Help The Planet Quotes

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Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
He knew he was being overbearing as hell, but he couldn't help it. He was a bonded male. With his pregnant female. There were few things on the planet more aggressive or dangerous. And those bastards were called hurricanes and tornadoes.
J.R. Ward (Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3))
At Tara in this fateful hour, I place all Heaven with its power, And the sun with its brightness, And the snow with its whiteness, And the fire with all the strength it hath, And the lightning with its rapid wrath, And the winds with their swiftness along their path, And the sea with its deepness, And the rocks with their steepness, And the earth with its starkness: All these I place, By God's almighty help and grace Between myself and the powers of darkness!
Madeleine L'Engle (A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Time Quintet, #3))
Reading isn’t important because it helps to get you a job. It’s important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you’re given. It is how humans merge. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape. Reading is love in action.
Matt Haig (Notes on a Nervous Planet)
If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. [Commencement Address at American University, June 10 1963]
John F. Kennedy
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan
I have to stress that my duties towards victims of all sorts, be it helping, taking their side, or caring, ends the moment their status becomes a bargaining chip. The moment the victim becomes a righteous sufferer. For in my short time on this planet, history and on-going affairs are full of those competing in victimhood.
Asaad Almohammad (An Ishmael of Syria)
It all depends on what people you're talking about helping. That's the wonderful think about just about every religion on the planet - they're all so incredibly selfish.
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
We often find ourselves wishing for more hours in the day, but that wouldn't help anything. The problem, clearly, isn't that we have a shortage of time. It's more that we have an overload of everything else.
Matt Haig (Notes on a Nervous Planet)
Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action. Do it or don't do it. It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don't do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself,. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet. You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God. Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got.
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle)
I don't believe in God. But sitting there, in a room full of those who feel otherwise, I realize that I do believe in people. In their strength to help each other, and to thrive in spite of the odds, I believe that the extraordinary trumps the ordinary, any day. I believe that having something to hope for -- even if it's just a better tomorrow -- is the most powerful drug on this planet.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
I now believe that the only way in which Americans can rise above their ordinariness, can mature sufficiently to rescue themselves and to help rescue their planet, is through enthusiastic intimacy with works of their own imagination.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
HELPED are those who are content to be themselves; they will never lack mystery in their lives and the joys of self-discovery will be constant. HELPED are those who love the entire cosmos rather than their own tiny country, city, or farm, for to them will be shown the unbroken web of life and the meaning of infinity. HELPED are those who live in quietness, knowing neither brand name nor fad; they shall live every day as if in eternity, and each moment shall be as full as it is long. HELPED are those who love others unsplit off from their faults; to them will be given clarity of vision. HELPED are those who create anything at all, for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception, and realize an partnership in the creation of the Universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful. HELPED are those who love the Earth, their mother, and who willingly suffer that she may not die; in their grief over her pain they will weep rivers of blood, and in their joy in her lively response to love, they will converse with the trees. HELPED are those whose ever act is a prayer for harmony in the Universe, for they are the restorers of balance to our planet. To them will be given the insight that every good act done anywhere in the cosmos welcomes the life of an animal or a child. HELPED are those who risk themselves for others' sakes; to them will be given increasing opportunities for ever greater risks. Theirs will be a vision of the word in which no one's gift is despised or lost. HELPED are those who strive to give up their anger; their reward will be that in any confrontation their first thoughts will never be of violence or of war. HELPED are those whose every act is a prayer for peace; on them depends the future of the world. HELPED are those who forgive; their reward shall be forgiveness of every evil done to them. It will be in their power, therefore, to envision the new Earth. HELPED are those who are shown the existence of the Creator's magic in the Universe; they shall experience delight and astonishment without ceasing. HELPED are those who laugh with a pure heart; theirs will be the company of the jolly righteous. HELPED are those who love all the colors of all the human beings, as they love all the colors of the animals and plants; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them. HELPED are those who love the lesbian, the gay, and the straight, as they love the sun, the moon, and the stars. None of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them. HELPED are those who love the broken and the whole; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them. HELPED are those who do not join mobs; theirs shall be the understanding that to attack in anger is to murder in confusion. HELPED are those who find the courage to do at least one small thing each day to help the existence of another--plant, animal, river, or human being. They shall be joined by a multitude of the timid. HELPED are those who lose their fear of death; theirs is the power to envision the future in a blade of grass. HELPED are those who love and actively support the diversity of life; they shall be secure in their differences. HELPED are those who KNOW.
Alice Walker
The metaphor is so obvious. Easter Island isolated in the Pacific Ocean — once the island got into trouble, there was no way they could get free. There was no other people from whom they could get help. In the same way that we on Planet Earth, if we ruin our own [world], we won't be able to get help.
Jared Diamond (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed)
Unless someone is trying to help you, don't you dare, ever let anyone tell you who and what you are, because, on this planet, you are the unquestionable and supreme authority on — you.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
Have you ever thought about how vegans always talk about saving the planet, as if the planet needed you? The planet will survive for billions of years even without human help. The only people we're killing are ourselves.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
That's for the best. Otherwise they might realize they're in prison. It can't be helped. You women are used to harems and prisons. A person can spend his whole life between four walls. If he doesn't think or feel that he's a prisoner, then he's not a prisoner. But then there are people for whom the whole planet is a prison, who see the infinite expanse of the universe, the millions of stars and galaxies that remain forever inaccessible to them. And that awareness makes them the greatest prisoners of time and space.
Vladimir Bartol (Alamut)
People talk about human intelligence as the greatest adaptation in the history of the planet. It is an amazing and marvelous thing, but in evolutionary terms, it is as likely to do us in as to help us along.
Stephen Jay Gould
So, let us not be blind to our differences--but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.
John F. Kennedy
What the hell was the matter with these people? How did they not see that of all the people on the planet, she was probably the least qualified to help them with their emotional problems? It was like asking a dog to do algebra.
Stacia Kane (Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, #2))
Of course, even without my help, other forces would keep the cosmos chugging along. Many different belief systems powered the revolution of the planets and stars. Wolves would still chase Sol across the sky. Ra would continue his daily journey in his sun barque. Tonatiuh would keep running on his surplus blood from human sacrifices back in the Aztec days. And that other thing—science— would still generate gravity and quantum physics or whatever.
Rick Riordan (The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1))
People can’t help other people if they have too many of their own problems. They can’t do what’s right for the planet if they can’t do what’s right for themselves.
Dolores Cannon (The Three Waves of Volunteers and the New Earth)
I realize i do believe in people. In their strength to help each other, and to thrive in spite of the odds. I believe that the extraordinary trumps the ordinary,any day. I believe that having something to hope for-even if its just a better tomorrow-is the most powerful drug on this planet.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
Sometimes I think that wisdoms slip from my mind like drool from the lips of an idiot... Where's all this stuff coming from? Is it any good? Any good in, you know, the wisdom sense? Who am I to spout this stuff anyway? Well, here's the thing. You too can find yourself shedding wisdom like cat hair if you only allow yourself the liberty of introspection. Think about what you alone know that no one else does. That one neat wonderful profound insight. It is fully yours. No one else on this planet of about six billion people understands it like you do. Now, see if you can share it with someone. Bestow it, a gift of yourself. Wisdom is like gossip. Except it's the good kind.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
We need myths that will help us to identify with all our fellow-beings, not simply with those who belong to our ethnic, national or ideological tribe. We need myths that help us to realize the importance of compassion, which is not always regarded as sufficiently productive or efficient in our pragmatic, rational world. We need myths that help us to create a spiritual attitude, to see beyond our immediate requirements, and enable us to experience a transcendent value that challenges our solipsistic selfishness. We need myths that help us to venerate the earth as sacred once again, instead of merely using it as a 'resource.' This is crucial, because unless there is some kind of spiritual revolution that is able to keep abreast of our technological genius, we will not save our planet.
Karen Armstrong (A Short History of Myth)
I looked about me. Luminous points glowed in the darkness. Cigarettes punctuated the humble meditations of worn old clerks. I heard them talking to one another in murmurs and whispers. They talked about illness, money, shabby domestic cares. And suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny. Old bureaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be perturbed by great problems, having trouble enough to forget your own fate as a man. You are not the dweller upon an errant planet and do not ask yourself questions to which there are no answers. Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
You'd think after thousands of years on this planet the human race would have released some kind of handbook for teenagers, telling them how to get through teenagehood and get help for their issues. Yet here we are, struggling through it in our own ways.
Chris Colfer (Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal)
I don’t know. What I can say for certain is that I’m not yet ready to abandon the possibility of America—not just for the sake of future generations of Americans but for all of humankind. For I’m convinced that the pandemic we’re currently living through is both a manifestation of and a mere interruption in the relentless march toward an interconnected world, one in which peoples and cultures can’t help but collide. In that world—of global supply chains, instantaneous capital transfers, social media, transnational terrorist networks, climate change, mass migration, and ever-increasing complexity—we will learn to live together, cooperate with one another, and recognize the dignity of others, or we will perish. And so the world watches America—the only great power in history made up of people from every corner of the planet, comprising every race and faith and cultural practice—to see if our experiment in democracy can work. To see if we can do what no other nation has ever done. To see if we can actually live up to the meaning of our creed.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Were we to confront our creaturehood squarely, how would we propose to educate? The answer, I think is implied in the root of the word education, educe, which means "to draw out." What needs to be drawn out is our affinity for life. That affinity needs opportunities to grow and flourish, it needs to be validated, it needs to be instructed and disciplined, and it needs to be harnessed to the goal of building humane and sustainable societies. Education that builds on our affinity for life would lead to a kind of awakening of possibilities and potentials that lie dormant and unused in the industrial-utilitarian mind. Therefore the task of education, as Dave Forman stated, is to help us 'open our souls to love this glorious, luxuriant, animated, planet.' The good news is that our own nature will help us in the process if we let it.
David Orr
Sometimes it was like Neil was from an alien planet, where people never asked for or shared anything emotional without deeply apologizing first. He assured me that he was simply British. And that we Americans, with all of our loud oversharing and need for random hugs and free admissions to people we've just met of deep, traumatic childhood wounds looks just as alien to them.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
He met his day in the shower, washing his hair with shampoo that was guaranteed to have never been put in a bunny's eyes and from which ten percent of the profits went to save the whales. He lathered his face with shaving cream free of chlorofluorocarbons, thereby saving the ozone layer. He breakfasted on fertile eggs laid by sexually satisfied chickens that were allowed to range while listening to Brahms, and muffins made with pesticide-free grain, so no eagle-egg shells were weakened by his thoughtless consumption. He scrambled the eggs in margarine free of tropical oils, thus preserving the rain forest, and he added milk from a cartn made of recycled paper and shipped from a small family farm. By the time he finished his second cup of coffee, which would presumably help to educate the children of a poor peasant farmer named Juan Valdez, Sam was on the verge of congratulating himself for single-handedly preserving the planet just by getting up in the morning.
Christopher Moore
Reading isn’t important because it helps to get you a job. It’s important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you’re given. It is how humans merge.
Matt Haig (Notes on a Nervous Planet)
It might be depressing, but it's also the truth that no one has the power, the money, or the resources to save everyone on the planet from going hungry, living in poverty or allowed basic human rights. But consider the other side of this: there are people in this world who truly WOULD do all of these things for everyone if only they could. There is hope after all.
Ashly Lorenzana
Don’t listen to those people who suggest you should be “over” your daughter’s death by now. The people who squawk the loudest about such things have almost never had to get over anything. Or at least not anything that was genuinely, mind-fuckingly, soul-crushingly life altering. Some of those people believe they’re being helpful by minimizing your pain. Others are scared of the intensity of your loss and so they use their words to push your grief away. Many of those people love you and are worthy of your love, but they are not the people who will be helpful to you when it comes to healing the pain of your daughter’s death. They live on Planet Earth. You live on Planet My Baby Died.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
Life is beautiful and life is stupid. As long as you keep that in mind, and never give more weight to one than the other, the history of the galaxy, the history of a planet, the history of a person is a simple tune with lyrics flashed on-screen and a helpful, friendly bouncing disco ball of glittering, occasionally peaceful light to help you follow along. Cue the music. Cue the dancers. Cue tomorrow.
Catherynne M. Valente (Space Opera (Space Opera, #1))
Doesn’t help that you’re like the hottest priest on the planet.” Soren looked sharply at her. Eleanor went pale. “I said that out loud.” “Should I pretend I didn’t hear it?
Tiffany Reisz (The Saint (The Original Sinners, #5))
I look at the moon, and I can’t help but think of everyone else on the planet who’s looking up at it, too, and how alone I am, even though we’re all here on the same Earth. I think about the fact that we should all be connected, but we’re not. We’re too preoccupied trying to hurt each other. It makes me think of how hypocritical I can be, and the mistakes I’ve made, and the ways I’ve hurt people, too.
Kacen Callender (Felix Ever After)
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged (...) Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
Help me, Mikey, she wanted to say. I’m afraid. More afraid than you’d ever believe.’ And he’d take her hand and they’d fly across the rooftops and up into space and sit on some planet and watch a double sunrise or maybe a star being born or some other event that no human had ever seen, her head on his shoulder, his arm around her. And she’d tell him everything.
Jenny Downham (You Against Me)
She is in particular interested in the Ennui predator. She very much likes its demeanor and coloring in the images. She understand she may not get that particular one, but perhaps one that resembles it? A young one?” The Ennui predator. “Where did she find these images?” “On your planet’s holonet,” Nuan Ara said helpfully. We didn’t have holonet. We had internet… Oh. “So, the esteemed grandmother would like a kitten that looks like Grumpy Cat?” I picked up my laptop, typed in the image search for Grumpy Cat, and showed him the picture. “Yes!” “I will see what I can do.
Ilona Andrews (Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2))
I don't believe that there are any situations or any person on this planet who can not be helped, whose life can not be made better. And many of these situations can be cured. If your doctor does not know something, it does not mean that the knowledge does not exist elsewhere. No body is beyond hope. No body!
Natasha Campbell-McBride
I couldn t help but say to Mr. Gorbachev just think how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from another planet. We d find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here on this earth together
Ronald Reagan
But it so happens that everything on this planet is, ultimately, irrational; there is not, and cannot be, any reason for the causal connexion of things, if only because our use of the word "reason" already implies the idea of causal connexion. But, even if we avoid this fundamental difficulty, Hume said that causal connexion was not merely unprovable, but unthinkable; and, in shallower waters still, one cannot assign a true reason why water should flow down hill, or sugar taste sweet in the mouth. Attempts to explain these simple matters always progress into a learned lucidity, and on further analysis retire to a remote stronghold where every thing is irrational and unthinkable. If you cut off a man's head, he dies. Why? Because it kills him. That is really the whole answer. Learned excursions into anatomy and physiology only beg the question; it does not explain why the heart is necessary to life to say that it is a vital organ. Yet that is exactly what is done, the trick that is played on every inquiring mind. Why cannot I see in the dark? Because light is necessary to sight. No confusion of that issue by talk of rods and cones, and optical centres, and foci, and lenses, and vibrations is very different to Edwin Arthwait's treatment of the long-suffering English language. Knowledge is really confined to experience. The laws of Nature are, as Kant said, the laws of our minds, and, as Huxley said, the generalization of observed facts. It is, therefore, no argument against ceremonial magic to say that it is "absurd" to try to raise a thunderstorm by beating a drum; it is not even fair to say that you have tried the experiment, found it would not work, and so perceived it to be "impossible." You might as well claim that, as you had taken paint and canvas, and not produced a Rembrandt, it was evident that the pictures attributed to his painting were really produced in quite a different way. You do not see why the skull of a parricide should help you to raise a dead man, as you do not see why the mercury in a thermometer should rise and fall, though you elaborately pretend that you do; and you could not raise a dead man by the aid of the skull of a parricide, just as you could not play the violin like Kreisler; though in the latter case you might modestly add that you thought you could learn. This is not the special pleading of a professed magician; it boils down to the advice not to judge subjects of which you are perfectly ignorant, and is to be found, stated in clearer and lovelier language, in the Essays of Thomas Henry Huxley.
