Hard Work Pays Quotes

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Workers work hard enough to not be fired, and owners pay just enough so that workers won't quit.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
How to win in life: 1 work hard 2 complain less 3 listen more 4 try, learn, grow 5 don't let people tell you it cant be done 6 make no excuses
Germany Kent
hard work is a misleading term. physical effort & long hours do not constitute hard work. hard work is when someone pays you to do something you'd rather not be doing. anytime you'd rather be doing something other than the thing you're doing...you're doing hard work.
George Carlin (When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?)
Stick to a task, 'til it sticks to you. Beginners are many, finishers are few." -Anonymous, as quoted in Small and Simple Things.
Marjorie Pay Hinckley (Small and Simple Things)
Most people think life sucks, and then you die. Not me. I beg to differ. I think life sucks, then you get cancer, then your dog dies, your wife leaves you, the cancer goes into remission, you get a new dog, you get remarried, you owe ten million dollars in medical bills but you work hard for thirty five years and you pay it back and then one day you have a massive stroke, your whole right side is paralyzed, you have to limp along the streets and speak out of the left side of your mouth and drool but you go into rehabilitation and regain the power to walk and the power to talk and then one day you step off a curb at Sixty-seventh Street, and BANG you get hit by a city bus and then you die. Maybe
Denis Leary
Peeta,” I say lightly. “You said at the interview you’d had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?” “Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up,” Peeta says. “Your father? Why?” I ask. “He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner,’” Peeta says. “What? You’re making that up!” I exclaim. “No, true story,” Peeta says. “And I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings... even the birds stop to listen.’” “That’s true. They do. I mean, they did,” I say. I’m stunned and surprisingly moved, thinking of the baker telling this to Peeta. It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think it’s a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father. “So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent,” Peeta says. “Oh, please,” I say, laughing. “No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew—just like your mother—I was a goner,” Peeta says. “Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.” “Without success,” I add. “Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck,” says Peeta. For a moment, I’m almost foolishly happy and then confusion sweeps over me. Because we’re supposed to be making up this stuff, playing at being in love not actually being in love. But Peeta’s story has a ring of truth to it. That part about my father and the birds. And I did sing the first day of school, although I don’t remember the song. And that red plaid dress... there was one, a hand-me-down to Prim that got washed to rags after my father’s death. It would explain another thing, too. Why Peeta took a beating to give me the bread on that awful hollow day. So, if those details are true... could it all be true? “You have a... remarkable memory,” I say haltingly. “I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.” “I am now,” I say. “Well, I don’t have much competition here,” he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can’t. It’s as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, “Say it! Say it!” I swallow hard and get the words out. “You don’t have much competition anywhere.” And this time, it’s me who leans in.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Okay. Morality in a nutshell. Don't hurt people if you can avoid it. Don't steal stuff unless you're starving or it's really, really important. Work hard. Pay your bills. Try to help others. Always double-check your math if there are explosives involved. If you screwed it up, you need to see it gets fixed. And don't eat anything that talks. If it doesn't fall under one of those categories, just do the best you can.
Ursula Vernon (Digger, Volume One (Digger, #1))
Learning to love is hard and we pay dearly for it. It takes hard work and a long apprenticeship, for it is not just for a moment that we must learn to love, but forever.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can't. If a thing is free to be good it's also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata -of creatures that worked like machines- would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they've got to be free. Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk. (...) If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will -that is, for making a real world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when He pulls the strings- then we may take it it is worth paying.
C.S. Lewis (The Case for Christianity)
Think they work you too hard? Think of poor Ali Sard. He has to mow grass in his uncle's backyard and its quick growing grass and it grows as he mows it the faster he mows it the faster he grows it. And all that his stingy old uncle will pay for his shoving mower around the hay is piffulous pay of two dooklas a day. And Ali can't live on such piffulous pay!
Dr. Seuss (Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?)
Today's tears water tomorrow's gardens.
Matshona Dhliwayo
There's a difference between writing for a living and writing for life. If you write for a living, you make enormous compromises.... If you write for life, you'll work hard; you'll do what's honest, not what pays
Toni Morrison
I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.
Ray Bradbury
Aggressive and hard-charging women violate unwritten rules about acceptable social conduct. Men are continually applauded for being ambitious and powerful and successful, but women who display these same traits often pay a social penalty. Female accomplishments come at a cost.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
At the very moment when people underestimate you is when you can make a breakthrough.
Germany Kent
I'm sure of a few things in life...no matter what you do, death will always catch up to you. You've got to work hard to pay for life, party harder to enjoy life, and love hardest to live life, and now, you.
Mia Asher (Arsen: A Broken Love Story)
If you believe that hard work pays off, then you work hard; if you think it’s hard to get ahead even when you try, then why try at all? Similarly, when people do fail, this mind-set allows them to look outward. I once ran into an old acquaintance at a Middletown bar who told me that he had recently quit his job because he was sick of waking up early. I later saw him complaining on Facebook about the “Obama economy” and how it had affected his life. I don’t doubt that the Obama economy has affected many, but this man is assuredly not among them. His status in life is directly attributable to the choices he’s made, and his life will improve only through better decisions. But for him to make better choices, he needs to live in an environment that forces him to ask tough questions about himself. There is a cultural movement in the white working class to blame problems on society or the government, and that movement gains adherents by the day.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.
Scott Woods
Hard work increases the probability of serendipity.
Ken Poirot
Taking initiative pays off. It is hard to visualize someone as a leader if she is always waiting to be told what to do.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
Work diligently. Work hard. Focus. Perform as if you are at the Olympics. One day, unexpectedly, it will start paying off.
Joan Marques
Call me old-fashioned," Deepak said, "but I've always believed that hard work pays off. My version of the Beatitudes. Do the right thing, put up with unfairness, selfishness, stay true to yourself... one day it all works out. Of course, I don't know that people who wronged you suffer or get their just deserts. I don't think it works that way. But I do think that one day you get your reward.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
God! You'll do anything to avoid it.' Avoid what?' my mother said. The past,' Caroline said. 'Our past. I'm tired of acting like nothing ever happened, of pretending he was never here, of not seeing his pictures in the house, or his things Just because you're not able to let yourself grieve.' Don't,' my mother said, her voice low, 'talk to me about grief. You have no idea.' I do, though.' Caroline's voice caught, and she swallowed. 'I'm not trying to hide that I'm sad. I'm not trying to forget. You hide here behind all these plans for houses and townhouses because they're new and perfect and don't remind you of anything.' Stop it,' my mother said. And look at Macy,' Caroline continued, ignoring this.' Do you even know what you're doing to her?' My mother looked at me, and I shrank back, trying to stay out of this. 'Macy is fine,' my mother said. No, she's not. God you always say that, but she's not.' Caroline looked at me, as if she wanted me to jump in, but I just sat there. 'Have you even been paying the least bit of attention to what's going on with her? She's been miserable since Dad died, pushing herself so hard to please you. And then, this summer, she finally finds some friends and something she likes to do. But then one tiny slipup, and you take it all away from her.' That has nothing to do with what we're talking about,' my mother said. It has everything to do with it,' Caroline shot back. 'She was finally getting over what happened. Couldn't you see the change in her? I could, and I was berely here. She was different.' Exactly,' my mother said. 'She was-' Happy,' Caroline finished for her. 'She was starting to live her life again, and it scared you. Just like me redoing the beach house scares you. You think you're so strong becasue you never talk about Dad. Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that's what makes you strong.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Success necessitates sacrifice.
Habeeb Akande
I will always be an addict even if you put the word ‘recovering’ in front of it. I will always have to work ten times as hard to be trusted, to be trustworthy but that’s the price I have to pay for my mistakes.
Emma Scott (Forever Right Now)
This position I've held ... it pays may way and it corrodes my soul.
Morrissey
Hard work may pay off in the long run, but the benefits of laziness are immediate (p. 170).
Marc Acito (How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater (Edward Zanni, #1))
What is love? Love is playing every game like it's your last.
Micheal jordan
Believe that your hard work, dedication and persistence will pay off; improve through continual learning and believe in your future.
Lorii Myers (No Excuses, The Fit Mind-Fit Body Strategy Book (3 Off the Tee, #3))
Nursing is a kind of mania; a fever in the blood; an incurable disease which, once contracted, cannot be got out of the system. If it was not like that, there would be no hospital nurses, for compared dispassionately with other professions, the hours are long, the work hard, and the pay inadequate to the amount of concentrated energy required. A nurse, however, does not view her profession dispassionately. It is too much a part of her.
Monica Dickens
The ship was sinking---and sinking fast. The captain told the passengers and crew, "We've got to get the lifeboats in the water right away." But the crew said, "First we have to end capitalist oppression of the working class. Then we'll take care of the lifeboats." Then the women said, "First we want equal pay for equal work. The lifeboats can wait." The racial minorities said, "First we need to end racial discrimination. Then seating in the lifeboats will be allotted fairly." The captain said, "These are all important issues, but they won't matter a damn if we don't survive. We've got to lower the lifeboats right away!" But the religionists said, "First we need to bring prayer back into the classroom. This is more important than lifeboats." Then the pro-life contingent said, "First we must outlaw abortion. Fetuses have just as much right to be in those lifeboats as anyone else." The right-to-choose contingent said, "First acknowledge our right to abortion, then we'll help with the lifeboats." The socialists said, "First we must redistribute the wealth. Once that's done everyone will work equally hard at lowering the lifeboats." The animal-rights activists said, "First we must end the use of animals in medical experiments. We can't let this be subordinated to lowering the lifeboats." Finally the ship sank, and because none of the lifeboats had been lowered, everyone drowned. The last thought of more than one of them was, "I never dreamed that solving humanity's problems would take so long---or that the ship would sink so SUDDENLY.
Daniel Quinn
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
If a man chooses a certain Way and seems to have no particular talent for this Way, he can still become a master if he so chooses. By keeping at a particular form of study a man can attain perfection either in this life or the next (if a next life is believed in).
Miyamoto Musashi
We bow to the inevitable. We’re not wheat, we’re buckwheat! When a storm comes along it flattens ripe wheat because it’s dry and can’t bend with the wind. But ripe buckwheat’s got sap in it and it bends. And when the wind has passed, it springs up almost as straight and strong as before. We aren’t a stiff-necked tribe. We’re mighty limber when a hard wind’s blowing, because we know it pays to be limber. When trouble comes we bow to the inevitable without any mouthing, and we work and we smile and we bide our time. And we play along with lesser folks and we take what we can get from them. And when we’re strong enough, we kick the folks whose necks we’ve climbed over. That, my child, is the secret of the survival.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts… That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good. In short that 99% of the head’s thinking activity consists of trying to scare the everliving shit out of itself. That it is possible to make rather tasty poached eggs in a microwave oven. That some people’s moms never taught them to cover up or turn away when they sneeze. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused. That it is permissible to want. That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse. That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
I know the evil of my ancestors because I am those people. The balance is delicate in the extreme. I know that few of you who read my words have ever thought about your ancestors this way. It has not occurred to you that your ancestors were survivors and that the survival itself sometimes involved savage decisions, a kind of wanton brutality which civilized humankind works very hard to suppress. What price will you pay for that suppression? Will you accept your own extinction? -The Stolen Journals
Frank Herbert (God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles #4))
Hard work works harder than luck!
Germany Kent (You Are What You Tweet: Harness the Power of Twitter to Create a Happier, Healthier Life)
I love you, I whispered to myself. I’m here for you. Reassurance of self-love was all I had.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
Fate. She'd never been a big beliver in things like that, had always believed that solid decisions and hard work were what paid off. And they had. But, really, it was getting to the point where it felt like the universe was screaming at her to pay attention!
Bella Andre (Can't Help Falling in Love (San Francisco Sullivans, #3; The Sullivans, #3))
History pays no heed to the unspectacular citizen who worked hard all day and walked at night to a humble home with dust on his tunic and his flat cap. But in the end the builders have had the better of it. The miracles they accomplished in stone are still standing and still beautiful, even with the disintegration of so many centuries on them, but the battlefields where great warriors died are so encroached upon by modern villas and so befouled by the rotting remains of motorcars and the staves of oil barrels that they do not always repay a visit.
Thomas B. Costain
I try to pay bills as efficiently as I can, and work hard, and be comfortable in what I've achieved at the end of each day. And I try, most of all, to be a little easier on myself.
Chelsea Fagan (I'm Only Here for the WiFi: A Complete Guide to Reluctant Adulthood)
The months of poverty, instability, and insecurity created a panic response that would take years to undo.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
There is no shortcut for hard work that leads to effectiveness. You must stay disciplined because most of the work is behind the scenes.
Germany Kent
Our space was a home because we loved each other in it.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
Hard work pays back
Mary Uwamahoro
I had zero idea of what I was doing.. I honestly had no idea where to start. All I knew was I had something I craved to say.. I wanted to create art that lived on longer than I do. Perseverance and teaching yourself, every day through stress and hard work proves shit really does progress without you realizing. One minute you're an amateur, knowing nothing, not even the basics. The next you can put pen to paper, write a song, and create art in such little time! It's crazy beautiful.
scott mcgoldrick
...It would hardly be a waste of time if sometimes even the most advanced students in the cognitive sciences were to pay a visit to their ancestors. It is frequently claimed in American philosophy departments that, in order to be a philosopher, it is not necessary to revisit the history of philosophy. It is like the claim that one can become a painter without having ever seen a single work by Raphael, or a writer without having ever read the classics. Such things are theoretically possible; but the 'primitive' artist, condemned to an ignorance of the past, is always recognizable as such and rightly labeled as naïf. It is only when we consider past projects revealed as utopian or as failures that we are apprised of the dangers and possibilities for failure for our allegedly new projects. The study of the deeds of our ancestors is thus more than an atiquarian pastime, it is an immunological precaution.
Umberto Eco (The Search for the Perfect Language)
But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want: They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table to figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, 'cause they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. And by the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people -- white collar, blue collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on -- good honest hard-working people continue -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don't care about you at all -- at all -- at all. And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on; the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday. Because the owners of this country know the truth: it's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.
George Carlin
I listened. Listening isn’t hard to do. No one has practice at it, nowadays, but you can train yourself to pay attention to your senses if you work at it long enough.
Jim Butcher (Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1))
Dreams and freedom are the same. In order for them to be, they come with a price.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Laziness is a luxurious mindset that I can not afford to own.
Nakia R. Laushaul
...there can never be intimacy if [someone] is always trying to pay God back or work hard enough to be worthy.
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
With determination, discipline and hard work all dreams become a reality.
Lailah Gifty Akita
Like I had been in the wrong for leaving a man who threatened me. I knew there were countless women out there in the same situation as I had been.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
Every single parent teetering on poverty does this. We work, we love, we do. And the stress of it all, the exhaustion, leaves us hollowed. Scraped out. Ghosts of our former selves. That’s how I felt for those few days after the accident, like I wasn’t fully connected to the ground when I walked. I knew that at any moment, a breeze could come and blow me away.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems. If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve? The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you're going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success. Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures. But in spite of that, they persevere. The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business. When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic. Procrastination is too high a price to pay for fear of failure. To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway. Forget motivation. Just do it. Act your way into feeling, not wait for positive emotions to carry you forward. Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience. Life is playing a poor hand well. The greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside. Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you? Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. If you are continually experiencing trouble or facing obstacles, then you should check to make sure that you are not the problem. Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living. Embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you're not failing, you're probably not really moving forward. Everything in life brings risk. It's true that you risk failure if you try something bold because you might miss it. But you also risk failure if you stand still and don't try anything new. The less you venture out, the greater your risk of failure. Ironically the more you risk failure — and actually fail — the greater your chances of success. If you are succeeding in everything you do, then you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough. And that means you're not taking enough risks. You risk because you have something of value you want to achieve. The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get. Determining what went wrong in a situation has value. But taking that analysis another step and figuring out how to use it to your benefit is the real difference maker when it comes to failing forward. Don't let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action. The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because you stopped trying? Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals. Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline. Successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally. Nothing worth achieving comes easily. The only way to fail forward and achieve your dreams is to cultivate tenacity and persistence. Never say die. Never be satisfied. Be stubborn. Be persistent. Integrity is a must. Anything worth having is worth striving for with all your might. If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it. Success is in the journey, the continual process. And no matter how hard you work, you will not create the perfect plan or execute it without error. You will never get to the point that you no longer make mistakes, that you no longer fail. The next time you find yourself envying what successful people have achieved, recognize that they have probably gone through many negative experiences that you cannot see on the surface. Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.
