How Much Can One Person Take Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to How Much Can One Person Take. Here they are! All 200 of them:

To my babies, Merry Christmas. I'm sorry if these letters have caught you both by surprise. There is just so much more I have to say. I know you thought I was done giving advice, but I couldn't leave without reiterating a few things in writing. You may not relate to these things now, but someday you will. I wasn't able to be around forever, but I hope that my words can be. -Don't stop making basagna. Basagna is good. Wait until a day when there is no bad news, and bake a damn basagna. -Find a balance between head and heart. Hopefully you've found that Lake, and you can help Kel sort it out when he gets to that point. -Push your boundaries, that's what they're there for. -I'm stealing this snippet from your favorite band, Lake. "Always remember there is nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name." -Don't take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it. -And Laugh a lot. Never go a day without laughing at least once. -Never judge others. You both know good and well how unexpected events can change who a person is. Always keep that in mind. You never know what someone else is experiencing within their own life. -Question everything. Your love, your religion, your passions. If you don't have questions, you'll never find answers. -Be accepting. Of everything. People's differences, their similarities, their choices, their personalities. Sometimes it takes a variety to make a good collection. The same goes for people. -Choose your battles, but don't choose very many. -Keep an open mind; it's the only way new things can get in. -And last but not least, not the tiniest bit least. Never regret. Thank you both for giving me the best years of my life. Especially the last one. Love, Mom
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me. The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are! We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?” Plastic… asshole.
George Carlin
That's what being shy feels like. Like my skin is too thin, the light too bright. Like the best place I could possibly be is in a tunnel far under the cool, dark earth. Someone asks me a question and I stare at them, empty-faced, my brain jammed up with how hard I'm trying to find something interesting to say. And in the end, all I can do is nod or shrug, because the light of their eyes looking at me, waiting for me, is just too much to take. And then it's over and there's one more person in the world who thinks I'm a complete and total waste of space. The worst thing is the stupid hopefulness. Every new party, every new bunch of people, and I start thinking that maybe this is my chance. That I'm going to be normal this time. A new leaf. A fresh start. But then I find myself at the party, thinking, Oh, yeah. This again. So I stand on the edge of things, crossing my fingers, praying nobody will try to look me in the eye. And the good thing is, they usually don't.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
There’s only one question that matters, Ms. Lane, and it’s the one you never get around to asking. People are capable of varying degrees of truth. The majority spend their entire lives fabricating an elaborate skein of lies, immersing themselves in the faith of bad faith, doing whatever it takes to feel safe. The person who truly lives has precious few moments of safety, learns to thrive in any kind of storm. It’s the truth you can stare down stone-cold that makes you what you are. Weak or strong. Live or die. Prove yourself. How much truth can you take, Ms. Lane?
Karen Marie Moning (Dreamfever (Fever, #4))
You act young," he said, "because you are young. But you know things, Roza. Things people older than you don't even know. That day...." I knew instantly which day he referred to. The one up against the wall. "You were right, about how I fight to stay in control. No one else has ever figured that out- and it scared me. You scare me." "Why? Don't you want anyone to know?" He shrugged. "Whether they know that fact or not doesn't matter. What matters is that someone- that you- know me that well. When a person can see into your soul, it's hard. It forces you to be open. Vulnerable. It's much easier being with someone who's just more of a casual friend." "Like Tasha." "Tasha Ozera is an amazing woman. She's beautiful and she's brave. But she doesn't-" "She doesn't get you," I finished. He nodded. "I knew that. But I still wanted the relationship. I knew it would be easy and that she could take me away from you. I thought she could make me forget you." I'd thought the same thing about Mason. "But she couldn't." "Yes. And, so.....that's a problem.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.” At the time Switters had disputed her assertion. Even at seventeen, he was aware that depression could have chemical causes. “The key word here is roots,” Maestra had countered. “The roots of depression. For most people, self-awareness and self-pity blossom simultaneously in early adolescence. It's about that time that we start viewing the world as something other than a whoop-de-doo playground, we start to experience personally how threatening it can be, how cruel and unjust. At the very moment when we become, for the first time, both introspective and socially conscientious, we receive the bad news that the world, by and large, doesn't give a rat's ass. Even an old tomato like me can recall how painful, scary, and disillusioning that realization was. So, there's a tendency, then, to slip into rage and self-pity, which if indulged, can fester into bouts of depression.” “Yeah but Maestra—” “Don't interrupt. Now, unless someone stronger and wiser—a friend, a parent, a novelist, filmmaker, teacher, or musician—can josh us out of it, can elevate us and show us how petty and pompous and monumentally useless it is to take ourselves so seriously, then depression can become a habit, which, in tern, can produce a neurological imprint. Are you with me? Gradually, our brain chemistry becomes conditioned to react to negative stimuli in a particular, predictable way. One thing'll go wrong and it'll automatically switch on its blender and mix us that black cocktail, the ol’ doomsday daiquiri, and before we know it, we’re soused to the gills from the inside out. Once depression has become electrochemically integrated, it can be extremely difficult to philosophically or psychologically override it; by then it's playing by physical rules, a whole different ball game. That's why, Switters my dearest, every time you've shown signs of feeling sorry for yourself, I've played my blues records really loud or read to you from The Horse’s Mouth. And that’s why when you’ve exhibited the slightest tendency toward self-importance, I’ve reminded you that you and me— you and I: excuse me—may be every bit as important as the President or the pope or the biggest prime-time icon in Hollywood, but none of us is much more than a pimple on the ass-end of creation, so let’s not get carried away with ourselves. Preventive medicine, boy. It’s preventive medicine.” “But what about self-esteem?” “Heh! Self-esteem is for sissies. Accept that you’re a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace—and maybe even glory.
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
Closing The Cycle One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished. Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill. None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important. Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Paulo Coelho
what love looks like what does love look like the therapist asks one week after the breakup and i’m not sure how to answer her question except for the fact that i thought love looked so much like you that’s when it hit me and i realized how naive i had been to place an idea so beautiful on the image of a person as if anybody on this entire earth could encompass all love represented as if this emotion seven billion people tremble for would look like a five foot eleven medium-sized brown-skinned guy who likes eating frozen pizza for breakfast what does love look like the therapist asks again this time interrupting my thoughts midsentence and at this point i’m about to get up and walk right out the door except i paid too much money for this hour so instead i take a piercing look at her the way you look at someone when you’re about to hand it to them lips pursed tightly preparing to launch into conversation eyes digging deeply into theirs searching for all the weak spots they have hidden somewhere hair being tucked behind the ears as if you have to physically prepare for a conversation on the philosophies or rather disappointments of what love looks like well i tell her i don’t think love is him anymore if love was him he would be here wouldn’t he if he was the one for me wouldn’t he be the one sitting across from me if love was him it would have been simple i don’t think love is him anymore i repeat i think love never was i think i just wanted something was ready to give myself to something i believed was bigger than myself and when i saw someone who probably fit the part i made it very much my intention to make him my counterpart and i lost myself to him he took and he took wrapped me in the word special until i was so convinced he had eyes only to see me hands only to feel me a body only to be with me oh how he emptied me how does that make you feel interrupts the therapist well i said it kind of makes me feel like shit maybe we’re looking at it wrong we think it’s something to search for out there something meant to crash into us on our way out of an elevator or slip into our chair at a cafe somewhere appear at the end of an aisle at the bookstore looking the right amount of sexy and intellectual but i think love starts here everything else is just desire and projection of all our wants needs and fantasies but those externalities could never work out if we didn’t turn inward and learn how to love ourselves in order to love other people love does not look like a person love is our actions love is giving all we can even if it’s just the bigger slice of cake love is understanding we have the power to hurt one another but we are going to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t love is figuring out all the kind sweetness we deserve and when someone shows up saying they will provide it as you do but their actions seem to break you rather than build you love is knowing who to choose
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts… That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good. In short that 99% of the head’s thinking activity consists of trying to scare the everliving shit out of itself. That it is possible to make rather tasty poached eggs in a microwave oven. That some people’s moms never taught them to cover up or turn away when they sneeze. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused. That it is permissible to want. That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse. That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You: Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage! Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all. Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you. Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love. Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to. Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them. Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Ryan O'Connell
Who knows what I want to do? Who knows what anyone wants to do? How can you be sure about something like that? Isn't it all a question of brain chemistry, signals going back and forth, electrical energy in the cortex? How do you know whether something is really what you want to do or just some kind of nerve impulse in the brain? Some minor little activity takes place somewhere in this unimportant place in one of the brain hemispheres and suddenly I want to go to Montana or I don't want to go to Montana. How do I know I really want to go and it isn't just some neurons firing or something? Maybe it's just an accidental flash in the medulla and suddenly there I am in Montana and I find out I really didn't want to go there in the first place. I can't control what happens in my brain, so how can I be sure what I want to do ten seconds from now, much less Montana next summer? It's all this activity in the brain and you don't know what's you as a person and what's some neuron that just happens to fire or just happens to misfire.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
It’s taboo to admit that you’re lonely. You can make jokes about it, of course. You can tell people that you spend most of your time with Netflix or that you haven’t left the house today and you might not even go outside tomorrow. Ha ha, funny. But rarely do you ever tell people about the true depths of your loneliness, about how you feel more and more alienated from your friends each passing day and you’re not sure how to fix it. It seems like everyone is just better at living than you are. A part of you knew this was going to happen. Growing up, you just had this feeling that you wouldn’t transition well to adult life, that you’d fall right through the cracks. And look at you now. La di da, it’s happening. Your mother, your father, your grandparents: they all look at you like you’re some prized jewel and they tell you over and over again just how lucky you are to be young and have your whole life ahead of you. “Getting old ain’t for sissies,” your father tells you wearily. You wish they’d stop saying these things to you because all it does is fill you with guilt and panic. All it does is remind you of how much you’re not taking advantage of your youth. You want to kiss all kinds of different people, you want to wake up in a stranger’s bed maybe once or twice just to see if it feels good to feel nothing, you want to have a group of friends that feels like a tribe, a bonafide family. You want to go from one place to the next constantly and have your weekends feel like one long epic day. You want to dance to stupid music in your stupid room and have a nice job that doesn’t get in the way of living your life too much. You want to be less scared, less anxious, and more willing. Because if you’re closed off now, you can only imagine what you’ll be like later. Every day you vow to change some aspect of your life and every day you fail. At this point, you’re starting to question your own power as a human being. As of right now, your fears have you beat. They’re the ones that are holding your twenties hostage. Stop thinking that everyone is having more sex than you, that everyone has more friends than you, that everyone out is having more fun than you. Not because it’s not true (it might be!) but because that kind of thinking leaves you frozen. You’ve already spent enough time feeling like you’re stuck, like you’re watching your life fall through you like a fast dissolve and you’re unable to hold on to anything. I don’t know if you ever get better. I don’t know if a person can just wake up one day and decide to be an active participant in their life. I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that people get better each and every day but that’s not really true. People get worse and it’s their stories that end up getting forgotten because we can’t stand an unhappy ending. The sick have to get better. Our normalcy depends upon it. You have to value yourself. You have to want great things for your life. This sort of shit doesn’t happen overnight but it can and will happen if you want it. Do you want it bad enough? Does the fear of being filled with regret in your thirties trump your fear of living today? We shall see.
Ryan O'Connell
I think what's happened, Marlee, is that you've realized the world isn't an addition problem. We tell kids that sometimes. We pretend the world is straightforward, simple, easy. You do this, you get that. You're a good person and try your best, and nothing bad will happen. But the truth is, the world is much more like an algebraic equation. With variables and changes, complicated and messy. Sometimes there's more than one answer, and sometimes there is none. Sometimes we don't even know how to solve the problem. But usually, if we take things step by step, we can figure things out. You just have to remember to factor the equation, break it down into smaller parts.
Kristin Levine (The Lions of Little Rock)
I want to talk about creating your life. There’s a quote I love, from the poet Mary Oliver, that goes: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? I so clearly remember what it was like, being young and always in the grip of some big fat daydream. I wanted to be a writer always, but more than that, I wanted to have an extraordinary life. I’m sure I dreamed it a million different ways, and that plenty of them were ridiculous, but I think the daydreams were training for writing, and I also think they spurred me to pursue my dreams for real. Daydreaming, however awesome it is, is passive. It happens in your head. Learning to make dreams real is another matter, and I think it should be the work of your life. Everyone’s life, whatever their dream (unless their dream is to be an axe murderer or something.) It took me a while to finish a book. Too long. And you know, it doesn’t matter how good a writer you are unless you finish what you start! I think this is the hardest part for most people who want to write. I was in my mid-30s before I figured it out. The brain plays tricks. You can be convinced you’re following your dream, or that you’re going to start tomorrow, and years can pass like that. Years. The thing is, there will be pressure to adjust your expectations, always shrinking them, shrinking, shrinking, until they fit in your pocket like a folded slip of paper, and you know what happens to folded slips of paper in your pocket. They go through the wash and get ruined. Don’t ever put your dream in your pocket. If you have to put it somewhere, get one of those holsters for your belt, like my dad has for his phone, so you can whip it out at any moment. Hello there, dream. Also, don’t be realistic. The word “realistic” is poison. Who decides? And “backup plan” is code for, “Give up on your dreams,” and everyone I know who put any energy into a backup plan is now living that backup plan instead of their dream. Put all your energy into your dream. That’s the only way it will ever become real. The world at large has this attitude, “What makes you so special that you think you deserve an extraordinary life?” Personally, I think the passion for an extraordinary life, and the courage to pursue it, is what makes us special. And I don’t even think of it as an “extraordinary life” anymore so much as simple happiness. It’s rarer than it should be, and I believe it comes from creating a life that fits you perfectly, not taking what’s already there, but making your own from scratch. You can let life happen to you, or you can happen to life. It’s harder, but so much better.
Laini Taylor
What is the Other?" they ask. The Other is the one who taught me whatI should be like, but not what I am. The Other believes that it is our obligation to spend our entire life thinking about how to get our hands on as much money a possible so that we will not die of hunger when we are old. So we think so much about money and our plans for acquiring it that we discover we are alive only when our days on earth are practically done. And then it's too late." And you? Who are you?" I am just like everyone else who listens to their heart: a person who is enchanted by the mystery of life. Who is open to miracles, who experiences joy and enthusiasm for what they do. It's just that the Other, afraid of disappointment,kept me from taking action." But there is suffering in life," one of the listeners said. And there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the battles in the struggle for your dreams than to be defeated without ever even knowing what you're fighting for." That's it?" another listener asked. Yes, that's it. When I learned this, I resolved to become the person I had always wanted to be. The Other stood there in the corner of my room, watching me, but I will never let the Other into myself again----even though it has already tried to frighten me, warning me that it's risky not to think about the future. From the moment that I ousted the Other from my life, the Divine Energy began to perform its miracles.
Paulo Coelho (By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (On the Seventh Day, #1))
This poem is very long So long, in fact, that your attention span May be stretched to its very limits But that’s okay It’s what’s so special about poetry See, poetry takes time We live in a time Call it our culture or society It doesn’t matter to me cause neither one rhymes A time where most people don’t want to listen Our throats wait like matchsticks waiting to catch fire Waiting until we can speak No patience to listen But this poem is long It’s so long, in fact, that during the time of this poem You could’ve done any number of other wonderful things You could’ve called your father Call your father You could be writing a postcard right now Write a postcard When was the last time you wrote a postcard? You could be outside You’re probably not too far away from a sunrise or a sunset Watch the sun rise Maybe you could’ve written your own poem A better poem You could have played a tune or sung a song You could have met your neighbor And memorized their name Memorize the name of your neighbor You could’ve drawn a picture (Or, at least, colored one in) You could’ve started a book Or finished a prayer You could’ve talked to God Pray When was the last time you prayed? Really prayed? This is a long poem So long, in fact, that you’ve already spent a minute with it When was the last time you hugged a friend for a minute? Or told them that you love them? Tell your friends you love them …no, I mean it, tell them Say, I love you Say, you make life worth living Because that, is what friends do Of all of the wonderful things that you could’ve done During this very, very long poem You could have connected Maybe you are connecting Maybe we’re connecting See, I believe that the only things that really matter In the grand scheme of life are God and people And if people are made in the image of God Then when you spend your time with people It’s never wasted And in this very long poem I’m trying to let a poem do what a poem does: Make things simpler We don’t need poems to make things more complicated We have each other for that We need poems to remind ourselves of the things that really matter To take time A long time To be alive for the sake of someone else for a single moment Or for many moments Cause we need each other To hold the hands of a broken person All you have to do is meet a person Shake their hand Look in their eyes They are you We are all broken together But these shattered pieces of our existence don’t have to be a mess We just have to care enough to hold our tongues sometimes To sit and listen to a very long poem A story of a life The joy of a friend and the grief of friend To hold and be held And be quiet So, pray Write a postcard Call your parents and forgive them and then thank them Turn off the TV Create art as best as you can Share as much as possible, especially money Tell someone about a very long poem you once heard And how afterward it brought you to them
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
When the web started, I used to get really grumpy with people because they put my poems up. They put my stories up. They put my stuff up on the web. I had this belief, which was completely erroneous, that if people put your stuff up on the web and you didn’t tell them to take it down, you would lose your copyright, which actually, is simply not true. And I also got very grumpy because I felt like they were pirating my stuff, that it was bad. And then I started to notice that two things seemed much more significant. One of which was… places where I was being pirated, particularly Russia where people were translating my stuff into Russian and spreading around into the world, I was selling more and more books. People were discovering me through being pirated. Then they were going out and buying the real books, and when a new book would come out in Russia, it would sell more and more copies. I thought this was fascinating, and I tried a few experiments. Some of them are quite hard, you know, persuading my publisher for example to take one of my books and put it out for free. We took “American Gods,” a book that was still selling and selling very well, and for a month they put it up completely free on their website. You could read it and you could download it. What happened was sales of my books, through independent bookstores, because that’s all we were measuring it through, went up the following month three hundred percent. I started to realize that actually, you’re not losing books. You’re not losing sales by having stuff out there. When I give a big talk now on these kinds of subjects and people say, “Well, what about the sales that I’m losing through having stuff copied, through having stuff floating out there?” I started asking audiences to just raise their hands for one question. Which is, I’d say, “Okay, do you have a favorite author?” They’d say, “Yes.” and I’d say, “Good. What I want is for everybody who discovered their favorite author by being lent a book, put up your hands.” And then, “Anybody who discovered your favorite author by walking into a bookstore and buying a book raise your hands.” And it’s probably about five, ten percent of the people who actually discovered an author who’s their favorite author, who is the person who they buy everything of. They buy the hardbacks and they treasure the fact that they got this author. Very few of them bought the book. They were lent it. They were given it. They did not pay for it, and that’s how they found their favorite author. And I thought, “You know, that’s really all this is. It’s people lending books. And you can’t look on that as a loss of sale. It’s not a lost sale, nobody who would have bought your book is not buying it because they can find it for free.” What you’re actually doing is advertising. You’re reaching more people, you’re raising awareness. Understanding that gave me a whole new idea of the shape of copyright and of what the web was doing. Because the biggest thing the web is doing is allowing people to hear things. Allowing people to read things. Allowing people to see things that they would never have otherwise seen. And I think, basically, that’s an incredibly good thing.
Neil Gaiman
You will not remember much from school. School is designed to teach you how to respond and listen to authority figures in the event of an emergency. Like if there's a bomb in a mall or a fire in an office. It can, apparently, take you more than a decade to learn this. These are not the best days of your life. They are still ahead of you. You will fall in love and have your heart broken in many different, new and interesting ways in college or university (if you go) and you will actually learn things, as at this point, people will believe you have a good chance of obeying authority and surviving, in the event of an emergency. If, in your chosen career path, there are award shows that give out more than ten awards in one night or you have to pay someone to actually take the award home to put on your mantlepiece, then those awards are more than likely designed to make young people in their 20's work very late, for free, for other people. Those people will do their best to convince you that they have value. They don't. Only the things you do have real, lasting value, not the things you get for the things you do. You will, at some point, realise that no trophy loves you as much as you love it, that it cannot pay your bills (even if it increases your salary slightly) and that it won't hold your hand tightly as you say your last words on your deathbed. Only people who love you can do that. If you make art to feel better, make sure it eventually makes you feel better. If it doesn't, stop making it. You will love someone differently, as time passes. If you always expect to feel the same kind of love you felt when you first met someone, you will always be looking for new people to love. Love doesn't fade. It just changes as it grows. It would be boring if it didn't. There is no truly "right" way of writing, painting, being or thinking, only things which have happened before. People who tell you differently are assholes, petrified of change, who should be violently ignored. No philosophy, mantra or piece of advice will hold true for every conceivable situation. "The early bird catches the worm" does not apply to minefields. Perfection only exists in poetry and movies, everyone fights occasionally and no sane person is ever completely sure of anything. Nothing is wrong with any of this. Wisdom does not come from age, wisdom comes from doing things. Be very, very careful of people who call themselves wise, artists, poets or gurus. If you eat well, exercise often and drink enough water, you have a good chance of living a long and happy life. The only time you can really be happy, is right now. There is no other moment that exists that is more important than this one. Do not sacrifice this moment in the hopes of a better one. It is easy to remember all these things when they are being said, it is much harder to remember them when you are stuck in traffic or lying in bed worrying about the next day. If you want to move people, simply tell them the truth. Today, it is rarer than it's ever been. (People will write things like this on posters (some of the words will be bigger than others) or speak them softly over music as art (pause for effect). The reason this happens is because as a society, we need to self-medicate against apathy and the slow, gradual death that can happen to anyone, should they confuse life with actually living.)
pleasefindthis
You make concessions when you're married a long time that you don't believe you'll ever make when you're beginning. You say to yourself when you're young, oh, I wouldn't tolerate this or that or the other thing, you say love is the most important thing in the world and there's only one kind of love and it makes you feel different than you feel the rest of the time, like you're all lit up. But time goes by and you've slept together a thousand nights and smelled like spit-up when babies are sick and seen your body droop and get soft. And some nights you say to yourself, it's not enough, I won't put up with another minute. And then the next morning you wake up and the kitchen smells like coffee and the children have their hair all brushed and the birds are eating out of the feeder and you look at your husband and he's not the person you used to think he was but he's your life. The house and the children and so much more of what you do is built around him and your life, too, your history. If you take him out it's like cutting his face out of all the pictures, there's a big hole and it's ugly. It would ruin everything. It's more than love, it's more important than love... It's hard. And it's hard to understand unless you're in it. And it's hard for you to understand now because of where you are and what you're feeling. But I wanted to say it...because I won't be able to say it when I need to, when it's one of those nights and you're locking the front door because of foolishness about romance, about how things are supposed to be. You can be hard, and you can be judgmental, and with those two things alone you can make a mess of your life the likes of which you won't believe. It's so much easier...the being happy. It's so much easier, to learn to love what you have instead of yearning always for what you're missing, or what you imagine you're missing. It's so much more peaceful.
Anna Quindlen (One True Thing)
Only people who've been discriminated against can really know how much it hurts. Each person feels the pain in his own way, each has his own scars. So I think I'm as concerned about fairness and justice as anybody. But what disgusts me even more are people who have no imagination. The kind T. S. Eliot calls hollow men. People who fill up that lack of imagination with heartless bits of straw, not even aware of what they're doing. Callous people who throw a lot of empty words at you, trying to force you to do what you don't want to. Like that lovely pair we just met.” He sighs and twirls the long slender pencil in his hand. “Gays, lesbians, straights, feminists, fascist pigs, communists, Hare Krishnas-- none of them bother me. I don't care what banner they raise. But what I can't stand are hollow people. When I'm with them I just can't bear it, and wind up saying things I shouldn't. With those women--I should've just let it slide, or else called Miss Saeki and let her handle it. She would have given them a smile and smoothed things over. But I just can't do “do that. I say things I shouldn't, do things I shouldn't do. I can't control myself. That's one of my weak points. Do you know why that's a weak point of mine?” “'Cause if you take every single person who lacks much imagination seriously, there's no end to it,” I say.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
It doesn't matter what the manifest problem was in our childhood family. In a home where a child is emotionally deprived for one reason or another that child will take some personal emotional confusion into his or her adult life. We may spin our spiritual wheels in trying to make up for childhood's personal losses, looking for compensation in the wrong places and despairing that we can find it. But the significance of spiritual rebirth through Jesus Christ is that we can mature spiritually under His parenting and receive healing compensation for these childhood deprivations. Three emotions that often grow all out of proportion in the emotionally deprived child are fear, guilt, and anger. The fear grows out of the child's awareness of the uncontrollable nature of her fearful environment, of overwhelming negative forces around her. Her guilt, her profound feelings of inadequacy, intensify when she is unable to put right what is wrong, either in the environment or in another person, no matter how hard she tries to be good. If only she could try harder or be better, she could correct what is wrong, she thinks. She may carry this guilt all her life, not knowing where it comes from, but just always feeling guilty. She often feels too sorry for something she has done that was really not all that serious. Her anger comes from her frustration, perceived deprivation, and the resultant self-pity. She has picked up an anger habit and doesn't know how much trouble it is causing her. A fourth problem often follows in the wake of the big three: the need to control others and manipulate events in order to feel secure in her own world, to hold her world together- to make happen what she wants to happen. She thinks she has to run everything. She may enter adulthood with an illusion of power and a sense of authority to put other people right, though she has had little success with it. She thinks that all she has to do is try harder, be worthier, and then she can change, perfect, and save other people. But she is in the dark about what really needs changing."I thought I would drown in guilt and wanted to fix all the people that I had affected so negatively. But I learned that I had to focus on getting well and leave off trying to cure anyone around me." Many of those around - might indeed get better too, since we seldom see how much we are a key part of a negative relationship pattern. I have learned it is a true principle that I need to fix myself before I can begin to be truly helpful to anyone else. I used to think that if I were worthy enough and worked hard enough, and exercised enough anxiety (which is not the same thing as faith), I could change anything. My power and my control are illusions. To survive emotionally, I have to turn my life over to the care of that tender Heavenly Father who was really in charge. It is my own spiritual superficiality that makes me sick, and that only profound repentance, that real change of heart, would ultimately heal me. My Savior is much closer than I imagine and is willing to take over the direction of my life: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me, ye can do nothing." (John 15:5). As old foundations crumble, we feel terribly vulnerable. Humility, prayer and flexibility are the keys to passing through this corridor of healthy change while we experiment with truer ways of dealing with life. Godly knowledge, lovingly imparted, begins deep healing, gives tools to live by and new ways to understand the gospel.
M. Catherine Thomas
But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.
Madeleine L'Engle (The Irrational Season (Crosswicks Journals, #3))
When action is divorced from consequences, no one is happy with the ultimate outcome. If individuals can take from a common pot regardless of how much they put in it, each person has an incentive to be a free rider, to do as little as possible and take as much as possible because what one fails to take will be taken by someone else. Soon, the pot is empty and will not be refilled -- a bad situation even for the earlier takers.
John Stossel
I am making a correction to one of the quotes you guys have for Sly Stallone; It's not ethical to put " " around words saying a person said something and did not. Hence the meaning of quoting someone; means that person said exactly what you're putting quotes around-Verbatim. Here's the real quote by Sly Stallone in Rocky Balboa; "It ain't about how hard you can hit it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done." Under your quote guidelines should read only enter quotes if you without a doubt are in fact quoting something someone said verbatim.
Sylvester Stallone
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
It is astonishing how much worse one mosquito can be than a swarm. A swarm can be prepared against, but one mosquito takes on a personality—a hatefulness, a sinister quality of the struggle to the death.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (On Booze)
Greta knows that for me there are no good parties. I’m okay with one or two people, but more than that and I turn into a naked mole rat. That’s what being shy feels like. Like my skin is too thin, the light too bright. Like the best place I could possibly be is in a tunnel far under the cool, dark earth. Someone asks me a question and I stare at them, empty-faced, my brain jammed up with how hard I’m trying to find something interesting to say. And in the end, all I can do is nod or shrug, because the light of their eyes looking at me, waiting for me, is just too much to take. And then it’s over and there’s one more person in the world who thinks I’m a complete and total waste of space.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
Her face screws up in disgust and she steps forward. "You're a fool, Miller Hart. He'll never let you walk away." He explodes. "I love her!" he roars, knocking every person back in the room. "I fucking love her!" Tears burst from my eyes and I fall into his side. He immediately grabs me and pulls me close. "I love her. I love everything she stands for and I love how much she loves me. It's more than you love me. It's more than any of you claim to love me! It's pure and light. It's made me feel. It's made me want more. If any fucker tries to take her away from me, I'll fucking kill them." Pulling up for a second, he gathers a long breath. "Slowly," he adds, shaking beside me, clinging to me tightly, like he's afraid someone will try right now. "I don't care what he says. I don't care what he thinks he can do to me. It'll be him sleeping with one eye open, Sophia, not me. So tell him. Fucking run to him and confirm what he already knows. I don't want to fuck for living anymore. Tell him I don't want to line his pockets anymore. You're not holding me to ransom. Miller Hart is out of the game. The Special One has quit!" He withdraws and takes a few moments to suck in another calming gulp of air, while everyone looks at him, shocked. Including me. "I love her. Go to him. Tell him I love her. Tell him I'm Olivia's now. And tell him if he even thinks about touching a hair on her precious head, it'll be the last thing he ever does.
Jodi Ellen Malpas (Unveiled (One Night, #3))
It's a physical sickness. Etienne. How much I love him. I love Etienne. I love it when he cocks an eyebrow whenever I say something he finds clever or amusing. I love listening to his boots clomp across my bedroom ceiling. I love that the accent over his first name is called an acute accent, and that he has a cute accent. I love that. I love sitting beside him in physics. Brushing against him during lands. His messy handwriting on our worksheets. I love handing him his backpack when class is over,because then my fingers smell like him for the next ten minutes. And when Amanda says something lame, and he seeks me out to exchange an eye roll-I love that,too. I love his boyish laugh and his wrinkled shirts and his ridiculous knitted hat. I love his large brown eyes,and the way he bites his nails,and I love his hair so much I could die. There's only one thing I don't love about him. Her. If I didn't like Ellie before,it's nothing compared to how I feel now. It doesn't matter that I can count how many times we've met on one hand. It's that first image, that's what I can't shake. Under the streeplamp. Her fingers in his hair. Anytime I'm alone, my mind wanders back to that night. I take it further. She touches his chest. I take it further.His bedroom.He slips off her dress,their lips lock, their bodies press,and-oh my God-my temperature rises,and my stomach is sick. I fantasize about their breakup. How he could hurt her,and she could hurt him,and of all the ways I could hurt her back. I want to grab her Parisian-styled hair and yank it so hard it rips from her skull. I want to sink my claws into her eyeballs and scrape. It turns out I am not a nice person. Etienne and I rarely discussed her before, but she's completely taboo now. Which tortures me, because since we've gotten back from winter break, they seem to be having problems again. Like an obsessed stalker,I tally the evenings he spend with me versus the evening he spends with her. I'm winning.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
I have been pushed by the world into a state of psychic feudalism. and you want me to make myself vulnerable to you. How much vulnerability do you think one person can take? Do you want me to rip my skin off and stand in the wind, bleeding and raw?
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi (Call Me Zebra)
Last night I had a nightmare. That me and someone I cared a lot about were playing a game in a pool. We'd take turns submerging ourselves under the water while the other person kept time. At one point it felt like the other person might be drowning, so  I jumped in to pull her up. She smiled and laughed and pushed me away. Then she turned blue and died. I could not resuciate her. I woke up at 3, sweating, in shock and pain. Frightened. But then I realized it was only a dream. But then I realized it was just like real life... Sometimes people we care about play risky games and then don't want our help. There is nothing we can do for them, no matter how much we care...
José N. Harris (MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love)
The only person that should wear your ring is the one person that would never… 1. Ask you to remain silent and look the other way while they hurt another. 2. Jeopardize your future by taking risks that could potentially ruin your finances or reputation. 3. Teach your children that hurting others is okay because God loves them more. God didn’t ask you to keep your family together at the expense of doing evil to others. 4. Uses religious guilt to control you, while they are doing unreligious things. 5. Doesn't believe their actions have long lasting repercussions that could affect other people negatively. 6. Reminds you of your faults, but justifies their own. 7. Uses the kids to manipulate you into believing you are nothing. As if to suggest, you couldn’t leave the relationship and establish a better Christian marriage with someone that doesn’t do these things. Thus, making you believe God hates all the divorced people and will abandon you by not bringing someone better to your life, after you decide to leave. As if! 8. They humiliate you online and in their inner circle. They let their friends, family and world know your transgressions. 9. They tell you no marriage is perfect and you are not trying, yet they are the one that has stirred up more drama through their insecurities. 10. They say they are sorry, but they don’t show proof through restoring what they have done. 11. They don’t make you a better person because you are miserable. They have only made you a victim or a bitter survivor because of their need for control over you. 12. Their version of success comes at the cost of stepping on others. 13. They make your marriage a public event, in order for you to prove your love online for them. 14. They lie, but their lies are often justified. 15. You constantly have to start over and over and over with them, as if a connection could be grown and love restored through a honeymoon phase, or constant parental supervision of one another’s down falls. 16. They tell you that they don’t care about anyone other than who they love. However, their actions don’t show they love you, rather their love has become bitter insecurity disguised in statements such as, “Look what I did for us. This is how much I care.” 17. They tell you who you can interact with and who you can’t. 18. They believe the outside world is to blame for their unhappiness. 19. They brought you to a point of improvement, but no longer have your respect. 20. They don't make you feel anything, but regret. You know in your heart you settled.
Shannon L. Alder
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
How much can one person take until there is nothing left—to take or to give?
Kim Karr (Torn (Connections, #2))
Desford said abruptly: "How old are you, my child? Sixteen? Seventeen?" "Oh, no, I am much older than that!" she replied. "I'm as old as Lucasta - all but a few weeks!" "Then why are you not downstairs dancing with the rest of them?" he demanded. "You must surely be out!" "No, I'm not," she said. "I don't suppose I ever shall be, either. Unless my papa turns out not to be dead, and comes home to take care of me himself. But I don't think that at all likely, and even if he did come home it wouldn't be of the least use, because he seems never to have sixpence to scratch with. I am afraid he is not a very respectable person. My aunt says he was obliged to go abroad on account of being monstrously in debt." She sighed, and said wistfully: "I know that one ought not to criticize one's father, but I can't help feeling that it was just a little thoughtless of him to abandon me.
Georgette Heyer (Charity Girl)
And that’s the worst of it, the part no one ever tells you about.” “What part?” he said, his voice still clenched with grief. “How it never stops. How the pain of missing people never stops. When you burn your finger in a fire, it hurts, but it only hurts one way because you know what caused the pain and why the pain is there, and you know that it will settle, in a bit. But heart pain has facets, Silas. A thousand different sides, sharp and hard; most of them you don’t even know exist, even when you’re looking straight at them. When someone leaves, or dies, or doesn’t love you in return, well, you may think you know why your heart hurts. But wrapped in there are a hundred kinds of fear all tangled in a knot you can’t untie. Nobody wants to be alone. We all fear being left alone, being left behind. I know such things exist. But you must learn to see death as something more than loss, more than absence, more than silence. You must learn to make mourning into memory. For once a person takes leave of his life, that life becomes so much more a part of ours. In death, they come to be in our keeping. The dead find their rest within us. Thus, in remembrance, we are never alone. But people forget the power of memory. So we fear death in the deepest place of our very being, because we don’t know that memories make us immortal. We focus instead on being gone and the awful mystery behind absence. Love and death—and those two are very closely bound together—scare us because we can’t control them. We fear what we can’t control. That fear is really part of what makes us human, but mostly, we’re just afraid of the ends of stories we can’t foresee.
Ari Berk (Death Watch (The Undertaken, #1))
Don't be their friend, be their parent!", they say. Hmm...yea, fuck that advice. To each their own, but I pretty much think that's the worst advice you could offer. I know far too many teens who come talk to me about their REAL life because they can't talk to their parents. We are headed into preteen years and I want my girls to be able to talk to me about what's really going on with them. I don't want them to be scared to talk to me for fear that I will be angry or disappointed. People tell me that I'll regret this and that it will bite me in the ass someday. I'll take my chances. The way I see it is: You can't scare someone into changing, you'll just scare them enough that they learn how to pretend. They will put on a mask and they may never find the courage to take it off. I've been telling them they could trust me since they were born; not with my words, but with my actions. One reaction at a time, letting them know that I'm not scared of who they are. I share my opinions and I give advice when the time is right, but mostly I'm here to hold space for them while they find their way in this world. I'm not worried about my kids appearing perfect, I'm worried about them being one person in front of me and an entirely different person when I'm not around. I choose to be their friend and get to know them as they are, not as I want them to be.
Brooke Hampton
We have time for everything: to sleep, to run from one place to another, to regret having mistaken and to mistake again, to judge the others and to forgive ourselves we have time for reading and writing, for making corrections to our texts, to regret ever having written we have time to make plans and time not to respect them, we have time for ambitions and sicknesses, time to blame the destiny and the details, we have time to watch the clouds, advertisements or some ordinary accident, we have time to chase our wonders away and to postpone the answers, we have time to break a dream to pieces and then to reinvent it, we have time to make friends, to lose friends, we have time to receive lessons and forget them afterwards, we have time to receive gifts and not to understand them. We have time for them all. There is no time for just a bit of tenderness. When we are aware about to do this we die. I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you; All you can do is to be a loved person. the rest … depends on the others. I’ve learned that as much as I care others might not care. I’ve learned that it takes years to earn trust and just a few seconds to lose it. I’ve learned that it does not matter WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have. I’ve learned that your charm is useful for about 15 minutes Afterwards, you should better know something. I’ve learned that no matter how you cut it, everything has two sides! I’ve learned that you should separate from your loved ones with warm words It might be the last time you see them! I’ve learned that you can still continue for a long time after saying you cannot continue anymore I’ve learned that heroes are those who do what they have to do, when they have to do it, regardless the consequences I’ve learned that there are people who love But do not know how to show it ! I’ve learned that when I am upset I have the RIGHT to be upset But not the right to be bad! I’ve learned that real friendship continues to exist despite the distance And this is true also for REAL LOVE !!! I’ve learned that if someone does not love you like you want them to It does not mean that they do not love you with all their heart. I’ve learned that no matter how good of a friend someone is for you that person will hurt you every now and then and that you have to forgive him. I’ve learned that it is not enough to be forgiven by others Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. I’ve learned that no matter how much you suffer, The world will not stop for your pain. I’ve learned that the past and the circumstances might have an influence on your personality But that YOU are responsible for what you become !!! I’ve learned that if two people have an argument it does not mean that they do not love each other I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put on the first place the person, not the facts I’ve learned that two people can look at the same thing and can see something totally different I’ve learned that regardless the consequences those WHO ARE HONEST with themselves go further in life. I’ve learned that life can be changed in a few hours by people who do not even know you. I’ve learned that even when you think there is nothing more you can give when a friend calls you, you will find the strength to help him. I’ve learned that writing just like talking can ease the pains of the soul ! I’ve learned that those whom you love the most are taken away from you too soon … I’ve learned that it is too difficult to realise where to draw the line between being friendly, not hurting people and supporting your oppinions. I’ve learned to love to be loved.
Octavian Paler
When I went on my first antidepressant it had the side effect of making me fixated on suicide (which is sort of the opposite of what you want). It’s a rare side effect so I switched to something else that did work. Lots of concerned friends and family felt that the first medication’s failure was a clear sign that drugs were not the answer; if they were I would have been fixed. Clearly I wasn’t as sick as I said I was if the medication didn’t work for me. And that sort of makes sense, because when you have cancer the doctor gives you the best medicine and if it doesn’t shrink the tumor immediately then that’s a pretty clear sign you were just faking it for attention. I mean, cancer is a serious, often fatal disease we’ve spent billions of dollars studying and treating so obviously a patient would never have to try multiple drugs, surgeries, radiation, etc., to find what will work specifically for them. And once the cancer sufferer is in remission they’re set for life because once they’ve learned how to not have cancer they should be good. And if they let themselves get cancer again they can just do whatever they did last time. Once you find the right cancer medication you’re pretty much immune from that disease forever. And if you get it again it’s probably just a reaction to too much gluten or not praying correctly. Right? Well, no. But that same, completely ridiculous reasoning is what people with mental illness often hear … not just from well-meaning friends, or people who were able to fix their own issues without medication, or people who don’t understand that mental illness can be dangerous and even fatal if untreated … but also from someone much closer and more manipulative. We hear it from ourselves. We listen to the small voice in the back of our head that says, “This medication is taking money away from your family. This medication messes with your sex drive or your weight. This medication is for people with real problems. Not just people who feel sad. No one ever died from being sad.” Except that they do. And when we see celebrities who fall victim to depression’s lies we think to ourselves, “How in the world could they have killed themselves? They had everything.” But they didn’t. They didn’t have a cure for an illness that convinced them they were better off dead. Whenever I start to doubt if I’m worth the eternal trouble of medication and therapy, I remember those people who let the fog win. And I push myself to stay healthy. I remind myself that I’m not fighting against me … I’m fighting against a chemical imbalance … a tangible thing. I remind myself of the cunning untrustworthiness of the brain, both in the mentally ill and in the mentally stable. I remind myself that professional mountain climbers are often found naked and frozen to death, with their clothes folded neatly nearby because severe hypothermia can make a person feel confused and hot and convince you to do incredibly irrational things we’d never expect. Brains are like toddlers. They are wonderful and should be treasured, but that doesn’t mean you should trust them to take care of you in an avalanche or process serotonin effectively.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
[...] what else motivated him to spend hour after hour with me, telling all the details of his story? I quote at length his answer. "I suffered so much and for so long. Maybe if people read this they will realize that if I can make it,they can make it. Many people suffer only because of what happens in their head; I was also physically being tortured. I had no food. No water. If I can make it so can you. If one depressed person avoids committing suicide then the book is a success. Be strong. Think positive. If you start to think to the contrary, you are headed to failure. Your mind has to be relaxed as you think about survival. Don't think about death. If you think you are going to die, you will die. You have to survive and think about the future of your life, that life is beautiful! How can you imagine taking your own life? There are challenges and punishment in life but you have to fight!