Aleister Crowley
I think that people with autism are born outside the regime of civilization. Sure, this is just my own made-up theory, but I think that, as a result of all the killings in the world and the selfish planet-wrecking that humanity has committed, a deep sense of crisis exists. Autism has somehow arisen out of this. Although people with autism look like other people physically, we are in fact very different in many ways. We are more like travelers from the distant, distant past. And if, by our being here, we could help the people of the world remember what truly matters for the Earth, that would give us a quiet pleasure.
Naoki Higashida (The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism)
To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funnelled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular planet. To formulate and express the contents of this reduced awareness, man has invented and endlessly elaborated those symbol-systems and implicit philosophies which we call languages. Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he or she has been born -- the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to he accumulated records of other people's experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it be-devils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception / Heaven and Hell)
I wonder what would happen if there were a United Organization of Organisms (UOO, pronounced “uh-oh”), where each species gets one vote. Would we be voted off the planet? The answer is pretty clear.
Paul Stamets (Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World)
Choose carefully. Avoid Rag, Tag & Bobtail. Avoid those who play it safe. They won’t offer a helping hand, and they can’t advise you. They’re boring, and that’s just about all that can be said about them. They are dead and obsolete. That’s it. They exist, they happen, but they don’t actually live.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
But there are some things we shouldn’t forget, and mostly they add up to where we came from and how we got here and the stories we told ourselves on the way.
Terry Pratchett (The Folklore of Discworld: Legends, Myths, and Customs from the Discworld with Helpful Hints from Planet Earth)
Oh! War broke out today. Nobody could believe it ... God help our poor planet in the grip of this madness!
Astrid Lindgren
Boy, there are people who conquered half the world, slaughtered whole populations, wiped cultures off the face of the planet, and you know what history calls them? Heroes! Kings, presidents, champions, explorers. You think America was settled by white men because the Indians invited us her? No, we took this land because we were stronger, and that's how every page of human history is written. It's just our nature. We're a predator species, top of the food chain. Survival of the fittest is written in our blood, it's stenciled on every gene of our DNA. The strong take and the strong make, and the weak are there only to help them do it. End of story.
Jonathan Maberry (Rot & Ruin (Rot & Ruin, #1))
NASA considered the possibility of using fungi for interplanetary colonization. Now that we have landed rovers on Mars, NASA takes seriously the unknown consequences that our microbes will have on seeding other planets. Spores have no borders.
Paul Stamets (Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World)
He looks up. Again, it is there in the sky. The planet of awesome size, lit by no sun. An invisible titan, all thick black forests and jagged mountains and deep, turbulent oceans. It is very close now. So close that he wonders if he could touch it. As he reaches up, he thinks he sees movement on its surface. Through the canopy of the forests and upon the slopes of the mountains and on the shores of the churning ocean. People maybe. Crowds of people all wrapped in white cloth. They are leaning into each other like dropped puppets. They sway lifelessly. He feels horror in the back of his throat, but still he reaches up.  He can’t help himself. It’s just what he does next.
Joseph Fink (Welcome to Night Vale)
With the global economy in chaos and the environment of the planet at risk, with war raging and suffering escalating, it is time for each of us in our own lives to take the leap and do whatever we can to help turn things around.
Pema Chödrön (Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears)
We lose our ability to live fully if we neglect or ignore our responsibility to the other people who share this planet with us. We simply cannot reach our full potential without the insights and observations that other people--our teachers--have to give us. We cannot feel whole until we are helping other people to reach for their potential and to grow as strong as they can grow. We do need down time, and we do need time to ourselves, but we very much need to acknowledge our ties to our fellow human beings and act as if those people meant more to us than our jobs or pets or cars do. They are much more important than anything material that we ever can get our hands on or strive for.
Tom Walsh
He took a deep breath. “We came here to train, and we should train. If we just spend all the time we’re supposed to be training making out instead, they’ll quit letting me help train you at all.” “Aren’t they supposed to be hiring someone else to train me full-time anyway?” “Yes,” he said, getting up and pulling her to her feet along with him, “and I’m worried that if you get into the habit of making out with your instructors, you’ll wind up making out with him, too.” “Don’t be sexist. They could find me a female instructor.” “In that case you have my permission to make out with her, as long as I can watch.” “Nice.” Clary grinned, bending down to fold up the blanket they’d brought to sit on. “You’re just worried they’ll hire a male instructor and he’ll be hotter than you.” Jace’s eyebrows went up. “Hotter than me?” “It could happen,” Clary said. “You know, theoretically.” “Theoretically the planet could suddenly crack in half, leaving me on one side and you on the other side, forever and tragically parted, but I’m not worried about that, either. Some things,” Jace said, with his customary crooked smile, “are just too unlikely to dwell upon.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Creating derivative software to help brands better understand their customers seemed like a poor use of my limited time on this burning planet.
Wendy Liu (Abolish Silicon Valley: How to Liberate Technology from Capitalism)
Love, Imagination and Intuition are the most powerful forces on the planet earth.
Matthew Donnelly
I never asked to be born on the planet. I never asked to exist. But I am here now so could you maybe at least try and help me enjoy my life?' I felt silly asking to enjoy my life.
Melissa Broder (The Pisces)
Globetrotting destroys ethnocentricity, helping us understand and appreciate other cultures. Rather than fear the diversity on this planet, celebrate it. Among your most prized souvenirs will be the strands of different cultures you choose to knit into your own character. The world is a cultural yarn shop, and Back Door travelers are weaving the ultimate tapestry.
Rick Steves (Rick Steves Vienna, Salzburg & Tirol)
You ever wonder what a Martian might think if he happened to land near an emergency room? He’d see an ambulance whizzing in and everybody running out to meet it, tearing the doors open, grabbing up the stretcher, scurrying along with it. ‘Why,’ he’d say, ‘what a helpful planet, what kind and helpful creatures.’ He’d never guess we’re not always that way; that we had to, oh, put aside our natural selves to do it. ‘What a helpful race of beings,’ a Martian would say. Don’t you think so?
Anne Tyler (The Accidental Tourist)
I can only give you my love and blessings for today. For me, Guru Purnima is thinking about my Guru. It is an auspicious day for me to think of the Guru and all the Gurus world-wide, in different spheres and planets. About my Guru, I can only say that without his help I would have been nothing and that today I exist because of him. What more can I say? I invoke the blessings of Sri Guru and my Maheshwarnath Babaji and all the parampara, on all of you.Quote by Sri M, author of "Apprenticed To A Himalayan Master
Sri M. (Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi's Autobiography)
Cold flu looks nothing in front of cancer...complications in our personal life is like a flu and killing people on name of God or borders or countries is cancer...you can help this planet...there are ways...willingness is an action We are one...the only difference is ...few are awake, few are ready to wake up and few are just ignorant and time is coming when there will be no choice for those who is ignorant because of suffering and pain .... Bigger EGO is always drawn to Bigger Ego so many times Bigger ego ignores the important message being delivered by not a famous person. Love heals...Love not from mind...deep from heart....Mind brings games and play around with relationships...Something sacred deep from heart....L ♥ V E...Unconditional...No business of give and take....unconditional giving.... Don't be afraid and run away from loneliness and start seeking securities....Try to enjoy every part of it and then you will see ...Loneliness turned into something which we never want to loose....investigate your feeling when you feel lonely We always want something in return...we have made LOVE a business...I did it too in the past that's why I know it...this is the reason that we should change...you change, I change....everyone should think again on the way of living life and thinking and specially who thinks they know what life is. 2 births in the same life....physical and spiritual....you break the bondage (psychologically) with physical attributes of life ( detached state of mind) and try to find real "maksad" (purpose) of your existence as Being not Doing If you want to enjoy your relationship with your special one then please keep these tools handy:1) Patience2) Trust3) Freedom4) Honesty5) Respect we are all stars... twinkling with love and when there is love then there is no conflict 4 letters L ♥ V E ..imagine these letters on your hand and try to feel the deep meaning and power of these letters...feel the love you have for this life...start from there and spread love to everyone you see or meet...LOVE
Neeraj Sabharwal
Walking is mapping with your feet. It helps you piece a city together, connecting up neighborhoods that might otherwise have remained discrete entities, different planets bound to each other, sustained yet remote. I like seeing how in fact they blend into one another, I like noticing the boundaries between them. Walking helps me feel at home.
Lauren Elkin (Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London)
1If it frightens you, do it.   2Don't settle. Every time you settle, you get exactly what you settled for.   3Put yourself first.   4No matter what happens, you will handle it.   5Whatever you do, do it 100%.   6If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got.   7You are the only person on this planet responsible for your needs, wants, and happiness.   8Ask for what you want.   9If what you are doing isn't working, try something different. 10Be clear and direct. 11Learn to say "no." 12Don't make excuses. 13If you are an adult, you are old enough to make your own rules. 14Let people help you. 15Be honest with yourself. 16Do not let anyone treat you badly. No one. Ever. 17Remove yourself from a bad situation instead of waiting for the situation to change. 18Don't tolerate the intolerable — ever. 19Stop blaming. Victims never succeed. 20Live with integrity. Decide what feels right to you, then do it. 21Accept the consequences of your actions. 22Be good to yourself. 23Think "abundance." 24Face difficult situations and conflict head on. 25Don't do anything in secret. 26Do it now. 27Be willing to let go of what you have so you can get what you want. 28Have fun. If you are not having fun, something is wrong. 29Give yourself room to fail. There are no mistakes, only learning experiences. 30Control is an illusion. Let go; let life happen. It
Robert A. Glover (No More Mr. Nice Guy)
I don't eat healthy because I'm trying to avoid death. Death does not scare me. I am, however, terrified of dying before I am dead. I have a strong desire to make the best of the time I have here. Living foods straight from the Earth help my body thrive, my imagination soar and my mind stay clear. It's about quality of life for me. I feel the best when I eat a diet free of pesticides, chemicals, GMOs and refined sugars. Growing herbs and making my own medicine helps me stay connected to the Earth; hence, helping me connect with my true purpose here. I have work to do here! I choose to leave this planet more beautiful than I found it and eating magical foods gives me the energy and inspiration I need to do my work.
Brooke Hampton
Have you ever thought about how vegans always talk about saving the planet, as if the planet needed help? The planet will survive for billions of years even without human help. The only people we're killing are ourselves.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
When the world has changed and the rivers run dry ad the forests grow brown will we realize that we don't run the world. We must understand that Nature is what helped us into this beautiful planet, so we must help her in return.
Veronica White
Why is it that the look of another person looking at you is different from everything else in the Cosmos? That is to say, looking at lions or tigers or Saturn or the Ring Nebula or at an owl or at another person from the side is one thing, but finding yourself looking in the eyes of another person looking at you is something else. And why is it that one can look at a lion or a planet or an owl or at someone's finger as long as one pleases, but looking into the eyes of another person is, if prolonged past a second, a perilous affair?
Walker Percy (Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book)
Divided, cut up by borders, frontiers, fences and prohibitions, our wretched planet flew on, spinning into the icy emptiness of space, toward the sharp pinpoints of those stars --and nowhere on its surface was there a place where someone was not keeping someone else behind bars; where one lot of prisoners, helped by other prisoners, was not guarding a third set of prisoners --and themselves-- against the risk of taking an undesirable, lethally dangerous gulp of the bright blue air of freedom.
Georgi Vladimov (Faithful Ruslan)
She was abused and tormented, and despite all the drug abuse seemed to float through a world where she did not belong. Whatever went on behind those beautiful eyes, you cannot help feeling that only the fairies and leprechauns will recognise Edie Sedgwick
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
The force that played havoc with the cortisol in my blood was the same force that helped my body recover; if I felt better one day and worse the next, it was unchanged. It chose no side. It gave the girl next to me in the hospital pneumonia; it also gave her white blood cells that would resist the infection. And the atoms in those cells, and the nuclei in those atoms, the same bits of carbon that were being spun into new planets in some corner of space without a name. My insignificance had become unspeakably beautiful to me. That unified force was a god too massive, too inhuman, to resist with the atheism in which I had been brought up. I became a zealot without a religion.
G. Willow Wilson
Walking it mapping with your feet. It helps you piece a city together, connecting up neighborhoods that might otherwise have remained discrete entities, different planets bound to each other, sustained yet remote. I like seeing how in fact they blend into one another, I like noticing the boundaries between them. Walking helps me feel at home.
Lauren Elkin (Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London)
You can help to elevate the energetic vibration of this planet by moving into a state of Oneness and by bringing your energetic atunement in line with miracles.
Ellen K Feldman (A Path of Oneness: Finding All That Is, Was, or Will Be Inside of You)
My aim is not to give you knowledge. My aim is to help you break free from your views.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet)
MADDIE: If I can find my own, I can survive on my own. I won’t be dependent on anyone.
Ruby Dixon (Barbarian's Taming (Ice Planet Barbarians, #8))
MADDIE: Change is good. It’s not always easy, but it’s good. And it’s time I made a few changes.
Ruby Dixon (Barbarian's Taming (Ice Planet Barbarians, #8))
There will never be another you. The planet desperately needs your unique purpose, passion and presence.
Julie Reisler (Get a PhD in YOU: A Course in Miraculous Self-Discovery)
Being a vampire princess, on another planet, it requires a guardian, especially when she discovers a day that her powers are not enough to help her follow her own path in an unknown planet...
Pet Torres (Zeal (Guardian From Neptune, #1))
I have blogged previously about the dangerous and deadly effects of science denialism, from the innocent babies unnecessarily exposed to deadly diseases by other kids whose parents are anti-vaxxers, to the frequent examples of how acceptance of evolution helps us stop diseases and pests (and in the case of Baby Fae, rejection of evolution was fatal), to the long-term effects of climate denial to the future of the planet we all depend upon. But one of the strangest forms of denialism is the weird coalition of people who refuse to accept the medical fact that the HIV virus causes AIDS. What the heck? Didn’t we resolve this issue in the 1980s when the AIDS condition first became epidemic and the HIV virus was discovered and linked to AIDS? Yes, we did—but for people who want to deny scientific reality, it doesn’t matter how many studies have been done, or how strong the scientific consensus is. There are a significant number of people out there (especially among countries and communities with high rates of AIDS infections) that refuse to accept medical reality. I described all of these at greater length in my new book Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten our Future.
Donald R. Prothero
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. It says that the effect of drinking a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. The Guide also tells you on which planets the best Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters are mixed, how much you can expect to pay for one and what voluntary organizations exist to help you rehabilitate afterwards.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
What are you thinking of? Dairine demanded. Let me help you— You need to stay here and let me do this, Roshaun said. But if I can just— You can’t, Roshaun said, looking at her with that infuriating, amused expression. But then that’s what “Guarantor” means. If the world can’t pay the price…if the people around you can’t pay the price…you do. The price? No! Dairine said. No! You don’t even like my little planet—you said so— No, Roshaun said. Which is possibly the best of all possible reasons to do this. He stepped out of the wizardry. “No,” Dairine whispered. “No! Roshaun!” Roshaun vanished into the fire.
Diane Duane (Wizard's Holiday (Young Wizards, #7))
I sense the ambition and ease of a generation that has grown up on a much smaller planet. Those who consider travel an ordinary adventure rather than a grand expedition, for whom a quiet life is considered a slow death. I see this child of the world and can't help but think how fate probably would have played out differently had his father been driven by the same curiosity. If he had not lived in another day. If he had known how to free himself.
Philippe Besson (Lie With Me)
UNDERSTANDING I am constantly increasing my understanding. I am teachable. Every day I open my awareness a little more to the Divine Wisdom within me. I am glad to be alive and so grateful for the good that has come to me. Life, to me, is an education. Every day I open my mind and my heart, as a child does, and I discover new insights, new people, new viewpoints, and new ways to understand what’s happening around me and within me. My human mind may not always understand at first. Understanding seems to require lots of love and patience. My new mental skills are really helping me feel more at ease with all the changes in this incredible school of life here on Planet Earth.
Louise L. Hay (Meditations to Heal Your Life (Hay House Lifestyles) (Hay House Lifestyles))
Humanity’s first faster-than-light spacecraft crashed into Pluto and vaporised a significant portion of it. Oops. Pluto’s status as a planet had been a matter of contention since the early twenty-first century and had come close to starting the fourth world war at the beginning of the twenty-second century. Making it even smaller did absolutely nothing to help the situation, and humanity came five minutes, and one hasty phone call, from another world war.
