrace of eternity you review the path by which you came from the morning-land of childhood, you will confess that He has done all things well.
F.B. Meyer
If the surprise outcome of the recent UK referendum - on whether to leave or remain in the European Union - teaches us anything, it is that supposedly worthy displays of democracy in action can actually do more harm than good. Witness a nation now more divided; an intergenerational schism in the making; both a governing and opposition party torn to shreds from the inside; infinitely more complex issues raised than satisfactory solutions provided. It begs the question 'Was it really all worth it' ?
Alex Morritt (Impromptu Scribe)
I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you’re sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn’t have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they’re cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me. You’re the best warrior I know, the best leader. You’re the most comforting mom we’ve ever had. You’re the biggest goof ball, the worst driver, and a tr uly lousy cook. You’ve kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You’re my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen, with wings or without.
James Patterson (Fang (Maximum Ride, #6))
Profit is good. Profit compells people to be: (a) efficient - to do more with less, to consume fewer resources, to reduce and reuse waste. (b) productive - to allow for bigger profit margins. (c) Valuable - income, and therefore profit is only possible when we add value to our customers lives. When the value of our product or service is worth more to them than what it cost us to provide it, we profit. And there’s no scarcity of possible profits. Every business should be profiting. When every business is profiting, that’s a lot of increased value going around.
Hendrith Smith
I TEND TO believe in government because it was the U.S. government that paid for my brain surgery when I was five months old and provided USDA food so I wouldn’t starve during my poverty-crushed reservation childhood and built the HUD house that kept us warm and gave me scholarship money for the college education that freed me. Of course, the government only gave me all of that good shit because they completely fucked over my great-grandparents and grandparents but, you know, at least some official white folks keep some of their promises.
Sherman Alexie (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
I have one word to say upon the subject of profound writers, who are grown very numerous of late; and I know very well the judicious world is resolved to list me in that number. I conceive therefore, as to the business of being profound, that it is with writers as with wells; a person with good eyes may see to the bottom of the deepest, provided any water be there; and often, when there is nothing in the world at the bottom, besides dryness and dirt, though it be but a yard and half under ground, it shall pass however for wondrous deep, upon no wiser a reason than because it is wondrous dark.
Jonathan Swift (A Tale of a Tub)
Those unexpected morality lessons provided by the trip had jolted me into some kind of action. It was time to jettison the past before the present jettisoned me. This was my first veiled attempt at recovery. Although perhaps I was just running away again. I returned to Glasgow, planning to say a final goodbye to Anne and get out of her life, but ended up drinking with buddies in the Chip Bar and never seeing her. I called her instead to say I was moving to London and told her she could have the house and everything else we owned, which wasn't much. I think she was as relieved as I was that I was leaving town for good.
Craig Ferguson (American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot)
I have pondered how much is provided for us by God's goodness. So many sources of enjoyment, and how thankful we should be. And even if afflictions come...we should know that they are of the hand of God.' She sighed, the semblance of a smile gracing the edges of her mouth. 'We should not expect to have all the blessings of life and none of its trials. it would make this world too delightful a dwelling place, and I fear we would never care to leave it.' Her eyes slipped closed. 'As it is...I have come to believe that it's only by taking some of those objects from us to which our hearts so closely cling that He endeavors...in His kindness, to draw us from this world to one of greater happiness.
Tamera Alexander (A Lasting Impression (Belmont Mansion, #1))
It's easy, given the times we live in and the implicit messages we absorb each day, to equeate a good life with having a lot and doing a lot. So it's also easy to fall into believing that our children, if they are to succeed in life, need to be terrific at everything, and that it's up to us to make sure that they are-to keep them on track through tougher course loads, more activities, more competitive sports, more summer programs. But in all our well-intentioned efforts to do the right thing for our children, we may be failing to provide them with something that is truly essential-the time and space they need to wake up to themselves, to grow acquainted with their own innate gifts, to dream their dreams and discover their true natures.
Katrina Kenison (The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir)
Children fail to realize that a mother doesn’t have to provide their “wants”. Her bags are heavy because they are filled by everyone’s “wants”. There isn’t one “want” in the bags a mother is carrying that belongs to her. She looks past her self-fulfillment. She feels as though her wants and needs are not important; therefore, they are never on the list. Children cannot see past their selfish ways. By law, a parent is supposed to provide shelter, food, clothing, make sure their children attend schools and have their annual health checkups. A mother isn’t required to put her children in extracurricular activities; that is a choice. Friends come and go; a marriage may last or fail, but once you’re a mother there is no such thing as divorcing your children. Being a mother is the hardest job ever; it is “till death do you part”. As a mother, you try your best to make sure your children do not make the same mistakes that you did.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Where is God when it hurts? We know one answer because God came to earth and showed us. You need only follow Jesus around and note how he responded to the tragedies of his day: large-scale tragedies such as an act of government terrorism in the temple or a tower collapsing on eighteen innocent bystanders; as well as small tragedies, such as a widow who has lost her only son or even a Roman soldier whose servant has fallen ill. At moments like these Jesus never delivered sermons about judgment or the need to accept God’s mysterious providence. Instead he responded with compassion – a word from Latin which simply means, “to suffer with” – and comfort and healings. God stands on the side of those who suffer. (pp.27-28/What Good Is God?)
Philip Yancey (What Good Is God?: In Search of a Faith That Matters)
According to Bertrand Russell, the virtuous stoic was one whose will was in agreement with the natural order. He described the basic idea like this: In the life of the individual man, virtue is the sole good; such things as health, happiness, possessions, are of no account. Since virtue resides in the will, everything really good or bad in a man’s life depends only upon himself. He may become poor, but what of it? He can still be virtuous. A tyrant may put him in prison, but he can still persevere in living in harmony with Nature. He may be sentenced to death, but he can die nobly, like Socrates. Therefore every man has perfect freedom, provided he emancipates himself from mundane desires.
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison)
Bass bands, flags, banners, parades, and monster demonstrations are no different in principle from ecclesiastical processions, cannonades, and fireworks to scare off demons. Only, the suggestive parade of State power engenders a collective feeling of security which, unlike religious demonstrations, give the individual no protection against his inner demonism. Hence he will cling all the more to the power of the State, i.e., to the mass, thus delivering himself up to it psychically as well as morally and putting the finishing touch to his social depotentiation. The State, like the Church, demands enthusiasm, self-sacrifice, and love, and if religion requires or presupposes the “fear of God,” then the dictator State takes good care to provide the necessary terror.
C.G. Jung (The Undiscovered Self)
He could not believe that ordinary people in the Culture really wanted the war, no matter how they had voted. They had their communist Utopia. They were soft and pampered and indulged, and the Contact section’s evangelical materialism provided their conscience-salving good works. What more could they want? The war had to be the Mind’s idea; it was part of their clinical drive to clean up the galaxy, make it run on nice, efficient lines, without waste, injustice or suffering. The fools in the Culture couldn’t see that one day the Minds would start thinking how wasteful and inefficient the humans in the Culture themselves were.
Iain Banks (Consider Phlebas (Culture, #1))
Our schools will not improve if we continue to focus only on reading and mathematics while ignoring the other studies that are essential elements of a good education. Schools that expect nothing more of their students than mastery of basic skills will not produce graduates who are ready for college or the modern workplace. *** Our schools will not improve if we value only what tests measure. The tests we have now provide useful information about students' progress in reading and mathematics, but they cannot measure what matters most in education....What is tested may ultimately be less important that what is untested... *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to close neighborhood schools in the name of reform. Neighborhood schools are often the anchors of their communities, a steady presence that helps to cement the bond of community among neighbors. *** Our schools cannot improve if charter schools siphon away the most motivated students and their families in the poorest communities from the regular public schools. *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to drive away experienced principals and replace them with neophytes who have taken a leadership training course but have little or no experience as teachers. *** Our schools cannot be improved if we ignore the disadvantages associated with poverty that affect children's ability to learn. Children who have grown up in poverty need extra resources, including preschool and medical care.