John C. Maxwell (Failing Forward)
No matter what it is that you want to do, you should dream as big as you can and go for it. Don't let anyone tell you that it can't be done because that's the worst advice. Do whatever you want to do and hard work will make it pay off.
Logan Henderson
Now discontent nibbled at him - not painfully, but constantly. Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there's time, the bastard Time. The end of life is now not so terribly far away - you can see it the way you see the finish line when you come into the stretch - and your mind says, "Have I worked enough? Have I eaten enough? Have I loved enough?" All of these, of course, are the foundation of man's greatest curse, and perhaps his greatest glory. "What has my life meant so far, and what can it mean in the time left to me?" And now we're coming to the wicked, poisoned dart: "What have I contributed in the Great Ledger? What am I worth?" And this isn't vanity or ambition. Men seem to be born with a debt they can never pay no matter how hard they try. It piles up ahead of them. Man owes something to man. If he ignores the debt it poisons him, and if he tries to make payments the debt only increases, and the quality of his gift is the measure of the man.
John Steinbeck (Sweet Thursday (Cannery Row, #2))
The more government takes in taxes, the less incentive people have to work. What coal miner or assembly-line worker jumps at the offer of overtime when he knows Uncle Sam is going to take sixty percent or more of his extra pay? . . . Any system that penalizes success and accomplishment is wrong. Any system that discourages work, discourages productivity, discourages economic progress, is wrong. If, on the other hand, you reduce tax rates and allow people to spend or save more of what they earn, they’ll be more industrious; they’ll have more incentive to work hard, and money they earn will add fuel to the great economic machine that energizes our national progress. The result: more prosperity for all—and more revenue for government.4
Donald J. Trump (Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again)
I felt like sitting down meant I wasn't doing enough--like the sort of lazy welfare recipient I was assumed to be. Time lounging to read a book felt overly indulgent; almost as though such leisure was reserved for another class. I had to work constantly. I had to prove my worth for receiving government benefits.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
Due to my self-employment, I had to report my income every few months. Earning $50 extra could make my co-pay at day care go up by the same amount. Sometimes it meant losing my childcare grant altogether. There was no incentive or opportunity to save money. The system kept me locked down, scraping the bottom of the barrel, without a plan to climb out of it.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
There is no easy button in sales. Prospecting is hard, emotionally draining work, and it is the price you have to pay to earn a high income.
Jeb Blount (Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling)
I find it insane to say, "Work hard," when the harder you work, the more you pay in taxes... Crazy.
Ziad K. Abdelnour (Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics)
People go to work to 'make a living' and yet it seems to me they just work very hard to pay for a life that they cannot live because they are so busy working to pay for it.
Kate McGahan (Jack McAfghan: Return from Rainbow Bridge: An Afterlife Story of Loss, Love and Renewal (Jack McAfghan Pet Loss Trilogy Book 3))
I am not smart, I pay attention. I am not considerate, I listen. I am not patient, I make time. I’m not lucky, I work hard.
Mark W. Boyer
It takes many years to become an overnight success.
Frank Sonnenberg (Soul Food: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life)
Do we work for and pay for all this convenience in order to live our lives, or do we live our lives in order to work for and pay for all this convenience?
Colin Beavan (No Impact Man)
We work, we love, we do. And the stress of it all, the exhaustion, leaves us hollowed. Scraped out. Ghosts of our former selves.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
Hard work pays
Mary Uwamahoro
Wisdom will not open her doors to those who are not willing to pay the price in self-sacrifice, in hard work. Her jewels are too precious to scatter before the idle, the ambitionless.
Orison Swett Marden (He Can Who Thinks He Can & Other Books on Success)
Maybe the reason I believe reality is crueler... ... is because I've never really loved? There was a time when I believed that... ..."Hard work will pay off." or "Your feelings will always reach them." I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse... ...that I found out that that's a myth. What should I do... If that's what it means to become an adult, it's not necessarily unfortunate, but really mundane. But it's not like I'm being negative, I just turned my back and I am moving forward... -Onodera Ritsu
Shungiku Nakamura (Sekaiichi Hatsukoi: Die Story von Ritsu Onodera 1)
One pays a price for innovation, and innovators, knowing this, are hardly conciliators: books are not written specifically to please others; they are written, like it or not, to please oneself.
Alexis Lykiard (Maldoror and the Complete Works)
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
Most people have a price. And they have a price because of human emotions named fear and greed. First, the fear of being without money motivates us to work hard, and then once we get that paycheck, greed or desire starts us thinking about all the wonderful things money can buy. A pattern is then set: get up, go to work, pay bills, get up, go to work, pay bills... Their lives are then run forever by two emotions, fear and greed. Offer them more money, and they continue the cycle by also increasing their spending. This is what I call the Rat Race.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
Feminists know that if women are paid equal wages for equal work, women will gain sexual as well as economic independence. But feminists have refused to face the fact that in a woman-hating social system, women will never be paid equal wages. Men in all their institutions of power are sustained by the sex labor and sexual subordination of women. The sex labor of women must be maintained; and systematic low wages for sex-neutral work effectively force women to sell sex to survive. The economic system that pays women lower wages than it pays men actually punishes women for working outside marriage or prostitution, since women work hard for low wages and still must sell sex. The economic system that punishes women for working outside the bedroom by paying low wages contributes significantly to women's perception that the sexual serving of men is a necessary part of any woman's life: or how else could she live? Feminists appear to think that equal pay for equal work is a simple reform, whereas it no reform at all; it is revolution. Feminists have refused to face the fact that equal pay for equal work is impossible as long as men rule women, and right-wing women have refused to forget it.
Andrea Dworkin
Hours are long. Wages are pitiful. But sweatshops are the symptom, not the cause, of shocking global poverty. Workers go there voluntarily, which means—hard as it is to believe—that whatever their alternatives are, they are worse. They stay there, too; turnover rates of multinational-owned factories are low, because conditions and pay, while bad, are better than those in factories run by local firms. And even a local company is likely to pay better than trying to earn money without a job: running an illegal street stall, working as a prostitute, or combing reeking landfills in cities like Manila to find recyclable goods.
Tim Harford (The Undercover Economist)
All of us face hard choices in our lives. Some face more than their share. We have to decide how to balance the demands of work and family. Caring for a sick child or an aging parent. Figuring out how to pay for college. Finding a good job, and what to do if you lose it. Whether to get married—or stay married. How to give our kids the opportunities they dream about and deserve. Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become. For leaders and nations, they can mean the difference between war and peace, poverty and prosperity.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (Hard Choices)
We spend so much time scrambling from one thing to the next, getting through it, getting to the end, and starting over again, that I would not forget to fully breathe in the miniscule moments of beauty and peace.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
When people think of food stamps they don't envision someone like me, someone plain faced and white, someone like the girl they'd known in highschool, someone who'd been quiet but nice, someone like a neighbor, someone like them. Maybe that made them too nervous about their own situation. Maybe they saw in me the chance of their own fragile circumstances, that with one lost job, one divorce, they'd be in the same place as me.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
The primary math of the real world is one and one equals two. The layman (as, often, do I) swings that every day. He goes to the job, does his work, pays his bills and comes home. One plus one equals two. It keeps the world spinning. But artists, musicians, con men, poets, mystics and such are paid to turn that math on its head, to rub two sticks together and bring forth fire. Everybody performs this alchemy somewhere in their life, but it’s hard to hold on to and easy to forget. People don’t come to rock shows to learn something. They come to be reminded of something they already know and feel deep down in their gut. That's when the world is at its best, when we are at our best, when life feels fullest, one and one equals three. It’s the essential equation of love, art, rock ’n’ roll and rock ’n’ roll bands. It’s the reason the universe will never be fully comprehensible, love will continue to be ecstatic, confounding, and true rock ’n’ roll will never die.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
When a person is too deep in systemic poverty, there is no upward trajectory. Life is struggle and nothing else. But for me, many of my decisions came from an assumption that things would, eventually, start to improve.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
But the American Dream has a price tag on it. The cost changes depending on where you’re born and to whom, with what color skin and with how much money in your parents’ bank account. The poorer you are, the higher the price. You can pay an entire life in labor, it turns out, and have nothing to show for it. Less than nothing, even: debt, injury, abject need.
Sarah Smarsh (Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth)
It seemed like certain members of society looked for opportunities to judge and scold poor people for what they felt we didn’t deserve.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
Being poor, living in poverty, seemed a lot like probation - the crime being a lack of means to survive.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
Have a goal. Work towards it. Because there is not a thing more fulfilling than reaping the fruits of your labor.
Amanda Shivrattan
True confidence is born of experiencing your hard work and seeing your determination pay off.
Lorii Myers (No Excuses, The Fit Mind-Fit Body Strategy Book (3 Off the Tee, #3))
You’ve got to work hard to pay for life, party harder to enjoy life, and love hardest to live life,
Mia Asher (Arsen: A Broken Love Story)
I could be as reckless as I wanted with my heart, but not with hers.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
I paid you five thousand instead and promised the balance only if you made the match. As it turns out, this is your lucky day because I've decided to write you the full check, whether the match comes from you or from Portia. As long as I have a wife and you've been part of the process, you'll get your money." He toasted her with his beer mug. "Congratulations." She put down her fork. "Why would you do that?" "Because it's efficient." "Not as efficient as having Powers handle her own introductions. You're paying her a fortune to do exactly that." "I'd rather have you." Her pulse kicked. "Why?" He gave her the melty smile he must have been practicing since the cradle, one that made her feel as though she was the only woman in the world. "Because you're easier to bully. Do we have a deal or not?" "You don't want a matchmaker. You want a lackey." "Semantics. My hours are erratic, and my schedule changes without warning. It'll be your job to cope with all that. You'll soothe ruffled feathers when I need to cancel at the last minute. You'll keep my dates company when I'm going to be late, entertain them if I have to take a call. If things are going well, you'll disappear. If not, you'll make the woman disappear. I told you before. I work hard at my job. I don't want to have to work hard at this, too." "Basically, you expect me to find your bride, court her, and hand her over at the altar. Or do I have to come on the honeymoon, too?" "Definitely not." He gave her a lazy smile. "I can take care of that all by myself.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
Despite being wealthy and having the two story houses of our American dreams, the marbled sink bathrooms, the offices with bay windows looking out at the water, their lives still lacked something. I became fascinated by the things hidden in dark corners and the self help books for hope. Maybe they just had longer hallways and bigger closets to hide the things that scared them.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
You have a picture of life within you, a faith, a challenge, and you were ready for deeds and sufferings and sacrifices, and then you became aware by degrees that the world asked no deeds and no sacrifices of you whatever, and that life is no poem of heroism with heroic parts to play and so on, but a comfortable room where people are quite content with eating and drinking, coffee and knitting, cards and wireless. And whoever wants more and has got it in him--the heroic and the beautiful, and the reverence for the great poets or for the saints--is a fool and a Don Quixote. Good. And it has been just the same for me, my friend. I was a gifted girl. I was meant to live up to a high standard, to expect much of myself and do great things. I could have played a great part. I could have been the wife of a king, the beloved of a revolutionary, the sister of a genius, the mother of a martyr. And life has allowed me just this, to be a courtesan of fairly good taste, and even that has been hard enough. That is how things have gone with me. For a while I was inconsolable and for a long time I put the blame on myself. Life, thought I, must in the end be in the right, and if life scorned my beautiful dreams, so I argued, it was my dreams that were stupid and wrong headed. But that did not help me at all. And as I had good eyes and ears and was a little inquisitive too, I took a good look at this so-called life and at my neighbors and acquaintances, fifty or so of them and their destinies, and then I saw you. And I knew that my dreams had been right a thousand times over, just as yours had been. It was life and reality that were wrong. It was as little right that a woman like me should have no other choice than to grow old in poverty and in a senseless way at a typewriter in the pay of a money-maker, or to marry such a man for his money's sake, or to become some kind of drudge, as for a man like you to be forced in his loneliness and despair to have recourse to a razor. Perhaps the trouble with me was more material and moral and with you more spiritual--but it was the same road. Do you think I can't understand your horror of the fox trot, your dislike of bars and dancing floors, your loathing of jazz and the rest of it? I understand it only too well, and your dislike of politics as well, your despondence over the chatter and irresponsible antics of the parties and the press, your despair over the war, the one that has been and the one that is to be, over all that people nowadays think, read and build, over the music they play, the celebrations they hold, the education they carry on. You are right, Steppenwolf, right a thousand times over, and yet you must go to the wall. You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easygoing and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many. Whoever wants to live and enjoy his life today must not be like you and me. Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours--
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
We were expected to live off minimum wage, to work several jobs at varying hours, to afford basic needs while fighting for safe places to leave our children. Somehow nobody saw the work; they saw only the results of living a life that constantly crushed you with its impossibility. It seemed like no matter how much I tried to prove otherwise, “poor” was always associated with dirty.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
To spend your life living in fear, never exploring your dreams is cruel. To work hard for money, thinking that it will buy you things that will make you happy is also cruel. To wake up in the middle of the night terrified about paying bills is a horrible way to live. To live a life dictated by the size of a paycheck is not really living a life. Thinking that a job makes you secure is lying to yourself. That's cruel, and that's a trap I want you to avoid..." — rich dad poor dad
Robert T. Kiyosaki
Aggressive and hard-charging women violate unwritten rules about acceptable social conduct. Men are continually applauded for being ambitious and powerful and successful, but women who display these same traits often pay a social penalty. Female accomplishments come at a cost.17
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
None of that worked. What my mind needed to know was that someone was there to make it all better. That summer, through gritted teeth, I’d decided that person was me, not a man or a family, and it would only ever be me. I had to stop hoping for someone to come along and love me. I had to do it myself, ducking my head and barreling through anything life brought.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
A fixation on happiness inevitably amounts to a never-ending pursuit of “something else”—a new house, a new relationship, another child, another pay raise. And despite all of our sweat and strain, we end up feeling eerily similar to how we started: inadequate. Psychologists sometimes refer to this concept as the “hedonic treadmill”: the idea that we’re always working hard to change our life situation, but we actually never feel very different.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
What if having a hard time adjusting to motherhood wasn’t some moral failure or a failure of imagination? What if we thought of the whole endeavor like we do work? Like how a career starts out with a lot of dues-paying, a lot of indignity, a lot of feeling unappreciated and complaining to your friends but then incrementally gets easier or more fulfilling. You get better at it. It becomes part of you. And you start to think, Well, what else would I do all day?
Meaghan O'Connell (And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready)
Poets are immersed in process, and I mean process not as an amorphous blur but as a discipline. The hard work of writing has taught me that in matters of the heart, such as writing, or faith, there is no right or wrong way to do it, but only the way of your life. Just paying attention will teach you what bears fruit and what doesn't. But it will be necessary to revise--to doodle, scratch out, erase, even make a mess of things--in order to make it come out right.
Kathleen Norris (The Cloister Walk)
Level, is spelled the same forward and backwards. Those on the upper level can always hit the bottom, and those on the bottom can always rank to the top. Envision your footprints up there already trailing, and your feet will soon follow suit.
Anthony Liccione
I've always known what you were thinking. You're squeezing that marble in your pocket and you're thinking your cattle wouldn't be at risk if it weren't for Louise. And maybe you're right. But take a hard look, son. When you see that woman working up a sweat pitching hay like a hired hand … you're looking at character. "And if we ever have another family dinner that goes like the last one did, you pay attention. I have an idea that your Louise doesn't sit still for too many insults, and I imagine she could cut someone down to size in about three sentences if she wanted to. But she sat silent while Philadelphia ridiculed and belittled her. Louise did this out of respect for you and this family. That is also character. "Maybe you really believe Wally is living your life. If so, then you haven't been honest with yourself. And you haven't taken a good hard look at the life you have. Mark my words, Max. Someday you're going to hold that marble, and it won't be a symbol of all you lost. That marble will be the gold you went to Piney Creek to find. It will be the most precious thing you own. I say this because I didn't raise any stupid sons.