L.G. Estrella
He shrugged. “Yeah, but I like riding my bike. It helps with the ozone… and stuff.” “You’re trying to avoid leaving a carbon footprint? And here I thoughtbicycles were just for tree-hugging hippie heterosexuals.” He eyed me seriously. “We all have to do our part to help avoid nocturnal emissions. The planet needs us.” I stared at him. “The planet needs us to avoid nocturnal emissions?” He nodded. “Nocturnal emissions are the number one cause for the hole in the ozone.
T.J. Klune
You just want to give up, he said when he was able to speak. Only you keep going. You still have to get up in the morning and pour the cereal in the bowls. You keep on breathing, whether you want to or not. Nobody's around to tell you how it's supposed to work. The usual rules just don't apply anymore. He was still talking, but she wasn't even sure if it was to her. When it started, he said, I thought nothing could be worse than those first days. And it wasn't only us, but everyone else you'd see, wandering around like they'd landed on a whole different planet. Instead of just dealing with your own heart getting ripped into pieces, wherever you looked you knew there were other people dealing with the same thing. You couldn't even be alone with it. Like you're out in the ocean and the undertow catches you and you start yelling for help, but then you look around, and all around you in the water for as far as you can see, there's all these other people flailing too. He sat there for a moment, shaking his head. You keep getting up in the morning and knowing this will continue maybe ten thousand more mornings. You wish you were the one who died. How much better would that be?
Joyce Maynard (The Usual Rules)
Words are important—the fight silence, alienation, and violence. Words are flags planted on the planets of our beings; they say this is mine, I have fought for it and despite your attempts to silence me, I am still here. Just as important, words help us find each other and overcome the isolation that threatens to overwhelm and to break us. Words say we are here.
Mona Eltahawy (Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution)
Then someone else appeared from the crowd, and Annabeth's vision tunneled. Percy smiled at her-that sarcastic, troublemaker's smile that had annoyed her for years but eventually had become endearing. His sea-green eyes were as gorgeous as she remembered. His dark hair was swept to one side, like he'd just come from a walk on the beach. He looked even better than he had six months ago-tanner and taller, leaner and more muscular. Annabeth was to stunned to move. She felt that if she got any closer to him, all the molecules in her body might combust. She'd secretly had a crush on him sonar they were twelve years old. Last summer, she'd fallen for him hard. They'd been a happy couple together for four months-and then he'd disappeared. During their separation, something had happened to Annabeth's feelings. They'd grown painfully intense-like she'd been forced to withdraw from a life-saving medication. Now she wasn't sure which was more excruciating-living with that horrible absence, or being with him again... Annabeth didn't mean to, but she surged forward. Percy rushed toward her at the same time. The crowds tensed. Some reach d for swords that weren't there. Percy threw his arms around her. They kissed, and for a moment nothing else mattered. An asteroid could have hit the planet and wiped out all life, Annabeth wouldn't have cared. Percy smelled of ocean air. His lips were salty. Seaweed Brain, she thought giddily. Percy pulled away and studied her face. "Gods, I never thought-" Annabeth grabbed his wrist and flipped him over her shoulder. He slammed into the stone pavement. Romans cried out. Some surged forward, but Reyna shouted, "Hold! Stand down!" Annabeth put her knee on Percy's chest. She pushed her forearm against his throat. She didn't care what the Romans thought. A white-hot lump of anger expanded in her chest-a tumor of worry and bitterness that she'd been carrying around since last autumn. "Of you ever leave me again," she said, her eyes stinging, "I swear to all the gods-" Percy had the nerve to laugh. Suddenly the lump of heated emotions melted inside Annabeth. "Consider me warned," Percy said. "I missed you, too." Annabeth rose and helped him to his feet. She wanted to kiss him again SO badly, but she managed to restrain herself. Jason cleared his throat. "So, yeah…It's good to be back…" "And this is Annabeth," Jason said. "Uh, normally she doesn't judo-flip people.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
Our culture today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive expectations: Be happier. Be healthier. Be the best, better than the rest. Be smarter, faster, richer, sexier, more popular, more productive, more envied, and more admired. Be perfect and amazing and crap out twelve-karat-gold nuggets before breakfast each morning while kissing your selfie-ready spouse and two and a half kids goodbye. Then fly your helicopter to your wonderfully fulfilling job, where you spend your days doing incredibly meaningful work that’s likely to save the planet one day. But when you stop and really think about it, conventional life advice—all the positive and happy self-help stuff we hear all the time—is actually fixating on what you lack.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
There are many paths leading to a garden and many experiences awaiting those who venture in. No matter what your motive—whether to grow healthy, delicious food; spend time outdoors feeling more alive than your desk job allows; help save the planet; find relaxation, solace, or healing; meet your neighbors; get your hands in the sweet earth; or discover for yourself just how abundant and generous nature can be—a garden rarely disappoints. It’s a magnet for life in all its quirky, beautiful forms.
Jane Shellenberger (Organic Gardener's Companion: Growing Vegetables in the West)
We succeeded in taking that picture from [deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideaologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam. The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitands of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity--in all this vastness-- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us... To my mind, there is perhaps no better demostration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
Attempts to locate oneself within history are as natural, and as absurd, as attempts to locate oneself within astronomy. On the day that I was born, 13 April 1949, nineteen senior Nazi officials were convicted at Nuremberg, including Hitler's former envoy to the Vatican, Baron Ernst von Weizsacker, who was found guilty of planning aggression against Czechoslovakia and committing atrocities against the Jewish people. On the same day, the State of Israel celebrated its first Passover seder and the United Nations, still meeting in those days at Flushing Meadow in Queens, voted to consider the Jewish state's application for membership. In Damascus, eleven newspapers were closed by the regime of General Hosni Zayim. In America, the National Committee on Alcoholism announced an upcoming 'A-Day' under the non-uplifting slogan: 'You can drink—help the alcoholic who can't.' ('Can't'?) The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled in favor of Britain in the Corfu Channel dispute with Albania. At the UN, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko denounced the newly formed NATO alliance as a tool for aggression against the USSR. The rising Chinese Communists, under a man then known to Western readership as Mao Tze-Tung, announced a limited willingness to bargain with the still-existing Chinese government in a city then known to the outside world as 'Peiping.' All this was unknown to me as I nuzzled my mother's breast for the first time, and would certainly have happened in just the same way if I had not been born at all, or even conceived. One of the newspaper astrologists for that day addressed those whose birthday it was: There are powerful rays from the planet Mars, the war god, in your horoscope for your coming year, and this always means a chance to battle if you want to take it up. Try to avoid such disturbances where women relatives or friends are concerned, because the outlook for victory upon your part in such circumstances is rather dark. If you must fight, pick a man! Sage counsel no doubt, which I wish I had imbibed with that same maternal lactation, but impartially offered also to the many people born on that day who were also destined to die on it.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Our World Will Be A Better Place... If We All Try To Remember That For Our Very Short Existence On This Planet That We Are Here To Help Humanity And Not Hurt It. That All On Our earth Are Here To Exist In Peace, To Prosper and Not To Suffer. May We Help All Those We Meet That Are Suffering And In Despair...That In All We Do, Let Us Help Better Each Other And Bring Hope To Those In Need!
Timothy Pina (Hearts for Haiti: Book of Poetry & Inspiration)
Imagine if all the car makers in the world were to sit down together to design one extremely simple, embellishment-free, functional car that was made from the most environmentally-sustainable materials, how cheap to buy and humanity-and-Earth-considerate that vehicle would be. And imagine all the money that would be saved by not having different car makers duplicating their efforts, competing and trying to out-sell each other, and overall how much time that would liberate for all those people involved in the car industry to help those less fortunate and suffering in the world. Likewise, imagine when each house is no longer designed to make an individualised, ego-reinforcing, status-symbol statement for its owners and all houses are constructed in a functionally satisfactory, simple way, how much energy, labour, time and expense will be freed up to care for the wellbeing of the less fortunate and the planet.
Jeremy Griffith
When no one is watching Mother Earth, and most of the time no one is, she sings softly to herself. Certainly no one is watching after her, to the point where she's now calling herself M. Earth, using her first initial only, like the early women writers who did not want their work to be automatically dismissed because of their gender disadvantage. Though she is grand, M. Earth is feeling, perhaps, overly feminine, and therefore vulnerable. Don't even mention the word Gaia; it's such a projection! She thinks she could benefit from a more macho profile, a little kick-ass to make her point. Perhaps a little masculine detachment would be helpful, or a thicker skin. Because, frankly, she's been trampled, poisoned, stripped bare, robbed blind, and blamed for just about everything that's come down the pike. And like all mothers, everyone just assumes she'll always be there for them with open, loving arms, and a cup of hot cocoa. That it will be her pleasure to feed them, lick their wounds, and clean a load or two of their dirty laundry. She's looking for a little more respect.
Sharon Weil (Donny and Ursula Save the World)
J ESUS PRIMARY MISSION IS summed Up In This One Line: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). That was Jesus’ assignment; it was the disciples’ assignment, and it is your assignment as well. God’s purpose in saving you was not simply to rescue you and keep you busy until He shipped you off to Heaven. His purpose was much bigger; He commissioned you to demonstrate the will of God, “on earth as it is in heaven,” helping to transform this planet into a place that is radiant and saturated with His power and presence. This is the very backbone of the Great Commission, and it should define your life and mine.
Bill Johnson (Spiritual Java)
Sometimes, when I don't think about it, I think I have just totally escaped the Bad Thing, and that I am going to be able to lead a Normal and Productive Life as a lawyer or something here on planet Trillaphon, once I get so I can read again. (...) Being far away sort of helps with respect to the Bad Thing. Except that is just highly silly when you think about what I said before concerning the fact that the Bad Thing is really
David Foster Wallace
So…you're not going to tell me what they mean? C'mon. What's the Hob? Why Forks?” When I stand, I switch to my blatantly rude, you're-an-idiot tone. This is the one that always pisses off my mom. To be sure he's not missing my insult this time, I also cross my arms and speak very slowly like I'm speaking to a toddler. “The Hob is from The Hunger Games books. It's the underground market where the characters trade food and information. Forks would be the town in Twilight. The setting. In boy-speak, Forks equals the planet Tatooine for Star Wars. You know—Anakin Skywalker's childhood home? Or are you not familiar with any global blockbusters? I suppose I could use Sesame Street or Pokémon for a reference—if it would help you understand better?” Bam. That should seal it. I couldn't have sounded more like a total bitch. He nods. “No, I've got it. My bedroom was Tatooine for all of third and fourth grade. Boy-speak…that's funny.” He laughs again, and it sounds warm and—and—not at all offended!
Anne Eliot (Almost)
We all need that someone in our life who's going to motivate us and not stress us, and then we need to treat him the same way we want to be treaded, and no lies, we say what we mean and mean what we say. and always try to build together not destroy each other, if the outcome isn't what you expected, at least you can say you tried., but also remember that pressure makes diamonds people. not everything will be easy between you and me and him and her and them. its all give and take.. reward and sacrifice. try to love those who love you, not just the ones who are easiest to love, try to help those who need you, may you will need the help someday. try to forgive those who hurt you, may you hurted someone once upon a time and try to forget those who leave you, may god knew that they aren't good for you. one of my main goals on the planet is to encourage people to empower themselves like what im trying now, i try to makes you positive, to make a positive change in your life, it will never happen unless me or you or him or her make it happen. they said "be the change you want to see in the world" im like that and i would like everyone to be like me.
Marouane LAASSAFAR
But I do not think it necessary to believe that the same God who gave us our senses, our speech, our intellect, would have put aside the use of these, to teach us instead such things as with their help we could find out for ourselves, particularly in the case of these sciences of which there is not the smallest mention in the Scriptures; and, above all, in astronomy, of which so little notice is taken that the names of none of the planets are mentioned. Surely if the intention of the sacred scribes had been to teach the people astronomy, they would not have passed over the subject so completely.
Dava Sobel (Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love)
I wouldn't go against Reggie and actively encourage Zoe to move in, but I think she and I would do okay together. If nothing else she could help me in my never-ending campaign. Some people want to save the rivers or save the whales, even save the entire planet - I just want to keep the toilet seat down.
Bill Condon (A Straight Line to My Heart)
They were totally alone, those kids, like each had been accidentally sent to earth from a distant planet to live among adult humans and be dependent on them for everything because compared to the adult humans they were extremely fragile creatures and didn't know the language or how anything here worked and hadn't arrived with any money. And because they were like forbidden by the humans to use their old language they'd forgotten it so they couldn't be much company or help to each other either. They couldn't even talk about the old days and so pretty soon they forgot there ever were any old days and all there was now was life on earth with adult humans who called them children and acted toward them like they owned them and like they were objects not living creatures with souls.
Russell Banks (Rule of the Bone)
But why are we attracted to symmetry? Why do we human beings delight in seeing perfectly round planets through the lens of a telescope and six-sided snowflakes on a cold winter day? The answer must be partly psychological. I would claim that symmetry represents order, and we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in. The search for symmetry, and the emotional pleasure we derive when we find it, must help us make sense of the world around us, just as we find satisfaction in the repetition of the seasons and the reliability of friendships. Symmetry is also economy. Symmetry is simplicity. Symmetry is elegance.
Alan Lightman (The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew)
The Lord and His devotees reside in the Vaikuṇṭha planets, and they are of the same transcendental quality, namely śuddha-sattva, the mode of pure goodness. The Vaikuṇṭha planets are very dear to the Vaiṣṇavas, and for the progressive march of the Vaiṣṇavas toward the kingdom of God, the Lord Himself helps His devotees.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Srimad-Bhagavatam, Third Canto)
He was incorrigible, yet you can’t help but love him. His devil-may-care attitude, his brash nature and his vivaciousness aligned with his self-assertive and fearless nature gave birth to a Star who most people will, never, ever see the likes of. People like Sixteen-String Jack are wild, untameable and impossible to forget.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
A wise man knows how little he knows."   In life, there is no end to the lessons that can be learned. Wisdom is not a task that can be completed or a race that can be won. It is a constant development that lasts a lifetime. Every day is a chance to gain experience. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn something new.  To cease the pursuit of wisdom is to walk in a straight line through a dark forest. Arrogance refuses the help of maps or the guidance of others, forging onward and looking only in the direction ahead. Though signs point in warning, a foolish person is too blinded by pride to observe their surroundings — too oblivious to see the cliff's edge in front of them until it is too late.  The wisest study their successes to find what they should repeat, and study their failures to avoid the same
Illuminatiam (Illuminations: Wisdom From This Planet's Greatest Minds)
I’ve learned that while the finance goals are important, they’re not the most important. Finance can hit all our objectives, and the company still can fail. After all, the best accounts receivables team on the planet can’t save us if we’re in the wrong market with the wrong product strategy with an R&D team that can’t deliver.
Gene Kim (The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win)
There were two monsters sharing this planet with us when I was a boy, however, and I celebrate their extinction today. They were determined to kill us, or at least to make our lives meaningless. They came close to success. They were cruel adversaries, which my little friends the beavers were not. Lions? No. Tigers? No. Lions and tigers snoozed most of the time. The monsters I will name never snoozed. They inhabited our heads. They were the arbitrary lusts for gold, and, God help us, for a glimpse of a little girl’s underpants.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
wake up to the beauties of the planet to heal yourself and wake up to the suffering of the world and try to help.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet)
Dear God, Yes, there is a Virginia who helped me create this planet and the marvels thereon. And for whom I thank you. AMJ
Anne McCaffrey (The Dragonriders of Pern: Dragonflight Dragonquest The White Dragon (Pern: The Dragonriders of Pern))
Remember,” Father Maximos said as he escorted them to their car, “whatever good or bad things happen to us, they have only one single purpose, to awaken us to the reality of God and help us on the path toward union with Him. There is no other reason for being born on this planet, believe me. It is up to us whether or not we take advantage of these wake-up calls.