Jonathan Franklin (438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea)
and if a rainy morning deprived them of other enjoyments, they were still resolute in meeting in defiance of wet and dirt, and shut themselves up, to read novels together. Yes, novels; for I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel–writers, of degrading by their contemptuous censure the very performances, to the number of which they are themselves adding — joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be read by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insipid pages with disgust. Alas! If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it. Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many as our readers. And while the abilities of the nine–hundredth abridger of the History of England, or of the man who collects and publishes in a volume some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, and Prior, with a paper from the Spectator, and a chapter from Sterne, are eulogized by a thousand pens — there seems almost a general wish of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them. “I am no novel–reader — I seldom look into novels — Do not imagine that I often read novels — It is really very well for a novel.” Such is the common cant. “And what are you reading, Miss — ?” “Oh! It is only a novel!” replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. “It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda”; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best–chosen language. Now, had the same young lady been engaged with a volume of the Spectator, instead of such a work, how proudly would she have produced the book, and told its name; though the chances must be against her being occupied by any part of that voluminous publication, of which either the matter or manner would not disgust a young person of taste: the substance of its papers so often consisting in the statement of improbable circumstances, unnatural characters, and topics of conversation which no longer concern anyone living; and their language, too, frequently so coarse as to give no very favourable idea of the age that could endure it.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
We can’t help but wonder how much difference one person makes in the world. We look inside ourselves, questioning if we have the capacity for heroism and greatness. But the truth is, every time we take an action, we make an impact. Every single thing we do has an effect on the people around us. Every choice we make sends ripples out into the world. Our smallest acts of kindness can cause a chain reaction of unforeseen benefits for people we’ve never met. We might not witness those results, but they happen all the same.
Jake Bohm
That was so-Gryffin always has so much pain. That you can take it away like that - it's almost like magic." Chase shrugged in the dark. "Kindness is a form of magic," he said. "So everyone should be capable of at least a little. Good night. See you in the morning." And he nodded to me and strode off. Kindness is a form of magic. Then magic had sprinkled itself across me many times, when I had not noticed its fey sparkle. I had been used to thinking of my life as bleak and full of darkness, but for the first time it occurred to me how often a stranger had stepped forward to offer me comfort and assistance, no matter how briefly. Ian Shelby. Sarah Parmer. Aylre the Safe-Keeper. The man who had stopped Carlon from beating me in the streets. Chase Beerin. They had been kind to me; most had, in different ways, been kind to Gryffin as well. Looked at that way, my life was a weave of brightness laid over a trembling black, a scrap of midnight velvet spangled with many jewels. I had another thought as I stood there, trying desperately to understand a completely altered view of my existence. Someday I might be the one to offer kindness to someone else in grim and dire circumstances. Someday I might be the one with wealth or knowledge or strength or power that could be used to alleviate another person's distress. Such a thought had literally never crossed my mind before. More than once I had been saved. Someday I might save someone else in return.
Sharon Shinn (The Dream-Maker's Magic (Safe-Keepers, #3))
Sometimes I believe I can't take any more. But I'm slowly healing. Slowly, so slowly. But every conversation is a stake into an open wound. Heartbreak ins't how it's portrayed. It's so much worse. It's devotion to a person who no longer wants you. It's obsession and depression. Somehow, some way, I think I'll be okay. I know I'll always love you. I'll always miss you. First loves don't go away. First heartbreaks linger even longer. But maybe one day I will be able to remember you and smile knowing what we had was something, even if it's gone.
Heather Demetrios (Dear Heartbreak)
Some things you carry around inside you as though they were part of your blood and bones, and when that happens, there’s nothing you can do to forget …But I had never been much of a believer. If anything, I believed that things got worse before they got better. I believed good people suffered... people who have faith were so lucky; you didn’t want to ruin it for them. You didn’t want to plant doubt where there was none. You had to treat suck individuals tenderly and hope that some of whatever they were feeling rubs off on you Those who love you will love you forever, without questions or boundaries or the constraints of time. Daily life is real, unchanging as a well-built house. But houses burn; they catch fire in the middle of the night. The night is like any other night of disaster, with every fact filtered through a veil of disbelief. The rational world has spun so completely out of its orbit, there is no way to chart or expect what might happen next At that point, they were both convinced that love was a figment of other people’s imaginations, an illusion fashioned out of smoke and air that really didn’t exist Fear, like heat, rises; it drifts up to the ceiling and when it falls down it pours out in a hot and horrible rain True love, after all, could bind a man where he didn’t belong. It could wrap him in cords that were all but impossible to break Fear is contagious. It doubles within minutes; it grows in places where there’s never been any doubt before The past stays with a man, sticking to his heels like glue, invisible and heartbreaking and unavoidable, threaded to the future, just as surely as day is sewn to night He looked at girls and saw only sweet little fuckboxes, there for him to use, no hearts involved, no souls, and, most assuredly no responsibilities. Welcome to the real world. Herein is the place where no one can tell you whether or not you’ve done the right thing. I could tell people anything I wanted to, and whatever I told them, that would be the truth as far as they were concerned. Whoever I said I was, well then, that’s who id be The truths by which she has lived her life have evaporated, leaving her empty of everything except the faint blue static of her own skepticism. She has never been a person to question herself; now she questions everything Something’s, are true no matter how hard you might try to bloc them out, and a lie is always a lie, no matter how prettily told You were nothing more than a speck of dust, good-looking dust, but dust all the same Some people needed saving She doesn’t want to waste precious time with something as prosaic as sleep. Every second is a second that belongs to her; one she understands could well be her last Why wait for anything when the world is so cockeyed and dangerous? Why sit and stare into the mirror, too fearful of what may come to pass to make a move? At last she knows how it feels to take a chance when everything in the world is at stake, breathless and heedless and desperate for more She’ll be imagining everything that’s out in front of them, road and cloud and sky, all the elements of a future, the sort you have to put together by hand, slowly and carefully until the world is yours once more
Alice Hoffman (Blue Diary)
keep it on the down-low.” “The what?” “It’s a term I’ve learned from a human. It means keep it secret. It’s no one’s business and therefore they can’t start any trouble if they disagree with the relationship. The male said he did that with an undesirable female.” His face grew solemn. “He laughed when I commented that her looks should be irrelevant if she made him happy. I wasn’t sure how to take that but I think he cares too much for appearances. The term is the same though. It means being with someone and no one knows.” Justice stood. “I don’t like that term. Anyone who would dismiss a person because of how they look isn’t someone intelligent enough to learn from.” “You going home?” Tiger glanced
Laurann Dohner (Justice (New Species, #4))
Look everywhere. There are miracles and curiosities to fascinate and intrigue for many lifetimes: the intricacies of nature and everything in the world and universe around us from the miniscule to the infinite; physical, chemical and biological functionality; consciousness, intelligence and the ability to learn; evolution, and the imperative for life; beauty and other abstract interpretations; language and other forms of communication; how we make our way here and develop social patterns of culture and meaningfulness; how we organise ourselves and others; moral imperatives; the practicalities of survival and all the embellishments we pile on top; thought, beliefs, logic, intuition, ideas; inventing, creating, information, knowledge; emotions, sensations, experience, behaviour. We are each unique individuals arising from a combination of genetic, inherited, and learned information, all of which can be extremely fallible. Things taught to us when we are young are quite deeply ingrained. Obviously some of it (like don’t stick your finger in a wall socket) is very useful, but some of it is only opinion – an amalgamation of views from people you just happen to have had contact with. A bit later on we have access to lots of other information via books, media, internet etc, but it is important to remember that most of this is still just opinion, and often biased. Even subjects such as history are presented according to the presenter’s or author’s viewpoint, and science is continually changing. Newspapers and TV tend to cover news in the way that is most useful to them (and their funders/advisors), Research is also subject to the decisions of funders and can be distorted by business interests. Pretty much anyone can say what they want on the internet, so our powers of discernment need to be used to a great degree there too. Not one of us can have a completely objective view as we cannot possibly have access to, and filter, all knowledge available, so we must accept that our views are bound to be subjective. Our understanding and responses are all very personal, and our views extremely varied. We tend to make each new thing fit in with the picture we have already started in our heads, but we often have to go back and adjust the picture if we want to be honest about our view of reality as we continually expand it. We are taking in vast amounts of information from others all the time, so need to ensure we are processing that to develop our own true reflection of who we are.
Jay Woodman
Not caring about our own pain and the pain of others is not working. How much longer are we willing to keep pulling drowning people out of the river one by one, rather than walking to the headwaters of the river to find the source of the pain? What will it take for us to let go of that earned self-righteousness and travel together to the cradle of the pain that is throwing all of us in at such a rate that we couldn’t possibly save everyone? Pain is unrelenting. It will get our attention. Despite our attempts to drown it in addiction, to physically beat it out of one another, to suffocate it with success and material trappings, or to strangle it with our hate, pain will find a way to make itself known. Pain will subside only when we acknowledge it and care for it. Addressing it with love and compassion would take only a minuscule percentage of the energy it takes to fight it, but approaching pain head-on is terrifying. Most of us were not taught how to recognize pain, name it, and be with it. Our families and culture believed that the vulnerability that it takes to acknowledge pain was weakness, so we were taught anger, rage, and denial instead. But what we know now is that when we deny our emotion, it owns us. When we own our emotion, we can rebuild and find our way through the pain. Sometimes owning our pain and bearing witness to struggle means getting angry. When we deny ourselves the right to be angry, we deny our pain. There are a lot of coded shame messages in the rhetoric of “Why so hostile?” “Don’t get hysterical,” “I’m sensing so much anger!” and “Don’t take it so personally.” All of these responses are normally code for Your emotion or opinion is making me uncomfortable or Suck it up and stay quiet. One response to this is “Get angry and stay angry!” I haven’t seen that advice borne out in the research. What I’ve found is that, yes, we all have the right and need to feel and own our anger. It’s an important human experience.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
What a long time it can take to become the person one has always been! How often in the process we mask ourselves in faces that are not our own. How much dissolving and shaking of ego we must endure before we discover our deep identity — the true self within every human being that is the seed of authentic vocation.
Parker J. Palmer
Sometimes when a person is not being heard, it is appropriate to blame him or her. Perhaps he or she is speaking obscurely; perhaps he is claiming too much; perhaps she is speaking rather too personally. And one can, perhaps, charge Spielrein on all three counts. But, on balance, her inability to win recognition for her insight into repression was not her fault; it was Freud’s and Jung’s. Preoccupied with their own theories, and with each other, the two men simply did not pause even to take in the ideas of this junior colleague let alone to lend a helping hand in finding a more felicitous expression for her thought. More ominously still, both men privately justified their disregard by implicitly casting her once more into the role of patient, as though that role somehow precluded a person from having a voice or a vision of his or her own. It was and remains a damning comment on how psychoanalysis was evolving that so unfair a rhetorical maneuver, one so at odds with the essential genius of the new therapeutic method, came so easily to hand. In the great race between Freud and Jung to systematize psychoanalytic theory, to codify it once and for all, a simpler truth was lost sight of: Sometimes a person is not heard because she is not listened to.
John Kerr (A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud & Sabina Spielrein)
The question that lingers is, how much was I a factor in my own survival, and how much was science, and how much miracle? I don't have the answer to that question. Other people look to me for the answer, I know. But if I could answer it, we would have the cure for cancer, and what's more, we would fathom the true meaning of our existences. I can deliver motivation, inspiration, hope, courage, and counsel, but I can't answer the unknowable. Personally, I don't need to try. I 'm content with simply being alive to enjoy the mystery. Good Joke: A man is caught in a flood, and as the water rises he climbs to the roof of his house and waits to be rescued. A guy in a motorboat comes by, and he says, "Hop in, I'll save you." "No thanks," the man on the rooftop says. "My Lord will save me." But the floodwaters keep rising. A few minutes later, a rescue plane flies overhead and the pilot drops a line. "No, thanks," the man on the rooftop says. "My Lord will save me." But the floodwaters rise ever higher, and finally, they overflow the roof and the man drowns. When he gets to heaven, he confronts God. "My Lord, why didn't you save me?" he implores. "You idiot," God says. "I sent a boat, I sent you a plane." I think in a way we are all just like the guy on the rooftop. Things take place, there is a confluence of events and circumstances, and we can't always know their purpose, or even if there is one. But we can take responsibility for ourselves and be brave.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not About The Bike: My Journey Back To Life)
Being infinite, the whole of reality is too much for the conscious human mind to grasp. The best any one of us can do is to take the biggest slice of Infinite Reality we can hold - intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally - and make that slice our personal sense of what is real. But no matter how broad it is, any human perception of reality can be no more than a tiny sliver of Infinite Reality. Civilization also has a limited perception of Infinite Reality. And with a haughty self-assurance, it imposes that perception on us until we think it is our own.
Gordon MacKenzie (Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace)
Even if you are not a religious person by nature or training—even if you are an out-and-out skeptic—prayer can help you much more than you believe, for it is a practical thing. What do I mean, practical? I mean that prayer fulfills these three very basic psychological needs which all people share, whether they believe in God or not: 1. Prayer helps us to put into words exactly what is troubling us. We saw in Chapter 4 that it is almost impossible to deal with a problem while it remains vague and nebulous. Praying, in a way, is very much like writing our problems down on paper. If we ask help for a problem—even from God—we must put it into words. 2. Prayer gives us a sense of sharing our burdens, of not being alone. Few of us are so strong that we can bear our heaviest burdens, our most agonizing troubles, all by ourselves. Sometimes our worries are of so ultimate a nature that we cannot discuss them even with our closest relatives or friends. Then prayer is the answer. Any psychiatrist will tell us that when we are pent-up and tense, and in an agony of spirit, it is therapeutically good to tell someone our troubles. When we can’t tell anyone else—we can always tell God. 3. Prayer puts into force an active principle of doing. It’s a first step toward action. I doubt if anyone can pray for some fulfillment, day after day, without benefiting from it—in other words, without taking some steps to bring it to pass. The world-famous scientist, Dr. Alexis Carrel, said: “Prayer is the most powerful form of energy one can generate.” So why not make use of it? Call it God or Allah or Spirit—why quarrel with definitions as long as the mysterious powers of nature take us in hand?
Dale Carnegie (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living)
Compassion is a wonderful thing. It's what one feels when one looks at a squashed caterpillar. An elevating experience. One can let oneself go and spread--you know, like taking a girdle off. You don't have to hold your stomach, your heart or your spirit up--when you feel compassion. All you have to do is look down. It's much easier. When you look up, you get a pain in the neck. Compassion is the greatest virtue. It justifies suffering. There's got to be suffering in the world, else how would we be virtuous and feel compassion?... Oh, it has an antithesis--but such a hard, demanding one... Admiration, Mrs. Jones, admiration. But that takes more than a girdle... So I say that anyone for whom we can't feel sorry is a vicious person. Like Howard Roark.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
A man runs into an old friend who had somehow never been able to make it in life. "I should give him some money", he thinks. But instead he learns that his old friend has grown rich and is actually seeking him out to repay the debts he had run up over the years. They go to a bar they used to frequent together and the friend buys drinks for everyone there, When they ask him how he became so successful, he answers that until only a few days ago, he had been living the role of the Other. "What is the Other?", they ask. "The 'Other' is the one who taught me what I should be like, but not what I am. The Other believes that it is out obligations to spend our entire life thinking about how to get our hands on as much money as possible so that we will not die of hunger when we are old. So we think so much about money and our plans for acquiring it that we discover that we are alive only when our days on earth are practically done. And then it's too late." "And you? Who are you?" "I am just like everyone else who listens to their heart: a person who is enchanted by the mystery of life. Who is open to miracles, who experiences joy and enthusiasm for what they do. It's just that the Other, afraid of disappointment, kept me from taking actions". "But there is suffering in life", one of the listeners said. "And there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the battles in the struggle for your dreams than to be defeated without ever even knowing what you're fighting for." "That's it?", another listener asked. "Yes, that's it. When I learned this, I resolved to become the person I had always wanted to be. The Other stood there in the corner of my room, watching me, but I will never let the Other into myself again - even though it has already tried to frighten me, warning me that it's risky not to think about the future." "From the moment that I ousted the Other from my life, the Divine Energy began to perform its miracles".
Paulo Coelho (By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (On the Seventh Day, #1))
I, for example, quiet plainly and simply insist upon annihilation for myself. “No,” they say, “you must go on living, for without you there would be nothing. If everything on earth were reasonable, nothing would ever happen. Without you there would be no events, and it is necessary that there should be events.” Well, and so on I drudge with unwilling heart so that there be events, and bring about unreason by command. People think toute cette comedie is something serious, all there unquestionable intelligence notwithstanding. There lies there tragedy. Well, and they suffer, of course, but … al the same they live, they live in reality, not in fantasy; for suffering is also life. Without suffering what pleasure would there be in it? Everything would turn into one single, endless church service: much holy soaring, but rather boring. Well, and I? I suffer, but even so I do not live. I am the “x” in an indeterminate equation. I am one of life’s ghosts, who has lost all the ends and the beginnings, and even at last forgotten what to call myself. You are laughing . . . No, you are not laughing, you are angry again. You are eternally angry, you would like there to be nothing but intelligence, but I will tell you again that I would renounce all this empyrean existence, all these honours and ranks just in order to be able to take fleshy form in the person of a seven-pood merchant’s wife and set up candles to God in church. ‘So, you don’t believe in God either?’ Ivan said, smiling with hatred. ‘Well, how can I explain it to you, if you are serious, that is . . . ‘ ‘Does God exist or not?’ Ivan barked, again with ferocious insistence. ‘Ah, so you are serious? My dear little dove, I swear to God I do not know, pour vous dire le grand mot.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Greta knows that for me there are no good parties. I’m okay with one or two people, but more than that and I turn into a naked mole rat. That’s what being shy feels like. Like my skin is too thin, the light too bright. Like the best place I could possibly be is in a tunnel far under the cool, dark earth. Someone asks me a question and I stare at them, empty-faced, my brain jammed up with how hard I’m trying to find something interesting to say. And in the end, all I can do is nod or shrug, because the light of their eyes looking at me, waiting for me, is just too much to take. And then it’s over and there’s one more person in the world who thinks I’m a complete and total waste of time.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
What kind of party?” “The good kind.” “Yeah, right.” Greta knows that for me there are no good parties. I’m okay with one or two people, but more than that and I turn into a naked mole rat. That’s what being shy feels like. Like my skin is too thin, the light is too bright. Like the best place I could possibly be is in a tunnel far under the cool, dark earth. Someone asks me a question and I stare at them, empty-faced, my brain jammed up with how hard I’m trying to find something interesting to say. And in the end, all I can do is nod or shrug, because the light of their eyes looking at me, waiting for me, is just too much to take. And then it’s over and there’s one more person in the world who thinks I’m a complete and total waste of space. The worst thing is the stupid hopefulness. Every new party, every new bunch of people, and I start thinking that maybe this is my chance. That I’m going to be normal this time. A new leaf. A fresh start. But then I find myself at the party, thinking, Oh, yeah. This again. So I stand at the edge of things, crossing my fingers, praying nobody will try to look me in the eye. And the good thing is, they usually don’t.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
How to Survive Racism in an Organization that Claims to be Antiracist: 10. Ask why they want you. Get as much clarity as possible on what the organization has read about you, what they understand about you, what they assume are your gifts and strengths. What does the organization hope you will bring to the table? Do those answers align with your reasons for wanting to be at the table? 9. Define your terms. You and the organization may have different definitions of words like "justice", "diveristy", or "antiracism". Ask for definitions, examples, or success stories to give you a better idea of how the organization understands and embodies these words. Also ask about who is in charge and who is held accountable for these efforts. Then ask yourself if you can work within the structure. 8. Hold the organization to the highest vision they committed to for as long as you can. Be ready to move if the leaders aren't prepared to pursue their own stated vision. 7. Find your people. If you are going to push back against the system or push leadership forward, it's wise not to do so alone. Build or join an antiracist cohort within the organization. 6. Have mentors and counselors on standby. Don't just choose a really good friend or a parent when seeking advice. It's important to have on or two mentors who can give advice based on their personal knowledge of the organization and its leaders. You want someone who can help you navigate the particular politics of your organization. 5. Practice self-care. Remember that you are a whole person, not a mule to carry the racial sins of the organization. Fall in love, take your children to the park, don't miss doctors' visits, read for pleasure, dance with abandon, have lots of good sex, be gentle with yourself. 4. Find donors who will contribute to the cause. Who's willing to keep the class funded, the diversity positions going, the social justice center operating? It's important for the organization to know the members of your cohort aren't the only ones who care. Demonstrate that there are stakeholders, congregations members, and donors who want to see real change. 3. Know your rights. There are some racist things that are just mean, but others are against the law. Know the difference, and keep records of it all. 2. Speak. Of course, context matters. You must be strategic about when, how, to whom, and about which situations you decide to call out. But speak. Find your voice and use it. 1. Remember: You are a creative being who is capable of making change. But it is not your responsibility to transform an entire organization.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us. No philosopher can contemplate this interesting situation without beginning to reflect on what it can mean. The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence. Our rulers are theoretically “our” representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority—they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism. We might perhaps be more tolerant of rulers turning preachers if they were moral giants. But what citizen looks at the government today thinking how wise and virtuous it is? Public respect for politicians has long been declining, even as the population at large has been seduced into demanding political solutions to social problems. To demand help from officials we rather despise argues for a notable lack of logic in the demos. The statesmen of eras past have been replaced by a set of barely competent social workers eager to take over the risks of our everyday life. The electorates of earlier times would have responded to politicians seeking to bribe us with such promises with derision. Today, the demos votes for them.
Kenneth Minogue (The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life)
You think I hate men. I guess I do, although some of my best friends...I don't like this position. I mistrust generalized hatred. I feel like one of those twelfth century monks raving on about how evil women are and how they must cover themselves up completely when they go out lest they lead men into evil thoughts. The assumption that the men are the ones who matter, and that the women exist only in relation to them, is so silent and underrunning that ever we never picked it up until recently. But after all, look at what we read. I read Schopenhauer and Nietzsche and Wittgenstein and Freud and Erikson; I read de Montherlant and Joyce and Lawrence and sillier people like Miller and Mailer and Roth and Philip Wylie. I read the Bible and Greek myths and didn't question why all later redactions relegated Gaea-Tellus and Lilith to a footnote and made Saturn the creator of the world. I read or read about, without much question, the Hindus and the Jews, Pythagoras and Aristotle, Seneca, Cato, St.Paul, Luther, Sam Johnson, Rousseau, Swift...well, you understand. For years I didn't take it personally. So now it is difficult for me to call others bigots when I am one myself. I tell people at once, to warn them, that I suffer from deformation of character. But the truth is I am sick unto death of four thousand years of males telling me how rotten my sex is. Especially it makes me sick when I look around and see such rotten men and such magnificent women, all of whom have a sneaking suspicion that the four thousand years of remarks are correct. These days I feel like an outlaw, a criminal. Maybe that's what the people perceive who look at me so strangely as I walk the beach. I feel like an outlaw not only because I think that men are rotten and women are great, but because I have come to believe that oppressed people have the right to use criminal means to survive. Criminal means being, of course, defying the laws passed by the oppressors to keep the oppressed in line. Such a position takes you scarily close to advocating oppression itself, though. We are bound in by the terms of the sentence. Subject-verb-object. The best we can do is turn it around. and that's no answer, is it?
Marilyn French (The Women's Room)
I’ve been in your skin,” he taunted. “I know you inside and out. There’s nothing there. Do us all a favor and die so we can start working on another plan and quit thinking maybe you’ll grow the fuck up and be capable of something.” Okay, enough! “You don’t know me inside and out,” I snarled. “You may have gotten in my skin, but you have never gotten inside my heart. Go ahead, Barrons, make me slice and dice myself. Go ahead, play games with me. Push me around. Lie to me. Bully me. Be your usual constant jackass self. Stalk around all broody and pissy and secretive, but you’re wrong about me. There’s something inside me you’d better be afraid of. And you can’t touch my soul. You will never touch my soul!” I raised my hand, drew back the knife, and let it fly. It sliced through the air, straight for his head. He avoided it with preternatural grace, a mere whisper of a movement, precisely and only as much as was required to not get hit. The hilt vibrated in the wood of the ornate mantel next to his head. “So, fuck you, Jericho Barrons, and not the way you like it. Fuck you—as in, you can’t touch me. Nobody can.” I kicked the table at him. It crashed into his shins. I picked up a lamp from the end table. Flung it straight at his head. He ducked again. I grabbed a book. It thumped off his chest. He laughed, dark eyes glittering with exhilaration. I launched myself at him, slammed a fist into his face. I heard a satisfying crunch and felt something in his nose give. He didn’t try to hit me back or push me away. Merely wrapped his arms around me and crushed me tight to his body, trapping my arms against his chest. Then, when I thought he might just squeeze me to death, he dropped his head forward, into the hollow where my shoulder met my neck. “Do you miss fucking me, Ms. Lane?” he purred against my ear. Voice resonated in my skull, pressuring a reply. I was tall and strong and proud inside myself. Nobody owned me. I didn’t have to answer any questions I didn’t want to, ever again. “Wouldn’t you just love to know?” I purred back. “You want more of me, don’t you, Barrons? I got under your skin deep. I hope you got addicted to me. I was a wild one, wasn’t I? I bet you never had sex like that in your entire existence, huh, O Ancient One? I bet I rocked your perfectly disciplined little world. I hope wanting me hurts like hell!” His hands were suddenly cruelly tight on my waist. “There’s only one question that matters, Ms. Lane, and it’s the one you never get around to asking. People are capable of varying degrees of truth. The majority spend their entire lives fabricating an elaborate skein of lies, immersing themselves in the faith of bad faith, doing whatever it takes to feel safe. The person who truly lives has precious few moments of safety, learns to thrive in any kind of storm. It’s the truth you can stare down stone-cold that makes you what you are. Weak or strong. Live or die. Prove yourself. How much truth can you take, Ms. Lane?” Dreamfever
Karen Marie Moning
Did he say anything to you?” “Just that I was supposed to watch you while he was gone. A hunt can take several days.” “Really? I had no idea it would take that long.” I hestitated, “So…he doesn’t mind you staying here while he’s gone.” “Oh, he minds,” he chuckled, “but he wants to make sure you’re safe. At least he trusts me that much.” “Well, I think he’s mad at both of us right now.” Kishan looked at me curiously with a raised eyebrow. “How so?” “Um…let’s just say we had a misunderstanding.” Kishan’s face turned hard. “Don’t worry, Kelsey. I’m sure that whatever he’s upset about is foolish. He’s very argumentative.” I sighed and shook my head sadly. “No, it’s really all my fault. I’m difficult, a hindrance, and I’m a pain to have around sometimes. He’s probably used to being around sophisticated, more experienced women who are much more…more…well, more than I am.” Kishan quirked an eyebrow. “Ren hasn’t been around any women as far as I know. I must confess that I’m now exceedingly curious as to what your argument was about. Whether you tell me or not, I won’t tolerate any more derogatory comments about yourself. He’s lucky to have you, and he’d better realize it.” He grinned. “Of course, if you did have a falling out, you’re always welcome to stay with me.” “Thanks for the offer, but I don’t really want to live in the jungle.” He laughed. “For you, I would even consider a change of residence. You, my lovely, are a prize worth fighting for.” I laughed and punched him lightly on the arm. “You, sir, are a major flirt. Worth fighting for? I think you two have been tigers for too long. I’m no great beauty, especially when I’m stuck out here in the jungle. I haven’t even picked a college major yet. What have I ever done that would make someone want to fight over me?” Kishan apparently took my rhetorical questions seriously. He reflected for a moment, and then answered, “For one thing, I’ve never met a woman so dedicated to helping others. You put your own life at risk for a person you met only a few weeks ago. You are confident, feisty, intelligent, and full of empathy. I find you charming and, yes, beautiful.” The golden-eyed prince fingered a strand of my hair. I blushed at his assessment, sipped my water, and then said softly, “I don’t like him being angry with me.” Kishan shrugged and dropped his hand, looking slightly annoyed that I’d steered the conversation back to Ren. “Yes. I’ve been on the receiving side of his anger, and I’ve learned not to underestimate his ability to hold a grudge.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
He was having one of those lucid moments that make you, as a loved one of an Alzheimer's victim, forget for a minute or two that this is all really happening. You can forget about the disease and its toll and confusion and suddenly engage with the same person with whom you conversed profoundly for so many years, until it all started to go haywire. In that moment I wanted to know what I think so many Alzheimer's caregivers crave to understand: Do you know what has become of you? Can you, so lucid now, see how you act when you are not like you are now? Does it make you sad? Does it make you ashamed? The reprieve right there at the red light was momentary, even illusory. But there for the taking, right in front of me--so obvious that I almost panicked over what to talk about. Do we discuss his beloved baseball? His beloved grandchildren? Me--how I'm doing, how much I miss him? No. As much out of curiosity as concern, I wanted to talk about him. "Dad," I said, "you are losing your mind. You know that. How does that make you feel? How are you doing with that?" "I'm doing the best I can with what God has given me," he said.
Mark Shriver (A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver)
Sometimes all you need is a little bit of Sunshine. I have learnt that Life is not about the walk that we have taken but the company, the experiences we have gathered. I have learnt that in each and every unknown path of our journey we get to know more of our own selves. I have learnt that Forgiveness comes from Love and knowledge that everyone has a story that we cannot fathom. I have learnt that Darkness only comes to lead us to Light while moulding our grey shades in the best silhouette of our soul. I have learnt that all it takes is a little word of encouragement or a pat on a shoulder to let a person know how valued that person truly is. I have learnt that most special moments and bonds can come with a time frame and as long as we have them we need to live that to its fullness and then just let that be. I have learnt that making connections isn't difficult but the easiest way to connect to one's own self. I have learnt that silence has so much more clutched up than words could ever open. I have learnt that sunsets are as beautiful as sunrises, nights are as dreamy as morns. I have learnt that sometimes Life takes a complete different turn to what we plan or expect but when seen from a distance that turn actually looks just the one meant to take us to our destination, where our souls embrace every walk taken so far to know, to accept all that we are. I have learnt that in a world where we could be anything, I chose to be Love. I have learnt that sometimes Love is not what we wait for or what we expect others to shower us with but what we embody and shower others with for Love is the Dream of a Dreamer, the Melody of a Music, the Sunshine of a Sun. And sometimes all you need is a little bit of Sunshine.
Debatrayee Banerjee
The majority of things in life are about picking your battles. You'll learn that too. And that will never be clearer than when you're at IKEA. You'd have to visit a Danish vacation village after two weeks of pouring rain and no beer to come across as many couples arguing as you'll hear in the IKEA section for changeable sofa covers on any given Tuesday. People take this whole interior design thing really seriously these days. It's become a national pastime to over interpret the symbolism of the fact that "he wants frosted glass, that just proves he never listens to my FEELINGS." "Ahhhhh! She wants beech veneer. Do you hear me? Beech veneer! Sometimes, it feels like I've woken up next to a stranger!" That's how it is, every single time you go there. And I'm not going to lecture you, but if there's just one thing I can get across then let it be this: no one has ever, in the history of the world, had an argument in IKEA that really is about IKEA. People can say whatever they life, but when a couple who has been married for ten years walks around the bookshelves section calling one another words normally only used by alcoholic crime fiction detectives, they might be arguing about a number of things, but trust me: cupboard doors is not one of them. Believe me. You're a Backman. Regardless of how many shortcomings the person you fall in love with might have, I can guarantee that you still come out on top of that bargain. So find someone who doesn't love you for the person you are, but despite the person you are. And when you're standing there, in the storage section at IKEA, don't focus too much on the furniture. Focus on the fact that you've actually found someone who can see themselves storing their crap in the same place as your crap. Because, hand on heart: you have a lot of crap.
Fredrik Backman (Saker min son behöver veta om världen)
I opened myself up to the kiss and kissed him back with enthusiasm. Putting all my secret emotions and tender feelings into the embrace, I wound my arms around his neck and slid my hands into his hair. Pulling his body that much closer to mine, I embraced him with all the warmth and affection that I wouldn’t allow myself to express verbally. He paused, shocked for a brief instant, and then quickly adjusted his approach, escalating into a passionate frenzy. I shocked myself by matching his energy. I ran my hands up his powerful arms and shoulders and then down his chest. My senses were in turmoil. I felt wild. Eager. I clutched at his shirt. I couldn’t get close enough to him. He even smelled delicious. You’d think that several days of being chased by strange creatures and hiking through a mysterious kingdom would make him smell bad. In fact, I wanted him to smell bad. I’m sure I did. I mean, how can you expect a girl to be fresh as a daisy while traipsing through the jungle and getting chased by monkeys. It’s just not possible. I desperately wanted him to have some fault. Some weakness. Some…imperfection. But Ren smelled amazing-like waterfalls, a warm summer day, and sandalwood trees all wrapped up in a sizzling, hot guy. How could a girl defend herself from a perfect onslaught delivered by a pefect person? I gave up and let Mr. Wonderful take control of my senses. My blood burned, my heart thundered, my need for him quickened, and I lost all track of time in his arms. All I was aware of was Ren. His lips. His body. His soul. I wanted all of him. Eventually, he put his hands on my shoulders and gently separated us. I was surprised that he had the strength of will to stop because I was nowhere near being able to. I blinked my eyes open in a daze. We were both breathing hard. “That was…enlightening,” he breathed. “Thank you, Kelsey.” I blinked. The passion that had dulled my mind dissipated in an instant, and my mind sharply focused on a new feeling. Irritation. “Thank you? Thank you! Of all the-“ I slammed up the steps angrily and then spun around to look down at him. “No! Thank you, Ren!” My hands slashed at the air. “Now you got what you wanted, so leave me alone!” I ran up the stairs quickly to put some distance between us. Enlightening? What was that about? Was he testing me? Giving me a one-to-ten score on my kissing ability? Of all the nerve? I was glad that I was mad. I could shove all the other emotions into the back of my mind and just focus on the anger, the indignation. He leapt up the stairs two at a time. “That’s not all I want, Kelsey. That’s for sure.” “Well, I no longer care about what you want!” He shot me a knowing look and raised an eyebrow. Then, he lifted his foot out of the opening, placed it on the dirt, and instantly changed back into a tiger. I laughed mockingly. “Ha!” I tripped over a stone but quickly found my footing. “Serves you right!” I shouted angrily and stumbled blindly along the dim path. After figuring out where to go, I marched off in a huff. “Come on, Fanindra. Let’s go find Mr. Kadam.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
I've come to the conclusion that buying a house is a lot like courting a woman. You think you know what you are looking for, but you never really can be sure what you are going to end up with, what you are getting yourself into, how long is it going to take or how much its going to cost you. Outer appearances can be deceiving. There's bound to be surprises- both pleasant ones and the unpleasant. When you see them in person they usually don't look the same as they do in their pictures. You can find them with big backyards and with big front yards, but if you are set on having both, its definitely going to cost you.
José N. Harris
Of course, we cannot deny the fact that many people live for a long time even though they idealize the parents who were once cruel to them. But we do not know how they contrived to come to terms with their own un-truth. Most of them passed it on unconsciously to the next generation. What we do know is that, at some point, the writers we have been discussing began to suspect their own truth. But isolated in a society that will always take the part of the parents, they were unable to find the courage to abandon their denial. Just how strong this social pressure can be is something that each and every one of us can experience for ourselves. Adults realizing that they were cruelly treated by their mothers in childhood and talking openly and frankly about that fact will invariably get the same response, from therapists as much as anyone else: “Yes, but she had a difficult time of it, and she did a lot for you. You shouldn’t condemn her; you shouldn’t see things in black and white and take a one-sided view of things. There’s no such thing as ideal parents, etc.” The impression we get is that the people who talk in this way are, in fact, defending their own mothers, though the person they are speaking to is not attacking them. This social pressure is much stronger than we tend to realize. So I hope very much that my discussion of these writers will not be understood as a criticism of their lack of courage. It is meant rather as a sympathetic portrayal of the tragedy of people unable in their isolation to admit their own personal truth, although they sensed it deep down in their own selves. I am writing this book in the hope of being able to reduce that isolation. In therapy, it is by no means unusual to encounter the loneliness of the small child that the adult once was. After all, therapy itself is usually conducted in a way that is also dictated by the Fourth Commandment.
Alice Miller (The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting)
We can take things as slowly as you want, but you know it’s too late now to change your mind, Pierce,” he said, in a warning tone. “Of course,” I said. I could see I had approached this all wrong. Where, when you actually needed one, was one of those annoying women’s magazines with advice on how to handle your man? Although that advice probably didn’t apply to death deities. “Because the Furies are after me. And I promised you that I wouldn’t try to escape. That isn’t what I was-“ “No,” he said, with an abrupt shake of his head. “The Furies have no part in this. It doesn’t matter anymore whether or not you try to escape.” He was pacing the length of the room. A muscle had begun to twitch wildly in the side of his jaw. “I thought you knew. I thought you understood. Haven’t you read Homer?” Not again. Mr. Smith was obsessed with this Homer person, too. “No, John,” I said, with forced patience. “I’m afraid we don’t have time to study the ancient Greek poets in school anymore because we have so much stuff to learn that happened since you died, such as the Civil War and the Holocaust and making files in Excel-“ “Well, considering what they had to say about the Fates,” John interrupted, impatiently, “Homer might possibly have been of more use to you.” “The Fates?” The Fates were something I dimly remembered having been mentioned in the section we’d studied on Greek mythology. They were busybodies who presided over everyone’s destiny. “What did Homer have to say about them?” John dragged a hand through his hair. For some reason, he wouldn’t meet my gaze. “The Fates decreed that anyone who ate or drank in the realm of the dead had to remain there for all eternity.” I stared at him. “Right,” I said. “Only if they are pomegranate seeds, like Persephone. The fruit of the dead.” He stopped pacing suddenly and lifted his gaze to mine. His eyes seemed to burn through to my soul. “Pomegranate seeds are what Persephone happened to eat while she was in the Underworld,” he said. “That’s why they call them the fruit of the dead. But the rule is any food or drink.” A strange feeling of numbness had begun to spread across my body. My mouth became too dry for me to speak. “However you feel about me, Pierce,” he went on, relentlessly, “you’re stuck here with me for the rest of eternity.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Most churches do not grow beyond the spiritual health of their leadership. Many churches have a pastor who is trying to lead people to a Savior he has yet to personally encounter. If spiritual gifting is no proof of authentic faith, then certainly a job title isn't either. You must have a clear sense of calling before you enter ministry. Being a called man is a lonely job, and many times you feel like God has abandoned you in your ministry. Ministry is more than hard. Ministry is impossible. And unless we have a fire inside our bones compelling us, we simply will not survive. Pastoral ministry is a calling, not a career. It is not a job you pursue. If you don’t think demons are real, try planting a church! You won’t get very far in advancing God’s kingdom without feeling resistance from the enemy. If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. Once a month I get away for the day, once a quarter I try to get out for two days, and once a year I try to get away for a week. The purpose of these times is rest, relaxation, and solitude with God. A pastor must always be fearless before his critics and fearful before his God. Let us tremble at the thought of neglecting the sheep. Remember that when Christ judges us, he will judge us with a special degree of strictness. The only way you will endure in ministry is if you determine to do so through the prevailing power of the Holy Spirit. The unsexy reality of the pastorate is that it involves hard work—the heavy-lifting, curse-ridden, unyielding employment of your whole person for the sake of the church. Pastoral ministry requires dogged, unyielding determination, and determination can only come from one source—God himself. Passive staff members must be motivated. Erring elders and deacons must be confronted. Divisive church members must be rebuked. Nobody enjoys doing such things (if you do, you should be not be a pastor!), but they are necessary in order to have a healthy church over the long haul. If you allow passivity, laziness, and sin to fester, you will soon despise the church you pastor. From the beginning of sacred Scripture (Gen. 2:17) to the end (Rev. 21:8), the penalty for sin is death. Therefore, if we sin, we should die. But it is Jesus, the sinless one, who dies in our place for our sins. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died to take to himself the penalty of our sin. The Bible is not Christ-centered because it is generally about Jesus. It is Christ-centered because the Bible’s primary purpose, from beginning to end, is to point us toward the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation and sanctification of sinners. Christ-centered preaching goes much further than merely providing suggestions for how to live; it points us to the very source of life and wisdom and explains how and why we have access to him. Felt needs are set into the context of the gospel, so that the Christian message is not reduced to making us feel better about ourselves. If you do not know how sinful you are, you feel no need of salvation. Sin-exposing preaching helps people come face-to-face with their sin and their great need for a Savior. We can worship in heaven, and we can talk to God in heaven, and we can read our Bibles in heaven, but we can’t share the gospel with our lost friends in heaven. “Would your city weep if your church did not exist?” It was crystal-clear for me. Somehow, through fear or insecurity, I had let my dreams for our church shrink. I had stopped thinking about the limitless things God could do and had been distracted by my own limitations. I prayed right there that God would forgive me of my small-mindedness. I asked God to forgive my lack of faith that God could use a man like me to bring the message of the gospel through our missionary church to our lost city. I begged God to renew my heart and mind with a vision for our city that was more like Christ's.