Maggie Osborne (Silver Lining)
If a man works without any selfish motive in view, does he not gain anything? Yes, he gains the highest. Unselfishness is more paying, only people have not the patience to practice it. It is more paying from the point of view of health also. Love, truth, and unselfishness are not merely moral figures of speech, but they form our highest ideal, because in them lies such a manifestation of power. In the first place, a man who can work for five days, or even for five minutes, without any selfish motive whatever, without thinking of future, of heaven, of punishment, or anything of the kind, has in him the capacity to become a powerful moral giant. It is hard to do it, but in the heart of our hearts we know its value, and the good it brings. It is the greatest manifestation of power — this tremendous restraint; self-restraint is a manifestation of greater power than all outgoing action.
Swami Vivekananda (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (9 volume set))
The rich are the laziest of men. They pay others to do the hard work.
Tim Westover (Auraria)
walked along a deep precipice of hopelessness. Each morning brought a constant, lip-chewing stress over making it to work and getting home without my car breaking down.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
Nothing comes easy. You want something in life? Get off your arse and work for it.
Anthony Lo
Victory only comes through wear and tear.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Vocation of a Gadfly (Gadfly Saga, #2))
Instead I had brief moments of familiarity on a highway, memories ingrained in me so deeply they could almost pass as a belonging.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
If you want your dreams to work out for you, you must work with them. Pay the price and have the package of your accomplishments in full versions.
Israelmore Ayivor
Maybe the stress of keeping up a two-story house, a bad marriage, and maintaining the illusion of grandeur overwhelmed their systems in similar ways to how poverty did mine.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
I had to stop hoping for someone to come along and love me. I had to do it myself, ducking my head and barreling through anything life brought.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
It’s a small price to pay, but investing a little extra effort into the life you choose will move you from average — where all the competition is — to the top.
Richie Norton
When people try to discredit you just remember who you are and whose you are. Raise your head high and keep grinding.
Germany Kent
Well, this is the reason. We bow to the inevitable. We're not wheat, we're buckwheat! When a storm comes along it flattens ripe wheat because it's dry and can't bend with the wind. But ripe buckwheat's got sap in it and it bends. And when the wind has passed, it springs up almost as straight and strong as before. We aren't a stiff-necked tribe. We're mighty limber when a hard wind's blowing, because we know it pays to be limber. When trouble comes we bow to the inevitable without any mouthing, and we work and we smile and we bide our time. And we play along with lesser folks and we take what we can get from them. And when we're strong enough, we kick the folks whose necks we've climbed over. That, my child, is the secret of the survival.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Them as work hardest get no respect for it – women, ranch hands, sharecroppers, factory help, domestics – and them as spend all their time talking about how hard they work have no idea what an honest day’s labor for nary enough pay to put beans in your family’s bellies is all about.
Elizabeth Bear (Karen Memory (Karen Memory, #1))
Wisdom is really the key to wealth. With great wisdom, comes great wealth and success. Rather than pursuing wealth, pursue wisdom. The aggressive pursuit of wealth can lead to disappointment. Wisdom is defined as the quality of having experience, and being able to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting. Wisdom is basically the practical application of knowledge. Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs. Become completely focused on one subject and study the subject for a long period of time. Don't skip around from one subject to the next. The problem is generally not money. Jesus taught that the problem was attachment to possessions and dependence on money rather than dependence on God. Those who love people, acquire wealth so they can give generously. After all, money feeds, shelters, and clothes people. They key is to work extremely hard for a short period of time (1-5 years), create abundant wealth, and then make money work hard for you through wise investments that yield a passive income for life. Don't let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you're crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you're lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you're greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn't understand. Failure is success if we learn from it. Continuing failure eventually leads to success. Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. Whenever you pursue a goal, it should be with complete focus. This means no interruptions. Only when one loves his career and is skilled at it can he truly succeed. Never rush into an investment without prior research and deliberation. With preferred shares, investors are guaranteed a dividend forever, while common stocks have variable dividends. Some regions with very low or no income taxes include the following: Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Delaware, South Dakota, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Panama, San Marino, Seychelles, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Curaçao, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Monaco, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bermuda, Kuwait, Oman, Andorra, Cayman Islands, Belize, Vanuatu, and Campione d'Italia. There is only one God who is infinite and supreme above all things. Do not replace that infinite one with finite idols. As frustrated as you may feel due to your life circumstances, do not vent it by cursing God or unnecessarily uttering his name. Greed leads to poverty. Greed inclines people to act impulsively in hopes of gaining more. The benefit of giving to the poor is so great that a beggar is actually doing the giver a favor by allowing the person to give. The more I give away, the more that comes back. Earn as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Invest as much as you can. Give as much as you can.
H.W. Charles (The Money Code: Become a Millionaire With the Ancient Jewish Code)
You think of killing him on the spot but discard that thought and leave, down into the urine-stinking elevator, they have you crucified too, America at work, where they rip out your intestines and your brain and your will and your spirit. They suck you dry, then throw you away. The capitalist system. The work ethic. The profit motive. The memory of your father’s words, “work hard and you’ll be appreciated.” of course, only if you make much more for them than they pay you.
Charles Bukowski (Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way)
Time lounging to read a book felt overly indulgent; almost as though such leisure was reserved for another class. I had to work constantly. I had to prove my worth for receiving government benefits.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
Hard worker, punching the clock and paying the bills, you can live a life worthy this day. Your career may not involve “Christian-sanctioned” labor, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t walking in your calling. The manner in which you speak to your coworkers, the way you work diligently, your dignity as a laborer worth her wages—this is a worthy life. Every goodness God asked us to display is available to you today. Through ordinary work, people can be set free, valued, and changed, including yourself. God’s kingdom will not come in any more power elsewhere than it will come in your life today.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
Sadly, in our technological, impersonal, and avaricious consumer society, people merely hold on to jobs. They put in their time, leave at the five o'clock bell, pick up their pay checks, and leave the whole business behind them. Work, for so many, becomes a necessary evil. They go at it grudgingly, at best resignedly. It is hard to fault them; the stressful conditions and uncertainty under which so many workers labor force them into an adversarial relationship with their occupations and employers.
Robert Dykstra (She Never Said Good-Bye)
We don't give up, even when things are bad. We pay our debts. We work hard. We act decently. We help our neighbours if they need it. We do what we say we will do. We don't want much attention. We look after our own. We are proud of what we do. We try to be quietly smart. We take chances sometimes to get on. We will fail sometimes. We will be affected by the wider world... But we hold on to who we are.
James Rebanks
What he likes most about proprietary trading is that it requires considerably less time than other high paying professions; in other words it is perfectly compatible with his non-middle-class work ethics. Trading forces someone to think hard; those who merely work hard generally lose their focus and intellectual energy.
Fooled By Randomness Nassim Taleb
What’s the biggest problem facing teenagers today? Ourselves. We’re a generation of lazy underachievers who need to learn that hard work pays off. What’s your town known for? Cow manure! Hold for laughs... Actually Irondale is the setting of Fannie Flagg’s famous novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café. Why’d you enter the Junior Miss Birmingham pageant? To win... to go to State... then Nationals... maybe get the hell out of Alabama.
Nadria Tucker (The Heaviest Corner on Earth)
So what's your doll's name?" Boo asked me. "Barbie," I said. "All their names are Barbie." "I see," she said. "Well, I'd think that would get boring, everyone having the same name." I thought about this, then said, "Okay, then her name is Sabrina." "Well, that's a very nice name," Boo said. I remember she was baking bread, kneading the dough between her thick fingers. "What does she do?" "Do?" I said. "Yes." She flipped the dough over and started in on it from the other side. "What does she do?" "She goes out with Ken," I said. "And what else?" "She goes to parties," I said slowly. "And shopping." "Oh," Boo said, nodding. "She can't work?" "She doesn't have to work," I said. "Why not?" "Because she's Barbie." "I hate to tell you, Caitlin, but somebody has to make payments on that town house and the Corvette," Boo said cheerfully. "Unless Barbie has a lot of family money." I considered this while I put on Ken's pants. Boo started pushing the dough into a pan, smoothing it with her hand over the top. "You know what I think, Caitlin?" Her voice was soft and nice, the way she always spoke to me. "What?" "I think your Barbie can go shopping, and go out with Ken, and also have a productive and satisfying career of her own." She opened the oven and slid in the bread pan, adjusting its position on the rack. "But what can she do?" My mother didn't work and spent her time cleaning the house and going to PTA. I couldn't imagine Barbie, whose most casual outfit had sequins and go-go boots, doing s.uch things. Boo came over and plopped right down beside me. I always remember her being on my level; she'd sit on the edge of the sandbox, or lie across her bed with me and Cass as we listened to the radio. "Well," she said thoughtfully, picking up Ken and examining his perfect physique. "What do you want to do when you grow up?" I remember this moment so well; I can still see Boo sitting there on the floor, cross- legged, holding my Ken and watching my face as she tried to make me see that between my mother's PTA and Boo's strange ways there was a middle ground that began here with my Barbie, Sab-rina, and led right to me. "Well," I said abruptly, "I want to be in advertising." I have no idea where this came from. "Advertising," Boo repeated, nodding. "Okay. Advertising it is. So Sabrina has to go to work every day, coming up with ideas for commercials and things like that." "She works in an office," I went on. "Sometimes she has to work late." "Sure she does," Boo said. "It's hard to get ahead. Even if you're Barbie." "Because she wants to get promoted," I added. "So she can pay off the town house. And the Corvette." "Very responsible of her," Boo said. "Can she be divorced?" I asked. "And famous for her commercials and ideas?" "She can be anything," Boo told me, and this is what I remember most, her freckled face so solemn, as if she knew she was the first to tell me. "And so can you.
Sarah Dessen (Dreamland)
After years of living in the absence of friendliness, after the toxicity with my family, losing my friends, the unstable housing and black mold, my invisibility as a maid, I was starved for kindness. I was hungry for people to notice me, to start conversations with me, to accept me. I was hungry in a way I’d never been in my entire life.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
Working in the fields is not in itself a degrading job. It’s hard, but if you’re given regular hours, better pay, decent housing, unemployment and medical compensation, pension plans—we have a very relaxed way of living. But the growers don’t recognize us as persons. That’s the worst thing, the way they treat you. Like we have no brains. Now we see they have no brains. They have only a wallet in their head. The more you squeeze it, the more they cry out.
Studs Terkel (Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do)
But many of these Silicon Valley entrepreneurs hard at work creating our technological future pay precious little attention to the public policy, legal, ethical, and security risks that their creations pose to the rest of society.
Marc Goodman (Future Crimes)
Dear Jim." The writing grew suddenly blurred and misty. And she had lost him again--had lost him again! At the sight of the familiar childish nickname all the hopelessness of her bereavement came over her afresh, and she put out her hands in blind desperation, as though the weight of the earth-clods that lay above him were pressing on her heart. Presently she took up the paper again and went on reading: "I am to be shot at sunrise to-morrow. So if I am to keep at all my promise to tell you everything, I must keep it now. But, after all, there is not much need of explanations between you and me. We always understood each other without many words, even when we were little things. "And so, you see, my dear, you had no need to break your heart over that old story of the blow. It was a hard hit, of course; but I have had plenty of others as hard, and yet I have managed to get over them,--even to pay back a few of them,--and here I am still, like the mackerel in our nursery-book (I forget its name), 'Alive and kicking, oh!' This is my last kick, though; and then, tomorrow morning, and--'Finita la Commedia!' You and I will translate that: 'The variety show is over'; and will give thanks to the gods that they have had, at least, so much mercy on us. It is not much, but it is something; and for this and all other blessings may we be truly thankful! "About that same tomorrow morning, I want both you and Martini to understand clearly that I am quite happy and satisfied, and could ask no better thing of Fate. Tell that to Martini as a message from me; he is a good fellow and a good comrade, and he will understand. You see, dear, I know that the stick-in-the-mud people are doing us a good turn and themselves a bad one by going back to secret trials and executions so soon, and I know that if you who are left stand together steadily and hit hard, you will see great things. As for me, I shall go out into the courtyard with as light a heart as any child starting home for the holidays. I have done my share of the work, and this death-sentence is the proof that I have done it thoroughly. They kill me because they are afraid of me; and what more can any man's heart desire? "It desires just one thing more, though. A man who is going to die has a right to a personal fancy, and mine is that you should see why I have always been such a sulky brute to you, and so slow to forget old scores. Of course, though, you understand why, and I tell you only for the pleasure of writing the words. I loved you, Gemma, when you were an ugly little girl in a gingham frock, with a scratchy tucker and your hair in a pig-tail down your back; and I love you still. Do you remember that day when I kissed your hand, and when you so piteously begged me 'never to do that again'? It was a scoundrelly trick to play, I know; but you must forgive that; and now I kiss the paper where I have written your name. So I have kissed you twice, and both times without your consent. "That is all. Good-bye, my dear" Then am I A happy fly, If I live Or if I die
Ethel Lilian Voynich
Bush has legitimized a huge expansion of the welfare state, liberalizing immigration, and using force for democratization abroad. All the next Democratic president has to do to finish Bush's hard work is to raise taxes to pay for it all.
Andrew Sullivan
Between the onion and the parsley, therefore, I shall give the summation of my case for paying attention. Man's real work is to look at the things of the world and to love them for what they are. That is, after all, what God does, and man was not made in God's image for nothing. The fruits of his attention can be seen in all the arts, crafts, and sciences. It can cost him time and effort, but it pays handsomely. If an hour can be spent on one onion, think how much regarding it took on the part of that old Russian who looked at onions and church spires long enough to come up with St. Basil's Cathedral. Or how much curious and loving attention was expended by the first man who looked hard enough at the inside of trees, the entrails of cats, the hind ends of horses and the juice of pine trees to realize he could turn them all into the first fiddle. No doubt his wife urged him to get up and do something useful. I am sure that he was a stalwart enough lover of things to pay no attention at all to her nagging; but how wonderful it would have been if he had known what we know now about his dawdling. He could have silenced her with the greatest riposte of all time: Don't bother me; I am creating the possibility of the Bach unaccompanied sonatas. But if man's attention is repaid so handsomely, his inattention costs him dearly. Every time he diagrams something instead of looking at it, every time he regards not what a thing is but what it can be made to mean to him - every time he substitutes a conceit for a fact - he gets grease all over the kitchen of the world. Reality slips away from him; and he is left with nothing but the oldest monstrosity in the world: an idol. Things must be met for themselves. To take them only for their meaning is to convert them into gods - to make them too important, and therefore to make them unimportant altogether. Idolatry has two faults. It is not only a slur on the true God; it is also an insult to true things. They made a calf in Horeb; thus they turned their Glory into the similitude of a calf that eateth hay. Bad enough, you say. Ah, but it was worse than that. Whatever good may have resided in the Golden Calf - whatever loveliness of gold or beauty of line - went begging the minute the Israelites got the idea that it was their savior out of the bondage of Egypt. In making the statue a matter of the greatest point, they missed the point of its matter altogether.
Robert Farrar Capon (The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection)
Shit jobs tend to be blue collar and pay by the hour, whereas bullshit jobs tend to be white collar and salaried. Those who work shit jobs tend to be the object of indignities; they not only work hard but also are held in low esteem for that very reason. But at least they know they're doing something useful. Those who work bullshit jobs are often surrounded by honor and prestige; they are respected as professionals, well paid, and treated as high achievers - as the sort of people who can be justly proud of what they do. Yet secretly they are aware that they have achieved nothing; they feel they have done nothing to earn the consumer toys with which they fill their lives; they feel it's all based on a lie - as, indeed, it is.