Diane Ravitch (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education)
1. Bangladesh.... In 1971 ... Kissinger overrode all advice in order to support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian massacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Pakistan.... This led to a moral and political catastrophe the effects of which are still sorely felt. Kissinger’s undisclosed reason for the ‘tilt’ was the supposed but never materialised ‘brokerage’ offered by the dictator Yahya Khan in the course of secret diplomacy between Nixon and China.... Of the new state of Bangladesh, Kissinger remarked coldly that it was ‘a basket case’ before turning his unsolicited expertise elsewhere. 2. Chile.... Kissinger had direct personal knowledge of the CIA’s plan to kidnap and murder General René Schneider, the head of the Chilean Armed Forces ... who refused to countenance military intervention in politics. In his hatred for the Allende Government, Kissinger even outdid Richard Helms ... who warned him that a coup in such a stable democracy would be hard to procure. The murder of Schneider nonetheless went ahead, at Kissinger’s urging and with American financing, just between Allende’s election and his confirmation.... This was one of the relatively few times that Mr Kissinger (his success in getting people to call him ‘Doctor’ is greater than that of most PhDs) involved himself in the assassination of a single named individual rather than the slaughter of anonymous thousands. His jocular remark on this occasion—‘I don’t see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible’—suggests he may have been having the best of times.... 3. Cyprus.... Kissinger approved of the preparations by Greek Cypriot fascists for the murder of President Makarios, and sanctioned the coup which tried to extend the rule of the Athens junta (a favoured client of his) to the island. When despite great waste of life this coup failed in its objective, which was also Kissinger’s, of enforced partition, Kissinger promiscuously switched sides to support an even bloodier intervention by Turkey. Thomas Boyatt ... went to Kissinger in advance of the anti-Makarios putsch and warned him that it could lead to a civil war. ‘Spare me the civics lecture,’ replied Kissinger, who as you can readily see had an aphorism for all occasions. 4. Kurdistan. Having endorsed the covert policy of supporting a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq between 1974 and 1975, with ‘deniable’ assistance also provided by Israel and the Shah of Iran, Kissinger made it plain to his subordinates that the Kurds were not to be allowed to win, but were to be employed for their nuisance value alone. They were not to be told that this was the case, but soon found out when the Shah and Saddam Hussein composed their differences, and American aid to Kurdistan was cut off. Hardened CIA hands went to Kissinger ... for an aid programme for the many thousands of Kurdish refugees who were thus abruptly created.... The apercu of the day was: ‘foreign policy should not he confused with missionary work.’ Saddam Hussein heartily concurred. 5. East Timor. The day after Kissinger left Djakarta in 1975, the Armed Forces of Indonesia employed American weapons to invade and subjugate the independent former Portuguese colony of East Timor. Isaacson gives a figure of 100,000 deaths resulting from the occupation, or one-seventh of the population, and there are good judges who put this estimate on the low side. Kissinger was furious when news of his own collusion was leaked, because as well as breaking international law the Indonesians were also violating an agreement with the United States.... Monroe Leigh ... pointed out this awkward latter fact. Kissinger snapped: ‘The Israelis when they go into Lebanon—when was the last time we protested that?’ A good question, even if it did not and does not lie especially well in his mouth. It goes on and on and on until one cannot eat enough to vomit enough.
Christopher Hitchens
Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspirations of a particular nation with the moral laws that govern the universe. As it distinguishes between truth and opinion, so it distinguishes between truth and idolatry. All nations are tempted — and few have been able to resist the power for long — to clothe their own aspirations and action in the moral purposes of the universe. To know that nations are subject to the moral law is one thing, while to pretend to know with certainty what is good and evil in the relations among nations is quite another. There is a world of difference between the belief that all nations stand under the judgment of God, inscrutable to the human mind, and the blasphemous conviction that God is always on one's side and that what one wills oneself cannot fail to be willed by God also. The lighthearted equation between a particular nationalism and the counsels of Providence is morally indefensible, for it is that very sin of pride against which the Greek tragedians and the Biblical prophets have warned rulers and ruled. That equation is also politically pernicious, for it is liable to engender the distortion in judgment which, in the blindness of crusading frenzy, destroys nations and civilizations - in the name of moral principle, ideal, or God himself.
Hans J. Morgenthau (Politics Among Nations)
Let me be very clear. For me geography does not exist! I strongly object to the whole concept of “foreign literature”...and speaking of national identity: that is how dictatorships get started! In literature there is no periphery and no center; there are only writers. The problem is not geographic but rather numeric. In the 19th century there were at least thirty literary geniuses in Russia, Germany, France, England and the United States. Today we are lucky if there are five writers of that caliber in the whole world...Where does one find good literature today? Mostly in third world countries, because adversity, isolation, combat provide good working conditions. It is harder to be a good writer in a so-called “civilized” country, in the so-called “democracies.
António Lobo Antunes
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men)
Get Comfortable Not Knowing There once was a village that had among its people a very wise old man. The villagers trusted this man to provide them answers to their questions and concerns. One day, a farmer from the village went to the wise man and said in a frantic tone, “Wise man, help me. A horrible thing has happened. My ox has died and I have no animal to help me plow my field! Isn’t this the worst thing that could have possibly happened?” The wise old man replied, “Maybe so, maybe not.” The man hurried back to the village and reported to his neighbors that the wise man had gone mad. Surely this was the worst thing that could have happened. Why couldn’t he see this? The very next day, however, a strong, young horse was seen near the man’s farm. Because the man had no ox to rely on, he had the idea to catch the horse to replace his ox—and he did. How joyful the farmer was. Plowing the field had never been easier. He went back to the wise man to apologize. “You were right, wise man. Losing my ox wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened. It was a blessing in disguise! I never would have captured my new horse had that not happened. You must agree that this is the best thing that could have happened.” The wise man replied once again, “Maybe so, maybe not.” Not again, thought the farmer. Surely the wise man had gone mad now. But, once again, the farmer did not know what was to happen. A few days later the farmer’s son was riding the horse and was thrown off. He broke his leg and would not be able to help with the crop. Oh no, thought the man. Now we will starve to death. Once again, the farmer went to the wise man. This time he said, “How did you know that capturing my horse was not a good thing? You were right again. My son is injured and won’t be able to help with the crop. This time I’m sure that this is the worst thing that could have possibly happened. You must agree this time.” But, just as he had done before, the wise man calmly looked at the farmer and in a compassionate tone replied once again, “Maybe so, maybe not.” Enraged that the wise man could be so ignorant, the farmer stormed back to the village. The next day troops arrived to take every able-bodied man to the war that had just broken out. The farmer’s son was the only young man in the village who didn’t have to go. He would live, while the others would surely die. The moral of this story provides a powerful lesson. The truth is, we don’t know what’s going to happen—we just think we do. Often we make a big deal out of something. We blow up scenarios in our minds about all the terrible things that are going to happen. Most of the time we are wrong. If we keep our cool and stay open to possibilities, we can be reasonably certain that, eventually, all will be well. Remember: maybe so, maybe not.
Richard Carlson (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life)
Alright. Let's get realistic now. You know and I know that the function of that number was just to provide some sort of warm-up trash before we do something HEAVY. Something a little bit harder to listen to, but which is probably better for you in the LONG RUN. The item in this instance, which will be better for you in the LONG RUN, and if we only had a little more space up here we could make it visual for you, is "Some Ballet Music," which we've played at most of our concert series in Europe. Generally in halls where we had a little bit more space and Motorhead and Kansas could actually fling themselves across the stage, and give you their teenage interpretation of the art of The Ballet. I don't think it's too safe to do it here, maybe they can just hug each other a little bit and do some calisthenics in the middle of the stage.