Darrin Patrick (Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission)
We can do things that are greater than ourselves. If you believe nothing exists beyond a certain boundary, then you will never test the veracity of that belief and you will never discover new possibilities....Maybe there are truly extraordinary people out there, but I'm not one of them. The most extraordinary acts are accomplished by ordinary people doing something a little extra and stepping ouiside their personal comfort zone....I often wonder how much human potential lies unrealized and untapped, how much we are limited by our own fears as well as by social, cultural, religious, and self-imposed limitations. If we can break through those, how far might we go as individuals, as a species?
Juliana Buhring (This Road I Ride: Sometimes It Takes Losing Everything to Find Yourself)
Things I've Learned in 18 Years of Life   1) True love is not something found, rather [sic] something encountered. You can’t go out and look for it. The person you marry and the person you love could easily be two different people. So have a beautiful life while waiting for God to bring along your once-in-a-lifetime love. Don't allow yourself to settle for anything less than them. Stop worrying about who you're going to marry because God's already on the front porch watching your grandchildren play.   2) God WILL give you more than you can handle, so you can learn to lean on him in times of need. He won't tempt you more than you can handle, though. So don't lose hope. Hope anchors the soul.   3) Remember who you are and where you came from. Remember that you are not from this earth. You are a child of heaven, you're invaluable, you are beautiful. Carry yourself that way.   4) Don't put your faith in humanity, humanity is inherently flawed. We are all imperfect people created and loved by a perfect God. Perfect. So put your faith in Him.   5) I fail daily, and that is why I succeed.   6) Time passes, and nothing and everything changes. Don't live life half asleep. Don't drag your soul through the days. Feel everything you do. Be there physically and mentally. Do things that make you feel this way as well.   7) Live for beauty. We all need beauty, get it where you can find it. Clothing, paintings, sculptures, music, tattoos, nature, literature, makeup. It's all art and it's what makes us human. Same as feeling the things we do. Stay human.   8) If someone makes you think, keep them. If someone makes you feel, keep them.   9) There is nothing the human brain cannot do. You can change anything about yourself that you want to. Fight for it. It's all a mental game.   10) God didn’t break our chains for us to be bound again. Alcohol, drugs, depression, addiction, toxic relationships, monotony and repetition, they bind us. Break those chains. Destroy your past and give yourself new life like God has given you.   11) This is your life. Your struggle, your happiness, your sorrow, and your success. You do not need to justify yourself to anyone. You owe no one an explanation for the choices that you make and the position you are in. In the same vein, respect yourself by not comparing your journey to anyone else's.   12) There is no wrong way to feel.   13) Knowledge is everywhere, keep your eyes open. Look at how diverse and wonderful this world is. Are you going to miss out on beautiful people, places, experiences, and ideas because you are close-minded? I sure hope not.   14) Selfless actions always benefit you more than the recipient.   15) There is really no room for regret in this life. Everything happens for a reason. If you can't find that reason, accept there is one and move on.   16) There is room, however, for guilt. Resolve everything when it first comes up. That's not only having integrity, but also taking care of your emotional well-being.   17) If the question is ‘Am I strong enough for this?’ The answer is always, ‘Yes, but not on your own.’   18) Mental health and sanity above all.   19) We love because He first loved us. The capacity to love is the ultimate gift, the ultimate passion, euphoria, and satisfaction. We have all of that because He first loved us. If you think about it in those terms, it is easy to love Him. Just by thinking of how much He loves us.   20) From destruction comes creation. Beauty will rise from the ashes.   21) Many things can cause depression. Such as knowing you aren't becoming the person you have the potential to become. Choose happiness and change. The sooner the better, and the easier.   22) Half of happiness is as simple as eating right and exercising. You are one big chemical reaction. So are your emotions. Give your body the right reactants to work with and you'll be satisfied with the products.
Scott Hildreth (Broken People)
We had better want the consequences of what we believe or disbelieve, because the consequences will come! . . . But how can a society set priorities if there are no basic standards? Are we to make our calculations using only the arithmetic of appetite? . . . The basic strands which have bound us together socially have begun to fray, and some of them have snapped. Even more pressure is then placed upon the remaining strands. The fact that the giving way is gradual will not prevent it from becoming total. . . . Given the tremendous asset that the family is, we must do all we can within constitutional constraints to protect it from predatory things like homosexuality and pornography. . . . Our whole republic rests upon the notion of “obedience to the unenforceable,” upon a tremendous emphasis on inner controls through self-discipline. . . . Different beliefs do make for different behaviors; what we think does affect our actions; concepts do have consequences. . . . Once society loses its capacity to declare that some things are wrong per se, then it finds itself forever building temporary defenses, revising rationales, drawing new lines—but forever falling back and losing its nerve. A society which permits anything will eventually lose everything! Take away a consciousness of eternity and see how differently time is spent. Take away an acknowledgement of divine design in the structure of life and then watch the mindless scurrying to redesign human systems to make life pain-free and pleasure-filled. Take away regard for the divinity in one’s neighbor, and watch the drop in our regard for his property. Take away basic moral standards and observe how quickly tolerance changes into permissiveness. Take away the sacred sense of belonging to a family or community, and observe how quickly citizens cease to care for big cities. Those of us who are business-oriented are quick to look for the bottom line in our endeavors. In the case of a value-free society, the bottom line is clear—the costs are prohibitive! A value-free society eventually imprisons its inhabitants. It also ends up doing indirectly what most of its inhabitants would never have agreed to do directly—at least initially. Can we turn such trends around? There is still a wealth of wisdom in the people of this good land, even though such wisdom is often mute and in search of leadership. People can often feel in their bones the wrongness of things, long before pollsters pick up such attitudes or before such attitudes are expressed in the ballot box. But it will take leadership and articulate assertion of basic values in all places and in personal behavior to back up such assertions. Even then, time and the tides are against us, so that courage will be a key ingredient. It will take the same kind of spunk the Spartans displayed at Thermopylae when they tenaciously held a small mountain pass against overwhelming numbers of Persians. The Persians could not dislodge the Spartans and sent emissaries forward to threaten what would happen if the Spartans did not surrender. The Spartans were told that if they did not give up, the Persians had so many archers in their army that they would darken the skies with their arrows. The Spartans said simply: “So much the better, we will fight in the shade!
Neal A. Maxwell
RICHARD, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER: Why then I do but dream on sovereignty, Like one that stands upon a promontory And spies a far-off shore where he would tread, Wishing his foot were equal with his eye, And chides the sea that sunders him from thence, Saying, he'll lade it dry to have his way: So do I wish the crown, being so far off, And so I chide the means that keeps me from it, And so, I say, I'll cut the causes off, Flattering me with impossibilities, My eye's too quick, my hear o'erweens too much, Unless my hand and strength could equal them. Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard; What other pleasure can the world afford? I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap, And deck my body in gay ornaments, And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks. O miserable thought! and more unlikely Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns! Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb; And for I should not deal in her soft laws, She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe, To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub, To make an envious mountain on my back, Where sits deformity to mock my body; To shape my legs of an unequal size, To disproportion me in every part, Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp That carries no impression like the dam. And am I then a man to be belov'd? O monstrous fault, to harbor such a thought! Then since this earth affords no joy to me But to command, to check, to o'erbear such As are of better person than myself, I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown, And whiles I live, t' account this world but hell, Until my misshap'd trunk that bears this head Be round impaled with a glorious crown. And yet I know not how to get the crown, For many lives stand between me and home; And I - like one lost in a thorny wood, That rents the thorns, and is rent with the thorns, Seeking a way, and straying from the way, Not knowing how to find the open air, But toiling desperately to find it out - Torment myself to catch the English crown; And from that torment I will free myself, Or hew my way out with a bloody axe. Why, I can smile, and murther whiles I smile, And cry "Content" to that which grieves my heart, And wet my cheeks with artificial tears, And frame my face to all occasions. I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall, I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk, I'll play the orator as well as Nestor, Deceive more slily than Ulysses could, And like a Simon, take another Troy. I can add colors to the chameleon, Change shapes with Proteus for advantages, And set the murtherous Machevil to school. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown? Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.
William Shakespeare (King Henry VI, Part 3)
One of the best-known studies of availability suggests that awareness of your own biases can contribute to peace in marriages, and probably in other joint projects. In a famous study, spouses were asked, “How large was your personal contribution to keeping the place tidy, in percentages?” They also answered similar questions about “taking out the garbage,” “initiating social engagements,” etc. Would the self-estimated contributions add up to 100%, or more, or less? As expected, the self-assessed contributions added up to more than 100%. The explanation is a simple availability bias: both spouses remember their own individual efforts and contributions much more clearly than those of the other, and the difference in availability leads to a difference in judged frequency.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
New Rule: Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That's right, the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poorer one...just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers. Green Bay, Wisconsin, has a population of one hundred thousand. Yet this sleepy little town on the banks of the Fuck-if-I-know River has just as much of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl as the New York Jets--who next year need to just shut the hell up and play. Now, me personally, I haven't watched a Super Bowl since 2004, when Janet Jackson's nipple popped out during halftime. and that split-second glimpse of an unrestrained black titty burned by eyes and offended me as a Christian. But I get it--who doesn't love the spectacle of juiced-up millionaires giving one another brain damage on a giant flatscreen TV with a picture so real it feels like Ben Roethlisberger is in your living room, grabbing your sister? It's no surprise that some one hundred million Americans will watch the Super Bowl--that's forty million more than go to church on Christmas--suck on that, Jesus! It's also eighty-five million more than watched the last game of the World Series, and in that is an economic lesson for America. Because football is built on an economic model of fairness and opportunity, and baseball is built on a model where the rich almost always win and the poor usually have no chance. The World Series is like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You have to be a rich bitch just to play. The Super Bowl is like Tila Tequila. Anyone can get in. Or to put it another way, football is more like the Democratic philosophy. Democrats don't want to eliminate capitalism or competition, but they'd like it if some kids didn't have to go to a crummy school in a rotten neighborhood while others get to go to a great school and their dad gets them into Harvard. Because when that happens, "achieving the American dream" is easy for some and just a fantasy for others. That's why the NFL literally shares the wealth--TV is their biggest source of revenue, and they put all of it in a big commie pot and split it thirty-two ways. Because they don't want anyone to fall too far behind. That's why the team that wins the Super Bowl picks last in the next draft. Or what the Republicans would call "punishing success." Baseball, on the other hand, is exactly like the Republicans, and I don't just mean it's incredibly boring. I mean their economic theory is every man for himself. The small-market Pittsburgh Steelers go to the Super Bowl more than anybody--but the Pittsburgh Pirates? Levi Johnston has sperm that will not grow and live long enough to see the Pirates in a World Series. Their payroll is $40 million; the Yankees' is $206 million. The Pirates have about as much chance as getting in the playoffs as a poor black teenager from Newark has of becoming the CEO of Halliburton. So you kind of have to laugh--the same angry white males who hate Obama because he's "redistributing wealth" just love football, a sport that succeeds economically because it does just that. To them, the NFL is as American as hot dogs, Chevrolet, apple pie, and a second, giant helping of apple pie.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
But now I speculate re the ants' invisible organ of aggregate thought... if, in a city park of broad reaches, winding paths, roadways, and lakes, you can imagine seeing on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon the random and unpredictable movement of great numbers of human beings in the same way... if you watch one person, one couple, one family, a child, you can assure yourself of the integrity of the individual will and not be able to divine what the next moment will bring. But when the masses are celebrating a beautiful day in the park in a prescribed circulation of activities, the wider lens of thought reveals nothing errant, nothing inconstant or unnatural to the occasion. And if someone acts in a mutant un-park manner, alarms go off, the unpredictable element, a purse snatcher, a gun wielder, is isolated, surrounded, ejected, carried off as waste. So that while we are individually and privately dyssynchronous, moving in different ways, for different purposes, in different directions, we may at the same time comprise, however blindly, the pulsing communicating cells of an urban over-brain. The intent of this organ is to enjoy an afternoon in the park, as each of us street-grimy urbanites loves to do. In the backs of our minds when we gather for such days, do we know this? How much of our desire to use the park depends on the desires of others to do the same? How much of the idea of a park is in the genetic invitation on nice days to reflect our massive neuromorphology? There is no central control mechanism telling us when and how to use the park. That is up to us. But when we do, our behavior there is reflective, we can see more of who we are because of the open space accorded to us, and it is possible that it takes such open space to realize in simple form the ordinary identity we have as one multicellular culture of thought that is always there, even when, in the comparative blindness of our personal selfhood, we are flowing through the streets at night or riding under them, simultaneously, as synaptic impulses in the metropolitan brain. Is this a stretch? But think of the contingent human mind, how fast it snaps onto the given subject, how easily it is introduced to an idea, an image that it had not dreamt of thinking of a millisecond before... Think of how the first line of a story yokes the mind into a place, a time, in the time it takes to read it. How you can turn on the radio and suddenly be in the news, and hear it and know it as your own mind's possession in the moment's firing of a neuron. How when you hear a familiar song your mind adopts its attitudinal response to life before the end of the first bar. How the opening credits of a movie provide the parameters of your emotional life for its ensuing two hours... How all experience is instantaneous and instantaneously felt, in the nature of ordinary mind-filling revelation. The permeable mind, contingently disposed for invasion, can be totally overrun and occupied by all the characteristics of the world, by everything that is the case, and by the thoughts and propositions of all other minds considering everything that is the case... as instantly and involuntarily as the eye fills with the objects that pass into its line of vision.
E.L. Doctorow (City of God)
What does it feel like to be in love?” ‘…I take my time answering because I’m not sure how to answer. It’s more emotion than words, and I’ve never really thought about to describe it. I think of the fear and doubt and worry that come with all this feeling. The questioning and the opening up about every little thing until you feel like a frog on a dissection table, completely exposed. The caring too much, or maybe just enough, and the scariness that comes with that. The fact that there is one person on this earth who has the ability to hurt you more than any other because that’s how much you love them. The having to trust that they won’t and that maybe, just maybe, they mean what they say and that, at least for a while, they can be your floor.’ “When it’s with the right person, you feel invincible and seen and at home, no matter where you are in the world.
Jennifer Niven (Breathless)
Meditation is the way to be with ourselves and to learn to accept our own aloneness. In aloneness, I experiment with being consciously alone as a door to be egoless. In conscious aloneness, the ego can not function. In aloneness, you are not. I have always been comfortable with my own aloneness as an inner source of love, joy, truth, silence and wholeness. When we depend on other people, it becomes a bondage - instead of a freedom. I took this sunday as a meditation to be consciously alone, and to accept all feelings of pain, of not being loved and the fear of being nobody that would come up during the meditation. This meditation goes up and down during the day: at certain moments, I can totally accept my aloneness. It feels fine to accept that I am alone and that I am nobody. At other moments, I feel the pain of not being loved, when the meditation brings up how dependence on other people is a barrier to totally accept my aloneness. I take a coffee at a restaurant. I am the only person that sits alone in the restaurant, while the other guests are couples and families eating sunday dinner. It brings up painful feelings of not being loved and wanting to be needed by other people, when I see how much people cling to each other in the couples and the families. Escaping your aloneness through relationships and needing other people's attention through being a teacher, a politician or by being rich or famous, are ways of escaping the pain of aloneness. But then the relationships are not really love. Only when you are capable of being alone, you can really love. When we can be alone, we discover the inner source of love, which is our true nature. When we can be alone, it open the door to be one with the Whole.
Swami Dhyan Giten (Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being)
Many readers are familiar with the spirit and the letter of the definition of “prayer”, as given by Ambrose Bierce in his Devil’s Dictionary. It runs like this, and is extremely easy to comprehend: Prayer: A petition that the laws of nature be suspended in favor of the petitioner; himself confessedly unworthy. Everybody can see the joke that is lodged within this entry: The man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right. Half–buried in the contradiction is the distressing idea that nobody is in charge, or nobody with any moral authority. The call to prayer is self–cancelling. Those of us who don’t take part in it will justify our abstention on the grounds that we do not need, or care, to undergo the futile process of continuous reinforcement. Either our convictions are enough in themselves or they are not: At any rate they do require standing in a crowd and uttering constant and uniform incantations. This is ordered by one religion to take place five times a day, and by other monotheists for almost that number, while all of them set aside at least one whole day for the exclusive praise of the Lord, and Judaism seems to consist in its original constitution of a huge list of prohibitions that must be followed before all else. The tone of the prayers replicates the silliness of the mandate, in that god is enjoined or thanked to do what he was going to do anyway. Thus the Jewish male begins each day by thanking god for not making him into a woman (or a Gentile), while the Jewish woman contents herself with thanking the almighty for creating her “as she is.” Presumably the almighty is pleased to receive this tribute to his power and the approval of those he created. It’s just that, if he is truly almighty, the achievement would seem rather a slight one. Much the same applies to the idea that prayer, instead of making Christianity look foolish, makes it appear convincing. Now, it can be asserted with some confidence, first, that its deity is all–wise and all–powerful and, second, that its congregants stand in desperate need of that deity’s infinite wisdom and power. Just to give some elementary quotations, it is stated in the book of Philippians, 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.” Deuteronomy 32:4 proclaims that “he is the rock, his work is perfect,” and Isaiah 64:8 tells us, “Now O Lord, thou art our father; we art clay and thou our potter; and we are all the work of thy hand.” Note, then, that Christianity insists on the absolute dependence of its flock, and then only on the offering of undiluted praise and thanks. A person using prayer time to ask for the world to be set to rights, or to beseech god to bestow a favor upon himself, would in effect be guilty of a profound blasphemy or, at the very least, a pathetic misunderstanding. It is not for the mere human to be presuming that he or she can advise the divine. And this, sad to say, opens religion to the additional charge of corruption. The leaders of the church know perfectly well that prayer is not intended to gratify the devout. So that, every time they accept a donation in return for some petition, they are accepting a gross negation of their faith: a faith that depends on the passive acceptance of the devout and not on their making demands for betterment. Eventually, and after a bitter and schismatic quarrel, practices like the notorious “sale of indulgences” were abandoned. But many a fine basilica or chantry would not be standing today if this awful violation had not turned such a spectacularly good profit. And today it is easy enough to see, at the revival meetings of Protestant fundamentalists, the counting of the checks and bills before the laying on of hands by the preacher has even been completed. Again, the spectacle is a shameless one.
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
I love her!” he roars, knocking every person back in the room. “I fucking love her!” Tears burst from my eyes, and I fall into his side. He immediately grabs me and pulls me close. “I love her. I love everything she stands for and I love how much she loves me. It’s more than you love me. It’s more than any of you claim to love me! It’s pure and light. It’s made me feel. It’s made me want more. If any fucker tries to take her away from me, I’ll fucking kill them.” Pulling up for a second, he gathers a long breath. “Slowly,” he adds, shaking beside me, clinging to me tightly, like he’s afraid someone will try right now. “I don’t care what he says. I don’t care what he thinks he can do to me. It’ll be him sleeping with one eye open, Sophia, not me. So tell him. Fucking run to him and confirm what he already knows. I don’t want to fuck for a living anymore. Tell him I don’t want to line his pockets anymore. You’re not holding me for ransom. Miller Hart is out of the game. The Special One has quit!” He withdraws and takes a few moments to suck in another calming gulp of air, while everyone looks at him, shocked. Including me. “I love her. Go to him. Tell him I love her. Tell him I’m Olivia’s now. And tell him if he even thinks about touching a hair on her precious head, it’ll be the last thing he ever does.
Jodi Ellen Malpas (Unveiled (One Night, #3))
While most people view physical violence as a more serious offense than psychological violence, both battered women and prisoners of war report that threat of physical violence is more psychologically debilitating than actual physical violence. Emotional abuse, such as the threat to maim or kill, is often perceived as a threat to physical survival. For these reasons, psychological violence may promote the development of the syndrome as much or more than physical violence. This makes sense. A person who threatens to shoot you may be the one knocking on your door, calling you on the phone, turning into your driveway, or waiting around the next corner. Every moment is filled with fear until you are finally shot. Once shot, you can relax because you now know where and how the shooting occurred, how seriously you were hurt, what you need to do to take care of the wound, etc.
Dee L.R. Graham (Loving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men's Violence, and Women's Lives)
The magic of Paul’s intelligence is that he has more patience than anyone I’ve ever met, and with it he simply wears problems down. To count a hundred million stars, he told me once, at the rate of one per second, sounds like a job that no one could possibly complete in a lifetime. In reality, it would only take three years. The key is focus, a willingness not to be distracted. And that is Paul’s gift: an intuition of just how much a person can do slowly.
Ian Caldwell (The Rule of Four)
The playing field isn't level, and the people at the top often don't notice that. Perspective matters—it matters. Because a multi-millionaire can say to himself, 'I give away money to the poor, and I've never shoved a poor person in line' (if rich people ever actually stand in lines)—'so I'm a good guy.' And therein lies the danger. The 'I'm a good guy' standard doesn't work. Sure, there are rich people who use their money for good causes that do nothing to advance their own financial interests. But when people with money use their money to get more money, they aren't evil, they're just acting rationally. And they're also acting rationally in the narrowest sense of that word when they use that money to buy favors from the government. But when they buy favors from the government, they are taking something that belongs to the rest of us. And when enough rich people or rich corporations buy enough favors, the whole economic and political system starts to tilt their way. And if the American people allow this to go on long enough, there will come a point when the rich and powerful will be using so much of their money to buy so much influence over our government, that it will unwind the whole premise of democracy. Instead of one person, one vote—giving each of us a say in how this country is run—we will become an oligarchy, a nation in which the powerful few make sure that the government runs in order to serve their interests.
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
One of my greatest concerns for the young women of the Church is that they will sell themselves short in dating and marriage by forgetting who they really are--daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. . . . Unfortunately, a young woman who lowers her standards far enough can always find temporary acceptance from immature and unworthy young men. . . . At their best, daughters of God are loving, caring, understanding, and sympathetic. This does not mean they are also gullible, unrealistic, or easily manipulated. If a young man does not measure up to the standards a young woman has set, he may promise her that he will change if she will marry him first. Wise daughters of God will insist that young men who seek their hand in marriage change before the wedding, not after. (I am referring here to the kind of change that will be part of the lifelong growth of every disciple.) He may argue that she doesn't really believe in repentance and forgiveness. But one of the hallmarks of repentance is forsaking sin. Especially when the sin involves addictive behaviors or a pattern of transgression, wise daughters of God insist on seeing a sustained effort to forsake sin over a long period of time as true evidence of repentance. They do not marry someone because they believe they can change him. Young women, please do not settle for someone unworthy of your gospel standards. On the other hand, young women should not refuse to settle down. There is no right age for young men or young women to marry, but there is a right attitude for them to have about marriage: "Thy will be done" . . . . The time to marry is when we are prepared to meet a suitable mate, not after we have done all the enjoyable things in life we hoped to do while we were single. . . . When I hear some young men and young women set plans in stone which do not include marriage until after age twenty-five or thirty or until a graduate degree has been obtained, I recall Jacob's warning, "Seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand" (Jacob 4:10). . . . How we conduct ourselves in dating relationships is a good indication of how we will conduct ourselves in a marriage relationship. . . . Individuals considering marriage would be wise to conduct their own prayerful due diligence--long before they set their hearts on marriage. There is nothing wrong with making a T-square diagram and on either side of the vertical line listing the relative strengths and weaknesses of a potential mate. I sometimes wonder whether doing more homework when it comes to this critical decision would spare some Church members needless heartache. I fear too many fall in love with each other or even with the idea of marriage before doing the background research necessary to make a good decision. It is sad when a person who wants to be married never has the opportunity to marry. But it is much, much sadder to be married to the wrong person. If you do not believe me, talk with someone who has made that mistake. Think carefully about the person you are considering marrying, because marriage should last for time and for all eternity.
Robert D. Hales (Return: Four Phases of our Mortal Journey Home)
. . . I bet I'm beginning to make some parents nervous - here I am, bragging of being a dropout, and unemployable, and about to make a pitch for you to follow your creative dreams, when what parents want is for their children to do well in their field, to make them look good, and maybe also to assemble a tasteful fortune . . . But that is not your problem. Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to live it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who you are . . . I do know you are not what you look like, or how much you weigh, or how you did in school, or whether you start a job next Monday or not. Spirit isn't what you do, it's . . . well, again, I don't actually know. They probably taught this junior year at Goucher; I should've stuck around. But I know that you feel best when you're not doing much - when you're in nature, when you're very quiet or, paradoxically, listening to music . . . We can see Spirit made visible when people are kind to one another, especially when it's a really busy person, like you, taking care of the needy, annoying, neurotic person, like you. In fact, that's often when we see Spirit most brightly . . . In my twenties I devised a school of relaxation that has unfortunately fallen out of favor in the ensuing years - it was called Prone Yoga. You just lay around as much as possible. You could read, listen to music, you could space out or sleep. But you had to be lying down. Maintaining the prone. You've graduated. You have nothing left to prove, and besides, it's a fool's game. If you agree to play, you've already lost. It's Charlie Brown and Lucy, with the football. If you keep getting back on the field, they win. There are so many great things to do right now. Write. Sing. Rest. Eat cherries. Register voters. And - oh my God - I nearly forgot the most important thing: refuse to wear uncomfortable pants, even if they make you look really thin. Promise me you'll never wear pants that bind or tug or hurt, pants that have an opinion about how much you've just eaten. The pants may be lying! There is way too much lying and scolding going on politically right now without having your pants get in on the act, too. So bless you. You've done an amazing thing. And you are loved; you're capable of lives of great joy and meaning. It's what you are made of. And it's what you're here for. Take care of yourselves; take care of one another. And give thanks, like this: Thank you.
Anne Lamott (Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)
Fighting your inner demons, Fighting that inner war. Not knowing what's wrong or right. Asking yourself, "How much more?" How many more endless questions? How many more sleepless nights? How much more can I take, Of life and it's enternal fight? Trying to heal your pain. Somehow you can break the broken. People come but never stay. No one listens to what you've spoken. Love. Trust. Safety. Hope. It's gone and fled away. You have nothing left to your name, But the scars that always stay. Inferiorty. This is all you feel. No matter what you do, You're never good enough. And no one has a clue. No one knows, How you tear yourself apart. They don't know About your abused heart. They'll never understand The hate for yourself. They'll never see Your mental health. You want to believe. Believe you're worth something. Believe you're a good person. Believe you're worth loving. But the louder voice denies this. It tells you no one cares. That you're a terrible person. All you're doing is wasting air. Inner demons, inner war. I'm in the middle of it all. Pulling myself together, Knowing all I'll do is fall.
Celine Alesha Chadee
In every interview I’m asked what’s the most important quality a novelist has to have. It’s pretty obvious: talent. Now matter how much enthusiasm and effort you put into writing, if you totally lack literary talent you can forget about being a novelist. This is more of a prerequisite than a necessary quality. If you don’t have any fuel, even the best car won’t run.The problem with talent, though, is that in most cases the person involved can’t control its amount or quality. You might find the amount isn’t enough and you want to increase it, or you might try to be frugal and make it last longer, but in neither case do things work out that easily. Talent has a mind of its own and wells up when it wants to, and once it dries up, that’s it. Of course, certain poets and rock singers whose genius went out in a blaze of glory—people like Schubert and Mozart, whose dramatic early deaths turned them into legends—have a certain appeal, but for the vast majority of us this isn’t the model we follow. If I’m asked what the next most important quality is for a novelist, that’s easy too: focus—the ability to concentrate all your limited talents on whatever’s critical at the moment. Without that you can’t accomplish anything of value, while, if you can focus effectively, you’ll be able to compensate for an erratic talent or even a shortage of it. I generally concentrate on work for three or four hours every morning. I sit at my desk and focus totally on what I’m writing. I don’t see anything else, I don’t think about anything else. … After focus, the next most important thing for a novelist is, hands down, endurance. If you concentrate on writing three or four hours a day and feel tired after a week of this, you’re not going to be able to write a long work. What’s needed of the writer of fiction—at least one who hopes to write a novel—is the energy to focus every day for half a year, or a year, or two years. … Fortunately, these two disciplines—focus and endurance—are different from talent, since they can be acquired and sharpened through training. You’ll naturally learn both concentration and endurance when you sit down every day at your desk and train yourself to focus on one point. This is a lot like the training of muscles I wrote of a moment ago. You have to continually transmit the object of your focus to your entire body, and make sure it thoroughly assimilates the information necessary for you to write every single day and concentrate on the work at hand. And gradually you’ll expand the limits of what you’re able to do. Almost imperceptibly you’ll make the bar rise. This involves the same process as jogging every day to strengthen your muscles and develop a runner’s physique. Add a stimulus and keep it up. And repeat. Patience is a must in this process, but I guarantee results will come. In private correspondence the great mystery writer Raymond Chandler once confessed that even if he didn’t write anything, he made sure he sat down at his desk every single day and concentrated. I understand the purpose behind his doing this. This is the way Chandler gave himself the physical stamina a professional writer needs, quietly strengthening his willpower. This sort of daily training was indispensable to him. … Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day. These are practical, physical lessons. How much can I push myself? How much rest is appropriate—and how much is too much? How far can I take something and still keep it decent and consistent? When does it become narrow-minded and inflexible? How much should I be aware of the world outside, and how much should I focus on my inner world? To what extent should I be confident in my abilities, and when should I start doubting myself? I know that if I hadn’t become a long-distance runner when I became a novelist, my work would have been vastly different. How different? Hard to say. But something would definitely have been different.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
…95 percent of political commentary, whether spoken or written, is now polluted by the very politics it’s supposed to be about. Meaning it’s become totally ideological and reductive: The writer/speaker has certain political convictions or affiliations, and proceeds to filter all reality and spin all assertion according to those convictions and loyalties. Everybody’s pissed off and exasperated and impervious to argument from any other side. Opposing viewpoints are not just incorrect but contemptible, corrupt, evil […] Political discourse is now a formulaic matter of preaching to one’s own choir and demonizing the opposition. Everything’s relentlessly black-and-whitened…. Since the truth is way, way more gray and complicated than any one ideology can capture, the whole thing seems to me not just stupid but stupefying… How can any of this possibly help me, the average citizen, deliberate about whom to choose to decide my country’s macroeconomic policy, or how even to conceive for myself what that policy’s outlines should be, or how to minimize the chances of North Korea nuking the DMZ and pulling us into a ghastly foreign war, or how to balance domestic security concerns with civil liberties? Questions like these are all massively complicated, and much of the complication is not sexy, and well over 90 percent of political commentary now simply abets the uncomplicatedly sexy delusion that one side is Right and Just and the other Wrong and Dangerous. Which is of course a pleasant delusion, in a way—as is the belief that every last person you’re in conflict with is an asshole—but it’s childish, and totally unconducive to hard thought, give and take, compromise, or the ability of grown-ups to function as any kind of community.
David Foster Wallace (David Foster Wallace: The Interview)
To the enormous majority of persons who risk themselves in literature, not even the smallest measure of success can fall. They had better take to some other profession as quickly as may be, they are only making a sure thing of disappointment, only crowding the narrow gates of fortune and fame. Yet there are others to whom success, though easily within their reach, does not seem a thing to be grasped at. Of two such, the pathetic story may be read, in the Memoir of A Scotch Probationer, Mr. Thomas Davidson, who died young, an unplaced Minister of the United Presbyterian Church, in 1869. He died young, unaccepted by the world, unheard of, uncomplaining, soon after writing his latest song on the first grey hairs of the lady whom he loved. And she, Miss Alison Dunlop, died also, a year ago, leaving a little work newly published, Anent Old Edinburgh, in which is briefly told the story of her life. There can hardly be a true tale more brave and honourable, for those two were eminently qualified to shine, with a clear and modest radiance, in letters. Both had a touch of poetry, Mr. Davidson left a few genuine poems, both had humour, knowledge, patience, industry, and literary conscientiousness. No success came to them, they did not even seek it, though it was easily within the reach of their powers. Yet none can call them failures, leaving, as they did, the fragrance of honourable and uncomplaining lives, and such brief records of these as to delight, and console and encourage us all. They bequeath to us the spectacle of a real triumph far beyond the petty gains of money or of applause, the spectacle of lives made happy by literature, unvexed by notoriety, unfretted by envy. What we call success could never have yielded them so much, for the ways of authorship are dusty and stony, and the stones are only too handy for throwing at the few that, deservedly or undeservedly, make a name, and therewith about one-tenth of the wealth which is ungrudged to physicians, or barristers, or stock-brokers, or dentists, or electricians. If literature and occupation with letters were not its own reward, truly they who seem to succeed might envy those who fail. It is not wealth that they win, as fortunate men in other professions count wealth; it is not rank nor fashion that come to their call nor come to call on them. Their success is to be let dwell with their own fancies, or with the imaginations of others far greater than themselves; their success is this living in fantasy, a little remote from the hubbub and the contests of the world. At the best they will be vexed by curious eyes and idle tongues, at the best they will die not rich in this world’s goods, yet not unconsoled by the friendships which they win among men and women whose faces they will never see. They may well be content, and thrice content, with their lot, yet it is not a lot which should provoke envy, nor be coveted by ambition.
Andrew Lang (How to Fail in Literature: A Lecture)
Forgetting herself entirely, Pandora let her head loll back against Gabriel's shoulder. "What kind of glue does Ivo use?" she asked languidly. "Glue?" he echoed after a moment, his mouth close to her temple, grazing softly. "For his kites." "Ah." He paused while a wave retreated. "Joiner's glue, I believe." "That's not strong enough," Pandora said, relaxed and pensive. "He should use chrome glue." "Where would he find that?" One of his hands caressed her side gently. "A druggist can make it. One part acid chromate of lime to five parts gelatin." Amusement filtered through his voice. "Does your mind ever slow down, sweetheart?" "Not even for sleeping," she said. Gabriel steadied her against another wave. "How do you know so much about glue?" The agreeable trance began to fade as Pandora considered how to answer him. After her long hesitation, Gabriel tilted his head and gave her a questioning sideways glance. "The subject of glue is complicated, I gather." I'm going to have to tell him at some point, Pandora thought. It might as well be now. After taking a deep breath, she blurted out, "I design and construct board games. I've researched every possible kind of glue required for manufacturing them. Not just for the construction of the boxes, but the best kind to adhere lithographs to the boards and lids. I've registered a patent for the first game, and soon I intend to apply for two more." Gabriel absorbed the information in remarkably short order. "Have you considered selling the patents to a publisher?" "No, I want to make the games at my own factory. I have a production schedule. The first one will be out by Christmas. My brother-in-law, Mr. Winterborne, helped me to write a business plan. The market in board games is quite new, and he thinks my company will be successful." "I'm sure it will be. But a young woman in your position has no need of a livelihood." "I do if I want to be self-supporting." "Surely the safety of marriage is preferable to the burdens of being a business proprietor." Pandora turned to face him fully. "Not if 'safety' means being owned. As things stand now, I have the freedom to work and keep my earnings. But if I marry you, everything I have, including my company, would immediately become yours. You would have complete authority over me. Every shilling I made would go directly to you- it wouldn't even pass through my hands. I'd never be able to sign a contract, or hire employees, or buy property. In the eyes of the law, a husband and wife are one person, and that person is the husband. I can't bear the thought of it. It's why I never want to marry.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
A lot of people think love is that wild feeling they get in their belly when they see or think about or touch that other person. At least that’s how they’ve described it. I wouldn’t know. But I do know that isn’t love. That’s infatuation. This is love. When things get hard and ugly and the one you love stumbles under the weight, and you take it on yourself so that other person can keep going. My love for you has deepened over many different lifetimes. You have no idea the adventures we have shared. The revolutions we have fought. The dark times you have seen me through. My love for you is not the romantic kind. It runs so much deeper than that. You saved me from myself. Now I will do the same for you.
Steven Bereznai (Generation Manifestation)
We feel Divine Love entering us firstly through gentle, soft, humbling, kind and loving feelings, independent of any other person. This can be experienced as gently overwhelming as it increases, dependent on the depth of our desire for It. As we heal further, and more of our negative, repressed emotions and causal soul wounds are removed, the entering of Divine Love into our souls becomes stronger and stronger, bringing deep tears, powerful sensations and expansions in the heart and soul in immense gratitude, humility and feelings of great love and even more yearning for God. There may also be whole body tingling and sensations, crown chakra and heart explosions, feelings of being fully bathed in love and light, great feelings of humility, awe and wonder at the indescribable nature of God’s Love, and at how much He loves you. Receiving Divine Love can feel like being immersed in a bath of love all over, in every part of you, every cell. Deep peace, joy and waves of ecstasy, rapture and bliss arise and flow all over, and great humility washes over the soul. Immense love for God as the most wondrous, awe inspiring Soul that He Is is felt. A deepening into the essence of your pure soul occurs, along with the deep desire to give more of your soul to God. You feel deeply nurtured and embraced in God’s Arms. There is nothing better than resting and dropping into This. You feel the purity of His Love that is the most pleasurable feeling your soul will ever experience. Heat, pressure, inner and outer movements, pulsing, physical shifts and alignments can occur as you open and embody more Divine Love and the feeling of Blessedness this brings. This Blessedness also arises in felt feelings of forgiveness and mercy. Divine Love is Perfect in its trust and tenderness. We become more and more like a child; innocent, joyful, playful and beautiful as we were created to Be. This play is a pure and glorious sensation, wishing to share itself freely and touching all others. Receiving Divine Love can also become so powerful that we are brought to our knees in immense gratitude, rapture, pain and bliss, sometimes all at once. Receiving Divine Love in its fullness is overwhelming, and can even be physically painful in the heart as it inflows to such a degree that the heart actually stretches to accommodate It all. It is both rapturous and ecstatic, as the body may rock, sway and stretch as it receives more and more Divine Love.8 There is no better feeling in all universes than to receive this Greatest Love of all loves, the most pleasurable feelings a soul can experience as it has actually been designed this way, yet our physical bodies cannot take too much of it at one time! When I receive Divine Love in a rapturous way, it is blissful to the soul yet sometimes painful to the physical. Sometimes I have to stop praying as the body becomes too tired.
Padma Aon Prakasha (Dimensions of Love)
You know it's a matter of a whole lifetime, an infinite multitude of ramifications hidden from us. The most skillful chess-player, the cleverest of them, can only look a few moves ahead... How many moves there are in this, and how much that is unknown to us! In scattering the seed, scattering your "charity," your kind deeds, you are giving away, in one form or another, part of your personality, and taking into yourself part of another; you are in mutual communion with one another... On the other hand, all your thoughts, all the seeds scattered by you, perhaps forgotten by you, will grow up and take form. He who has received them from you will hand them on to another. And how can you tell what part you may have in the future determination of the destinies of humanity?