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
Far more often, you must keep showing up, day in and day out, until the hard, unglamorous work adds up and pays off. It’s easy to misunderstand what you are seeing when you look at people taking a victory lap or receiving attention or promotion. Their celebration is only the tip of the iceberg. Invisible to your eye is what’s underwater—the hell they went through on the road to success.
Levi Lusko (Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power)
This is your captain speaking, so stop whatever you’re doing and pay attention. First of all I see from our instruments that we have a couple of hitchhikers aboard. Hello, wherever you are. I just want to make it totally clear that you are not at all welcome. I worked hard to get where I am today, and I didn’t become captain of a Vogon constructor ship simply so I could turn it into a taxi service for a load of degenerate freeloaders. I have sent out a search party, and as soon as they find you I will put you off the ship. If you’re very lucky I might read you some of my poetry first. “Secondly, we are about to jump into hyperspace for the journey to Barnard’s Star. On arrival we will stay in dock for a seventy-two-hour refit, and no one’s to leave the ship during that time. I repeat, all planet leave is canceled. I’ve just had an unhappy love affair, so I don’t see why anybody else should have a good time. Message ends.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1))
And I am proud, but mostly, I’m angry. I’m angry, because when I look around, I’m still alone. I’m still the only black woman in the room. And when I look at what I’ve fought so hard to accomplish next to those who will never know that struggle I wonder, “How many were left behind?” I think about my first-grade class and wonder how many black and brown kids weren’t identified as “talented” because their parents were too busy trying to pay bills to pester the school the way my mom did. Surely there were more than two, me and the brown boy who sat next to me in the hall each day. I think about my brother and wonder how many black boys were similarly labeled as “trouble” and were unable to claw out of the dark abyss that my brother had spent so many years in. I think about the boys and girls playing at recess who were dragged to the principal’s office because their dark skin made their play look like fight. I think about my friend who became disillusioned with a budding teaching career, when she worked at the alternative school and found that it was almost entirely populated with black and brown kids who had been sent away from the general school population for minor infractions. From there would only be expulsions or juvenile detention. I think about every black and brown person, every queer person, every disabled person, who could be in the room with me, but isn’t, and I’m not proud. I’m heartbroken. We should not have a society where the value of marginalized people is determined by how well they can scale often impossible obstacles that others will never know. I have been exceptional, and I shouldn’t have to be exceptional to be just barely getting by. But we live in a society where if you are a person of color, a disabled person, a single mother, or an LGBT person you have to be exceptional. And if you are exceptional by the standards put forth by white supremacist patriarchy, and you are lucky, you will most likely just barely get by. There’s nothing inspirational about that.
Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race)
The challenge of elucidating living processes -- including consciousness and all its baggage which we bundle together as 'the human spirit' -- is only one example of a challenge where hard work is paying off and science does not need to accept the false explanations peddled by religions.
Peter Atkins
These gardens are green, because green is the color that most pleases and soothes men's eyes; and however you may shut people up between bars of yellow and mud color, and however hard you may make them work, and however little wage you may pay them for working, there will always be found among those people some men who are willing to work a little longer, and for no wages at all, so that they may have green things growing near them.
E. Nesbit (Harding's Luck)
We tend to be honorable, trustworthy, and have high ideals of how to treat others.  Thus, we can’t imagine anyone else would do anything other than what we would do.  WRONG!  It pays to learn about human nature and that in essence, people are not good and trustworthy.  Yes, there are wonderful human beings on this planet, but you won’t run into them daily or even regularly unless you’ve worked hard to choose the company that you keep.
Gigi Miner (The Highly Sensitive Empath: Feeling Skinless in a Sandpaper World)
Some of you, we all know, are poor, find it hard to live, are sometimes, as it were, gasping for breath. I have no doubt that some of you who read this book are unable to pay for all the dinners which you have actually eaten, or for the coats and shoes which are fast wearing or are already worn out, and have come to this page to spend borrowed or stolen time, robbing your creditors of an hour. It is very evident what mean and sneaking lives many of you live, for my sight has been whetted by experience; always on the limits, trying to get into business and trying to get out of debt, a very ancient slough, called by the Latins aes alienum, another's brass, for some of their coins were made of brass; still living, and dying, and buried by this other's brass; always promising to pay, promising to pay, tomorrow, and dying today, insolvent; seeking to curry favor, to get custom, by how many modes, only not state-prison offences; lying, flattering, voting, contracting yourselves into a nutshell of civility or dilating into an atmosphere of thin and vaporous generosity, that you may persuade your neighbor to let you make his shoes, or his hat, or his coat, or his carriage, or import his groceries for him; making yourselves sick, that you may lay up something against a sick day, something to be tucked away in an old chest, or in a stocking behind the plastering, or, more safely, in the brick bank; no matter where, no matter how much or how little.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
It was my assumption that skilled teachers spent their days imparting important and meaningful knowledge to eager students. I also believed, as many of you do, that I didn’t remember or wasn’t good at the things we learned in high school because I didn’t pay close enough attention or didn’t work hard enough.
Brian Huskie (A White Rose: A Soldier's Story of Love, War, and School)
I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread. Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees to shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay proper attention to fear. Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you've defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you. The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
I want you to always think of Mrs. Martin. And I want you always to remember that donkey. Never forget that fear and desire can lead you into life’s biggest trap if you’re not aware of them controlling your thinking. To spend your life living in fear, never exploring your dreams, is cruel. To work hard for money, thinking that it will buy you things that will make you happy is also cruel. To wake up in the middle of the night terrified about paying bills is a horrible way to live. To live a life dictated by the size of a paycheck is not really living a life. Thinking that a job makes you secure is lying to yourself. That’s cruel, and that’s the trap I want you to avoid. I’ve seen how money runs people’s lives. Don’t let that happen to you. Please don’t let money run your life.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
What if all your hard work never pays off? What if I am the outsider to my friends and family? What then? What if all the good you’ve done has been transformed into evil and greed? What if those you help the most, stabbed you in the back? What then? Should I trust again? What if life is unfair, painful and cruel? What if Death invites you to join its tribe? What if death makes you feel at peace and alive! What then? Should I take death’s hand and walk away? What then?
Quetzal
At every stage of our lives we make decisions that will profoundly influence the lives of the people we’re going to become, and then when we become those people, we’re not always thrilled with the decisions we made. So young people pay good money to get tattoos removed that teenagers paid good money to get. Middle-aged people rushed to divorce people who young adults rushed to marry. Older adults work hard to lose what middle-aged adults worked hard to gain. On and on and on.48
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness)
The primary math of the real world is one and one equals two. The layman (as, often, do I) swings that every day. He goes to the job, does his work, pays his bills and comes home. One plus one equals two. It keeps the world spinning. But artists, musicians, con men, poets, mystics and such are paid to turn that math on its head, to rub two sticks together and bring forth fire. Everybody performs this alchemy somewhere in their life, but it’s hard to hold on to and easy to forget. People don’t come to rock shows to learn something. They come to be reminded of something they already know and feel deep down in their gut. That when the world is at its best, when we are at our best, when life feels fullest, one and one equals three. It’s the essential equation of love, art, rock ’n’ roll and rock ’n’ roll bands. It’s the reason the universe will never be fully comprehensible, love will continue to be ecstatic, confounding, and true rock ’n’ roll will never die.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
One thing he would tell me, though, he said, had to do with babies. Not that he was any kind of expert, but for a brief while, long ago, he had cared for his son, and that experience more than any other had taught him the importance of following your instincts. Tuning in to the situation with all your five senses, and your body, not your brain. A baby cries in the night, and you go to pick him up. Maybe he’s screaming so hard his face is the color of a radish, or he’s gasping for breath, he’s got himself so worked up. What are you going to do, take a book off the shelf, and read what some expert has to say? You lay your hand against his skin and just rub his back. Blow into his ear. Press that baby up against your own skin and walk outside with him, where the night air will surround him, and moonlight fall on his face. Whistle, maybe. Dance. Hum. Pray. Sometimes a cool breeze might be just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes a warm hand on the belly. Sometimes doing absolutely nothing is the best. You have to pay attention. Slow things way down. Tune out the rest of the world that really doesn’t matter. Feel what the moment calls for.
Joyce Maynard (Labor Day)
Our economic policies are undermining our future. The promise of the American dream was that if you worked hard, you could make it into the middle class. If we don't raise the minimum wage, provide affordable daycare and universal pre-K, and mandate paid family medical leave and equal pay for equal work, we are allowing that dream to fade away.
Kirsten Gillibrand (Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World)
We would be able to map our lives against the destruction of the working class: the demise of the family farm, the dismantling of public health care, the defunding of public schools, wages so stagnant that full-time workers could no longer pay the bills. Historic wealth inequality was old news to us by the time it hit newspapers in the new millennium.
Sarah Smarsh (Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth)
A Person spends a whole day, five days a week or more, working hard to make money, but few ever think beyond this fact. They live from pay cheque to pay cheque, drifting through life, and only realize too late that what they have been doing was not wise at all. As individuals it is now time we take charge of our money and plan for it, otherwise it will plan for you.
Neala Okuromade
Single parenting isn’t just being the only one to take care of your kid. It’s not about being able to “tap out” for a break or tag team bath- and bedtime; those were the least of the difficulties I faced. I had a crushing amount of responsibility. I took out the trash. I brought in the groceries I had gone to the store to select and buy. I cooked. I cleaned. I changed out the toilet paper. I made the bed. I dusted. I checked the oil in the car. I drove Mia to the doctor, to her dad's house. I drove her to ballet class if I could find one that offered scholarships and then drove her back home again. I watched every twirl, every jump, and every trip down the slide. It was me who pushed her on the swing, put her to sleep at night, kissed her when she fell. When I sat down, I worried. With the stress gnawing at my stomach, worrying. I worried that my paycheck might not cover bills that month. I worried about Christmas, still four months away. I worried that Mia's cough might become a sinus infection that would keep her out of day care... . I worried that I would have to reschedule work or miss it altogether.
Stephanie Land (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive)
Being a growed woman, it turned out, was harder work than it looked. But that’s a thing, too, ain’t it? Them as work hardest get no respect for it—women, ranch hands, sharecroppers, factory help, domestics—and them as spend all their time talking about how hard they work have no idea what an honest day’s labor for nary enough pay to put beans in your family’s bellies is all about.
Elizabeth Bear (Karen Memory (Karen Memory, #1))
I was born a slave; but I never knew it till six years of happy childhood had passed away. My father was a carpenter, and considered so intelligent and skilful in his trade, that, when buildings out of the common line were to be erected, he was sent for from long distances, to be head workman. On condition of paying his mistress two hundred dollars a year, and supporting himself, he was allowed to work at his trade, and manage his own affairs. His strongest wish was to purchase his children; but, though he several times offered his hard earnings for that purpose, he never succeeded.
Harriet Ann Jacobs (Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself)
I have found that there is romance in housework: and charm in it; and whimsy and humor without end. I have found that the housewife works hard, of course–but likes it. Most people who amount to anything do work hard, at whatever their job happens to be. The housewife’s job is home-making, and she is, in fact, ‘making the best of it’; making the best of it by bringing patience and loving care to her work; sympathy and understanding to her family; making the best of it by seeing all the fun in the day’s incidents and human relationships. The housewife realizes that home-making is an investment in happiness. It pays everyone enormous dividends. There are huge compensations for the actual labor involved… There are unhappy housewives, of course. But there are unhappy stenographers and editresses and concert singers. The housewife whose songs I sing as I go about my work, is the one who likes her job (pp. 6-7). From Songs of a Housewife: Poems by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
As a woman, you walk into all kinds of unknown situations that cause you to fall in love, put someone else’s needs before your own, and make unbelievable sacrifices. As time goes by, falling in love has its consequences. You fall in love with your mate, children, family, and job. However, you do not receive a fraction of what you have given in return. Sadly, nobody sees you are beyond exhausted. They want you to go, go and go without complaining. If they carefully pay attention and think about it; when was the last time they saw you smile, truly smile? When was the last time they saw you happy, truly happy? When was the last time they offered to help you, as opposed to asking could you do this or that? When was the last time they gave you a moment to breathe? As you work so hard and give so much of yourself, you think things will finally line up. However, that is not the case. Once you set someone up to help them prosper, things in your life start to crumble, and slowly but surely you begin to feel violated. Your hard work is soon forgotten as they drop you where you stand. Life isn’t fair and it is hard. It’s even harder when you love so hard and lose so much. You are not perfect. You have your flaws, and most definitely you have your moments. However, you have a good heart and you try to treat others how you want to be treated. Time and time again you give people all of your heart by trying to be loving and understanding. You’ve learned that when it comes to some people, nothing would ever be good enough. You have to be willing to accept that you loved them to the best of your ability, and only lost someone who caused you to lose more of yourself. Those people aren’t worth saving because the question is, who will save you? However, the love you gave wasn’t in vain; it helped you to become a better person. The loss opened your eyes to see that you deserve so much better. It is alright to cry. You are finding your strength and you are beginning to find the voice within. You are special. You are unique. You are loved. There’s no need to be afraid. Life is a journey! You will make it. It’s okay to let go of the loss and count it all pure joy!
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
I thought vampires could rematerialize in their clothes," said Angua accusingly. "Otto Chriek can!" "Females can't. We don't know why. It's probably part of the whole underwired-nightdress business. That's where you score again, of course. When you're in one hundred and fifty bat bodies, it's quite hard to remember to keep two of them carrying a pair of pants." Sally looked up at the ceiling, and sighed. "Look, I can see where this is going. It's going to be about Captain Carrot, isn't it . . . " "I saw the way you were smiling at him!" "I'm sorry! We can be very personable! It's a vampire thing!" "You were so keen to impress him, eh!" "And you aren't? He's the kind of many anyone would want to impress!" They watched each other warily. "He is mine, you know," said Angua, feeling the nascent claws strain under her fingernails. "You're his, you mean!" said Sally. "You know it works like that. You trail after him." "I'm sorry! It's a werewolf thing!" Anuga yelled. "Hold it!" Sally thrust both hands in front of her in a gesture of peace. "There's something we'd better sort before this goes any further!" "Yeah?" "Yes. We're both wearing nothing, we're standing in what, you may have noticed, is increasingly turning into mud, and we're squaring up to fight. Okay. But there's something missing, yes?" "And that is . . . ?" "A paying audience? We could make a fortune." Sally winked. "Or we could do the job we came here to do.