Kyriacos C. Markides (The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality)
Thank you," he said. "Welcome. Welcome especially to Mr. Coyle Mathis and the other men and women of Forster Hollow who are going to be employed at this rather strikingly energy-inefficient plant. It's a long way from Forster Hollow, isn't it?" "So, yes, welcome," he said. "Welcome to the middle class! That's what I want to say. Although, quickly, before I go any further, I also want to say to Mr. Mathis here in the front row: I know you don't like me. And I don't like you. But, you know, back when you were refusing to have anything to do with us, I respected that. I didn't like it, but I had respect for your position. For your independence. You see, because I actually came from a place a little bit like Forster Hollow myself, before I joined the middle class. And, now you're middle-class, too, and I want to welcome you all, because it's a wonderful thing, our American middle class. It's the mainstay of economies all around the globe!" "And now that you've got these jobs at this body-armor plant," he continued, "You're going to be able to participate in those economies. You, too, can help denude every last scrap of native habitat in Asia, Africa, and South America! You, too, can buy six-foot-wide plasma TV screens that consume unbelievable amounts of energy, even when they're not turned on! But that's OK, because that's why we threw you out of your homes in the first places, so we could strip-mine your ancestral hills and feed the coal-fired generators that are the number-one cause of global warming and other excellent things like acid rain. It's a perfect world, isn't it? It's a perfect system, because as long as you've got your six-foot-wide plasma TV, and the electricity to run it, you don't have to think about any of the ugly consequences. You can watch Survivor: Indonesia till there's no more Indonesia!" "Just quickly, here," he continued, "because I want to keep my remarks brief. Just a few more remarks about this perfect world. I want to mention those big new eight-miles-per-gallon vehicles you're going to be able to buy and drive as much as you want, now that you've joined me as a member of the middle class. The reason this country needs so much body armor is that certain people in certain parts of the world don't want us stealing all their oil to run your vehicles. And so the more you drive your vehicles, the more secure your jobs at this body-armor plant are going to be! Isn't that perfect?" "Just a couple more things!" Walter cried, wresting the mike from its holder and dancing away with it. "I want to welcome you all to working for one of the most corrupt and savage corporations in the world! Do you hear me? LBI doesn't give a shit about your sons and daughters bleeding in Iraq, as long as they get their thousand-percent profit! I know this for a fact! I have the facts to prove it! That's part of the perfect middle-class world you're joining! Now that you're working for LBI, you can finally make enough money to keep your kids from joining the Army and dying in LBI's broken-down trucks and shoddy body armor!" The mike had gone dead, and Walter skittered backwards, away from the mob that was forming. "And MEANWHILE," he shouted, "WE ARE ADDING THIRTEEN MILLION HUMAN BEINGS TO THE POPULATION EVERY MONTH! THIRTEEN MILLION MORE PEOPLE TO KILL EACH OTHER IN COMPETITION OVER FINITE RESOURCES! AND WIPE OUT EVERY OTHER LIVING THING ALONG THE WAY! IT IS A PERFECT FUCKING WORLD AS LONG AS YOU DON'T COUNT EVERY OTHER SPECIES IN IT! WE ARE A CANCER ON THE PLANT! A CANCER ON THE PLANET!
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
No one in the modern world may without objection express the opinion that existence would be bettered by the absence of Jews, blacks, Muslims, or Englishmen. Why, then, is it virtuous to propose that the planet might be better off, if there were fewer people on it? I can’t help but see a skeletal, grinning face, gleeful at the possibility of the apocalypse, hiding not so very far behind such statements. And why does it so often seem to be the very people standing so visibly against prejudice who so often appear to feel obligated to denounce humanity itself?
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Thought Experiment: You are a native of New York City, you live in New York, work in New York, travel about the city with no particular emotion except a mild boredom, unease, exasperation, and dislike especially for, say, Times Square and Brooklyn, and a longing for a Connecticut farmhouse. Later you become an astronaut and wander in space for years. You land on a strange, unexplored (you think) planet. There you find a road sign with an arrow, erected by a previous astronaut in the manner of GIs in World War II: 'Brooklyn 9.6 light-years.' Explain your emotion.
Walker Percy (Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book)
If, for whatever cruel twist of fate, the God of the Bible exists, I want no part of him. I, along with what I hope is the vast majority of humanity, am better than him. I know more than he ever taught. I see beyond horizons that he could never reach. I love more genuinely than He. I help more than He. I understand myself better than He ever could. I see planets, stars, solar systems, galaxies just on the edge of humanity’s perception. I can even sometimes catch a small glimpse of our universe, and all the wonder and beauty it holds. Your god is too small for me.
Atheist Republic (Your God Is Too Small: 50 Essays On Life, Love & Liberty Without Religion)
They don’t understand that religion and science are there to serve different purposes. We need science to understand how everything on this planet and beyond works – us, nature, everything we see around us. That’s fact – no one with a working brain can question that. But we also need religion. Not for ridiculous counter-theories about things that science can prove. We need it for something else, to fill a different kind of need. The need for meaning. It’s a basic need we have, as humans. And it’s a need that’s beyond the realm of science. Your scientists don’t understand that it’s a need they can’t fulfill no matter how many Hadron colliders and Hubble telescopes they build- and your preachers don’[t understand that their job is to help you discover a personal, inner sense of meaning and not behave like a bunch of zealots intent on converting the rest of the planet to their rigid, literalist view of how everyone should live their lives.
Raymond Khoury (The Sign)
Gods, please help me to be happy. Let me do the will of the universe and be willing to do the will of the universe, whatever that even is. Clearly I know very little. Clearly what I think I know leads me only to a place of suicidal longing. I never asked to be born on the planet. I never asked to exist. But I am here now so could you maybe at least try and help me enjoy my life?
Melissa Broder (The Pisces)
Nothing Twice     Nothing can ever happen twice. In consequence, the sorry fact is that we arrive here improvised and leave without the chance to practice.   Even if there is no one dumber, if you’re the planet’s biggest dunce, you can’t repeat the class in summer: this course is only offered once.   No day copies yesterday, no two nights will teach what bliss is in precisely the same way, with exactly the same kisses.   One day, perhaps, some idle tongue mentions your name by accident: I feel as if a rose were flung into the room, all hue and scent.   The next day, though you’re here with me, I can’t help looking at the clock: A rose? A rose? What could that be? Is it a flower or a rock?   Why do we treat the fleeting day with so much needless fear and sorrow? It’s in its nature not to stay: today is always gone tomorrow.   With smiles and kisses, we prefer to seek accord beneath our star, although we’re different (we concur) just as two drops of water are.
Wisława Szymborska (Map: Collected and Last Poems)
The cascade of toxins and debris generated by humans destabilizes nutrient return cycles, causing crop failure, global warming, climate change and, in a worst-case scenario, quickening the pace towards ecocatastrophes of our own making. As ecological disrupters, humans challenge the immune systems of our environment beyond their limits. The rule of nature is that when a species exceeds the carrying capacity of its host environment, its food chains collapse and diseases emerge to devastate the population of the threatening organism. I believe we can come into balance with nature using mycelium to regulate the flow of nutrients. The age of mycological medicine is upon us. Now is the time to ensure the future of our planet and our species by partnering, or running, with mycelium.
Paul Stamets (Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World)
Even though we live in a world that people are much more conscience about being politically correct. The truth is if all children were taught from young (at home, church and school) that in our short existence on this planet, that we are all here to help humanity and to not hurt it and that hands are not for hurting but for trying to help all...our world would be a much better place to live in.
Timothy Pina (Hearts for Haiti: Book of Poetry & Inspiration)
Archivists were passionate people, some of whom dedicated their whole lives to the pursuit of unbiased truth. Given the wealth of information that needed sorting through, professional archivists relied heavily upon volunteers to help keep public files current. Rosemary had always imagined them like guardians from some fantasy vid, defending the galaxy from inaccuracies and questionable data. ‘What
Becky Chambers (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1))
I believe much of the divisiveness in the world has been caused by religion, even in the time of Spartacus when they worshipped many gods. What is the purpose of religion? After ninety-five years on this planet, I have come to the conclusion that religion should be based on only one thing: helping your fellow man. If everybody followed that religion—helping his fellow man—armies would vanish overnight.
Kirk Douglas (I Am Spartacus!: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist)
Each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this Particular planet.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception / Heaven and Hell)
God and Goddess, I greet you at the start of another day and ask that you send me the best day possible. Help me to feel my best so I might do my best for myself and for others. Send me the strength and energy to do the things I need to do, and the focus and creativity to do them well. Help me to let go of all those things that no longer work for my benefit so I might move in the direction of perfect health and perfect balance. Help the world move in a better direction, and watch over me and those I love. Please send me prosperity and healing, patience and wisdom, serenity and faith. ... So mote it be.
Deborah Blake (Everyday Witchcraft: Making Time for Spirit in a Too-Busy World)
There is no justifiable reason why any man, woman or child on this planet should ever have to endure a single day without access to nutritious food,clean water,adequate shelter,healthcare,education and safety.
R.Patient
There are more species of fungi, bacteria, and protozoa in a single scoop of soil than there are species of plants and vertebrate animals in all of North America. And of these, fungi are the grand recyclers of our planet, the mycomagicians disassembling large organic molecules into simpler forms, which in turn nourish other members of the ecological community. Fungi are the interface organisms between life and death.
Paul Stamets (Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World)
Cambridge philosopher, Dr. C. D. Broad, “that we should do well to consider much more seriously than we have hitherto been inclined to do the type of theory which Bergson put forward in connection with memory and sense perception. The suggestion is that the function of the brain and nervous system and sense organs is in the main eliminative and not productive. Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful.” According to such a theory, each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular planet. To formulate and express the contents of this reduced awareness, man has invented and endlessly elaborated those symbol-systems and implicit philosophies which we call languages.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell)
Our lives are a meaningful stand against injustice, and we can make meaningful choices every day. Your food choices are far more powerful than you imagine. Veganism offers a daily way to enact your values while helping to protect the environment and enhance your health. It becomes a daily reminder that change is possible. Social change is not just something we must work for; it’s something that constantly asks us to change.
Carol J. Adams (Protest Kitchen: Fight Injustice, Save the Planet, and Fuel Your Resistance One Meal at a Time)
Human rhinoviruses may help train our immune systems not to overreact to minor triggers, instead directing their assaults to real threats. Perhaps we should not think of colds as ancient enemies but as wise old tutors.
Carl Zimmer (A Planet of Viruses)
In the wee small hours, California Highway One north of Half Moon Bay is about as desolate as it gets. The narrow, twisting road was etched from sheer cliff faces that towered above me on the right and dropped away a hundred feet to the Pacific Ocean on my left. A soggy wool blanket of San Francisco's famous fog hung a few feet above the roadway, obscuring the stars and dribbling tiny spots of mist on my windshield. My headlights bored through the gap between road and fog, drilling an endless tunnel through the darkness. So far as I could tell, there were only two other cars on the entire planet that night—actually, one car and a produce truck. They'd flashed by, one after the other, heading south just past Moss Beach. Their headlights glared in my eyes and made the road seem even narrower, but half an hour later, I was wishing for more signs of life just to help keep my drooping eyelids from slamming shut altogether. It was the wrong thing to wish for. She appeared suddenly out of the fog on the opposite side of the road. Only, she wasn't in a car. This gal was smack dab in the middle of the southbound lane and running for all she was worth. She wore a white dress and no coat, and that was about all I had time to take in before she was gone and I was alone in the endless tunnel again.
H.P. Oliver (Goodnight, San Francisco)
The purity of peace, which is genuine happiness, cannot be found outside of you in material possessions, accomplishments, or other people. Pleasure is a fleeting emotion based on an external factor. But true happiness is who you are, and does not depend on anything else. When you are at peace, you are more than enough. You are pure life--complete, fulfilled, whole, and you are everything you could possibly want or need. You feel sufficiently independent and whole, yet connected to life and every being on the planet. Peace is true fulfillment. Once peace is consistently maintained, it is unwavering, no matter the strength of the storm surrounding you.
Janice Anderson
Those I call Horace are absolutely convinced they’re some sort of social wit. Without a doubt they’re intelligent, and most likely very wealthy, although their wealth will come from a business they were set up in by others from their ‘school.’ They’ll have had no need to go to university. Rich people will have set them up in business, possibly Public Relations or something like that, they’ll have helped them write a business plan, loaned them money, and provided advice and guidance at every step of the way. Money would have been forthcoming from investors until the business was able to run itself. And then Horace will swan about as if he did it all himself.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
For instance, supposing that the planet earth were not a sphere but a gigantic coffee table, how much difference in everyday life would that make? Granted, this is a pretty farfetched example; you can't rearrange facts of life so freely. Still, picturing the planet earth, for convenience sake, as a gigantic coffee table does in fact help clear away the clutter—those practically pointless contingencies such as gravity and the international dateline and the equator, those nagging details that arise from the spherical view. I mean, for a guy leading a perfectly ordinary existence, how many times in the course of a lifetime would the equator be a significant factor?
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
And I’ll tell you something else that we do, us minstrels and jugglers, acrobats and fools, we interact with more people than those I call Rag, Tag & Bobtail. We can’t help it. And that makes us better listeners, more warm-hearted and benevolent, more willing to understand others. In short, better at communicating with people of different backgrounds. We possess better people skills than your average Rag Tag. They’ll fucking hate that, won’t they? But screw them. It’s true
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
A forbidding-looking place, certainly, but that only made it seem the more pitiful. It was the refuge of twenty-two men who, at that very moment, were camped on a precarious, storm-washed spit of beach, as helpless and isolated from the outside world as if they were on another planet. Their plight was known only to the six men in this ridiculously little boat, whose responsibility now was to prove that all the laws of chance were wrong—and return with help. It was a staggering trust.
Alfred Lansing (Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage)
I sing of those who cannot. To view human suffering as an abstraction, as a statement about how plucky we all are, is to blow air through brass while the boys and girls march in parade off to war. Seeing the flesh as only a challenge to the spirit is as false as seeing the spirit as only a challenge to the flesh. On the planet are people with whole and strong bodies, whose wounded spirits need the constant help that the quadriplegic needs for his body. What we need is not the sound of horns rising to the sky, but the steady beat of the bass drum. When you march to a bass drum, your left foot touches the earth with each beat, and you can feel the drum in your body: boom and boom and boom and pity people pity people pity people.
Andre Dubus (Meditations from a Movable Chair)
As the seemingly well-intentioned French journalist spoke about Africa’s scarcity and its limited resources, Nine smiled to himself almost condescendingly. He considered such statements an absolute joke. Africa did not, nor did it ever have, limited resources. Nine knew something the journalist obviously didn’t: Africa was the most abundantly resourced continent on the planet bar none. Like the despots who ruled much of the region, and the foreign governments who propped them up, he knew there was more than enough wealth in Africa’s mineral resources such as gold, diamonds and oil – not to mention the land that nurtured these resources – for every man, woman and child. He thought it unfortunate Africa had never been able to compete on a level playing field. The continent’s almost unlimited resources were the very reason foreigners had meddled in African affairs for the past century or more. Nine knew it was Omega’s plan, and that of other greedy organizations, to siphon as much wealth as they could out of vulnerable Third World countries, especially in Africa. The same organizations had the formula down pat: they indirectly started civil wars in mineral-rich regions by providing arms to opposing local factions, and sometimes even helped to create famines, in order to destabilize African countries. This made the targeted countries highly vulnerable to international control. Once the outside organizations had divided and conquered, they were then able to plunder the country’s resources.
James Morcan (The Ninth Orphan (The Orphan Trilogy, #1))
A drop of a harmful contamination in a teaspoon of water makes the water bad, Just as a drop of a harmful sentiment in a small amount of belief can damage the belief. Make your belief as big as an ocean and it cannot be tainted by the drops. The ocean is not pure. The quote is not to say it is, but it is a place of life and which the balance of a healthy planet must rely on. Life isn't about perfection - ie not eradicating moments - but a peace that goes beyond understanding with and within ALL moments.
Gillian Duce (The Lives and Karma of Jeremiah Blum and how he met his match.)