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Well, she would marry a man who didn't need or want her fortune. Mr. Pinter didn't fall into that category. And given how blank his expression became as his gaze met hers, she'd been right to be skeptical. he would never be interested in her in that way. He confirmed it by saying, with his usual formality, "I doubt any man would consider your ladyship unacceptable as a wife." Oh, when he turned all hoity-toity, she could just murder him. "Then we agree that the gentlemen in question would find me satisfactory," she said, matching his cold tone. "So I don't see why you assume they'd be unfaithful." "Some men are unfaithful no matter how beautiful their wives are," Mr. Pinter growled. He thought her beautiful? There she went again, reading too much into his words. He was only making a point. "But you have no reason to believe that these gentleman would be. Unless there's some dark secret you already know about them that I do not?" Glancing away, he muttered a curse under his breath. "No." "Then here's your chance to find out the truth about their characters. Because I prefer facts to opinions. And I was under the impression that you do, too." Take that, Mr. Pinter! Hoist by your own petard. The man always insisted on sticking to the facts. And he was well aware that she'd caught him out, for he scowled, then crossed his arms over his chest. His rather impressive chest, from what she could tell beneath his black coat and plain buff waistcoat. "I can't believe I'm the only person who would object to these gentlemen," he said. "What about your grandmother? Have you consulted her?" She lifted her eyes heavenward. He was being surprisingly resistant to her plans. "I don't need to. Every time one of them asks to dance with me, she beams. She's forever urging me to smile at them or attempt flirtation. And if they so much as press my hand or take my for a stroll, she quizzes me with great glee on what was said and done." "She's been letting you go out on private strolls with these scoundrels?" Mr. Pinter said in sheer outrage. "They aren't scoundrels." "I swear to God, you're a lamb among the wolves," he muttered. That image of her, so unlike how she saw herself, made her laugh. "I've spent half my life in the company of my brothers. Every time Gabe went to shoot, I went with him. At every house party that involved his friends, I was urged to show off my abilities with a rifle. I think I know how to handle a man, Mr. Pinter." His glittering gaze bored into her. "There's a vast difference between gamboling about in your brother's company with a group of his friends and letting a rakehell like Devonmont or a devilish foreigner like Basto stroll alone with you down some dark garden path." A blush heated her cheeks. "I didn't mean strolls of that sort, sir. I meant daytime walks about our gardens and such, with servants in plain view. All perfectly innocent." He snorted. "I doubt it will stay that way." "Oh, for heaven's sake, why are you being so stubborn? You know I must marry. Why do you even care whom I choose?" "I don't care," he protested. "I'm merely thinking of how much of my time will be wasted investigating suitors I already know are unacceptable." She let out an exasperated breath. Of course. With him, it was always about money. Heaven forbid he should waste his time helping her.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
If he noticed a female convict with a baby in her arms, he would approach, fondle the baby and snap his fingers at it to make it laugh. These things he did for many years, right up to his death; eventually he was famous all over Russia and all over Siberia, among the criminals, that is. One man who had been in Siberia told me that he himself had witnessed how the most hardened criminals remembered the general, and yet the general, when he visited the gangs of convicts, was rarely able to give more than twenty copecks to each man. It’s true that he wasn’t remembered with much affection, or even very seriously. Some ‘unfortunate wretch’, who had killed twelve people, or put six children to the knife solely for his own amusement (there were such men, it is said), would suddenly, apropos of nothing, perhaps only once in twenty years, sigh and say: ‘Well, and how’s the old general now, is he still alive?’ He would even, perhaps, smile as he said it – and that would be all. How can you know what seed had been cast into his soul for ever by this ‘old general’, whom he had not forgotten in twenty years? How can you know, Bakhmutov, what significance this communication between one personality and another may have in the fate of the personality that is communicated with?… I mean, we’re talking about the whole of a life, and a countless number of ramifications that are hidden from us. The very finest player of chess, the most acute of them, can only calculate a few moves ahead; one French player, who was able to calculate ten moves ahead, was described in the press as a miracle. But how many moves are here, and how much is there that is unknown to us? In sowing your seed, sowing your ‘charity’, your good deeds in whatever form, you give away a part of your personality and absorb part of another; a little more attention, and you are rewarded with knowledge, with the most unexpected discoveries. You will, at last, certainly view your deeds as a science; they will take over the whole of your life and may fill it. On the other hand, all your thoughts, all the seeds you have sown, which perhaps you have already forgotten, will take root and grow; the one who has received from you will give to another. And how can you know what part you will play in the future resolution of the fates of mankind? If this knowledge, and a whole lifetime of this work, exalts you, at last, to the point where you are able to sow a mighty seed, leave a mighty idea to the world as an inheritance, then…
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
There was one monk who never spoke up. His name was Vappa, and he seemed the most insecure about Gautama coming back to life. When he was taken aside and told that he would be enlightened, Vappa greeted the news with doubt. “If what you tell me is true, I would feel something, and I don’t,” he said. “When you dig a well, there is no sign of water until you reach it, only rocks and dirt to move out of the way. You have removed enough; soon the pure water will flow,” said Buddha. But instead of being reassured, Vappa threw himself on the ground, weeping and grasping Buddha’s feet. “It will never happen,” he moaned. “Don’t fill me with false hope.” “I’m not offering hope,” said Buddha. “Your karma brought you to me, along with the other four. I can see that you will soon be awake.” “Then why do I have so many impure thoughts?” asked Vappa, who was prickly and prone to outbursts of rage, so much so that the other monks were intimidated by him. “Don’t trust your thoughts,” said Buddha. “You can’t think yourself awake.” “I have stolen food when I was famished, and there were times when I stole away from my brothers and went to women,” said Vappa. “Don’t trust your actions. They belong to the body,” said Buddha. “Your body can’t wake you up.” Vappa remained miserable, his expression hardening the more Buddha spoke. “I should go away from here. You say there is no war between good and evil, but I feel it inside. I feel how good you are, and it only makes me feel worse.” Vappa’s anguish was so genuine that Buddha felt a twinge of temptation. He could reach out and take Vappa’s guilt from his shoulders with a touch of the hand. But making Vappa happy wasn’t the same as setting him free, and Buddha knew he couldn’t touch every person on earth. He said, “I can see that you are at war inside, Vappa. You must believe me when I say that you’ll never win.” Vappa hung his head lower. “I know that. So I must go?” “No, you misunderstand me,” Buddha said gently. “No one has ever won the war. Good opposes evil the way the summer sun opposes winter cold, the way light opposes darkness. They are built into the eternal scheme of Nature.” “But you won. You are good; I feel it,” said Vappa. “What you feel is the being I have inside, just as you have it,” said Buddha. “I did not conquer evil or embrace good. I detached myself from both.” “How?” “It wasn’t difficult. Once I admitted to myself that I would never become completely good or free from sin, something changed inside. I was no longer distracted by the war; my attention could go somewhere else. It went beyond my body, and I saw who I really am. I am not a warrior. I am not a prisoner of desire. Those things come and go. I asked myself: Who is watching the war? Who do I return to when pain is over, or when pleasure is over? Who is content simply to be? You too have felt the peace of simply being. Wake up to that, and you will join me in being free.” This lesson had an immense effect on Vappa, who made it his mission for the rest of his life to seek out the most miserable and hopeless people in society. He was convinced that Buddha had revealed a truth that every person could recognize: suffering is a fixed part of life. Fleeing from pain and running toward pleasure would never change that fact. Yet most people spent their whole lives avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure. To them, this was only natural, but in reality they were becoming deeply involved in a war they could never win.
Deepak Chopra (Buddha)
You mentioned how all marriages have Category 5 moments, and how you didn’t think your previous relationship would have made it through those moments. I think about that sometimes. About what could make one couple survive a Category 5 moment, but a different couple might not. I’ve thought about it enough to come up with a possible reason. Hurricanes aren’t a constant threat to coastal towns. There are more days with great weather and perfect beach days than there are hurricanes. Marriages are similar, in that there are a lot of great days with no arguments, when both people are filled with so much love for each other. But then you have the threatening-weather days. There might only be a few a year, but they can do enough damage that it takes years to repair. Some of the coastal towns will be prepared for the bad-weather days. They’ll save their best resources and most of their energy so that they’ll be stocked up and prepared for the aftermath. But some towns won’t be as prepared. They’ll put all their resources into the good weather days in hopes that the severe weather will never come. It’s the lazier choice and the choice with greater consequences. I think that’s the difference in the marriages that survive and the marriages that don’t. Some people think the focus in a marriage should be put on all the perfect days. They love as much and as hard as they can when everything is going right. But if a person gives all of themselves in the good times, hoping the bad times never come, there may not be enough resources or energy left to withstand those Category 5 moments. I know without a doubt that we’re going to have so many good moments. No matter what life throws at us, we’re going to make great memories together,
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
This process of being mature in an anxious organisation has been likened to learning to sail against the wind; and as any sailor will tell you, this requires concentration and tolerating some tension as the wind pressures the vessel to let it take over the controls. Good skippers know how to tolerate sufficient tension to keep a steady course. They don’t try to overpower their vessel with too much sail in order to get to the finish line faster, as they know this will inevitably knock them backwards. They also know not to panic and retreat to the safe harbour of familiarity. They focus on their key tasks of setting the course and letting the crew know their intensions so that each person can get on with focusing on their own tasks. There’s only one path to growing this ability: through patient, thoughtful perseverance in the midst of experience ... no short cuts to be found.
Jenny Brown (Growing Yourself Up: How to bring your best to all of life's relationships)
Does God get what God wants? That’s a good question. An interesting question. And it’s an important question that has given us much to discuss. But there’s a better question. One that we actually can answer. One that takes all of the speculation about the future, which no one has been to and returned with hard empirical evidence, and brings it back to one absolute we can depend on in the midst of all of this which turns out to be another question. It’s not, “Does God get what God wants?” but “Do we get what we want?” and the answer to that is a resounding, affirming, sure and certain yes. Yes, we get what we want, God is that loving. If we want isolation, despair, and the right to be our own god, God graciously grants us that option. If we insist on using our God-given power and strength to make the world in our own image, God allows us that freedom and we have that kind of license to do that. If we want nothing to do with light, love, hope, grace, and peace God respects that desire on our part and we are given a life free from any of those realities. The more we want nothing to do with what God is, the more distance and space is created. If we want nothing to do with love, we are given a reality free from love. If, however, we crave light, we’re drawn to truth, we’re desperate for grace, we’ve come to the end of our plots and schemes and we want someone else’s path, God gives us what we want. If we have this sense that we have wandered far from home and we want to return, God is there standing in the driveway arms open, ready to invite us in. If we thirst for Shalom and we long for the peace that transcends all understanding, God doesn’t just give, they are poured out on us lavishly, heaped until we are overwhelmed. It’s like a feast where the food and wine do not run out. These desires can start with the planting of an infinitesimally small seed in our heart, or a yearning for life to be better, or a gnawing sense that we are missing out, or an awareness that beyond the routine and grind of life there is something more, or the quiet hunch that this isn’t all there is. It often has it’s birth in the most unexpected ways, arising out of our need for something we know we do not have, for someone we know we are not. And to that, that impulse, craving, yearning, longing, desire God says, “Yes!”. Yes there is water for that thirst, food for that hunger, light for that darkness, relief for that burden. If we want hell, if we want heaven then they are ours. that’s how love works, it can’t be forced, manipulated, or coerced. It always leaves room for the other to decide. God says, “yes”, we can have what we want because love wins.
Rob Bell (Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived)
Suppose he really is in love. What about her? She never has anything good to say about him.” “Yet she blushes whenever he enters a room. And she stares at him a good deal. Or hadn’t you noticed that, either?” “As a matter of fact, I have.” Gazing up at him, she softened her tone. “But I do not want her hurt, Isaac. I must be sure she is desired for herself and not her fortune. Her siblings had a chance of not gaining their inheritance unless the others married, so I always knew that their mates loved them, but she…” She shook her head. “I had to find a way to remove her fortune from the equation.” “I still say you’re taking a big risk.” He glanced beyond her to where Celia was talking to the duke. “Do yo really think she’d be better off with Lyons?” But she doesn’t love him…If you’d just give her a chance- “I do not know,” Hetty said with a sigh. “I do not know anything anymore.” “Then you shouldn’t meddle. Because there’s another outcome you haven’t considered. If you try to manipulate matters to your satisfaction, she may balk entirely. Then you’ll find yourself in the sticky position of having to choose between disinheriting them all or backing down on your ultimatum. Personally, I think you should have given up that nonsense long ago, but I know only too well how stubborn you can be when you’ve got the bit between your teeth.” “Oh?” she said archly. “Have I been stubborn with you?” He gazed down at her. “You haven’t agreed to marry me yet.” Her heart flipped over in her chest. It was not the first time he had mentioned marriage, but she had refused to take him seriously. Until now. It was clear he would not be put off any longer. He looked solemnly in earnest. “Isaac…” “Are you worried that I am a fortune hunter?” “Do not be absurd.” “Because I’ve already told you that I’ll sign any marriage settlement you have your solicitor draw up. I don’t want your brewery or your vast fortune. I know it’s going to your grandchildren. I only want you.” The tender words made her sigh like a foolish girl. “I realize that. But why not merely continue as we have been?” His voice lowered. “Because I want to make you mine in every way.” A sweet shiver swept along her spine. “We do not need to marry for that.” “So all you want from me is an affair?” “No! But-“ “I want more than that. I want to go to sleep with you in my arms and wake with you in my bed. I want the right to be with you whenever I please, night or day.” His tone deepened. “I love you, Hetty. And when a man loves a woman, he wants to spend his life with her.” “But at our age, people will say-“ “Our age is an argument for marriage. We might not have much time left. Why not live it to the fullest, together, while we’re still in good health? Who cares about what people say? Life is too short to let other people dictate one’s choices.” She leaned heavily on his arm as they reached the steps leading up to the dais at the front of the ballroom. He did have a point. She had been balking at marrying him because she was sure people would think her a silly old fool. But then, she had always been out of step with everyone else. Why should this be any different? “I shall think about it,” she murmured as they headed to the center of the dais, where the family was gathering. “I suppose I’ll have to settle for that. For now.” He cast her a heated glance. “But later this evening, once we have the chance to be alone, I shall try more effective methods to persuade you. Because I’m not giving up on this. I can be as stubborn as you, my dear.” She bit back a smile. Thank God for that.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Timing is something that none of us can seem to get quite right with relationships. We meet the person of our dreams the month before they leave to go study abroad. We form an incredibly close friendship with an attractive person who is already taken. One relationship ends because our partner isn’t ready to get serious and another ends because they’re getting serious too soon. “It would be perfect,” We moan to our friends, “If only this were five years from now/eight years sooner/some indistinct time in the future where all our problems would take care of themselves.” Timing seems to be the invariable third party in all of our relationships. And yet we never stop to consider why we let timing play such a drastic role in our lives. Timing is a bitch, yes. But it’s only a bitch if we let it be. Here’s a simple truth that I think we all need to face up to: the people we meet at the wrong time are actually just the wrong people. You never meet the right people at the wrong time because the right people are timeless. The right people make you want to throw away the plans you originally had for one and follow them into the hazy, unknown future without a glance backwards. The right people don’t make you hmm and haw about whether or not you want to be with them; you just know. You know that any adventure you had originally planned out for your future isn’t going to be half as incredible as the adventures you could have by their side. That no matter what you thought you wanted before, this is better. Everything is better since they came along. When you are with the right person, time falls away. You don’t worry about fitting them into your complicated schedule, because they become a part of that schedule. They become the backbone of it. Your happiness becomes your priority and so long as they are contributing to it, you can work around the rest. The right people don’t stand in the way of the things you once wanted and make you choose them over them. The right people encourage you: To try harder, dream bigger, do better. They bring out the most incredible parts of yourself and make you want to fight harder than ever before. The right people don’t impose limits on your time or your dreams or your abilities. They want to tackle those mountains with you, and they don’t care how much time it takes. With the right person, you have all of the time in the world. The truth is, when we pass someone up because the timing is wrong, what we are really saying is that we don’t care to spend our time on that person. There will never be a magical time when everything falls into place and fixes all our broken relationships. But there may someday be a person who makes the issue of timing irrelevant. Because when someone is right for us, we make the time to let them into our lives. And that kind of timing is always right.
Heidi Priebe (This Is Me Letting You Go)
You have something to say to me, Cassidy, say it. Or shut the fuck up.” “All right,” Jules said. “I will.” He took a deep breath. Exhaled. “Okay, see, I, well, I love you. Very, very much, and . . .” Where to go from here . . .? Except, his plain-spoken words earned him not just a glance but Max’s sudden full and complete attention. Which was a little alarming. But it was the genuine concern in Max’s eyes that truly caught Jules off-guard. Max actually thought . . . Jules laughed his surprise. “Oh! No, not like that. I meant it, you know, in a totally platonic, non-gay way.” Jules saw comprehension and relief on Max’s face. The man was tired if he was letting such basic emotions show. “Sorry.” Max even smiled. “I just . . .” He let out a burst of air. “I mean, talk about making things even more complicated . . .” It was amazing. Max hadn’t recoiled in horror at the idea. His concern had been for Jules, about potentially hurting his tender feelings. And even now, he wasn’t trying to turn it all into a bad joke. And he claimed they weren’t friends. Jules felt his throat tighten. “You can’t know,” he told his friend quietly, “how much I appreciate your acceptance and respect.” “My father was born in India,” Max told him, “in 1930. His mother was white—American. His father was not just Indian, but lower caste. The intolerance he experienced both there and later, even in America, made him a . . . very bitter, very hard, very, very unhappy man.” He glanced at Jules again. “I know personality plays into it, and maybe you’re just stronger than he was, but . . . People get knocked down all the time. They can either stay there, wallow in it, or . . . Do what you’ve done—what you do. So yeah. I respect you more than you know.” Holy shit. Weeping was probably a bad idea, so Jules grabbed onto the alternative. He made a joke. “I wasn’t aware that you even had a father. I mean, rumors going around the office have you arriving via flying saucer—” “I would prefer not to listen to aimless chatter all night long,” Max interrupted him. “So if you’ve made your point . . .?” Ouch. “Okay,” Jules said. “I’m so not going to wallow in that. Because I do have a point. See, I said what I said because I thought I’d take the talk-to-an-eight-year-old approach with you. You know, tell you how much I love you and how great you are in part one of the speech—” “Speech.” Max echoed. “Because part two is heavily loaded with the silent-but-implied ‘you are such a freaking idiot.’” “Ah, Christ,” Max muttered. “So, I love you,” Jules said again, “in a totally buddy-movie way, and I just want to say that I also really love working for you, and I hope to God you’ll come back so I can work for you again. See, I love the fact that you’re my leader not because you were appointed by some suit, but because you earned very square inch of that gorgeous corner office. I love you because you’re not just smart, you’re open-minded—you’re willing to talk to people who have a different point of view, and when they speak, you’re willing to listen. Like right now, for instance. You’re listening, right?” “No.” “Liar.” Jules kept going. “You know, the fact that so many people would sell their grandmother to become a part of your team is not an accident. Sir, you’re beyond special—and your little speech to me before just clinched it. You scare us to death because we’re afraid we won’t be able to live up to your high standards. But your back is strong, you always somehow manage to carry us with you even when we falter. “Some people don’t see that; they don’t really get you—all they know is they would charge into hell without hesitation if you gave the order to go. But see, what I know is that you’d be right there, out in front—they’d have to run to keep up with you. You never flinch. You never hesitate. You never rest.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
A businessman buys a business and tries to operate it. He does everything that he knows how to do but just cannot make it go. Year after year the ledger shows red, and he is not making a profit. He borrows what he can, has a little spirit and a little hope, but that spirit and hope die and he goes broke. Finally, he sells out, hopelessly in debt, and is left a failure in the business world. A woman is educated to be a teacher but just cannot get along with the other teachers. Something in her constitution or temperament will not allow her to get along with children or young people. So after being shuttled from one school to another, she finally gives up, goes somewhere and takes a job running a stapling machine. She just cannot teach and is a failure in the education world. I have known ministers who thought they were called to preach. They prayed and studied and learned Greek and Hebrew, but somehow they just could not make the public want to listen to them. They just couldn’t do it. They were failures in the congregational world. It is possible to be a Christian and yet be a failure. This is the same as Israel in the desert, wandering around. The Israelites were God’s people, protected and fed, but they were failures. They were not where God meant them to be. They compromised. They were halfway between where they used to be and where they ought to be. And that describes many of the Lord’s people. They live and die spiritual failures. I am glad God is good and kind. Failures can crawl into God’s arms, relax and say, “Father, I made a mess of it. I’m a spiritual failure. I haven’t been out doing evil things exactly, but here I am, Father, and I’m old and ready to go and I’m a failure.” Our kind and gracious heavenly Father will not say to that person, “Depart from me—I never knew you,” because that person has believed and does believe in Jesus Christ. The individual has simply been a failure all of his life. He is ready for death and ready for heaven. I wonder if that is what Paul, the man of God, meant when he said: [No] other foundation can [any] man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he should receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (1 Cor. 3:11-15). I think that’s what it means, all right. We ought to be the kind of Christian that cannot only save our souls but also save our lives. When Lot left Sodom, he had nothing but the garments on his back. Thank God, he got out. But how much better it would have been if he had said farewell at the gate and had camels loaded with his goods. He could have gone out with his head up, chin out, saying good riddance to old Sodom. How much better he could have marched away from there with his family. And when he settled in a new place, he could have had “an abundant entrance” (see 2 Pet. 1:11). Thank God, you are going to make it. But do you want to make it in the way you have been acting lately? Wandering, roaming aimlessly? When there is a place where Jesus will pour “the oil of gladness” on our heads, a place sweeter than any other in the entire world, the blood-bought mercy seat (Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:9)? It is the will of God that you should enter the holy of holies, live under the shadow of the mercy seat, and go out from there and always come back to be renewed and recharged and re-fed. It is the will of God that you live by the mercy seat, living a separated, clean, holy, sacrificial life—a life of continual spiritual difference. Wouldn’t that be better than the way you are doing it now?
A.W. Tozer (The Crucified Life: How To Live Out A Deeper Christian Experience)
SPIEGEL: You have a lot of respect for the Dalai Lama, you even rewrote some Buddhist writings for him. Are you a religious person? Cleese: I certainly don't think much of organized religion. I am not committed to anything except the vague feeling that there is something more going on than the materialist reductionist people think. I think you can reduce suffering a little bit, like the Buddhists say, that is one of the few things I take seriously. But the idea that you can run this planet in a rational and kind way -- I think it's not possible. There will always be these sociopaths at the top -- selfish people, power-seekers who want to spend their whole lives seeking it. Robin Skynner, the psychiatrist that I wrote two books with, said to me that you could begin to enjoy life when you realized how bad the planet is, how hopeless everything is. I reached that point these last two or three years when I saw that our existence here is absolutely hopeless. I see the rich people have got a stranglehold on us. If somebody had said that to me when I was 20, I would have regarded him as a left-wing loony. SPIEGEL: You may not have been a left-wing loony, but you were happy to attack and ridicule the church. The "Life of Brian," the story of a young man in Judea who isn't Jesus Christ, but is nevertheless followed like a savior and crucified afterwards, was regarded as blasphemy when it was released in 1979. Cleese: Well there was a small number of people in country towns, all very conservative, who got upset and said, "You can't show the film." So people hired a coach and drove 15 miles to the next town and went to see the film there. But a lot of Christians said, "We got it, we know that the joke is not about religion, but about the way people follow religion." If Jesus saw the Spanish Inquisition I think he would have said, "What are you doing there?" SPIEGEL: These days Muslims and Islam are risky subjects. Do you think they are good issues for satire? Cleese: For sure. In 1982, Graham Chapman and I wrote a number of scenes for "The Meaning of Life" movie which had an ayatollah in them. This ayatollah was raging against all the evil inventions of the West, you know, like toilet paper. These scenes were never included in the film, although I thought they were much better than many other scenes that were included. And that's why I didn't do any more Python films: I didn't want to be outvoted any longer. But I wouldn't have made fun of the prophet. SPIEGEL: Why not? Cleese: How could you? How could you make fun of Jesus or Saint Francis of Assisi? They were wonderful human beings. People are only funny when they behave inappropriately, when they've been taken over by some egotistical emotion which they can't control and they become less human. SPIEGEL: Is there a difference between making fun of our side, so to speak, the Western, Christian side, and Islam? Cleese: There shouldn't be a difference. [SPIEGEL Interview with John Cleese: 'Satire Makes People Think' - 2015]
John Cleese
Treating Abuse Today 3(4) pp. 26-33 Freyd: The term "multiple personality" itself assumes that there is "single personality" and there is evidence that no one ever displays a single personality. TAT: The issue here is the extent of dissociation and amnesia and the extent to which these fragmentary aspects of personality can take executive control and control function. Sure, you and I have different parts to our mind, there's no doubt about that, but I don't lose time to mine they can't come out in the middle of a lecture and start acting 7 years old. I'm very much in the camp that says that we all are multi-minds, but the difference between you and me and a multiple is pretty tangible. Freyd: Those are clearly interesting questions, but that area and the clinical aspects of dissociation and multiple personalities is beyond anything the Foundation is actively... TAT: That's a real problem. Let me tell you why that's a problem. Many of the people that have been alleged to have "false memory syndrome" have diagnosed dissociative disorders. It seems to me the fact that you don't talk about dissociative disorders is a little dishonest, since many people whose lives have been impacted by this movement are MPD or have a dissociative disorder. To say, "Well, we ONLY know about repression but not about dissociation or multiple personalities" seems irresponsible. Freyd: Be that as it may, some of the scientific issues with memory are clear. So if we can just stick with some things for a moment; one is that memories are reconstructed and reinterpreted no matter how long ago or recent. TAT: You weigh the recollected testimony of an alleged perpetrator more than the alleged victim's. You're saying, basically, if the parents deny it, that's another notch for disbelief. Freyd: If it's denied, certainly one would want to check things. It would have to be one of many factors that are weighed -- and that's the problem with these issues -- they are not black and white, they're very complicated issues.
David L. Calof
This is how we understand depressive psychosis today: as a bogging down in the demands of others-family job, the narrow horizon of daily duties. In such a bogging down the individual does not feel or see that he has alternatives, cannot imagine any choices or alternate ways of life, cannot release himself from the network of obligations even though these obligations no longer give him a sense of self-esteem, of primary value, of being a heroic contributor to world life even by doing his daily family and job duties. As I once speculated, the schizophrenic is not enough built into his world-what Kierkegaard has called the sickness of infinitude; the depressive, on the other hand, is built into his world too solidly, too overwhelmingly. Kierkegaard put it this way: But while one sort of despair plunges wildly into the infinite and loses itself, a second sort permits itself as it were to be defrauded by "the others." By seeing the multitude of men about it, by getting engaged in all sorts of worldly affairs, by becoming wise about how things go in this world, such a man forgets himself...does not dare to believe in himself, finds it too venturesome a thing to be himself, far easier and safer to be like the others, to become an imitation, a number, a cipher in the crowd. This is a superb characterization of the "culturally normal" man, the one who dares not stand up for his own meanings because this means too much danger, too much exposure. Better not to be oneself, better to live tucked into others, embedded in a safe framework of social and cultural obligations and duties. Again, too, this kind of characterization must be understood as being on a continuum, at the extreme end of which we find depressive psychosis. The depressed person is so afraid of being himself, so fearful of exerting his own individuality, of insisting on what might be his own meanings, his own conditions for living, that he seems literally stupid. He cannot seem to understand the situation he is in, cannot see beyond his own fears, cannot grasp why he has bogged down. Kierkegaard phrases it beautifully: If one will compare the tendency to run wild in possibility with the efforts of a child to enunciate words, the lack of possibility is like being dumb...for without possibility a man cannot, as it were, draw breath. This is precisely the condition of depression, that one can hardly breath or move. One of the unconscious tactics that the depressed person resorts to, to try to make sense out of his situation, is to see himself as immensely worthless and guilty. This is a marvelous "invention" really, because it allows him to move out of his condition of dumbness, and make some kind of conceptualization of his situation, some kind of sense out of it-even if he has to take full blame as the culprit who is causing so much needless misery to others. Could Kierkegaard have been referring to just such an imaginative tactic when he casually observed: Sometimes the inventiveness of the human imagination suffices to procure possibility....
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
I wish I had asked myself when I was younger. My path was so tracked that in my 8th-grade yearbook, one of my friends predicted— accurately— that four years later I would enter Stanford as a sophomore. And after a conventionally successful undergraduate career, I enrolled at Stanford Law School, where I competed even harder for the standard badges of success. The highest prize in a law student’s world is unambiguous: out of tens of thousands of graduates each year, only a few dozen get a Supreme Court clerkship. After clerking on a federal appeals court for a year, I was invited to interview for clerkships with Justices Kennedy and Scalia. My meetings with the Justices went well. I was so close to winning this last competition. If only I got the clerkship, I thought, I would be set for life. But I didn’t. At the time, I was devastated. In 2004, after I had built and sold PayPal, I ran into an old friend from law school who had helped me prepare my failed clerkship applications. We hadn’t spoken in nearly a decade. His first question wasn’t “How are you doing?” or “Can you believe it’s been so long?” Instead, he grinned and asked: “So, Peter, aren’t you glad you didn’t get that clerkship?” With the benefit of hindsight, we both knew that winning that ultimate competition would have changed my life for the worse. Had I actually clerked on the Supreme Court, I probably would have spent my entire career taking depositions or drafting other people’s business deals instead of creating anything new. It’s hard to say how much would be different, but the opportunity costs were enormous. All Rhodes Scholars had a great future in their past. the best paths are new and untried. will this business still be around a decade from now? business is like chess. Grandmaster José Raúl Capablanca put it well: to succeed, “you must study the endgame before everything else. The few who knew what might be learned, Foolish enough to put their whole heart on show, And reveal their feelings to the crowd below, Mankind has always crucified and burned. Above all, don’t overestimate your own power as an individual. Founders are important not because they are the only ones whose work has value, but rather because a great founder can bring out the best work from everybody at his company. That we need individual founders in all their peculiarity does not mean that we are called to worship Ayn Randian “prime movers” who claim to be independent of everybody around them. In this respect, Rand was a merely half-great writer: her villains were real, but her heroes were fake. There is no Galt’s Gulch. There is no secession from society. To believe yourself invested with divine self-sufficiency is not the mark of a strong individual, but of a person who has mistaken the crowd’s worship—or jeering—for the truth. The single greatest danger for a founder is to become so certain of his own myth that he loses his mind. But an equally insidious danger for every business is to lose all sense of myth and mistake disenchantment for wisdom.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
One of Socrates' greatest and most enduring legacies, one for which he ultimately gave his life, was to fundamentally transform the meaning of 'Know yourself' by turning it inward. In other words, when Socrates advised his fellow Athenians --- the aristocrats, more often than not --- to examine their lives, to 'know themselves,' he was exhorting them to give far less time and attention to external circumstances like social status and wealth and to give much more time and attention to the things that matter most: internal goals, like wisdom, truth, and ethical character. As Socrates himself expressed the point in defense of his teachings: 'I will not cease from philosophy...and from exhorting you, and declaring the truth to every one of you I meet..."are you not embarassed by caring for money ...and fame and reputation, and not caring or taking thought for wisdom and truth and for your soul, and how to make it as good as possible?' I go about doing nothing else but urging you, young and old alike, not to care for your bodies or for money sooner than, or as much as, for you soul, and how to make it as good as you can.
Russell Gough (Character Is Destiny: The Value of Personal Ethics in Everyday Life)
The greatest managers in the world do not have much in common. They are of different sexes, races, and ages. They employ vastly different styles and focus on different goals. But despite their differences, these great managers do share one thing: Before they do anything else, they first break all the rules of conventional wisdom. They do not believe that a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They do not try to help a person overcome his weaknesses. They consistently disregard the Golden Rule. And, yes, they even play favorites. Great managers are revolutionaries, although few would use that word to describe themselves. This book will take you inside the minds of these managers to explain why they have toppled conventional wisdom and reveal the new truths they have forged in its place. We are not encouraging you to replace your natural managerial style with a standardized version of theirs — as you will see, great managers do not share a “standardized style.” Rather, our purpose is to help you capitalize on your own style, by showing you how to incorporate the revolutionary insights shared by great managers everywhere.
Marcus Buckingham (First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently)
From another corner of neuroscience, we’re learning about a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Though there are more than fifty neurotransmitters (that we know of), scientists studying substance problems have given dopamine much of their attention. The brain’s reward system and pleasure centers—the areas most impacted by substance use and compulsive behaviors—have a high concentration of dopamine. Some brains have more of it than others, and some people have a capacity to enjoy a range of experiences more than others, owing to a combination of genetics and environment. The thing about dopamine is that it makes us feel really good. We tend to want more of it. It is naturally generated through ordinary, pleasurable activities like eating and sex, and it is the brain’s way of rewarding us—or nature’s way of rewarding the brain—for activities necessary to our survival, individually or as a species. It is the “mechanism by which ‘instinct’ is manifest.” Our brains arrange for dopamine levels to rise in anticipation and spike during a pleasurable activity to make sure we do it again. It helps focus our attention on all the cues that contributed to our exposure to whatever felt good (these eventually become triggers to use, as we explain later). Drugs and alcohol (and certain behaviors) turn on a gushing fire hose of dopamine in the brain, and we feel good, even euphoric. Dopamine produced by these artificial means, however, throws our pleasure and reward systems out of whack immediately. Flooding the brain repeatedly with dopamine has long-term effects and creates what’s known as tolerance—when we lose our ability to produce or absorb our own dopamine and need more and more of it artificially just to feel okay. Specifically, the brain compensates for the flood of dopamine by decreasing its own production of it or by desensitizing itself to the neurotransmitter by reducing the number of dopamine receptors, or both. The brain is just trying to keep a balance. The problem with the brain’s reduction in natural dopamine production is that when you take the substance or behavior out of the picture, there’s not enough dopamine in the brain to make you feel good. Without enough dopamine, there is no interest or pleasure. Then not only does the brain lose the pleasure associated with using, it might not be able to enjoy a sunset or a back rub, either. A lowered level of dopamine, combined with people’s longing for the rush of dopamine they got from using substances, contributes to “craving” states. Cravings are a physiological process associated with the brain’s struggle to regain its normal dopamine balance, and they can influence a decision to keep using a substance even when a person is experiencing negative consequences that matter to him and a strong desire to change. Depending on the length of time and quantities a person has been using, these craving states can be quite uncomfortable and compelling. The dopamine system can and does recover, starting as soon as we stop flooding it. But it takes time, and in the time between shutting off the artificial supply of dopamine and the brain’s rebuilding its natural resources, people tend to feel worse (before they feel better). On a deep, instinctual level, their brains are telling them that by stopping using, something is missing; something is wrong. This is a huge factor in relapse, despite good intentions and effort to change. Knowing this can help you and your loved one make it across this gap in brain reward systems.
Jeffrey Foote (Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change)
To speak of a communication failure implies a breakdown of some sort. Yet this does not accurately portray what occurs. In truth, communication difficulties arise not from breakdown but from the characteristics of the system itself. Despite promising beginnings in our intimate relationships, we tend over time to evolve a system of communication that suppresses rather than reveals information. Life is complicated, and confirming or disconfirming the well-being of a relationship takes effort. Once we are comfortably coupled, the intense, energy-consuming monitoring of courtship days is replaced by a simpler, more efficient method. Unable to witness our partners’ every activity or verify every nuance of meaning, we evolve a communication system based on trust. We gradually cease our attentive probing, relying instead on familiar cues and signals to stand as testament to the strength of the bond: the words “I love you,” holidays with the family, good sex, special times with shared friends, the routine exchange, “How was your day?” We take these signals as representative of the relationship and turn our monitoring energies elsewhere. ... Not only do the initiator’s negative signals tend to become incorporated into the existing routine, but, paradoxically, the initiator actively contributes to the impression that life goes on as usual. Even as they express their unhappiness, initiators work at emphasizing and maintaining the routine aspects of life with the other person, simultaneously giving signals that all is well. Unwilling to leave the relationship yet, they need to privately explore and evaluate the situation. The initiator thus contrives an appearance of participation,7 creating a protective cover that allows them to “return” if their alternative resources do not work out. Our ability to do this—to perform a role we are no longer enthusiastically committed to—is one of our acquired talents. In all our encounters, we present ourselves to others in much the same way as actors do, tailoring our performance to the role we are assigned in a particular setting.8 Thus, communication is always distorted. We only give up fragments of what really occurs within us during that specific moment of communication.9 Such fragments are always selected and arranged so that there is seldom a faithful presentation of our inner reality. It is transformed, reduced, redirected, recomposed.10 Once we get the role perfected, we are able to play it whether we are in the mood to go on stage or not, simply by reproducing the signals. What is true of all our encounters is, of course, true of intimate relationships. The nature of the intimate bond is especially hard to confirm or disconfirm.11 The signals produced by each partner, while acting out the partner role, tend to be interpreted by the other as the relationship.12 Because the costs of constantly checking out what the other person is feeling and doing are high, each partner is in a position to be duped and misled by the other.13 Thus, the initiator is able to keep up appearances that all is well by falsifying, tailoring, and manipulating signals to that effect. The normal routine can be used to attest to the presence of something that is not there. For example, initiators can continue the habit of saying, “I love you,” though the passion is gone. They can say, “I love you” and cover the fact that they feel disappointment or anger, or that they feel nothing at all. Or, they can say, “I love you” and mean, “I like you,” or, “We have been through a lot together,” or even “Today was a good day.
Diane Vaughan (Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships)
Here are my 12 Rules for Living: I go to bed and get up at the same time seven days per week (8 p.m. and 4 a.m., respectively). I stick to my diet, avoid caffeine after 1 p.m., and avoid alcohol within three hours of bedtime. I write for at least sixty minutes first thing every morning. I do not check email before noon and I do not talk on the phone unless it is a scheduled interview or conference call. I act polite and courteous, and I do not swear. I create a to-do list at the start & end of every workday and update my daily gratitude & achievement journal. I do not engage in confrontations with anyone, in-person or online. This is a waste of time and energy. If I have caused harm, I apologize and fix the situation. And then I take a deep breath, relax, breathe out, and re-focus my efforts back on my work and goals. I am guided by these two phrases: “Nothing matters.” – I can only work towards my big goals and my vision of helping others, while the opinions of others do not matter. “It will all be over soon.” – Everything, both good and bad, comes to an end. I must enjoy the good while it lasts, and persevere through the bad until I have beaten it. Everything that happens to me—good and bad—is my personal responsibility. I blame no one but myself. These are the choices I’ve made—this is the life I’m living. I accept the consequences of my actions. I will help ten million men and women transform their lives. I will not be the person I don’t want to be. I will not be petty, jealous, or envious, or give in to any other of those lazy emotions. I will not gossip or speak badly of others, no matter who I am with or what environment I am in. I will not be negative when it is easier to be positive. I will not hurt others when it is possible to help. I will know the temptations, situations and environments in life that I must avoid, and I will, in fact, avoid them, even if it means loosening relationships with others who “live” in those environments. It’s my life and that matters more than what other people think of me. “I will always keep the child within me alive.” – Frank McKinney. I will make time to laugh and play every day. “I will write with honesty and feeling.” – Ted Nicholas. The opinion of others does not matter. What matters is the number of people that I can help by sharing advice and encouragement in my writing. My 12 Rules have made me much happier
Craig Ballantyne (The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life)
to be open and straightforward about their needs for attention in a social setting. It is equally rare for members of a group in American culture to honestly and openly express needs that might be in conflict with that individual’s needs. This value of not just honestly but also openly fully revealing the true feelings and needs present in the group is vital for it’s members to feel emotional safe. It is also vital to keeping the group energy up and for giving the feedback that allows it’s members to know themselves, where they stand in relation to others and for spiritual/psychological growth. Usually group members will simply not object to an individual’s request to take the floor—but then act out in a passive-aggressive manner, by making noise or jokes, or looking at their watches. Sometimes they will take the even more violent and insidious action of going brain-dead while pasting a jack-o’-lantern smile on their faces. Often when someone asks to read something or play a song in a social setting, the response is a polite, lifeless “That would be nice.” In this case, N.I.C.E. means “No Integrity or Congruence Expressed” or “Not Into Communicating Emotion.” So while the sharer is exposing his or her vulnerable creation, others are talking, whispering to each other, or sitting looking like they are waiting for the dental assistant to tell them to come on back. No wonder it’s so scary to ask for people’s attention. In “nice” cultures, you are probably not going to get a straight, open answer. People let themselves be oppressed by someone’s request—and then blame that someone for not being psychic enough to know that “Yes” meant “No.” When were we ever taught to negotiate our needs in relation to a group of people? In a classroom? Never! The teacher is expected to take all the responsibility for controlling who gets heard, about what, and for how long. There is no real opportunity to learn how to nonviolently negotiate for the floor. The only way I was able to pirate away a little of the group’s attention in the school I attended was through adolescent antics like making myself fart to get a few giggles, or asking the teacher questions like, “Why do they call them hemorrhoids and not asteroids?” or “If a number two pencil is so popular, why is it still number two,” or “What is another word for thesaurus?” Some educational psychologists say that western culture schools are designed to socialize children into what is really a caste system disguised as a democracy. And in once sense it is probably good preparation for the lack of true democratic dynamics in our culture’s daily living. I can remember several bosses in my past reminding me “This is not a democracy, this is a job.” I remember many experiences in social groups, church groups, and volunteer organizations in which the person with the loudest voice, most shaming language, or outstanding skills for guilting others, controlled the direction of the group. Other times the pain and chaos of the group discussion becomes so great that people start begging for a tyrant to take charge. Many times people become so frustrated, confused and anxious that they would prefer the order that oppression brings to the struggle that goes on in groups without “democracy skills.” I have much different experiences in groups I work with in Europe and in certain intentional communities such as the Lost Valley Educational Center in Eugene, Oregon, where the majority of people have learned “democracy skills.” I can not remember one job, school, church group, volunteer organization or town meeting in mainstream America where “democracy skills” were taught or practiced.