Terry Pratchett (Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch #7))
You prefer thieving to honest work?” “Honest work? How much do you pay your maids annually? Six pounds? Eight? I can make that in a month—in a night, if all goes well. I could make more than that as a beggar. Why do you think so many take to the streets, begging? Because honest work is hardly honest when the only one profiting is the rich man who owns the workplace.” She was right. Dane knew it, and he hated to accept
Shana Galen (Earls Just Want to Have Fun (Covent Garden Cubs, #1))
I’m not sure how the ponies happened, though I have an inkling: “Can I get you anything?” I’ll say, getting up from a dinner table, “Coffee, tea, a pony?” People rarely laugh at this, especially if they’ve heard it before. “This party’s ‘sposed to be fun,” a friend will say. “Really? Will there be pony rides?” It’s a nervous tic and a cheap joke, cheapened further by the frequency with which I use it. For that same reason, it’s hard to weed it out of my speech – most of the time I don’t even realize I’m saying it. There are little elements in a person’s life, minor fibers that become unintentionally tangled with your personality. Sometimes it’s a patent phrase, sometimes it’s a perfume, sometimes it’s a wristwatch. For me, it is the constant referencing of ponies. I don’t even like ponies. If I made one of my throwaway equine requests and someone produced an actual pony, Juan-Valdez-style, I would run very fast in the other direction. During a few summers at camp, I rode a chronically dehydrated pony named Brandy who would jolt down without notice to lick the grass outside the corral and I would careen forward, my helmet tipping to cover my eyes. I do, however, like ponies on the abstract. Who doesn’t? It’s like those movies with the animated insects. Sure, the baby cockroach seems cute with CGI eyelashes, but how would you feel about fifty of her real-life counterparts living in your oven? And that’s precisely the manner in which the ponies clomped their way into my regular speech: abstractly. “I have something for you,” a guy will say on our first date. “Is it a pony?” No. It’s usually a movie ticket or his cell phone number. But on our second date, if I ask again, I’m pretty sure I’m getting a pony. And thus the Pony drawer came to be. It’s uncomfortable to admit, but almost every guy I have ever dated has unwittingly made a contribution to the stable. The retro pony from the ‘50s was from the most thoughtful guy I have ever known. The one with the glitter horseshoes was from a boy who would later turn out to be straight somehow, not gay. The one with the rainbow haunches was from a librarian, whom I broke up with because I felt the chemistry just wasn’t right, and the one with the price tag stuck on the back was given to me by a narcissist who was so impressed with his gift he forgot to remover the sticker. Each one of them marks the beginning of a new relationship. I don’t mean to hint. It’s not a hint, actually, it’s a flat out demand: I. Want. A. Pony. I think what happens is that young relationships are eager to build up a romantic repertoire of private jokes, especially in the city where there’s not always a great “how we met” story behind every great love affair. People meet at bars, through mutual friends, on dating sites, or because they work in the same industry. Just once a coworker of mine, asked me out between two stops on the N train. We were holding the same pole and he said, “I know this sounds completely insane, bean sprout, but would you like to go to a very public place with me and have a drink or something...?” I looked into his seemingly non-psycho-killing, rent-paying, Sunday Times-subscribing eyes and said, “Sure, why the hell not?” He never bought me a pony. But he didn’t have to, if you know what I mean.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays)
I read it: "A man earned daily for 5 days and 3 times as much as he paid for his board, after which he was obliged to be idle 4 days," it said. "Upon counting his money after paying for his board he found that he had 2 ten-doller bills and 4 dollers. How much did he pay for the board, and what were his wages?" "All right. Think now," Weaver said. "How would you begin to solve it? What's your X?" I thought. Very hard. For quite some time. About the man and his meager wages and shabby boardinghouse and lonely life. "Where did he work?" I finally asked. "What? It doesn't matter, Matt. Just assign an X to-" "A mill, I bet," I said, picturing the man's threadbare clothing, his worn shoes. "A woolen mill. Why do you think he was obliged to be idle?" "I don't know why. Look, just-" "I bet he got sick," I said, clutching Weaver's arm. "Or maybe business wasn't good, and his boss had no work for him. I wonder if he had a family in the country. It would be a terrible thing, wouldn't it, if he had children to feed and no work? Maybe his wife was poorly, too. And I bet he had..." "Damn it, Mattie, this is algebra, not composition!" Weaver said, glaring at me. "Sorry," I said, feeling like a hopeless case.
Jennifer Donnelly (A Northern Light)
Many historians, many sociologists and psychologists have written at lenght, and with deep concern, about the price that Western man has had to pay and will go on paying for technological progress. They point out, for example, that democracy can be hardly expected to flourish in societies where political and economic power is being progressively concentrated and centralized.But the progress of technology has led and is still leading to just such a concentration and centralisation of power. As the machinery of mass production is made more efficient it tends to become more complex and more expensive - and so less available to the eterpriser of limited means. Moreover, mass production cannot work without mass distribution; but mass distribution raises problems which only the largest producers can satisfactorily solve. In a world of mass production and mass distribution the Little Man, with his inadequate stock of working capital, is at a grave disadvantage. In competition with Big Man, he loses his money and finally his very existence as an independent producer; the Big Man has grobbled him up. As the Little Men disappear, more and more economic power comes to be wielded by fewer and fewer people. Under a dictatorship the Big Business, made possible by advancing technology and the consequent ruin of Little Business, is controlled by the State - that is to say, by small group of party leaders and soldiers, policemen and civil servants who carry out their orders.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
If low-wage employers make workers worse off than they would be otherwise, then it is hard to imagine why workers would work for them. “Because they have no alternative” may be one answer. But that answer implies that low-wage employers provide a better option than these particular workers have otherwise—and so are not making them worse off. Thus the argument against low-wage employers making workers worse off is internally self-contradictory. What would make low-wage workers worse off would be foreclosing one of their already limited options. This is especially harmful when considering that low-wage workers are often young, entry-level workers for whom work experience can be more valuable in the long run than the immediate pay itself.
Thomas Sowell (Basic Economics)
There is more to life than work, and a life without ample space for family and friends is incomplete. But this much should not be controversial: Vocation—one’s calling in life—plays a large role in defining the meaning of that life. For some, the nurturing of children is the vocation. For some, an avocation or a cause can become an all-absorbing source of satisfaction, with the job a means of paying the bills and nothing more. But for many others, vocation takes the form of the work one does for a living. Working hard, seeking to get ahead, and striving to excel at one’s craft are not only quintessential features of traditional American culture but also some of its best features. Industriousness is a resource for living a fulfilling human life instead of a life that is merely entertaining.
Charles Murray (Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010)
How kind of you to pay us a call, Uncle,” came the biting lash of Sebastian’s voice. “Come to offer us felicitations, have you?” “I’ve come to collect my niece,” Peregrine snarled. “She is promised to my son. Your illicit marriage will not stand!” “She’s mine,” Sebastian snapped. “Surely you can’t be so dim-witted as to think I would simply let her go without a protest.” “I will have the marriage annulled,” Peregrine assured him. “That would only be possible if the marriage hasn’t been consummated. And I assure you, it has.” “We have a physician who has promised to testify that her maidenhead is still intact.” “Like hell,” Sebastian said with chilling pleasantness. “Do you know what kind of reflection that would have on me? I’ve worked too hard to cultivate my reputation— I’ll be damned if I’ll allow any suggestion of impotence to mar it.” He shrugged out of his coat and tossed it to Cam, who caught it in one fist. Sebastian’s lethal gaze never left Peregrine’s livid features. “Has it occurred to you that I may have made her pregnant by now?” “If so, that will be remedied.” Not fully comprehending what her uncle meant, Evie shrank back into Cam’s protective hold. His arms tightened, even as he regarded Peregrine with a rare flash of hatred in his golden eyes. “Don’t worry, sweetheart,” he whispered to Evie. Sebastian’s color rose at Peregrine’s words, making his eyes appear like splintered glass. “Charming,” he said. “I would kill her myself before I’d let you have her.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
Companies also pay a heavy price for imposing a long-hours culture. Productivity is notoriously hard to measure, but academics agree that overwork eventually hits the bottom line. It is common sense: we are less productive when we are tired, stressed, unhappy or unhealthy. According to the International Labour Organization, workers in Belgium, France and Norway are all more productive per hour than are Americans. The British clock up more time on the job than do most Europeans, and have one of the continent’s poorest rates of hourly productivity to show for it. Working less often means working better.
Carl Honoré (In Praise Of Slow)
The only grown-up other than Jacob who ever came into his schoolroom was Eli Willard. School was in session one day when the Connecticut itinerant reappeared after long absence, bringing Jacob's glass and other merchandise. Jacob seized him and presented him to the class. 'Boys and girls, this specimen here is a Peddler. You don't see them very often. They migrate, like the geese flying over. This one comes maybe once a year, like Christmas. But he ain't dependable, like Christmas. He's dependable like rainfall. A Peddler is a feller who has got things you ain't got, and he'll give 'em to ye, and then after you're glad you got 'em he'll tell ye how much cash money you owe him fer 'em. If you ain't got cash money, he'll give credit, and collect the next time he comes 'round, and meantime you work hard to git the money someway so's ye kin pay him off. Look at his eyes. Notice how they are kinder shiftly-like. Now, class, the first question is: why is this feller's eyes shiftly-like?
Donald Harington (The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks)
Would you tell a USA Olympic Team hopeful that did not qualify for The Games, to give up and try another sport? No. You would tell them to work harder. Train harder. Try again at the next Olympics. However, that is not what we hear in life. When did it become okay to tell people to quit trying and give up? When did it become okay to promote hopelessness? If we all believe that hard work will not pay off, that we cannot try again, that we should give up early... well then... imagine all he great things that will never happen. I believe in hard work. I believe in dreams. I believe that you can fall and still get up. And no one can take that away from me.
Kevin James Breaux
The Great Recession and its continuing aftermath have left many twenty-somethings feeling naïve, even devastated.Twenty-somethings are more educated than ever before, but a smaller percentage find work after college. Many entry-level jobs have gone overseas, making it more difficult for twenty-somethings to gain a foothold at home. With a contracting economy and a growing population, unemployment is at its highest in decades. An unpaid internship is the new starter job. About a quarter of twenty-somethings are out of work and another quarter work only part-time. Twenty-somethings who do have paying jobs earn less than their 1970s counterparts when adjusted for inflation.
Meg Jay (The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter - And How to Make the Most of Them Now)
A definite pessimist believes the future can be known, but since it will be bleak, he must prepare for it. Perhaps surprisingly, China is probably the most definitely pessimistic place in the world today. When Americans see the Chinese economy grow ferociously fast (10% per year since 2000), we imagine a confident country mastering its future. But that’s because Americans are still optimists, and we project our optimism onto China. From China’s viewpoint, economic growth cannot come fast enough. Every other country is afraid that China is going to take over the world; China is the only country afraid that it won’t. China can grow so fast only because its starting base is so low. The easiest way for China to grow is to relentlessly copy what has already worked in the West. And that’s exactly what it’s doing: executing definite plans by burning ever more coal to build ever more factories and skyscrapers. But with a huge population pushing resource prices higher, there’s no way Chinese living standards can ever actually catch up to those of the richest countries, and the Chinese know it. This is why the Chinese leadership is obsessed with the way in which things threaten to get worse. Every senior Chinese leader experienced famine as a child, so when the Politburo looks to the future, disaster is not an abstraction. The Chinese public, too, knows that winter is coming. Outsiders are fascinated by the great fortunes being made inside China, but they pay less attention to the wealthy Chinese trying hard to get their money out of the country. Poorer Chinese just save everything they can and hope it will be enough. Every class of people in China takes the future deadly seriously.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
The most dangerous tradition we hold about work is that it must be serious and meaningless. We believe that we're paid money to compensate us for work not worthwhile on its own. People who are paid the most are often the most confused, for they know in their hearts how little meaning there is in what they do, for others and for themselves. While money provides status, status doesn't guarantee meaning. They're paid well because of how poorly work compensates their souls. Some people don't have souls, of course, but they're beyond the scope of this book. Among those with souls and high-paying but empty jobs, there's a denial of how what they seek is hard to get in the way they're trying to get it.
Scott Berkun (The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work)
Now listen up— you cannot let a fear of failure, or a fear of comparison, or a fear of judgement, stop you from doing what’s going to make you great. You cannot succeed without this risk of failure. You cannot have a voice without the risk of criticism. And you cannot love without the risk of loss. You must go out and you must take these risks. Everything I’m truly proud of in this life has been a terrifying prospect to me — from my first play, to hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’, to getting married, to being a father, to speaking to you today. None of it comes easy. And people will tell you to do what makes you happy, but a lot of these has been hard work, and I’m not always happy. And I don’t think you should do just what makes you happy. I think you should do what makes you great. Do what’s uncomfortable, and scary, and hard but pays off in the long run. Be willing to fail. Let yourselves fail. Fail in a place, in a way you would want to fail. Fail, pick yourself up, and fail again. Because without this struggle, what is your success anyway?
Charlie Day
world economic growth) and might even do something to improve health care, maternity leave, and other family friendly policies. Of course, my hope is a little more audacious – that one day there might just be a President of the US who doesn’t feel they have to denigrate their mother’s secular humanism as their only hope of being elected. That the US might one day consider someone’s worth not as being measured purely by the size of their bank account and that paying taxes will be seen as something proudly done because it is the price one pays to live in a civilisation. 〓〓〓〓〓〓〓〓〓〓〓 텔 - KrTop "코리아탑" 〓〓〓〓〓〓〓〓〓〓〓 But Obama does look like he might try to help the poor, that he might seek to finally do something to address the shame that is racism, that he might do something to reduce the US deficit (which is increasingly a threat to I can’t help but feel that while the US cuts taxes to the bone, prefers its citizens to beg in the humiliation that is charity rather than turn when in need to the dignity of social welfare, while the US gleefully punishes the poor and the working class with unliveable wages, while the US talks of placing the ten commandments in the courtrooms that sentence people to death in contradiction of the ‘thou shalt not kill’ they would hypocritically engrave into the walls, it will always be hard for me to understand the US. juul 대마,juul 떨,lsd판매,떨 구매,떨 구매매,떨 액상,떨 판매,떨 판매매,떨판매,떨판매매
텔 - KrTop "코리아탑"world economic growth) and might even do
When I found your name, in my early adulthood, I don't think I'd ever heard the term "white working class". The experience it describes contains both racial privilege and economic disadvantage, which can exist simultaneously. This was an obvious, apolitical fact for those of us who lived that juxtaposition every day. But it seemed tomake some people uneasy, as though our grievance put us in competition with poor people of other races. Wealthy white people, in particular, seemed to want to distance themselves from our place and our truth. Our struggles forced a question about America that many were not willing to face: If a person could go to work every day and still not be able to pay the bills and the reason wasn't racism, what less articulated problem was afoot?
Sarah Smarsh (Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth)
Telegraph Road A long time ago came a man on a track Walking thirty miles with a pack on his back And he put down his load where he thought it was the best Made a home in the wilderness He built a cabin and a winter store And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore And the other travellers came riding down the track And they never went further, no, they never went back Then came the churches, then came the schools Then came the lawyers, then came the rules Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads And the dirty old track was the telegraph road Then came the mines - then came the ore Then there was the hard times, then there was a war Telegraph sang a song about the world outside Telegraph road got so deep and so wide Like a rolling river ... And my radio says tonight it's gonna freeze People driving home from the factories There's six lanes of traffic Three lanes moving slow ... I used to like to go to work but they shut it down I got a right to go to work but there's no work here to be found Yes and they say we're gonna have to pay what's owed We're gonna have to reap from some seed that's been sowed And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles They can always fly away from this rain and this cold You can hear them singing out their telegraph code All the way down the telegraph road You know I'd sooner forget but I remember those nights When life was just a bet on a race between the lights You had your head on my shoulder, you had your hand in my hair Now you act a little colder like you don't seem to care But believe in me baby and I'll take you away From out of this darkness and into the day From these rivers of headlights, these rivers of rain From the anger that lives on the streets with these names 'Cos I've run every red light on memory lane I've seen desperation explode into flames And I don't want to see it again ... From all of these signs saying sorry but we're closed All the way down the telegraph road
Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits - 1982-91)
life had been building potential, potential that would now go unrealized. I had planned to do so much, and I had come so close. I was physically debilitated, my imagined future and my personal identity collapsed, and I faced the same existential quandaries my patients faced. The lung cancer diagnosis was confirmed. My carefully planned and hard-won future no longer existed. Death, so familiar to me in my work, was now paying a personal visit. Here we were, finally face-to-face, and yet nothing about it seemed recognizable. Standing at the crossroads where I should have been able to see and follow the footprints of the countless patients I had treated over the years, I saw instead only a blank, a harsh, vacant, gleaming white desert, as if a sandstorm had erased all trace of familiarity.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
This isn’t some libertarian mistrust of government policy, which is healthy in any democracy. This is deep skepticism of the very institutions of our society. And it’s becoming more and more mainstream. We can’t trust the evening news. We can’t trust our politicians. Our universities, the gateway to a better life, are rigged against us. We can’t get jobs. You can’t believe these things and participate meaningfully in society. Social psychologists have shown that group belief is a powerful motivator in performance. When groups perceive that it’s in their interest to work hard and achieve things, members of that group outperform other similarly situated individuals. It’s obvious why: If you believe that hard work pays off, then you work hard; if you think it’s hard to get ahead even when you try, then why try at all? Similarly, when people do fail, this mind-set allows them to look outward. I once ran into an old acquaintance at a Middletown bar who told me that he had recently quit his job because he was sick of waking up early. I later saw him complaining on Facebook about the “Obama economy” and how it had affected his life. I don’t doubt that the Obama economy has affected many, but this man is assuredly not among them. His status in life is directly attributable to the choices he’s made, and his life will improve only through better decisions. But for him to make better choices, he needs to live in an environment that forces him to ask tough questions about himself. There is a cultural movement in the white working class to blame problems on society or the government, and that movement gains adherents by the day. Here is where the rhetoric of modern conservatives (and I say this as one of them) fails to meet the real challenges of their biggest constituents. Instead of encouraging engagement, conservatives increasingly foment the kind of detachment that has sapped the ambition of so many of my peers. I have watched some friends blossom into successful adults and others fall victim to the worst of Middletown’s temptations—premature parenthood, drugs, incarceration. What separates the successful from the unsuccessful are the expectations that they had for their own lives. Yet the message of the right is increasingly: It’s not your fault that you’re a loser; it’s the government’s fault. My dad, for example, has never disparaged hard work, but he mistrusts some of the most obvious paths to upward mobility. When
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
The presence of the migrants “in such large numbers crushed and stagnated the progress of Negro life,” the economist Sadie Mossell wrote early in the migration to Philadelphia. Newly available census records suggest the opposite to be true. According to a growing body of research, the migrants were, it turns out, better educated than those they left behind in the South and, on the whole, had nearly as many years of schooling as those they encountered in the North. Compared to the northern blacks already there, the migrants were more likely to be married and remain married, more likely to raise their children in two-parent households, and more likely to be employed. The migrants, as a group, managed to earn higher incomes than northern-born blacks even though they were relegated to the lowest-paying positions. They were less likely to be on welfare than the blacks they encountered in the North, partly because they had come so far, had experienced such hard times, and were willing to work longer hours or second jobs in positions that few northern blacks, or hardly anyone else for that matter, wanted, as was the case with Ida Mae Gladney, George Swanson Starling, Robert Foster, and millions of others like them.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
The Poor Law Act of 1834 started the workhouse system. The Act was repealed in 1929, but the system lingered on for several decades because there was nowhere else for the inmates to go, and long-term residents had lost the capacity to make any decisions or look after themselves in the outside world. It was intended as a humane and charitable Act, because hitherto the poor or destitute could be hounded from place to place, never finding shelter, and could lawfully be beaten to death by their pursuers. To the chronically poor of the 1830s the workhouse system must have seemed like heaven: a shelter each night; a bed or communal bed to sleep in; clothing; food – not lavish, but enough, and, in return, work to pay for your keep. The system must have seemed like an act of pure Christian goodness and charity. But, like so many good intentions, it quickly turned sour.