Frank Zappa
I mention all this to make the point that if you were designing an organism to look after life in our lonely cosmos, to monitor where it is going and keep a record of where it has been, you wouldn't choose human beings for the job. But here's an extremely salient point: we have been chosen, by fate or Providence or whatever you wish to call it. It's an unnerving thought that we may be living the universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously. Because we are so remarkably careless about looking after things, both when alive and when not, we have no idea-- really none at all-- about how many things have died off permanently, or may soon, or may never, and what role we have played in any part of the process. In 1979, in the book The Sinking Ark, the author Norman Myers suggested that human activities were causing about two extinctions a week on the planet. By the early 1990s he had raised the figure to about some six hundred per week. (That's extinctions of all types-- plants, insects, and so on as well as animals.) Others have put the figure ever higher-- to well over a thousand a week. A United Nations report of 1995, on the other hand, put the total number of known extinctions in the last four hundred years at slightly under 500 for animals and slightly over 650 for plants-- while allowing that this was "almost certainly an underestimate," particularly with regard to tropical species. A few interpreters think most extinction figures are grossly inflated. The fact is, we don't know. Don't have any idea. We don't know when we started doing many of the things we've done. We don't know what we are doing right now or how our present actions will affect the future. What we do know is that there is only one planet to do it on, and only one species of being capable of making a considered difference. Edward O. Wilson expressed it with unimprovable brevity in The Diversity of Life: "One planet, one experiment." If this book has a lesson, it is that we are awfully lucky to be here-- and by "we" i mean every living thing. To attain any kind of life in this universe of ours appears to be quite an achievement. As humans we are doubly lucky, of course: We enjoy not only the privilege of existence but also the singular ability to appreciate it and even, in a multitude of ways, to make it better. It is a talent we have only barely begun to grasp. We have arrived at this position of eminence in a stunningly short time. Behaviorally modern human beings-- that is, people who can speak and make art and organize complex activities-- have existed for only about 0.0001 percent of Earth's history. But surviving for even that little while has required a nearly endless string of good fortune. We really are at the beginning of it all. The trick, of course, is to make sure we never find the end. And that, almost certainly, will require a good deal more than lucky breaks.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
A young lady is supposed to be classy, kind, generous, and respectful. She is told she should not display any anger and/or badmouth her peers. A young lady is told to think ‘inside the box’ and to limit her expectations because her husband will provide for her in the future. A young lady is taught to never fuss or complain and to always keep a smile on her face. When a young lady speaks her mind, she is told that she is not acting “ladylike”. When a young lady steps out of her comfort zone to challenge herself to fight for what she wants, she is told she is not acting “ladylike”. When a young lady plays a sport, and at times she may be aggressive, she is told that she is not acting “ladylike” When a young lady is bossy, she is told to humble herself, because that is not acting “ladylike”. Maybe she isn’t bossy, maybe she is confident within herself, has high self-esteem and knows she can dare to be different.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
[The wives of powerful noblemen] must be highly knowledgeable about government, and wise – in fact, far wiser than most other such women in power. The knowledge of a baroness must be so comprehensive that she can understand everything. Of her a philosopher might have said: "No one is wise who does not know some part of everything." Moreover, she must have the courage of a man. This means that she should not be brought up overmuch among women nor should she be indulged in extensive and feminine pampering. Why do I say that? If barons wish to be honoured as they deserve, they spend very little time in their manors and on their own lands. Going to war, attending their prince's court, and traveling are the three primary duties of such a lord. So the lady, his companion, must represent him at home during his absences. Although her husband is served by bailiffs, provosts, rent collectors, and land governors, she must govern them all. To do this according to her right she must conduct herself with such wisdom that she will be both feared and loved. As we have said before, the best possible fear comes from love. When wronged, her men must be able to turn to her for refuge. She must be so skilled and flexible that in each case she can respond suitably. Therefore, she must be knowledgeable in the mores of her locality and instructed in its usages, rights, and customs. She must be a good speaker, proud when pride is needed; circumspect with the scornful, surly, or rebellious; and charitably gentle and humble toward her good, obedient subjects. With the counsellors of her lord and with the advice of elder wise men, she ought to work directly with her people. No one should ever be able to say of her that she acts merely to have her own way. Again, she should have a man's heart. She must know the laws of arms and all things pertaining to warfare, ever prepared to command her men if there is need of it. She has to know both assault and defence tactics to insure that her fortresses are well defended, if she has any expectation of attack or believes she must initiate military action. Testing her men, she will discover their qualities of courage and determination before overly trusting them. She must know the number and strength of her men to gauge accurately her resources, so that she never will have to trust vain or feeble promises. Calculating what force she is capable of providing before her lord arrives with reinforcements, she also must know the financial resources she could call upon to sustain military action. She should avoid oppressing her men, since this is the surest way to incur their hatred. She can best cultivate their loyalty by speaking boldly and consistently to them, according to her council, not giving one reason today and another tomorrow. Speaking words of good courage to her men-at-arms as well as to her other retainers, she will urge them to loyalty and their best efforts.
Christine de Pizan (The Treasure of the City of Ladies)
To the Congress: Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living. Both lessons hit home. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing. This concentration is seriously impairing the economic effectiveness of private enterprise as a way of providing employment for labor and capital and as a way of assuring a more equitable distribution of income and earnings among the people of the nation as a whole.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Since I had the inclinatation and the training, helping people came naturally. I wasn't thinking in terms of organizing members, but just a duty that I had to do. That goes back to my mother's training. It was not until later that I realized that this was a good organizing tool, although maybe unconsciously, I was already beggining to understand. But I was used by people for a long time until I wised up. It wasn't that they wanted to do it, but that I was not prepared or able to tell them what to do in return. My work was just another war on poverty gimick, which is what happens when people are given everything and don't give anything in return. you can't mold them into any action. Well, one night it just hit me. Once you helped people, most became very loyal. The people who helped us back when we wanted volunteers were the people we had helped. So I began to get a group of those people around me. Once I realized helping people was an organizing technique, I increased that work. I was willing to work all day and night and go to hell and back for people- provided they also did something for the CSO in return. I never felt bad asking for that. It didn't contradict my parents' teachings, because I wasn't asking for something for myself. For a long time we didn't know how to put that work together into an organization. But we learned after a while- we learned how to help people by making them responsible. Today it's the same principle with the Union. And it works. We don't get everybody, but we get enough to get that nucleus. I think solving problems for people is the only way to build solid groups.
César Chávez
10 ways to raise a wild child. Not everyone wants to raise wild, free thinking children. But for those of you who do, here's my tips: 1. Create safe space for them to be outside for a least an hour a day. Preferable barefoot & muddy. 2. Provide them with toys made of natural materials. Silks, wood, wool, etc...Toys that encourage them to use their imagination. If you're looking for ideas, Google: 'Waldorf Toys'. Avoid noisy plastic toys. Yea, maybe they'll learn their alphabet from the talking toys, but at the expense of their own unique thoughts. Plastic toys that talk and iPads in cribs should be illegal. Seriously! 3. Limit screen time. If you think you can manage video game time and your kids will be the rare ones that don't get addicted, then go for it. I'm not that good so we just avoid them completely. There's no cable in our house and no video games. The result is that my kids like being outside cause it's boring inside...hah! Best plan ever! No kid is going to remember that great day of video games or TV. Send them outside! 4. Feed them foods that support life. Fluoride free water, GMO free organic foods, snacks free of harsh preservatives and refined sugars. Good oils that support healthy brain development. Eat to live! 5. Don't helicopter parent. Stay connected and tuned into their needs and safety, but don't hover. Kids like adults need space to roam and explore without the constant voice of an adult telling them what to do. Give them freedom! 6. Read to them. Kids don't do what they are told, they do what they see. If you're on your phone all the time, they will likely be doing the same thing some day. If you're reading, writing and creating your art (painting, cooking...whatever your art is) they will likely want to join you. It's like Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers in the laps of their parents (or guardians)." - it's so true! 7. Let them speak their truth. Don't assume that because they are young that you know more than them. They were born into a different time than you. Give them room to respectfully speak their mind and not feel like you're going to attack them. You'll be surprised what you might learn. 8. Freedom to learn. I realize that not everyone can homeschool, but damn, if you can, do it! Our current schools system is far from the best ever. Our kids deserve better. We simply can't expect our children to all learn the same things in the same way. Not every kid is the same. The current system does not support the unique gifts of our children. How can they with so many kids in one classroom. It's no fault of the teachers, they are doing the best they can. Too many kids and not enough parent involvement. If you send your kids to school and expect they are getting all they need, you are sadly mistaken. Don't let the public school system raise your kids, it's not their job, it's yours! 9. Skip the fear based parenting tactics. It may work short term. But the long term results will be devastating to the child's ability to be open and truthful with you. Children need guidance, but scaring them into listening is just lazy. Find new ways to get through to your kids. Be creative! 10. There's no perfect way to be a parent, but there's a million ways to be a good one. Just because every other parent is doing it, doesn't mean it's right for you and your child. Don't let other people's opinions and judgments influence how you're going to treat your kid. Be brave enough to question everything until you find what works for you. Don't be lazy! Fight your urge to be passive about the things that matter. Don't give up on your kid. This is the most important work you'll ever do. Give it everything you have.