In fact, Wen'an was the prefect location for the scrap-plastics trace: it was close, but not too close, to Beijing and Tianjin, two massive metropolises with lots of consumers and lots of factories in need of cheap raw materials. Even better, its traditional industry - farming - was disappearing as the region's once-plentiful streams and wells were run dry by the region's rampant, unregulated oil industry. So land was plentiful, and so were laborers desperate for a wage to replace the money lost when their fields died. As I hear these stories, I can't help but wonder: How much of the plastic that Wen'an recycles was made from the oil pumped from Wen'an's soil? Are all those old plastic bags blowing down Wen'an's streets ghosts of the fuel that used to run beneath them?
Adam Minter (Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade)
Fungi are veteran survivors of ecological disruption. Their ability to cling on—and often flourish—through periods of catastrophic change is one of their defining characteristics. They are inventive, flexible, and collaborative. With much of life on Earth threatened by human activity, are there ways we can partner with fungi to help us adapt? These may sound like the delirious musings of someone buried up to their neck in decomposing wood chips, but a growing number of radical mycologists think exactly this. Many symbioses have formed in times of crisis. The algal partner in a lichen can’t make a living on bare rock without striking up a relationship with a fungus. Might it be that we can’t adjust to life on a damaged planet without cultivating new fungal relationships
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
As I walked out of the ghetto with its tombstone-crowned walls and along the streets of Krakow, I was dumbfounded to see that life seemed just as it had been before I entered the ghetto. It was as if I were in a time warp...or as if the ghetto were on another planet. I stared at the clean, well-dressed people, busily moving from place to place. They seemed so normal, so happy. Had they not known what we had been suffering just a few blocks away? How could they not have known? How could they not have done something to help us? A streetcar stopped, and passengers boarded, oblivious to our presence. They showed absolutely no interest in who we were, where we were going, or why. That our misery, confinement, and pain were irrelevant to their lives was simply incomprehensible.
Leon Leyson
Feeling at home anywhere on earth, and a foreigner even in the country where I was born, I consider myself an earthling, a citizen of the world. I love nature dearly and all creatures that contribute to make it what it is. I see the beauty in all expressions of life, and I see how blind so many of us still are. Our planet is remarkably abundant and there's more than enough for us all. It is greed and shortsightedness that create the illusion of scarcity. I have lived through tremendous adventures and survived only because other people risked their lives for me. Realising how interconnected and interdependent we all are, I am neither shy or embarrassed when it is time for me lean on another to ask for help. And when I have the opportunity to help another, I view it as my duty and privilege.
Yossi Ghinsberg
There is really no natural limit to the practice of loving kindness in meditation or in one’s life. It is an ongoing, ever-expanding realization of interconnectedness. It is also its embodiment. When you can love one tree or one flower or one dog or one place, or one person or yourself for one moment, you can find all people, all places, all suffering, all harmony in that one moment. Practicing in this way is not trying to change anything or get anywhere, although it might look like it on the surface. What it is really doing is uncovering what is always present. Love and kindness are here all the time, somewhere, in fact, everywhere. Usually our ability to touch them and be touched by them lies buried below our own fears and hurts, below our greed and our hatreds, below our desperate clinging to the illusion that we are truly separate and alone. (…). Make sure that you are not trying to help anybody else or the planet. Rather, you are simply holding them in awareness, honoring them, wishing them well, opening to their pain with kindness and compassion and acceptance.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life)
It was not easy to go from being one of the seven righteous pillars holding up the whole planet and human race to being just another mental patient. I remember talking to a woman who was ending racism and asking her if it was part of a bigger program or if racism was the whole deal. As someone who had gone back to the beginning of time and dealt with issues of whether or not life itself was a good idea, I wasn’t sure that just getting rid of racism was a big enough prize. ....In the eighties when I was called out of retirement to defeat communism, it was over my strenuous objections. “I don’t even dislike communism all that much,” I objected. “It seems so beside the point.” “The Republicans are going to take credit for this and ride it into the ground,” I correctly predicted. After winning many many preliminary rounds which I honestly hoped I’d lose, I was smuggled into what was thought to be just another psychiatric hospital where the Russian bear took one look at me, declined to dance, and the rest is history. My delusional world always felt kind of tinny and hollow, but that never helped me get out of it.
Mark Vonnegut
We merely ask them," Mrs Narayan answered with a smile, "to attept the impossible. The children are told to translate their experience into words. As a piece of pure, unconceptualized givenness, what is this flower, this dissected frog, this planet at the other end of the telescope? What does it mean? What does it make you think, feel, imagine, remember? Try to put it down on paper. You won't succeed, of course; but try all the same. It'll help you to understand the difference between words and events, between knowing about things and being acquainted with them.
Aldous Huxley (Island)
There are a dozen different ways of delivering destruction in impersonal wholesale, via ships and missiles of one sort or another, catastrophes so widespread, so unselective, that the war is over because that nation or planet has ceased to exist. What we do is entirely different. We make war as personal as a punch in the nose. We can be selective, applying precisely the required amount of pressure at the specified point at a designated time . . . . We are the boys who go to a particular place, at H-hour, occupy a designated terrain, stand on it, dig the enemy out of their holes, force them then and there to surrender or die. We're the bloody infantry, the doughboy, the duckfoot, the foot soldier who goes where the enemy is and takes him on in person. We've been doing it, with changes in weapons but very little change in our trade, at least since the time five thousand years ago when the foot sloggers of Sargon the Great forced the Sumerians to cry "Uncle!" Maybe they'll be able to do without us someday. Maybe some mad enius with myopia, a bulging forehead, and a cybernetic mind will devise a weapon that can go down a hole, pick out the opposition, adn force it to surrender or die--without killing that gang of your own people they've got imprisoned down there. I wouldn't know; I'm not a genius, I'm an M.I. In the meantime, until they build a machine to replace us, my mates can handle that job--and I might be some help on it, too.
Robert A. Heinlein
We need to cease allowing the past to define us. We are evolving as a human race, and just because war and aggressive competition has always been a part of our heritage, that doesn’t mean we are forever destined to war and engage in aggressive competition. We are moving forward to a time when the heart will guide us. We once had to fight to survive, and some still do. Yet now it is time to lay down our weapons and open our hearts to the expansive potential of human compassion and creativity. Where our attention goes, energy flows. Do we continue to focus on opposition and give it our energy? Or do we begin to focus our energy on our own authentic freedom to shine and help to illuminate the world? The choice is ours. There are no mistakes – you are exactly where you need to be, and you were born with the precise gifts needed to transform a dying world into a thriving planet.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings for Enriching Life)
Longtime political followers will recall young Queen Amidala of Naboo. Four years ago she came to Coruscant and deposed the Chancellor to questionably hasten along aid for her home planet. Though no hard evidence of the Trade Federation’s misdeeds was ever produced, Amidala swayed the opinion of the Senate. Her speech, which was most likely written for her, given her age at the time, was stirring…and we can’t help wondering what she’ll stir up this time. Now a senator for the Galactic Republic, Amidala has returned. A puppet queen no longer, surely, but the question remains: who is pulling her strings now? —TriNebulon News
E.K. Johnston (Queen's Shadow (Star Wars))
Terrorism has made our world an integrated community in a new and frightening way. Not merely the activities of our neighbors, but those of the inhabitants of the most remote mountain valleys of the farthest-flung countries of our planet, have become our business. We need to extend the reach of the criminal law there and to have the means to bring terrorists to justice without declaring war on an entire country in order to do it. For this we need a sound global system of criminal justice, so justice does not become the victim of national differences of opinion. We also need, though it will be far more difficult to achieve, a sense that we really are one community, that we are people who recognize not only the force of prohibitions against killing each other but also the pull of obligations to assist one another. This may not stop religious fanatics from carrying out suicide missions, but it will help to isolate them and reduce their support.
Peter Singer (One World: The Ethics of Globalization)
As a special branch of general philosophy, pathogenesis had never been explored. In my opinion it had never been approached in a strictly scientific fashion--that is to say, objectively, amorally, intellectually. All those who have written on the subject are filled with prejudice. Before searching out and examining the mechanism of causes of disease, they treat of 'disease as such', condemn it as an exceptional and harmful condition, and start out by detailing the thousand and one ways of combating it, disturbing it, destroying it; they define health, for this purpose, as a 'normal' condition that is absolute and immutable. Diseases ARE. We do not make or unmake them at will. We are not their masters. They make us, they form us. They may even have created us. They belong to this state of activity which we call life. They may be its main activity. They are one of the many manifestations of universal matter. They may be the principal manifestation of that matter which we will never be able to study except through the phenomena of relationships and analogies. Diseases are a transitory, intermediary, future state of health. It may be that they are health itself. Coming to a diagnosis is, in a way, casting a physiological horoscope. What convention calls health is, after all, no more than this or that passing aspect of a morbid condition, frozen into an abstraction, a special case already experienced, recognized, defined, finite, extracted and generalized for everybody's use. Just as a word only finds its way into the Dictionary Of The French Academy when it is well worn stripped of the freshness of its popular origin or of the elegance of its poetic value, often more than fifty years after its creation (the last edition of the learned Dictionary is dated 1878), just as the definition given preserves a word, embalms it in its decrepitude, but in a pose which is noble, hypocritical and arbitrary--a pose it never assumed in the days of its vogue, while it was still topical, living and meaningful--so it is that health, recognized as a public Good, is only the sad mimic of some illness which has grown unfashionable, ridiculous and static, a solemnly doddering phenomenon which manages somehow to stand on its feet between the helping hands of its admirers, smiling at them with its false teeth. A commonplace, a physiological cliche, it is a dead thing. And it may be that health is death itself. Epidemics, and even more diseases of the will or collective neuroses, mark off the different epochs of human evolution, just as tellurian cataclysms mark the history of our planet.
Blaise Cendrars (Moravagine)
It helps to ask ourselves why we choose to play so small when we don’t have to. Belief is powerful, and whatever we believe, we will subconsciously make manifest. So why do we hold on to core beliefs about ourselves that are so demeaning? When we ask that question, the answers emerge: “My family told me it wasn’t okay to think I was a big deal.” “I thought people wouldn’t like me if I ‘had it all.’” “I thought it might hurt my father’s feelings if I made more money than he did.” Yet whatever pain we might experience at others’ negative reactions to our spreading our wings, is nothing compared to the pain we cause ourselves by clipping them. At this time on the planet, no one can feel good about withholding their magnificence. Expressing your full potential is not just your right; it’s your responsibility. As long as you keep thinking in limited terms, disbelieving in the possibility of infinite possibility in your life, then you will never experience the miracles God has in store for you. You will deny His gifts, taking on the ego’s servitude instead. In a world such as this, fear is often the path of least resistance. If you want a miracle, you have to consciously claim it. And for everyone out there who might say, “How dare you?” there are at least two more who will say, “Thank you for showing me how.
Marianne Williamson (The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for Living Your Best Life)
Reality, he wrote, “has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular planet.” Mescaline and LSD, he theorized, inhibited the systems in the brain designed to shut out impractical stimulation, so humans could keep coloring within the lines and go about the business of survival without being distracted by the astounding awesomeness of the universe—or as Huxley put it, “the glory, the infinite value and meaningfulness of naked existence, of the given, unconceptualized event.” Huxley
Tom Shroder (Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal)
I believe this movement will prevail. I don’t mean it will defeat, conquer, or create harm to someone else. Quite the opposite. I don’t tender the claim in an oracular sense. I mean that the thinking that informs the movement’s goals will reign. It will soon suffuse most institutions, but before then, it will change a sufficient number of people so as to begin the reversal of centuries of frenzied self-destructive behavior. Some say it is too late, but people never change when they are comfortable. Helen Keller threw aside the gnawing fears of chronic bad news when she declared, “I rejoice to live in such a splendidly disturbing time!” In such a time, history is suspended and thus unfinished. It will be the stroke of midnight for the rest of our lives. My hopefulness about the resilience of human nature is matched by the gravity of our environmental and social condition. If we squander all our attention on what is wrong, we will miss the prize: In the chaos engulfing the world, a hopeful future resides because the past is disintegrating before us. If that is difficult to believe, take a winter off and calculate what it requires to create a single springtime. It’s not too late for the world’s largest institutions and corporations to join in saving the planet, but cooperation must be on the planet’s terms. The “Help Wanted” signs are everywhere. All people and institutions including commerce, governments, schools, churches and cities, need to learn from life and reimagine the world from the bottom up, based on the first principles if justice and ecology. Ecological restoration is extraordinarily simple: You remove whatever prevents the system from healing itself. Social restoration is no different. We have the heart, knowledge, money and sense to optimize out social and ecological fabric. It is time for all that is harmful to leave. One million escorts are here to transform the nightmares of empire and the disgrace of war on people and place. We are the transgressors and we are the forgivers. “We” means all of us, everyone. There can be no green movement unless there is also a black, brown and copper movement. What is more harmful resides within is, the accumulated wounds of the past, the sorrow, shame, deceit, and ignominy shared by every culture, passed down to every person, as surely as DNA, as history of violence and greed. There is not question that the environmental movement is most critical to our survival. Our house is literally burning, and it is only logical that environmentalists expect the social justice movement to get on the environmental bus. But is actually the other way around; the only way we are going to put out this fire is to get on the social justice bus and heal our wounds, because in the end, there is only one bus. Armed with that growing realization, we can address all that is harmful externally. What will guide us is a living intelligence that creates miracles every second, carried forth by a movement with no name.
Paul Hawken
The planetary perspective provides a kind of out of body experience for us—hovering in orbit and watching ourselves sleepwalk through a slow disaster of our own making. Now, can this experience help us to shake ourselves awake? For virtually all of its history Earth has evolved without us, and we have always seen ourselves as autonomous actors on a passive planetary backdrop. But now we are beginning to see that our futures—those of humanity and of planet Earth—are tightly conjoined. If human civilization is to persist and thrive we will need a completely different view of our planet, and of ourselves, in which we acknowledge both our deep dependence and our increasing influence.
David Grinspoon (Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet's Future)
But rather than indoctrinate them more deeply, Donna Henderson, a plainspoken woman, said the Sea Org experience served to "wake us up." Public members, and notably those who've paid enough to become Operating Thetans, are assiduously kept in the dark about how the Sea Org, and the overall church hierarchy, actually functions. "You truly have no idea that things are as bad as they are within the organization," said Donna. "But once you're in, it's like the curtain just drops, and all of a sudden there's absolutely no pretense. You're not there to save the planet, you're not there to help anybody—you're there to get money from people. And you don't have money anymore, so you're a slave.
Janet Reitman (Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion)
It's an insidious idea, this notion that there is life after death. The promise of a reward in the afterlife has been used as an excuse to deny help to the poor, helpless and oppressed; to explain away human misery rather than deal with it. It is an idea that is used to encourage young men and women to kill themselves, and others, so that they can become martyrs. It allows victims of injustice to be told not to worry because justice will be done in the afterlife. It depresses me to think that so many people on the planet live their lives with this notion. Can we truly fulfill our potential as a species as long as we hold on to, and encourage, the perpetuation of the lie of life after death?
Alom Shaha (The Young Atheists Handbook)
Boston. Fucking horrible. I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity." But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness. But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago. So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will.
Patton Oswalt
I'd finally reached the end of myself, all my self-reliance and denial and pride unraveling into nothingness, leaving only a blank Alison-shaped space behind. It was finished. I was done. But just as I felt myself dissolving on the tide of my own self-condemnation, the dark waves receded, and I floated into a celestial calm. I saw the whole universe laid out before me, a vast shining machine of indescribable beauty and complexity. Its design was too intricate for me to understand, and I knew I could never begin to grasp more than the smallest idea of its purpose. But I sensed that every part of it, from quark to quasar, was unique and - in some mysterious way - significant. I heard the universe as an oratorio sung by a master choir of stars, accompanied by the orchestra of the planets and the percussion of satellites and moons. The aria they performed was a song to break the heart, full of tragic dissonance and deferred hope, and yet somewhere beneath it all was a peircing refrain of glory, glory, glory. And I sensed that not only the grand movements of the cosmos, but everything that had happened in my life, was a part of that song. Even the hurts that seemed most senseless, the mistakes I would have done anything to erase - nothing could make those things good, but good could still come out of them all the same, and in the end the oratorio would be no less beautiful for it. I realized then that even though I was a tiny speck in an infinite cosmos, a blip on the timeline of eternity, I was not without purpose. And as long as I had a part in the music of the spheres, even if it was only a single grace not, I was not worthless. Nor was I alone. God help me, I prayed as I gathered up my raw and weary sense, flung them into the wormhole - And at last, found what I'd been looking for.