Kelly Bryson (Don't Be Nice, Be Real)
[WAIT—IT WON’T LET ME REDACT THESE LITTLE SUBHEADING THINGS? THAT’S SUPER ANNOYING!] [FINE, I’LL JUST GIVE YOU MY SUMMARY.] [SO, WHOEVER WROTE THIS WAS ALL BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-STELLARLUNE-SOMETHING-SOMETHING-LEGACY. BUT SERIOUSLY, NO ONE WANTS TO READ ABOUT THE CREEPY STUFF MY MOM DID BEFORE SHE GOT PREGNANT WITH ME! (AND WE’RE ALL SUPER SICK OF HEARING ABOUT MY “LEGACY,” AMIRITE?) SO, LET’S JUST LEAVE IT AT THIS: MY MOM IS EVIL. SHE THINKS SHE’S WAY SMARTER THAN SHE IS. AND NOTHING SHE DID IS GOING TO AFFECT MY GENERAL AWESOMENESS, OKAY?] A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY: [WOW, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH SUCH A CLEVER TITLE?!] [AND YEAH, I HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY. NOT SURE WHY ANYONE CARES. BUT IT DOES COME IN HANDY DURING MIDTERMS AND FINALS.] AHEAD OF THE GAME: [BASICALLY: I’M A GENIUS. I SKIPPED LEVEL ONE AT FOXFIRE. YES, YOU SHOULD BE IMPRESSED.] UNREASONABLY HIGH STANDARDS: [GOTTA ADMIT, I WAS TEMPTED TO LEAVE THIS ONE ALONE, SINCE WHOEVER WROTE IT ACTUALLY GOT THINGS PRETTY MUCH RIGHT. I GUESS EVEN THE COUNCIL KNOWS MY DAD’S A JERK WHO FREAKS OUT ALL THE TIME BECAUSE I’M NOT A LITTLE MINI-HIM. WHO KNEW?] A POWERFUL EMPATH: [UGH, THAT’S THE BEST YOU COULD DO FOR THIS SUBHEADING???] [HOW ABOUT “LORD OF THE FEELS”? OR “TRUST THE EMPATH”! OR “HE KNOWS WHAT YOU’RE FEELING—AND YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF”?] [OOO! I’VE GOT IT! “HE KNOWS FOSTER BETTER THAN YOU DO! BETTER THAN SHE EVEN KNOWS HERSELF!”] [THOUGH… KEEPING IT REAL? THE FOSTER OBLIVION CAN BE KINDA NOT COOL SOMETIMES.] THE HEART OF THE MATTER: [I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU GUYS NAMED A SECTION OF MY FILE AFTER MY FATHER’S SUPER-BORING BOOK—AND THEN RAMBLED ON FOR TWO PAGES ABOUT HIS SUPER-BORING THEORY!!!!!] [YOU DON’T NEED TWO PAGES ON IT. YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TWO SENTENCES. HERE’S ALLLLLL YOU NEED TO KNOW—BESIDES THE FACT THAT HE’S TOTALLY NOT THE FIRST PERSON TO COME UP WITH THIS (JUST THE ONE WHO LOVES TO TAKE CREDIT): OUR HEADS AND OUR HEARTS SOMETIMES FEEL DIFFERENT EMOTIONS, AND WHAT’S IN OUR HEARTS IS PROBABLY STRONGER.] [THAT’S IT!] [WELL… OKAY… I GUESS HE ALSO GOES ON A BIT ABOUT HOW EMPATHS PROBABLY ONLY READ THE EMOTIONS FROM THE HEAD.] [AND THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT HEART EMOTIONS BEING PURER BECAUSE NO ONE CAN CONTROL THEM.] [BUT THAT’S IT.] [AND DON’T TELL LORD BORINGPANTS I READ HIS DUMB BOOK! I MOSTLY SKIMMED.] PRANKSTER AND TROUBLEMAKER: [100 PERCENT ACCURATE. ALSO, I’M LEAVING YOUR LITTLE ATTACHED DETENTION RECORD BECAUSE IT’S THE GREATEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!!!!]
Shannon Messenger (Unlocked (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #8.5))
One of the best-known studies of availability suggests that awareness of your own biases can contribute to peace in marriages, and probably in other joint projects. In a famous study, spouses were asked, “How large was your personal contribution to keeping the place tidy, in percentages?” They also answered similar questions about “taking out the garbage,” “initiating social engagements,” etc. Would the self-estimated contributions add up to 100%, or more, or less? As expected, the self-assessed contributions added up to more than 100%. The explanation is a simple availability bias: both spouses remember their own individual efforts and contributions much more clearly than those of the other, and the difference in availability leads to a difference in judged frequency. The bias is not necessarily self-serving: spouses also overestimated their contribution to causing quarrels, although to a smaller contribution to causing quarrels, although to a smaller extent than their contributions to more desirable outcomes. The same bias contributes to the common observation that many members of a collaborative team feel they have done more than their share and also feel that the others are not adequately grateful for their individual contributions
Daniel Kahneman
Diddy, not really alive, had a life. Hardly the same. Some people are their lives. Others, like Diddy, merely inhabit their lives. Like insecure tenants, never knowing exactly the extent of their property or when the lease will expire. Like unskilled cartographers, drawing and redrawing erroneous maps of an exotic continent. Eventually, for such a person, everything is bound to run dow. The walls sag. Empty spaces bulge between objects. The surfaces of objects sweat, thin out, buckle. The hysterical fluids of fear deposited at the core of objects ooze out along the seams. Deploying things and navigating through space becomes laborious. Too much effort to amble from kitchen to living room, serving drinks, turning on the hi-fi, pretending to be cheerful . . . Everything running down: suffusing the whole of Diddy's well-tended life. Like a house powered by one large generator in the basement. Diddy has an almost palpable sense of the decline of the generator's energy. Or, of the monstrous malfunctioning of that generator, gone amok. Sending forth a torrent of refuse that climbs up into Diddy's life, cluttering all his floor space and overwhelming his pleasant furnishings, so that he's forced to take refuge. Huddle in a narrow corner. But however small the space Diddy means to keep free for himself, it won't remain safe. If solid material can't invade it, then the offensive discharge of the failing or rebellious generator will liquefy; so that it can travel everywhere, spread like a skin. The generator will spew forth a stream of crude oil, grimy and malodorous, that coats all things and persons and objects, the vulgar as well as the precious, the ugly as well as what little still remains beautiful. Befouling Diddy's world and rendering it unusable. Uninhabitable. This deliquescent running-down of everything becomes coexistent with Diddy's entire span of consciousness, undermines his most minimal acts. Getting out of bed is an agony unpromising as the struggles of a fish cast up on the beach, trying to extract life from the meaningless air. Persons who merely have a life customarily move in a dense fluid. That's how they're able to conduct their lives at all. Their living depends on not seeing. But when this fluid evaporates, an uncensored, fetid, appalling underlife is disclosed. Lost continents are brought to view, bearing the ruins of doomed cities, the sparsely fleshed skeletons of ancient creatures immobilized in their death throes, a landscape of unparalleled savagery.
Susan Sontag (Death Kit)
[…] if sophistication is the ability to put a smile on one's existential desperation, then the fear of a glossy sheen is actually the fear that surface equals depth. *** […] we wake up, we do something—anything—we go to sleep, and we repeat it about 22,000 more times, and then we die. *** Part of our new boredom is that our brain doesn't have any downtime. Even the smallest amount of time not being engaged creates a spooky sensatino that maybe you're on the wrong track. Reboot your computer and sit there waiting for it to do its thing, and within seventeen seconds you experience a small existential implosion when you remember that fifteen years ago life was nothing but this kind of moment. Gosh, mabe I'll read a book. Or go for a walk. Sorry. Probably not going to happen. Hey, is that the new trailer for Ex Machina? *** In the 1990s there was that expression, "Get a life!" You used to say it to people who were overly fixating on some sort of minutia or detail or thought thread, and by saying, "Get a life," you were trying to snap them out of their obsession and get them to join the rest of us who are still out in the world, taking walks and contemplating trees and birds. The expression made sense at the time, but it's been years since I've heard anyone use it anywhere. What did it mean then, "getting a life"? Did we all get one? Or maybe we've all not got lives anymore, and calling attention to one person without a life would put the spotlight on all of humanity and our now full-time pursuit of minutia, details and tangential idea threads. *** I don't buy lottery tickets because they spook me. If you buy a one-in-fifty-million chance to win a cash jackpoint, you're simultaneously tempting fate and adding all sorts of other bonus probabilities to your plance of existence: car crashes, random shootings, being struck by a meteorite. Why open a door that didn't need opening? *** I read something last week and it made sense to me: people want other people to do well in life but not too well. I've never won a raffle or prize or lottery draw, and I can't help but wonder how it must feel. One moment you're just plain old you, and then whaam, you're a winner and now everyone hates you and wants your money. It must be bittersweet. You hear all those stories about how big lottery winners' lives are ruined by winning, but that's not an urban legend. It's pretty much the norm. Be careful what you wish for and, while you're doing so, be sure to use the numbers between thirty-two and forty-nine.
Douglas Coupland (Bit Rot)
I think a marvelous stunt would be to have your best friend (or the most critical acquaintance) take some candid color snapshots of you from all angles, dressed just as you usually appear at, say, six in the evening. The same hairdo, the same makeup, and if possible the same expression on your face. Be honest! Be sure to have her take the rear views, too. There ought to be some other shots of you wearing your best going-out-to-dinner dress, or your favorite bridge-with-the-girls costume — hat, gloves, bag, and costume jewelry. Everything. Then have that roll of film developed and BLOWN UP. You can’t see much in a tiny snapshot. An eight-by-ten will show you the works — and you probably won’t be very happy with it. Sit down and take a long look at that strange woman. Is she today’s with-it person — elegant, poised, groomed, glowing with health? Or is she a plump copy of Miss 1950? Is she sleek, or bumpy in the wrong places? How is her posture? Does she look better from the front than from the back? Does she stand gracefully? […] Feet together or one slightly in front of the other, is the most graceful stance. […] I always pin my bad notices on my mirror. How about keeping those eight-by-ten candid shots around your dressing room for a while as you dress?
Joan Crawford (My Way of Life)
Oskar Schell: My father died at 9-11. After he died I wouldn't go into his room for a year because it was too hard and it made me want to cry. But one day, I put on heavy boots and went in his room anyway. I miss doing taekwondo with him because it always made me laugh. When I went into his closet, where his clothes and stuff were, I reached up to get his old camera. It spun around and dropped about a hundred stairs, and I broke a blue vase! Inside was a key in an envelope with black written on it and I knew that dad left something somewhere for me that the key opened and I had to find. So I take it to Walt, the locksmith. I give it to Stan, the doorman, who tells me keys can open anything. He gave me the phone book for all the five boroughs. I count there are 472 people with the last name black. There are 216 addresses. Some of the blacks live together, obviously. I calculated that if I go to 2 every Saturday plus holidays, minus my hamlet school plays, my minerals, coins, and comic convention, it's going to take me 3 years to go through all of them. But that's what I'm going to do! Go to every single person named black and find out what the key fits and see what dad needed me to find. I made the very best possible plan but using the last four digits of each phone number, I divide the people by zones. I had to tell my mother another lie, because she wouldn't understand how I need to go out and find what the key fits and help me make sense of things that don't even make sense like him being killed in the building by people that didn't even know him at all! And I see some people who don't speak English, who are hiding, one black said that she spoke to God. If she spoke to god how come she didn't tell him not to kill her son or not to let people fly planes into buildings and maybe she spoke to a different god than them! And I met a man who was a woman who a man who was a woman all at the same time and he didn't want to get hurt because he/she was scared that she/he was so different. And I still wonder if she/he ever beat up himself, but what does it matter? Thomas Schell: What would this place be if everyone had the same haircut? Oskar Schell: And I see Mr. Black who hasn't heard a sound in 24 years which I can understand because I miss dad's voice that much. Like when he would say, "are you up yet?" or... Thomas Schell: Let's go do something. Oskar Schell: And I see the twin brothers who paint together and there's a shed that has to be clue, but it's just a shed! Another black drew the same drawing of the same person over and over and over again! Forest black, the doorman, was a school teacher in Russia but now says his brain is dying! Seamus black who has a coin collection, but doesn't have enough money to eat everyday! You see olive black was a gate guard but didn't have the key to it which makes him feel like he's looking at a brick wall. And I feel like I'm looking at a brick wall because I tried the key in 148 different places, but the key didn't fit. And open anything it hasn't that dad needed me to find so I know that without him everything is going to be alright. Thomas Schell: Let's leave it there then. Oskar Schell: And I still feel scared every time I go into a strange place. I'm so scared I have to hold myself around my waist or I think I'll just break all apart! But I never forget what I heard him tell mom about the sixth borough. That if things were easy to find... Thomas Schell: ...they wouldn't be worth finding. Oskar Schell: And I'm so scared every time I leave home. Every time I hear a door open. And I don't know a single thing that I didn't know when I started! It's these times I miss my dad more than ever even if this whole thing is to stop missing him at all! It hurts too much. Sometimes I'm afraid I'll do something very bad.
Eric Roth
You didn’t tell me,” he says. “Why not?” “Because I didn’t…” I shake my head. “I didn’t know how to.” He scowls. “It’s pretty easy, Tris--” “Oh yeah,” I say, nodding. “It’s so easy. All I have to do is go up to you and say, ‘By the way, I shot Will, and now guilt is ripping me to shreds, but what’s for breakfast?’ Right? Right?” Suddenly it is too much, too much to contain. Tears fill my eyes, and I yell, “Why don’t you try killing one of your best friends and then dealing with the consequences?” I cover my face with my hands. I don’t want him to see me sobbing again. He touches my shoulder. “Tris,” he says, gently this time. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t pretend that I understand. I just meant that…” He struggles for a moment. “I wish you trusted me enough to tell me things like that.” I do trust you, is what I want to say. But it isn’t true--I didn’t trust him to love me despite the terrible things I had done. I don’t trust anyone to do that, but that isn’t his problem; it’s mine. “I mean,” he says, “I had to find out that you almost drowned in a water tank from Caleb. Doesn’t that seem a little strange to you?” Just when I was about to apologize. I wipe my cheeks hard with my fingertips and stare at him. “Other things seem stranger,” I say, trying to make my voice light. “Like finding out that your boyfriend’s supposedly dead mother is still alive by seeing her in person. Or overhearing his plans to ally with the factionless, but he never tells you about it. That seems a little strange to me.” He takes his hand from my shoulder. “Don’t pretend this is only my problem,” I say. “If I don’t trust you, you don’t trust me either.” “I thought we would get to those things eventually,” he says. “Do I have to tell you everything right away?” I feel so frustrated I can’t even speak for a few seconds. Heat fills my cheeks. “God, Four!” I snap. “You don’t want to have to tell me everything right away, but I have to tell you everything right away? Can’t you see how stupid that is?” “First of all, don’t use that name like a weapon against me,” he says, pointing at me. “Second, I was not making plans to ally with the factionless; I was just thinking it over. If I had made a decision, I would have said something to you. And third, it would be different if you had actually intended to tell me about Will at some point, but it’s obvious that you didn’t.” “I did tell you about Will!” I say. “That wasn’t truth serum; it was me. I said it because I chose to.” “What are you talking about?” “I was aware. Under the serum. I could have lied; I could have kept it from you. But I didn’t, because I thought you deserved to know the truth.” “What a way to tell me!” he says, scowling. “In front of over a hundred people! How intimate!” “Oh, so it’s not enough that I told you; it has to be in the right setting?” I raise my eyebrows. “Next time should I brew some tea and make sure the lighting is right, too?” Tobias lets out a frustrated sound and turns away from me, pacing a few steps. When he turns back, his cheeks are splotchy. I can’t remember ever seeing his face change color before. “Sometimes,” he says quietly, “it isn’t easy to be with you, Tris.” He looks away. I want to tell him that I know it’s not easy, but I wouldn’t have made it through the past week without him. But I just stare at him, my heart pounding in my ears. I can’t tell him I need him. I can’t need him, period--or really, we can’t need each other, because who knows how long either of us will last in this war? “I’m sorry,” I say, all my anger gone. “I should have been honest with you.” “That’s it? That’s all you have to say?” He frowns. “What else do you want me to say?” He just shakes his head. “Nothing, Tris. Nothing.” I watch him walk away. I feel like a space has opened up within me, expanding so rapidly it will break me apart.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
You didn’t tell me,” he says. “Why not?” “Because I didn’t…” I shake my head. “I didn’t know how to.” He scowls. “It’s pretty easy, Tris--” “Oh yeah,” I say, nodding. “It’s so easy. All I have to do is go up to you and say, ‘By the way, I shot Will, and now guilt is ripping me to shreds, but what’s for breakfast?’ Right? Right?” Suddenly it is too much, too much to contain. Tears fill my eyes, and I yell, “Why don’t you try killing one of your best friends and then dealing with the consequences?” I cover my face with my hands. I don’t want him to see me sobbing again. He touches my shoulder. “Tris,” he says, gently this time. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t pretend that I understand. I just meant that…” He struggles for a moment. “I wish you trusted me enough to tell me things like that.” I do trust you, is what I want to say. But it isn’t true--I didn’t trust him to love me despite the terrible things I had done. I don’t trust anyone to do that, but that isn’t his problem; it’s mine. “I mean,” he says, “I had to find out that you almost drowned in a water tank from Caleb. Doesn’t that seem a little strange to you?” Just when I was about to apologize. I wipe my cheeks hard with my fingertips and stare at him. “Other things seem stranger,” I say, trying to make my voice light. “Like finding out that your boyfriend’s supposedly dead mother is still alive by seeing her in person. Or overhearing his plans to ally with the factionless, but he never tells you about it. That seems a little strange to me.” He takes his hand from my shoulder. “Don’t pretend this is only my problem,” I say. “If I don’t trust you, you don’t trust me either.” “I thought we would get to those things eventually,” he says. “Do I have to tell you everything right away?” I feel so frustrated I can’t even speak for a few seconds. Heat fills my cheeks. “God, Four!” I snap. “You don’t want to have to tell me everything right away, but I have to tell you everything right away? Can’t you see how stupid that is?” “First of all, don’t use that name like a weapon against me,” he says, pointing at me. “Second, I was not making plans to ally with the factionless; I was just thinking it over. If I had made a decision, I would have said something to you. And third, it would be different if you had actually intended to tell me about Will at some point, but it’s obvious that you didn’t.” “I did tell you about Will!” I say. “That wasn’t truth serum; it was me. I said it because I chose to.” “What are you talking about?” “I was aware. Under the serum. I could have lied; I could have kept it from you. But I didn’t, because I thought you deserved to know the truth.” “What a way to tell me!” he says, scowling. “In front of over a hundred people! How intimate!” “Oh, so it’s not enough that I told you; it has to be in the right setting?” I raise my eyebrows. “Next time should I brew some tea and make sure the lighting is right, too?” Tobias lets out a frustrated sound and turns away from me, pacing a few steps. When he turns back, his cheeks are splotchy. I can’t remember ever seeing his face change color before. “Sometimes,” he says quietly, “it isn’t easy to be with you, Tris.” He looks away. I want to tell him that I know it’s not easy, but I wouldn’t have made it through the past week without him. But I just stare at him, my heart pounding in my ears. I can’t tell him I need him. I can’t need him, period--or really, we can’t need each other, because who knows how long either of us will last in this war? “I’m sorry,” I say, all my anger gone. “I should have been honest with you.” “That’s it? That’s all you have to say?” He frowns. “What else do you want me to say?” He just shakes his head. “Nothing, Tris. Nothing.” I watch him walk away. I feel like a space has opened up within me, expanding so rapidly it will break me apart.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Can you do something for me? Can you take one moment, right now, and acknowledge how far you've come? Can you appreciate, completely, the lessons that all of your mistakes have already brought you and the wisdom you've collected from all of the pain that seemed so senseless at the time? Can you celebrate your journey and forget, just for a second, about the ever-changing destination? Because the truth is that there will never be a "perfect" time to appreciate yourself. There will not be a magical moment when everything is finally sorted out and you'll be naturally driven to give yourself some space to feel good about what you've been doing. Unless you make that space. Unless you create that moment. There will always be more growing to do. That is the beauty of life. There is always some new opportunity to do something new, to make something old better, to chuck out something useless, to transform something into something else. It's important to spend just as much time seizing these opportunities as appreciating the lessons they teach you and the person you become from seizing them. So do this for me, for yourself, today—celebrate. Just like you'd celebrate a birthday or a graduation, celebrate your endless journey of self-discovery. You deserve it. You need it. We all do.
Vironika Tugaleva
Nowadays, enormous importance is given to individual deaths, people make such a drama out of each person who dies, especially if they die a violent death or are murdered; although the subsequent grief or curse doesn't last very long: no one wears mourning any more and there's a reason for that, we're quick to weep but quicker still to forget. I'm talking about our countries, of course, it's not like that in other parts of the world, but what else can they do in a place where death is an everyday occurrence. Here, though, it's a big deal, at least at the moment it happens. So-and-so has died, how dreadful; such-and-such a number of people have been killed in a crash or blown to pieces, how terrible, how vile. The politicians have to rush around attending funerals and burials, taking care not to miss any-intense grief, or is it pride, requires them as ornaments, because they give no consolation nor can they, it's all to do with show, fuss, vanity and rank. The rank of the self-important, super-sensitive living. And yet, when you think about it, what right do we have, what is the point of complaining and making a tragedy out of something that happens to every living creature in order for it to become a dead creature? What is so terrible about something so supremely natural and ordinary? It happens in the best families, as you know, and has for centuries, and in the worst too, of course, at far more frequent intervals. What's more, it happens all the time and we know that perfectly well, even though we pretend to be surprised and frightened: count the dead who are mentioned on any TV news report, read the birth and death announcements in any newspaper, in a single city, Madrid, London, each list is a long one every day of the year; look at the obituaries, and although you'll find far fewer of them, because an infinitesimal minority are deemed to merit one, they're nevertheless there every morning. How many people die every weekend on the roads and how many have died in the innumerable battles that have been waged? The losses haven't always been published throughout history, in fact, almost never. People were more familiar with and more accepting of death, they accepted chance and luck, be it good or bad, they knew they were vulnerable to it at every moment; people came into the world and sometimes disappeared at once, that was normal, the infant mortality rate was extraordinarily high until eighty or even seventy years ago, as was death in childbirth, a woman might bid farewell to her child as soon as she saw its face, always assuming she had the will or the time to do so. Plagues were common and almost any illness could kill, illnesses we know nothing about now and whose names are unfamiliar; there were famines, endless wars, real wars that involved daily fighting, not sporadic engagements like now, and the generals didn't care about the losses, soldiers fell and that was that, they were only individuals to themselves, not even to their families, no family was spared the premature death of at least some of its members, that was the norm; those in power would look grim-faced, then carry out another levy, recruit more troops and send them to the front to continue dying in battle, and almost no one complained. People expected death, Jack, there wasn't so much panic about it, it was neither an insuperable calamity nor a terrible injustice; it was something that could happen and often did. We've become very soft, very thin-skinned, we think we should last forever. We ought to be accustomed to the temporary nature of things, but we're not. We insist on not being temporary, which is why it's so easy to frighten us, as you've seen, all one has to do is unsheathe a sword. And we're bound to be cowed when confronted by those who still see death, their own or other people's, as part and parcel of their job, as all in a day's work. When confronted by terrorists, for example, or by drug barons or multinational mafia men.
Javier Marías (Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear / Dance and Dream / Poison, Shadow, and Farewell (Your face tomorrow, #1-3))
Are you by chance a governess?” “That is no concern of yours.” “Because if you are, then one of your charges is most definitely Miss Beatrix Hathaway.” She scowled. “How do you know that?” “My sister is the only person I know of who would bring a garter-stealing ferret to the Rutledge Hotel.” “Your sister?” He smiled into her astonished face. “Lord Ramsay, at your service. And you are Miss Marks, the governess?” “Yes,” she muttered, ignoring the hand he reached down for her. She rose to her feet unassisted. Leo felt an irresistible urge to provoke her. “How gratifying. I’ve always wanted a family governess to harass.” The comment seemed to incense her beyond all expectation. “I am aware of your reputation as a skirt-chaser, my lord. I find no cause for humor in it.” Leo didn’t think she found cause for humor in much of anything. “My reputation has lasted in spite of a two-year absence?” he asked, affecting a tone of pleased surprise. “You’re proud of it?” “Well, of course. It’s easy to have a good reputation—you merely have to do nothing. But earning a bad reputation … well, that takes some effort.” A contemptuous stare burned through the spectacle lenses. “I despise you,” she announced. Turning on her heel, she walked away from him. Leo followed, carrying the ferret. “We’ve only just met. You can’t despise me until you really get to know me.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
LEADING LESSONS Rejection is an illusion. It’s all in your head. It was never about Rachael; it was always about me. So maybe I didn’t fit her picture of the perfect dance partner. We were no longer a match--so what? At the time, the rejection hurt like hell and I threw myself a big ol’ pity party. But here’s the thing: No one can reject you. No one can dump you. It’s just a decision, and maybe you don’t like it. I was the one believing I was a victim instead of realizing how blessed my life was. If you’re feeling rejected, you’re looking at things all wrong. Just because someone says no, just because someone chooses another person over you, doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. There isn’t one successful person out there who hasn’t racked up his or her share of rejection. That said, no one likes hearing no. But what are you going to do with that no? Are you going to let it destroy your self-esteem? Or are you going to keep pushing forward, following your passion? Dancers deal with a lot of rejection--I know this now, and I see the rejections as part of my journey. Keep doing what you’re doing and do it well--don’t worry about pleasing anyone but yourself. Sometimes that no can be a wake-up call, a chance for you to reassess, refocus, reboot. I’m grateful Rachael and her family gave me my walking papers. That rejection opened me up to so much more.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
What’s the best thing you’ve done in your work and career? In business decision-making, certainly one of your highlights was licensing your computer operating system to IBM for almost no money, provided you could retain the right to license the system to other computer manufacturers as well. IBM was happy to agree because, after all, nobody would possibly want to compete with the most powerful company in the world, right? With that one decision, your system and your company became dominant throughout the world, and you, Bill Gates, were on your way to a net worth of more than $60 billion. Or maybe you’d like to look at your greatest career achievement from a different angle. Instead of focusing on the decision that helped you make so much money, maybe you’d like to look at the decision to give so much of it away. After all, no other person in history has become a philanthropist on the scale of Bill Gates. Nations in Africa and Asia are receiving billions of dollars in medical and educational support. This may not be as well publicized as your big house on Lake Washington with its digitalized works of art, but it’s certainly something to be proud of. Determining your greatest career achievement is a personal decision. It can be something obvious or something subtle. But it should make you proud of yourself when you think of it. So take a moment, then make your choice.
Dale Carnegie (Make Yourself Unforgettable: How to Become the Person Everyone Remembers and No One Can Resist)
The happiest thing for me about this day’s race was that I was able, on a personal level, to truly enjoy the event. The overall time I posted wasn’t anything to brag about, and I made a lot of little mistakes along the way. But I did give it my best, and I felt a nice, tangible afterglow. I also think I’ve improved in a lot of areas since the previous race, which is an important point to consider. In a triathlon the transition from one event to the next is difficult, and experience counts for everything. Through experience you learn how to compensate for your physical shortcomings. To put it another way, learning from experience is what makes the triathlon so much fun. Of course it was painful, and there were times when, emotionally, I just wanted to chuck it all. But pain seems to be a precondition for this kind of sport. If pain weren’t involved, who in the world would ever go to the trouble of taking part in sports like the triathlon or the marathon, which demand such an investment of time and energy? It’s precisely because of the pain, precisely because we want to overcome that pain, that we can get the feeling, through this process, of really being alive — or at least a partial sense of it. Your quality of experience is based not on standards such as time or ranking, but on finally awakening to an awareness of the fluidity within action itself. If things go well, that is.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
Divorce is distressing. One does need moral support. Divorce lawyers are professionally adept at persuasively taking your side. A good divorce lawyer will have no trouble agreeing that an errant husband’s adultery killed the marriage and that he is, consequently, tyrannical for holding against his wife her own tiny indiscretion, which was a mere meaningless one-time fling with a friend. Divorce lawyers are the professional adepts at proxying for the kind of emotional support often given by best friends. Attorneys are ready and able to provide you with emotional alliance. But let me ask you: are you ready to pay a divorce lawyer’s hourly rate for emotional support? Why not use lawyers for legal work and reach for emotional support elsewhere? Many people are much better suited to comfort you. Most of them work cheaper or even free: therapists, clergy, primary care physicians. Your mother is often a good choice, and always free. Your best friend may be a good choice—unless your spouse is sleeping with your best friend. Facebook is full of “supporting each other in divorce” groups. Talk to your mother. Talk to your friends. Talk to the fellow-sufferers on Facebook (but do be careful not to give out too many personal details). These resources might not heal all of your emotional scars, but unlike your divorce layers, they are cheap or even free. They will cost less even if you become quite a successful practitioner in the art of stiffing an attorney for his fees.
Portia Porter (Can You Stiff Your Divorce Lawyer? Tales of How Cunning Clients Can Get Free Legal Work, as Told by an Experienced Divorce Attorney)
Wittgenstein came to believe that a great many philosophical puzzles arise out of people misusing language in this way. Take, for example, the statement ‘I have a pain’, which is grammatically akin to ‘I have a hat’. This similarity might mislead us into thinking that pains, or ‘experiences’ in general, are things we have in the same way that we have hats. But it would be strange to say ‘Here, take my pain’. And though it would make sense to say ‘Is this your hat or mine?’, it would sound odd to ask ‘Is this your pain or mine?’ Perhaps there are several people in a room and a pain floating around in it; and as each person in turn doubles up in agony, we exclaim: ‘Ah, now he’s having it!’ This sounds merely silly; but in fact it has some fairly momentous implications. Wittgenstein is able to disentangle the grammar of ‘I have a hat’ from ‘I have a pain’ not only in a way that throws light on the use of personal pronouns like ‘I’ and ‘he’, but in ways which undermine the long-standing assumption that my experiences are a kind of private property. In fact, they seem even more like private property than my hat, since I can give away my hat, but not my pain. Wittgenstein shows us how grammar deceives us into thinking this way, and his case has radical, even politically radical, consequences. The task of the philosopher, Wittgenstein thought, was not so much to resolve these inquiries as to dissolve them – to show that they spring from confusing one kind of ‘language game’, as he called it, with another.
Terry Eagleton (The Meaning of Life)
Subject Line:  This means a lot… Or Would love to get your opinion…   Email Text:  Dear friends, family, and colleagues:    Thank you so much for reading this email. This isn’t an easy one for me to send, but it is extremely important to me, so I sincerely appreciate you investing your valuable time reading (and hopefully responding to) it. This email is going out to only a select group of people. Each of you knows me well, and I’m hoping will give me honest feedback about my strengths and most importantly, my weaknesses (aka “areas of improvement.”) I’ve never done anything like this before, but I feel that for me grow and improve as a person, I need to get a more accurate picture of how I’m showing up to the people that matter most to me. In order to become the person I need to be to create the life and contribute to others at the levels that I want, I need your feedback. So, all I’m asking is that you take just a few minutes to email me back with what you honestly think are my top 2-3 “areas of improvement.” If it will make you feel better to also list my top 2-3 “strengths” (I’m sure it will make me feel better J), you are definitely welcome to. That’s it. And please don’t sugarcoat it or hold back anything. I will not be offended by anything that you share. In fact, the more “brutally” honest you are, the more leverage it will give me to make positive changes in my life. Thank you again, and if there is anything else I can do to add value to your life, please let me know. With sincere gratitude,   Your Name
Hal Elrod (The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life: Before 8AM)
Can't you just let it go? Move on?" His face darkened. His eyes glared in response and he was silent a long time while his jaw worked over a toothpick. She'd used the same line that the prophet and his representatives had been using for years. Even if these things did happen, there is no point in being bitter. You should forgive and forget and let bygones be bygones. Kind of galling, considering the insistence upon forgiveness was being made by the people who had done the hurting and done nothing to make up for it. But then, that was the standard 'blame the victim' abuser mentally, and to be expected. Gideon seemed to work through this slap in the face and let it slide. He said, "For a while I thought maybe, you know, if I could talk to the people responsible. If I could show them how difficult life has been because of them, that maybe they would care. I don't know. I thought maybe if they apologized, it would be so much easier to forget this shit. You know? To do what they say and 'let it go'. But nobody will take any personal responsibility. My own parents have nothing to offer but a bunch of whiny excuses. They try to convince me that my life wasn't as bad as I remember it." "Fuck that," he said, "They weren't even there. They don't even know what went on with me. I just..." He paused and pulled his fingers through his hair. "Christ," he said. He paused again, eyes to the sky, and then back to her. "Even the people who never personally raised a hand against me still propped up the regime that made it happen. They stood by and allowed it. Played a part. All of them. Every single one was a participant. Either directly or by looking away. Institutionally, doctrinally, they abused us. Sent us into the streets to beg, denied us an education, had us beaten, starved, exorcised, and separated from our parents. They broke up our families, gave our bodies to perverts, and stole our future. And then they turn around and say we're supposed to just forget it happened and move on from it. If instead we bring up the past, then they'll call us liars. Say we're exaggerating or making it up completely. Why the hell would be make any of this shit up? What's the point in that? To make our lives seem worse than they were? Not that I would, but do you have any idea how much exaggeration it would take for the average person to even begin to grasp how fucking miserable it was? And then, if they ever do admit to any of it, they say that 'mistakes were made'. " "Mistakes." he said. He was leaning forward again, punctuating the air with his finger. "Michael, they commit crimes against children. You know, those things people in society go to jail for when they're caught. And then to the public they do what they always do. Deny. Deny. Deny. And we're left more raped than ever. Victimized first by what they did, and again by their refusal to admit that it happened. They paint us as bitter apostates and liars to a world that not only doesn't give a shit, but also couldn't possibly understand even if it did." "I do," Munroe said. And Gideon stopped.
Taylor Stevens (The Innocent (Vanessa Michael Munroe, #2))
Dear Padfoot, Thank you, thank you, for Harry's birthday present! It was his favorite by far. One year old and already zooming along on a toy broomstick, he looked so pleased with himself. I'm enclosing a picture so you can see. You know it only rises about two feet off the ground, but he nearly killed the cat and he smashed a horrible vase Petunia sent me for Christmas (no complaints there). Of course, James thought it was so funny, says he's going to be a great Quidditch player, but we've had to pack away all the ornaments and make sure we don't take our eyes off him when he gets going. We had a very quiet birthday tea, just us and old Bathilda, who has always been sweet to us and who dotes on Harry. We were so sorry you couldn't come, but the Order's got to come first and Harry's not old enough to know it's his birthday anyway! James is getting a bit frustrated shut up here, he tries not to show it but I can tell — also, Dumbledore's still got his Invisibility Cloak, so no chance of little excursions. If you could visit, it would cheer him up so much. Wormy was here last weekend, I thought he seemed down, but that was probably the news about the McKinnons; I cried all evening when I heard. Bathilda drops in most days, she's a fascinating old thing with the most amazing stories about Dumbledore, I'm not sure he'd be pleased if he knew! I don't know how much to believe, actually, because it seems incredible that Dumbledore could ever have been friends with Gellert Grindelwald. I think her mind's going, personally! Lots of love, Lily
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
One of the central elements of resilience, Bonanno has found, is perception: Do you conceptualize an event as traumatic, or as an opportunity to learn and grow? “Events are not traumatic until we experience them as traumatic,” Bonanno told me, in December. “To call something a ‘traumatic event’ belies that fact.” He has coined a different term: PTE, or potentially traumatic event, which he argues is more accurate. The theory is straightforward. Every frightening event, no matter how negative it might seem from the sidelines, has the potential to be traumatic or not to the person experiencing it. Take something as terrible as the surprising death of a close friend: you might be sad, but if you can find a way to construe that event as filled with meaning—perhaps it leads to greater awareness of a certain disease, say, or to closer ties with the community—then it may not be seen as a trauma. The experience isn’t inherent in the event; it resides in the event’s psychological construal. It’s for this reason, Bonanno told me, that “stressful” or “traumatic” events in and of themselves don’t have much predictive power when it comes to life outcomes. “The prospective epidemiological data shows that exposure to potentially traumatic events does not predict later functioning,” he said. “It’s only predictive if there’s a negative response.” In other words, living through adversity, be it endemic to your environment or an acute negative event, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll suffer going forward. What matters is whether that adversity becomes traumatizing.
Maria Konnikova
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts…That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good. In short that 99% of the head’s thinking activity consists of trying to scare the everliving shit out of itself. That it is possible to make rather tasty poached eggs in a microwave oven. That some people’s moms never taught them to cover up or turn away when they sneeze. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused. That it is permissible to want. That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse. That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace
#14: SNAP OUT OF IT! One of the primary reasons for our unhappiness and discomfort is our attack thoughts. All day long, without even realizing it, we’re attacking ourselves and others. Attacks don’t have to be massive to inflict real damage—each small attack, from a negative thought about ourselves to a cold comment toward another person, adds up. Attack breeds attack. Attacking others in our mind or in our actions directly harms us. Our attack thoughts and actions are particularly dangerous because they can be so subtle and insidious that we might not realize how much they’ve taken over our minds. But as fiendish as they are, they’re surprisingly easy to let go of. All it takes is an ordinary rubber band. One day—today—wear a rubber band on your wrist. Whenever you notice an attack thought arise, flick your rubber band against your arm. Does this seem jarring? Good! It’s exactly what you need to literally snap yourself out of your unconscious attack thoughts. Once you’ve snapped out of the attack cycle, it’s time to clean up your thoughts. Use this exercise based on lesson 23 of A Course in Miracles: “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.” The moment you snap the rubber band, witness your attack thought and say to yourself: I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts about________. You can fill in the blank with whatever you’re attacking, whether it’s broad or very specific. Practice this exercise throughout the day. Notice your attack thought, snap out of it with your rubber band, and then use the Course message as a reminder that you can think your way out in an instant. Miracle
Gabrielle Bernstein (Miracles Now: 108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose)
Suppose that you need to hire a sales representative for your firm. If you are serious about hiring the best possible person for the job, this is what you should do. First, select a few traits that are prerequisites for success in this position (technical proficiency, engaging personality, reliability, and so on). Don’t overdo it—six dimensions is a good number. The traits you choose should be as independent as possible from each other, and you should feel that you can assess them reliably by asking a few factual questions. Next, make a list of those questions for each trait and think about how you will score it, say on a 1–5 scale. You should have an idea of what you will call “very weak” or “very strong.” These preparations should take you half an hour or so, a small investment that can make a significant difference in the quality of the people you hire. To avoid halo effects, you must collect the information on one trait at a time, scoring each before you move on to the next one. Do not skip around. To evaluate each candidate, add up the six scores. Because you are in charge of the final decision, you should not do a “close your eyes.” Firmly resolve that you will hire the candidate whose final score is the highest, even if there is another one whom you like better—try to resist your wish to invent broken legs to change the ranking. A vast amount of research offers a promise: you are much more likely to find the best candidate if you use this procedure than if you do what people normally do in such situations, which is to go into the interview unprepared and to make choices by an overall intuitive judgment such as “I looked into his eyes and liked what I saw.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
If you cannot drop a wrong problem, then the first time you meet one you will be stuck with it for the rest of your career. Einstein was tremendously creative in his early years, but once he began, in midlife, the search for a unified theory, he spent the rest of his life on it and had about nothing to show for all the effort. I have seen this many times while watching how science is done. It is most likely to happen to the very creative people; their previous successes convince them they can solve any problem, but there are other reasons besides overconfidence why, in many fields, sterility sets in with advancing age. Managing a creative career is not an easy task, or else it would often be done. In mathematics, theoretical physics, and astrophysics, age seems to be a handicap (all characterized by high, raw creativity), while in music composition, literature, and statesmanship, age and experience seem to be an asset. As valued by Bell Telephone Laboratories in the late 1970s, the first 15 years of my career included all they listed, and for my second 15 years they listed nothing I was very closely associated with! Yes, in my areas the really great things are generally done while the person is young, much as in athletics, and in old age you can turn to coaching (teaching), as I have done. Of course, I do not know your field of expertise to say what effect age will have, but I suspect really great things will be realized fairly young, though it may take years to get them into practice. My advice is if you want to do significant things, now is the time to start thinking (if you have not already done so) and not wait until it is the proper moment—which may never arrive!
Richard Hamming (The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn)
But then, as I’m leaving school, I see John parked out front. He’s standing in front of his car; he hasn’t seen me yet. In this bright afternoon light, the sun warms John’s blond head like a halo, and suddenly I’m struck with the visceral memory of loving him from afar, studiously, ardently. I so admired his slender hands, the slope of his cheekbones. Once upon a time I knew his face by heart. I had him memorized. My steps quicken. “Hi!” I say, waving. “How are you here right now? Don’t you have school today?” “I left early,” he says. “You? John Ambrose McClaren cut school?” He laughs. “I brought you something.” John pulls a box out of his coat pocket and thrusts it at me. “Here.” I take it from him, it’s heavy and substantial in my palm. “Should I…should I open it right now?” “If you want.” I can feel his eyes on me as I rip off the paper, open the white box. He’s anxious. I ready a smile on my face so he’ll know I like it, no matter what it is. Just the fact that he thought to buy me a present is so…dear. Nestled in white tissue paper is a snow globe the size of an orange, with a brass bottom. A boy and girl are ice-skating inside. She’s wearing a red sweater; she has on earmuffs. She’s making a figure eight, and he’s admiring her. It’s a moment caught in amber. One perfect moment, preserved under glass. Just like that night it snowed in April. “I love it,” I say, and I do, so much. Only a person who really knew me could give me this gift. To feel so known, so understood. It’s such a wonderful feeling, I could cry. It’s something I’ll keep forever. This moment, and this snow globe. I get on my tiptoes and hug him, and he wraps his arms around me tight and then tighter. “Happy birthday, Lara Jean.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
A faint movement distracted me as Oria elbow-crawled up to my side. Her profile was outlined by the light from those faraway torches as she looked down on the castle below. “I’m sorry, Oria,” I breathed. She did not turn her head. “For what?” “All our plans when we were growing up. All the fine things we’d have had after we won. Making you a duchess--“ She grunted softly. “That was no more than dream-weaving. I don’t want to be a duchess. Never did. Well, after my fourteenth year, I didn’t. That was you, wanting it for me.” For the first time a flicker of emotion broke briefly through the aching numbness around my heart. “But when we talked…” She rested her chin on her tightly folded fists, staring down at the castle. I could see tiny reflections of the ruddy torches in her eyes, so steady and unblinking was her gaze. “The only way for me to be a noble is to become a scribe or a herald and work my way up through the government service ranks, and I don’t want to write others’ things, or to take records, and I don’t want to get mixed up with governments--with the kind of people who want to rule over others. Seems like the wrong people get killed, the nice ones. I want…” She sighed and stopped. “Tell me,” I said. “We can dream-weave once more.” “I want to run a house. You can control that--make life comfortable, and pleasant, and beautiful. My dream was always that, or partly that…” Once again she stopped, and this time the gleam of the torches in her eyes was liquid. A quick motion with her finger, a lowering of her long lashes, and the gleam was gone. “Go on,” I said. She dropped her head down. “You never saw it, Mel. You’re just what Mama calls you, a summer flower, a late bloomer.” “I don’t understand.” She breathed a laugh. “I know. That’s just it! Well, it’s all nothing now, so why not admit what a henwit I’ve been? There’s another way to be an aristo, and that’s marriage. I never cared about status so much as I did about the idea of marriage. With a specific person.” “Marriage,” I repeated, and then a blindingly new idea struck me. “You mean--Branaric?” She shrugged. “I gave it up three summers ago, when I realized that our living like sisters all our lives meant he saw me as one.” “Oh, Ria.” Pain squeezed my heart. “How I wish our lives had gone differently! If Bran were alive--“ “It still wouldn’t have happened,” she murmured. “And I’ve already made my peace with it. That’s an old dream. I’m here now because Debegri will do his best to kill our new dreams.” She nudged me with her elbow. “Truth is, I rather liked being heart-free last summer, except you didn’t notice that, either--you’ve never tried flirting, much less twoing. You just dance the dances to be dancing, you don’t watch the boys watch you when we dance. You don’t watch them dance.” She chuckled softly. “You don’t even peek at the boys’ side at the bathhouse.” I reached back in memory, realized how much I had neglected to notice. Not that it had mattered. My cold lips stretched into a smile. “The boys never looked at me, anyway. Not when they had you to look at.” “Some of that is who you are,” she responded. “They never forgot that. But the rest is that you never cared when they did look at you.” And now it’s too late. But I didn’t say that. Instead, I turned my eyes to those four figures in their steady pacing and let my mind drift back to old memories, summer memories. How much of life had I missed while dedicating myself to Papa’s war?