Brooke Hampton
The knowledge of secrets is a very enticing ship, a very tempting voyage, and one thinks that the highest attainment in life is to find out hidden truths, to seek out what is truth, to know what are all lies; to uncover, to discover and to rediscover, to dig up, to expose, to reveal... But secrets can go on forever, for an eternity! For as vast as the universe is, so are the secrets therein! And one can lose, because of that thought that in the secrets, everything is to be gained! But I can see, that all the knowledge of hidden things, all the knowledge in the universe, is not nearly as valuable and as worthy as the innocence of one's soul. And we are not directed unto good things through our ability to scavenge or to hunt or to decipher or to sail! Or to fly! But we are directed unto good things, through sovereign providence! He is more worthy- the innocent soul who has a simple faith in what he believes in- than the one who has found out all the dark secrets about what the other man has put his faith in! And it is far more profitable for a man to be healthy, to have a long, long life, loved ones that are blessed with these blessings all the same, much love and happiness and safety! It is far more profitable for a man to be able to remain innocent and have love and be healthy and to be able to watch his loved ones in good health and in good love, than for a man to uncover all the secrets of the universe! A single love, a single faith, a single trust, and one hope- these are far, far better things to aspire to have! And this– this is the biggest secret!
C. JoyBell C.
Love one another, fathers," the elder taught (as far as Alyosha could recall afterwards). "Love God's people. For we are not holier than those in the world because we have come here and shut ourselves within these walls, but, on the contrary, anyone who comes here, by the very fact that he has come, already knows himself to be worse than all those who are in the world, worse than all on earth...And the longer a monk lives within his walls, the more keenly he must be aware of it. For otherwise he had no reason to come here. But when he knows that he is not only worse than all those in the world, but is also guilty before all people, on behalf of all and for all, for all human sins, the world's and each person's, only then will the goal of our unity be achieved. For you must know, my dear ones, that each of us is undoubtedly guilty on behalf of all and for all on earth, not only because of the common guilt of the world, but personally, each one of us, for all people and for each person on this earth. This knowledge is the crown of the monk's path, and of every man's path on earth. For monks are not a different sort of men, but only such as all men on earth ought also to be. Only then will our hearts be moved to a love that is infinite, universal, and that knows no satiety. Then each of us will be able to gain the whole world by love and wash away the world's sins with his tears...Let each of you keep close company with his heart, let each of you confess to himself untiringly. Do not be afraid of your sin, even when you perceive it, provided you are repentant, but do not place conditions on God. Again I say, do not be proud. Do not be proud before the lowly, do not be proud before the great either. And do not hate those who reject you, disgrace you, revile you, and slander you. Do not hate atheists, teachers of evil, materialists, not even those among them who are wicked, nor those who are good, for many of them are good, especially in our time. Remember them thus in your prayers: save, Lord, those whom there is no one to pray for, save also those who do not want to pray to you. And add at once: it is not in my pride that I pray for it, Lord, for I myself am more vile than all...Love God's people, do not let newcomers draw your flock away, for if in your laziness and disdainful pride, in your self-interest most of all, you fall asleep, they will come from all sides and lead your flock away. Teach the Gospel to the people untiringly...Do not engage in usury...Do not love silver and gold, do not keep it...Believe, and hold fast to the banner. Raise it high...
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Relationships never provide you with everything. They provide you with some things. You take all the things you want from a person - sexual chemistry, let's say, or good conversation, or financial support, or intellectual compatibility, or niceness, or loyalty - and you get to pick three of those things. Three - that's it. Maybe four, if you're very lucky. The rest you have to look for elsewhere. It's only in the movies that you find someone who gives you all of those things. But this isn't the movies. In the real world, you have to identify which three qualities you want to spend the rest of your life with, and then you look for those qualities in another person. That's real life. Don't you see it's a trap? If you keep trying to find everything, you'll wind up with nothing.' ...At the time, he hadn't believed these words, because at the time, everything really did seem possible: he was twenty-three, and everyone was young and attractive and smart and glamorous. Everyone thought they would be friends for decades, forever. But for most people, of course, that hadn't happened. As you got older, you realized that the qualities you valued in the people you slept with or dated weren't necessarily the ones you wanted to live with, or be with, or plod through your days with. If you were smart, and if you were lucky, you learned this and accepted this. You figured out what was most important to you and you looked for it, and you learned to be realistic. They all chose differently: Roman had chosen beauty, sweetness, pliability; Malcolm, he thought, had chosen reliability, and competence...and aesthetic compatibility. And he? He had chosen friendship. Conversation. Kindness, Intelligence. When he was in his thirties, he had looked at certain people's relationships and asked the question that had (and continued to) fuel countless dinner-party conversations: What's going on there? Now, though, as an almost-forty-eight-year-old, he saw people's relationships as reflections of their keenest yet most inarticulable desires, their hopes and insecurities taking shape physically, in the form of another person. Now he looked at couples - in restaurants, on the street, at parties - and wondered: Why are you together? What did you identify as essential to you? What's missing in you that you want someone else to provide? He now viewed a successful relationship as one in which both people had recognized the best of what the other person had of offer and had chosen to value it as well.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
I relaxed back into the mattress as other elements in the room began to filter though my senses, namely the extraordinary warmth at my back. The air was filled with the smell of masculine skin and hints of cologne, soap, and dryer sheets. Hank was back. And his scent wasn't the only thing surrounding me; his arm was thrown over my hip and my back was tucked nicely against his front. ... It was nice. Good. Right, even. And then another feeling struck me in a novel way. Protected. I felt protected. A disbelieving laugh bubbled in my throat as I lay there, a small smile parked on my face. I was always the one out there protecting people. And after Will and I had split, I'd had no one to go to for comfort, to let all my guards down, to take a rest from being the caregiver, provider, guard, and detective. To let someone else be tough for a while. Had to admit, I liked it. And I never thought in a gazillion years I'd find this feeling with an off-worlder. I liked Hank's strength, his power, his quirky humor, even the badass attitude he caught sometimes. I was in so much trouble.
Kelly Gay (The Hour of Dust and Ashes (Charlie Madigan, #3))
Thousands of years ago tribes of human beings suffered great privations in the struggle to survive. In this struggle it was important not only to be able to handle a club, but also to possess the ability to think reasonably, to take care of the knowledge and experience garnered by the tribe, and to develop the links that would provide cooperation with other tribes. Today the entire human race is faced with a similar test. In infinite space many civilizations are bound to exist, among them civilizations that are also wiser and more "successful" than ours. I support the cosmological hypothesis which states that the development of the universe is repeated in its basic features an infinite number of times. In accordance with this, other civilizations, including more "successful" ones, should exist an infinite number of times on the "preceding" and the "following" pages of the Book of the Universe. Yet this should not minimize our sacred endeavors in this world of ours, where, like faint glimmers of light in the dark, we have emerged for a moment from the nothingness of dark unconsciousness of material existence. We must make good the demands of reason and create a life worthy of ourselves and of the goals we only dimly perceive.