Jennifer Worth (Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times)
Be Willing to Pay the Price If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all. MICHELANGELO Renaissance sculptor and painter who spent 4 years lying on his back painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel Behind every great achievement is a story of education, training, practice, discipline, and sacrifice. You have to be willing to pay the price. Maybe that price is pursuing one single activity while putting everything else in your life on hold. Maybe it’s investing all of your own personal wealth or savings. Maybe it’s the willingness to walk away from the safety of your current situation. But though many things are typically required to reach a successful outcome, the willingness to do what’s required adds that extra dimension to the mix that helps you persevere in the face of overwhelming challenges, setbacks, pain, and even personal
Jack Canfield (The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be)
Allow me to introduce you to two men, Alan and Ben. Without thinking about it too long, decide who you prefer. Alan is smart, hard-working, impulsive, critical, stubborn and jealous. Ben, however, is jealous, stubborn, critical, impulsive, hard-working and smart. Who would you prefer to get stuck in an elevator with? Most people choose Alan, even though the descriptions are exactly the same. Your brain pays more attention to the first adjectives in the lists, causing you to identify two different personalities. Alan is smart and hard-working. Ben is jealous and stubborn. The first traits outshine the rest. This is called the primacy effect. If it were not for the primacy effect, people would refrain from decking out their headquarters with luxuriously appointed entrance halls. Your lawyer would feel happy turning up to meet you in worn-out sneakers rather than beautifully polished designer Oxfords. The
Rolf Dobelli (The Art of Thinking Clearly: Better Thinking, Better Decisions)
SHIELD ~uwe 24 At times an idea hits us with the terrific force of a high-flying jet re-entering our atmosphere. It takes hold of us and shakes us with the same sound force and itisveryoften just asstarding.Asoftpedaling thought comes to mind and we acknowledge it only briefly, but it comes back again and again, until we stop to think about it. It pays to listen. All good things do not come with mind-smashing sound effects. Some of the best of life comes on soft shoes and barely brushes us. If we are alert, we may savor it for a lifetime. If we are crusty and hard to deal with, a splendid idea may go right by us and light on someone more sensitive. I have heard your words-they have entered one ear and shall not escape the other... SHARITARISH D`i`e 25 ust when we think nothing is working there is a glimmer of light. If we could believe in our hearts that what looks impossible can work out, we could bear more easily with hardships. Living is like theweather.
Joyce Sequichie Hifler (Cherokee Feast of Days: Daily Meditations: 1)
ork and boredom.- Looking for work in order to be paid: in civilized countries today almost all men are at one in doing that. For all of them work is a means and not an end in itself. Hence they are not very refined in their choice of work, if only it pays well. But there are, if only rarely, men who would rather perish than work without any pleasure in their work. They are choosy, hard to satisfy, and do not care for ample rewards. if the work itself is not the reward of rewards. Artists and contemplative men 9£ all kinds belong· to this rare breed, but so do even those men of leisure who spend their Jives hunting. traveling, or in love affairs and adventures. All of these desire work and misery if only it is associated with pleasure. and the hardest. most difficult work if necessary. Otherwise. their idleness is resolute. even if it speI1s impoverishment, dishonor, and danger to life and limb. They do not fear boredom as much as work without pleasure; they actually require a lot of boredom if their work is to succeed. For thinkers and aU sensitive spirits. boredom is that disagreeable "windless calm" of the soul that precedes a happy voyage and cheerful winds. They have to bear it and must wait for its effect on them. Precisely this is what lesser natures cannot achieve by any means. To ward off boredom at any cost is vulgar, no less than work without pleasure. Perhaps Asians are distinguished above Europeans by a capacity for longer, deeper calm; even their opiates have a slow effect and require patience, as opposed to the disgusting suddenness of the European poison, alcohol
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
And now, sitting in the van with Charlie, who was looking ahead of them and not really paying much attention to where they currently were, she reflected on the possibility that young men were a completely alien breed, and that however much you tried to get them to see things the way you saw them, you were destined to fail. And that perhaps part of the secret of leading a life in which you would not always be worrying about things, or complaining about them, was to accept that there were people who just saw things differently from you and always would. Once you understood that, then you could accept the people themselves as they were and not try to change them. What was even more important, perhaps, was that you could love those people who looked at things so differently, because you realised that they were not trying to make life hard for you by being what they were, but were simply doing their best. Then, when you started to love them, love would do the work that it always did and it would begin to transform them and then they would end up seeing things in the same way that you did. She
Alexander McCall Smith (Precious and Grace (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #17))
Prayer to an Unseen Friend My special friend, thank you for listening to me. You know how hard I am trying to fulfill your faith in me. Thank You, also for the place in which I dwell. Let neither work nor play, no matter how satisfying or glorious, ever separate me for long from my precious family. Teach me how to play the game of life with fairness, courage, fortitude and confidence. Provide me with a few friends who understand me and yet remain my friends. Allow me a forgiving heart and a mind unafraid to travel though the trail may not be marked. Give me a sense of humor and a little leisure with nothing to do. Help me to strive for the highest legitimate reward of merit, ambition and opportunity, and yet never allow me to forget to extend a kindly, helping hand to others who need encouragement and assistance. Provide me with the strength to encounter whatever is to come, that I be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in anger and always prepared for any change of fortune. Enable me to give a smile instead of a frown, a kindly word instead of harshness and bitterness. Make me sympathetic to the grief of others, realizing that there are hidden woes in every life, no matter how exalted. Keep me forever serene in every activity of life, neither unduly boastful nor given to the more serious sin of self-depreciation. In sorrow, may my soul be uplifted, by the thought that if there were no shadow, there would be no sunshine. In failure, preserve my faith. In success, keep me humble. Steady me to do the full share of my work, and more, as well as I can, and when that is done, stop me, pay me what wages Thou wilt, and permit me to say, from a loving heart... A grateful Amen
Og Mandino (The Greatest Salesman in the World, Part II: The End of the Story)
Despite their efficiency, some people still wonder about the benefits of habits. The argument goes like this: “Will habits make my life dull? I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into a lifestyle I don’t enjoy. Doesn’t so much routine take away the vibrancy and spontaneity of life?” Hardly. Such questions set up a false dichotomy. They make you think that you have to choose between building habits and attaining freedom. In reality, the two complement each other. Habits do not restrict freedom. They create it. In fact, the people who don’t have their habits handled are often the ones with the least amount of freedom. Without good financial habits, you will always be struggling for the next dollar. Without good health habits, you will always seem to be short on energy. Without good learning habits, you will always feel like you’re behind the curve. If you’re always being forced to make decisions about simple tasks—when should I work out, where do I go to write, when do I pay the bills—then you have less time for freedom. It’s only by making the fundamentals of life easier that you can create the mental space needed for free thinking and creativity.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Furthermore, I refuse to wear a burqa. Of all the burdens they've put on us, that's the most degrading. The Shirt of Nessus woudn't do as much damage to my dignity as that wretched getup. It cancels my face and takes away my identity and turns me into an object. Here, at least, I'm me Zunaira, Mohsen Ramat's wife, age thirty-two, former magistrate, dismissed by obscurantists without a hearing and without compensation, but with enough self-respect left to brush my hair every day and pay attention to my clothes. If I put that damned veil on, I'm neither a human being nor an animal, I'm just an affront, a disgrace, a blemish that has to be hidden. That's too hard to deal with. Especially for someone who was a lawyer, who worked for women's rights. Please, I don't want you to think for a minute that I'm putting on some sort of act. I'd like to, you know, but unfortunately my heart's not in it anymore. Don't ask me to give up my name, my features, the color of my eyes, and the shape of my lips so I can take a walk through squalor and desolation. Don't ask me to become something less than a shadow, an anonymus thing rustling around in a hostile place.
Yasmina Khadra (Swallows of Kabul)
Only twenty-seven people in Britain can explain why the day after Christmas Day is called Boxing Day, but that doesn't stop millions from marking it by staying home from work. An intriguing side effect of thus having two consecutive public holidays is that no matter what days of the week they fall on, the British can easily justify taking the whole week off. Suppose Christmas Day falls on a Tuesday, with Boxing Day on the Wednesday. Well, then, what is the point, the contemporary Bob Cratchit cries, of bother to open up the office or factory on Monday, when we all plan to knock off work by lunchtime because it's Christmas Eve? And it's hardly worth cranking up the heat for a working week that's now been whittled down to just two days. By the time we finish complaining about our ingrate in-laws and the cheesy Christmas television programs and the blatant materialism of our kids, it's time to go home for the weekend. Isn't it simpler for Mr. Scrooge to close the countinghouse until the New Year? (He can still pay us, of course.) This creative logic is a little more challenging when Christmas Day is a Thursday, but several Plumley residents had pulled it off...
Alan Beechey (Murdering Ministers: An Oliver Swithin Mystery)
They fire lots of bullets very, very quickly. Quicker than anything else.” I looked up and around the bedroom, the mismatched furniture, the weirdly firm light. “Why? What could you hunt with those? What could they have to do with anything?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “That’s what’s so unnerving.” I rubbed a hand to my forehead, feeling an ache beginning to build behind my skull. “Armand.” His eyes went to mine. I had to say this carefully; I had no wish to add to his despair, but I couldn’t let it go. “Do you think…do you suppose it’s possible that your father might…mean to do you any harm?” But I’d actually made him smile. A real one, too, even if it came acerbic and thin. “With a pair of Vickers? Not unless he means to mount them in the hallway and spry me with bullets when I’m not paying attention. Seems like rather a spot of work for him. Surely even an unwelcome heir is better than none.” I returned his smile as I pulled away my hand. “I think we need to teach you how to Turn to smoke, just in case. It’s a handy thing to be able to vanish in a hurry.” His smile widened, but there was no humor left to it. “Handy.” He fell back against the blankets of the bed, his eyes gone shiny and hard. “If I could vanish into smoke, Eleanore, I’d leave this place and never return. That’s a promise.” “Just like Rue,” I said softly.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
I’ll let you help.” When he smiled broadly, because he was getting his way, she cut through his robin-breasted satisfaction. “But there are conditions.” He laughed. “You’re putting restrictions on a gift given to you?” “It’s not a gift.” She stared at him with dead seriousness. “It’s only until I find some kind of work, not my dream job. And I want to pay you back.” He lost a little of his satisfaction. “I don’t want your money.” “And I feel the same way about yours.” She folded her napkin. “I know you’re not hurting for cash, but that’s the only way I’ll be okay with this.” He frowned. “No interest, though. I won’t accept even one penny in interest.” “Deal.” She put her palm out and waited. He cursed. And cursed again. “I don’t want you to pay it back.” “Tough.” After his mouth performed some intricate f-bomb acrobatics, he put his hand in hers and they shook. “You drive a hard bargain, you know that,” he said. “But you respect me for it, right?” “Well, yeah. And it makes me want to get you naked.” “Oh…” Ehlena flushed from head to toe as he slid off his stool and towered over her, cupping her face in his hands. “You going to let me take you to my bed?” Given the way those purple eyes of his were shining, she was willing to let him take her down on the damn kitchen floor if he asked. “Yes.” A growl rolled up out of his chest as he kissed her. “Guess what?” “What?” she breathed. “That was the right answer.” -Ehlena & Rehv
J.R. Ward (Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7))
Scared?” Terrified. “Of you? Nah. If you grow claws, I might get my sword, but I’ve fought you in your human shape.” It took all my will to shrug. “You aren’t that impressive.” He cleared the distance between us in a single leap. I barely had time to jump to my feet. Steel fingers grasped my left wrist. His left arm clasped my waist. I fought, but he outmuscled me with ridiculous ease, pulling me close as if to tango. “Curran! Let . . . “ I recognized the angle of his hip but I could do nothing about it. He pulled me forward and flipped me in a classic hip-toss throw. Textbook perfect. I flew through the air, guided by his hands, and landed on my back. The air burst from my lungs in a startled gasp. Ow. “Impressed yet?” he asked with a big smile. Playing. He was playing. Not a real fight. He could’ve slammed me down hard enough to break my neck. Instead he had held me to the end, to make sure I landed right. He leaned forward a little. “Big bad merc, down with a basic hip toss. In your place I’d be blushing.” I gasped, trying to draw air into my lungs. “I could kill you right now. It wouldn’t take much. I think I’m actually embarrassed on your behalf. At least do some magic or something.” As you wish. I gasped and spat my new power word. “Osanda.” Kneel, Your Majesty. He grunted like a man trying to lift a crushing weight that fell on his shoulders. His face shook with strain. Ha-ha. He wasn’t the only one who got a boost from a flare. I got up to my feet with some leisure. Curran stood locked, the muscles of his legs bulging his sweatpants. He didn’t kneel. He wouldn’t kneel. I hit him with a power word in the middle of a bloody flare and it didn’t work. When he snapped out of it, he would probably kill me. All sorts of alarms blared in my head. My good sense screamed, Get out of the room, stupid! Instead I stepped close to him and whispered in his ear, “Still not impressed.” His eyebrows came together, as a grimace claimed his face. He strained, the muscles on his hard frame trembling with effort. With a guttural sigh, he straightened. I beat a hasty retreat to the rear of the room, passing Slayer on the way. I wanted to swipe it so bad, my palm itched. But the rules of the game were clear: no claws, no saber. The second I picked up the sword, I’d have signed my own death warrant. He squared his shoulders. “Shall we continue?” “It would be my pleasure.” He started toward me. I waited, light on my feet, ready to leap aside. He was stronger than a pair of oxen, and he’d try to grapple. If he got ahold of me, it would be over. If all else failed, I could always try the window. A forty-foot drop was a small price to pay to get away from him. Curran grabbed at me. I twisted past him and kicked his knee from the side. It was a good solid kick; I’d turned into it. It would’ve broken the leg of any normal human. “Cute,” Curran said, grabbed my arm, and casually threw me across the room. I went airborne for a second, fell, rolled, and came to my feet to be greeted by Curran’s smug face. “You’re fun to play with. You make a good mouse.” Mouse? “I was always kind of partial to toy mice.” He smiled. “Sometimes they’re filled with catnip. It’s a nice bonus.” “I’m not filled with catnip.” “Let’s find out.” He squared his shoulders and headed in my direction. Houston, we have a problem. Judging by the look in his eyes, a kick to the face simply wouldn’t faze him. “I can stop you with one word,” I said. He swiped me into a bear hug and I got an intimate insight into how a nut feels just before the nutcracker crushes it to pieces. “Do,” he said. “Wedding.” All humor fled his eyes. He let go and just like that, the game was over.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
Pay attention to everything the dying person says. You might want to keep pens and a spiral notebook beside the bed so that anyone can jot down notes about gestures, conversations, or anything out of the ordinary said by the dying person. Talk with one another about these comments and gestures. • Remember that there may be important messages in any communication, however vague or garbled. Not every statement made by a dying person has significance, but heed them all so as not to miss the ones that do. • Watch for key signs: a glassy-eyed look; the appearance of staring through you; distractedness or secretiveness; seemingly inappropriate smiles or gestures, such as pointing, reaching toward someone or something unseen, or waving when no one is there; efforts to pick at the covers or get out of bed for no apparent reason; agitation or distress at your inability to comprehend something the dying person has tried to say. • Respond to anything you don’t understand with gentle inquiries. “Can you tell me what’s happening?” is sometimes a helpful way to initiate this kind of conversation. You might also try saying, “You seem different today. Can you tell me why?” • Pose questions in open-ended, encouraging terms. For example, if a dying person whose mother is long dead says, “My mother’s waiting for me,” turn that comment into a question: “Mother’s waiting for you?” or “I’m so glad she’s close to you. Can you tell me about it?” • Accept and validate what the dying person tells you. If he says, “I see a beautiful place!” say, “That’s wonderful! Can you tell me more about it?” or “I’m so pleased. I can see that it makes you happy,” or “I’m so glad you’re telling me this. I really want to understand what’s happening to you. Can you tell me more?” • Don’t argue or challenge. By saying something like “You couldn’t possibly have seen Mother, she’s been dead for ten years,” you could increase the dying person’s frustration and isolation, and run the risk of putting an end to further attempts at communicating. • Remember that a dying person may employ images from life experiences like work or hobbies. A pilot may talk about getting ready to go for a flight; carry the metaphor forward: “Do you know when it leaves?” or “Is there anyone on the plane you know?” or “Is there anything I can do to help you get ready for takeoff?” • Be honest about having trouble understanding. One way is to say, “I think you’re trying to tell me something important and I’m trying very hard, but I’m just not getting it. I’ll keep on trying. Please don’t give up on me.” • Don’t push. Let the dying control the breadth and depth of the conversation—they may not be able to put their experiences into words; insisting on more talk may frustrate or overwhelm them. • Avoid instilling a sense of failure in the dying person. If the information is garbled or the delivery impossibly vague, show that you appreciate the effort by saying, “I can see that this is hard for you; I appreciate your trying to share it with me,” or “I can see you’re getting tired/angry/frustrated. Would it be easier if we talked about this later?” or “Don’t worry. We’ll keep trying and maybe it will come.” • If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything. Sometimes the best response is simply to touch the dying person’s hand, or smile and stroke his or her forehead. Touching gives the very important message “I’m with you.” Or you could say, “That’s interesting, let me think about it.” • Remember that sometimes the one dying picks an unlikely confidant. Dying people often try to communicate important information to someone who makes them feel safe—who won’t get upset or be taken aback by such confidences. If you’re an outsider chosen for this role, share the information as gently and completely as possible with the appropriate family members or friends. They may be more familiar with innuendos in a message because they know the person well.