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Important: Be sure to put the outgoing email addresses in the BCC field of the email, so that each recipient doesn’t see everyone else you’re sending it to. (Or, you can copy and paste, then send the email to each person individually.) Subject Line: This means a lot… Or Would love to get your opinion… Email Text: Dear friends, family, and colleagues:  Thank you so much for reading this email. This isn’t an easy one for me to send, but it is extremely important to me, so I sincerely appreciate you investing your valuable time reading (and hopefully responding to) it.  This email is going out to only a select group of people. Each of you knows me well, and I’m hoping will give me honest feedback about my strengths and most importantly, my weaknesses (aka “areas of improvement.”) I’ve never done anything like this before, but I feel that for me grow and improve as a person, I need to get a more accurate picture of how I’m showing up to the people that matter most to me. In order to become the person I need to be to create the life and contribute to others at the levels that I want, I need your feedback.  So, all I’m asking is that you take just a few minutes to email me back with what you honestly think are my top 2-3 “areas of improvement.” If it will make you feel better to also list my top 2-3 “strengths” (I’m sure it will make me feel better ), you are definitely welcome to. That’s it. And please don’t sugarcoat it or hold back anything. I will not be offended by anything that you share. In fact, the more “brutally” honest you are, the more leverage it will give me to make positive changes in my life.  Thank you again, and if there is anything else I can do to add value to your life, please let me know.  With sincere gratitude, Your Name
Hal Elrod (The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life: Before 8AM)
No one acts in a void. We all take cues from cultural norms, shaped by the law. For the law affects our ideas of what is reasonable and appropriate. It does so by what it prohibits--you might think less of drinking if it were banned, or more of marijuana use if it were allowed--but also by what it approves. . . . Revisionists agree that it matters what California or the United States calls a marriage, because this affects how Californians or Americans come to think of marriage. Prominent Oxford philosopher Joseph Raz, no friend of the conjugal view, agrees: "[O]ne thing can be said with certainty [about recent changes in marriage law]. They will not be confined to adding new options to the familiar heterosexual monogamous family. They will change the character of that family. If these changes take root in our culture then the familiar marriage relations will disappear. They will not disappear suddenly. Rather they will be transformed into a somewhat different social form, which responds to the fact that it is one of several forms of bonding, and that bonding itself is much more easily and commonly dissoluble. All these factors are already working their way into the constitutive conventions which determine what is appropriate and expected within a conventional marriage and transforming its significance." Redefining civil marriage would change its meaning for everyone. Legally wedded opposite-sex unions would increasingly be defined by what they had in common with same-sex relationships. This wouldn't just shift opinion polls and tax burdens. Marriage, the human good, would be harder to achieve. For you can realize marriage only by choosing it, for which you need at least a rough, intuitive idea of what it really is. By warping people's view of marriage, revisionist policy would make them less able to realize this basic way of thriving--much as a man confused about what friendship requires will have trouble being a friend. . . . Redefining marriage will also harm the material interests of couples and children. As more people absorb the new law's lesson that marriage is fundamentally about emotions, marriages will increasingly take on emotion's tyrannical inconstancy. Because there is no reason that emotional unions--any more than the emotions that define them, or friendships generally--should be permanent or limited to two, these norms of marriage would make less sense. People would thus feel less bound to live by them whenever they simply preferred to live otherwise. . . . As we document below, even leading revisionists now argue that if sexual complementarity is optional, so are permanence and exclusivity. This is not because the slope from same-sex unions to expressly temporary and polyamorous ones is slippery, but because most revisionist arguments level the ground between them: If marriage is primarily about emotional union, why privilege two-person unions, or permanently committed ones? What is it about emotional union, valuable as it can be, that requires these limits? As these norms weaken, so will the emotional and material security that marriage gives spouses. Because children fare best on most indicators of health and well-being when reared by their wedded biological parents, the same erosion of marital norms would adversely affect children's health, education, and general formation. The poorest and most vulnerable among us would likely be hit the hardest. And the state would balloon: to adjudicate breakup and custody issues, to meet the needs of spouses and children affected by divorce, and to contain and feebly correct the challenges these children face.
Sherif Girgis
In attunement, it is the infant who leads and the mother who follows. “Where their roles differ is in the timing of their responses,” writes John Bowlby, one of the century’s great psychiatric researchers. The infant initiates the interaction or withdraws from it according to his own rhythms, Bowlby found, while the “mother regulates her behaviour so that it meshes with his... Thus she lets him call the tune and by a skillful interweaving of her own responses with his creates a dialogue.” The tense or depressed mothering adult will not be able to accompany the infant into relaxed, happy spaces. He may also not fully pick up signs of the infant’s emotional distress, or may not be able to respond to them as effectively as he would wish. The ADD child’s difficulty reading social cues likely originates from her relationship cues not being read by the nurturing adult, who was distracted by stress. In the attunement interaction, not only does the mother follow the child, but she also permits the child to temporarily interrupt contact. When the interaction reaches a certain stage of intensity for the infant, he will look away to avoid an uncomfortably high level of arousal. Another interaction will then begin. A mother who is anxious may react with alarm when the infant breaks off contact, may try to stimulate him, to draw him back into the interaction. Then the infant’s nervous system is not allowed to “cool down,” and the attunement relationship is hampered. Infants whose caregivers were too stressed, for whatever reason, to give them the necessary attunement contact will grow up with a chronic tendency to feel alone with their emotions, to have a sense — rightly or wrongly — that no one can share how they feel, that no one can “understand.” Attunement is the quintessential component of a larger process, called attachment. Attachment is simply our need to be close to somebody. It represents the absolute need of the utterly and helplessly vulnerable human infant for secure closeness with at least one nourishing, protective and constantly available parenting figure. Essential for survival, the drive for attachment is part of the very nature of warm-blooded animals in infancy, especially. of mammals. In human beings, attachment is a driving force of behavior for longer than in any other animal. For most of us it is present throughout our lives, although we may transfer our attachment need from one person — our parent — to another — say, a spouse or even a child. We may also attempt to satisfy the lack of the human contact we crave by various other means, such as addictions, for example, or perhaps fanatical religiosity or the virtual reality of the Internet. Much of popular culture, from novels to movies to rock or country music, expresses nothing but the joys or the sorrows flowing from satisfactions or disappointments in our attachment relationships. Most parents extend to their children some mixture of loving and hurtful behavior, of wise parenting and unskillful, clumsy parenting. The proportions vary from family to family, from parent to parent. Those ADD children whose needs for warm parental contact are most frustrated grow up to be adults with the most severe cases of ADD. Already at only a few months of age, an infant will register by facial expression his dejection at the mother’s unconscious emotional withdrawal, despite the mother’s continued physical presence. “(The infant) takes delight in Mommy’s attention,” writes Stanley Greenspan, “and knows when that source of delight is missing. If Mom becomes preoccupied or distracted while playing with the baby, sadness or dismay settles in on the little face.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
Why You Need To Be Mindful Buying That paddleboard Standing over a paddle board isn't painless. Perhaps you may have viewed paddleboards made out of fiber or from wooden as well. A paddle board really should never be hefty Consumers use paddleboards for surfing big waves. Perhaps you may have noticed a wide variety if paddleboards in suppliers near you. These types of boards are fantastic enjoyment for surfing the waves. If you certainly are a large enthusiast of water sporting activities, these boards are just for you. Browsing could be the pride and pleasure of seashore lovers. Some h2o sports also are a part of the Olympic Game titles. Women of all ages too can use these paddleboards. You may find it quite tricky to balance on this kind of a board. Even small children can master how to utilize a paddleboard. Substantial shops have this sort of paddleboards and also you should purchase them from there. You should use a credit card to acquire them online. You'll be able to master how you can rise up on these boards from authorities. Sleeping over a paddleboard and paddling its far less complicated and you also will never drop off. A few of these boards possess a built-in cope with. Some boards do not need aids. Only a specialist need to test massive boards without the need of any help with the feet. Persons prefer to lie on a paddleboard while paddling. It is a enjoyable and easy activity. This can be a small possibility sport. Some paddleboards are made from fiberglass. Carbon fiber paddleboards are paddle boards costly and not everybody can afford to pay for them. Most critical top quality for a paddleboard may be the excess weight. A paddleboard must be properly designed to have the ability to do nicely for the water. It should be recognized that it will require precision in order to make a world-class paddleboard. The younger technology is getting to the paddleboard for a duck usually takes to water. Little ones have got a whole lot of entertaining on the paddleboard. One can learn to make these kinds of paddleboards at home. You are able to learn how to make your own paddle boards online. Blogs about paddleboards can be obtained for yourself to read through online. You should buy distinctive kits online after which you can create your very own paddleboard. Standing up while utilizing a paddleboard is very tricky for most many people. You can study how you can balance over a paddleboard. This is not an Olympic activity. You should use this kind of boards on rivers and lakes in addition. You can even use these types of boards on seas and oceans. This is a excellent activity to like together with the family. Folks love to read through all about utilizing this kind of boards online. Have you at any time seen the unique styles of paddle boards offered currently? There are various solutions for using the paddleboards. Folks often take pleasure in sports activities that do not will need you to devote too a great deal on machines. Some people appreciate this activity just as much since they like surfing. If you really don't know how to stand up to the paddleboard, you could even now enjoy it. H2o sports are becoming progressively popular. If you have never attempted a paddleboard, you might want to strive it someday shortly. You will find lots to creating a paddleboard than uncomplicated creating. You can not understand it but a paddle board needs to be very well developed These boards have to be the right way streamlined to ensure they function well within the water. The board ought to be easy. These boards don't seem to be just uninteresting flat boards. For a lot of persons by using a paddleboard is a method of lifestyle.
Andy Cohen
Remember that time we got snowed in at school? Everyone had to wait for their parents to get them, but our parents didn't come." "God," I said, "I'd forgotten. Why can't I remember any of this stuff without being reminded?" "School bus driver had to take us home eventually. We were the only two kids on the bus." "I can picture us," I said, "sitting next to each other on that backseat. It's such a sad scene, really." I felt him look at me. "I don't think so. I never thought of it as sad." "But Cameron, every single kid in the school got picked up by their parents except us!" I was laughing now at the tragic ridiculousness of it. "It was pathetic!" "We head each other. I never needed anyone else. That's the difference between you and me," he said. "You need all these people around you. Your friends, your boyfriend, everyone. Every single person has to like you. I only ever needed that one person. Only ever needed you." "Not everyone has to like me," I protested. "It's just..." We'd arrived at my house. "Imagine if you'd believed I died," I said. "Trust me, you'd start to need other people. You had the luxury of always knowing I was alive, knowing where I was and what I was doing. I didn't have that, Cameron." "I didn't think of it that way when it was happening," he said. "Didn't ever think you needed me much as I needed you." "I did." "I'm sorry," he said. "But I knew you'd be okay." "How, Cameron? How did you know that?" "Look at you. From the day you marched across the school yard to talk to me," he said, starting to smile a little at the memory. "I knew you were stronger than I'd ever be." "You're the one who got yourself away from your parents in the long run. You're the one supporting yourself, being an adult." "Maybe. Hey," he said, teasing, "ain't a competition, anyway. We can both be strong." I smiled. "Yeah. Good.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
1. Do not chase those who go, and do not stop those who come. -Blind- 카톡【AKR331】텔레【RDH705】라인【SPR331】위커【SPR705】 저희는 7가지 철칙을 바탕으로 거래를 합니다. 고객들과 지키지못할약속은 하지않습니다 1.정품보장 2.총알배송 3.투명한 가격 4.편한 상담 5.끝내주는 서비스 6.고객님 정보 보호 7.깔끔한 거래 제품을 구입하실때는 저희가 구매자분들께 약속지켜드리는것만큼 구매자분들도 저희와 약속 꼭 지켜주시기 바랍니다 구체적인 내용은 문의하셔셔 상담받아보세요 클릭해주셔셔 감사합니다 24시간 언제든지 문의주세요 2. Watch out for those surrounded by dark clouds. – Balthazar Graciasian 3. Rather than let me live in Paradise alone There will be no greater penalty. Goethe 4. When you associate with others, the first thing you should not forget Because the other person has their own way of life In order not to confuse them, they should not interfere with others' lives. Henry James 5. You have a bad relationship with others I hate that person being with you, If you are right and you don't agree, The person will not be reproved It is you who should be reproved. Because you have not done your heart and devotion to that person. Tolstoy 6. If you want to be liked by others, Just show that you are having a great time together. If you do that, instead of just having fun Better to hang out with the other person. And people with this temperament Even if you don't have great culture or wisdom, you have common sense. That behaviour, Who have great talent and lack this disposition I greatly move others' minds. Joseph Addis   7. Anyone who accepts others generously Always get people's hearts, Who rules with dignity and force Always buy people's anger. -King Sejong- 8. I want to interest others. Don't close your ears and eyes yourself Show interest in others. If you don't understand this, However talented and capable It is impossible to get along with others. Lawrence Gould- 9. Take care of others' interests. Undistributed profits never last long. -Voltaire- 10. It is only sin that I do not know others. What's the sin of not letting others know? Jang Young-sil 11. What comes out of you returns to you. -Blind- 12. It is never a good thing to be someone's half. We are a perfect person. Andrew Matthews 13. Treating others Cherish his body as mine. My body is not only precious. Do not forget that others' bodies are also precious. And do what you desire for others first. -Confucius-   14. Most people Neither my side nor my enemy. Also what you do or yourself There are people who do not like it. It's too much to want everyone to like you. Liz Carpenter 15. In general, introverted humans Outgoing humans get along well with outgoing humans. It is because the mind is at first comfortable and easy to understand. But the state of being at ease It is not a good condition for your own growth. Theodore Rubin   16. Stick when you're hungry, and leave when you're hungry, When it's warm, it flocks, when it's cold This is the widespread dismissal of recognition. Chae Geun-hwa 17. With people You can't share the ball together, Together with the ball envy one another. Tribulation with people, but comfort cannot come together. Comfort will be an enemy of one another. Chae Geun-hwa 18. People must change their positions and positions. -Confucius- 19. A person is originally clean, All call for sin and blessing according to ties. The paper smells close to incense, That rope is like a fishy fish. Man dyes little by little and learns it, but he does not know how to do it himself. -Law law- 20. A person's value can only be measured in relation to others. Nietzsche 21. Be strict to yourself and generous to others -Confucius- 22. Beware of your impression of the other person Worrying is why you're the main character. Usually, a person's crush is about first showing others You should know what appears as a reaction. You don't wait Give you first. Lawrence
22 kinds of relationship sayings
Let us go and sit in the shade," said Lord Henry. "Parker has brought out the drinks, and if you stay any longer in this glare, you will be quite spoiled, and Basil will never paint you again. You really must not allow yourself to become sunburnt. It would be unbecoming." "What can it matter?" cried Dorian Gray, laughing, as he sat down on the seat at the end of the garden. "It should matter everything to you, Mr. Gray." "Why?" "Because you have the most marvellous youth, and youth is the one thing worth having." "I don't feel that, Lord Henry." "No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly. Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? ... You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius--is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it. You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile.... People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial. That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.... Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats. Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.... A new Hedonism--that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol. With your personality there is nothing you could not do. The world belongs to you for a season.... The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time. The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Chris- the one who wrote the halfway creepy thing about missing me so much when I didn't post and thinking I was dead- found it mind-boggling that before the Julie/Julia Project began, I had never eaten an egg. She asked, "How can you have gotten through life without eating a single egg? How is that POSSIBLE???!!!!!" Of course, it wasn't exactly true that I hadn't eaten an egg. I had eaten them in cakes. I had even eaten them scrambled once or twice, albeit in the Texas fashion, with jalapeños and a pound of cheese. But the goal of my egg-eating had always been to make sure the egg did not look, smell, or taste anything like one, and as a result my history in this department was, I suppose, unusual. Chris wasn't the only person shocked. People I'd never heard of chimed in with their awe and dismay. I didn't really get it. Surely this is not such a bizarre hang-up as hating, say, croutons, like certain spouses I could name. Luckily, eggs made the Julia Child way often taste like cream sauce. Take Oeufs en Cocotte, for example. These are eggs baked with some butter and cream in ramekins set in a shallow pan of water. They are tremendous. In fact the only thing better than Oeufs en Cocotte is Ouefs en Cocotte with Sauce au Cari on top when you've woken up with a killer hangover, after one of those nights when somebody decided at midnight to buy a pack of cigarettes after all, and the girls wind up smoking and drinking and dancing around the living room to the music the boy is downloading from iTunes onto his new, ludicrously hip and stylish G3 Powerbook until three in the morning. On mornings like this, Oeufs en Cocotte with Sauce au Cari, a cup of coffee, and an enormous glass of water is like a meal fed to you by the veiled daughters of a wandering Bedouin tribe after one of their number comes upon you splayed out in the sands of the endless deserts of Araby, moments from death- it's that good.
Julie Powell (Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously)
THE SK8 MAKER VS. GLOBAL INDUSTRIALIZATION This new era of global industrialization is where my personal analogy with the history of the skateboard maker diverges. It’s no longer cost-effective to run a small skateboard company in the U.S., and the handful of startups that pull it off are few and far between. The mega manufacturers who can churn out millions of decks at low cost and record speed each year in Chinese factories employ proprietary equipment and techniques that you and I can barely imagine. Drills that can cut all eight truck holes in a stack of skateboard decks in a single pull. CNC machinery to create CAD-perfect molds used by giant two-sided hydraulic presses that can press dozens of boards in a few hours. Computer-operated cutting bits that can stamp out a deck to within 1⁄64 in. of its specified shape. And industrial grade machines that apply multicolored heat-transfer graphics in minutes. In a way, this factory automation has propelled skateboarding to become a multinational, multi-billion dollar industry. The best skateboarders require this level of precision in each deck. Otherwise, they could end up on their tails after a failed trick. Or much worse. As the commercial deck relies more and more on a process that is out of reach for mere mortals, there is great value in the handmade and one of a kind. Making things from scratch is a dying art on the brink of extinction. It was pushed to the edge when public schools dismissed woodworking classes and turned the school woodshop into a computer lab. And when you separate society from how things are made—even a skateboard—you lose touch with the labor and the materials and processes that contributed to its existence in the first place. It’s not long before you take for granted the value of an object. The result is a world where cheap labor produces cheap goods consumed by careless customers who don’t even value the things they own.
Matt Berger (The Handmade Skateboard: Design & Build a Custom Longboard, Cruiser, or Street Deck from Scratch)
For the better part of two years Niels Lyhne wandered abroad. He was so lonely. He had no family, no friend who was dear to his heart. But there was a greater loneliness about him than that; for a person may well feel anguished and forsaken if on the whole enormous earth there is not one small place he can bless and wish well, someplace he can turn his heart toward when his heart insists on swelling, a place he can long for when longing insists on spreading its wings; but if he has the clear, steady star of a life’s goal shining overhead, then there is no night so lonely that he is entirely alone. But Niels Lyhne had no star. He didn’t know what to do with himself and his abilities. He did have talent, but he just couldn’t use it; he went around feeling like a painter without hands. How he envied the others, great and small, who, no matter where they reached in life, always found something to hold on to! Because he could not find anything to hold on to. It seemed to him that all he could do was sing the old romantic songs over again, and everything that he had accomplished had been nothing more than this. It was as if his talent were something remote in him, a quiet Pompeii, or like a harp he could take out of a corner. It was not omnipresent, it did not run down the street with him, it did not reside in his eyes, it did not tingle in his fingertips, not at all; his talent did not have a hold on him. At times it seemed to him that he had been born half a century too late, at other times that he had arrived much too early. The talent within him was rooted in something from the past which was the only thing that could give it life. It could not draw nourishment from his opinions, his convictions, his sympathies, it could not assimilate them and give them form; they floated away from each other, these two parts, like water and oil, they could be shaken together but could not be mixed, never become one.
Jens Peter Jacobsen (Niels Lyhne)
1. TO YOU HE WHO SPOKE and wrote this message will be greatly disappointed if it does not lead many to the Lord Jesus. It is sent forth in childlike dependence upon the power of God the Holy Ghost, to use it in the conversion of millions, if so He pleases. No doubt many poor men and women will take up this little volume, and the Lord will visit them with grace. To answer this end, the very plainest language has been chosen, and many homely expressions have been used. But if those of wealth and rank should glance at this book, the Holy Ghost can impress them also; since that which can be understood by the unlettered is none the less attractive to the instructed. Oh that some might read it who will become great winners of souls! Who knows how many will find their way to peace by what they read here? A more important question to you, dear reader, is this- Will you be one of them? A certain man placed a fountain by the wayside, and he hung up a cup near to it by a little chain. He was told some time after that a great art-critic had found much fault with its design. "But," said he, "do many thirsty persons drink at it?" Then they told him that thousands of poor people, men, women, and children, slaked their thirst at this fountain; and he smiled and said, that he was little troubled by the critic's observation, only he hoped that on some sultry summer's day the critic himself might fill the cup, and he refreshed, and praise the name of the Lord. Here is my fountain, and here is my cup: find fault if you please; but do drink of the water of life. I only care for this. I had rather bless the soul of the poorest crossing-sweeper, or rag-gatherer, than please a prince of the blood, and fail to convert him to God. Reader, do you mean business in reading these pages? If so, we are agreed at the outset; but nothing short of your finding Christ and Heaven is the business aimed at here. Oh that we may seek this together!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Christian Classics: Six books by Charles Spurgeon in a single collection, with active table of contents)
Creating “Correct” Children in the Classroom One of the most popular discipline programs in American schools is called Assertive Discipline. It teaches teachers to inflict the old “obey or suffer” method of control on students. Here you disguise the threat of punishment by calling it a choice the child is making. As in, “You have a choice, you can either finish your homework or miss the outing this weekend.” Then when the child chooses to try to protect his dignity against this form of terrorism, by refusing to do his homework, you tell him he has chosen his logical, natural consequence of being excluded from the outing. Putting it this way helps the parent or teacher mitigate against the bad feelings and guilt that would otherwise arise to tell the adult that they are operating outside the principles of compassionate relating. This insidious method is even worse than outand-out punishing, where you can at least rebel against your punisher. The use of this mind game teaches the child the false, crazy-making belief that they wanted something bad or painful to happen to them. These programs also have the stated intention of getting the child to be angry with himself for making a poor choice. In this smoke and mirrors game, the children are “causing” everything to happen and the teachers are the puppets of the children’s choices. The only ones who are not taking responsibility for their actions are the adults. Another popular coercive strategy is to use “peer pressure” to create compliance. For instance, a teacher tells her class that if anyone misbehaves then they all won’t get their pizza party. What a great way to turn children against each other. All this is done to help (translation: compel) children to behave themselves. But of course they are not behaving themselves: they are being “behaved” by the adults. Well-meaning teachers and parents try to teach children to be motivated (translation: do boring or aversive stuff without questioning why), responsible (translation: thoughtless conformity to the house rules) people. When surveys are conducted in which fourth-graders are asked what being good means, over 90% answer “being quiet.” And when teachers are asked what happens in a successful classroom, the answer is, “the teacher is able to keep the students on task” (translation: in line, doing what they are told). Consulting firms measuring teacher competence consider this a major criterion of teacher effectiveness. In other words if the students are quietly doing what they were told the teacher is evaluated as good. However my understanding of ‘real learning’ with twenty to forty children is that it is quite naturally a bit noisy and messy. Otherwise children are just playing a nice game of school, based on indoctrination and little integrated retained education. Both punishments and rewards foster a preoccupation with a narrow egocentric self-interest that undermines good values. All little Johnny is thinking about is “How much will you give me if I do X? How can I avoid getting punished if I do Y? What do they want me to do and what happens to me if I don’t do it?” Instead we could teach him to ask, “What kind of person do I want to be and what kind of community do I want to help make?” And Mom is thinking “You didn’t do what I wanted, so now I’m going to make something unpleasant happen to you, for your own good to help you fit into our (dominance/submission based) society.” This contributes to a culture of coercion and prevents a community of compassion. And as we are learning on the global level with our war on terrorism, as you use your energy and resources to punish people you run out of energy and resources to protect people. And even if children look well-behaved, they are not behaving themselves They are being behaved by controlling parents and teachers. Dr. Piaget confirmed that true moral development
Kelly Bryson (Don't Be Nice, Be Real)
Although parents and teachers are forever telling children to “grow up,” maturation cannot be commanded. One cannot teach a child to be an individual or train a child to be his own person. This is the work of maturation and maturation alone. We can nurture the process, provide the right conditions, remove the impediments, but we can no more make a child grow up than we can order the plants in our garden to grow. Dealing with immature children, we may need to show them how to act, draw the boundaries of what is acceptable, and articulate what our expectations are. Children who do not understand fairness have to be taught to take turns. Children not yet mature enough to appreciate the impact of their actions must be provided with rules and prescriptions for acceptable conduct. But such scripted behavior mustn't be confused with the real thing. One cannot be any more mature than one truly is, only act that way when appropriately cued. To take turns because it is right to do so is certainly civil, but to take turns out of a genuine sense of fairness can only come from maturity. To say sorry may be appropriate to the situation, but to assume responsibility for one's actions can come only from the process of individuation. There is no substitute for genuine maturation, no shortcut to getting there. Behavior can be prescribed or imposed, but maturity comes from the heart and mind. The real challenge for parents is to help kids grow up, not simply to look like grownups. If discipline is no cure for immaturity and if scripting is helpful but insufficient, how can we help our children mature? For years, develop-mentalists puzzled over the conditions that activated maturation. The breakthrough came only when researchers discovered the fundamental importance of attachment. Surprising as it may be to say, the story of maturation is quite straightforward and self-evident. Like so much else in child development, it begins with attachment.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
Godly grief readily confesses. After seeing your sin, and sorrowing over your sin, the worst thing you can do is to try stuffing your sin, hoping nobody ever finds out who you really are. Turns out, the best way to avoid being found out a fake is just not to be one—to be open with people about your struggles, while being equally as open in your praise of God for what He’s making of you, despite your many messes and problems. This is where the church comes in so beautifully, because it gets us around people who can help us carry the nagging issues of our hearts—people to whom we can confess our battles with sin and confess our need for a Savior—while we’re doing the same for them. When the only person that truly knows all about us is the person who uses our hairbrush, we are easy pickings for the Enemy, ripe for being outmaneuvered and outsmarted. That’s how we remain slaves to our repeated failures, by basically resisting the redeeming love of God and the needed, encouraging support of others. Because even if we’re as much as 99 percent known (or much less, as is more often the case) to our spouse, our friends, our family, and the people around us, we are still not fully known. We’re still hiding out. We’re still covering up. We don’t want them to know everything. But true sorrow over sin begs to be vented—both vertically to God and horizontally to others. So mark this down: You have no shot at experiencing real change in life if you’re habitually protecting your image, hyping your spiritual brand, and putting out the vibe that you’re a lot more unfazed by temptation than the reality you know and live would suggest. Even Satan himself cannot succeed at clobbering you with condemnation when the stuff he’s accusing you of doing is the same stuff you’ve been honestly admitting before God and others and trusting the Lord for His help with. That’s some of the best action you can take against the sin in your life. That’s responsible repentance.
Matt Chandler (Recovering Redemption: A Gospel Saturated Perspective on How to Change)
also been a white-collar worker in my career. In my experience, there are two types of people who do this type of work: Achievers and Hiders. Achievers are the people who want to perform at a high level. They are ambitious, motivated and energetic. They are full of ideas and want to move up the corporate ladder, which are great attributes to have. But there is a downside for the Achiever. The moment a person decides to be an Achiever, they become a target. Their boss sees them as threatening to their job, so they start to hold them down or take shots at their reputation. Their peers see them as a person who will either embarrass them or keep them from getting a promotion, so they start to do what they can to undermine their accomplishments. So, to remain an Achiever and survive in this hostile environment, a person must become good at one thing that has nothing to do with their productivity—and that’s politics. They must learn how to navigate the political world by diminishing their enemies and strengthening their relationship with powerful people. In fact, some of the most successful people in the corporate world aren’t Achievers at all. They are pure politicians. So if you decide to work in the corporate environment and to be an Achiever, you must accept the fact that you must become a good politician also. Now, let’s talk about the Hiders. These are the people who HATE politics, but still need a job. They learn not to be the ambitious Achiever. They don’t stand out. They don’t speak up in meetings. They don’t bring new ideas. They HIDE. They keep their heads down and do as they’re told. They do just enough so that they aren’t talked about negatively. They survive. And this has worked for decades. But in the New Economy, it’s becoming much more difficult to hide. And people are running out of time. So, back to our Perfect Career List: Can a white-collar job deliver on the list? Again, the clear answer is no—certainly not in very many areas. Sales
Eric Worre (Go Pro - 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional)
I had always been a very physically active person. And I loved my job. I got into the military because of September 11, but I stumbled into a career that I absolutely loved. I was meant to be an infantry soldier. I thought, I will never be physical again and my career in the military is over. One tiny trip wire had taken everything away from me in one explosive moment. I sank into a very dark place. I wallowed in both my physical pain and my mental anguish. One day my parents were sitting by my side in the hospital room--as they did every day--and I turned to my mom and blurted out, “How am I ever gonna be able to tie my shoes again?” Mom rebutted my pity party with, “Well, your father can tie his shoes with one hand. Andy! Show Noah how you can tie your shoes with one hand.” And as I started to protest, Dad cut my whining off at the pass. “Oh my gosh, Noah, I can tie my shoes with one hand.” And he did, as I had seen him do so many times growing up. “I just need a little sympathy,” I said. To which Mom replied, “Well, you’re not getting it today.” A few days after I’d had my shoelace meltdown, after many tears, I found myself drained of emotion, a hollowed-out shell. My mother saw the blank expression on my face and she saw an opportunity to drag me out of the fog. She took it. She came up to my bed, leaned in close--but not so close that the other people in the room couldn’t hear her, and said, “You just had to outdo your dad and lose your arm and your leg.” She smiled, waiting for my reply, but all I could do was laugh. It was funny but it was also at that moment that I think I felt a little spark of excitement and anticipation again. It would take a while to fully ignite the flame but what she said definitely tapped into some important part of me. I have a very competitive side and Mom knew that. She knew just what to say to shake me up, so I could realize, Okay, life will go on from here. I thought to myself, My dad could do a whole lot with just one hand. Imagine how much more impressive it’ll look with two missing limbs. And I smiled the best I could through a wired jaw.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
When I returned from the restroom and Jase saw how much I was bleeding, he began to grill the doctor with every question imaginable. She remained completely stoic, no matter what he said. Every time he asked her a question, she provided the same measured response: “I will not know until I begin to operate.” She began trying to offer various common medical possibilities for this incident, such as a ruptured cyst and other diagnoses. Jase shot down every explanation with the power and speed he would use to blast a duck out of the sky with a shotgun. He was never disrespectful toward her, but he was intense. Due to the pain I was experiencing, I did not realize exactly what was going on, but I did know I was lying on the bed while the doctor and my husband were in a Western movie standoff on either side of me. These two strong personalities were about to collide, and I was in the direct line of fire! At one point, the telephone in my pre-op room rang. Without saying a word, the doctor picked up the phone, stretched it across my bed, and handed it to Jase, never taking her eyes off his. To say that one could cut the tension in the room with a knife is a complete understatement. I was not happy about Jase’s confrontational manner, but at the same time, I was grateful that he was asking the questions I never thought to ask and telling the doctor exactly how he wanted her to treat me. “Like your own daughter,” he said. Jase clearly communicated that he wanted the doctor to rectify the situation. He went on to tell her, “You better not start taking out a bunch of things that need to be left inside of her. I understand that you have to operate, but do not remove anything that does not have to come out.” She confirmed her understanding of his expectations and left the room. “Jason,” I said, using his full name, “she is my boss.” I hated the thought that he might say something to offend her, something that might make my working for her difficult or awkward in the future. “I don’t care,” Jase said, “my main concern is you. I am about to send you back into that operating room with her, and I want to make sure she knows my expectations are high.
Missy Robertson (Blessed, Blessed ... Blessed: The Untold Story of Our Family's Fight to Love Hard, Stay Strong, and Keep the Faith When Life Can't Be Fixed)
Tommy, Ewoks suck. They’ve always sucked and they always will suck. Four has Peter Cushing in it. If in doubt, always go with a film that has Peter Cushing in it.” Petra appeared to be very smug in her victory. Tommy looked mortified. “But six has Jedi Luke and that awesome bit with the Emperor at the end.” “And Ewoks,” I said. “Who, I’m pretty sure I pointed out, suck.” “And to think I was going to get you your own lightsaber,” Tommy said in mock outrage. Petra’s face lit up like a child’s on Christmas morning. “You have your own lightsaber?” Tommy nodded. “Two of them.” “Why?” Kurt asked. “Why do you need a lightsaber? What can you possibly use it for?” “I think the question is,” Tommy said, “why wouldn’t I need a lightsaber? And as for what I can use it for, I use it to look awesome. Really, really awesome.” “You just don’t understand, my dear,” Petra told Kurt. Kurt didn’t appear to want or need to understand anytime soon. “So, you got beat up by some humans and a witch,” Tommy said, barely containing his laughter. “Do you have CCTV?” he asked Petra, who chuckled. “Are you both done?” I asked. They nodded in unison. “This witch used a huge amount of magic on me,” I informed them both. “To use runes to drain my magic is one thing, but an effete curse is a whole other league of power. That’s a decade of her life, right there.” “I don’t understand why anyone would ever use a blood magic curse,” Tommy said. “It’s not like it’s fun for the person casting it either.” “What do you mean?” Petra asked. “There are several different blood magic curses you can cast on another person, and a few you can cast on yourself,” I explained. “All of the curses do various things to the person they’re cast upon, but the caster has to take some of the curse back onto him- or herself. So, in this case, Sarah cast the effete spell, making me exhausted and utterly useless, but a small portion of that will bounce back onto her. How long was I out?” “Six hours,” Kurt said. “If I’d cast that spell, I could have expected maybe three or four hours of exhaustion. Witches are basically human, so she’s going to be about as much use as a chocolate teapot, for the best part of a day. It was a huge decision for her to make.
Steve McHugh (Prison of Hope (Hellequin Chronicles, #4))
CHANGING YOUR LIFE TO ACCOMMODATE THE SIXTH SECRET The sixth secret is about the choiceless life. Since we all take our choices very seriously, adopting this new attitude requires a major shift. Today, you can begin with a simple exercise. Sit down for a few minutes and reassess some of the important choices you’ve made over the years. Take a piece of paper and make two columns labeled “Good Choice” and “Bad Choice.” Under each column, list at least five choices relating to those moments you consider the most memorable and decisive in your life so far—you’ll probably start with turning points shared by most people (the serious relationship that collapsed, the job you turned down or didn’t get, the decision to pick one profession or another), but be sure to include private choices that no one knows about except you (the fight you walked away from, the person you were too afraid to confront, the courageous moment when you overcame a deep fear). Once you have your list, think of at least one good thing that came out of the bad choices and one bad thing that came out of the good choices. This is an exercise in breaking down labels, getting more in touch with how flexible reality really is. If you pay attention, you may be able to see that not one but many good things came from your bad decisions while many bad ones are tangled up in your good decisions. For example, you might have a wonderful job but wound up in a terrible relationship at work or crashed your car while commuting. You might love being a mother but know that it has drastically curtailed your personal freedom. You may be single and very happy at how much you’ve grown on your own, yet you have also missed the growth that comes from being married to someone you deeply love. No single decision you ever made has led in a straight line to where you find yourself now. You peeked down some roads and took a few steps before turning back. You followed some roads that came to a dead end and others that got lost at too many intersections. Ultimately, all roads are connected to all other roads. So break out of the mindset that your life consists of good and bad choices that set your destiny on an unswerving course. Your life is the product of your awareness. Every choice follows from that, and so does every step of growth.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
Action Step: Nourished by “Light” You can prove to yourself how nourishing a new word can be once it begins to be your personal theme. Let’s use the word light. Since it’s the opposite of heavy, this word is one of the best for our purposes. The more you bring light into your life, the easier it will be to lose weight. Why? Because light covers so many positive experiences. Look at the following usages: Lighthearted Light-handed Enlightened Feeling light and bright The light of inspiration Lightness of being The light of the soul The light of God If you had these things in your life, it would be much easier for your body to be light. Your mind would be sending messages that are the opposite of heavy, dull, inert, tired, bored, dark, unenlightened. Start to rid yourself of those messages and let your body conform to lightness and all of its positive connotations. With this background, you can proceed to use light in various ways, beginning with the physical sensation of being light. Exercise: Filling with Light Sit in a quiet room by yourself. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths until you feel centered and ready. (It’s best to sit upright if you can rather than lounging back in your chair.) Breathing normally, visualize light filling your chest each time you inhale. The light is soft, warm, and white. Watch it suffuse your chest. Now exhale normally, but leave the light inside. On your next breath, take in more light. See the light filling your chest now begin to suffuse the rest of your body, moving down into your abdomen. Don’t force the visualization, and don’t worry if you have trouble seeing the light—even a faint sense of white light is good enough. With each breath, let the light suffuse your arms, then your hands all the way to the fingertips. Let it suffuse your legs down to your toes. Finally, send the light into your head and out the top in a beam that reaches high. Sit with the light for a few moments, then lift your arms, letting them float upward as if the light is causing them to rise. You are like a balloon filled completely with light. Enjoy the sensation, then open your eyes. This is a good exercise to counteract feelings of dullness, heaviness, fatigue, and sadness. The sensation of being physically light, paired with the visualization of inner light, creates a big change in how you relate to your body.
Deepak Chopra (What Are You Hungry For?: The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being and Lightness of Soul)
I’ve experienced all kinds of discrimination,” Oshima says. “Only people who’ve been discriminated against can really know how much it hurts. Each person feels the pain in his own way, each has his own scars. So I think I’m as concerned about fairness and justice as anybody. But what disgusts me even more are people who have no imagination. The kind T. S. Eliot calls hollow men. People who fill up that lack of imagination with heartless bits of straw, not even aware of what they’re doing. Callous people who throw a lot of empty words at you, trying to force you to do what you don’t want to. Like that lovely pair we just met.” He sighs and twirls the long slender pencil in his hand. “Gays, lesbians, straights, feminists, fascist pigs, communists, Hare Krishnas—none of them bother me. I don’t care what banner they raise. But what I can’t stand are hollow people. When I’m with them I just can’t bear it, and wind up saying things I shouldn’t. With those women—I should’ve just let it slide, or else called Miss Saeki and let her handle it. She would have given them a smile and smoothed things over. But I just can’t do that. I say things I shouldn’t, do things I shouldn’t do. I can’t control myself. That’s one of my weak points. Do you know why that’s a weak point of mine?” “’Cause if you take every single person who lacks much imagination seriously, there’s no end to it,” I say. “That’s it,” Oshima says. He taps his temple lightly with the eraser end of the pencil. “But there’s one thing I want you to remember, Kafka. Those are exactly the kind of people who murdered Miss Saeki’s childhood sweetheart. Narrow minds devoid of imagination. Intolerance, theories cut off from reality, empty terminology, usurped ideals, inflexible systems. Those are the things that really frighten me. What I absolutely fear and loathe. Of course it’s important to know what’s right and what’s wrong. Individual errors in judgment can usually be corrected. As long as you have the courage to admit mistakes, things can be turned around. But intolerant, narrow minds with no imagination are like parasites that transform the host, change form, and continue to thrive. They’re a lost cause, and I don’t want anyone like that coming in here.” Oshima points at the stacks with the tip of his pencil. What he means, of course, is the entire library. “I wish I could just laugh off people like that, but I can’t.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
1. Do you recall anyone drinking or taking drugs or being involved in some other behavior that you now believe could be dysfunctional? 2. Did you avoid bringing friends to your home because of drinking or some other dysfunctional behavior in the home? 3. Did one of your parents make excuses for the other parent’s drinking or other behaviors? 4. Did your parents focus on each other so much that they seemed to ignore you? 5. Did your parents or relatives argue constantly? 6. Were you drawn into arguments or disagreements and asked to choose sides with one parent or relative against another? 7. Did you try to protect your brothers or sisters against drinking or other behavior in the family? 8. As an adult, do you feel immature? Do you feel like you are a child inside? 9. As an adult, do you believe you are treated like a child when you interact with your parents? Are you continuing to live out a childhood role with the parents? 10. Do you believe that it is your responsibility to take care of your parents’ feelings or worries? Do other relatives look to you to solve their problems? 11. Do you fear authority figures and angry people? 12. Do you constantly seek approval or praise but have difficulty accepting a compliment when one comes your way? 13. Do you see most forms of criticism as a personal attack? 14. Do you over commit yourself and then feel angry when others do not appreciate what you do? 15. Do you think you are responsible for the way another person feels or behaves? 16. Do you have difficulty identifying feelings? 17. Do you focus outside yourself for love or security? 18. Do you involve yourself in the problems of others? Do you feel more alive when there is a crisis? 19. Do you equate sex with intimacy? 20. Do you confuse love and pity? 21. Have you found yourself in a relationship with a compulsive or dangerous person and wonder how you got there? 22. Do you judge yourself without mercy and guess at what is normal? 23. Do you behave one way in public and another way at home? 24. Do you think your parents had a problem with drinking or taking drugs? 25. Do you think you were affected by the drinking or other dysfunctional behavior of your parents or family? If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you may be suffering from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or other dysfunctional family. As The Laundry List states, you can be affected even if you did not take a drink. Please read Chapter Two to learn more about these effects.
Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization (Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families)
In other words, you'll pretend to be someone else in order to snag a husband." "Oh, for heaven's sake," she said defensively, "it's no different than what half the women in society do to catch a man. I don't want to waste my time in pointless flirtation when a little knowledge will improve my aim on the targets." He flashed her a condescending smile. "What is it?" she snapped. "Only you would approach courtship as a marksman approaches a shooting match." He licked the tip of his pencil. "So who are these hapless targets?" "The Earl of Devonmont, the Duke of Lyons, and Fernandez Valdez, the Viscount de Basto." His jaw dropped. "Are you insane?" "I know they're rather beyond my reach, but they seem to like my company-" "I daresay they do!" He strode up to her, strangely angry. "The earl is a rakehell with a notorious reputation for trying to get beneath the skirts of every woman he meets. The duke's father was mad, and it's said to run in his family, which is why most women steer clear of him. And Basto is a Portuguese idiot who's too old for you and clearly trawling for some sweet young thing to nurse him in his declining years." "How can you say such things? The only one you know personally is Lord Devonmont, and you barely know even him." "I don't have to. Their reputations tell me they're utterly unacceptable." Unacceptable? Three of the most eligible bachelors in London? Mr. Pinter was mad, not her. "Lord Devonmont is Gabe's wife's cousin. The duke of Gabe's best friend, whom I've known since childhood, and the viscount...well..." "Is an oily sort, from what I hear," he snapped. "No, he isn't. He's very pleasant to talk to." Really, this was the most ridiculous conversation. "Who the devil do you think I should marry, anyway?" That seemed to take him aback. He glanced away. "I don't know," he muttered. "But no...That is, you shouldn't..." He tugged at his cravat. "They're wrong for you, that's all." She'd flustered Mr. Pinter. How astonishing! He was never flustered. It made him look vulnerable and much less...stiff. She rather liked that. But she'd like it even better if she understood what had provoked it. "Why do you care whom I choose, as long as you're paid? I'm wiling to pay extra to ensure that you find out everything I want to know." Once more he turned into Proud Pinter. "It isn't a matter of payment, madam. I choose my own assignments, and this one isn't to my taste. Good day," Turning on his heel, he headed for the door. Oh, dear, she hadn't meant to run him off entirely.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
The man’s heart was so full with all the love he felt that one night a great miracle happened. He was looking at the stars and he found the most beautiful one, and his love was so big that the star started coming down from the sky and soon that star was in his hands. Then a second miracle happened, and his soul merged with that star. He was intensely happy, and he could hardly wait to go to the woman and put that star in her hands to prove his love to her. As soon as he put the star in her hands, she felt a moment of doubt. This love was overwhelming, and in that moment, the star fell from her hands and broke in a million little pieces. Now there is an old man walking around the world swearing that love doesn’t exist. And there is a beautiful old woman at home waiting for a man, shedding a tear for a paradise that once she had in her hands, but for one moment of doubt, she let it go. This is the story about the man who didn’t believe in love. Who made the mistake? Do you want to guess what went wrong? The mistake was on the man’s part in thinking he could give the woman his happiness. The star was his happiness, and his mistake was to put his happiness in her hands. Happiness never comes from outside of us. He was happy because of the love coming out of him; she was happy because of the love coming out of her. But as soon as he made her responsible for his happiness, she broke the star because she could not be responsible for his happiness. No matter how much the woman loved him, she could never make him happy because she could never know what he had in his mind. She could never know what his expectations were, because she could not know his dreams. If you take your happiness and put it in someone’s hands, sooner or later, she is going to break it. If you give your happiness to someone else, she can always take it away. Then if happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love, you are responsible for your happiness. We can never make anyone responsible for our own happiness, but when we go to the church to get married, the first thing we do is exchange rings. We put our star in each other’s hands, expecting that she is going to make you happy, and you are going to make her happy. It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, you are never going to be what that person wants you to be. That is the mistake most of us make right from the beginning. We base our happiness on our partner, and it doesn’t work that way. We make all those promises that we cannot keep, and we set ourselves up to fail.
Miguel Ruiz (The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship --Toltec Wisdom Book)
When the commander of one of the brigades Gilbert had sent to reinforce McCook approached an imposing-looking officer to ask for instructions as to the posting of his troops—“I have come to your assistance with my brigade!” the Federal shouted above the uproar—the gentleman calmly sitting his horse in the midst of carnage turned out to be Polk, who was wearing a dark-gray uniform. Polk asked the designation of the newly arrived command, and upon being told raised his eyebrows in surprise. For all his churchly faith in miracles, he could scarcely believe his ears. “There must be some mistake about this,” he said. “You are my prisoner.” Fighting without its commander, the brigade gave an excellent account of itself. Joined presently by the other brigade sent over from the center, it did much to stiffen the resistance being offered by the remnants of McCook’s two divisions. Sundown came before the rebels could complete the rout begun four hours ago, and now in the dusk it was Polk’s turn to play a befuddled role in another comic incident of confused identity. He saw in the fading light a body of men whom he took to be Confederates firing obliquely into the flank of one of his engaged brigades. “Dear me,” he said to himself. “This is very sad and must be stopped.” None of his staff being with him at the time, he rode over to attend to the matter in person. When he came up to the erring commander and demanded in angry tones what he meant by shooting his own friends, the colonel replied with surprise: “I don’t think there can be any mistake about it. I am sure they are the enemy.” “Enemy!” Polk exclaimed, taken aback by this apparent insubordination. “Why, I have only just left them myself. Cease firing, sir! What is your name, sir?” “Colonel Shryock, of the 87th Indiana,” the Federal said. “And pray, sir, who are you?” The bishop-general, learning thus for the first time that the man was a Yankee and that he was in rear of a whole regiment of Yankees, determined to brazen out the situation by taking further advantage of the fact that his dark-gray blouse looked blue-black in the twilight. He rode closer and shook his fist in the colonel’s face, shouting angrily: “I’ll soon show you who I am, sir! Cease firing, sir, at once!” Then he turned his horse and, calling in an authoritative manner for the bluecoats to cease firing, slowly rode back toward his own lines. He was afraid to ride fast, he later explained, because haste might give his identity away; yet “at the same time I experienced a disagreeable sensation, like screwing up my back, and calculated how many bullets would be between my shoulders every moment.
Shelby Foote (The Civil War, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville)
It was that very same attitude that had caused the heaviness on her heart right now. The phone calls she had received came from people who had spent all year spending money on the things they wanted: new cars, TVs, clothes and going out to eat and now they had nothing left to give to someone else. "When did it happen?" she wondered, "-- this change in people's thinking." What happened to the times when even a small gift was greatly appreciated because you knew the person had sacrificed so much in order to buy or make it? What happened to the times when parents, spouses and children worked so hard in order to be able to give that special gift to someone they loved? When did it become acceptable to call on your expensive cell phone, from your favorite restaurant, to let others know that you can't buy them a gift this year because you can't afford it? Had she been mistaken all this time in her understanding of gift giving? With a droop in her shoulders she turns and walks toward the little tree. How could it have lost its sparkle in a matter of moments? Why do the presents under it suddenly look less gaily wrapped? With tears gently rolling down her cheeks, she stoops to turn off the tree's lights. As she reaches for the plug, her hand accidentally brushes her Bible laying on the table. She looks up through the blur, her eyes alight upon the passage on the open page. "For God so LOVED the world that he GAVE his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." A sweet peace starts warming her heart. She begins to smile and her tears are flowing even more freely now -- not from sadness, but from joy. The lights on the little tree become brighter and brighter, lighting up the whole room with it's sparkle. The gifts under it look more beautiful than those in the most expensive department stores for, in that moment, she realizes that she wasn't wrong to love, to sacrifice and to want to give gifts to the people she loves. Hadn't God Himself so loved us that He gave, with the greatest of sacrifices, the most wonderful gift, His Son. She was so glad that God hadn't spent His time in heaven selfishly using all His resources for Himself. She was thankful that He hadn't sent her a message saying, "Sorry, but I can't afford to give you a gift this year." In those few moments of heartbreak she had learned something more. She had learned what God must feel like to have the gift that He sacrificed so much to give be rejected and scorned. How hurtful to take away the blessing of giving from someone or to reject their gift. Yes, it seemed to be popular to say, "We can't afford to exchange gifts this year", but it didn't matter. She would continue to love, sacrifice and give, always following her heavenly Father's example.
Tawra Jean Kellam
This is what sin does to us all. At a deep and often unnoticed level, sin replaces worship of God with worship of self. It replaces submission with self-rule. It replaces gratitude with demands for more. It replaces faith with self-reliance. It replaces vertical joy with horizontal envy. It replaces a rest in God’s sovereignty with a quest for personal control. We live for our glory. We set up our rules. We ask others to serve our agenda. We curse whatever gets in our way. We hate having to wait. We get upset when we have to go without. We strike back when we think we have been wronged. We do all we can to satisfy our cravings. We think too much about our own pleasure. We envy those who have what we think we deserve. We pout when we think we have been overlooked. We hate suffering of any kind. We manipulate others for our own good. We attempt to work ourselves into positions of power and control. We are obsessed about what is best for us. We demand more than we serve, and we take more than we give. We long to be first and hate being last. We are all too concerned with being right, being noticed, and being affirmed. We find it easier to judge those who have offended us than to forgive them. We require life to be predictable, satisfying, and easy. We do all these things because we are full of ourselves, in awe more of ourselves than of God. This is what Paul is talking about when he writes that Christ “died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves” (2 Cor. 5:15). Here we see the great replacement again. It is what sin does to us all; no longer living for God, we live for ourselves. The myriad of dysfunctions of the human community can be traced to this one thing: awe. When we replace vertical awe of God with awe of self, bad things happen in the horizontal community. You see it played out in a thousand ways every day. If you listen, you will discover that the universal language of sinners in this broken world is complaint. When you’re at the center, when you feel entitled, when your desires dominate your heart, and when it really is all about you, you will have much to complain about. It is amazing how much more natural complaint is for us than thanks or how much more we tend to grumble than we tend to praise. We talk much more about what we want than about what we have been given. Notice how much we compare what we have to what others have and how little of the time we are satisfied. Listen to people very long, and you’ll hear the drone of complaint far more frequently than you’ll hear the melody of thankfulness. You see, we don’t first have a grumbling problem. No, we have an awe problem that results in a life of personal dissatisfaction and complaint. When awe of self replaces awe of God, praise will be rare and grumbling plentiful.
Paul David Tripp (Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do)
13. If the goal is to build up one's sexual energy, what's the harm of sleeping with a lot of different women (or men) to increase your ching chi? Chia: The goal is not to build up one's sexual energy—it is to transform raw sexual energy into a refined subtle energy. Sex is only one means of doing that. Promiscuity can easily lower your energy if you choose partners with moral or physical weakness. If you lie with degenerates, it may hurt you, in that you can temporarily acquire your partner's vileness. By exchanging subtle energy, you actually absorb the other's substance. You become the other person and assume new karmic burdens. This is why old couples resemble each other so closely: they have exchanged so much energy that they are made of the same life-stuff. This practice accelerates this union, but elevates it to a higher level of spiritual experience. So the best advice I can give is to never compromise your integrity of body, mind and spirit. In choosing a lover you are choosing your destiny, so make sure you love the woman with whom you have sex. Then you will be in harmony with what flows from the exchange and your actions will be proper. If you think you can love two women at once, be ready to spend double the chi to transform and balance their energy. I doubt if many men can really do that and feel deep serenity. For the sake of simplicity, limit yourself to one woman at a time. It takes a lot of time and energy to cultivate the subtle energies to a deep level. It is impossible to define love precisely. You have to consult your inner voice. But cultivating your chi energy sensitizes you to your conscience. What was a distant whisper before may become a very loud voice. For your own sake, do not abandon your integrity for the sake of physical pleasure or the pretense that you are doing deep spiritual exercises. If you sleep with one whom you don't love, your subtle energies will not be in balance and psychic warfare can begin. This will take its toll no matter how far apart you are physically until you sever or heal the psychic connection. It's better to be honest in the beginning. For the same reason make love only when you feel true tenderness within yourself. Your power to love will thus grow stronger. Selfish or manipulative use of sex even with someone with whom you are in love can cause great disharmony. If you feel unable to use your sexual power lovingly, then do not use it at all! Sex is a gleaming, sharp, two-edged sword, a healing tool that can quickly become a weapon. If used for base purposes, it cuts you mercilessly. If you haven't found a partner with whom you can be truly gentle, then simply touch no one. Go back to building your internal energy and when it gets high you will either attract a quality lover or learn a deeper level within yourself.
Mantak Chia (Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy)
And the wraith on the heart monitor looks pensively down at Gately from upside-down and asks does Gately remember the myriad thespian extras on for example his beloved ‘Cheers!,’ not the center-stage Sam and Carla and Nom, but the nameless patrons always at tables, filling out the bar’s crowd, concessions to realism, always relegated to back- and foreground; and always having utterly silent conversations: their faces would animate and mouths would move realistically, but without sound; only the name-stars at the bar itself could audibilize. The wraith says these fractional actors, human scenery, could be seen (but not heard) in most pieces of filmed entertainment. And Gately remembers them, the extras in all public scenes, especially like bar and restaurant scenes, or rather remembers how he doesn’t quite remember them, how it never struck his addled mind as in fact surreal that their mouths moved but nothing emerged, and what a miserable fucking bottom-rung job that must be for an actor, to be sort of human furniture, figurants the wraith says they’re called, these surreally mute background presences whose presence really revealed that the camera, like any eye, has a perceptual corner, a triage of who’s important enough to be seen and heard v. just seen. A term from ballet, originally, figurant, the wraith explains. The wraith pushes his glasses up in the vaguely sniveling way of a kid that’s just got slapped around on the playground and says he personally spent the vast bulk of his own former animate life as pretty much a figurant, furniture at the periphery of the very eyes closest to him, it turned out, and that it’s one heck of a crummy way to try to live. Gately, whose increasing self-pity leaves little room or patience for anybody else’s self-pity, tries to lift his left hand and wiggle his pinkie to indicate the world’s smallest viola playing the theme from The Sorrow and the Pity, but even moving his left arm makes him almost faint. And either the wraith is saying or Gately is realizing that you can’t appreciate the dramatic pathos of a figurant until you realize how completely trapped and encaged he is in his mute peripheral status, because like say for example if one of ‘Cheers!’’s bar’s figurants suddenly decided he couldn’t take it any more and stood up and started shouting and gesturing around wildly in a bid for attention and nonperipheral status on the show, Gately realizes, all that would happen is that one of the audibilizing ‘name’ stars of the show would bolt over from stage-center and apply restraints or the Heineken Maneuver or CPR, figuring the silent gesturing figurant was choking on a beer-nut or something, and that then the whole rest of that episode of ‘Cheers!’ would be about jokes about the name star’s life-saving heroics, or else his fuck-up in applying the Heineken Maneuver to somebody who wasn’t choking on a nut. No way for a figurant to win. No possible voice or focus for the encaged figurant.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
This is painfully obvious at a poker table. Even weak players know, in principle, that seeing through the eyes of opponents is critical. She raised the bet $20? What does that tell me about her thinking—and the cards she has? Each bet is another clue to what your opponent is holding, or wants you to think she is holding, and the only way to piece it together is to imagine yourself in her seat. Good perspective-takers can make a lot of money. So you might suppose that anyone who takes poker seriously would get good at it, quickly, or take up another hobby. And yet they so often don’t. “Here’s a very simple example,” says Annie Duke, an elite professional poker player, winner of the World Series of Poker, and a former PhD-level student of psychology. “Everyone who plays poker knows you can either fold, call, or raise [a bet]. So what will happen is that when a player who isn’t an expert sees another player raise, they automatically assume that that player is strong, as if the size of the bet is somehow correlated at one with the strength of the other person’s hand.” This is a mistake. Duke teaches poker and to get her students to see like dragonflies she walks them through a game situation. A hand is dealt. You like your cards. In the first of several rounds of betting, you wager a certain amount. The other player immediately raises your bet substantially. Now, what do you think the other player has? Duke has taught thousands of students “and universally, they say ‘I think they have a really strong hand.’” So then she asks them to imagine the same situation, except they’re playing against her. The cards are dealt. Their hand is more than strong—it’s unbeatable. Duke makes her bet. Now, what will you do? Will you raise her bet? “And they say to me, ‘Well, no.’” If they raise, Duke may conclude their hand is strong and fold. They don’t want to scare her off. They want Duke to stay in for each of the rounds of betting so they can expand the pot as much as possible before they scoop it up. So they won’t raise. They’ll only call. Duke then walks them through the same hypothetical with a hand that is beatable but still very strong. Will you raise? No. How about a little weaker hand that is still a likely winner? No raise. “They would never raise with any of these really great hands because they don’t want to chase me away.” Then Duke asks them: Why did you assume that an opponent who raises the bet has a strong hand if you would not raise with the same strong hand? “And it’s not until I walk them through the exercise,” Duke says, that people realize they failed to truly look at the table from the perspective of their opponent. If Duke’s students were all vacationing retirees trying poker for the first time, this would only tell us that dilettantes tend to be naive. But “these are people who have played enough poker, and are passionate about the game, and consider themselves good enough, that they’re paying a thousand dollars for a seminar with me,” Duke says. “And they don’t understand this basic concept.”22
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
At the end of this Sabbath encounter with the religious leaders Mark records a remarkable sentence that sums up one of the main themes of the New Testament, “Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.” The Herodians were the supporters of Herod, the nastiest of the corrupt kings who ruled Israel, representing the Roman occupying power and its political system. In any country that the Romans conquered, they set up rulers. And wherever the Romans went, they brought along the culture of Greece—Greek philosophy, the Greek approach to sex and the body, the Greek approach to truth. Conquered societies like Israel felt assaulted by these immoral, cosmopolitan, pagan values. In these countries there were cultural resistance movements; and in Israel that was the Pharisees. They put all their emphasis on living by the teachings of the Hebrew Scriptures and putting up big hedges around themselves to prevent contamination by the pagans. See what was going on? The Herodians were moving with the times, while the Pharisees upheld traditional virtues. The Pharisees believed their society was being overwhelmed with pluralism and paganism, and they were calling for a return to traditional moral values. These two groups had been longtime enemies of each other—but now they agree: They have to get rid of Jesus. These two groups were not used to cooperating, but now they do. In fact, the Pharisees, the religious people, take the lead in doing so. That’s why I say this sentence hints at one of the main themes of the New Testament. The gospel of Jesus Christ is an offense to both religion and irreligion. It can’t be co-opted by either moralism or relativism. The “traditional values” approach to life is moral conformity—the approach taken by the Pharisees. It is that you must lead a very, very good life. The progressive approach, embodied in the Herodians, is self-discovery—you have to decide what is right or wrong for you. And according to the Bible, both of these are ways of being your own savior and lord. Both are hostile to the message of Jesus. And not only that, both lead to self-righteousness. The moralist says, “The good people are in and the bad people are out—and of course we’re the good ones.” The self-discovery person says, “Oh, no, the progressive, open-minded people are in and the judgmental bigots are out—and of course we’re the open-minded ones.” In Western cosmopolitan culture there’s an enormous amount of self-righteousness about self-righteousness. We progressive urbanites are so much better than people who think they’re better than other people. We disdain those religious, moralistic types who look down on others. Do you see the irony, how the way of self-discovery leads to as much superiority and self-righteousness as religion does? The gospel does not say, “the good are in and the bad are out,” nor “the open-minded are in and the judgmental are out.” The gospel says the humble are in and the proud are out. The gospel says the people who know they’re not better, not more open-minded, not more moral than anyone else, are in, and the people who think they’re on the right side of the divide are most in danger.
Timothy J. Keller (Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God)
Know Yourself: Are You a Freezer, Flyer, or Fighter? How avoidance coping manifests for you will depend on what your dominant response type is when you’re facing something you’d rather avoid. There are three possible responses: freezing, fleeing, or fighting. We’ve evolved these reactions because they’re useful for encounters with predators. Like other animals, when we encounter a predator, we’re wired to freeze to avoid provoking attention, run away, or fight. Most people are prone to one of the three responses more so than the other two. Therefore, you can think of yourself as having a “type,” like a personality type. Identify your type using the descriptions in the paragraphs that follow. Bear in mind that your type is just your most dominant pattern. Sometimes you’ll respond in one of the other two ways. Freezers virtually freeze when they don’t want to do something. They don’t move forward or backward; they just stop in their tracks. If a coworker or loved one nags a freezer to do something the freezer doesn’t want to do, the freezer will tend not to answer. Freezers may be prone to stonewalling in relationships, which is a term used to describe when people flat-out refuse to discuss certain topics that their partner wants to talk about, such as a decision to have another baby or move to a new home. Flyers are people who are prone to fleeing when they don’t want to do something. They might physically leave the house if a relationship argument gets too tense and they’d rather not continue the discussion. Flyers can be prone to serial relationships because they’d rather escape than work through tricky issues. When flyers want to avoid doing something, they tend to busy themselves with too much activity as a way to justify their avoidance. For example, instead of dealing with their own issues, flyers may overfill their children’s schedules so that they’re always on the run, taking their kids from activity to activity. Fighters tend to respond to anxiety by working harder. Fighters are the anxiety type that is least prone to avoidance coping: however, they still do it in their own way. When fighters have something that they’d rather not deal with, they will often work themselves into the ground but avoid dealing with the crux of the problem. When a strategy isn’t working, fighters don’t like to admit it and will keep hammering away. They tend to avoid getting the outside input they need to move forward. They may avoid acting on others’ advice if doing so is anxiety provoking, even when deep down they know that taking the advice is necessary. Instead, they will keep trying things their own way. A person’s dominant anxiety type—freezer, flyer, or fighter—will often be consistent for both work and personal relationships, but not always. Experiment: Once you’ve identified your type, think about a situation you’re facing currently in which you’re acting to type. What’s an alternative coping strategy you could try? For example, your spouse is nagging you to do a task involving the computer. You feel anxious about it due to your general lack of confidence with all things computer related. If you’re a freezer, you’d normally just avoid answering when asked when you’re going to do the task. How could you change your reaction?
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Get acquainted along with a fitness home business. If you attempt earnestly, you are able to get started a productive fitness business. Many variables need to be considered once you determine to begin a fitness enterprise. If you understand how to set up a fitness online business, it can be effortless. It is advisable to have expertise in the fitness market to become capable to begin a fitness organization. Folks from any walk of life can commence their very own fitness business. A fitness small business is some thing that people would encourage by becoming consumers on the company. If you strategy to begin a online business inside the fitness niches, you ought to read all about how you can commence a fitness small business. You could study from blogs and web-sites related to establishing such a company. You must in no way attempt to get started a organization with out 1st understanding all about it. It truly is not quick to start a organization in the fitness niches. We're normally extremely eager to obtain fit. It really is essential that we give enough time and believed to our fitness business. Individuals who fail to perform on their fitness by no means realize beneficial benefits. You in no way going to attain excellent levels of fitness without functioning on it. Diet program is a thing that people rarely consider fitness business about when having match. What you eat is also necessary relating to fitness. One factor you need to understand is that fitness under no circumstances comes rather simply. You don't constantly must go to the health club for becoming match. It's going to expense funds to setup your business within the fitness niche. You will need help in some aspects on the business enterprise. A fitness enterprise may be simple if you have the suitable assistance. If you do not have the education, consumers won't rely on you with their fitness needs. It really is very important which you have some training in fitness. Fitness is all about expertise and you require to possess the expertise for the online business. A fitness trainer would have no difficulty in starting his personal fitness business. You need to look and really feel fit in order to attract other many people as consumers. A fitness company will take up your time and your dollars to set it up appropriately. It's essential to take various aspects into account for instance the place for the home business. Women are extremely keen to lose weight, as they prefer to look appealing. It's the worry of obesity and the resulting ugliness that makes women and men go in to get a fitness system. Middle aged guys are frequently obese and must make an enormous work to regain fitness. You'll need to invest a whole lot of your time to have the ability to create a foothold in this niche. You could possibly not know it, nevertheless it is feasible to develop a lucrative enterprise in the fitness niche. The idea of fitness is spreading far and wide. People of every age group prefer fitness. Health is much more vital than wealth. It can be vital to acquire fit if you desire to get the perfect out of life. Establishing a online business that is certainly centered on fitness is usually a very good notion. The fitness market holds a great deal of promise for tough functioning business owners.
Glenn Eichler
Ellen Braun, an accomplished agile manager, noticed that different behaviors emerge over time as telltale signs of a team’s emotional maturity, a key component in their ability to adjust as things happen to them and to get to the tipping point when “an individual’s self interest shifts to alignment with the behaviors that support team achievement” (Braun 2010). It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. —James Thurber Team Dynamics Survey Ellen created a list of survey questions she first used as personal reflection while she observed teams in action. Using these questions the same way, as a pathway to reflection, an agile coach can gain insight into potential team problems or areas for emotional growth. Using them with the team will be more insightful, perhaps as material for a retrospective where the team has the time and space to chew on the ideas that come up. While the team sprints, though, mull them over on your own, and notice what they tell you about team dynamics (Braun 2010). • How much does humor come into day-to-day interaction within the team? • What are the initial behaviors that the team shows in times of difficulty and stress? • How often are contradictory views raised by team members (including junior team members)? • When contradictory views are raised by team members, how often are they fully discussed? • Based on the norms of the team, how often do team members compromise in the course of usual team interactions (when not forced by circumstances)? • To what extent can any team member provide feedback to any other team member (think about negative and positive feedback)? • To what extent does any team member actually provide feedback to any other team member? • How likely would it be that a team member would discuss issues with your performance or behavior with another team member without giving feedback to you directly (triangulating)? • To what extent do you as an individual get support from your team on your personal career goals (such as learning a new skill from a team member)? • How likely would you be to ask team members for help if it required your admission that you were struggling with a work issue? • How likely would you be to share personal information with the team that made you feel vulnerable? • To what extent is the team likely to bring into team discussions an issue that may create conflict or disagreement within the team? • How likely or willing are you to bring into a team discussion an issue that is likely to have many different conflicting points of view? • If you bring an item into a team discussion that is likely to have many different conflicting points of view, how often does the team reach a consensus that takes into consideration all points of view and feels workable to you? • Can you identify an instance in the past two work days when you felt a sense of warmth or inclusion within the context of your team? • Can you identify an instance in the past two days when you felt a sense of disdain or exclusion within the context of your team? • How much does the team make you feel accountable for your work? Mulling over these questions solo or posing them to the team will likely generate a lot of raw material to consider. When you step back from the many answers, perhaps one or two themes jump out at you, signaling the “big things” to address.
Lyssa Adkins (Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition)
He sent messages to all fifteen of my former suitors, asking if they were still interested in marrying me-“ “Oh, my God,” Alex breathed. “-and, if they were, he volunteered to send me to them for a few days, properly chaperoned by Lucinda,” Elizabeth recited in that same strangled tone, “so that we could both discover if we still suit.” “Oh, my God,” Alex said again, with more force. “Twelve of them declined,” she continued, and she watched Alex wince in embarrassed sympathy. “But three of them agreed, and now I am to be sent off to visit them. Since Lucinda can’t return from Devon until I go to visit the third-suitor, who’s in Scotland,” she said, almost choking on the word as she applied it to Ian Thornton, “I shall have to pass Berta off as my aunt to the first two.” “Berta!” Bentner burst out in disgust. “Your aunt? The silly widgeon’s afraid of her shadow.” Threatened by another uncontrollable surge of mirth, Elizabeth looked at both her friends. “Berta is the least of my problems However, do continue invoking God’s name, for it’s going to take a miracle to survive this.” “Who are the suitors?” Alex asked, her alarm increased by Elizabeth’s odd smile as she replied, “I don’t recall two of them. It’s quite remarkable, isn’t it,” she continued with dazed mirth, “that two grown men could have met a young girl at her debut and hared off to her brother to ask for her hand, and she can’t remember anything about them, except one of their names.” “No,” Alex said cautiously, “it isn’t remarkable. You were, are, very beautiful, and that is the way it’s done. A young girl makes her debut at seventeen, and gentlemen look her over, often in the most cursory fashion, and decide if they want her. Then they apply for her hand. I can’t think it is reasonable or just to betroth a young girl to someone with whom she’s scarcely acquainted and then expect her to develop a lasting affection for him after she is wed, but the ton does regard it as the civilized way to manage marriages.” “It’s actually quite the opposite-it’s rather barbaric, when you reflect on it,” Elizabeth stated, willing to be diverted from her personal calamity by a discussion of almost anything else. “Elizabeth, who are the suitors? Perhaps I know of them and can help you remember.” Elizabeth sighed. “The first is Sir Francis Belhaven-“ “You’re joking!” Alex exploded, drawing an alarmed glance from Bentner. When Elizabeth merely lifted her delicate brows and waited for information, Alex continued angrily, “Why, he’s-he’s a dreadful old roué. There’s no polite way to describe him. He’s stout and balding, and his debauchery is a joke among the ton because he’s so flagrant and foolish. He’s an unparalleled pinchpenny to boot-a nipsqueeze!” “At least we have that last in common,” Elizabeth tried to tease, but her glance was on Bentner, who in his agitation was deflowering an entire healthy bush. “Benter,” she said gently, touched by how much he obviously cared for her plight, “you can tell the dead blooms from the live ones by their color.” “Who’s the second suitor?” Alex persisted in growing alarm. “Lord John Marchman.” When Alex looked blank, Elizabeth added, “The Earl of Canford.” Comprehension dawned, and Alex nodded slowly. “I’m not acquainted with him, but I have heard of him.” “Well, don’t keep me in suspense,” Elizabeth said, choking back a laugh, because everything seemed more absurd, more unreal by the moment.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Naturally, without intending to, I transitioned from these dreams in which I healed myself to some in which I cared for others: I am flying over the Champs-Élysées Avenue in Paris. Below me, thousands of people are marching, demanding world peace. They carry a cardboard dove a kilometer long with its wings and chest stained with blood. I begin to circle around them to get their attention. The people, astonished, point up at me, seeing me levitate. Then I ask them to join hands and form a chain so that they can fly with me. I gently take one hand and lift. The others, still holding hands, also rise up. I fly through the air, drawing beautiful figures with this human chain. The cardboard dove follows us. Its bloodstains have vanished. I wake up with the feeling of peace and joy that comes from good dreams. Three days later, while walking with my children along the Champs-Élysées Avenue, I saw an elderly gentleman under the trees near the obelisk whose entire body was covered by sparrows. He was sitting completely still on one of the metal benches put there by the city council with his hand outstretched, holding out a piece of cake. There were birds flitting around tearing off crumbs while others waited their turn, lovingly perched on his head, his shoulders, his legs. There were hundreds of birds. I was surprised to see tourists passing by without paying much attention to what I considered a miracle. Unable to contain my curiosity, I approached the old man. As soon as I got within a couple of meters of him, all the sparrows flew away to take refuge in the tree branches. “Excuse me,” I said, “how does this happen?” The gentleman answered me amiably. “I come here every year at this time of the season. The birds know me. They pass on the memory of my person through their generations. I make the cake that I offer. I know what they like and what ingredients to use. The arm and hand must be still and the wrist tilted so that they can clearly see the food. And then, when they come, stop thinking and love them very much. Would you like to try?” I asked my children to sit and wait on a nearby bench. I took the piece of cake, reached my hand out, and stood still. No sparrow dared approach. The kind old man stood beside me and took my hand. Immediately, some of the birds came and landed on my head, shoulders, and arm, while others pecked at the treat. The gentleman let go of me. Immediately the birds fled. He took my hand and asked me to take my son’s hand, and he another hand, so that my children formed a chain. We did. The birds returned and perched fearlessly on our bodies. Every time the old man let go of us, the sparrows fled. I realized that for the birds when their benefactor, full of goodness, took us by the hand, we became part of him. When he let go of us, we went back to being ourselves, frightening humans. I did not want to disrupt the work of this saintly man any longer. I offered him money. He absolutely would not accept. I never saw him again. Thanks to him, I understood certain passages of the Gospels: Jesus blesses children without uttering any prayer, just by putting his hands on them (Matthew 19:13–15). In Mark 16:18, the Messiah commands his apostles, “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” St. John the Apostle says mysteriously in his first epistle, 1.1, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography)
Dear, What’s the Point of it All? What is the point of being nice? When you do not know what you are going to get from it? Knowing eventually sooner rather than later someone and maybe that person you are being nice to will turn their back on you. I always have to stay grounded and focused. When I am there for people, I feel like I am always punished for it. I am always treated as if I committed a crime. I was there for my mom; however, she was killing me slowly but surely. Like my mom, I noticed that when people get themselves in some shit, they get stuck in their own mess. They are confident that they do not have to deal with the consequences—because they know the ‘kind’ person will bail them out. What’s the point of being kind? Like my mom and the officer, there are so many people in the world who are judgmental and tainted because of their selfish needs. What’s the point of my life? Here I am in a library filled with many books. I can read them and go anywhere I want to in my mind, but after I close the book, I will have to snap out of my fantasy world and welcome the cruel cold world, which is reality. If I was a book, I would be better off left on the shelf. There is no excitement in my life—only struggles. What’s the point of living and loving life when the only thing I do is read between the lines and tread carefully? Come to think about it, I am a book that nobody can understand or read. They think they know what is best for me, but if they only take the time to listen, I would be so happy to tell them about me and my needs and wants. My actions scream for attention, but time after time, I am ignored. Sadly, without a care, they were quick to rip out the pages. Yet, once again, nobody noticed me. What’s the point of it all when I never had an opportunity to make a mistake? If I did one thing wrong, they would give up on me and send me to one home after another. I’ve always been fully exposed and had to walk in a line filled with sharp curves from disappointment to disappointment. Sorrow is my aura, and sadness hugs me tightly. It is hard to cry when my eyes are closed shut by the barbed wire fence of my eyelashes as they prohibit tears from falling. What’s the point of complicating my life? I am always back to where I started, and then ... I relive the same patterns, but on a more difficult journey. I believe when you put yourself in your own mess that you should clean it up and start over. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. However, when someone else puts you in their mess, you do not know how to clean up the mess they’ve made. You do not know how to start over because you do not know where to begin. I look at it this way; it is like telling a dead person he/she can start over. How so, when that person’s life no longer exists? I know my life isn’t over. However, I am lost in a maze my mom set up for herself—and she too is lost in her own maze. When a person gets lost in their own maze, they are really fucked up. However, this maze shouldn’t be left for me to figure out. Unfortunately, I am in it, and I have to find my way out one way or another. What’s the point of taking Kace from me? He was safe and in good hands. Now he is worse off with people who are abusing him. He didn’t ask for this—I didn’t either. He deserves so much better. Again, what is the point of it all? What’s the point of making me suffer? Do you get a kick out of it? What are you trying to accomplish? I am trying to understand; what is the point of it all? What is the point? I don’t know why I am here.