R.J. Anderson (Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1))
Paul remembered something he'd noticed before, which was that Tim seemed not to understand humour. It was like talking to an anthropologist from another planet. Paul thought that this should have created some kind of opening for friendship, but he couldn't imagine how that conversation would begin- 'I can't help but notice that you're as alienated as I am, can we compare notes?'.
Emily St. John Mandel (The Glass Hotel)
So often, reading is seen as important because of its social value. It is tied to education and the economy and so on. But that misses the whole point of reading. Reading isn’t important because it helps to get you a job. It’s important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you’re given. It is how humans merge; how minds connect. Dreams, empathy, understanding, escape.
Matt Haig (Notes on a Nervous Planet)
But, as I delved into Chinese for Dummies, I couldn’t help but conclude that the Chinese language is the Great Wall of languages, a clever linguistic barrier erected to keep outsiders out. What, frankly, is wrong with Esperanto? Or alphabets? What is so deficient about an alphabet that uses a judicious twenty-six letters? We can make lots of words with those twenty-six letters, big words even.
J. Maarten Troost (Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man's Attempt to Understand the World's Most Mystifying Nation, or How He Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid)
Every single parent is doing the best he or she can. Never judge an angry parent who screams at their child, or judge any parent for any behavior. You don’t know them, you don’t know their story, you don’t know about their silent struggles or childhood traumas, you don’t know how hard it is for them, you don’t know anything about anyone. you don’t know what you would do if you were in their shoes. Viktor Frankl said, “No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether, in a similar situation, he might not have done the same.” We all do the best we can. It is hands down the hardest never-ending but fulfilling job on this planet. It isn’t easy to create, shape, and raise another human being when most of us aren’t raised, shaped, or grown up. So, one of the biggest lessons I also learned is to stay in my lane, don’t judge any parent, to never say never, and be compassionate toward myself and others. Of course, if you see a parent spanking a child, you have to stop them, if you know a child is in an unsafe environment, you have to change it and help any child in need, but try as hard as you can not to judge them and just let go of your thoughts when they arise. At the end of the day, we all do the best we can with the tools we have.
Ani Rich (A Missing Drop: Free Your Mind From Conditioning And Reconnect To Your Truest Self)
The drama is this. We came as infants “trailing clouds of glory,” arriving from the farthest reaches of the universe, bringing with us appetites well preserved from our mammal inheritance, spontaneities wonderfully preserved from our 150,000 years of tree life, angers well preserved from our 5,000 years of tribal life—in short, with our 360-degree radiance—and we offered this gift to our parents. They didn’t want it. They wanted a nice girl or a nice boy. That’s the first act of the drama. It doesn’t mean our parents were wicked; they needed us for something. My mother, as a second generation immigrant, needed my brother and me to help the family look more classy. We do the same thing to our children; it’s a part of life on this planet. Our parents rejected who we were before we could talk, so the pain of the rejection is probably stored in some pre-verbal place.
Robert Bly (A Little Book on the Human Shadow)
Shall I stop in to check on Bella before I go?” “Not dressed like that. You would give her palpitations if she knew you were going into danger for her benefit.” “Luckily, I am mostly immune to Bella’s powers and could cure such palpitations with a thought,” Gideon mused. Jacob raised a brow, taking the medic’s measure. He could not recall the last time he had heard the Ancient crack wise about anything. It was not a wholly unpleasant experience, and it amused the Enforcer. “I . . . am aware of what is occurring between you and Legna, as you know,” Jacob mentioned with casual quiet. “I am only recently Imprinted myself, but should you require—” He broke off, suddenly uncomfortable. “Of course, you probably know far more about Imprinting than I ever will.” He is reaching out to you. Legna’s soft encouragement made Gideon suddenly aware of that fact. It was one of those nuances he would have missed completely, rusty as he was with matters of friendship and how to relate better to others. “I am glad for the offer of any help you can provide,” Gideon said quickly. “In fact, I had wanted to ask you . . . something . . .” What did I want to ask him? he asked Legna urgently. I do not know! I did not tell you to engage him, just to graciously accept his offer. Oh. My apologies. Still, you are clever enough to think of something, are you not? Legna knew he was baiting her, so she laughed. Ask him why it is you seem to constantly irritate me. I will ask him no such thing, Magdelegna. Well then, you had better come up with an alternative, because that is the only suggestion I have. “Yes?” Jacob was encouraging neutrally, trying to be patient as the medic seemed to gather his thoughts. “Do you find that your mate tends to lecture you incessantly?” he asked finally. Jacob laughed out loud. “You know something, I can actually advise you about that, Gideon.” “Can you?” The medic actually sounded hopeful. “Give up. Now. While you still have your sanity. Arguing with her will get you nowhere. And, also, never ever ask questions that refer to the whys and wherefores of women, females, or any other feminine-based criticism. Otherwise you will only earn an argument at a higher decibel level. Oh, and one other thing.” Gideon cocked a brow in question. “All the rules I just gave you, as well as all the ones she lays down during the course of your relationship, can and will change at whim. So, as I see it, you can consider yourself just as lost as every other man on the planet. Good luck with it.” “That is not a very heartening thought,” Gideon said wryly, ignoring Legna’s giggle in his background thoughts.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
The Aftermath When the fierce pure pleasure has clawed through, ripped open my tent of separateness, I lay in my lover's arms, weeping and exposed. I can't help seeing my sister, new widow whose heart hangs heavy, a side of beef in the ice box of her chest. I imagine her entering a bedroom like this, maples flaming beyond the window against a perfectly useless blue sky. And then my mother-in-law stops at the library on the way home from her husband’s funeral, picks up the book they've been holding. It sits in the passenger seat while she stares at the windshield, stunned, a bird flown into glass. Even my friend whose wife hasn’t died yet appears in this sex-drenched air. Tears pool in the shallows under his eyes. If his soul were a tin can, it would be sliced, the thick soup leaking out. The night is soaked with suffering. My dumb body, sprung open, can’t tell the difference between this blaze of pleasure and the sorrow it drags in. As I gaze out into the gathering darkness it seems I almost comprehend the mystery, glimpse the water of life pouring through my form into theirs, theirs back to mine, misery and ecstasy swirled like the blue white planet seen from space, but it lasts less than a moment-- the arms of my own dear one haul me back into my body, her flesh so ostentatiously alive.
Ellen Bass
Putting It into Practice: Neutralizing Negativity Use the techniques below anytime you’d like to lessen the effects of persistent negative thoughts. As you try each technique, pay attention to which ones work best for you and keep practicing them until they become instinctive. You may also discover some of your own that work just as well. ♦ Don’t assume your thoughts are accurate. Just because your mind comes up with something doesn’t necessarily mean it has any validity. Assume you’re missing a lot of elements, many of which could be positive. ♦ See your thoughts as graffiti on a wall or as little electrical impulses flickering around your brain. ♦ Assign a label to your negative experience: self-criticism, anger, anxiety, etc. Just naming what you are thinking and feeling can help you neutralize it. ♦ Depersonalize the experience. Rather than saying “I’m feeling ashamed,” try “There is shame being felt.” Imagine that you’re a scientist observing a phenomenon: “How interesting, there are self-critical thoughts arising.” ♦ Imagine seeing yourself from afar. Zoom out so far, you can see planet Earth hanging in space. Then zoom in to see your continent, then your country, your city, and finally the room you’re in. See your little self, electrical impulses whizzing across your brain. One little being having a particular experience at this particular moment. ♦ Imagine your mental chatter as coming from a radio; see if you can turn down the volume, or even just put the radio to the side and let it chatter away. ♦ Consider the worst-case outcome for your situation. Realize that whatever it is, you’ll survive. ♦ Think of all the previous times when you felt just like this—that you wouldn’t make it through—and yet clearly you did. We’re learning here to neutralize unhelpful thoughts. We want to avoid falling into the trap of arguing with them or trying to suppress them. This would only make matters worse. Consider this: if I ask you not to think of a white elephant—don’t picture a white elephant at all, please!—what’s the first thing your brain serves up? Right. Saying “No white elephants” leads to troops of white pachyderms marching through your mind. Steven Hayes and his colleagues studied our tendency to dwell on the forbidden by asking participants in controlled research studies to spend just a few minutes not thinking of a yellow jeep. For many people, the forbidden thought arose immediately, and with increasing frequency. For others, even if they were able to suppress the thought for a short period of time, at some point they broke down and yellow-jeep thoughts rose dramatically. Participants reported thinking about yellow jeeps with some frequency for days and sometimes weeks afterward. Because trying to suppress a self-critical thought only makes it more central to your thinking, it’s a far better strategy to simply aim to neutralize it. You’ve taken the first two steps in handling internal negativity: destigmatizing discomfort and neutralizing negativity. The third and final step will help you not just to lessen internal negativity but to actually replace it with a different internal reality.
Olivia Fox Cabane (The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism)
First we have to step out of our dream of separation, the insularity with which we have imprisoned ourselves, and acknowledge that we are a part of a multidimensional living spiritual being we call the world. The world is much more than just the physical world we perceive through the senses, just as we are much more than just our own physical bodies. Only as a part of a living whole can we help to heal the whole. Just as we need to work together with the outer ecosystem, we need to work together with the inner worlds. We need their support and help, their power and knowledge. The devas understand the patterns of climate change better than we do, because they are the forces behind the weather and the winds. Just as plant devas know the healing powers of plants (and taught the shamans and healers their knowledge), so are there more powerful devas that know and guide the patterns of evolution of the whole planet.
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee (Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth)
Old bureaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be perturbed by great problems, having trouble enough to forget your own fate as man. You are not the dweller upon an errant planet and do not ask yourself questions to which there are no answers. You are a petty bourgeois of Toulouse. Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
Your generation, just like all the ones that came before, didn’t do anything about the destruction that is being done to this planet,” Alex told me that evening. “And now you want to help people live longer? So they can do even more damage to the world?” I went to bed that night troubled. Not by our firstborn’s denouncement of me; of that, I admit, I was a little proud. We’ll never destroy the global patriarchy if our children don’t first practice on their fathers.
David A. Sinclair (Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don't Have To)
An alternative — and better — definition of reality can be found by naming some of its components: air, sunlight, wind, water, the motion of waves, the patterns of clouds before a coming storm. These elements, unlike 20th-century office routines, have been here since before life appeared on this planet, and they will continue long after office routines are gone. They are understood by everyone, not just a small segment of a highly advanced society. When considered on purely logical grounds, they are more real than the extremely transitory lifestyles of the modern civilization the depressed ones want to return to.If this is so, then it follows that those who see sailing as an escape from reality have their understanding of sailing and reality backward. Sailing is not an escape, but a return to and a confrontation of a reality from which modern civilization is itself an escape. For centuries, man suffered from the reality of an Earth that was too dark or too hot or too cold for his comfort, and to escape this he invented complex systems of lighting, heating and air conditioning.Sailing rejects these and returns to the old realities of dark and heat and cold. Modern civilization has found radio, television, movies, nightclubs and a huge variety of mechanized entertainment to titillate our senses and help us escape from the apparent boredom of the Earth and the Sun, the wind and the stars. Sailing returns to these ancient realities.
Robert M. Pirsig
In talks I was doing on racial justice, I began talking about the United States’ three racialized holocausts: the large-scale death and destruction of cultures that resulted from the genocide of indigenous people on which the country was founded; the African slave trade that was central to the country’s emergence as an industrial power; and the post-WWII assault on the developing world that secured the country’s dominance in the contemporary world. Millions died in these projects, in which hideous levels of violence to expand one group’s wealth and power were justified, overtly or covertly, by the alleged racial superiority of whites. Some people were turned off, objecting that my language was too strong, but many more found the bluntness refreshing and told me the framework was helpful. These experiences taught me that watering down analysis and language to reach the largest possible audience often backfired—people who disagree aren’t persuaded, and those looking for a compelling argument tend to drift away.
Robert Jensen (Plain Radical: Living, Loving and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully)
As long as there have been humans, we have searched for our place in the Cosmos. In the childhood of our species (when our ancestors gazed a little idly at the stars), among the Ionian scientists of ancient Greece, and in our own age, we have been transfixed by this question: Where are we? Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost between two spiral arms in the outskirts of a galaxy which is a member of a sparse cluster of galaxies, tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. This perspective is a courageous continuation of our penchant for constructing and testing mental models of the skies; the Sun as a red-hot stone, the stars as celestial flame, the Galaxy as the backbone of night. Since Aristarchus, every step in our quest has moved us farther from center stage in the cosmic drama. There has not been much time to assimilate these new findings. The discoveries of Shapley and Hubble were made within the lifetimes of many people still alive today. There are those who secretly deplore these great discoveries, who consider every step a demotion, who in their heart of hearts still pine for a universe whose center, focus and fulcrum is the Earth. But if we are to deal with the Cosmos we must first understand it, even if our hopes for some unearned preferential status are, in the process, contravened. Understanding where we live is an essential precondition for improving the neighborhood. Knowing what other neighborhoods are like also helps. If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers. We embarked on our cosmic voyage with a question first framed in the childhood of our species and in each generation asked anew with undiminished wonder: What are the stars? Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
Humanistic propaganda screams at us everywhere we go. “You deserve better.” “There’s no one like you.” “Stand up for yourself.” And after a while we start believing the mantra. The most influential culture-shaping document in American history is the Declaration of Independence. And built into the ethos of American society are three inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I think the wording is ironic: the pursuit of happiness. It’s almost like the architects of modern democracy said, “We guarantee you life, and we promise you liberty. But happiness? Good luck.” America is a social experiment founded on the pursuit of happiness. Hundreds of millions of Americans are chasing down happiness. Money, materialism, sex, romance, religion, family, and fame are all pursuits of the same human craving—joy. But apart from Jesus, we never get there. People spend decades searching high and low for happiness and never land at joy. In an odd twist of fate, America, for all her life and liberty, is one of the most depressed nations in the world. And many of us are mad at God. Somehow we think God owes us. We deserve happiness. We deserve a good, comfortable life, free from pain and suffering. We have rights! Right? The scriptures present a totally different worldview that stands against the humanism of Western Europe. It is written, “By grace you have been saved.”[17] The word grace is (charis) in the Greek, which can be translated as “gift.” All of life is grace. All of life is a gift. Humans have no rights. Everything is a gift. Food, shelter, the clothes on our backs, the oxygen in our lungs—it’s all grace. The entire planet, the sky above us and the ground beneath our feet, is all on loan from the Creator God. We live under his roof, eat his food, and drink his water. We are guests. And we are blessed. A reporter once asked Bob Dylan if he was happy. Dylan’s response was, “These are yuppie words, happiness and unhappiness. It’s not happiness or unhappiness. It’s either blessed or unblessed.”[18] I like that. We are blessed. When you reorient yourself to a biblical worldview, the only posture left to take is gratitude. If all of life is a gift, how could we help but thank God?