Andrei D. Sakharov
When clients relinquish symptoms, succeed in achieving a personal goal, or make healthier choices for themselves, subsequently many will feel anxious, guilty, or depressed. That is, when clients make progress in treatment and get better, new therapists understandably are excited. But sometimes they will also be dismayed as they watch the client sabotage her success by gaining back unwanted weight or missing the next session after an important breakthrough and deep sharing with the therapist. Thus, loyalty and allegiance to symptoms—maladaptive behaviors originally developed to manage the “bad” or painfully frustrating aspects of parents—are not maladaptive to insecurely attached children. Such loyalty preserves “object ties,” or the connection to the “good” or loving aspects of the parent. Attachment fears of being left alone, helpless, or unwanted can be activated if clients disengage from the symptoms that represent these internalized “bad” objects (for example, if the client resolves an eating disorder or terminates a problematic relationship with a controlling/jealous partner). The goal of the interpersonal process approach is to help clients modify these early maladaptive schemas or internal working models by providing them with experiential or in vivo re-learning (that is, a “corrective emotional experience”). Through this real-life experience with the therapist, clients learn that, at least sometimes, some relationships can be different and do not have to follow the same familiar but problematic lines they have come to expect.
Edward Teyber (Interpersonal Process in Therapy: An Integrative Model)
Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle. That principle is of great antiquity; it is as old as Socrates; as old as the writer who said, 'Try all things, hold fast by that which is good'; it is the foundation of the Reformation, which simply illustrated the axiom that every man should be able to give a reason for the faith that is in him, it is the great principle of Descartes; it is the fundamental axiom of modern science. Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable. That I take to be the agnostic position, which if a man keep whole and undefiled, he shall not be ashamed to look the universe in the face, whatever the future may have in store for him. The results of the working out of the agnostic principle will vary according to individual knowledge and capacity, and according to the general condition of science. That which is unproved today may be proved, by the help of new discoveries, tomorrow. The only negative fixed points will be those negations which flow from the demonstrable limitation of our faculties. And the only obligation accepted is to have the mind always open to conviction. That it is wrong for a man to say he is certain of the objective truth of a proposition unless he can provide evidence which logically justifies that certainty. This is what agnosticism asserts and in my opinion, is all that is essential to agnosticism.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Agnosticism and Christianity and Other Essays)
When it first emerged, Twitter was widely derided as a frivolous distraction that was mostly good for telling your friends what you had for breakfast. Now it is being used to organize and share news about the Iranian political protests, to provide customer support for large corporations, to share interesting news items, and a thousand other applications that did not occur to the founders when they dreamed up the service in 2006. This is not just a case of cultural exaptation: people finding a new use for a tool designed to do something else. In Twitter's case, the users have been redesigning the tool itself. The convention of replying to another user with the @ symbol was spontaneously invented by the Twitter user base. Early Twitter users ported over a convention from the IRC messaging platform and began grouping a topic or event by the "hash-tag" as in "#30Rock" or "inauguration." The ability to search a live stream of tweets - which is likely to prove crucial to Twitter's ultimate business model, thanks to its advertising potential - was developed by another start-up altogether. Thanks to these innovations, following a live feed of tweets about an event - political debates or Lost episodes - has become a central part of the Twitter experience. But for the first year of Twitter's existence, that mode of interaction would have been technically impossible using Twitter. It's like inventing a toaster oven and then looking around a year later and discovering that all your customers have, on their own, figured out a way to turn it into a microwave.
Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation)
The famous field altar came from the Jewish firm of Moritz Mahler in Vienna, which manufactured all kinds of accessories for mass as well as religious objects like rosaries and images of saints. The altar was made up of three parts, lberally provided with sham gilt like the whole glory of the Holy Church. It was not possible without considerable ingenuity to detect what the pictures painted on these three parts actually represented. What was certain was that it was an altar which could have been used equally well by heathens in Zambesi or by the Shamans of the Buriats and Mongols. Painted in screaming colors it appeared from a distance like a coloured chart intended for colour-blind railway workers. One figure stood out prominently - a naked man with a halo and a body which was turning green, like the parson's nose of a goose which has begun to rot and is already stinking. No one was doing anything to this saint. On the contrary, he had on both sides of him two winged creatures which were supposed to represent angels. But anyone looking at them had the impression that this holy naked man was shrieking with horror at the company around him, for the angels looked like fairy-tale monsters and were a cross between a winged wild cat and the beast of the apocalypse. Opposite this was a picture which was meant to represent the Holy Trinity. By and large the painter had been unable to ruin the dove. He had painted a kind of bird which could equally well have been a pigeon or a White Wyandotte. God the Father looked like a bandit from the Wild West served up to the public in an American film thriller. The Son of God on the other hand was a gay young man with a handsome stomach draped in something like bathing drawers. Altogether he looked a sporting type. The cross which he had in his hand he held as elegantly as if it had been a tennis racquet. Seen from afar however all these details ran into each other and gave the impression of a train going into a station.
Jaroslav Hašek (The Good Soldier Švejk)
Many people in this room have an Etsy store where they create unique, unreplicable artifacts or useful items to be sold on a small scale, in a common marketplace where their friends meet and barter. I and many of my friends own more than one spinning wheel. We grow our food again. We make pickles and jams on private, individual scales, when many of our mothers forgot those skills if they ever knew them. We come to conventions, we create small communities of support and distributed skills--when one of us needs help, our village steps in. It’s only that our village is no longer physical, but connected by DSL instead of roads. But look at how we organize our tribes--bloggers preside over large estates, kings and queens whose spouses’ virtues are oft-lauded but whose faces are rarely seen. They have moderators to protect them, to be their knights, a nobility of active commenters and big name fans, a peasantry of regular readers, and vandals starting the occasional flame war just to watch the fields burn. Other villages are more commune-like, sharing out resources on forums or aggregate sites, providing wise women to be consulted, rabbis or priests to explain the world, makers and smiths to fashion magical objects. Groups of performers, acrobats and actors and singers of songs are traveling the roads once more, entertaining for a brief evening in a living room or a wheatfield, known by word of mouth and secret signal. Separate from official government, we create our own hierarchies, laws, and mores, as well as our own folklore and secret history. Even my own guilt about having failed as an academic is quite the crisis of filial piety--you see, my mother is a professor. I have not carried on the family trade. We dwell within a system so large and widespread, so disorganized and unconcerned for anyone but its most privileged and luxurious members, that our powerlessness, when we can summon up the courage to actually face it, is staggering. So we do not face it. We tell ourselves we are Achilles when we have much more in common with the cathedral-worker, laboring anonymously so that the next generation can see some incremental progress. We lack, of course, a Great Work to point to and say: my grandmother made that window; I worked upon the door. Though, I would submit that perhaps the Internet, as an object, as an aggregate entity, is the cathedral we build word by word and image by image, window by window and portal by portal, to stand taller for our children, if only by a little, than it does for us. For most of us are Lancelots, not Galahads. We may see the Grail of a good Classical life, but never touch it. That is for our sons, or their daughters, or further off. And if our villages are online, the real world becomes that dark wood on the edge of civilization, a place of danger and experience, of magic and blood, a place to make one’s name or find death by bear. And here, there be monsters.