Charlena E. Jackson (Pinwheels and Dandelions)
A man decides to be a lawyer and spends years studying law and finally puts out his shingle. He soon finds something in his temperament that makes it impossible for him to make good as a lawyer. He is a complete failure. He is 50 years old, was admitted to the bar when he was 30, and 20 years later, he has not been able to make a living as a lawyer. As a lawyer, he is a failure. A businessman buys a business and tries to operate it. He does everything that he knows how to do but just cannot make it go. Year after year the ledger shows red, and he is not making a profit. He borrows what he can, has a little spirit and a little hope, but that spirit and hope die and he goes broke. Finally, he sells out, hopelessly in debt, and is left a failure in the business world. A woman is educated to be a teacher but just cannot get along with the other teachers. Something in her constitution or temperament will not allow her to get along with children or young people. So after being shuttled from one school to another, she finally gives up, goes somewhere and takes a job running a stapling machine. She just cannot teach and is a failure in the education world. I have known ministers who thought they were called to preach. They prayed and studied and learned Greek and Hebrew, but somehow they just could not make the public want to listen to them. They just couldn’t do it. They were failures in the congregational world. It is possible to be a Christian and yet be a failure. This is the same as Israel in the desert, wandering around. The Israelites were God’s people, protected and fed, but they were failures. They were not where God meant them to be. They compromised. They were halfway between where they used to be and where they ought to be. And that describes many of the Lord’s people. They live and die spiritual failures. I am glad God is good and kind. Failures can crawl into God’s arms, relax and say, “Father, I made a mess of it. I’m a spiritual failure. I haven’t been out doing evil things exactly, but here I am, Father, and I’m old and ready to go and I’m a failure.” Our kind and gracious heavenly Father will not say to that person, “Depart from me—I never knew you,” because that person has believed and does believe in Jesus Christ. The individual has simply been a failure all of his life. He is ready for death and ready for heaven. I wonder if that is what Paul, the man of God, meant when he said: [No] other foundation can [any] man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he should receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (1 Cor. 3:11-15). I think that’s what it means, all right. We ought to be the kind of Christian that cannot only save our souls but also save our lives. When Lot left Sodom, he had nothing but the garments on his back. Thank God, he got out. But how much better it would have been if he had said farewell at the gate and had camels loaded with his goods. He could have gone out with his head up, chin out, saying good riddance to old Sodom. How much better he could have marched away from there with his family. And when he settled in a new place, he could have had “an abundant entrance
A.W. Tozer (The Crucified Life: How To Live Out A Deeper Christian Experience)
ever. Amen. Thank God for self-help books. No wonder the business is booming. It reminds me of junior high school, where everybody was afraid of the really cool kids because they knew the latest, most potent putdowns, and were not afraid to use them. Dah! But there must be another reason that one of the best-selling books in the history of the world is Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray. Could it be that our culture is oh so eager for a quick fix? What a relief it must be for some people to think “Oh, that’s why we fight like cats and dogs, it is because he’s from Mars and I am from Venus. I thought it was just because we’re messed up in the head.” Can you imagine Calvin Consumer’s excitement and relief to get the video on “The Secret to her Sexual Satisfaction” with Dr. GraySpot, a picture chart, a big pointer, and an X marking the spot. Could that “G” be for “giggle” rather than Dr. “Graffenberg?” Perhaps we are always looking for the secret, the gold mine, the G-spot because we are afraid of the real G-word: Growth—and the energy it requires of us. I am worried that just becoming more educated or well-read is chopping at the leaves of ignorance but is not cutting at the roots. Take my own example: I used to be a lowly busboy at 12 East Restaurant in Florida. One Christmas Eve the manager fired me for eating on the job. As I slunk away I muttered under my breath, “Scrooge!” Years later, after obtaining a Masters Degree in Psychology and getting a California license to practice psychotherapy, I was fired by the clinical director of a psychiatric institute for being unorthodox. This time I knew just what to say. This time I was much more assertive and articulate. As I left I told the director “You obviously have a narcissistic pseudo-neurotic paranoia of anything that does not fit your myopic Procrustean paradigm.” Thank God for higher education. No wonder colleges are packed. What if there was a language designed not to put down or control each other, but nurture and release each other to grow? What if you could develop a consciousness of expressing your feelings and needs fully and completely without having any intention of blaming, attacking, intimidating, begging, punishing, coercing or disrespecting the other person? What if there was a language that kept us focused in the present, and prevented us from speaking like moralistic mini-gods? There is: The name of one such language is Nonviolent Communication. Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication provides a wealth of simple principles and effective techniques to maintain a laser focus on the human heart and innocent child within the other person, even when they have lost contact with that part of themselves. You know how it is when you are hurt or scared: suddenly you become cold and critical, or aloof and analytical. Would it not be wonderful if someone could see through the mask, and warmly meet your need for understanding or reassurance? What I am presenting are some tools for staying locked onto the other person’s humanness, even when they have become an alien monster. Remember that episode of Star Trek where Captain Kirk was turned into a Klingon, and Bones was freaking out? (I felt sorry for Bones because I’ve had friends turn into Cling-ons too.) But then Spock, in his cool, Vulcan way, performed a mind meld to determine that James T. Kirk was trapped inside the alien form. And finally Scotty was able to put some dilithium crystals into his phaser and destroy the alien cloaking device, freeing the captain from his Klingon form. Oh, how I wish that, in my youth or childhood,
Kelly Bryson (Don't Be Nice, Be Real)
In Romans 12:4-8, Paul writes about gifts: “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.” Recognize that the gifts inside you are not only for you; just as the gifts inside other people around you are not only for them. We are meant to help each other. God designed us this way on purpose! All being members of one body, our successes are shared — there is no need to be threatened by another person’s gift. Use your gifts, and encourage the people in your life to use their gifts as well. You will be blessed as a result! Unfortunately, one thing that keeps us from asking for help or taking advantage of the talents in people around us is pride. Never allow pride to keep you from asking for counsel when it is needed! 1 Corinthians 12:20 is another passage about gifts: “now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ ” We need each other, and joining our gifts together will result in a much stronger body. If you have time, read 1 Corinthians 12:4-20. Reflect on how there can be unity in the diversity of gifts if we use our different gifts properly. Determine that you will not be threatened by anyone else’s gifts! Esther was not afraid of the gifts in the people around her. Let’s see how she responds to the wisdom of others today. And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her. Esther 2:11 Every day, Mordecai goes to the palace gates to inquire after Esther and learn of what was happening to her. He goes to the palace gates with purpose. He paces in front of the women’s court until he has learns the day’s news about Esther. Even though she is no longer under his roof, he stills feels a strong responsibility toward her, and acts accordingly. He is a faithful man, and has set a great example before Esther. The news that he hears concerning Esther daily must be good: her inward beauty and submission to authority are two of the many wonderful traits that God placed in her so that she will be effective in Persia. Even though Esther is in an unfamiliar place and experiencing “firsts” every day in the palace, God is making sure she has what she needs. Esther did not need to feel nervous! She needed wise counsel; it has been provided for her in Mordecai and Hegai. She needs a pleasant and patient personality; that has been being developed in her by the Lord for many years. In your own life, you are constantly undergoing change and growth as you are submitting to the Lord. Whether or not you can see it, God is continually preparing you for what lies ahead so that you will have what you need when you need it. The God who loves you so much knows your future, and He is preparing you today for what you will experience tomorrow. Esther is receiving what she needs as well. She is in the palace undergoing her beauty preparations — a twelve month process! Even through this extended period of time, Mordecai is still at the palace gates every day (the Bible does not say that he stopped his concern for her at any point). It is an entire
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
Speaking of shooting, my lady,” Mr. Pinter said as he came around the table, “I looked over your pistol as you requested. Everything seems to be in order.” Removing it from his coat pocket, he handed it to her, a hint of humor in his gaze. As several pair of male eyes fixed on her, she colored. To hide her embarrassment, she made a great show of examining her gun. He’d cleaned it thoroughly, which she grudgingly admitted was rather nice of him. “What a cunning little weapon,” the viscount said and reached for it. “May I?” She handed him the pistol. “How tiny it is,” he exclaimed. “It’s a lady’s pocket pistol,” she told him as he examined it. Oliver frowned at her. “When did you acquire a pocket pistol, Celia?” “A little while ago,” she said blithely. Gabe grinned. “You may not know this, Basto, but my sister is something of a sharpshooter. I daresay she has a bigger collection of guns than Oliver.” “Not bigger,” she said. “Finer perhaps, but I’m choosy about my firearms.” “She has beaten us all at some time or another at target shooting,” the duke said dryly. “The lady could probably hit a fly at fifty paces.” “Don’t be silly,” she said with a grin. “A beetle perhaps, but not a fly.” The minute the words were out of her mouth, she could have kicked herself. Females did not boast of their shooting-not if they wanted to snag husbands. “You should come shooting with us,” Oliver said. “Why not?” The last thing she needed was to beat her suitors at shooting. The viscount in particular would take it very ill. She suspected that Portuguese men preferred their women to be wilting flowers. “No thank you,” she said. “Target shooting is one thing, but I don’t like hunting birds.” “Suit yourself,” Gabe said, clearly happy to make it a gentlemen-only outing, though he knew perfectly well that hunting birds didn’t bother her. “Come now, Lady Celia,” Lord Devonmont said. “You were eating partridges at supper last night. How can you quibble about shooting birds?” “If she doesn’t want to go, let her stay,” Gabe put in. “It’s not shooting birds she has an objection to,” Mr. Pinter said in a taunting voice. “Her ladyship just can’t hit a moving target.” She bit back a hot retort. Don’t scare off the suitors. “That’s ridiculous, Pinter,” Gabe said. “I’ve seen Celia-ow! What the devil, Oliver? You stepped on my foot!” “Sorry, old chap, you were in the way,” Oliver said as he went to the table. “I think Pinter’s right, though. Celia can’t hit a moving target.” “Oh, for heaven’s sake,” she protested, “I most certainly can hit a moving target! Just because I choose not to for the sake of the poor, helpless birds-“ “Convenient, isn’t it, her sudden dislike of shooting ‘poor, helpless birds’?” Mr. Pinter said with a smug glance at Lord Devonmont. “Convenient, indeed,” Lord Devonmont agreed. “But not surprising. Women don’t have the same ability to follow a bird in flight that a man-“ “That’s nonsense, and you know it!” Celia jumped to her feet. “I can shoot a pigeon or a grouse on the wing as well as any man here.” “Sounds like a challenge to me,” Oliver said. “What do you think, Pinter?” “A definite challenge, sir.” Mr. Pinter was staring at her with what looked like satisfaction. Blast it all, had that been his purpose-to goad her into it? Oh, what did it matter? She couldn’t let a claim like this or Lord Devonmont’s stand. “Fine. I’ll join you gentlemen for the shooting.” “Then I propose that whoever bags the most birds gets to kiss the lady,” Lord Devonmont said with a gleam in his eye. “That’s not much of a prize for me,” Gabe grumbled. She planted her hands on her hips. “And what if I bag the most birds?” “Then you get to shoot whomever you wish,” Mr. Pinter drawled. As the others laughed, Celia glared at him. He was certainly enjoying himself, the wretch. “I’d be careful if I were you, Mr. Pinter. That person would most likely be you.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
• No matter how open we as a society are about formerly private matters, the stigma around our emotional struggles remains formidable. We will talk about almost anyone about our physical health, even our sex lives, but bring depression, anxiety or grief , and the expression on the other person would probably be "get me out of this conversation" • We can distract our feelings with too much wine, food or surfing the internet, • Therapy is far from one-sided; it happens in a parallel process. Everyday patients are opening up questions that we have to think about for ourselves, • "The only way out is through" the only way to get out of the tunnel is to go through, not around it • Study after study shows that the most important factor in the success of your treatment is your relationship with the therapist, your experience of "feeling felt" • Attachment styles are formed early in childhood based on our interactions with our caregivers. Attachment styles are significant because they play out in peoples relationships too, influencing the kind of partners they pick, (stable or less stable), how they behave in a relationship (needy, distant, or volatile) and how the relationship tend to end (wistfully, amiably, or with an explosion) • The presenting problem, the issue somebody comes with, is often just one aspect of a larger problem, if not a red herring entirely. • "Help me understand more about the relationship" Here, here's trying to establish what’s known as a therapeutic alliance, trust that has to develop before any work can get done. • In early sessions is always more important for patients to feel understood than it is for them to gain any insight or make changes. • We can complain for free with a friend or family member, People make faulty narratives to make themselves feel better or look better in the moment, even thought it makes them feel worse over time, and that sometimes they need somebody else to read between the lines. • Here-and-now, it is when we work on what’s happening in the room, rather than focusing on patient's stories. • She didn't call him on his bullshit, which this makes patients feel unsafe, like children's whose parent's don’t hold them accountable • What is this going to feel like to the person I’m speaking to? • Neuroscientists discovered that humans have brain cells called mirror neurons, that cause them to mimic others, and when people are in a heightened state of emotion, a soothing voice can calm their nervous system and help them stay present • Don’t judge your feelings; notice them. Use them as your map. Don’t be afraid of the truth. • The things we protest against the most are often the very things we need to look at • How easy it is, I thought, to break someone’s heart, even when you take great care not to. • The purpose on inquiring about people's parent s is not to join them in blaming, judging or criticizing their parents. In fact it is not about their parents at all. It is solely about understanding how their early experiences informed who they are as adults so that they can separate the past from the present (and not wear psychological clothing that no longer fits) • But personality disorders lie on a spectrum. People with borderline personality disorder are terrified of abandonment, but for some that might mean feeling anxious when their partners don’t respond to texts right away; for others that may mean choosing to stay in volatile, dysfunctional relationships rather than being alone. • In therapy we aim for self compassion (am I a human?) versus self esteem (Am I good or bad: a judgment) • The techniques we use are a bit like the type of brain surgery in which the patient remains awake throughout the procedure, as the surgeons operate, they keep checking in with the patient: can you feel this? can you say this words? They are constantly calibrating how close they are to sensitive regions of the brain, and if they hit one, they back up so as not to damage it.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone)
Some things are worth that kind of fight, Myra, and you are worth every fight.” “Are you sure?” My voice warbles dangerously close to sobs. He tosses his hat aside and gathers my fingers in both of his hands. “You make me happier being me than I’ve ever been in my life. I can’t tell you how freeing it is to be seen.” He pauses, offering me a tentative smile. “I can’t promise you I won’t mess up. I can’t promise that there won’t be hard times, times where the battle might be too much to bear. There will be many anxious moments to come, because that’s part of who I am and the reality of what going against my parents will be like, but I’m willing to take the harder road if that means I get to keep you in my life.” His voice drops to a bear whisper. “I’ll be honest, there are so many unknowns about the future I’m choosing here that I can’t bank on, and that terrifies the hell out of me. But there is one thing I can promise you.” He brings my hands up to his mouth and brushes his lips along my fingertips one by one. “You will never have to face anything alone again. I will do whatever it takes to be the person you can count on when everyone and everything else fails you.
Jessica S. Olson (A Forgery of Roses)
Looking back over the past eight decades—my lifetime—I agree with any and all who have said that life is short. “It seems like only yesterday” may be a cliché, but to the old person who reminisces about days gone by it is a truism. As for the here and now, the older one gets, the faster time seems to glide by. In addition to that, not only is the dawning of a new day the first day of the rest of your life, it also means that another day of your allotted time on earth has ended. These observations lead to a conclusion that it makes eminent good sense to take care of yourself so that you can enjoy the days ahead as much as possible, and also that you should do all you can to influence the ones you love to take care of themselves.
Don Petterson (Old Man on a Bicycle: A Ride Across America and How to Realize a More Enjoyable Old Age)
Basically, action is, and always will be, faster than reaction. Thus, the attacker is the one that dictates the fight. They are forcing the encounter with technique after technique that are designed to overcome any defensive techniques initiated by the defender. Much of this exchange, and determining which of the adversaries is victorious, is all a matter of split seconds. That is the gap between action and reaction. That attacker acts; the defender reacts. Military history is saturated with an uneven amount of victorious attackers compared to victorious defenders. It is common to observe the same phenomenon in popular sports, fighting competitions, in the corporate world of big business. The list goes on and on. So, how do we effectively defend ourselves when we can easily arrive at the conclusion that the defender statistically loses? It is by developing the mentality that once attacked that you immediately counter-attack. That counter-attack has to be ferocious and unrelenting. If someone throws a punch, or otherwise initiates battle with you, putting you, for a split second, on the wrong side of the action versus reaction gap. Your best chance of victory is to deflect, smoother, parry, or otherwise negate their attack and then immediately launch into a vicious counter-attack. Done properly, this forces your adversary into a reactive state, rather than an action one. You turn the table on them and become the aggressor. That is how to effectively conceptualizes being in a defensive situation. Utilizing this method will place you in a greater position to be victorious. Dempsey, Sun Tzu and General Patton would agree. Humans are very violent animals. As a species, we are capable of high levels of extreme violence. In fact, approaching the subject of unarmed combatives, or any form of combatives, involves the immersion into a field that is inherently violent to the extreme of those extremes. It is one thing to find yourself facing an opponent across a field, or ring, during a sporting match. Those contests still pit skill verses skill, but lack the survival aspects of an unarmed combative encounter. The average person rarely, if ever, ponders any of this and many consider various sporting contests as the apex of human competition. It is not. Finding yourself in a life-or-death struggle against an opponent that is completely intent on ending your life is the greatest of all human competitions. Understanding that and acknowledging that takes some degree of courage in today’s society.
Rand Cardwell (The 36 Deadly Bubishi Points: The Science and Technique of Pressure Point Fighting - Defend Yourself Against Pressure Point Attacks!)
When you look in the mirror each morning, are you struggling to see your ideal body using only diet and exercise? There is a new formula called HotShot Keto diet pills that can help even the most stubborn fat burn off and get you the body that you have always wanted. This amazing new product works with the keto diet to make sure that everyone can see the best weight management and fat burning results as soon as possible. We know how difficult dieting can be, and when you put in tons of work, but you don’t see any progress, it can be ten times worse. That’s why we love finding the product that can help people along their journey! To learn more, keep reading our HotShot Keto reviews. We’ll give you all the information you need! To buy Hot Shot Keto weight loss pills, click any of the links on this page! There are a lot of dietary supplements out there, and it can be hard for the average person to find the one that is right for them. We review HotShot Keto pills and other options that are available to make sure that they can deliver the results that our readers are hoping for. Most people don’t have the time on their hands that allows them to do this kind of research. Fewer people know what specific details that they should be looking for. That’s why we do it all for you! In our HotShot Keto reviews, we’ll tell you what this supplement can do and how it compares to other options out there. You’ll learn all about the price, the ingredients and many other details! Let’s get started right now! Click Here to Purchase HotShot Keto Supplement From The Official Website Now HotShot Keto Diet Pills Benefits One thing that makes the Hot Shot supplement work better than other options is the fact that it works bets with a keto diet. Most of the other dietary supplements out there are made to provide generic weight management benefits, but when you use one that works with the changes that your body goes through on a particular diet, you can see much better results! Since the formula works so much better with the keto diet, you should know how to begin and maintain a ketogenic lifestyle. All you have to do is change what food you are eating. Your meals should be high in fat and as low in carbs as possible. With time, this will cause your body to enter a metabolic state called ketosis. That’s when you begin burning fat for energy instead of carbs like it normally would. This supplement augments and accelerates the ketogenic process. It helps you start seeing results sooner and better results once they start happening. Here are all the effects and benefits that come with daily use of the HotShot Keto diet pills: Rapid Weight Loss Increase Fat Burning Boosted Energy Lean Muscle Maintenance Ketogenic Support Boosted Metabolism Better Mood Release of Fat Stores Slimming in Difficult Places ALSO READ: Shocking New HotShot Keto Report - This May Change Your Mind HotShot Keto Ingredients This formula contains a compound called BHB. It’s an exogenous ketone, and one of the most popular product for people to add to their ketogenic lifestyle. If you already know a great deal about the keto diet, you likely know why an exogenous ketone can help so well. If you have no idea what one is, don’t worry. We can give you all the information you need since you should know what you are putting in your body. Ketones are a vital part of your body process of achieving ketosis. They get released into the system when fat is metabolized. When you have a high enough concentration of them in your system, the body begins the process of ketosis as a result. Exogenous ketones are just like the natural ones, but they come from a source outside the human body! HotShot Keto BHB pills help your body enter ketosis within days rather than the weeks it can take by dieting alone. Once you are there, the formula works to release fat stores so that you can see faster slimming in more places! It’s a complete support system for your body!
Hot Shot Keto
Cash For Scrap Cars - A Fast and Efficient Way to Get Rid of Your Old Vehicle Cash For Scrap Cars is an organization that purchases scrap cars from honest citizens and sells them to approved dealers. They are also known as Buttercup scrappers, because the vehicles they buy are salvaged from the Buttercup River in Townsville, Washington. When you purchase a salvage car at Cash For Scrap Car, you're actually helping to repair our environment by removing older, used vehicles that would otherwise be dumped and never recycled. In addition, you're helping yourself make some extra money, because once you sell a vehicle to them, they will pay you the retail price plus a fee for disposition. By choosing a car that needs work or isn't worth much, you can easily make a few hundred dollars-just think of all the scrap cars they have to get rid of! Now, what is so great about the cash for scrap cars townsville program? It is a pretty simple program that only requires a small fee to join, and an existing driving record. You can easily find a few legitimate companies in your area that will take your old wreck as payment for their services. Plus, you can easily find local companies that offer the same cash for cars that you can find online. Just use your favorite search engine to look for legitimate companies in your area. But why should you choose the cash for scrap cars townsville area? There are actually several reasons. One reason is that it is not as heavily regulated as many other areas of the country. This means that you can get away with charging very high prices for salvaged cars. Many people find this appealing, because it allows them to earn a bit more money in a short period of time without spending too much to repair the car and make it as good as new. Unfortunately, the hidden costs of this system are what make it less than desirable for most people. The most obvious reason for choosing the cash for scrap cars townsville area of Arizona is the cash for car wreck value. Every vehicle that is disposed has to undergo a thorough inspection and evaluation before it is sold. Some of these assessments are performed by professionals who are paid to make sure that the cars are worth as much as they are worth. This ensures that buyers receive fair market value for their trash. If you do decide to go with a company that offers cash for vehicle removal in Arizona, you may be subject to some laws regarding the collection of additional payments from the person who is responsible for repossessing the vehicle. While it may be legal to collect these extra payments, it is against the law to require someone to pay for the entire cost of the towing and storage before the vehicle is removed from the property. Even if you are able to settle these collections in one lump sum, the time it takes to pay for the service can really add up. If you don't mind waiting a few weeks for the money to come in then it could be a good option for you. While these laws make it against the law for any company to demand an up front fee for the services of vehicle removal and disposition, they do make it legal to charge an administrative fee for processing those transactions. When you consider how much time and effort goes into getting rid of vehicles that are impounded, the small fee could really make a huge difference to you and the process of getting rid of an old vehicle. There are also companies out there that allow you to use the Internet to place an instant cash for old vehicle in your hands as soon as you agree to have this transaction processed. This allows you to skip all of the hassles that come along with physically retrieving your vehicle in town and having to wait in line at a variety of establishments.
Cars
PRINCIPLE: LEADING UP THE CHAIN If your boss isn’t making a decision in a timely manner or providing necessary support for you and your team, don’t blame the boss. First, blame yourself. Examine what you can do to better convey the critical information for decisions to be made and support allocated. Leading up the chain of command requires tactful engagement with the immediate boss (or in military terms, higher headquarters) to obtain the decisions and support necessary to enable your team to accomplish its mission and ultimately win. To do this, a leader must push situational awareness up the chain of command. Leading up the chain takes much more savvy and skill than leading down the chain. Leading up, the leader cannot fall back on his or her positional authority. Instead, the subordinate leader must use influence, experience, knowledge, communication, and maintain the highest professionalism. While pushing to make your superior understand what you need, you must also realize that your boss must allocate limited assets and make decisions with the bigger picture in mind. You and your team may not represent the priority effort at that particular time. Or perhaps the senior leadership has chosen a different direction. Have the humility to understand and accept this. One of the most important jobs of any leader is to support your own boss—your immediate leadership. In any chain of command, the leadership must always present a united front to the troops. A public display of discontent or disagreement with the chain of command undermines the authority of leaders at all levels. This is catastrophic to the performance of any organization. As a leader, if you don’t understand why decisions are being made, requests denied, or support allocated elsewhere, you must ask those questions up the chain. Then, once understood, you can pass that understanding down to your team. Leaders in any chain of command will not always agree. But at the end of the day, once the debate on a particular course of action is over and the boss has made a decision—even if that decision is one you argued against—you must execute the plan as if it were your own. When leading up the chain of command, use caution and respect. But remember, if your leader is not giving the support you need, don’t blame him or her. Instead, reexamine what you can do to better clarify, educate, influence, or convince that person to give you what you need in order to win. The major factors to be aware of when leading up and down the chain of command are these:
Jocko Willink (Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win)
How to Choose a Wedding Planner? – Nova DJs Sydney Are you interested in hiring a wedding planner? Then it’s time to choose the best fit for your party, and I’m saying it’s a complicated task. It’s not just hiring the first company with a beautiful website and beautiful pictures on the Internet. After all, it’s easy to do. Organizing a perfect wedding is hard! But follow our tips and choose the ideal wedding advice! Salient Feature: The ideal mentor should be a cheerful person, someone charming, who leaves you to give ideas and talk freely about the great day. You have to be a friend, be someone you trust. Imagine, it would be months of organizing, holding meetings, and planning the details together. At least a trace of sympathy is required. It should also be organized and committed to its work. Knowledge should be comprehensive with knowledge in various areas of wedding, such as sound, lighting, wedding dresses, buffet, etc., everything to quickly identify what is best for your wedding. Choose Based on Opinion The Internet is an inexhaustible source of information. And when it comes to finding out the truth about suppliers, this is the best place. View testimonials from the bride and groom who have already used the planner to find out their impressions and results. Take recommendations and avoid people who have a lot of complaints. Marriage History Check out the types of weddings the planner has helped put together. Do they fit what you want? For example, if you dream of a rustic wedding, hiring a consultant who does many luxurious weddings will not combine much and delay the process of organizing the wedding. When the planner is familiar with his style, finding the best suppliers is much faster and more effective. Trust the Planner As we say, the planner is the one you should trust and feel comfortable with while organizing the wedding. This is a person who has come to add and help, not a foot behind your opinion. Trust the professional with all your heart, that everything will be perfect! Be Concerned with 100% Preparation While some people don’t trust, others can imagine too much! What could never happen! The planner is the wedding assistant, not the one who has to do it all by himself. Stay on top of whatever you are doing. work together with him. Together, you will conquer the dream! Beware of Cheap Options You always have one company which is much cheaper than others. But as the saying goes, “You get what you paid for.” Instead of charging you the rate, the consultant may include the amount in the suppliers’ budget, making everything a little more expensive than the others and making the expense practically the same. so watch out! Remember the hint of the opinion of the bride and groom wedding planner for a destination wedding For those who are going to get married outside the city or country, it is important to have a consultant. However, he or she should know at least a little bit about the place where you intend to get married in order to accommodate the culture of the place to the style of wedding you expect. Knowledge of suppliers, in this case, will be a significant advantage for you in ensuring that everything goes according to plan. Check here for some references for the best wedding vendors and Wedding DJs in NSW, Australia.
Nova DJs
One of the most overlooked aspects of excellence is how much work it takes. Fame can come easily and overnight, but excellence is almost always accompanied by a crushing workload, pursued with single-minded intensity. Strenuous effort over long periods of time is a repetitive theme in the biographies of the giants, sometimes taking on mythic proportions (Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel). Even the most famous supposed exception, Mozart, illustrates the rule. He was one of the lighter spirits among the giants, but his reputation for composing effortlessly was overstated—Mozart himself complained on more than one occasion that it wasn’t as easy as it looked1—and his devotion to his work was as single-minded as Beethoven’s, who struggled with his compositions more visibly. Consider the summer of 1788. Mozart was living in a city that experienced bread riots that summer and in a country that was mobilizing for war. He was financially desperate, forced to pawn his belongings to move to cheaper rooms. He even tried to sell the pawnbroker’s tickets to get more loans. Most devastating of all, his beloved six-month old daughter died in June. And yet in June, July, and August, he completed two piano trios, a piano sonata, a violin sonata, and three symphonies, two of them among his most famous.2 It could not have been done except by someone who, as Mozart himself once put it, is “soaked in music,…immersed in it all day long.”3 Psychologists have put specific dimensions to this aspect of accomplishment. One thread of this literature, inaugurated in the early 1970s by Herbert Simon, argues that expertise in a subject requires a person to assimilate about 50,000 “chunks” of information about the subject over about 10 years of experience—simple expertise, not the mastery that is associated with great accomplishment.4 Once expertise is achieved, it is followed by thousands of hours of practice, study, labor.5 Nor is all of this work productive. What we see of the significant figures’ work is typically shadowed by an immense amount of wasted effort—most successful creators produce clunkers, sometimes far more clunkers than gems.6
Charles Murray (Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950)
I’ve experienced all kinds of discrimination,” Oshima says. “Only people who’ve been discriminated against can really know how much it hurts. Each person feels the pain in his own way, each has his own scars. So I think I’m as concerned about fairness and justice as anybody. But what disgusts me even more are people who have no imagination. The kind T. S. Eliot calls hollow men. People who fill up that lack of imagination with heartless bits of straw, not even aware of what they’re doing. Callous people who throw a lot of empty words at you, trying to force you to do what you don’t want to. Like that lovely pair we just met.” He sighs and twirls the long slender pencil in his hand. “Gays, lesbians, straights, feminists, fascist pigs, communists, Hare Krishnas—none of them bother me. I don’t care what banner they raise. But what I can’t stand are hollow people. When I’m with them I just can’t bear it, and wind up saying things I shouldn’t. With those women—I should’ve just let it slide, or else called Miss Saeki and let her handle it. She would have given them a smile and smoothed things over. But I just can’t do that. I say things I shouldn’t, do things I shouldn’t do. I can’t control myself. That’s one of my weak points. Do you know why that’s a weak point of mine?” “’Cause if you take every single person who lacks much imagination seriously, there’s no end to it,” I say.
Haruki Murakami
Train like a scientist. Even though it may be possible that anyone can make a new scientific discovery, and anyone can win a fight against a professional fighter, the truth of the matter is the odds are against you. In fact, the odds are so unfavorably stacked against you, if you don’t train efficiently and push yourself to the very limits of what the human body and mind can endure, your chances of success are slim at best. While there is nothing new about pushing limits and training hard when it comes to fighting, successful modern fighters are starting to train with skepticism. I still remember the first day of one of my undergraduate physics classes, when the professor said, “Don’t trust me. If you don’t question everything I say here in class, if you don’t go home and check it yourself because you’re skeptical and refuse to take my word for it, then you don’t belong here, and you’re going to have a hard time making it in physics.” I remember it because at first it seemed like the opposite of what a professor should say, but once it sunk in, I realized he was right. Real mastery of physics does not come from memorization and repetition. Real mastery comes from understanding how well the laws of physics hold up when you try your best to break them. The same thing is true in fighting. You will never really master a choke until you have tried to choke out someone who does not want you to succeed at it. During an actual fight, on the street or in the ring, there is far too much chaos for anyone to succeed just by listening in class and repeating techniques. Everyone needs to have some rough personal failures to learn from. Everyone should have that awkward moment when your opponent’s only reaction to your attempted wristlock is a blank stare, and everyone needs to get knocked over once or twice because an opponent kicked right through the perfect block. Of course, sometimes there are techniques we do not have the luxury of testing out, either because they are too dangerous or the opportunities to use them in sparring may not come very often. You can’t learn everything the hard way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be a skeptic.
Jason Thalken (Fight Like a Physicist: The Incredible Science Behind Martial Arts (Martial Science))
WHAT IS LIFE ? I DO NOT KNOW , AND INDEED NOBODY DOES ; BUT WHEN I WRITE I DEPEICT LIFE AS IT APPEARS TO ME IN MY REVERIES AND FRENZIES ! TO ME THIS AND ONLY THIS IS LIFE ! EVERYTHING ELSE DOES NOT REPRESENT LIFE TO ME , MORE ESPECIALLY , WHAT MAN HAS DEFINED TO BE LIFE : SPURIOUS INTELLECTUALISM AND ITS DOGMATA WORKING ITS WAY EVER UP , THE EFFECT OF WHICH ARE THOSE SKYSCRAPERS AND THE PEOPLE EMBODYING THEM : ALIENATION , INDIFFERENCE , INSENSIBILITY ! INSENSIBILITY TO ANYTHING THAT IS ALIVE , CONSEQUENTLY WHAT IS ''UP '' OR HAS THE SEMBLANCE OF BEING '' UP '' , IS DOOMED TO REMAIN '' DOWN '' FOR EVER , TO ME THAT IS A CRIME - FOR EXAMPLE , LOOK AT PUTIN , AND HIS CURRENT CAMPAIGN OF WARFARE : ONE CRAZY PERSON , AND HE IS ONLY ONE PERSON WHO COULD EASILY BE TOPPLED ! BUT WHY ISN'T HE TOPPLED THEN ? BECAUSE HE IS SURROUNDED BY THE SAME KIND OF PEOPLE ANYWHERE : NOTHING BUT CRAZIES ! AND CRAZIES ARE THE GUARDIANS OF HUMAN REALITY TOGETHER WITH ITS RATIONALITY AND MORALITY ! ! AND WHAT IS TRUE OF PUTIN , IS TRUE OF ANY POLITICIAN ! ANY MORE QUESTIONS ON LIFE ? IT IS GETTING DAMP HERE ! I HAVE TURNED MYSELF INTO A SEAGULL WINGING OFF , ABANDONING THE OBSTINACY OF LIFE TO YOU WHO KNOW ABOUT IT ! AND IF YOU TAKE NO CARE OF LIFE , HOW CAN YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES ? AND DO YOU CONSIDER THAT YOUR MARVELLOUS SUPERSTARS THAT YOU CRAVE AND ADMIRE SO MUCH ARE FARING ANY BETTER THAN YOU ARE ? DO THEY TAKE CARE OF LIFE ? HAVE THEY NOT SPOILT THEMSELVES AFTER SPOILING LIFE ? SIMPLE QUESTIONS , WHERE ARE THE ANSWERS , YOU SHOULD ´BE ABLE TO FURNISH THEM , BEING THOSE WHO KNOW OF LIFE !...
LUCIA SPLENDOUR
WHAT IS LIFE ? I DO NOT KNOW , AND INDEED NOBODY DOES ; BUT WHEN I WRITE I DEPEICT LIFE AS IT APPEARS TO ME IN MY REVERIES AND FRENZIES ! TO ME THIS AND ONLY THIS IS LIFE ! EVERYTHING ELSE DOES NOT REPRESENT LIFE TO ME , MORE ESPECIALLY , WHAT MAN HAS DEFINED TO BE LIFE : SPURIOUS INTELLECTUALISM AND ITS DOGMATA WORKING ITS WAY EVER UP , THE EFFECT OF WHICH ARE THOSE SKYSCRAPERS AND THE PEOPLE EMBODYING THEM : ALIENATION , INDIFFERENCE , INSENSIBILITY ! INSENSIBILITY TO ANYTHING THAT IS ALIVE , CONSEQUENTLY WHAT IS ''UP '' OR HAS THE SEMBLANCE OF BEING '' UP '' , IS DOOMED TO REMAIN '' DOWN '' FOR EVER , TO ME THAT IS A CRIME - FOR EXAMPLE , LOOK AT PUTIN , AND HIS CURRENT CAMPAIGN OF WARFARE : ONE CRAZY PERSON , AND HE IS ONLY ONE PERSON WHO COULD EASILY BE TOPPLED ! BUT WHY ISN'T HE TOPPLED THEN ? BECAUSE HE IS SURROUNDED BY THE SAME KIND OF PEOPLE ANYWHERE : NOTHING BUT CRAZIES ! AND CRAZIES ARE THE GUARDIANS OF HUMAN REALITY TOGETHER WITH ITS RATIONALITY AND MORALITY ! ! AND WHAT IS TRUE OF PUTIN , IS TRUE OF ANY POLITICIAN ! ANY MORE QUESTIONS ON LIFE ? IT IS GETTING DAMP HERE ! I HAVE TURNED MYSELF INTO A SEAGULL WINGING OFF , ABANDONING THE OBSTINACY OF LIFE TO YOU WHO KNOW ABOUT IT ! AND IF TAKE NO CARE OF LIFE , HOW CAN YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES ? AND DO YOU CONSIDER THAT YOUR MARVELLOUS SUPERSTARS THAT YOU CRAVE AND ADMIRE SO MUCH ARE FARING ANY BETTER THAN YOU ARE ? DO THEY TAKE CARE OF LIFE ? HAVE THEY NOT SPOILT THEMSELVES AFTER SPOILING LIFE ? SIMPLE QUESTIONS , WHERE ARE THE ANSWERS , YOU SHOULD ´BE ABLE TO FURNISH THEM , BEING THOSE WHO KNOW OF LIFE !...
LUCIA SPLENDOUR
I return to my cot early that morning, and Tobias is already awake. He turns and walks toward the elevators, and I follow him, because I know that’s what he wants. We stand in the elevator, side by side. I hear ringing in my ears. The elevator sinks to the second floor, and I start to shake. It starts with my hands, but travels to my arms and my chest, until little shudders go through my entire body and I have no way to stop them. We stand between the elevators, right above another Candor symbol, the uneven scales. The symbol that is also drawn on the middle of his spine. He doesn’t look at me for a long time. He stands with his arms crossed and his head down until I can’t stand it anymore, until I feel like I might scream. I should say something, but I don’t know what to say. I can’t apologize, because I only told the truth, and I can’t change the truth into a lie. I can’t give excuses. “You didn’t tell me,” he says. “Why not?” “Because I didn’t…” I shake my head. “I didn’t know how to.” He scowls. “It’s pretty easy, Tris--” “Oh yeah,” I say, nodding. “It’s so easy. All I have to do is go up to you and say, ‘By the way, I shot Will, and now guilt is ripping me to shreds, but what’s for breakfast?’ Right? Right?” Suddenly it is too much, too much to contain. Tears fill my eyes, and I yell, “Why don’t you try killing one of your best friends and then dealing with the consequences?” I cover my face with my hands. I don’t want him to see me sobbing again. He touches my shoulder. “Tris,” he says, gently this time. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t pretend that I understand. I just meant that…” He struggles for a moment. “I wish you trusted me enough to tell me things like that.” I do trust you, is what I want to say. But it isn’t true--I didn’t trust him to love me despite the terrible things I had done. I don’t trust anyone to do that, but that isn’t his problem; it’s mine. “I mean,” he says, “I had to find out that you almost drowned in a water tank from Caleb. Doesn’t that seem a little strange to you?” Just when I was about to apologize. I wipe my cheeks hard with my fingertips and stare at him. “Other things seem stranger,” I say, trying to make my voice light. “Like finding out that your boyfriend’s supposedly dead mother is still alive by seeing her in person. Or overhearing his plans to ally with the factionless, but he never tells you about it. That seems a little strange to me.” He takes his hand from my shoulder. “Don’t pretend this is only my problem,” I say. “If I don’t trust you, you don’t trust me either.” “I thought we would get to those things eventually,” he says. “Do I have to tell you everything right away?” I feel so frustrated I can’t even speak for a few seconds. Heat fills my cheeks. “God, Four!” I snap. “You don’t want to have to tell me everything right away, but I have to tell you everything right away? Can’t you see how stupid that is?” “First of all, don’t use that name like a weapon against me,” he says, pointing at me. “Second, I was not making plans to ally with the factionless; I was just thinking it over. If I had made a decision, I would have said something to you. And third, it would be different if you had actually intended to tell me about Will at some point, but it’s obvious that you didn’t.” “I did tell you about Will!” I say. “That wasn’t truth serum; it was me. I said it because I chose to.” “What are you talking about?” “I was aware. Under the serum. I could have lied; I could have kept it from you. But I didn’t, because I thought you deserved to know the truth.” “What a way to tell me!” he says, scowling. “In front of over a hundred people! How intimate!
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Photographs from Distant Places (1) In distant villages, You always see the same scenes: Farms Cattle Worship spaces Small local shops. Just basic the things humans need To endure life. (2) ‘Can you stay with me forever?’ She asked him in the airport, While hugging him tightly in her arms. ‘Sorry, I can’t. My flight leaves in two hours and a half.’ He responded with an artificially caring voice, As he kissed her on her right cheek. (3) I was walking in one of Bucharest’s old streets, In a neighborhood that looked harshly beaten by Time, And severely damaged by development and globalization. I saw a poor homeless man Combing his dirty hair In a side mirror of a modern and expensive car! (4) The shape and the color of the eyes don’t matter. What matters is that, As soon as you gaze into them, You know that they have seen a lot. All eyes that dare to bear witness To what they have seen are beautiful. (5) A stranger asked me how I chose my path in life. I told him: ‘I never chose anything, my friend.’ My path has always been like someone forced to sit In an airplane on a long flight. Forced to sit with the condition Of keeping the seatbelt on at all times, Until the end of the flight. Here I am still sitting with the seatbelt on. I can neither move Nor walk. I can’t even throw myself out of the plane’s emergency exit To end this forced flight! (6) After years of searching and observing, I discovered that despair’s favorite hiding place Is under business suits and tuxedos. Under jewelry and expensive night gowns. Despair dances at the tables where Expensive wines of corruption And delicious dinners of betrayal are served. (7) Oh, my poet friend, Did you know that The bouquet of fresh flowers in that vase On your table is not a source of inspiration or creativity? The vase is just a reminder Of a flower massacre that took place recently In a field Where these poor flowers happened to be. It was their fate to have their already short lives cut shorter, To wither and wilt in your vase, While breathing the not-so-fresh air In your room, As you sit down at your table And write your vain words. (8) Under authoritarian regimes, 99.9% of the population vote for the dictator. Under capitalist ‘democratic’ regimes, 99.9% of people love buying and consuming products Made and sold by the same few corporations. Awe to those societies where both regimes meet to create a united vicious alliance against the people! To create a ‘nation’ Of customers, not citizens! (9) The post-revolution leaders are scavengers not hunters. They master the art of eating up The dead bodies and achievements Of the fools who sacrificed themselves For the ‘revolution’ and its ideals. Is this the paradox and the irony of all revolutions? (10) Every person is ugly if you take a close look at them, And beautiful, if you take a closer look. (11) Just as wheat fields can’t thrive Under the shadow of other trees, Intellectuals, too, can’t thrive under the shadow Of any power or authority. (12) We waste so much time trying to change others. Others waste so much time thinking they are changing. What a waste! October 20, 2015
Louis Yako (أنا زهرة برية [I am a Wildflower])
It's enough now. I can't tolerate this situation. I have two ways. Either rise up or suicide. I had been lived my life in very balanced way. But What the hell I have done in my life, I still don't understand. What I did? I can't take blame on my character. My character was life of me, proud of me. My work was my identity. But everything is lost. I have lost it by being open up with one stranger who spit on me too badly that I can't forget it now. Yes I'm mess & I did something else which was not my part at all. I can't forgive myself for my this behavior. Though all feelings were true, are true but on this turn I have spoiled my entire life. I can't be fine after this. Never. It's not possible. I don't know you are there or not, you may have team to do all these things. I don't know anything. I have to finish myself, otherwise this mystery will kill me. I don't know you are that person or not. You can handover this work to your people. How I come to know? I'm much disturb because of this too. I've to do something soon. Don't worry. As usual you would be safe. I have to go back & then I'll do something so that there is no question of blame on you. I have to resign from my dream, this the only way of peace for me. I can't take these things in my life. Somebody kicked out me, I became suddenly unwanted for one thing, I have said sorry but there was no value for that sorry, I never get chance, that person controlling my reputation by other's name, who never tried to give me a simple identity, I got it against what? What that person exactly want? I don't want anything, I thousand times told him. Please leave me alone. Please leave me alone. Don't try to do anything for me. You have bright people? Yes. You have extreme talent? Yes. You have smart people like you? Yes. You have excellent team? Yes. You have eye to recognize diamonds & gems? Yes. You have settlement in life? Yes. You have growth in business? Yes. You need me for your business? NO. Where we met? At business place. If you don't need me for your business then what is the use of this relationship? I have told you my definition of commitment. That will not be break. When I expressed myself you didn't like it & you informed the whole team about my deed. I don't know what you done. Now, I can't tolerate my this loss. If you would reject me on the basis of non capability that was the another part. I can't forget that phone call in my life & that rude response. I'm trying to forget it, but when I recollect that words, I recall my past. I can't take in my life, I never done in my life, no one have been kicked out me like this way, especially that person to whom I blindly believed more than anyone else. I can't take it. Sorry again for every messy thing. My mess is with me. You go away. You are not affecting by this. I know my condition better than anybody. I have to do something soon & take actions. You close everything. You have a bright future & brilliant family. You'll be safe always. Goodbye.
Eagles
Xiaochen Fu is one of Richard’s former students at the Kennedy School and now a manager at the Bank of China. When she worked at Agricultural Bank of China, the third largest bank worldwide, she used this maxim to help the bank make its transition to the digital era. At a time when clients were increasingly using smartphones to conduct banking transactions, her bank still had more than 300,000 staff working at 25,000 branches around the country. Some branches found that fewer and fewer clients came in person. She and her staff were struggling to decide how they should adjust the number and location of their branches. “Then I remembered Professor Zeckhauser’s maxim. To find the extreme case, we went through regulations and procedures for all the services provided by a full-function bank branch, in order to identify which services would be very difficult or impossible to deliver online. (For example, the government forbids third-party couriers to deliver physical gold, so clients who want to buy physical gold products must go to branches.) After finding all such services, and considering the needs and preferences of clients served at different branches (for example, senior clients and rural area clients still prefer face-to-face financial services), it became much clearer which branches should be closed, and which ones should be saved. The planning project proved to be cost-efficient, and allowed the bank to adapt to the digital age and better meet the needs of our clients. I reckon that the maxim gave me not only the tools but also the courage to deal with such complicated conditions.” Xiaochen’s account identifies two critical benefits a maxim may bring. It can help you focus on how to approach a problem, and it can give you the courage to take action when you determine the best decision. This is true for many other maxims in this book.
Dan Levy (Maxims for Thinking Analytically: The wisdom of legendary Harvard Professor Richard Zeckhauser)