Maggie Callanan (Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Co)
This might baffle you, but despite not being a physician, I do have some pride. Although most certainly not enough to withstand the kind of beating you're capable of dealing it. The kind of beating you've repeatedly dealt it from the first time we've met. You're right, I value honesty, so I'll tell you that I make it a practice not to find women who insult me at every opportunity attractive." Color flooded her cheeks and traveled down her neck. Finally, she stepped away from him, too, and found the back of a chair to clutch. She looked entirely devastated. Had no one ever denied her anything? He hated the hurt in her eyes. But it was done now. "How is telling you I'm attracted to you an insult?" He pressed the back of his hand into his forehead. It made him feel like a drama queen in some sort of musical farce. Which this had to be. "Telling me how unworthy I am of your attraction, that's the insulting part. And, no, that's not all it is. Even if you hadn't told me at every opportunity how inferior to you I am... all I do is cook... every assumption you've made about me is insulting. Culinary school is definitely college. And Le Cordon Bleu is one of the most competitive institutions in the world. The fact that that's so wholly incomprehensible to you... that's the insulting part. And it wasn't thrown in my overly privileged lap either. I had to work my bottom off to make it in." Ammaji had sold her dowry jewels to pay for his application, something her family would have thrown her out on the street for had they found out. Trisha squared her shoulders, the devastation draining fast from her face, leaving behind the self-possession he was so much more used to. And the speed with which she gathered herself shook something inside him. "I might not do what you see as important work, but I work hard at being a decent human being, and I would need anyone I'm with to be that first and foremost. Even if I didn't find snobbery in general incredibly unattractive, I would never go anywhere near a person as self-absorbed and arrogant as you, Dr. Raje. I would have to be insane to subject myself to your view of me and the world." "Wow." She was panting, or maybe it was him. He couldn't be sure. "You wanted honesty. I'm sorry if I hurt you." She cleared her throat. "I'm surprised you think someone as... as... self-absorbed and arrogant as me is even capable of being hurt.
Sonali Dev (Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes, #1))
He spent two years running a hospital for Chai.” Molly put her arm around the younger woman. “Which was the equivalent of working the ER in a city like New York or Chicago. He saved a lot of lives.” She made sure Max was paying attention, too. “And before you say, ‘Yeah, of drug runners, killers, and thieves,’ you should also know that his patients were just regular people who worked for Chai because he was the only steady employer in the area. Or because they knew they’d end up in some mass grave if they refused his offer of employment. Before Grady came in, if they were injured in some battle with a rival gang, they were just left for dead.” Jones looked up to find Max watching him as he sterilized a particularly sharp knife. “Me and Jesus,” he said. “So much alike, people often get us confused.” “Mock me all you want—I’m just saying.” Molly had on her Hurt Feelings Face. It may have fooled Max, but Jones knew it was only there to mask her Relentless Crusader. She was lobbying hard for Max to be on Jones’s side if they made it out of here alive. And she wasn’t done. “Yes, Grady Morant worked for Chair for a few years—after the U.S. left him to die in some torture chamber. He’s so evil, except what was he doing during those two years? Oh, he was saving lives . . .?” “I was practicing medicine without a license,” Jones pointed out. “You just gave Max something else to charge me with when we get home.” When, not if. Even though he wasn’t convinced that they weren’t in if territory, he’d used the word on purpose. The look Molly shot him was filled with gratitude. He gave her a smoldering blast of his best “Yeah, you can thank me later in private, baby” look, and, as he’d hoped she would, she laughed.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
The science of Raja-Yoga, in the first place, proposes to give us such a means of observing the internal states. The instrument is the mind itself. The power of attention, when properly guided, and directed towards the internal world, will analyse the mind, and illumine facts for us. The powers of the mind are like rays of light dissipated; when they are concentrated, they illumine. This is our only means of knowledge. Everyone is using it, both in the external and the internal world; but, for the psychologist, the same minute observation has to be directed to the internal world, which the scientific man directs to the external; and this requires a great deal of practice. From our childhood upwards we have been taught only to pay attention to things external, but never to things internal; hence most of us have nearly lost the faculty of observing the internal mechanism. To turn the mind as it were, inside, stop it from going outside, and then to concentrate all its powers, and throw them upon the mind itself, in order that it may know its own nature, analyse itself, is very hard work. Yet that is the only way to anything which will be a scientific approach to the subject. What is the use of such knowledge? In the first place, knowledge itself is the highest reward of knowledge, and secondly, there is also utility in it. It will take away all our misery. When by analysing his own mind, man comes face to face, as it were, with something which is never destroyed, something which is, by its own nature, eternally pure and perfect, he will no more be miserable, no more unhappy. All misery comes from fear, from unsatisfied desire. Man will find that he never dies, and then he will have no more fear of death. When he knows that he is perfect, he will have no more vain desires, and both these causes being absent, there will be no more misery — there will be perfect bliss, even while in this body. There
Swami Vivekananda (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (9 volume set))
And now there’s another thing you got to learn,” said the Ape. “I hear some of you are saying I’m an Ape. Well, I’m not. I’m a Man. If I look like an Ape, that’s because I’m so very old: hundreds and hundreds of years old. And it’s because I’m so old that I’m so wise. And it’s because I’m so wise that I’m the only one Aslan is ever going to speak to. He can’t be bothered talking to a lot of stupid animals. He’ll tell me what you’ve got to do, and I’ll tell the rest of you. And take my advice, and see you do it in double quick time, for he doesn’t mean to stand any nonsense.” There was dead silence except for the noise of a very young badger crying and its mother trying to make it keep quiet. “And now here’s another thing,” the Ape went on, fitting a fresh nut into its cheek, “I hear some of the horses are saying, Let’s hurry up and get this job of carting timber over as quickly as we can, and then we’ll be free again. Well, you can get that idea out of your heads at once. And not only the Horses either. Everybody who can work is going to be made to work in future. Aslan has it all settled with the King of Calormen—The Tisroc, as our dark faced friends the Calormenes call him. All you Horses and Bulls and Donkeys are to be sent down into Calormen to work for your living—pulling and carrying the way horses and such-like do in other countries. And all you digging animals like Moles and Rabbits and Dwarfs are going down to work in The Tisroc’s mines. And—” “No, no, no,” howled the Beasts. “It can’t be true. Aslan would never sell us into slavery to the King of Calormen.” “None of that! Hold your noise!” said the Ape with a snarl. “Who said anything about slavery? You won’t be slaves. You’ll be paid—very good wages too. That is to say, your pay will be paid into Aslan’s treasury and he will use it all for everybody’s good.” Then he glanced, and almost winked, at the chief Calormene. The Calormene bowed and replied, in the pompous Calormene way: “Most sapient Mouthpiece of Aslan, The Tisroc (may-he-live-forever) is wholly of one mind with your lordship in this judicious plan.” “There! You see!” said the Ape. “It’s all arranged. And all for your own good. We’ll be able, with the money you earn, to make Narnia a country worth living in. There’ll be oranges and bananas pouring in—and roads and big cities and schools and offices and whips and muzzles and saddles and cages and kennels and prisons—Oh, everything.” “But we don’t want all those things,” said an old Bear. “We want to be free. And we want to hear Aslan speak himself.” “Now don’t you start arguing,” said the Ape, “for it’s a thing I won’t stand. I’m a Man: you’re only a fat, stupid old Bear. What do you know about freedom? You think freedom means doing what you like. Well, you’re wrong. That isn’t true freedom. True freedom means doing what I tell you.” “H-n-n-h,” grunted the Bear and scratched its head; it found this sort of thing hard to understand.
C.S. Lewis (The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7))
So, absent the chance to make every job applicant work as hard as a college applicant, is there some quick, clever, cheap way of weeding out bad employees before they are hired? Zappos has come up with one such trick. You will recall from the last chapter that Zappos, the online shoe store, has a variety of unorthodox ideas about how a business can be run. You may also recall that its customer-service reps are central to the firm’s success. So even though the job might pay only $11 an hour, Zappos wants to know that each new employee is fully committed to the company’s ethos. That’s where “The Offer” comes in. When new employees are in the onboarding period—they’ve already been screened, offered a job, and completed a few weeks of training—Zappos offers them a chance to quit. Even better, quitters will be paid for their training time and also get a bonus representing their first month’s salary—roughly $2,000—just for quitting! All they have to do is go through an exit interview and surrender their eligibility to be rehired at Zappos. Doesn’t that sound nuts? What kind of company would offer a new employee $2,000 to not work? A clever company. “It’s really putting the employee in the position of ‘Do you care more about money or do you care more about this culture and the company?’ ” says Tony Hsieh, the company’s CEO. “And if they care more about the easy money, then we probably aren’t the right fit for them.” Hsieh figured that any worker who would take the easy $2,000 was the kind of worker who would end up costing Zappos a lot more in the long run. By one industry estimate, it costs an average of roughly $4,000 to replace a single employee, and one recent survey of 2,500 companies found that a single bad hire can cost more than $25,000 in lost productivity, lower morale, and the like. So Zappos decided to pay a measly $2,000 up front and let the bad hires weed themselves out before they took root. As of this writing, fewer than 1 percent of new hires at Zappos accept “The Offer.
Steven D. Levitt (Think Like a Freak)
It's ironic that Juanita has come into this place in a low-tech, black-and-white avatar. She was the one who figured out a way to make avatars show something close to real emotion. That is a fact Hiro has never forgotten, because she did most of her work when they were together, and whenever an avatar looks surprised or angry or passionate in the Metaverse, he sees an echo of himself or Juanita - - the Adam and Eve of the Metaverse. Makes it hard to forget. Shortly after Juanita and Da5id got divorced, The Black Sun really took off. And once they got done counting their money, marketing the spinoffs, soaking up the adulation of others in the hacker community, they all came to the realization that what made this place a success was not the collision-avoidance algorithms or the bouncer daemons or any of that other stuff. It was Juanita's faces. Just ask the businessmen in the Nipponese Quadrant. They come here to talk turkey with suits from around the world, and they consider it just as good as a face-to-face. They more or less ignore what is being said -- a lot gets lost in translation, after all. They pay attention to the facial expressions and body language of the people they are talking to. And that's how they know what's going on inside a person's head-by condensing fact from the vapor of nuance. Juanita refused to analyze this process, insisted that it was something ineffable, something you couldn't explain with words. A radical, rosary-toting Catholic, she has no problem with that kind of thing. But the bitheads didn't like it. Said it was irrational mysticism. So she quit and took a job with some Nipponese company. They don't have any problem with irrational mysticism as long as it makes money. But Juanita never comes to The Black Sun anymore. Partly, she's pissed at Da5id and the other hackers who never appreciated her work. But she has also decided that the whole thing is bogus. That no matter how good it is, the Metaverse is distorting the way people talk to each other, and she wants no such distortion in her relationships.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
New Rule: Democrats must get in touch with their inner asshole. I refer to the case of Van Jones, the man the Obama administration hired to find jobs for Americans in the new green industries. Seems like a smart thing to do in a recession, but Van Jones got fired because he got caught on tape saying Republicans are assholes. And they call it news! Now, I know I'm supposed to be all reinjected with yes-we-can-fever after the big health-care speech, and it was a great speech--when Black Elvis gets jiggy with his teleprompter, there is none better. But here's the thing: Muhammad Ali also had a way with words, but it helped enormously that he could also punch guys in the face. It bothers me that Obama didn't say a word in defense of Jones and basically fired him when Glenn Beck told him to. Just like dropped "end-of-life counseling" from health-care reform because Sarah Palin said it meant "death panels" on her Facebook page. Crazy morons make up things for Obama to do, and he does it. Same thing with the speech to schools this week, where the president attempted merely to tell children to work hard and wash their hands, and Cracker Nation reacted as if he was trying to hire the Black Panthers to hand out grenades in homeroom. Of course, the White House immediately capitulated. "No students will be forced to view the speech" a White House spokesperson assured a panicked nation. Isn't that like admitting that the president might be doing something unseemly? What a bunch of cowards. If the White House had any balls, they'd say, "He's giving a speech on the importance of staying in school, and if you jackasses don't show it to every damn kid, we're cutting off your federal education funding tomorrow." The Democrats just never learn: Americans don't really care which side of an issue you're on as long as you don't act like pussies When Van Jones called the Republicans assholes, he was paying them a compliment. He was talking about how they can get things done even when they're in the minority, as opposed to the Democrats , who can't seem to get anything done even when they control both houses of Congress, the presidency, and Bruce Springsteen. I love Obama's civility, his desire to work with his enemies; it's positively Christlike. In college, he was probably the guy at the dorm parties who made sure the stoners shared their pot with the jocks. But we don't need that guy now. We need an asshole. Mr. President, there are some people who are never going to like you. That's why they voted for the old guy and Carrie's mom. You're not going to win them over. Stand up for the seventy percent of Americans who aren't crazy. And speaking of that seventy percent, when are we going to actually show up in all this? Tomorrow Glenn Beck's army of zombie retirees descending on Washington. It's the Million Moron March, although they won't get a million, of course, because many will be confused and drive to Washington state--but they will make news. Because people who take to the streets always do. They're at the town hall screaming at the congressman; we're on the couch screaming at the TV. Especially in this age of Twitters and blogs and Snuggies, it's a statement to just leave the house. But leave the house we must, because this is our last best shot for a long time to get the sort of serious health-care reform that would make the United States the envy of several African nations.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
KNEE SURGERY I’D FIRST HURT MY KNEES IN FALLUJAH WHEN THE WALL FELL on me. Cortisone shots helped for a while, but the pain kept coming back and getting worse. The docs told me I needed to have my legs operated on, but doing that would have meant I would have to take time off and miss the war. So I kept putting it off. I settled into a routine where I’d go to the doc, get a shot, go back to work. The time between shots became shorter and shorter. It got down to every two months, then every month. I made it through Ramadi, but just barely. My knees started locking and it was difficult to get down the stairs. I no longer had a choice, so, soon after I got home in 2007, I went under the knife. The surgeons cut my tendons to relieve pressure so my kneecaps would slide back over. They had to shave down my kneecaps because I had worn grooves in them. They injected synthetic cartilage material and shaved the meniscus. Somewhere along the way they also repaired an ACL. I was like a racing car, being repaired from the ground up. When they were done, they sent me to see Jason, a physical therapist who specializes in working with SEALs. He’d been a trainer for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After 9/11, he decided to devote himself to helping the country. He chose to do that by working with the military. He took a massive pay cut to help put us back together. I DIDN’T KNOW ALL THAT THE FIRST DAY WE MET. ALL I WANTED to hear was how long it was going to take to rehab. He gave me a pensive look. “This surgery—civilians need a year to get back,” he said finally. “Football players, they’re out eight months. SEALs—it’s hard to say. You hate being out of action and will punish yourselves to get back.” He finally predicted six months. I think we did it in five. But I thought I would surely die along the way. JASON PUT ME INTO A MACHINE THAT WOULD STRETCH MY knee. Every day I had to see how much further I could adjust it. I would sweat up a storm as it bent my knee. I finally got it to ninety degrees. “That’s outstanding,” he told me. “Now get more.” “More?” “More!” He also had a machine that sent a shock to my muscle through electrodes. Depending on the muscle, I would have to stretch and point my toes up and down. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is clearly a form of torture that should be outlawed by the Geneva Convention, even for use on SEALs. Naturally, Jason kept upping the voltage. But the worst of all was the simplest: the exercise. I had to do more, more, more. I remember calling Taya many times and telling her I was sure I was going to puke if not die before the day was out. She seemed sympathetic but, come to think of it in retrospect, she and Jason may have been in on it together. There was a stretch where Jason had me doing crazy amounts of ab exercises and other things to my core muscles. “Do you understand it’s my knees that were operated on?” I asked him one day when I thought I’d reached my limit. He just laughed. He had a scientific explanation about how everything in the body depends on strong core muscles, but I think he just liked kicking my ass around the gym. I swear I heard a bullwhip crack over my head any time I started to slack. I always thought the best shape I was ever in was straight out of BUD/S. But I was in far better shape after spending five months with him. Not only were my knees okay, the rest of me was in top condition. When I came back to my platoon, they all asked if I had been taking steroids.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
In theory, if some holy book misrepresented reality, its disciples would sooner or later discover this, and the text’s authority would be undermined. Abraham Lincoln said you cannot deceive everybody all the time. Well, that’s wishful thinking. In practice, the power of human cooperation networks depends on a delicate balance between truth and fiction. If you distort reality too much, it will weaken you, and you will not be able to compete against more clear-sighted rivals. On the other hand, you cannot organise masses of people effectively without relying on some fictional myths. So if you stick to unalloyed reality, without mixing any fiction with it, few people will follow you. If you used a time machine to send a modern scientist to ancient Egypt, she would not be able to seize power by exposing the fictions of the local priests and lecturing the peasants on evolution, relativity and quantum physics. Of course, if our scientist could use her knowledge in order to produce a few rifles and artillery pieces, she could gain a huge advantage over pharaoh and the crocodile god Sobek. Yet in order to mine iron ore, build blast furnaces and manufacture gunpowder the scientist would need a lot of hard-working peasants. Do you really think she could inspire them by explaining that energy divided by mass equals the speed of light squared? If you happen to think so, you are welcome to travel to present-day Afghanistan or Syria and try your luck. Really powerful human organisations – such as pharaonic Egypt, the European empires and the modern school system – are not necessarily clear-sighted. Much of their power rests on their ability to force their fictional beliefs on a submissive reality. That’s the whole idea of money, for example. The government makes worthless pieces of paper, declares them to be valuable and then uses them to compute the value of everything else. The government has the power to force citizens to pay taxes using these pieces of paper, so the citizens have no choice but to get their hands on at least some of them. Consequently, these bills really do become valuable, the government officials are vindicated in their beliefs, and since the government controls the issuing of paper money, its power grows. If somebody protests that ‘These are just worthless pieces of paper!’ and behaves as if they are only pieces of paper, he won’t get very far in life.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Honorable, happy, and successful marriage is surely the principal goal of every normal person. Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but also with eternal joys. It affects not only the two people involved, but also their families and particularly their children and their children’s children down through the many generations. In selecting a companion for life and for eternity, certainly the most careful planning and thinking and praying and fasting should be done to be sure that of all the decisions, this one must not be wrong. In true marriage there must be a union of minds as well as of hearts. Emotions must not wholly determine decisions, but the mind and the heart, strengthened by fasting and prayer and serious consideration, will give one a maximum chance of marital happiness. It brings with it sacrifice, sharing, and a demand for great selflessness. . . . Some think of happiness as a glamorous life of ease, luxury, and constant thrills; but true marriage is based on a happiness which is more than that, one which comes from giving, serving, sharing, sacrificing, and selflessness. . . . One comes to realize very soon after marriage that the spouse has weaknesses not previously revealed or discovered. The virtues which were constantly magnified during courtship now grow relatively smaller, and the weaknesses which seemed so small and insignificant during courtship now grow to sizable proportions. The hour has come for understanding hearts, for self-appraisal, and for good common sense, reasoning, and planning. . . . “Soul mates” are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price. There is a never-failing formula which will guarantee to every couple a happy and eternal marriage; but like all formulas, the principal ingredients must not be left out, reduced, or limited. The selection before courting and then the continued courting after the marriage process are equally important, but not more important than the marriage itself, the success of which depends upon the two individuals—not upon one, but upon two. . . . The formula is simple; the ingredients are few, though there are many amplifications of each. First, there must be the proper approach toward marriage, which contemplates the selection of a spouse who reaches as nearly as possible the pinnacle of perfection in all the matters which are of importance to the individuals. And then those two parties must come to the altar in the temple realizing that they must work hard toward this successful joint living. Second, there must be a great unselfishness, forgetting self and directing all of the family life and all pertaining thereunto to the good of the family, subjugating self. Third, there must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing. Fourth, there must be a complete living of the commandments of the Lord as defined in the gospel of Jesus Christ. . . . Two individuals approaching the marriage altar must realize that to attain the happy marriage which they hope for they must know that marriage is not a legal coverall, but it means sacrifice, sharing, and even a reduction of some personal liberties. It means long, hard economizing. It means children who bring with them financial burdens, service burdens, care and worry burdens; but also it means the deepest and sweetest emotions of all. . . . To be really happy in marriage, one must have a continued faithful observance of the commandments of the Lord. No one, single or married, was ever sublimely happy unless he was righteous.
Spencer W. Kimball
My Future Self My future self and I become closer and closer as time goes by. I must admit that I neglected and ignored her until she punched me in the gut, grabbed me by the hair and turned my butt around to introduce herself. Well, at least that’s what it felt like every time I left the convalescent hospital after doing skills training for a certification I needed to help me start my residential care business. I was going to be providing specialized, 24/7 residential care and supervising direct care staff for non-verbal, non-ambulatory adult men in diapers! I ran to the Red Cross and took the certified nurse assistant class so I would at least know something about the job I would soon be hiring people to do and to make sure my clients received the best care. The training facility was a Medicaid hospital. I would drive home in tears after seeing what happens when people are not able to afford long-term medical care and the government has to provide that care. But it was seeing all the “young” patients that brought me to tears. And I had thought that only the elderly lived like this in convalescent hospitals…. I am fortunate to have good health but this experience showed me that there is the unexpected. So I drove home each day in tears, promising God out loud, over and over again, that I would take care of my health and take care of my finances. That is how I met my future self. She was like, don’t let this be us girlfriend and stop crying! But, according to studies, we humans have a hard time empathizing with our future selves. Could you even imagine your 30 or 40 year old self when you were in elementary or even high school? It’s like picturing a stranger. This difficulty explains why some people tend to favor short-term or immediate gratification over long-term planning and savings. Take time to picture the life you want to live in 5 years, 10 years, and 40 years, and create an emotional connection to your future self. Visualize the things you enjoy doing now, and think of retirement saving and planning as a way to continue doing those things and even more. However, research shows that people who interacted with their future selves were more willing to improve savings. Just hit me over the head, why don’t you! I do understand that some people can’t even pay attention or aren’t even interested in putting money away for their financial future because they have so much going on and so little to work with that they feel like they can’t even listen to or have a conversation about money. But there are things you’re doing that are not helping your financial position and could be trouble. You could be moving in the wrong direction. The goal is to get out of debt, increase your collateral capacity, use your own money in the most efficient manner and make financial decisions that will move you forward instead of backwards. Also make sure you are getting answers specific to your financial situation instead of blindly guessing! Contact us. We will be happy to help!
Annette Wise
I wish I had asked myself when I was younger. My path was so tracked that in my 8th-grade yearbook, one of my friends predicted— accurately— that four years later I would enter Stanford as a sophomore. And after a conventionally successful undergraduate career, I enrolled at Stanford Law School, where I competed even harder for the standard badges of success. The highest prize in a law student’s world is unambiguous: out of tens of thousands of graduates each year, only a few dozen get a Supreme Court clerkship. After clerking on a federal appeals court for a year, I was invited to interview for clerkships with Justices Kennedy and Scalia. My meetings with the Justices went well. I was so close to winning this last competition. If only I got the clerkship, I thought, I would be set for life. But I didn’t. At the time, I was devastated. In 2004, after I had built and sold PayPal, I ran into an old friend from law school who had helped me prepare my failed clerkship applications. We hadn’t spoken in nearly a decade. His first question wasn’t “How are you doing?” or “Can you believe it’s been so long?” Instead, he grinned and asked: “So, Peter, aren’t you glad you didn’t get that clerkship?” With the benefit of hindsight, we both knew that winning that ultimate competition would have changed my life for the worse. Had I actually clerked on the Supreme Court, I probably would have spent my entire career taking depositions or drafting other people’s business deals instead of creating anything new. It’s hard to say how much would be different, but the opportunity costs were enormous. All Rhodes Scholars had a great future in their past. the best paths are new and untried. will this business still be around a decade from now? business is like chess. Grandmaster José Raúl Capablanca put it well: to succeed, “you must study the endgame before everything else. The few who knew what might be learned, Foolish enough to put their whole heart on show, And reveal their feelings to the crowd below, Mankind has always crucified and burned. Above all, don’t overestimate your own power as an individual. Founders are important not because they are the only ones whose work has value, but rather because a great founder can bring out the best work from everybody at his company. That we need individual founders in all their peculiarity does not mean that we are called to worship Ayn Randian “prime movers” who claim to be independent of everybody around them. In this respect, Rand was a merely half-great writer: her villains were real, but her heroes were fake. There is no Galt’s Gulch. There is no secession from society. To believe yourself invested with divine self-sufficiency is not the mark of a strong individual, but of a person who has mistaken the crowd’s worship—or jeering—for the truth. The single greatest danger for a founder is to become so certain of his own myth that he loses his mind. But an equally insidious danger for every business is to lose all sense of myth and mistake disenchantment for wisdom.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts…That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good. In short that 99% of the head’s thinking activity consists of trying to scare the everliving shit out of itself. That it is possible to make rather tasty poached eggs in a microwave oven. That some people’s moms never taught them to cover up or turn away when they sneeze. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused. That it is permissible to want. That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse. That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace
The chorus of criticism culminated in a May 27 White House press conference that had me fielding tough questions on the oil spill for about an hour. I methodically listed everything we'd done since the Deepwater had exploded, and I described the technical intricacies of the various strategies being employed to cap the well. I acknowledged problems with MMS, as well as my own excessive confidence in the ability of companies like BP to safeguard against risk. I announced the formation of a national commission to review the disaster and figure out how such accidents could be prevented in the future, and I reemphasized the need for a long-term response that would make America less reliant on dirty fossil fuels. Reading the transcript now, a decade later, I'm struck by how calm and cogent I sound. Maybe I'm surprised because the transcript doesn't register what I remember feeling at the time or come close to capturing what I really wanted to say before the assembled White House press corps: That MMS wasn't fully equipped to do its job, in large part because for the past thirty years a big chunk of American voters had bought into the Republican idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better, and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That the government didn't have better technology than BP did to quickly plug the hole because it would be expensive to have such technology on hand, and we Americans didn't like paying higher taxes - especially when it was to prepare for problems that hadn't happened yet. That it was hard to take seriously any criticism from a character like Bobby Jindal, who'd done Big Oil's bidding throughout his career and would go on to support an oil industry lawsuit trying to get a federal court to lift our temporary drilling moratorium; and that if he and other Gulf-elected officials were truly concerned about the well-being of their constituents, they'd be urging their party to stop denying the effects of climate change, since it was precisely the people of the Gulf who were the most likely to lose homes or jobs as a result of rising global temperatures. And that the only way to truly guarantee that we didn't have another catastrophic oil spill in the future was to stop drilling entirely; but that wasn't going to happen because at the end of the day we Americans loved our cheap gas and big cars more than we cared about the environment, except when a complete disaster was staring us in the face; and in the absence of such a disaster, the media rarely covered efforts to shift America off fossil fuels or pass climate legislation, since actually educating the public on long-term energy policy would be boring and bad for ratings; and the one thing I could be certain of was that for all the outrage being expressed at the moment about wetlands and sea turtles and pelicans, what the majority of us were really interested in was having the problem go away, for me to clean up yet one more mess decades in the making with some quick and easy fix, so that we could all go back to our carbon-spewing, energy-wasting ways without having to feel guilty about it. I didn't say any of that. Instead I somberly took responsibility and said it was my job to "get this fixed." Afterward, I scolded my press team, suggesting that if they'd done better work telling the story of everything we were doing to clean up the spill, I wouldn't have had to tap-dance for an hour while getting the crap kicked out of me. My press folks looked wounded. Sitting alone in the Treaty Room later that night, I felt bad about what I had said, knowing I'd misdirected my anger and frustration. It was those damned plumes of oil that I really wanted to curse out.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)