Catherynne M. Valente
Dear my strong girls, you will all go through that phase of life making a mistake of helping a toxic girl whose friendship with you turns into her self-interest. This kind of girls is a real burden towards the empowerment of other females as they can never get past their own insecurity and grow out of high-school-like drama. Despite how advanced we are in educating modern women, this type will still go through life living in identity crisis, endlessly looking for providers of any kind at the end of the day. They can never stand up for others or things that matter because they can't stand up for themselves. They care what everyone thinks only doing things to impress men, friends, strangers, everyone in society except themselves, while at the same time can't stand seeing other women with purpose get what those women want in life. But let me tell you, this is nothing new, let them compete and compare with you as much as they wish, be it your career, love or spirit. You know who you are and you will know who your true girls are by weeding out girls that break our girlie code of honor, but do me a favor by losing this type of people for good. Remind yourself to never waste time with a person who likes to betray others' trust, never. Disloyalty is a trait that can't be cured. Bless yourself that you see a person's true colors sooner than later. With love, your mama. XOXO
Shannon L. Alder
Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as our own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. ... Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? You sow crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest privilege he knows—to be led into his battles, to be delivered to butchery, to be made servants of his greed and the instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labour in order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him stronger and the mightier to hold you in check. From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not be taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.
Étienne de La Boétie (The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude)
It’s that time of the month again… As we head into those dog days of July, Mike would like to thank those who helped him get the toys he needs to enjoy his summer. Thanks to you, he bought a new bass boat, which we don’t need; a condo in Florida, where we don’t spend any time; and a $2,000 set of golf clubs…which he had been using as an alibi to cover the fact that he has been remorselessly banging his secretary, Beebee, for the last six months. Tragically, I didn’t suspect a thing. Right up until the moment Cherry Glick inadvertently delivered a lovely floral arrangement to our house, apparently intended to celebrate the anniversary of the first time Beebee provided Mike with her special brand of administrative support. Sadly, even after this damning evidence-and seeing Mike ram his tongue down Beebee’s throat-I didn’t quite grasp the depth of his deception. It took reading the contents of his secret e-mail account before I was convinced. I learned that cheap motel rooms have been christened. Office equipment has been sullied. And you should think twice before calling Mike’s work number during his lunch hour, because there’s a good chance that Beebee will be under his desk “assisting” him. I must confess that I was disappointed by Mike’s over-wrought prose, but I now understand why he insisted that I write this newsletter every month. I would say this is a case of those who can write, do; and those who can’t do Taxes. And since seeing is believing, I could have included a Hustler-ready pictorial layout of the photos of Mike’s work wife. However, I believe distributing these photos would be a felony. The camera work isn’t half-bad, though. It’s good to see that Mike has some skill in the bedroom, even if it’s just photography. And what does Beebee have to say for herself? Not Much. In fact, attempts to interview her for this issue were met with spaced-out indifference. I’ve had a hard time not blaming the conniving, store-bought-cleavage-baring Oompa Loompa-skinned adulteress for her part in the destruction of my marriage. But considering what she’s getting, Beebee has my sympathies. I blame Mike. I blame Mike for not honoring the vows he made to me. I blame Mike for not being strong enough to pass up the temptation of readily available extramarital sex. And I blame Mike for not being enough of a man to tell me he was having an affair, instead letting me find out via a misdirected floral delivery. I hope you have enjoyed this new digital version of the Terwilliger and Associates Newsletter. Next month’s newsletter will not be written by me as I will be divorcing Mike’s cheating ass. As soon as I press send on this e-mail, I’m hiring Sammy “the Shark” Shackleton. I don’t know why they call him “the Shark” but I did hear about a case where Sammy got a woman her soon-to-be ex-husband’s house, his car, his boat and his manhood in a mayonnaise jar. And one last thing, believe me when I say I will not be letting Mike off with “irreconcilable differences” in divorce court. Mike Terwilliger will own up to being the faithless, loveless, spineless, useless, dickless wonder he is.
Molly Harper (And One Last Thing ...)
Talk about how various people have been “winners” in “the lottery of life” or have things that others don’t have just because they “happen to have money” is part of the delegitimizing of property as a prelude to seizing it. Luck certainly plays a very large role in all our lives. But we need to be very clear about what that role is. Very few people just “happen” to have money. Typically, they have it because their fellow human beings have voluntarily paid them for providing some goods or services, which are valued more than the money that is paid for them. It is not a zero-sum game. Both sides are better off because of it—and the whole society is better off when such transactions take place freely among free and independent people. Who can better decide the value of the goods and services that someone has produced than the people who actually use those goods and services—and pay for them with their own hard-earned money? Luck may well have played a role in enabling some people to provide valuable goods and services. Others might have been able to do the same if they had been raised by better parents, taught in better schools or chanced upon someone who pointed them in the right direction. But you are not going to change that by confiscating the fruits of productivity. All you are likely to do is reduce that productivity and undermine the virtues and attitudes that create prosperity and make a free society possible.
Thomas Sowell (Controversial Essays)
Meditation I KNOW there is a Power for Good which is responding to me and bringing into my experience everything that is necessary to my unfoldment, to my happiness, to my peace, to my health, and to my success. I know there is a Power for Good that enables me to help others and to bless the whole world. So I say quietly to myself: There is one Life, that Life is God, that Life is perfect, that Life is my life now. It is flowing through me, circulating in me. I am one with Its rhythm. My heart beats with the pulsation of the Universe, in serenity, in peace, and in joy. My whole physical being is animated by the Divine Spirit, and if there is anything in it that does not belong, it is cast out because there is One Perfect Life in me now. And I say to myself: I am daily guided so that I shall know what to do under every circumstance, in every situation. Divine Intelligence guides me in love, in joy, and in complete self-expression. Desiring that the Law of Good alone shall control me, I bless and prosper everything I am doing; I multiply every activity; I accept and expect happiness and complete success. Realizing that I am one with all people, I affirm that there is a silent Power flowing through me and them, which blesses and heals and prospers, makes happy and glad their pathway. And realizing that the world is made up of people like myself, I bless the world and affirm that it shall come under the Divine government of Good, under the Divine providence of Love, and under the Divine leadership of the Supreme Intelligence. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Ernest Shurtleff Holmes (Living the Science of Mind)
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 third encounter came towards the end of the afternoon when Sophie had worked her way quite high into the hills. A countryman came whistling down the lane towards her. A shepherd, Sophie thought, going home after seeing to his sheep. He was a well set up young fellow of forty or so. "Gracious!" Sophie said to herself. "This morning I'd have seen him as an old man. How one's point of view does alter!" When the shepherd saw Sophie mumbling to herself, he moved rather carefully over to the other side of the lane and called out with great heartiness, "Good evening to you, Mother! Where are you off to?" "Mother?" said Sophie. "I'm not your mother, young man!" "A manner of speaking," the shepherd said, edging along against the opposite hedge. "I was only meaning a polite inquiry, seeing you walking into the hills at the end of the day. You won't get down into Upper Folding before nightfall, will you?" Sophie had not considered this. She stood in the road and thought about it. "It doesn't matter really," she said, half to herself. "You can't be fussy when you're off to seek your fortune." "Can't you indeed, Mother?" said the shepherd. He had now edged himself downhill of Sophie and seemed to feel better for it. "Then I wish you luck, Mother, provided your fortune don't have nothing to do with charming folks' cattle." And he took off down the road in great strides, almost running, but not quite. Sophie stared after him indignantly. "He thought I was a witch!" she said to her stick. She had half a mind to scare the shepherd by shouting nasty things after him, but that seemed a little unkind.