John Mark Comer (My Name is Hope: Anxiety, depression, and life after melancholy)
The person is both a self and a body, and from the beginning there is the confusion about where "he" really "is"-in the symbolic inner self or in the physical body. Each phenomenological realm is different. The inner self represents the freedom of thought, imagination, and the infinite reach of symbolism. the body represents determinism and boundness. The child gradually learns that his freedom as a unique being is dragged back by the body and its appendages which dictate "what" he is. For this reason sexuality is as much a problem for the adult as for the child: the physical solution to the problem of who we are and why we have emerged on this planet is no help-in fact, it is a terrible threat. It doesn't tell the person what he is deep down inside, what kind of distinctive gift he is to work upon the world. This is why it is so difficult to have sex without guilt: guilt is there because the body casts a shadow on the person's inner freedom, his "real self" that-through the act of sex-is being forced into a standardized, mechanical, biological role. Even worse, the inner self is not even being called into consideration at all; the body takes over completely for the total person, and this kind of guilt makes the inner self shrink and threaten to disappear. This is why a woman asks for assurance that the man wants "me" and "not only my body"; she is painfully conscious that her own distinctive inner personality can be dispensed with in the sexual act. If it is dispensed with, it doesn't count. The fact is that the man usually does want only the body, and the woman's total personality is reduced to a mere animal role. The existential paradox vanishes, and one has no distinctive humanity to protest. One creative way of coping with this is, of course, to allow it to happen and to go with it: what the psychoanalysts call "regression in the service of the ego." The person becomes, for a time, merely his physical self and so absolves the painfulness of the existential paradox and the guilt that goes with sex. Love is one great key to this kind of sexuality because it allows the collapse of the individual into the animal dimension without fear and guilt, but instead with trust and assurance that his distinctive inner freedom will not be negated by an animal surrender.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Raquel laughed, and David joined her. They sounded slightly manic. “You’re free now,” he said. “Of all of it,” she answered, and I looked up to see them locked in a gaze I’d previously only observed between actors on Easton Heights—one filled with all the things unspoken over the years, all the betrayals and fears and pain left behind in favor of overwhelming love. It was beautiful. Oh, who am I kidding, it was awkward as all heck and I didn’t have time for it. “Okay! So, you may have noticed Lend is in the kitchen.” “Mmm hmm,” Raquel answered, reaching up to smooth down a stray piece of David’s hair. “Yeah, that’d be the big faerie curse.” “Farie curse?” She actually turned toward me; David took both her hands in his. “Yup. Really funny one, too. See, any time Lend and I are in the same room or can see each other or could actually, you know, touch, he falls fast asleep.” “Oh,” Raquel frowned. “So I need your help. You know all the names of the IPCA controlled faeries, right?” She nodded, her frown deepening. “Well, it was a dark faerie curse, so I figure we need a dark faerie to undo it. So you call an Unseelie faerie, we give him or her a named command to break the curse, ta-da, we can double-date!” “Wait, who can double-date?” Lend asked. “I’ll let your dad tell you. So. Faerie?” Raquel heaved a sigh, along the lines of her famous things never get easier, do they? sign, and, boy, I agreed with her. “To be honest, I don’t know which court most of the faeries belong to.” “You don’t? How can you not know? It seems like pretty vital information to me. You know, ‘Are you a member of the evil court kidnapping humans and plotting world domination, or a member of the moderately less evil court who just wants to get the crap off the planet?’ sort of a survey when you get them.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
How does it feel to be a part of this beautifully ingenious design. I have faith that there is a chosen moment in which my soul will expand infinitely free from time and space. Some may find that foolish but I have reasons for my beliefs that are uniquely my own. There are hundreds of billions of galaxies making up the universe. Earth is only one planet of billions orbiting inside just one of these 500,000 billion or more galaxies. And I myself am one person. One of over seven billion people living on our dynamic little planet. Instead of being diluted by this infinitesimal proportion I accept it as a challenge and I use science to strengthen my spirituality. It provokes curiosity and redefines my view of logical thinking. I believe that existence is based on the exchange of energy and functionality. Energy is expended to carry out varying tasks ensuring the function of an organism. This is evident in every life form and has been the founding principle supporting lifetimes of discoveries. Energy is spent with purpose. I can't help but draw the conclusion that the energy required to create the universe itself was done so for a purpose. You and I were created with a purpose. -Tavia Rahki Smith
Tavia Rahki Smith
Two things," the wise man said, "fill me with awe: The starry heavens and the moral law." Nay, add another wonder to thy roll, -- The living marvel of the human soul! Born in the dust and cradled in the dark, It feels the fire of an immortal spark, And learns to read, with patient, searching eyes, The splendid secret of the unconscious skies. For God thought Light before He spoke the word; The darkness understood not, though it heard: But man looks up to where the planets swim, And thinks God's thoughts of glory after Him. What knows the star that guides the sailor's way, Or lights the lover's bower with liquid ray, Of toil and passion, danger and distress, Brave hope, true love, and utter faithfulness? But human hearts that suffer good and ill, And hold to virtue with a loyal will, Adorn the law that rules our mortal strife With star-surpassing victories of life. So take our thanks, dear reader of the skies, Devout astronomer, most humbly wise, For lessons brighter than the stars can give, And inward light that helps us all to live. The world has brought the laurel-leaves to crown The star-discoverer's name with high renown; Accept the flower of love we lay with these For influence sweeter than the Pleiades
Henry Van Dyke
This is often the primary difference between him and so many of those of us who follow him. When we encounter the many ills of the world, we find ourselves growing more and more callous toward people, more and more judgmental, less and less hopeful. Rather than seeing the hurting humanity we encounter every day as an opportunity to be the very loving presence of Jesus, we see them as reason to withdraw from it all. Faith becomes about retreating from the world when it should be about moving toward it. As we walk deeper into organized religion, we run the risk of eventually becoming fully blind to the tangible suffering around us, less concerned about mending wounds or changing systems, and more preoccupied with saving or condemning souls. In this way, the spiritual eyes through which we see the world change everything. If our default lens is sin, we tend to look ahead to the afterlife, but if we focus on suffering, we’ll lean toward presently transforming the planet in real time—and we’ll create community accordingly. The former seeks to help people escape the encroaching moral decay by getting them into heaven; the latter takes seriously the prayer Jesus teaches his disciples, that they would make the kingdom come—that through lives resembling Christ and work that perpetuates his work, we would actually bring heaven down. Practically speaking, sin management seems easier because essentially all that is required of us is to preach, to call out people’s errors and invite them to repentance, and to feel we’ve been faithful. But seeing suffering requires us to step into the broken, jagged chaos of people’s lives to be agents of healing and change. It’s far more time consuming and much more difficult to do as a faith community. It is a lot easier to train preachers to lead people in a Sinner’s Prayer than it is to equip them to address the systematic injustices around them.
John Pavlovitz (A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community)
Yeah sex is cool, but it's easily accessible. At this age I'm looking for something deeper. Chemistry i can't find on a resume, passion i can't ignore. Mind connection that allows conversation without words, a gaze that makes me forget which planet I'm on, and a depth that makes me want to stay. I want to dive deep into someone's soul and feel like I belong there. Face the world separately but intertwined in each others presence. A home that carries a heartbeat. All these years of riding solo, has helped me tend to my heart space and what a glorious little beat it now holds. An auric field re-awakened. A self-love journey, just for myself.
Nikki Rowe
Imagine you live on a planet where the dominant species is far more intellectually sophisticated than human beings but often keeps humans as companion animals. They are called the Gorns. They communicate with each other via a complex combination of telepathy, eye movements & high-pitched squeaks, all completely unintelligible & unlearnable by humans, whose brains are prepared for verbal language acquisition only. Humans sometimes learn the meaning of individual sounds by repeated association with things of relevance to them. The Gorns & humans bond strongly but there are many Gorn rules that humans must try to assimilate with limited information & usually high stakes. You are one of the lucky humans who lives with the Gorns in their dwelling. Many other humans are chained to small cabanas in the yard or kept in outdoor pens of varying size. They are so socially starved they cannot control their emotions when a Gorn goes near them. The Gorns agree that they could never be House-Humans. The dwelling you share with your Gorn family is filled with water-filled porcelain bowls.Every time you try to urinate in one,nearby Gorn attack you. You learn to only use the toilet when there are no Gorns present. Sometimes they come home & stuff your head down the toilet for no apparent reason. You hate this & start sucking up to the Gorns when they come home to try & stave this off but they view this as evidence of your guilt. You are also punished for watching videos, reading books, talking to other human beings, eating pizza or cheesecake, & writing letters. These are all considered behavior problems by the Gorns. To avoid going crazy, once again you wait until they are not around to try doing anything you wish to do. While they are around, you sit quietly, staring straight ahead. Because they witness this good behavior you are so obviously capable of, they attribute to “spite” the video watching & other transgressions that occur when you are alone. Obviously you resent being left alone, they figure. You are walked several times a day and left crossword puzzle books to do. You have never used them because you hate crosswords; the Gorns think you’re ignoring them out of revenge. Worst of all, you like them. They are, after all, often nice to you. But when you smile at them, they punish you, likewise for shaking hands. If you apologize they punish you again. You have not seen another human since you were a small child. When you see one you are curious, excited & afraid. You really don’t know how to act. So, the Gorn you live with keeps you away from other humans. Your social skills never develop. Finally, you are brought to “training” school. A large part of the training consists of having your air briefly cut off by a metal chain around your neck. They are sure you understand every squeak & telepathic communication they make because sometimes you get it right. You are guessing & hate the training. You feel pretty stressed out a lot of the time. One day, you see a Gorn approaching with the training collar in hand. You have PMS, a sore neck & you just don’t feel up to the baffling coercion about to ensue. You tell them in your sternest voice to please leave you alone & go away. The Gorns are shocked by this unprovoked aggressive behavior. They thought you had a good temperament. They put you in one of their vehicles & take you for a drive. You watch the attractive planetary landscape going by & wonder where you are going. You are led into a building filled with the smell of human sweat & excrement. Humans are everywhere in small cages. Some are nervous, some depressed, most watch the goings on on from their prisons. Your Gorns, with whom you have lived your entire life, hand you over to strangers who drag you to a small room. You are terrified & yell for your Gorn family to help you. They turn & walk away.You are held down & given a lethal injection. It is, after all, the humane way to do it.
Jean Donaldson (The Culture Clash)
In reality, electrons move in “probability clouds.” So what do you tell a sixth grader? Do you talk about the motion of planets, which is easy to understand and nudges you closer to the truth? Or do you talk about “probability clouds,” which are impossible to understand but accurate? The choice may seem to be a difficult one: (1) accuracy first, at the expense of accessibility; or (2) accessibility first, at the expense of accuracy. But in many circumstances this is a false choice for one compelling reason: If a message can’t be used to make predictions or decisions, it is without value, no matter how accurate or comprehensive it is. Herb Kelleher could tell a flight attendant that her goal is to “maximize shareholder value.” In some sense, this statement is more accurate and complete than that the goal is to be “THE low-fare airline.” After all, the proverb “THE low-fare airline” is clearly incomplete—Southwest could offer lower fares by eliminating aircraft maintenance, or by asking passengers to share napkins. Clearly, there are additional values (customer comfort, safety ratings) that refine Southwest’s core value of economy. The problem with “maximize shareholder value,” despite its accuracy, is that it doesn’t help the flight attendant decide whether to serve chicken salad. An accurate but useless idea is still useless.
Chip Heath (Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die)
So here are my questions and my appeal to you as we talk about a healthy soul. Are you intentional about your friends? Are they helping you? Do you fit together? Yes, I think we should live big. We should draw big circles, be inclusive, be forgiving, and be kind—but we can’t be intimate friends with all seven billion people on this planet. We can’t be close friends with a few thousand people. Probably not even a few hundred people. Realistically, we might be close, intimate friends with only a dozen people. Maybe a few more or a few less, depending on our individual capacities and personalities. So we had better choose those people intentionally, carefully, and prayerfully.
Judah Smith (How's Your Soul?: Why Everything that Matters Starts with the Inside You)
Organic farming is environmentally friendlier to every acre of land. But it requires _more_ acres. The trade-off is a harsh one. Would we rather have pesticides on farmland and nitrogen runoffs from them? Or would we rather chop down more forest? How much more forest would we have to chop down? If we wanted to reduce pesticide use and nitrogen runoff by turning all of the world’s farmland to organic farming, we’d need about 50 percent more farmland than we have today. Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug, whose work helped triple crop yields over the last fifty years and arguably saved billions from starvation, estimates that the world would need an _additional_ 5 to 6 billion head of cattle to produce enough manure to fertilize that farmland. There are only an estimated 1.3 billion cattle on the planet today. Combined, we’d need to chop down roughly half of the world’s remaining forest to grow crops and to graze cattle that produce enough manure to fertilize those crops. Clearing that much land would produce around 500 billion tons of CO2, or almost as much as the total cumulative CO2 emissions of the world thus far. And the cattle needed to fertilize that land would produce far _more_ greenhouse gases, in the form of methane, than all of agriculture does today, possibly enough to equal all human greenhouse gases emitted from all sources today. That’s not a viable path.
Ramez Naam (The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet)
a simple, inspiring mission for Wikipedia: “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.” It was a huge, audacious, and worthy goal. But it badly understated what Wikipedia did. It was about more than people being “given” free access to knowledge; it was also about empowering them, in a way not seen before in history, to be part of the process of creating and distributing knowledge. Wales came to realize that. “Wikipedia allows people not merely to access other people’s knowledge but to share their own,” he said. “When you help build something, you own it, you’re vested in it. That’s far more rewarding than having it handed down to you.”111 Wikipedia took the world another step closer to the vision propounded by Vannevar Bush in his 1945 essay, “As We May Think,” which predicted, “Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified.” It also harkened back to Ada Lovelace, who asserted that machines would be able to do almost anything, except think on their own. Wikipedia was not about building a machine that could think on its own. It was instead a dazzling example of human-machine symbiosis, the wisdom of humans and the processing power of computers being woven together like a tapestry.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
I don’t think we have to worry about Mr. Isidore,” she said earnestly; she walked swiftly toward him, looked up into his face. “They don’t treat him very well either, as he said. And what we did on Mars he isn’t interested in; he knows us and he likes us and an emotional acceptance like that—it’s everything to him. It’s hard for us to grasp that, but it’s true.” To Isidore she said, standing very close to him once again and peering up at him, “You could get a lot of money by turning us in; do you realize that?” Twisting, she said to her husband, “See, he realizes that but still he wouldn’t say anything.” “You’re a great man, Isidore,” Pris said. “You’re a credit to your race.” “If he was an android,” Roy said heartily, “he’d turn us in about ten tomorrow morning. He’d take off for his job and that would be it. I’m overwhelmed with admiration.” His tone could not be deciphered; at least Isidore could not crack it. “And we imagined this would be a friendless world, a planet of hostile faces, all turned against us.” He barked out a laugh. “I’m not at all worried,” Irmgard said. “You ought to be scared to the soles of your feet,” Roy said. “Let’s vote,” Pris said. “As we did on the ship, when we had a disagreement.” “Well,” Irmgard said, “I won’t say anything more. But if we turn this down, I don’t think we’ll find any other human being who’ll take us in and help us. Mr. Isidore is—” She searched for the word. “Special,” Pris said.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
With a track the orbits of asteroids, comets, and planets, each one of a pirouetting dancer in a cosmic ballet, choreographed by the forces of gravity, sometimes I forget that too many people act in wanton disregard for the ticket interplay of Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land, with consequences that our children and our children's children will witness and pay for their health and well-being.  And sometimes I forget that powerful people rarely do all they can to help those who cannot help themselves. I occasionally forget those things because, however big the world is - in our hearts, our minds, and our outsized digital maps - the universe is even bigger. It depressing thought to some, but a liberating thought to me.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
As children, we fear the dark. Anything might be out. here. The unknown troubles us. Ironically, it is our fate to live in the dark. This unexpected finding of science is only about three centuries old. Head out from the Earth in any direction you choose, and—after an initial flash of blue and a longer wait while the Sun fades—you are surrounded by blackness, punctuated only here and there by the faint and distant stars. Even after we are grown, the darkness retains its power to frighten us. And so there are those who say we should not inquire too closely into who else might be living in that darkness. Better not to know, they say. There are 400 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Of this immense multitude, could it be that our humdrum Sun is the only one with an inhabited planet? Maybe. Maybe the origin of life or intelligence is exceedingly improbable. Or maybe civilizations arise all the time, but wipe themselves out as soon as they are able. Or, here and there, peppered across space, orbiting other suns, maybe there are worlds something like our own, on which other beings gaze up and wonder as we do about who else lives in the dark…Life is a comparative rarity. You can survey dozens of worlds and find that on only one of them does life arise and evolve and persist… If we humans ever go to these worlds, then, it will be because a nation or a consortium of them believes it to be to its advantage—or to the advantage of the human species… In our time we’ve crossed the Solar System and sent four ships to the stars… But we continue to search for inhabitants. We can’t help it. Life looks for life.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
The little Pprince looked at the snake for a long time. "You're a funny little creature," he said at last, "no thicker than a finger." But I'm more powerful than a king's finger," the snake said. The little Prince smiled. "You're not very powerful. . . You don't even have feet, You can't travel very far." I can take you further than a ship," the snake said. He coiled around the prince's ankle, like a golden bracelet. "Anyone I touch, I send back to the land from which he came," the snake went on. "But you're innocent, and you come from a star. . . " The little prince made no reply. "I feel sorry for you, being so weak on this granite earth," said the snake. "I can help you, someday, if you grow too homesick for your planet, I can---" "Oh I understand just what you mean," said the little primce,"but why do you always speak in riddles?" "I solve them all.," said the snake. And then were both silent.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
I think I might be ready to go upstairs,” she said. Suddenly it was too hard to be in his presence, too painful to know that he would belong to someone else. His lips quirked into a boyish smile. “Are you saying I might finally crawl out from under this table?” “Oh, goodness!” She clapped one of her hands to her cheek in a sheepish expression. “I’m so sorry. I stopped noticing where we were sitting ages ago, I’m afraid. What a ninny you must think me.” He shook his head, still smiling. “Never a ninny, Kate. Even when I thought you the most insufferable female creature on the planet, I had no doubts about your intelligence.” Kate, who had been in the process of scooting out from under the table, paused. “I just don’t know if I should feel complimented or insulted by that statement.” “Probably both,” he admitted, “but for friendship’s sake, let’s decide upon complimented.” She turned to look at him, aware that she presented an awkward picture on her hands and knees, but the moment seemed too important to delay. “Then we are friends?” she whispered. He nodded as he stood. “Hard to believe, but I think we are.” Kate smiled as she took his helping hand and rose to her feet. “I’m glad. You’re— you’re really not the devil I’d originally thought you.” One of his brows lifted, and his face suddenly took on a very wicked expression. “Well, maybe you are,” she amended, thinking he probably was every bit the rake and rogue that society had painted him. “But maybe you’re also a rather nice person as well.” “Nice seems so bland,” he mused. “Nice,” she said emphatically, “is nice. And given what I used to think of you, you ought to be delighted by the compliment.” He laughed. “One thing about you, Kate Sheffield, is that you are never boring.” “Boring is so bland,” she quipped. -Kate & Anthony
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
So I explained to him what the Old One had told me. The process of braiding hair is like a prayer, he said. Each of the three strands in a single braid represents many things. In one instance they might represent faith, honesty and kindness. In another they might be mind, body and spirit, or love, respect and tolerance. The important thing, he explained, was that each strand be taken as representative of one essential human quality. As the men, or the women, braided their hair they concentrated or meditated on those three qualities. Once the braid was completed the process was repeated on the other side. Then as they walked through their day they had visible daily reminders of the human qualities they needed to carry through life with them. The Old One said they had at least about twenty minutes out of their day when they focused themselves entirely on spiritual principles. In this way, the people they came in contact with were the direct beneficiaries of that inward process. So braids, he said, reflected the true nature of Aboriginal people. They reflected a people who were humble enough to ask the Creator for help and guidance on a daily basis. They reflected truly human qualities within the people themselves: ideals they sought to live by. And they reflected a deep and abiding concern for the planet, for life, their people and themselves. Each time you braid your hair, he told me, you become another in a long line of spiritually based people and your prayer joins the countless others that have been offered up to the Creator since time began. You become a part of a rich and vibrant tradition. As the young boy listened I could see the same things going on in his face that must have gone on in my own. Suddenly, a braid became so much more than a hairstyle or a cultural signature. It became a connection to something internal as well as external - a signpost to identity, tradition and self-esteem. The words Indian, Native and Aboriginal took on new meaning and new impact.
Richard Wagamese (Richard Wagamese Selected: What Comes From Spirit)
Nobody can return to you something that was never yours, to begin with. Let’s trace back to the history of your race: the humans were made for slavery and were found faulty for that purpose. They showed immense energy and willpower only when confronted against tremendous obstacles with no weapons in their hands. With those bare hands, and the wits that exceeded even those of their creators and equalled the ones of mighty gods, they could break mountains. Once the humans earned at least a bit of benevolence from their creators, though, they’d immediately turn into lazy drunkards feasting upon the luxuries of life. They were quite haughty creatures, at that – one could never make them work without posing a certain purpose before their eyes. They should be given an aim they approved of, or else, they’d move no finger! Yet, if such necessities were met, they’d begin to loaf around. Forbidding them to taste those luxuries? Nay, they obeyed not! Hence, their creators cast them down on Earth – a planet inhabited by many other faulty experiments of different alien species, so that their lives would end. Yet even here, the humans defied their creators – instead of dying out, they adapted to the environment they were cast in, due to their boundless wits and the unexplainable willpower that no other species could ever possess. They mated the local species whom they could more or less find a common language with, killed off the obstacles, and conquered the planet as their own. The conquering ambitions of their creators, the boundless wisdom of their gods, and the primal instincts of Earthly nature – all of it meddled in these extraordinary creatures. They were full of instability, unpredictability, wild dreams, and rotten primitivism. Which side they would develop, depended entirely upon their choice. Aye, they had proven faulty to their creators, yet had attained the perfect treasure they required – the freedom. Could they make use of it? – Nay, certainly not… at least not many of them. There are certain individuals among the human race, who are able to well balance their mixed-up nature and grow into worthy people that merit our godly benevolence. However, most of them are quite an interesting bunch whom an ambitious man like me can make good use of. I am half-human with godly and angelic descendance, so I guess, I am worthy to be their sole ruler, their only saviour, their treasured shepherd… The shepherds too make use of their sheep – they guide them, then to consume some of them for wool and meat. Shepherds do not help the sheep for granted – they use their potential to its fullest. I shall be the same kind of a god – I shall help these magnificent creatures to achieve the wildest of their dreams but will use their powers for my own benefit. These poor creatures cannot define their potential alone, they cannot decide what’s the best and the fittest for them! I can achieve that. Free human souls? – Nay, they need no freedom. What they need, is to serve the rightful master, and that rightful master I shall be.
Tamuna Tsertsvadze (Galaxy Pirates)
It is a fact of life on our beleaguered little planet that widespread torture, famine and governmental criminal irresponsibility are much more likely to be found in tyrannical than in democratic governments. Why? Because the rulers of the former are much less likely to be thrown out of office for their misdeeds than the rulers of the latter. This is error-correcting machinery in politics. The methods of science, with all its imperfections, can be used to improve social, political and economic systems, and this is, I think, true no matter what criterion of improvement is adopted. How is this possible if science is based on experiment? Humans are not electrons or laboratory rats. But every act of Congress, every Supreme Court decision, every Presidential National Security Directive, every change in the Prime Rate is an experiment. Every shift in economic policy, every increase or decrease in funding for Head Start, every toughening of criminal sentences is an experiment. Exchanging needles, making condoms freely available, or decriminalizing marijuana are all experiments. Doing nothing to help Abyssinia against Italy, or to prevent Nazi Germany from invading the Rhineland was an experiment. Communism in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and China was an experiment. Privatizing mental health care or prisons is an experiment. Japan and West Germany investing a great deal in science and technology and next to nothing on defense - and finding that their economies boomed - was an experiment. Handguns are available for self-protection in Seattle, but not in nearby Vancouver, Canada; handgun killings are five times more common in Seattle and the handgun suicide rate is ten times greater in Seattle. Guns make impulsive killing easy. This is also an experiment. In almost all of these cases, adequate control experiments are not performed, or variables are insufficiently separated. Nevertheless, to a certain and often useful degree, such ideas can be tested. The great waste would be to ignore the results of social experiments because they seem to be ideologically unpalatable.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
The only word these corporations know is more,” wrote Chris Hedges, former correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, and the New York Times. They are disemboweling every last social service program funded by the taxpayers, from education to Social Security, because they want that money themselves. Let the sick die. Let the poor go hungry. Let families be tossed in the street. Let the unemployed rot. Let children in the inner city or rural wastelands learn nothing and live in misery and fear. Let the students finish school with no jobs and no prospects of jobs. Let the prison system, the largest in the industrial world, expand to swallow up all potential dissenters. Let torture continue. Let teachers, police, firefighters, postal employees and social workers join the ranks of the unemployed. Let the roads, bridges, dams, levees, power grids, rail lines, subways, bus services, schools and libraries crumble or close. Let the rising temperatures of the planet, the freak weather patterns, the hurricanes, the droughts, the flooding, the tornadoes, the melting polar ice caps, the poisoned water systems, the polluted air increase until the species dies. There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave. To be declared innocent in a country where the rule of law means nothing, where we have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded, is to be complicit in this radical evil. To stand on the sidelines and say “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain; it is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet. To be innocent in times like these is to be a criminal.
Jim Marrs (Our Occulted History: Do the Global Elite Conceal Ancient Aliens?)
Cordelia – “Why so rough?” Aral – “It’s very poor. It was the town center during the time Isolation. And it hasn’t been touched by renovation, minimal water, no electricity choked with refuse.” “Mostly human,” added Peoter tartly. “Poor?” Asked Cordelia bewildered. “No electricity? How can it be on the comm network?” “It’s not of course,” answered Vorkosigan. “Then how can anyone get their schooling?” Cordelia “They don’t.” Cordelia stared. “I don’t understand, how do they get their jobs?” “A few escape to the service, the rest prey on each other mostly.” Vorkosigan regarded her face uneasily. “Have you no poverty on Beta colony?” “Poverty? Well some people have more money than others, but no comm consuls…?” Vorkosigan was diverted from his interrogation. “Is not owning a comm consul the lowest standard of living you can imagine?” He said in wonder. “It’s the first article in the constitution! ‘Access to information shall not be abridged.’” “Cordelia, these people barely have access to food, clothing and shelter. They have a few rags and cooking pots and squat in buildings that aren’t economical to repair or tear down yet with the wind whistling through the walls.” “No air conditioning?” “No heat in the winter is a bigger problem here.” “I suppose so. You people don’t really have summer. How do they call for help when they are sick or hurt?” “What help?” Vorkosigan was growing grim. “If they’re sick they either get well or die.” “Die if we’re lucking” muttered Veoter. “You’re not joking.” She stared back and forth between the pair of them. “Why, think of all the geniuses you must missing!” “I doubt we must be missing very many from the Caravanceri.” Said Peoter dryly. “Why not? They have the same genetic compliment as you.” Cordelia pointed out the – to her -obvious. The Count went rigid. “My dear girl, they most certainly do not. My family has been Vor for nine generations.” Cordelia raised her eyebrows. “How do you know if you didn’t have the gene-typing until 80 years ago?” Both the guard commander and the footman were acquiring peculiar stuffed expressions. The footman bit his lip. “Besides,” she pointed out reasonably, “If you Vor got around half as much as those histories I’ve been reading imply. 90% of the people on this planet must have Vor blood by now. Who knows who your relatives are on your father’s side. Vorkosigan bit his napkin absently. His eyes gone crinkly with much the same expression as the footman and muttered, “Cordelia, you really can’t sit at the breakfast table and imply my ancestors were bastards. It’s a mortal insult here.” “Where should I sit? Oh I’ll never understand.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7))
Yet, the cosmic view comes with a hidden cost. When I travel thousands of miles to spend a few moments in the fast-moving shadow of the moon during a total solar eclipse, sometimes I lose sight of Earth. When I pause and reflect on our expanding universe with its galaxies hurdling away from one another, embedded within the ever-stretching four-dimensional fabric of space and time, sometimes I forget that uncounted people walk this Earth without food or shelter, and that children are disproportionally represented among them. When I pour over the data that established the mysterious presence of dark matter and dark energy throughout the universe, sometimes I forget that every day, every 24 hour rotation of Earth, people kill and get killed in the name of someone else's conception of God, and that some people who do not kill in the name of God kill in the name of needs or wants of political dogma. When I track the orbits of asteroids, comets, and planets, each one a pirouetting dancer in a cosmic ballet, choreographed by the forces of gravity, sometimes I forget that too many people act in wanton disregard for the delicate interplay of Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land, with consequences that our children and our children's children will witness and pay for with their health and wellbeing. And sometimes I forget that powerful people rarely do all they can to help those who cannot help themselves. I occasionally forget these things because however big the world is in our hearts, our minds, and our outsized digital maps, the universe is even bigger. A depressing thought to some, but a liberating thought to me.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
The Blue Mind Rx Statement Our wild waters provide vast cognitive, emotional, physical, psychological, social, and spiritual values for people from birth, through adolescence, adulthood, older age, and in death; wild waters provide a useful, widely available, and affordable range of treatments healthcare practitioners can incorporate into treatment plans. The world ocean and all waterways, including lakes, rivers, and wetlands (collectively, blue space), cover over 71% of our planet. Keeping them healthy, clean, accessible, and biodiverse is critical to human health and well-being. In addition to fostering more widely documented ecological, economic, and cultural diversities, our mental well-being, emotional diversity, and resiliency also rely on the global ecological integrity of our waters. Blue space gives us half of our oxygen, provides billions of people with jobs and food, holds the majority of Earth's biodiversity including species and ecosystems, drives climate and weather, regulates temperature, and is the sole source of hydration and hygiene for humanity throughout history. Neuroscientists and psychologists add that the ocean and wild waterways are a wellspring of happiness and relaxation, sociality and romance, peace and freedom, play and creativity, learning and memory, innovation and insight, elation and nostalgia, confidence and solitude, wonder and awe, empathy and compassion, reverence and beauty — and help manage trauma, anxiety, sleep, autism, addiction, fitness, attention/focus, stress, grief, PTSD, build personal resilience, and much more. Chronic stress and anxiety cause or intensify a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. Being on, in, and near water can be among the most cost-effective ways of reducing stress and anxiety. We encourage healthcare professionals and advocates for the ocean, seas, lakes, and rivers to go deeper and incorporate the latest findings, research, and insights into their treatment plans, communications, reports, mission statements, strategies, grant proposals, media, exhibits, keynotes, and educational programs and to consider the following simple talking points: •Water is the essence of life: The ocean, healthy rivers, lakes, and wetlands are good for our minds and bodies. •Research shows that nature is therapeutic, promotes general health and well-being, and blue space in both urban and rural settings further enhances and broadens cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual benefits. •All people should have safe access to salubrious, wild, biodiverse waters for well-being, healing, and therapy. •Aquatic biodiversity has been directly correlated with the therapeutic potency of blue space. Immersive human interactions with healthy aquatic ecosystems can benefit both. •Wild waters can serve as medicine for caregivers, patient families, and all who are part of patients’ circles of support. •Realization of the full range and potential magnitude of ecological, economic, physical, intrinsic, and emotional values of wild places requires us to understand, appreciate, maintain, and improve the integrity and purity of one of our most vital of medicines — water.
Wallace J. Nichols (Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do)
She's my mother. How do you say no to family?" Marie gets a dark look on her face. "There's a difference between relatives and family. You can be related to someone; that is an accident of genetics. Relatives are pure biology. But family is action. Family is attitude. That woman..." Marie's voice drips with venom. "Is NOT your family. WE are your family. That woman is just your relative." Hedy's mouth drops, and Caroline's eyes fly open so wide I think they might get stuck. "Don't hold back there, Marie," Hedy says, finding her voice. "I'm sorry, but..." Marie's eyes fill with tears. "Oh no!" Caroline leans over and takes Marie's hand. Marie shakes it off. "I hate her. I hate that she had the best daughter on the planet and never appreciated her and wasn't ever there for her and never once did anything for her. You guys don't know. She was the most self-absorbed narcissistic cold person..." "She gave me Joe." "But..." she says. I raise my hand. "She. Gave. Me. JOE. Whatever other bullshit happened, the most important thing in my life growing up was Joe. He made me who I am, he helped me find my calling, he was a gift, and everything else is just beyond my ability to get upset about." "You could get a little upset," Caroline says. "It takes nothing away from Joe, and how important he was to you, to acknowledge that your mother failed you in almost every way," Hedy says. "I think you should tell her to go fuck herself," Marie says, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms like a petulant child. I don't know that I've ever seen her so furious. "You guys don't get it, I was THERE. I MET HER. Wanna know how she screws in a lightbulb? Holds it up in the air and lets the universe just revolve around her." This makes the three of us bust out laughing. "Oh, Marie, I love you. Thank you for being so on my side." It does mean the world to me that my oldest friend is so protective.
Stacey Ballis (Recipe for Disaster)