Diana Wynne Jones (Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle, #1))
The previous governess had used various monsters and bogeymen as a form of discipline. There was always something waiting to eat or carry off bad boys and girls for crimes like stuttering or defiantly and aggravatingly persisting in writing with their left hand. There was always a Scissor Man waiting for a little girl who sucked her thumb, always a bogeyman in the cellar. Of such bricks is the innocence of childhood constructed. Susan’s attempts at getting them to disbelieve in the things only caused the problems to get worse. Twyla had started to wet the bed. This may have been a crude form of defense against the terrible clawed creature that she was certain lived under it. Susan had found out about this one the first night, when the child had woken up crying because of a bogeyman in the closet. She’d sighed and gone to have a look. She’d been so angry that she’d pulled it out, hit it over the head with the nursery poker, dislocated its shoulder as a means of emphasis and kicked it out of the back door. The children refused to disbelieve in the monsters because, frankly, they knew damn well the things were there. But she’d found that they could, very firmly, also believe in the poker. Now she sat down on a bench and read a book. She made a point of taking the children, every day, somewhere where they could meet others of the same age. If they got the hang of the playground, she thought, adult life would hold no fears. Besides, it was nice to hear the voices of little children at play, provided you took care to be far enough away not to hear what they were actually saying. There were lessons later on. These were going a lot better now she’d got rid of the reading books about bouncy balls and dogs called Spot. She’d got Gawain on to the military campaigns of General Tacticus, which were suitably bloodthirsty but, more importantly, considered too difficult for a child. As a result his vocabulary was doubling every week and he could already use words like “disemboweled” in everyday conversation. After all, what was the point of teaching children to be children? They were naturally good at it.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20))
There is always a man eager to explain my mental illness to me. They all do it so confidently, motioning to their Hemingway and Bukowski bookshelf as they compare my depression to their late-night loneliness. There is always someone that rejected them that they equate their sadness to and a bottle of gin (or a song playing, or a movie) close by that they refer to as their cure. Somehow, every soft confession of my Crazy that I hand to them turns into them pulling out pieces of themselves to prove how it really is in my head. So many dudes I’ve dated have faces like doctors ready to institutionalize and love my crazy (but only on Friday nights.) They tell their friends about my impulsive decision making and how I “get them” more than anyone they’ve ever met but leave out my staring off in silence for hours and the self-inflicted bruises on my cheeks. None of them want to acknowledge a crazy they can’t cure. They want a crazy that fits well into a trope and gives them a chance to play Hero. And they always love a Crazy that provides them material to write about. Truth is they love me best as a cigarette cloud of impossibility, with my lipstick applied perfectly and my Crazy only being pulled out when their life needs a little spice. They don’t want me dirty, having not left my bed for days. Not diseased. Not real. So they invite me over when they’re going through writer’s block but don’t answer my calls during breakdowns. They tell me I look beautiful when I’m crying then stick their hands in-between my thighs. They mistake my silence for listening to them attentively and say my quiet mouth understands them like no one else has. These men love my good dead hollowness. Because it means less of a fighting personality for them to force out. And is so much easier to fill someone who has already given up with themselves.
Lora Mathis
The Otherworld does not supply the meaning of life. Rather, the Otherworld describes being alive. Life, in all its glory - warts and all, so to speak. The Otherworld provides meaning by example, by exhibition, by illustration if you will. ... Through the Otherworld we learn what it is be be alive, to be human: good and evil, heartbreak and ecstasy, victory and defeat, everything. ... where does one first learn loyalty? Or honor? Or any higher value, for that matter? ... Where does one learn to value the beauty of a forest and to revere it?' In nature?' Not at all. This can easily be proven by the fact that so many among us do not revere the forests at all - do not even see them, in fact. You know the people I am talking about. You have seen them and their works in the world. They are the ones who rape the land, who cut down forests and despoil oceans, who oppress the poor and tyrannize the helpless, who live their lives as if nothing lay beyond the horizon of their own limited earth-bound visions. But I digress. The question before us is this: where does one first learn to see a forest as a thing of beauty, to honor it, to hold it dear for its own sake, to recognize its true value as a forest, and not just see it as a source of timber to be exploited, or a barrier to be hacked down in order to make room for a motorway? ... the mere presence of the Otherworld kindles in us the spark of higher consciousness, or imagination. It is the stories and tale and visions of the Otherworld - that magical, enchanted land just beyond the walls of the manifest world - which awaken and expand in human beings the very notion of beauty, of reverence, of love and nobility, and all the higher virtues.
Stephen R. Lawhead (The Paradise War (The Song of Albion #1))
It's a queer thing is a man's soul. It is the whole of him. Which means it is the unknown him, as well as the known. It seems to me just funny, professors and Benjamins fixing the functions of the soul. Why, the soul of man is a vast forest, and all Benjamin intended was a neat back garden. And we've all got to fit into his kitchen garden scheme of things. Hail Columbia ! The soul of man is a dark forest. The Hercynian Wood that scared the Romans so, and out of which came the white- skinned hordes of the next civilization. Who knows what will come out of the soul of man? The soul of man is a dark vast forest, with wild life in it. Think of Benjamin fencing it off! Oh, but Benjamin fenced a little tract that he called the soul of man, and proceeded to get it into cultivation. Providence, forsooth! And they think that bit of barbed wire is going to keep us in pound for ever? More fools they. ... Man is a moral animal. All right. I am a moral animal. And I'm going to remain such. I'm not going to be turned into a virtuous little automaton as Benjamin would have me. 'This is good, that is bad. Turn the little handle and let the good tap flow,' saith Benjamin, and all America with him. 'But first of all extirpate those savages who are always turning on the bad tap.' I am a moral animal. But I am not a moral machine. I don't work with a little set of handles or levers. The Temperance- silence-order- resolution-frugality-industry-sincerity - justice- moderation-cleanliness-tranquillity-chastity-humility keyboard is not going to get me going. I'm really not just an automatic piano with a moral Benjamin getting tunes out of me. Here's my creed, against Benjamin's. This is what I believe: 'That I am I.' ' That my soul is a dark forest.' 'That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest.' 'Thatgods, strange gods, come forth f rom the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back.' ' That I must have the courage to let them come and go.' ' That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women.' There is my creed. He who runs may read. He who prefers to crawl, or to go by gasoline, can call it rot.
D.H. Lawrence (Studies in Classic American Literature)
What is the use of beauty in woman? Provided a woman is physically well made and capable of bearing children, she will always be good enough in the opinion of economists. What is the use of music? -- of painting? Who would be fool enough nowadays to prefer Mozart to Carrel, Michael Angelo to the inventor of white mustard? There is nothing really beautiful save what is of no possible use. Everything useful is ugly, for it expresses a need, and man's needs are low and disgusting, like his own poor, wretched nature. The most useful place in a house is the water-closet. For my part, saving these gentry's presence, I am of those to whom superfluities are necessaries, and I am fond of things and people in inverse ratio to the service they render me. I prefer a Chinese vase with its mandarins and dragons, which is perfectly useless to me, to a utensil which I do use, and the particular talent of mine which I set most store by is that which enables me not to guess logogriphs and charades. I would very willingly renounce my rights as a Frenchman and a citizen for the sight of an undoubted painting by Raphael, or of a beautiful nude woman, -- Princess Borghese, for instance, when she posed for Canova, or Julia Grisi when she is entering her bath. I would most willingly consent to the return of that cannibal, Charles X., if he brought me, from his residence in Bohemia, a case of Tokai or Johannisberg; and the electoral laws would be quite liberal enough, to my mind, were some of our streets broader and some other things less broad. Though I am not a dilettante, I prefer the sound of a poor fiddle and tambourines to that of the Speaker's bell. I would sell my breeches for a ring, and my bread for jam. The occupation which best befits civilized man seems to me to be idleness or analytically smoking a pipe or cigar. I think highly of those who play skittles, and also of those who write verse. You may perceive that my principles are not utilitarian, and that I shall never be the editor of a virtuous paper, unless I am converted, which would be very comical. Instead of founding a Monthyon prize for the reward of virtue, I would rather bestow -- like Sardanapalus, that great, misunderstood philosopher -- a large reward to him who should invent a new pleasure; for to me enjoyment seems to be the end of life and the only useful thing on this earth. God willed it to be so, for he created women, perfumes, light, lovely flowers, good wine, spirited horses, lapdogs, and Angora cats; for He did not say to his angels, 'Be virtuous,' but, 'Love,' and gave us lips more sensitive than the rest of the skin that we might kiss women, eyes looking upward that we might behold the light, a subtile sense of smell that we might breathe in the soul of the flowers, muscular limbs that we might press the flanks of stallions and fly swift as thought without railway or steam-kettle, delicate hands that we might stroke the long heads of greyhounds, the velvety fur of cats, and the polished shoulder of not very virtuous creatures, and, finally, granted to us alone the triple and glorious privilege of drinking without being thirsty, striking fire, and making love in all seasons, whereby we are very much more distinguished from brutes than by the custom of reading newspapers and framing constitutions.
Théophile Gautier (Mademoiselle de Maupin)
..I began speaking.. First, I took issue with the media's characterization of the post-Katrina New Orleans as resembling the third world as its poor citizens clamored for a way out. I suggested that my experience in New Orleans working with the city's poorest people in the years before the storm had reflected the reality of third-world conditions in New Orleans, and that Katrina had not turned New Orleans into a third-world city but had only revealed it to the world as such. I explained that my work, running Reprieve, a charity that brought lawyers and volunteers to the Deep South from abroad to work on death penalty issues, had made it clear to me that much of the world had perceived this third-world reality, even if it was unnoticed by our own citizens. To try answer Ryan's question, I attempted to use my own experience to explain that for many people in New Orleans, and in poor communities across the country, the government was merely an antagonist, a terrible landlord, a jailer, and a prosecutor. As a lawyer assigned to indigent people under sentence of death and paid with tax dollars, I explained the difficulty of working with clients who stand to be executed and who are provided my services by the state, not because they deserve them, but because the Constitution requires that certain appeals to be filed before these people can be killed. The state is providing my clients with my assistance, maybe the first real assistance they have ever received from the state, so that the state can kill them. I explained my view that the country had grown complacent before Hurricane Katrina, believing that the civil rights struggle had been fought and won, as though having a national holiday for Martin Luther King, or an annual march by politicians over the bridge in Selma, Alabama, or a prosecution - forty years too late - of Edgar Ray Killen for the murder of civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, were any more than gestures. Even though President Bush celebrates his birthday, wouldn't Dr. King cry if he could see how little things have changed since his death? If politicians or journalists went to Selma any other day of the year, they would see that it is a crumbling city suffering from all of the woes of the era before civil rights were won as well as new woes that have come about since. And does anyone really think that the Mississippi criminal justice system could possibly be a vessel of social change when it incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than almost any place in the world, other than Louisiana and Texas, and then compels these prisoners, most of whom are black, to work prison farms that their ancestors worked as chattel of other men? ... I hoped, out loud, that the post-Katrina experience could be a similar moment [to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fiasco], in which the American people could act like the children in the story and declare that the emperor has no clothes, and hasn't for a long time. That, in light of Katrina, we could be visionary and bold about what people deserve. We could say straight out that there are people in this country who are racist, that minorities are still not getting a fair shake, and that Republican policies heartlessly disregard the needs of individual citizens and betray the common good. As I stood there, exhausted, in front of the thinning audience of New Yorkers, it seemed possible that New Orleans's destruction and the suffering of its citizens hadn't been in vain.
Billy Sothern (Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City)
Ecclesiastes This is a book of the Old Testament. I don't believe I've ever read this section of the Bible - I know my Genesis pretty well and my Ten Commandments (I like lists), but I'm hazy on a lot of the other parts. Here, the Britannica provides a handy Cliff Notes version of Ecclesiastes: [the author's] observations on life convinced him that 'the race is not swift, nor the battle strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all' (9:11). Man's fate, the author maintains, does not depend on righteous or wicked conduct but is an inscrutable mystery that remains hidden in God (9:1). All attempts to penetrate this mystery and thereby gain the wisdom necessary to secure one's fate are 'vanity' or futile. In the face of such uncertainty, the author's counsel is to enjoy the good things that God provides while one has them to enjoy. This is great. I've accumulated hundreds of facts in the last seven thousand pages, but i've been craving profundity and perspective. Yes, there was that Dyer poem, but that was just cynical. This is the real thing: the deepest paragraph I've read so far in the encyclopedia. Instant wisdom. It couldn't be more true: the race does not go to the swift. How else to explain the mouth-breathing cretins I knew in high school who now have multimillion-dollar salaries? How else to explain my brilliant friends who are stuck selling wheatgrass juice at health food stores? How else to explain Vin Diesel's show business career? Yes, life is desperately, insanely, absurdly unfair. But Ecclesiastes offers exactly the correct reaction to that fact. There's nothing to be done about it, so enjoy what you can. Take pleasure in the small things - like, for me, Julie's laugh, some nice onion dip, the insanely comfortable beat-up leather chair in our living room. I keep thinking about Ecclesiastes in the days that follow. What if this is the best the encyclopedia has to offer? What if I found the meaning of life on page 347 of the E volume? The Britannica is not a traditional book, so there's no reason why the big revelation should be at the end.
A.J. Jacobs
Most churches do not grow beyond the spiritual health of their leadership. Many churches have a pastor who is trying to lead people to a Savior he has yet to personally encounter. If spiritual gifting is no proof of authentic faith, then certainly a job title isn't either. You must have a clear sense of calling before you enter ministry. Being a called man is a lonely job, and many times you feel like God has abandoned you in your ministry. Ministry is more than hard. Ministry is impossible. And unless we have a fire inside our bones compelling us, we simply will not survive. Pastoral ministry is a calling, not a career. It is not a job you pursue. If you don’t think demons are real, try planting a church! You won’t get very far in advancing God’s kingdom without feeling resistance from the enemy. If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. Once a month I get away for the day, once a quarter I try to get out for two days, and once a year I try to get away for a week. The purpose of these times is rest, relaxation, and solitude with God. A pastor must always be fearless before his critics and fearful before his God. Let us tremble at the thought of neglecting the sheep. Remember that when Christ judges us, he will judge us with a special degree of strictness. The only way you will endure in ministry is if you determine to do so through the prevailing power of the Holy Spirit. The unsexy reality of the pastorate is that it involves hard work—the heavy-lifting, curse-ridden, unyielding employment of your whole person for the sake of the church. Pastoral ministry requires dogged, unyielding determination, and determination can only come from one source—God himself. Passive staff members must be motivated. Erring elders and deacons must be confronted. Divisive church members must be rebuked. Nobody enjoys doing such things (if you do, you should be not be a pastor!), but they are necessary in order to have a healthy church over the long haul. If you allow passivity, laziness, and sin to fester, you will soon despise the church you pastor. From the beginning of sacred Scripture (Gen. 2:17) to the end (Rev. 21:8), the penalty for sin is death. Therefore, if we sin, we should die. But it is Jesus, the sinless one, who dies in our place for our sins. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died to take to himself the penalty of our sin. The Bible is not Christ-centered because it is generally about Jesus. It is Christ-centered because the Bible’s primary purpose, from beginning to end, is to point us toward the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation and sanctification of sinners. Christ-centered preaching goes much further than merely providing suggestions for how to live; it points us to the very source of life and wisdom and explains how and why we have access to him. Felt needs are set into the context of the gospel, so that the Christian message is not reduced to making us feel better about ourselves. If you do not know how sinful you are, you feel no need of salvation. Sin-exposing preaching helps people come face-to-face with their sin and their great need for a Savior. We can worship in heaven, and we can talk to God in heaven, and we can read our Bibles in heaven, but we can’t share the gospel with our lost friends in heaven. “Would your city weep if your church did not exist?” It was crystal-clear for me. Somehow, through fear or insecurity, I had let my dreams for our church shrink. I had stopped thinking about the limitless things God could do and had been distracted by my own limitations. I prayed right there that God would forgive me of my small-mindedness. I asked God to forgive my lack of faith that God could use a man like me to bring the message of the gospel through our missionary church to our lost city. I begged God to renew my heart and mind with a vision for our city that was more like Christ's.
Darrin Patrick (Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission)