How To Ask For Help Quotes

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Really, the combination of the scabs and the ointment looks hideous. I can't help enjoying his distress. "Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven't looked pretty?" I say. "It must be. The sensation's completely new. How have you managed it all these years?" he asks. "Just avoid mirrors. You'll forget about it," I say. "Not if I keep looking at you," he says.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
Sometimes people hurt more than they can handle... And sometimes they don't know how to ask for help. They're so caught up in their own pain, they end up hurting everyone around them.
Rebecca Donovan (Barely Breathing (Breathing, #2))
Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.
William Martin (The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents)
You know what would help?" I asked, not meeting his eyes. "Hmm?" "If you turned off this crap music and put on something that came out after the Berlin Wall went down." Dimitri laughted. "Your worst class is history, yet somehow, you know everything about Eastern Europe." "Hey, gotta have material for my jokes, Comrade." Still smiling, he turned the radio dail. To a country station. "Hey! This isn't what I had in mind," I exclaimed. I could tell he was on the verge of laughing again. "Pick. It's one or the other." I sighed. "Go back to the 1980s stuff." He flipped the dail, and I crossed my arms over my chest as some vaguely European-sounding band sang about how video had killed the radio star. I wished someone would kill this radio.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
This is where you can find your soul if you dare. Where you can touch that part of you that you've never dared look at before. Do not come here and ask me to show you how to draw a face. Ask me to help you find the wind.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
There is only one important point you must keep in your mind and let it be your guide. No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. Keep to this truth. You must ask yourself how is it you want to live your life. We live and we die, this is the truth that we can only face alone. No one can help us, not even the Buddha. So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?
Dalai Lama XIV
Whenever we feel lost, or insane, or afraid, all we have to do is ask for His help. The help might not come in the form we expected, or even thought we desired, but it will come, and we will recognize it by how we feel. In spite of everything, we will feel at peace.
Marianne Williamson
Asking for help with shame says: You have the power over me. Asking with condescension says: I have the power over you. But asking for help with gratitude says: We have the power to help each other.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
You’re not alone, and you’re not the one in charge,” Mother said gently. “Ask for help when you need it, and give help when you can. I think that is how we serve God—and each other and ourselves—in times as dark as these.
Kristin Hannah (The Nightingale)
If our testimonies are strong onthis point and if we feel the absolute assurance that God loves us, we will change our questons. We won't ask, 'Why did this happen?' or 'Why doesn't God care about me?' Instead, our questions will become, 'What can I learn from this experience?' or 'How does the Lord want me to handle this?
John Bytheway (When Times Are Tough: 5 Scriptures That Will Help You Get Through Almost Anything)
Why else would you spend so much time helping Miss Fosters causes?” “Uh... you’ve seen how cute she is, right?” Keefe asked.
Shannon Messenger (Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #7))
Some people can’t keep fighting. Some people want to escape. Some people are not ready—are not able—to find a way to deal with what’s in front of them. Sometimes there’s no one to help them. Sometimes they don’t know how to ask for help. Sometimes it feels like there’s no choice but to end it. No other way out. And sometimes it’s impossible to see past that.
Sarah Fine (Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1))
Ari?” My father’s voice was soft. “Ari, Ari, Ari. You’re fighting this war in the worst possible way.” “I don’t know how to fight it, Dad.” “You should ask for help,” he said. “I don’t know how to do that, either.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
When you little, you only get asked two questions, what’s your name and how old you is, so you better get em right.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
When you’re an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
There's really no honor in proving that you can carry the entire load on your own shoulders. And...it's lonely
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Perhaps when we face our maker, we will not be asked, 'How many positions did you hold,' but rather, 'How many people did you help?
Thomas S. Monson (Pathways To Perfection: Discourses Of Thomas S. Monson)
In both the art and the business worlds, the difference between the amateurs and the professionals is simple: The professionals know they’re winging it. The amateurs pretend they’re not.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Sometimes I think depression should be called the coping illness. So many of us struggle on, not daring or knowing how to ask for help. More of us, terribly, go undiagnosed.
Sally Brampton (Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression)
Everyone knows how we white people feel, the glorified Mammy figure who dedicates her whole life to a white family. Margaret Mitchell covered that. But no one ever asked Mammy how she felt about it.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Just take the fucking donuts.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
And when you’re afraid of someone’s judgment, you can’t connect with them. You’re too preoccupied with the task of impressing them.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Sometimes people hurt more than they can handle. And sometimes they don't know how to ask for help. They're so caught up in their own pain, they end up hurting everyone around them.
Rebecca Donovan (Barely Breathing (Breathing, #2))
The Fraud Police are the imaginary, terrifying force of 'real' grown-ups who you believe - at some subconscious level - are going to come knocking on your door in the middle of the night, saying: We've been watching you, and we have evidence that you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE DOING. You stand accused of the crime of completely winging it, you are guilty of making shit up as you go along, you do not actually deserve your job, we are taking everything away and we are TELLING EVERYBODY.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
The third component of the Law of Dharma is service to humanity--to serve your fellow human beings and to ask yourself the questions,"How can I help? How can I help all those that I come into contact with?" When you combine the ability to express your unique talent with service to humanity, then you make full use of the Law of Dharma.
Deepak Chopra
There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Eat the pain. Send it back into the void as love.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be. Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Chetan Bhagat
There’s a difference between wanting to be looked at and wanting to be seen. When you are looked at, your eyes can be closed. You suck energy, you steal the spotlight. When you are seen, your eyes must be open, and you are seeing and recognizing your witness. You accept energy and you generate energy. You create light. One is exhibitionism, the other is connection. Not everybody wants to be looked at. Everybody wants to be seen.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
I am frequently asked if I have visited Israel, whereas yet, it is simply assumed that I have. Well, I don’t travel. I really don’t, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t visit Israel. I remember how it was in 1948 when Israel was being established and all my Jewish friends were ecstatic, I was not. I said: what are we doing? We are establishing ourselves in a ghetto, in a small corner of a vast Muslim sea. The Muslims will never forget nor forgive, and Israel, as long as it exists, will be embattled. I was laughed at, but I was right. I can’t help but feel that the Jews didn’t really have the right to appropriate a territory only because 2000 years ago, people they consider their ancestors, were living there. History moves on and you can’t really turn it back. (#92 ff.)
Isaac Asimov (Asimov Laughs Again: More Than 700 Jokes, Limericks and Anecdotes)
From what I've seen, it isn't so much the act of asking that paralyzes us--it's what lies beneath: the fear of being vulnerable, the fear of rejection, the fear of looking needy or weak. The fear of being seen as a burdensome member of the community instead of a productive one. It points, fundamentally, to our separation from one another.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
This is how a creative human works. Collecting, connecting, sharing.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
If I ever think you are even considering leaving me again, no matter how good you reasons, I'll have you locked in your rooms and the doors barricaded, so help me God." He lifted her foot and began to dry it. Her voice shaking, Whitney asked, "Will you stay locked in there with me?" He raised her dainty foot to his jaw and tenderly laid his cheek against it, then turned his head and kissed it. "Yes," he whispered. -Clayton Westmoreland
Judith McNaught (Whitney, My Love (Westmoreland, #2))
Have you any idea how much my kingdom has swollen in this past century alone, how many subdivisions I've had to open?" I opened my mouth to respond, but Hades was on a roll now. More security ghouls," he moaned. "Traffic problems at the judgment pavilion. Double overtime for the staff. I used to be a rich god, Percy Jackson. I control all the precious metals under the earth. But my expenses!" Charon wants a pay raise," I blurted, just remembering the fact. As soon as I said it, I wished I could sew up my mouth. Don't get me started on Charon!" Hades yelled. "He's been impossible ever since he discovered Italian suits! Problems everywhere, and I've got to handle all of them personally. The commute time alone from the palace to the gates is enough to drive me insane! And the dead just keep arriving. No, godling. I need no help getting subjects! I did not ask for this war.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
[Ranger] "How's your mental health?" he asked. "I heard about Soder." [Stephanie] "I'm rattled." "I have a cure." Oh, boy. He put the truck in gear and headed for the exit. "I know what you're thinking," he said. "And that wasn't where I was going. I was going to suggest work." "I knew that." He looked over at me and grinned. "You want me bad." I did. God help me.
Janet Evanovich
How about her?” Ben pointed to a sleek blonde who smiled and preened in response. “I bet she’d like to meet you.” “Ooh, she’s shiny.” “Why don’t you go ask her what her name is?” suggested Ben, patting him on the back. “Do I need to know her name?” “I’ve heard it helps.” “Maybe for you,” Mal scoffed. “I just call out my own name during sex.
Kylie Scott (Play (Stage Dive, #2))
Maybe you can't help him, darling. I know you love him so, so much. I'm sure he loves you too. And I know you feel like it's your job to "save him". I know it feels like you are both each other's whole world, but that dependency isn't healthy for either of you. Charlie needs helo from someone who isn't his sixteen-year-old boyfriend. He needs help from a doctor or a therapist, someone who knows about eating disorder and how to treat them. Love can't cure a mental illness. There are lots of ways to help him, you can just be there. To listen. To talk. To cheer him up if he's having a bad day. And on the bad days you can ask what to could do to make things easier. Stand by his side, even when things are hard. But also knowing that sometimes people need more support than just one person can give. That's love darling" - Sarah Nelson (Nick's mum)
Alice Oseman (Heartstopper: Volume Four (Heartstopper, #4))
That's the problem with people who are not human. You can't tell how badly they're hurt, or how much they need your help, and until you ask, they don't always know how to tell you.
Jeff VanderMeer (Borne (Borne, #1))
Anyway. I’m not allowed to watch TV, although I am allowed to rent documentaries that are approved for me, and I can read anything I want. My favorite book is A Brief History of Time, even though I haven’t actually finished it, because the math is incredibly hard and Mom isn’t good at helping me. One of my favorite parts is the beginning of the first chapter, where Stephen Hawking tells about a famous scientist who was giving a lecture about how the earth orbits the sun, and the sun orbits the solar system, and whatever. Then a woman in the back of the room raised her hand and said, “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” So the scientist asked her what the tortoise was standing on. And she said, “But it’s turtles all the way down!” I love that story, because it shows how ignorant people can be. And also because I love tortoises.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
You're fighting this war in the worst way possible." "I don't know how to fight it, Dad." "You should ask for help," he said. "I don't know how to do that, either.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
A farmer is sitting on his porch in a chair, hanging out. A friend walks up to the porch to say hello, and hears an awful yelping, squealing sound coming from inside the house. "What's that terrifyin' sound?" asks the friend. "It's my dog," said the farmer. "He's sittin' on a nail." "Why doesn't he just sit up and get off it?" asks the friend. The farmer deliberates on this and replies: "Doesn't hurt enough yet.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Those who can ask without shame are viewing themselves in collaboration with—rather than in competition with—the world.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Collecting the dots. Then connecting them. And then sharing the connections with those around you. This is how a creative human works. Collecting, connecting, sharing.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Emma this is not a joke. Look at your hands! They're... they're... wrinkled!" "Yes that's because-" "No way. I'm not going down for this. This isn't my fault." "Toraf-" "Galen will find some way to blame me though. He always does. 'You wouldn't have gotten caught if you didn't swim so close to that boat, tadpole.' No it couldn't be the humans fault for fishing in the first place-" "Toraf." "Or how about. 'Maybe if you'd stop trying to kiss my sister, she'd stop bashing your head with a rock.' How does my kissing her have anything to do with her bashing my head with a rock? If you ask me, it's just a result of poor parenting-" "Toraf." "Oh and my favorite: 'If you play with a lionfish, you're going to get pricked.' I wasn't playing with it! I was just helping it swim faster by grabbing its fins-" "TOR-AF." He stops pacing along the water, even seems to remember that I exist. "Yes, Emma? What were you saying?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Step one: Invade your opponet's mind. This is just like using mind-speak. Try it on me." "That's easy," I said, casting my mental nets toward Dante, ensnaring his mind, and pushing words into his conscious thought. I'm in your mind, having a look around, and it's awfully empty in here. Wiseacre, Dante returned. Nobody says that anymore. Speaking of which, how old are you in Nephilim years? I'd never thought to ask. I swore fealty during Napoleon's invasion of Italy-my homeland. And that was in what year...? Help me out. I'm not a history buff. Dante smiled. 1796. Wow. You're old.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
Anthony once told me: It isn’t what you say to people, it’s more important what you do with them. It’s less important what you do with them than the way you’re with them.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
I want to live and work alone. If we get married, do I have to live with you? No, he said. Will you marry me? Do I have to act like a wife? I don’t really want to be a wife. No, you don’t need to be a wife, he said. Will you marry me? If we get married, will we be able to sleep with other people? Yep, he said. Will you marry me? Can I maintain total control of my life? I need total control of my life. Yes, darling. I’m not trying to control you. At all. Will you marry me? I probably don’t want kids. That’s fine. I already have three. They’re great. Will you marry me? If I marry you and it doesn’t work, can we just get divorced? Sure, he said brightly.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Besides, there was the way she beamed at me, smiling with her whole self, and how a coy gesture like tucking her hair back could make me want to follow her, help her, do anything she asked. I was hopelessly outmatched.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
I am a total zombie just after I wake up. It takes me half an hour even to get my eyes open. Ask anyone who knows me. I can't see; I can't talk properly; I can't do anything without help. The only think I can do properly is think. And I know how to exploit my condition. I've had years of practice.
Diana Wynne Jones (The Merlin Conspiracy (Magids, #2))
Adrian looked over at me again. “Who knows more about male weakness: you or me?” “Go on.” I refused to directly answer the question. “Get a new dress. One that shows a lot of skin. Short. Strapless. Maybe a push-up bra too.” He actually had the audacity to do a quick assessment of my chest. “Eh, maybe not. But definitely some high heels.” “Adrian,” I exclaimed. “You’ve seen how Alchemists dress. Do you think I can really wear something like that?” He was unconcerned. “You’ll make it work. You’ll change clothes or something. But I’m telling you, if you want to get a guy to do something that might be difficult, then the best way is to distract him so that he can’t devote his full brainpower to the consequences.” “You don’t have a lot of faith in your own gender.” “Hey, I’m telling you the truth. I’ve been distracted by sexy dresses a lot.” I didn’t really know if that was a valid argument, seeing as Adrian was distracted by a lot of things. Fondue. T-shirts. Kittens. “And so, what then? I show some skin, and the world is mine?” “That’ll help.” Amazingly, I could tell he was dead serious. “And you’ve gotta act confident the whole time, like it’s already a done deal. Then make sure when you’re actually asking for what you want that you tell him you’d be ‘so, so grateful.’ But don’t elaborate. His imagination will do half the work for you. ” I shook my head, glad we’d almost reached our destination. I didn’t know how much more I could listen to. “This is the most ridiculous advice I’ve ever heard. It’s also kind of sexist too, but I can’t decide who it offends more, men or women.” “Look, Sage. I don’t know much about chemistry or computer hacking or photosynthery, but this is something I’ve got a lot of experience with.” I think he meant photosynthesis, but I didn’t correct him. “Use my knowledge. Don’t let it go to waste.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
The question we need to ask ourselves is: what is success to us? More money? That's fine. A healthy family? A happy marriage? Helping others? To be famous? Spiritually sound? To express ourselves? To create art? To leave the world a better place than we found it? What is success to me? Continue to ask yourself that question. How are you prosperous? What is your relevance? Your answer may change over time and that's fine but do yourself this favor – whatever your answer is, don't choose anything that would jeopardize your soul. Prioritize who you are, who you want to be, and don't spend time with anything that antagonizes your character. Don't depend on drinking the Kool-Aid – it's popular, tastes sweet today, but it will give you cavities tomorrow. Life is not a popularity contest. Be brave, take the hill. But first answer the question.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
I’m not asking you to live for me. Even though that would be nice because I’m in love with you. And yeah, yeah, you can tell me I’m misusing that word, but I don’t care. That’s how I feel. But this isn’t even about me, or how I feel about you. I want you to live for you because I know there’s so much more waiting for you. There’s so much more for you to discover and experience. And you deserve it, you might not think you do, but you do. I’m here to tell you that you deserve it. And I know I sound cheesy as hell. Believe me, six weeks ago, I would’ve slapped myself for saying shit like this, but knowing you... Knowing you has helped me see things differently. See myself differently. And all I want is for you to see yourself the way that I do.
Jasmine Warga (My Heart and Other Black Holes)
Don't drive drunk. Ever. Don't shag anyone you don't like, or who doesn't like you. Get a look at how people live in a place where you don't. Suffering is over-rated, don't pursue it. Ask for help when you need it, don't when you don't, and learn to recognize the difference. Don't confuse movement and progress. Be kind. Be forgiving. Pay attention.
Christopher Moore
The lighthouse does not qualify your distress; it does not ask if you are black or white, wealthy or less so, Democrat or Republican. It does not concern itself with where you stand on a particular issue. Nor does it blame you for being in the middle of the storm. Rather, its priority is how it might guide you toward safe harbor.
Steve Pemberton (The Lighthouse Effect: How Ordinary People Can Have an Extraordinary Impact in the World)
If we meet and I say, "Hi," That's a salutation. If you ask me how I feel, That's a consideration. If we stop and talk awhile, That's a conversation. If we understand each other, That's communication. If we argue, scream and fight, That's an altercation. If later we apologize, That's a reconciliation. If we help each other home, That's cooperation. And all these ations added up Make civilization. (And if I say this is a wonderful poem, Is that exaggeration?)
Shel Silverstein (A Light in the Attic)
When the store was empty again, I buried my head in my hands. I hadn’t realized how much Josh had been helping me get through the summer until he wasn’t there anymore. I wanted him to ask me how the Sky was. And then I wanted him to make it stop raining.
Heather Demetrios (I'll Meet You There)
I hate the indifferent. I believe that living means taking sides. Those who really live cannot help being a citizen and a partisan. Indifference and apathy are parasitism, perversion, not life. That is why I hate the indifferent. The indifference is the deadweight of history. The indifference operates with great power on history. The indifference operates passively, but it operates. It is fate, that which cannot be counted on. It twists programs and ruins the best-conceived plans. It is the raw material that ruins intelligence. That what happens, the evil that weighs upon all, happens because the human mass abdicates to their will; allows laws to be promulgated that only the revolt could nullify, and leaves men that only a mutiny will be able to overthrow to achieve the power. The mass ignores because it is careless and then it seems like it is the product of fate that runs over everything and everyone: the one who consents as well as the one who dissents; the one who knew as well as the one who didn’t know; the active as well as the indifferent. Some whimper piously, others curse obscenely, but nobody, or very few ask themselves: If I had tried to impose my will, would this have happened? I also hate the indifferent because of that: because their whimpering of eternally innocent ones annoys me. I make each one liable: how they have tackled with the task that life has given and gives them every day, what have they done, and especially, what they have not done. And I feel I have the right to be inexorable and not squander my compassion, of not sharing my tears with them. I am a partisan, I am alive, I feel the pulse of the activity of the future city that those on my side are building is alive in their conscience. And in it, the social chain does not rest on a few; nothing of what happens in it is a matter of luck, nor the product of fate, but the intelligent work of the citizens. Nobody in it is looking from the window of the sacrifice and the drain of a few. Alive, I am a partisan. That is why I hate the ones that don’t take sides, I hate the indifferent.
Antonio Gramsci
You can’t ever give people what they want. But you can give them something else. You can give them empathy. You can give them understanding. And that’s a lot, and enough to give.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
As to how you'll help me," he says. "Well, we have met the Answer, have we not?" He turns back to look at us, his eyes glinting. "It's time for them to meet the Ask.
Patrick Ness (The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2))
What the hell was the matter with these people? How did they not see that of all the people on the planet, she was probably the least qualified to help them with their emotional problems? It was like asking a dog to do algebra.
Stacia Kane (Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, #2))
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken
When you openly, radically trust people, they not only take care of you, they become your allies, your family. Sometimes people will prove themselves untrustworthy. When that happens, the correct response is not: Fuck! I knew I couldn’t trust anybody! The correct response is: Some people just suck. Moving right along.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
If you feel too much, there’s still a place for you here. If you feel too much, don’t go. It this world is too painful, stop and rest. It’s okay to stop and rest. If you need a break, it’s okay to say you need a break. This life –it’s not a contest, not a race, not a performance, not a thing that you win. It’s okay to slow down. You are here for more than grades, more than a job, more than a promotion, more than keeping up, more than getting by.This life is not about status or opinion or appearance. You don’t have to fake it. You do not have to fake it. Other people feel this way too. If your heart is broken, it’s okay to say your heart is broken. If you feel stuck, it’s okay to say you feel stuck. If you can’t let go, it’s okay to say you can’t let go.You are not alone in these places. Other people feel how you feel. You are more than just your pain. You are more than wounds, more than drugs, more than death and silence.There is still some time to be surprised. There is still some time to ask for help. There is still some time to start again. There is still some time for love to find you. It’s not too late. You’re not alone. It’s okay –whatever you need and however long it takes- its okay. It’s okay. If you feel too much, there’s still a place for you here. If you feel too much, don’t go. There is still some time.
Jamie Tworkowski (If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For)
How comes when a man likes an attractive female, is he helping to exploit women around the world, yet the moment he doesn't fancy the female in question, he only hates on her because she's empowering women? Seriously, I don't get it - Rihanna and Nicki do exactly the same thing as far as I can see. They both sing, dance and gyrate their sexy stuff on stage, yet one empowers women, the other is being exploited, depending on which one I fancy the most at the point of being asked the sodding question. How the fuck does any of this make sense?
Jimmy Tudeski (Comedian Gone Wrong)
It's hard enough to give fearlessly, and it's even harder to receive fearlessly. But within that exchange lies the hardest thing of all: To ask. Without shame. And to accept the help that people offer. Not to force them. Just to let them.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Art pries us open.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
So what name would you rather I call you? she asked as she headed out of the parking lot. Ias or Alexion. He gave her a devilish grin that set fire to her hormones. I would rather you call me lover. He wagged his eyebrows playfully at her. Danger rolled her eyes. Like all men with a onetrack mind, he was incorrigible. Don't blame me, Alexion said in an almost offended tone. I can't help it. You should see the way you fight. It really turned me on. Could you tell me how to turn you off? -Danger and Alexion
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Sins of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #7))
Yes, of course we could all use some help. There isn't a person alive without a need. So don't ask the silly question, just figure out how you're going to help and do it!
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
Weep and ask for help. Lean on me with your runny nose. Cry when you feel like crying. Laugh when you feel like laughing. When you’re tearing up with an ugly face, I’ll give you a good cry with an uglier face. When you’re laughing so hard your stomach hurts, I’ll laugh in a louder voice. That’s how it should be. It’s far better to get dirty while living true to yourself, than to throw away yourself and die a clean death.” — Sakata Gintoki
Hideaki Sorachi
Her nose wrinkle up cause now she got to remember to say she Mae Mobley Three, when her whole life she can remember, she been telling people she Mae Mobley Two. When you little, you only get asked two questions, what's your name and how old you is, so you better get em right.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
It’s really easy to love passing strangers unconditionally. They demand nothing of you. It is really hard to love people unconditionally when they can hurt you.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Go back and rid the word of that book. Fill it with words before spring comes, or winter will never end for you. And I will take not only your life for the Adderhead's but your daughter's, too, because she helped you bind the book. Do you undersand, Bluejay" Why two?" asked Mo hoarsely. "How can you ask for two lives in return for one?
Cornelia Funke (Inkdeath (Inkworld, #3))
This was how to help a family who has just lost their child. Wash the clothes, make soup. Don't ask them what they need, bring them what they need. Keep them warm. Listen to them rant, and cry, and tell their story over and over.
Ann Hood (The Obituary Writer)
Yeah, you lose this attitude, I can help you work that hurt out.” Who was this man? He held onto his tragedy for seventeen fucking years, how could he stand there and tell me he could help me work through mine? “Really, Joe? Like you helped me work out my grief at losing Tim?” I asked sarcastically. “That’s not what I was offerin’, buddy, but you want it like that I’ll give it to you.” “You’re unbelievable,” I snapped. “I’m yours.” That socked me in the gut too, so hard it winded me and all I could do was stare up at him. Taking advantage, his face dipped close and his hands curled around both sides of my head. “First fuckin’ time you smiled at me in my bed, that’s when it happened,” he murmured.
Kristen Ashley (At Peace (The 'Burg, #2))
I won't get killed,' Rose protested. Is that a promise?' Fish asked dryly, stirring his tea. 'If you break your word, I'll never believe you again.' Rose shook her head at him. 'How can you even taste your tea if you put that much sugar in it?' Don't change the subject. I don't want to be responsible for depriving the world of Rose Brier. Under no circumstances are you allowed to help us do anything more dangerous than...change the oil in my car.
Regina Doman
Betrayal is too kind a word to describe a situation in which a father says he loves his daughter but claims he must teach her about the horrors of the world in order to make her a stronger person; a situation in which he watches or participates in rituals that make her feel like she is going to die. She experiences pain that is so intense that she cannot think; her head spins so fast she can't remember who she is or how she got there. All she knows is pain. All she feels is desperation. She tries to cry out for help, but soon learns that no one will listen. No matter how loud she cries, she can't stop or change what is happening. No matter what she does, the pain will not stop. Her father orders her to be tortured and tells her it is for her own good. He tells her that she needs the discipline, or that she has asked for it by her misbehavior. Betrayal is too simple a word to describe the overwhelming pain, the overwhelming loneliness and isolation this child experiences. As if the abuse during the rituals were not enough, this child experiences similar abuse at home on a daily basis. When she tries to talk about her pain, she is told that she must be crazy. "Nothing bad has happened to you;' her family tells her Each day she begins to feel more and more like she doesn't know what is real. She stops trusting her own feelings because no one else acknowledges them or hears her agony. Soon the pain becomes too great. She learns not to feel at all. This strong, lonely, desperate child learns to give up the senses that make all people feel alive. She begins to feel dead. She wishes she were dead. For her there is no way out. She soon learns there is no hope. As she grows older she gets stronger. She learns to do what she is told with the utmost compliance. She forgets everything she has ever wanted. The pain still lurks, but it's easier to pretend it's not there than to acknowledge the horrors she has buried in the deepest parts of her mind. Her relationships are overwhelmed by the power of her emotions. She reaches out for help, but never seems to find what she is looking for The pain gets worse. The loneliness sets in. When the feelings return, she is overcome with panic, pain, and desperation. She is convinced she is going to die. Yet, when she looks around her she sees nothing that should make her feel so bad. Deep inside she knows something is very, very wrong, but she doesn't remember anything. She thinks, "Maybe I am crazy.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Help)
I have an obligation to help eliminate the stigma attached to mental illness. When I’m feeling despondent and someone asks in a sincere way how I am, I have a duty to tell the truth. It’s no different from saying I have a bad cold. By speaking candidly, I give others permission to acknowledge their own mental illness, talk about it, and seek help. I must break the silence instead of treating my depression like a shameful character flaw.
Larry Godwin (Transcending Depression: Quest Without a Compass)
I'm not crying out for help, but I am sharing my experience in the hopes that readers will get something out of it. I'm not the one who gets to decide what that is, if anything. I'm just starting the "journey" if you will, so I can't possibly know yet what the "message" of my life really is. I only know what has happened so far, and how I've felt up until this moment. I agree that reading about the pain of others is concerning when they are still hurting and in the same situation as when they wrote about it. But what can you do? You can reach out, ask how you can help and be there to listen. You can't save someone who doesn't want to be saved. You can't love someone who doesn't love themselves enough to take care of themselves and stay out of bad situations. Believe me, I know this.
Ashly Lorenzana
I am a broken person. And I know exactly where my cracks are and how deep they run. I don't pretend to not be a broken person and therein lies the big difference. Because the truth is, we are all broken in places, but it is those who know exactly where and how they are broken, who also know exactly where and how they are whole! And we may not be whole in all places and in all ways, but we take whatever wholeness that we do have, and we make good of it. And we try hard to work on the broken parts, and we ask for help when we need it.
C. JoyBell C.
And exactly how does a miserable face help the war effort?" he asked sharply, his mood beginning to change. "Will a frown bring back the dead or fortify a town? If I allow myself to laugh in the face of misery, I rest my mind from the stress of it all, and then it'll work the better for you and your war. And if I'm really to be one of your advisers, Your Majesty, accept this piece of advise: Take happiness where and when you find it, because there is going to be precious little of it in the next few months!
Stuart Hill (The Cry of the Icemark)
Dear Max - You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever. ... And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy. But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right. Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it. The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray. I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while. ... You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet. ... At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you. But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock. Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again. Please make us only go through this once. ... I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me. ... You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without. ... Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it. Good-bye, my love. Fang P.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them
James Patterson
I wished Odysseus were there so I could ask him: but how did the king get that man to help him, the one who had struck him so deep? The answer that came to me was from a different tale. Long ago, in my wide bed, I had asked Odysseus: "What did you do? When you could not make Achilles and Agamemnon listen?" He'd smiled in the firelight. "That is easy. You make a plan in which they do not.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Hunger: The Darkest Fairytale People ask questions, but no one asks the right questions. Who knew 'How are you so skinny?' instead of 'When was the last time you ate?' could be the difference between getting help and nearly dying
Nikita Gill (Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul)
Since I’ve been home I’ve been trying hard to mend my relationship with my mother. Asking her to do things for me instead of brushing aside any offer of help, as I did for years out of anger. Letting her handle all the money I won. Returning her hugs instead of tolerating them. My time in the arena made me realize how I needed to stop punishing her for something she couldn’t help, specifically the crushing depression she fell into after my father’s death. Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
Fashion sighs after trends. I want timeless elegance. Fashion has no time. I do. I say: Hello Lady, how can I help you? Fashion has no time to even ask such a question, because it is constantly concerned with finding out: What will come next? It is more about helping women to suffer less, to attain more freedom and independence.
Yohji Yamamoto
You're just being logical...You're just giving me a regular, intelligent answer. I was trying to help you. You asked me how I get out of the finite dimensions when I feel like it. I certainly don't use logic when I do it. Logic's the first thing you have to get rid of.
J.D. Salinger (Nine Stories)
At LeakyCon, a young lady asked me how I dealt with bullying. I wasn’t able to give her a very good answer, which troubles me. Well, there were lots of shouts of “It gets better” and “Stay strong” and “We love you”. But when I put myself back in time to when I was being bullied, none of those things would’ve helped me. Yes, absolutely it does get better. But when you are being physically and psychologically tortured, it is difficult to remove yourself from the pressingness of the moment at hand. Here’s how I dealt with bullying: I cried, I hated myself, I hated my life. I didn’t deal with it, I survived it, but I never dealt with it. So here are two tips from someone with lots of experience. 1: It’s not about you, it has nothing to do with you, it’s about the assholes doing it to you. 2: Your job is not to deal with it, your job is to survive it, which you CAN do because it WILL end. And then yes, it will get better.
Hank Green
The perception that vulnerability is weakness is the most widely accepted myth about vulnerability and the most dangerous. When we spend our lives pushing away and protecting ourselves from feeling vulnerable or from being perceived as too emotional, we feel contempt when others are less capable or willing to mask feelings, suck it up, and soldier on. We’ve come to the point where, rather than respecting and appreciating the courage and daring behind vulnerability, we let our fear and discomfort become judgment and criticism.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
Then you came and I started to feel again. I started to think there was a reason I survived, that you were my reason. But nothing's so simple, is it? I didn't protect you. Here you are hurting so bad, and I can't even help. I'm just here and I need you. That's all it comes to. I need you to be brave when I haven't been. I know how hard it is. Look at me. Look at what's happened to me. Jesus, I feel like I'll be crying for the next century." He bent his head, pressed his tear-wet cheek to her dry cold skin. "But I'm here. I'm not hiding anymore. Princess, I'm asking you. Come back to me. You're my life.
Laura Kinsale (Seize the Fire)
Her hands quieted. "Yeah. Because even if the law says that no one is responsible for anyone else, helping someone who needs it is the right thing to do." I sat down beside her, close enough that the skin of her arm hummed right next to mine. "You really believe that?" She looked down at her lap "Yeah." Then how," I asked, "can you walk away from me?
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
I draw a line down the middle of a chalkboard, sketching a male symbol on one side and a female symbol on the other. Then I ask just the men: What steps do you guys take, on a daily basis, to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they've been asked a trick question. The silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter. Occasionally, a young a guy will raise his hand and say, 'I stay out of prison.' This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, 'Nothing. I don't think about it.' Then I ask women the same question. What steps do you take on a daily basis to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? Women throughout the audience immediately start raising their hands. As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine. Here are some of their answers: Hold my keys as a potential weapon. Look in the back seat of the car before getting in. Carry a cell phone. Don't go jogging at night. Lock all the windows when I sleep, even on hot summer nights. Be careful not to drink too much. Don't put my drink down and come back to it; make sure I see it being poured. Own a big dog. Carry Mace or pepper spray. Have an unlisted phone number. Have a man's voice on my answering machine. Park in well-lit areas. Don't use parking garages. Don't get on elevators with only one man, or with a group of men. Vary my route home from work. Watch what I wear. Don't use highway rest areas. Use a home alarm system. Don't wear headphones when jogging. Avoid forests or wooded areas, even in the daytime. Don't take a first-floor apartment. Go out in groups. Own a firearm. Meet men on first dates in public places. Make sure to have a car or cab fare. Don't make eye contact with men on the street. Make assertive eye contact with men on the street.
Jackson Katz (The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help)
We need to have an escape plan."" "I'll shoot him," Bradley offered helpfully. "He has your gun,"Mary replied. "Oh, then that won't work." Mary sighed. Somehow she didn't think that Bradley's warrior-police guy was coming back anytime soon. "So, how do your legs feel?" she asked. She felt a large hand squeeze her thigh. "Bradley, that was my leg." "Oh, sorry, but what a relief, I thought I had lost feeling in my legs.
Terri Reid (Loose Ends (Mary O’Reilly #1))
Not cry. Fly. “I can’t fly,” Bran said. “I can’t, I can’t…” How do you know? Have you ever tried? The voice was high and thin. Bran looked around to see where it was coming from. A crow was spiraling down with him, just out of touch, following him as he fell. “Help me,” he said. I’m trying, the crow replied… The crow took to the air and flapped around Bran’s hand. “You have wings,” Bran pointed out. Maybe you do too. Bran felt along his shoulders, groping for feathers. There are different kinds of wings, the crow said… Bran was falling faster than ever. The grey mists howled around him as he plunged toward the earth below. “What are you doing to me?” he asked the crow, tearful. Teaching you how to fly. “I can’t fly!” You’re flying right now. “I’m falling!” Every flight begins with a fall, the crow said. Look down.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
I reach out and take his hand. “Well, he probably used up a lot of resources helping me knock you out,” I say mischievously. “Yeah, about that,” says Peeta, entwining his fingers in mine. “Don’t try something like that again.” “Or what?” I ask. “Or . . . or . . .” He can’t think of anything good. “Just give me a minute.” “What’s the problem?” I say with a grin. “The problem is we’re both still alive. Which only reinforces the idea in your mind that you did the right thing,” says Peeta. “I did do the right thing,” I say. “No! Just don’t, Katniss!” His grip tightens, hurting my hand, and there’s real anger in his voice. “Don’t die for me. You won’t be doing me any favors. All right?” I’m startled by his intensity but recognize an excellent opportunity for getting food, so I try to keep up. “Maybe I did it for myself, Peeta, did you ever think of that? Maybe you aren’t the only one who . . . who worries about . . . what it would be like if. . .” I fumble. I’m not as smooth with words as Peeta. And while I was talking, the idea of actually losing Peeta hit me again and I realized how much I don’t want him to die. And it’s not about the sponsors. And it’s not about what will happen back home. And it’s not just that I don’t want to be alone. It’s him. I do not want to lose the boy with the bread. “If what, Katniss?” he says softly. I wish I could pull the shutters closed, blocking out this moment from the prying eyes of Panem. Even if it means losing food. Whatever I’m feeling, it’s no one’s business but mine. “That’s exactly the kind of topic Haymitch told me to steer clear of,” I say evasively, although Haymitch never said anything of the kind. In fact, he’s probably cursing me out right now for dropping the ball during such an emotionally charged moment. But Peeta somehow catches it. “Then I’ll just have to fill in the blanks myself,” he says, and moves in to me. This is the first kiss that we’re both fully aware of. Neither of us hobbled by sickness or pain or simply unconscious. Our lips neither burning with fever or icy cold. This is the first kiss where I actually feel stirring inside my chest. Warm and curious. This is the first kiss that makes me want another. But I don’t get it. Well, I do get a second kiss, but it’s just a light one on the tip of my nose because Peeta’s been distracted. “I think your wound is bleeding again. Come on, lie down, it’s bedtime anyway,” he says.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
From now on start asking yourself WHY you feel a certain way, WHAT made you perform a certain action, and HOW you could do things differently. The information you discover is powerful because it helps you to discover patterns and in turn use your mind productively and efficiently. After all, your mind is your most powerful tool, but it’s not useful if you don’t know how to use it. It’s like trying to fix a printer with a stapler: it doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Lilly Singh (How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life)
You're right, Dad. Dr. Golan did help me. But that doesn't mean he has to control every aspect of my life. I mean, Jesus, you and mom might as well buy me one of those little bracelets that says, What Would Golan Do? That way I can ask myself before I do anything. Before I take a dump. How would Dr. Golan want me to take this dump? Should I bank it off the side or go straight down the middle? What would be the most psychologically beneficial dump I could take?
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
It is not the teacher's proper task to be constantly testing and checking the understanding of the learner. That's the learner's task, and only the learner can do it. The teacher's job is to answer questions when learners ask them, or to try to help learners understand better when they ask for that help.
John C. Holt (How Children Fail)
Don't do that!" she exclaimed, shivering at the realization that it had been his fingers touching her. He gave her his lazy, slightly twisted smile and brushed a few pieces of unruly black hair out of his face. "Are you asking me or ordering me?” "Shut up." She glanced around, both to avoid his eyes and make sure no one saw them together. "What's the matter? Worried about what your slaves'll think if they see you talking to me?” "They're my friends," she retorted. "Oh.Right. Of course they are. I mean, from what I saw, Camille would probably do anything for you, right? Friends till the end." He crossed his arms over his chest, and in spite of her anger, she couldn't help but notice how the silvery gray of his shirt set off his black hair and blue eyes. (Lissa&Christian)
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
Today I'm on tell you bout a man from outer space." She just loves hearing about peoples from outer space. Her favorite show on the tee-vee is My Favorite Martian, I pull on my antennae hats I shaped last night out a tin foil, fasten em on our heads. One for her and one for me. We look like we a couple a crazy people in them things. "One day, a wise Martian come down to Earth to teach us people a thing or two," I say. "Martian? How big?" "oh, he about six-two." "What's his name?" "Martian Luther King." She take a deep breath and lean her head down on my shoulder. I feel her three-year-old heart racing against mine, flapping like butterflies on my white uniform. "He was a real nice Martian, Mister King. Looked just like us, nose, mouth, hair up on his head, but sometime people looked at him funny and sometime, well, I guess sometime people was just downright mean." I coul get in a lot a trouble telling her these little stories, especially with Mister Leefolt. But Mae Mobley know these our "secret stories". "Why Aibee? Why was they so mean to him?" she ask. "Cause he was green.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Sometimes it was like Neil was from an alien planet, where people never asked for or shared anything emotional without deeply apologizing first. He assured me that he was simply British. And that we Americans, with all of our loud oversharing and need for random hugs and free admissions to people we've just met of deep, traumatic childhood wounds looks just as alien to them.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
WHO’S GOT A TAMPON? I JUST GOT MY PERIOD, I will announce loudly to nobody in particular in a women’s bathroom in a San Francisco restaurant, or to a co-ed dressing room of a music festival in Prague, or to the unsuspecting gatherers in a kitchen at a party in Sydney, Munich, or Cincinnati. Invariably, across the world, I have seen and heard the rustling of female hands through backpacks and purses, until the triumphant moment when a stranger fishes one out with a kind smile. No money is ever exchanged. The unspoken universal understanding is: Today, it is my turn to take the tampon. Tomorrow, it shall be yours. There is a constant, karmic tampon circle. It also exists, I’ve found, with Kleenex, cigarettes, and ballpoint pens.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
American culture in particular has instilled in us the bizarre notion that to ask for help amounts to an admission of failure. But some of the most powerful, successful, admired people in the world seem, to me, to have something in common: they ask constantly, creatively, compassionately, and gracefully. And to be sure: when you ask, there’s always the possibility of a no on the other side of the request. If we don’t allow for that no, we’re not actually asking, we’re either begging or demanding. But it is the fear of the no that keeps so many of our mouths sewn tightly shut.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
We’re on a busy sidewalk, so two people stop to ask if they can help, because they don’t realize Graham is with me. Both times, Graham says, “Thank you, but my wife has got this.” I laugh when I realize what he’s doing. The entire time I’m changing the tire, Graham brags about it to everyone who walks by. “Look! My wife knows how to change a tire.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
How long do you think it's going to take Decebel to deal with the wayward wolf who touched Sally?" Jen asked Jacque casually as they sat in the now, nearly empty, gathering room. After Sally and Costin had left, Vasile and Decebel had agreed that it was time to call it a night. Jen and Jacque had been helping clean up, but just as Jen was carrying empty cups towards the trash, she had heard Decebel tell her to park her cute butt and not move. So she had parked it, dragging Jacque along with her to an empty table.
Quinn Loftis
How busy are you today?" "Oh," he [Thomas] mused. "I don't know. I mean, I've got to get a new shirt now." "After that," I asked, "would you like to help me save the city? If you don't already have plans." He snorted. "You mean, would I like to follow you around, wondering what the hell is going on because you won't tell me everything, then get in a fight with something that is going to leave me in intensive care?" "Uh-huh," I said, nodding, "pretty much." "Yeah," he said. "Okay.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
One day we took the children to see a goldsmith refine gold after the ancient manner of the East. He was sitting beside his little charcoal fire. ("He shall sit as a refiner"; the gold- or silversmith never leaves his crucible once it is on the fire.) In the red glow lay a common curved roof tile; another tile covered it like a lid. This was the crucible. In it was the medicine made of salt, tamarind fruit and burnt brick dust, and imbedded in it was the gold. The medicine does its appointed work on the gold, "then the fire eats it," and the goldsmith lifts the gold out with a pair of tongs, lets it cool, rubs it between his fingers, and if not satisfied puts it back again in fresh medicine. This time he blows the fire hotter than it was before, and each time he puts the gold into the crucible, the heat of the fire is increased; "it could not bear it so hot at first, but it can bear it now; what would have destroyed it then helps it now." "How do you know when the gold is purified?" we asked him, and he answered, "When I can see my face in it [the liquid gold in the crucible] then it is pure.
Amy Carmichael (Gold Cord)
A man worth being with is one… That never lies to you Is kind to people that have hurt him A person that respects another’s life That has manners and shows people respect That goes out of his way to help people That feels every person, no matter how difficult, deserves compassion Who believes you are the most beautiful person he has ever met Who brags about your accomplishments with pride Who talks to you about anything and everything because no bad news will make him love you less That is a peacemaker That will see you through illness Who keeps his promises Who doesn’t blame others, but finds the good in them That raises you up and motivates you to reach for the stars That doesn’t need fame, money or anything materialistic to be happy That is gentle and patient with children Who won’t let you lie to yourself; he tells you what you need to hear, in order to help you grow Who lives what he says he believes in Who doesn’t hold a grudge or hold onto the past Who doesn’t ask his family members to deliberately hurt people that have hurt him Who will run with your dreams That makes you laugh at the world and yourself Who forgives and is quick to apologize Who doesn’t betray you by having inappropriate conversations with other women Who doesn’t react when he is angry, decides when he is sad or keep promises he doesn’t plan to keep Who takes his children’s spiritual life very seriously and teaches by example Who never seeks revenge or would ever put another person down Who communicates to solve problems Who doesn’t play games or passive aggressively ignores people to hurt them Who is real and doesn’t pretend to be something he is not Who has the power to free you from yourself through his positive outlook Who has a deep respect for women and treats them like a daughter of God Who doesn’t have an ego or believes he is better than anyone Who is labeled constantly by people as the nicest person they have ever met Who works hard to provide for the family Who doesn’t feel the need to drink alcohol to have a good time, smoke or do drugs Who doesn't have to hang out a bar with his friends, but would rather spend his time with his family Who is morally free from sin Who sees your potential to be great Who doesn't think a woman's place has to be in the home; he supports your life mission, where ever that takes you Who is a gentleman Who is honest and lives with integrity Who never discusses your private business with anyone Who will protect his family Who forgives, forgets, repairs and restores When you find a man that possesses these traits then all the little things you don’t have in common don’t matter. This is the type of man worth being grateful for.
Shannon L. Alder
A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point he asked: ‘Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?’ His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson: I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.’ Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special. ‘But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!’ ‘That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.’ ‘First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will.’ ‘Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpner. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person. ‘Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.’ ‘Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.’ ‘Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. in just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action
Paulo Coelho (Like the Flowing River)
Young Castle called me "Scoop." "Good Morning, Scoop. What's new in the word game?" "I might ask the same of you," I replied. "I'm thinking of calling a general strike of all writers until mankind finally comes to its senses. Would you support it?" "Do writers have a right to strike? That would be like the police or the firemen walking out." "Or the college professors." "Or the college professors," I agreed. I shook my head. "No, I don't think my conscience would let me support a strike like that. When a man becomes a writer, I think he takes a sacred obligation to produce beauty and enlightenment and comfort at top speed." "I just can't help thinking what a real shake up it would give people if, all of a sudden, there were no new books, new plays, new histories, new poems..." "And how proud would you be when people started dying like flies?" I demanded. "They'd die more like mad dogs, I think--snarling & snapping at each other & biting their own tails." I turned to Castle the elder. "Sir, how does a man die when he's deprived of the consolation of literature?" "In one of two ways," he said, "petrescence of the heart or atrophy of the nervous system." "Neither one very pleasant, I expect," I suggested. "No," said Castle the elder. "For the love of God, both of you, please keep writing!
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
Not in order to justify, but simply in order to explain my lack of consistency, I say: Look at my present life and then at my former life, and you will see that I do attempt to carry them out. It is true that I have not fulfilled one thousandth part of them [Christian precepts], and I am ashamed of this, but I have failed to fulfill them not because I did not wish to, but because I was unable to. Teach me how to escape from the net of temptations that surrounds me, help me and I will fulfill them; even without help I wish and hope to fulfill them. Attack me, I do this myself, but attack me rather than the path I follow and which I point out to anyone who asks me where I think it lies. If I know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side! If it is not the right way, then show me another way; but if I stagger and lose the way, you must help me, you must keep me on the true path, just as I am ready to support you. Do not mislead me, do not be glad that I have got lost, do not shout out joyfully: “Look at him! He said he was going home, but there he is crawling into a bog!” No, do not gloat, but give me your help and support.
Leo Tolstoy
It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie's pain-blanched face. He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side. Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggles to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness. As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.
Corrie ten Boom
That guy back there had a gun,” Christopher went on. “Brandon Stark didn't even have a gun, and he managed to kidnap you just by threatening to do mean things to your friends. How do you think you're going to cope with his dad, who's a real gangster?” “Well,” I said. Suddenly, I didn't feel quite so encouraged. There were actual tears in my eyes. “That's why this time I'm asking you for help. I know I can't do it alone anymore. I need you, Christopher.” “You're damn right you do,” he said. “It's about time you realized it.
Meg Cabot (Runaway (Airhead, #3))
Without realizing what she was doing and more on an impulse than anything else, she leaned forward and kissed him. It was a simple, yet firm kiss and she pulled back after only a moment. But it sent a thrill through her. He leaned down for another. But she put her finger on his lips to stop him. "That was my reward to you," she said as they danced. "Don't squander it." "Reward? he asked still seeming both surprised and delighted at this unexpected attention. "What for?" "Why for living, Vaelros. And for doing so much else to help me. I will have you rewarded in state as well. But that was just from me." She saw Vaelros flush and she gave him a brilliant smile. "You don't like my reward?" she asked. "I do!" he replied. "I want only to learn how to earn more." The music was fading. The song was ending. Luthiel stepped back and let her hands drop. "A mysterious thing, my heart," she said.
Robert Fanney
<…>Tate fell silent. Ty didn't. "Since the day I was released, you knocked yourself out. You had my back, you took care of Lexie when we had our thing then you did what you could to help me sort that. It's important to me that you know I'm grateful. I've been tryin' to figure out how I can show how much but, keep thinkin' on it, nothin' comes to mind and I know why. I get it. You're a man who has everything so there is nothing I can hand you that you want or need. And I get that because I am now that same man. So the only thing I can give you are words and, my guess is, that'll be enough. If it isn't, you name it and it's yours." "Friends do what I did for friends," Tate returned. "No they don't, Tate. You did what you did for me because you're you. That's what I'm talkin' about." Tate ws silent a moment then he said, "Well then, you guessed right. Words are enough." Ty nodded. Tate tipped his head to the side and asked jokingly, "We done with the near-midnight in the middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart?" Ty didn't feel like joking and answered, "No." "Then what -?" "Love you, man," Ty interrupted quietly. "Learned the hard way not to delay in expressing that sentiment so I'm not gonna delay. You call me brother and I got one who's blood who don't mean shit to me and today, all this shit done, rejoicing and reflecting, it hit me that I got two who aren't blood but who do mean something. And you're one of those two." "Ty-" Tate murmured. "I will never forget, until I die, what you did for me and my wife and until that day I will never stop bein' grateful." "Fuck man," Tate whispered. "Now, do those words work so you get what you did mean to me?" Silence then, "Yeah, they work." "Good, then now we're done with our near-midnight, middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart," Ty declared, turned, opened the door to the Viper and started folding in. He stopped with his ass nearly to the seat and looked up over the door when Tate called his name. "I don't have a blood brother," Tate said. "But you should know there's a reason I call you that."<…>
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
Well, I'm glad you're so amused," I said, running my fingers across the railing. Maxon hopped up to sit on the railing, looking very relaxed. "You're always amusing. Get used to it." Hmm. He was almost being funny. "So...about what you said...," he started tentatively. "Which part? The part about me calling you names or fighting with my mom or saying food was my motivation?" I rolled my eyes. He laughed once. "The part about me being good..." "Oh. What about it?" Those few sentences suddenly seemed more embarrassing than anything else I'd said. I ducked my head down and twisted a piece of my dress. "I appreciate you making things look authentic, but you didn't need to go that far." My head snapped up. How could he think that? "Maxon, that wasn't for the sake of the show. If you had asked me a month ago what my honest opinion of you was, it would have been very different. But now I know you, and I know the truth, and you are everything I said you were. And more." He was quiet, but there was a small smile on his face. "Thank you," he finally said. "Anytime." Maxon cleared his throat. "He'll be lucky, too." He got down from his makeshift seat and walked to my side of the balcony. "Huh?" "Your boyfriend. When he comes to his senses and begs you to take him back," Maxon said matter-of-factly. I had to laugh. No such thing would happen in y world. "he's not my boyfriend anymore. And he made it pretty clear he was gone with me." Even I could hear the tiny bit of hope in my voice. "Not possible. He'll have seen you on TV by now and fallen for you all over again. Though, in my opinion, you're still much too good for the dog." Maxon spoke almost as if he was bored, like he'd seen this happen a million times. "Speaking of which!" he said a bit louder. "If you don't want me to be in love with you, you're going to have to stop looking so lovely. First thing tomorrow I'm having your maids sew some potato sacks together for you." I hit his arm. "Shut up, Maxon." "I'm not kidding. You're too beautiful for your own good. Once you leave, we'll have to send some of the guards with you. You'll never survive on your own, poor thing." He said all this with mock pity. "I can't help it." I sighed. "One can never help being born into perfection." I fanned my face as if being so pretty was exhausting. "No, I don't suppose you can help it.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Sometimes people ask you: "When is your birthday?" But you might ask yourself a more interesting question: "Before that day which is called my birthday, where was I?" Ask a cloud: "What is your date of birth? Before you were born, where were you?" If you ask the cloud, "How old are you? Can you give me your date of birth?" you can listen deeply and you may hear a reply. You can imagine the cloud being born. Before being born it was the water on the ocean's surface. Or it was in the river and then it became vapor. It was also the sun because the sun makes the vapor. The wind is there too, helping the water to become a cloud. The cloud does not come from nothing; there has been only a change in form. It is not a birth of something out of nothing. Sooner or later, the cloud will change into rain or snow or ice. If you look deeply into the rain, you can see the cloud. The cloud is not lost; it is transformed into rain, and the rain is transformed into grass and the grass into cows and then to milk and then into the ice cream you eat. Today if you eat an ice cream, give yourself time to look at the ice cream and say: "Hello, cloud! I recognize you.
Thich Nhat Hanh (No Death, No Fear)
How come you’re in such a good mood? You couldn't have gotten much more sleep than I did last night. Are you a morning person?” I ask in mock horror.“A mornin’ person, well maybe, but let’s just say I got to experience the nicest parts of hell last night,” he says quietly,taking the shirt I offer him. As he rises out of thebed, I can’t help looking over his perfect abdomen and chest before he shrugs into his shirt.“I’m sorry, the nicest parts of hell? What does that mean?” I ask.“Red, yer not a guy, so there’s no point explainin’,
Amy A. Bartol (Inescapable (The Premonition, #1))
The denizens of Feyland find the absence of magic to be quite funny. I mean no offense. ” “None taken.” “For example – In the Land Over the Crystal River (for that's how we refer to humans), there was once a man and a woman. And the man was in love with the woman, and wanted her for himself. But because he had no magic, he couldn't feel whether or not there was a “pull” towards her or not, so he didn't know whether she loved him or not. So what did he do?” “What?” “He had to ASK her!” Kian couldn't help laughing. “I don't get it!” “Ask her!” said Kian. “It's funny – because he didn't have magic.” His laughter grew louder and less controlled, tinkling like bells in the winter snow. “He had to ask her!” I realized that there were some cultural barriers Kian and I might never transcend.
Kailin Gow (Bitter Frost (Frost, #1))
Willie approached them solo at first, smiling and speaking Spanish. He asked them how they were doing and whether there were any hot chicks inside. Then he said, “Here, let me help you.” With that, he delivered an uppercut so strong it felt as if the punch ended only when it struck roly-poly’s backbone. Rufus came up behind the second guy and administered a kidney punch that would have the little fellow peeing blood for a month.
John M. Vermillion (Awful Reckoning: A Cade Chase and Simon Pack Novel)
And what is a friend? More than a father, more than a brother: a traveling companion, with him, you can conquer the impossible, even if you must lose it later. Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing. It is a friend that you communicate the awakening of a desire, the birth of a vision or a terror, the anguish of seeing the sun disappear or of finding that order and justice are no more. That's what you can talk about with a friend. Is the soul immortal, and if so why are we afraid to die? If God exists, how can we lay claim to freedom, since He is its beginning and its end? What is death, when you come down to it? The closing of a parenthesis, and nothing more? And what about life? In the mouth of a philosopher, these questions may have a false ring, but asked during adolescence or friendship, they have the power to change being: a look burns and ordinary gestures tend to transcend themselves. What is a friend? Someone who for the first time makes you aware of your loneliness and his, and helps you to escape so you in turn can help him. Thanks to him who you can hold your tongue without shame and talk freely without risk. That's it.
Elie Wiesel (The Gates of the Forest)
Men write more books. Men give more lectures. Men ask more questions after lectures. Men post more e-mail to Internet discussion groups. To say this is due to patriarchy is to beg the question of the behavior's origin. If men control society, why don't they just shut up and enjoy their supposed prerogatives? The answer is obvious when you consider sexual competition: men can't be quiet because that would give other men a chance to show off verbally. Men often bully women into silence, but this is usually to make room for their own verbal display. If men were dominating public language just to maintain patriarchy, that would qualify as a puzzling example of evolutionary altruism—a costly, risky individual act that helps all of one's sexual competitors (other males) as much as oneself. The ocean of male language that confronts modern women in bookstores, television, newspapers, classrooms, parliaments, and businesses does not necessarily come from a male conspiracy to deny women their voice. It may come from an evolutionary history of sexual selection in which the male motivation to talk was vital to their reproduction.
Geoffrey Miller (The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature)
How's your foot?” Hadrian asked. “It hurts.” “He had a good hold.” “Bit right through my boot.” “Yeah, that looked painful.” “So why exactly didn't you help?” Hadrian shrugged. “It was a dog, Royce. A cute, little dog. What did you want me to do, kill an innocent little animal?” Royce tilted his head, squinting into the light of the late evening sun to focus on his friend. “Is that a joke?” “It was a puppy.” “It was not a puppy, and it was eating my foot.” “Yeah, but you were invading his home.” .... “You know, you didn't have to throw it out the window,” Hadrian said as they walked. Royce, who was still preoccupied with his foot, looked up. “What did you want me to do with it? Scratch behind the little monster’s ears as it gnawed my toes off? What if it started barking? That would have been a fine mess.” “It's a good thing there was a moat right under the window.” Royce stopped. “There was?
Michael J. Sullivan (The Viscount and the Witch (The Riyria Chronicles, #1.5))
Where are we going?” she asked. “Mr. Durbin’s sheep have begun to lamb, and I wanted to see how the ewes are doing.” He cleared his throat. “I suppose I should have told you about today’s outing earlier.” Anna kept her eyes straight ahead and made a noncommittal sound. He coughed. “I might’ve, had you not left so precipitously yesterday afternoon.” She arched a brow but did not reply. There was a lengthy lull broken only by the dog’s eager yelp as he flushed a rabbit from the hedge along the lane. Then the earl tried again. “I’ve heard some people say my temper is rather . . .” He paused, apparently searching for a word. Anna helped him. “Savage?” He squinted at her. “Ferocious?” He frowned and opened his mouth. She was quicker. “Barbaric?” He cut her off before she could add to her list. “Yes, well, let us simply say that it intimidates some people.” He hesitated. “I wouldn’t want to intimidate you, Mrs. Wren.” “You don’t.
Elizabeth Hoyt (The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy, #1))
...     'How old is he?' the policeman asked Mrs. Reilly.     'I am thirty,' Ignatius said condescendingly.     'You got a job?'     'Ignatius hasta help me at home,' Mrs. Reilly said. Her initial courage was failing a little, and she began to twist the lute string with the cord on the cake boxes. 'I got terrible arthuritis.'     'I dust a bit,' Ignatius told the policeman. 'In addition, I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.' ...
John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)
I see.” The nurse nodded. “How can I help you?” “I’m Inspector Mc—” Phineas halted, obviously having second thoughts about using his real name. “Man-boob,” Brynley finished for him. He stiffened. “What can I do for you, Inspector McMan-boob?” the nurse asked. He gritted his teeth. “It’s muscle.” “Inspector Muscle?” the nurse asked. “Yes. Exactly.” He gave Brynley a triumphant look. “And this is my assistant, Nurse—” “Doctor,” Brynley corrected him. “Doctor . . .” He glanced down at her chest. “A-cup.” “B-cup!” He arched a brow. “You’ll have to prove it.
Kerrelyn Sparks (Wanted: Undead or Alive (Love at Stake, #12))
Son, that's a pretty hard question to answer. But I do believe that any wish you make can come true if you help the wish. I don't think that the Lord meant for our lives to be so simple and easy that every time we wanted something, all we had to do was wish for it and we'd get it. I don't believe that at all. If that were true, there would be a lot of lazy people in this old world. No one would be working. Everyone would be wishing for what they needed or wanted. "Papa," I asked, "how can you help a wish?" "Oh, there are a lot of ways," Papa said. "Hard work, faith, patience, and determination. I think prayer and really believing in your wish can help more than anything else.
Wilson Rawls (Summer of the Monkeys)
He told me was seeking contributions to the Jimmy Carter Library. I asked how much he had in mind. And he said, " Donald, I would be very appreciative if you contributed five million dollars."I was dumbfounded. I didn't even answer him.But that experience also taught me something.Until then, I'd never understood how Jimmy Carter became president. The answer is that as poorly qualified he was for the job, Jimmy Carter had the nerve, the guts, the balls, to ask for something extraordinary. That ability above all helped him get elected president.
Donald J. Trump (Trump: The Art of the Deal)
Is this what you have in mind,' I asked the Dalai Lama, 'when you say in teachings that the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the world are the most selfish beings of all, that by cultivating altruism they actually achieve ultimate happiness for themselves?' Yes. That's wise selfish,' he replied. 'Helping others not means we do this at our own expense. Not like this. Buddhas and bodhisattvas, these people very wise. All their lives they only want one thing: to achieve ultimate happiness. How to do this? By cultivating compassion, by cultivating altruism.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Wisdom of Forgiveness)
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, Excellencies and distinguished guests from across the world. My name is Kim Nam Jun, also known as RM, the leader of the group BTS. It’s an incredible honour to be invited to an occasion with such significance for today’s young generation. Last November, BTS launched the “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF, building on our belief that “true love first begins with loving myself.” We have been partnering with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence. Our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and enthusiasm. We truly have the best fans in the world! I would like to begin by talking about myself. I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It’s a beautiful place, with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a happy childhood there, and I was just an ordinary boy. I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world. In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, “My heart stopped…I was maybe nine or ten.” Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts. I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name. Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were hurdles. Most people thought we were hopeless. Sometimes, I just wanted to quit. I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up. I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling. We have become artists performing in huge stadiums and selling millions of albums. But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans. Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become. I would like to say one last thing. After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility. So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to "speak yourself". I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself. Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself. I’m Kim Nam Jun, RM of BTS. I’m a hip-hop idol and an artist from a small town in Korea. Like most people, I made many mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little. What is your name? Speak Yourself!
Kim Namjoon
You're suicidal.You know how impossible this sounds?" "Yes." I pause. "But I don't really have much choice." "Well,go on.What about the square?" "Diversion." My eyes lock onto Kaede's. "Create chaos in Batalla Square, as much chaos as you can manage. Enough chaos to force most of the soldiers guarding the back exits to enter the square and help contain the crowd-if only for a couple of minutes. That's what the electro-bomb might help you with. Set it off in the air, and it'll shake up the ground in Batalla Hall and around it. It shouldn't hurt anyone, but it'll definitely stir up some panic. And if the guns in the vicinity are disabled,they can't shoot at Day even if they see him escaping along a rooftop.They'll have to chase him or try their luck with less accurate stun guns." "Okay,genius." Kaede laughs, a little too sarcastically. "Let me ask you this, though. How the hell are you going to get Day out of the building at all? You think you're going to be the only soldier escorting him to the firing squad? Other soldiers will probably flank you.Hell,a whole patrol might join you." I smile at her. "There will be other soldiers. But who says they can't be Patriots in disguise?" She doesn't answer me,not in words. But I can see the grin spreading on her face, and I realize that even though she thinks I'm crazy,she has also agreed to help.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some fuckin' book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Robin Williams
My mom says, "Do you know what the AIDS memorial quilt is all about?" Jump to how much I hate my brother at this moment. I bought this fabric because I thought it would make a nice panel for Shane," Mom says. "We just ran into some problems with what to sew on it." Give me amnesia. Flash. Give me new parents. Flash. Your mother didn't want to step on any toes," Dad says. He twists a drumstick off and starts scraping the meat onto a plate. "With gay stuff you have to be so careful since everything means something in secret code. I mean, we didn't want to give people the wrong idea." My Mom leans over to scoop yams onto my plate, and says, "Your father wanted a black border, but black on a field of blue would mean Shane was excited by leather sex, you know, bondage and discipline, sado and masochism." She says, "Really, those panels are to help the people left behind." Strangers are going to see us and see Shane's name," my dad says. "We didn't want them thinking things." The dishes all start their slow clockwise march around the table. The stuffing. The olives. The cranberry sauce. "I wanted pink triangles but all the panels have pink triangles," my mom says. "It's the Nazi symbol for homosexuals." She says,"Your father suggested black triangles, but that would mean Shane was a lesbian. It looks like female pubic hair. The black triangle does." My father says, "Then I wanted a green border, but it turns out that would mean Shane was a male prostitute." My mom says, "We almost chose a red border, but that would mean fisting. Brown would mean either scat or rimming, we couldn't figure which." Yellow," my father says, "means watersports." A lighter shade of blue," Mom says, "would mean just regular oral sex." Regular white," my father says, "would mean anal. White could also mean Shane was excited by men wearing underwear." He says, "I can't remember which." My mother passes me the quilted chicken with the rolls still warm inside. We're supposed to sit and eat with Shane dead all over the table in front of us. Finally we just gave up," my mom says, "and I made a nice tablecloth out of the material." Between the yams and the stuffing, Dad looks down at his plate and says, "Do you know about rimming?" I know it isn't table talk. And fisting?" my mom asks. I say, I know. I don't mention Manus and his vocational porno magazines. We sit there, all of us around a blue shroud with the turkey more like a big dead baked animal than ever, the stuffing chock full of organs you can still recognize, the heart and gizzard and liver, the gravy thick with cooked fat and blood. The flower centerpiece could be a casket spray. Would you pass the butter, please?" my mother says. To my father she says, "Do you know what felching is?
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
So," the woman asks, digging through her purse and emerging with a pair of foam earplugs, "how did you two meet?" They exchange a quick glance. "Believe it or not," Oliver says, "it was in an airport." "Oh how wonderful!" she exclaims, looking positively delighted. "And how did it happen?" "Well" he begins, sitting up a bit taller, "I was being quite gallant, actually, and offered to help her with her suitcase. And then we started talking and one thing lead to another..." Hadley grins "And he's been carrying my suitcase ever since." "It's what an true gentlemen would do," Oliver says with an exaggerated modesty. "Especially the really gallant ones.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken. On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it. We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why.
Bill Wilson
Jack," I said, "why don't you go check on Sam?" Maybe you can advise her on getting through those doors. OR you could sing to her. I know she'd love that." "Yeah? Cool!" Jack zoomed off to serenade Sam, which meant Sam would want to hit me later, except it was Ramadan so she had to be nice to me. Wow, I was a bad person. At the doors, Jack was trying to help by suggesting songs he could sing to inspire new ideas for getting inside: 'Knockin'on Heaven's Door', 'I Got the Keys' or 'Break on Through (to the Other Side)'. "How about none of the above?" Sam said. "'None of the Above' ..." Jack mused. "Is that by Stevie Wonder?" "How's it going guys?" I asked. I didn't know if it was physically possible to strangle a magic sword, but I didn't want to see Sam try.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
Worrying does not accomplish anything. Even if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation of the world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse. Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do so. If we don't know how to breathe, smile,and live every moment of our life deeply, we will never be able to help anyone. I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else. I do not expect any additional happiness or conditions that will bring about more happiness. The most important practice is aimlessness, not running after things, not grasping.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation)
I asked a professor of nanotechnology what they use to measure the unthinkable small distances of nanospace? He said it was the nanometre. This didn't help me very much. A nanometre is a billionth of a metre. I understood the idea but couldn't visualise what it meant. I said, "What is it roughly?" He thought for a moment and said, "A nanometre is roughly the distance that a man's beard grows in one second". I had never thought about what beards do in a second but they must do something. It takes them all day to grow about a milllimetre. They don't leap out of your face at eight o'clock in the morning. Beards are slow, languid things and our language reflects this. We do not say "as quick as a beard" or "as fast as a bristle". We now have a way of grasping of how slow they are - about a nanometre a second.
Ken Robinson (Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative)
When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you "help" individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft. They send messages out to their neighbors in vain, because nothing remains but stumps. Every tree now muddles along on its own, giving rise to great differences in productivity. Some individuals photosynthesize like mad until sugar positively bubbles along their trunk. As a result, they are fit and grow better, but they aren't particularly long-lived. This is because a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it. And there are now a lot of losers in the forest. Weaker members, who would once have been supported by the stronger ones, suddenly fall behind. Whether the reason for their decline is their location and lack of nutrients, a passing malaise, or genetic makeup, they now fall prey to insects and fungi. But isn't that how evolution works? you ask. The survival of the fittest? Their well-being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the others lose as well. When that happens, the forest is no longer a single closed unit. Hot sun and swirling winds can now penetrate to the forest floor and disrupt the moist, cool climate. Even strong trees get sick a lot over the course of their lives. When this happens, they depend on their weaker neighbors for support. If they are no longer there, then all it takes is what would once have been a harmless insect attack to seal the fate even of giants.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World)
I think you can tell by now that I'm not the type of man to beat around the bush. I'll tell you exactly what I want from you." Maxon took a step closer. My breath caught in my throat. I'd just walked into the very situation I feared. No guards, no cameras, no one to stop him from doing whatever he wanted. Knee-jerk reaction. Literally. I kneed His Majesty in the thigh. Hard. Maxon let out a yell and reached down, clutching himself as I backed away from him. "What was that for?" "If you lay a single finger on me, I'll do worse!" I promised. "What?" "I said, if you-" "No, no, you crazy girl, I heard you the first time." Maxon grimaced. "But just what in the world do you mean by it?" I felt the heat run through my body. I'd jumped to the worst possible conclusion and set myself up to fight something that obviously wasn't coming. The guards ran up, alerted by our little squabble. Maxon waved them away from an awkward, half-bent position. We were quiet for a while, and once Maxon was over the worst of his pain, he faced me. "What did you think I wanted?" he asked. I ducked my head and blushed. "America, what did you think I wanted?" He sounded upset. More than upset. Offended. He had obviously guessed what I'd assumed, and he didn't like that one bit. "In public? You thought...for heaven's sake. I'm a gentleman!" He started to walk away but turned back. "Why did you even offer to help if you think so little of me?" I couldn't even look him in the eye. I didn't know how to explain I had been prepped to expect a dog, that the darkness and privacy made me feel strange, that I'd only ever been alone with one other boy and that was how we behaved.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Ah, Robert?” “Shhhh, not while I’m praying,” he said, momentarily losing his place before he started again, “thank you for letting us survive that trip from hell. Thank you for ignoring my prayers for a quick death when I didn’t think that I’d be able to survive another day of starvation,” he said, making her roll her eyes in annoyance. “You were given three full meals a day just like everyone else,” she pointed out, not bothering to mention the fact that, on most days, he’d received second helpings. She sat down on a bench near their luggage, wondering just how much longer he was going to keep this up. “I’m sorry for all the cursing that my wife forced me to do while I was on that boat,” he continued, ignoring her even as he amused her. “As you know, she’s been such a bad influence on me. Thank you for pulling me from near death and somehow giving me the strength to survive.” “Near death?” she asked, frowning. “When were you near death?” “When was I near death?” he asked in stunned disbelief as he opened his eyes so that he could glare at her. “How could you forget all those times that I could barely move? When I struggled to find the will to live so that I wouldn’t leave you a young widow? Did my struggle for survival mean nothing to you?” he demanded in outrage, terrifying the people that were forced to walk past him to get to the docks and making her wrack her brain as she struggled to figure out what he was talking about. “Do you mean those few times when you had a touch of seasickness?” she asked, unable to think of anything else that he could be talking about since he’d been the picture of health during the majority of the trip. “A touch?” he repeated in disbelief. “I nearly died!
R.L. Mathewson (Truce (Neighbor from Hell, #4))
Just as life is made up of day and night, and song is made up of music and silence, friendships, because they are of this world, are also made up of times of being in touch and spaces in-between. Being human, we sometimes fill these spaces with worry, or we imagine the silence is some form of punishment, or we internalize the time we are not in touch with a loved one as some unexpressed change of heart. Our minds work very hard to make something out of nothing. We can perceive silence as rejection in an instant, and then build a cold castle on that tiny imagined brick. The only release from the tensions we weave around nothing is to remain a creature of the heart. By giving voice to the river of feelings as they flow through and through, we can stay clear and open. In daily terms, we call this checking in with each other, though most of us reduce this to a grocery list: How are you today? Do you need any milk? Eggs? Juice? Toilet paper? Though we can help each other survive with such outer kindnesses, we help each other thrive when the checking in with each other comes from a list of inner kindnesses: How are you today? Do you need any affirmation? Clarity? Support? Understanding? When we ask these deeper questions directly, we wipe the mind clean of its misperceptions. Just as we must dust our belongings from time to time, we must wipe away what covers us when we are apart.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
A voice said, "Climb." And he said, "How shall I climb?the mountains are so steep that I cannot climb." The voice said, "Climb or die." He said, "But how?I see no way up those steep ascents. This that is asked is too hard for me." The voice said, "Climb, or perish, soul and body of theemind and spirit of thee. There is no second chance for any son of man. Climb or die." Then he remembered that he had read in the books of the bravest climbers on the hills of the earth that sometimes they were aware of the presence of a Companion on the mountains who was not one of the earthly party of climbers. And he rememberd a word in the Book of Mountaineers...it heartened him,for it told him that he was created to walk in precarious places, not on the easy levels of life.
Amy Carmichael (A Very Present Help: Life Messages of Great Christans)
It is very difficult for me to come to terms with my spiritual illness because of my great pride, disguised by my material successes and my intellectual power. Intelligence is not incompatible with humility, provided I place humility first. To seek prestige and wealth is the ultimate goal for many in the modern world. To be fashionable and to seem better than I really am is a spiritual illness. To recognize and to admit my weaknesses is the beginning of good spiritual health. It is a sign of spiritual health to be able to ask God every day to enlighten me, to recognize His will, and to have the strength to execute it. My spiritual health is excellent when I realize that the better I get, the more I discover how much help I need from others.
Alcoholics Anonymous (Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members)
On the fourth day, we came upon a cavern with a perfectly still pool that gave the illusion of a night sky, its depths sparkling with tiny luminescent fish. Mal and I were slightly ahead of the others. He dipped his hand in, then yelped and drew back. “They bite.” “Serves you right,” I said. “‘Oh, look, a dark lake full of something shiny. Let me put my hand in it.’” “I can’t help being delicious,” he said, that familiar cocky grin flashing across his face like light over water. Then he seemed to catch himself. He shouldered his pack, and I knew he was about to move away from me. I wasn’t sure where the words came from: “You didn’t fail me, Mal.” He wiped his damp hand on his thigh. “We both know better.” “We’re going to be traveling together for who knows how long. Eventually, you’re going to have to talk to me.” “I’m talking to you right now.” “See? Is this so terrible?” “It wouldn’t be,” he said, gazing at me steadily, “if all I wanted to do was talk.” My cheeks heated. You don’t want this, I told myself. But I felt my edges curl like a piece of paper held too close to fire. “Mal—” “I need to keep you safe, Alina, to stay focused on what matters. I can’t do that if . . .” He let out a long breath. “You were meant for more than me, and I’ll die fighting to give it to you. But please don’t ask me to pretend it’s easy.” He plunged ahead into the next cave. I looked down into the glittering pond, the whorls of light in the water still settling after Mal’s brief touch. I could hear the others making their noisy way through the cavern. “Oncat scratches me all the time,” said Harshaw as he ambled up beside me. “Oh?” I asked hollowly. “Funny thing is, she likes to stay close.” “Are you being profound, Harshaw?” “Actually, I was wondering, if I ate enough of those fish, would I start to glow?” I shook my head. Of course one of the last living Inferni would have to be insane. I fell into step with the others and headed into the next tunnel. “Come on, Harshaw,” I called over my shoulder. Then the first explosion hit.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
I remember one time we were walking into a grocery store and an old man was ringing a bell for the Salvation Army. I asked my dad if we could give him some money and he told me no, that he works hard for his money and he wasn’t about to let me give it away. He said it isn’t his fault that other people don’t want to work. He spent the whole time we were in the grocery store telling me about how people take advantage of the government and until the government stops helping those people by giving them handouts, the problem won’t ever go away… I believed him. That was three years ago and all this time I thought homeless people were homeless because they were lazy or drug addicts or just didn’t want to work like other people. But now I know that’s not true. Sure, some of what he said was true to an extent, but he was using the worst-case scenarios. Not everyone is homeless because they choose to be. They’re homeless because there isn’t enough help to go around. And people like my father are the problem. Instead of helping others, people use the worst-case scenarios to excuse their own selfishness and greed.
Colleen Hoover (It Ends with Us (It Ends with Us, #1))
The problem is, it's just not enough to live according to the rules. Sure, you manage to live according to the rules. Sometimes it's tight, extremely tight, but on the whole you manage it. Your tax papers are up to date. Your bills paid on time. You never go out without your identity card (and the special little wallet for your Visa!). Yet you haven’t any friends. The rules are complex, multiform. There’s the shopping that needs doing out of working hours, the automatic dispensers where money has to be got (and where you so often have to wait). Above all there are the different payments you must make to the organizations that run different aspects of your life. You can fall ill into the bargain, which involves costs, and more formalities. Nevertheless, some free time remains. What’s to be done? How do you use your time? In dedicating yourself to helping people? But basically other people don’t interest you. Listening to records? That used to be a solution, but as the years go by you have to say that music moves you less and less. Taken in its widest sense, a spot of do-it-yourself can be a way out. But the fact is that nothing can halt the ever-increasing recurrence of those moments when your total isolation, the sensation of an all-consuming emptiness, the foreboding that your existence is nearing a painful and definitive end all combine to plunge you into a state of real suffering. And yet you haven’t always wanted to die. You have had a life. There have been moments when you were having a life. Of course you don't remember too much about it; but there are photographs to prove it. This was probably happening round about the time of your adolescence, or just after. How great your appetite for life was, then! Existence seemed so rich in new possibilities. You might become a pop singer, go off to Venezuela. More surprising still, you have had a childhood. Observe, now, a child of seven, playing with his little soldiers on the living room carpet. I want you to observe him closely. Since the divorce he no longer has a father. Only rarely does he see his mother, who occupies an important post in a cosmetics firm. And yet he plays with his little soldiers and the interest he takes in these representations of the world and of war seems very keen. He already lacks a bit of affection, that's for sure, but what an air he has of being interested in the world! You too, you took an interest in the world. That was long ago. I want you to cast your mind back to then. The domain of the rules was no longer enough for you; you were unable to live any longer in the domain of the rules; so you had to enter into the domain of the struggle. I ask you to go back to that precise moment. It was long ago, no? Cast your mind back: the water was cold.
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)
I recall how miserable I was, and how one day you brought me to a realization of my miserable state. I was preparing to deliver a eulogy upon the emperor in which I would tell plenty of lies with the object of winning favor with the well-informed by my lying; so my heart was panting with anxiety and seething with feverish, corruptive thoughts. As I passed through a certain district in Milan I noticed a poor beggar, drunk, as I believe, and making merry. I groaned and pointed out to the friends who were with me how many hardships our idiotic enterprises entailed. Goaded by greed, I was dragging my load of unhappiness along, and feeling it all the heavier for being dragged. Yet while all our efforts were directed solely to the attainment of unclouded joy, it appeared that this beggar had already beaten us to the goal, a goal which we would perhaps never reach ourselves. With the help of the few paltry coins he had collected by begging this man was enjoying the temporal happiness for which I strove by so bitter, devious and roundabout a contrivance. His joy was no true joy, to be sure, but what I was seeking in my ambition was a joy far more unreal; and he was undeniably happy while I was full of foreboding; he was carefree, I apprehensive. If anyone had questioned me as to whether I would rather be exhilarated or afraid, I would of course have replied, "Exhilarated"; but if the questioner had pressed me further, asking whether I preferred to be like the beggar, or to be as I was then, I would have chosen to be myself, laden with anxieties and fears. Surely that would have been no right choice, but a perverse one? I could not have preferred my condition to his on the grounds that I was better educated, because that fact was not for me a source of joy but only the means by which I sought to curry favor with human beings: I was not aiming to teach them but only to win their favor.
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
When did you start here?” I ask her. “Three days ago. Sir. Aspirant. Um—” She wrings her hands. “Veturius is fine.” She walks carefully, gingerly—the Commandant must have whipped her recently. And yet she doesn't hunch or shuffle like the others slaves. The straight-backed grace with which she moves tells her story better than words. She'd been a freewoman before this—I'd bet my scims on it. And she has no idea how pretty she is—or what kind of problems her beauty will cause for her at a place like Blackcliff. The wind pulls at her hair again, and I catch her scent—like fruit and sugar. “Can I give you some advice?” Her head flies up like a scared animal's. At least she's wary. “Right now you...” Will grab the attention of every male in a square mile. “Stand out,” I finish. “It's hot, but you should wear a hood or a cloak—something to help you blend in.” She nods, but her eyes are suspicious. She wraps her arms around herself and drops back a little. I don't speak to her again.
Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1))
Selethen was names Hawk. Alyss had been given the title of Tsuru, or Crane. . .Evanlynn was Kitsune, the Nihon-Jan word for Fox . . .Halt strangly enough had been known only as Halto-san. . . But Will had been taken aback in his confrotation with Arisaka to discover that his name - Chocho - meant "butterfly". It seemed a highly unwarlike name to him- not at all glamorous.And he was puzzled to know why they had selected it. His friends,of course, were delighted in helping him guess the reason. "I assume its because you're such a snazzy dresser," Evanlynn said. "You Rangers are like a riot of color after all." Will glared at her and was mortified to hear Alyss snigger at the princess's sally. He'd thought Alyss, at least, might stick up for him. "I think it might be more to do with the way he raced around the the training ground, darting here and there to correct the way a man might be holding his sheidl then dashing off to show someone how to put theri body weight into their javelin cast," said Horace, a little more sympathetically. Then he ruined the effect by adding thoughtlessly, "I must say, your cloak did flutter around like a butterfly's wings." "It was neither of those things," Halt said finally, and they all turned to look at him. "I asked Shigeru," he explained. "He said that they had all noticed how Will's mind and imagination darts from one idea to another at such high speed," . . Will looked mollified. "Isuppose it's not too bad it you put it that way. It's just it does seem a bit . . girly." .... " I like my name Horace said a little smugly. "Black Bear. It describes my prodigous strength and my mighty prowess in battle." Alyss might have let him get away with it if it hadn't been for his tactless remark about Will's cloak flapping like a butterfly's wings. "Not quite," she said. "I asked Mikeru where the name came from. He said it described your prdogious appetite and your mighty prowess at the dinner table. It seems that when you were escaping through the mountains, Shigeru and his followers were worried you'd eat the supplies all by yourself." There was a general round of laughter. After a few seconds, Horace joined in.
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
How many of us would really leave our families, our jobs, our education, our friends, our connections, our familiar surroundings, and our homes if Jesus asked us to? If He just showed up and said, 'Follow Me'? No explanation. No directions. You could follow Him straight up a hill to be crucified. Maybe He would lead you to another country, and you would never see your family again. Or perhaps you would stay put, but He would ask you to spend your time helping people who will never love you back and never show gratitude for what you gave up. Consider this carefully- have you ever done so? Or was your decision to follow Christ flippant, based solely on feelings and emotion, made without counting the cost?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
You know, it’s interesting. Children learn much more, far more quickly than adults. Do you know why that is?” Elizabeth assumed there was some scientific explanation for it, but shook her head. “Because they’re open-minded. Because they want to know and they want to learn. Adults”—he shook his head sadly—“think they know it all. They grow up and forget so easily instead of opening their minds, they choose what to believe and what not to believe. You can’t make a choice on things like that, you either believe or you don’t. That’s why their learning is slower. They are more cynical, they lose faith, and they only demand to know things that will help them get by day by day. They’ve no interest in the extras. But, Elizabeth,” he said, his voice a loud whisper, eyes wide and sparkling, and Elizabeth shivered as goose pimples rose on her arms. She felt as if he were sharing the world’s greatest secret with her. “It’s the extras that make life.” “That make life what?” she whispered. He smiled. “That make life.” Elizabeth swallowed the lump in her throat. “That’s it?” Ivan smiled. “What do you mean, that’s it? How much more can you get than life, how much more can you ask for than life? That’s the gift. Life is everything, and you haven’t lived it properly until you believe.
Cecelia Ahern
How come you write the way you do?” an apprentice writer in my Johns Hopkins workshop once disingenuously asked Donald Barthelme, who was visiting. Without missing a beat, Don replied, “Because Samuel Beckett was already writing the way he does.” Asked another, smiling but serious, “How can we become better writers than we are?” “Well," DB advised, “for starters, read through the whole history of philosophy, from the pre-Socratics up through last semester. That might help.” “But Coach Barth has already advised us to read all of literature, from Gilgamesh up through last semester...” “That, too,” Donald affirmed, and twinkled that shrewd Amish-farmer-from-West-11th-Street twinkle of his. “You’re probably wasting time on things like eating and sleeping. Cease that, and read all of philosophy and all of literature. Also art. Plus politics and a few other things. The history of everything.
John Barth (Further Fridays: Essays, Lectures, and Other Nonfiction, 1984 - 1994)
I sat looking at her with rapt attention. My heart was thumping, the blood coursing warmly through my veins. What a wonderful pleasure to be sitting in a human dwelling again, hear a clock ticking, and talk with a lively young girl instead of with myself! Why don't you say something?" Ah, how sweet you are!" I said. "I'm sitting here getting fascinated by you, at this moment I'm thoroughly fascinated. I can't help it. You are the strangest person that... Sometimes your eyes are so radiant, I've never seen anything like it, they look like flowers. Eh? No, no, maybe not like flowers but... I'm madly in love with you, and it won't do me a bit of good. What's your name? Really, you must tell me what your name is..." No, what's your name? Goodness, I almost forgot again! I was thinking all day yesterday that I must ask you. Well, that is, not all day yesterday, I certainly didn't think about you all day yesterday." Do you know what I've called you? I have called you Ylajali. How do you like it? Such a gliding sound-" Ylajali?" Yes." Is it a foreign language?" Hmm. No, it's not." Well, it isn't ugly.
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
Did it fall out?" Leo asked. "Is she bald?" "No, not at all. It's just that her hair is...green." To look at Leo's face, one would think it was Christmas morning. "What shade of green?" "Leo, hush," Win said urgently. "You are not to torment her. It's been a very trying experience. We mixed a peroxide paste to take the green out, and I don't know if it worked or not. Amelia was helping her to wash it a little while ago. And no matter what the result is, you are to say nothing." "You're telling me that tonight, Marks will be sitting at the supper table with hair that matches the asparagus, and I'm not supposed to remark on it?" He snorted. "I'm not that strong." "Please, Leo," Poppy murmured, touching his arm. "If it were one of your sisters, you wouldn't mock." "Do you think that little shrew would have any mercy on me, were the situations reversed?" He rolled his eyes as he saw their expressions. "Very well, I'll try no to jeer. But I make no promises." Leo sauntered toward the house in no apparent hurry. He didn't deceive either of his sisters. "How long do you think it will take him to find her?" Poppy asked Win. "Two, perhaps three minutes," Win replied, and they both sighed.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning.' 'I understand the concept. It's just . . . there seems to be a contradiction.' 'Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man's starvation, war, sickness . . .' 'Exactly!' Chartrand knew the camerlengo would understand. 'Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn't He?' The camerlengo frowned. 'Would He?' Chartrand felt uneasy. Had he overstepped his bounds? Was this one of those religious questions you just didn't ask? 'Well . . . if God loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help.' 'Do you have children, Lieutenant?' Chartrand flushed. 'No, signore.' 'Imagine you had an eight-year-old son . . . would you love him?' 'Of course.' 'Would you let him skateboard?' Chartrand did a double take. The camerlengo always seemed oddly "in touch" for a clergyman. 'Yeah, I guess,' Chartrand said. 'Sure, I'd let him skateboard, but I'd tell him to be careful.' 'So as this child's father, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes?' 'I wouldn't run behind him and mollycoddle him if that's what you mean.' 'But what if he fell and skinned his knee?' 'He would learn to be more careful.' The camerlengo smiled. 'So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child's pain, you would choose to show your love by letting him learn his own lessons?' 'Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It's how we learn.' The camerlengo nodded. 'Exactly.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
Responding to a moderator at the Sydney Writers Festival in 2008 (video), about the Spanish words in his book: When all of us are communicating and talking when we’re out in the world, we’ll be lucky if we can understand 20 percent of what people say to us. A whole range of clues, of words, of languages escape us. I mean we’re not perfect, we’re not gods. But on top of that people mis-speak, sometimes you mis-hear, sometimes you don’t have attention, sometimes people use words you don’t know. Sometimes people use languages you don’t know. On a daily basis, human beings are very comfortable with a large component of communication, which is incomprehensibility, incomprehension. We tend to be comfortable with it. But for an immigrant, it becomes very different. What most of us consider normative comprehension an immigrant fears that they’re not getting it because of their lack of mastery in the language. And what’s a normal component in communication, incomprehension, in some ways for an immigrant becomes a source of deep anxiety because you’re not sure if it’s just incomprehension or your own failures. My sense of writing a book where there is an enormous amount of language that perhaps everyone doesn’t have access to was less to communicate the experience of the immigrant than to communicate the experience that for an immigrant causes much discomfort but that is normative for people. which is that we tend to not understand, not grasp a large part of the language around us. What’s funny is, will Ramona accept incomprehension in our everyday lives and will greet that in a book with enormous fury. In other words what we’re comfortable with out in the outside world, we do not want to encounter in our books. So I’m constantly, people have come to me and asked me… is this, are you trying to lock out your non-Dominican reader, you know? And I’m like, no? I assume any gaps in a story and words people don’t understand, whether it’s the nerdish stuff, whether it’s the Elvish, whether it’s the character going on about Dungeons and Dragons, whether it’s the Dominican Spanish, whether it’s the sort of high level graduate language, I assume if people don’t get it that this is not an attempt for the writer to be aggressive. This is an attempt for the writer to encourage the reader to build community, to go out and ask somebody else. For me, words that you can’t understand in a book aren’t there to torture or remind people that they don’t know. I always felt they were to remind people that part of the experience of reading has always been collective. You learn to read with someone else. Yeah you may currently practice it in a solitary fashion, but reading is a collective enterprise. And what the unintelligible in a book does is to remind you how our whole, lives we’ve always needed someone else to help us with reading.
Junot Díaz
You have a picture of life within you, a faith, a challenge, and you were ready for deeds and sufferings and sacrifices, and then you became aware by degrees that the world asked no deeds and no sacrifices of you whatever, and that life is no poem of heroism with heroic parts to play and so on, but a comfortable room where people are quite content with eating and drinking, coffee and knitting, cards and wireless. And whoever wants more and has got it in him--the heroic and the beautiful, and the reverence for the great poets or for the saints--is a fool and a Don Quixote. Good. And it has been just the same for me, my friend. I was a gifted girl. I was meant to live up to a high standard, to expect much of myself and do great things. I could have played a great part. I could have been the wife of a king, the beloved of a revolutionary, the sister of a genius, the mother of a martyr. And life has allowed me just this, to be a courtesan of fairly good taste, and even that has been hard enough. That is how things have gone with me. For a while I was inconsolable and for a long time I put the blame on myself. Life, thought I, must in the end be in the right, and if life scorned my beautiful dreams, so I argued, it was my dreams that were stupid and wrong headed. But that did not help me at all. And as I had good eyes and ears and was a little inquisitive too, I took a good look at this so-called life and at my neighbors and acquaintances, fifty or so of them and their destinies, and then I saw you. And I knew that my dreams had been right a thousand times over, just as yours had been. It was life and reality that were wrong. It was as little right that a woman like me should have no other choice than to grow old in poverty and in a senseless way at a typewriter in the pay of a money-maker, or to marry such a man for his money's sake, or to become some kind of drudge, as for a man like you to be forced in his loneliness and despair to have recourse to a razor. Perhaps the trouble with me was more material and moral and with you more spiritual--but it was the same road. Do you think I can't understand your horror of the fox trot, your dislike of bars and dancing floors, your loathing of jazz and the rest of it? I understand it only too well, and your dislike of politics as well, your despondence over the chatter and irresponsible antics of the parties and the press, your despair over the war, the one that has been and the one that is to be, over all that people nowadays think, read and build, over the music they play, the celebrations they hold, the education they carry on. You are right, Steppenwolf, right a thousand times over, and yet you must go to the wall. You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easygoing and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many. Whoever wants to live and enjoy his life today must not be like you and me. Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours--
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
There’s no such thing as God, Charlie, at least not how they say. Just like there’s no such thing as Zeus or Apollo or bloody unicorns. You’re on your own. And that can make you feel either lonely or powerful. When you’re born, you wither luck out or you don’t. It’s a lottery. Tough shit or good on yer. But from there, it’s all up to you… soon as you can walk and talk, you start makin your own luck. And I don’t need some spirit in the sky to help me do that. I can do it on me own. But see, that’s what I reckon God really is, Charlie. It’s that part inside me that’s stronger and harder than anything else. And I reckon prayer is just trusting in it, having faith in it, just asking meself to be tough. And that’s all you can do. I don’t need a bunch of bullshit stories about towers and boats and floods or rules about sin. It’s all just a complicated way to get to that place in you, and it’s not honest either. I don’t need to trick meself into thinking anyone else is listenin’, or even cares. Because it doesn’t matter. I matter. And I know I’ll be alright. Because I got a good heart, and fuck this town for making me try and believe otherwise. It’s what you come with and what you leave with. And that’s all I got.
Craig Silvey (Jasper Jones)
Two small figures were beating against the rock; the girl had fainted and lay on the the boy's arm. With a last effort Peter pulled her up the rock and then lay down beside her. Even as he also fainted he saw that the water was raising, He knew that they would soon be drowned, but he could do no more. As they lay side by side a mermaid caught Wendy by the feet, and began pulling her softly into the water. Peter feeling her slip from him, woke with a start, and was just in time to draw her back. But he had to tell her the truth. "We are on the rock, Wendy," he said, "but it is growing smaller. Soon the water will be over it." She did not understand even now. "We must go," she said, almost brightly. "Yes," he answered faintly. "Shall we swim or fly, Peter?" He had to tell her. "Do you think you could swim or fly as far as the island, Wendy, without my help?" She had to admit she was too tired. He moaned. "What is it?" she asked, anxious about him at once. "I can't help you, Wendy. Hook wounded me. I can neither fly nor swim." "Do you mean we shall both be downed?" "Look how the water is raising." They put their hands over their eyes to shut out the sight. They thought they would soon be no more. As they sat thus something brushed against Peter as light as a kiss, and stayed there, as if to say timidly, "Can I be of any us?" It was the tail of a kite, which Michael had made some days before. It had torn itself out of his hand and floated away. "Michael's kite," Peter said without interest, but the next moment he had seized the tail, and was pulling the kite towards him. "It lifted Michael off the ground," he cried; "why should it not carry you?" "Both of us!" "It can't left two; Michael and Curly tried." "Let us draw lots," Wendy said bravely. "And you a lady; never." Already he had tied the tail round her. She clung to him; she refused to go without him; but with a "Good-bye, Wendy." he pushed her from the rock; and in a few minutes she was borne out of his sight. Peter was alone on the lagoon. The rock was very small now; soon it would be submerged. Pale rays of light tiptoed across the waters; and by and by there was to be heard a sound at once the most musical and the most melancholy in the world: the mermaids calling to the moon.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
memories were tricky things…they weren’t stable. they changed with perception over time. …they shifted, and [she] understood how the passage of time affected them. the hard working striver might recall his childhood as one filled with misery and hardship marred by the cat calls and mae calling of playground bullies, but later, have a much more forgiving understanding of past injustices. the handmade clothes he had been forced to wear, became a testament to his mother’s love. each patch and stitch a sign of her diligence, instead of a brand of poverty. he would remember father staying up late to help him with his homework – the old old man’s patience and dedication, instead of the sharpness of his temper when he returned home – late- from the factory. it went the other way as well. [she] had scanned thousands of memories of spurned women, whose handsome lovers turned ugly and rude. roman noses, perhaps too pointed. eyes growing small and mean. while the oridnary looking boys who had become their husbands, grew in attractiveness as the years passed, so that when asked if it was love at first site, the women cheerfully answered yes. memories were moving pictures in which meaning was constantly in flux. they were stories people told themselves.
Melissa de la Cruz (The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, #4))
When I open the door, Baz is wheeling an old-fashioned chalkboard in front of our beds. “Where did that come from?” I ask. “A classroom.” “Yeah, but how did it get up here?” “It flew.” “No,” I say, “seriously.” He rolls his eyes. “I Up, up and away-ed it. It wasn’t much work.” “Why?” “Because we’re solving a mystery, Snow. I like to organize my thoughts.” “Is this how you normally plot my downfall?” “Yes. With multicoloured pieces of chalk. Stop complaining.” He opens up his book bag and takes out a few apples and things wrapped in greaseproof paper. “Eat,” he says, throwing one at me. It’s a bacon roll. He’s also got a pot of tea. “What’s all this?” I say. “Tea, obviously. I know you can’t function unless you’re stuffing yourself.” I unwrap the roll and decide to take a bite. “Thanks.” “Don’t thank me,” he says. “It sounds wrong.” “Not as wrong as you bringing me bacon butties.” “Fine, you’re welcome—when’s Bunce getting here?” “Why would she?” “Because you do everything together, don’t you? When you said you’d help, I was counting on you bringing your smarter half.
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
According to Aristotle, friends hold a mirror up to each other. This mirror allows them to see things they wouldn’t be able to observe if they were holding up the mirror to themselves. (We think of it as the difference between a shaky selfie and a really clear portrait taken by somebody else.) Observing ourselves in the mirror of others is how we improve as people. We can see our flaws illuminated in new ways, but we can also notice many good things we didn’t know were there. Until a friend specifically requests you bring your lemon meringue pie to brunch, you might not realize you’ve become an excellent baker. Until a friend finds the courage to tell you that she never feels like you’re listening to her, you might not realize this is how others are perceiving your chatterbox tendencies. After the third friend in a row calls you for help asking for a raise, you might finally give yourself credit as a pretty good negotiator. Once you’ve seen yourself in a mirror of friendship—in both positive and challenging ways—the reflection cannot be unseen.
Aminatou Sow (Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close)
Before the Law stands a doorkeeper on guard. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country who begs for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot admit the man at the moment. The man, on reflection, asks if he will be allowed, then, to enter later. 'It is possible,' answers the doorkeeper, 'but not at this moment.' Since the door leading into the Law stands open as usual and the doorkeeper steps to one side, the man bends down to peer through the entrance. When the doorkeeper sees that, he laughs and says: 'If you are so strongly tempted, try to get in without my permission. But note that I am powerful. And I am only the lowest doorkeeper. From hall to hall keepers stand at every door, one more powerful than the other. Even the third of these has an aspect that even I cannot bear to look at.' These are difficulties which the man from the country has not expected to meet, the Law, he thinks, should be accessible to every man and at all times, but when he looks more closely at the doorkeeper in his furred robe, with his huge pointed nose and long, thin, Tartar beard, he decides that he had better wait until he gets permission to enter. The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at the side of the door. There he sits waiting for days and years. He makes many attempts to be allowed in and wearies the doorkeeper with his importunity. The doorkeeper often engages him in brief conversation, asking him about his home and about other matters, but the questions are put quite impersonally, as great men put questions, and always conclude with the statement that the man cannot be allowed to enter yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, parts with all he has, however valuable, in the hope of bribing the doorkeeper. The doorkeeper accepts it all, saying, however, as he takes each gift: 'I take this only to keep you from feeling that you have left something undone.' During all these long years the man watches the doorkeeper almost incessantly. He forgets about the other doorkeepers, and this one seems to him the only barrier between himself and the Law. In the first years he curses his evil fate aloud; later, as he grows old, he only mutters to himself. He grows childish, and since in his prolonged watch he has learned to know even the fleas in the doorkeeper's fur collar, he begs the very fleas to help him and to persuade the doorkeeper to change his mind. Finally his eyes grow dim and he does not know whether the world is really darkening around him or whether his eyes are only deceiving him. But in the darkness he can now perceive a radiance that streams immortally from the door of the Law. Now his life is drawing to a close. Before he dies, all that he has experienced during the whole time of his sojourn condenses in his mind into one question, which he has never yet put to the doorkeeper. He beckons the doorkeeper, since he can no longer raise his stiffening body. The doorkeeper has to bend far down to hear him, for the difference in size between them has increased very much to the man's disadvantage. 'What do you want to know now?' asks the doorkeeper, 'you are insatiable.' 'Everyone strives to attain the Law,' answers the man, 'how does it come about, then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?' The doorkeeper perceives that the man is at the end of his strength and that his hearing is failing, so he bellows in his ear: 'No one but you could gain admittance through this door, since this door was intended only for you. I am now going to shut it.
Franz Kafka (The Trial)
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)
Rich loved taking care of women. He would swoop in like Tarzan swinging on a vine, rescue them from whatever situation they found themselves in, and be their hero. He would make all the decisions, and he would be strong and dependable. "What a catch!" they would feel. But they did not see his inability to allow them to disagree or have an opinion. He could not yield to another person. He could not show weakness or vulnerability. He would make up for that inflexibility by being a very attractive "strong man" to women who would want to be swept off their feet more than they wanted a real person. So, they would be a perfect match—until he would see the other side of a passive, compliant woman. She would be sneaky and not tell him exactly what was going on. Then, lo and behold, one day she would really "mess up" and have a wish contrary to somthing he wanted or valued. Then, from his perspective, she had "changed" and had become "selfish." "She used to be nice, and now look!" But in reality, this is not what had happened. She had not changed. When they first met, she showed only half of who she was, hiding the other half, which would come out in sneaky, indirect ways. After a while, it came out directly, such as when she disagreed with him. Then he would cry, "Foul." So they both got what they asked for. In her compliance, she attracted a controller. In his control he attracted an adaptive person who had a secret side and was indirect. They were co-conspirators, and it always blew up.
Henry Cloud (How to Get a Date Worth Keeping)
when she was 7, a boy pushed her on the playground she fell headfirst into the dirt and came up with a mouthful of gravel and lines of blood chasing each other down her legs when she told her teacher what happened, she laughed and said ‘boys will be boys honey don’t let it bother you he probably just thinks you’re cute’ but the thing is, when you tell a little girl who has rocks in her teeth and scabs on her knees that hurt and attention are the same you teach her that boys show their affection through aggression and she grows into a young woman who constantly mistakes the two because no one ever taught her the difference ‘boys will be boys’ turns into ‘that’s how he shows his love’ and bruises start to feel like the imprint of lips she goes to school with a busted mouth in high school and says she was hit with a basketball instead of his fist the one adult she tells scolds her ‘you know he loses his temper easily why the hell did you have to provoke him?’ so she shrinks folds into herself, flinches every time a man raises his voice by the time she’s 16 she’s learned her job well be quiet, be soft, be easy don’t give him a reason but for all her efforts, he still finds one ‘boys will be boys’ rings in her head ‘boys will be boys he doesn’t mean it he can’t help it’ she’s 7 years old on the playground again with a mouth full of rocks and blood that tastes like copper love because boys will be boys baby don’t you know that’s just how he shows he cares she’s 18 now and they’re drunk in the split second it takes for her words to enter his ears they’re ruined like a glass heirloom being dropped between the hands of generations she meant them to open his arms but they curl his fists and suddenly his hands are on her and her head hits the wall and all of the goddamn words in the world couldn’t save them in this moment she touches the bruise the next day boys will be boys aggression, affection, violence, love how does she separate them when she learned so early that they’re inextricably bound, tangled in a constant tug-of-war she draws tally marks on her walls ratios of kisses to bruises one entire side of her bedroom turns purple, one entire side of her body boys will be boys will be boys will be boys when she’s 20, a boy touches her hips and she jumps he asks her who the hell taught her to be scared like that and she wants to laugh doesn’t he know that boys will be boys? it took her 13 years to unlearn that lesson from the playground so I guess what I’m trying to say is i will talk until my voice is hoarse so that my little sister understands that aggression and affection are two entirely separate things baby they exist in different universes my niece can’t even speak yet but I think I’ll start with her now don’t ever accept the excuse that boys will be boys don’t ever let him put his hands on you like that if you see hate blazing in his eyes don’t you ever confuse it with love baby love won’t hurt when it comes you won’t have to hide it under long sleeves during the summer and the only reason he should ever reach out his hand is to hold yours
Fortesa Latifi
[Adapted and condensed Valedictorian speech:] I'm going to ask that you seriously consider modeling your life, not in the manner of the Dalai Lama or Jesus - though I'm sure they're helpful - but something a bit more hands-on, Carassius auratus auratus, commonly known as the domestic goldfish. People make fun of the goldfish. People don't think twice about swallowing it. Jonas Ornata III, Princeton class of '42, appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for swallowing the greatest number of goldfish in a fifteen-minute interval, a cruel total of thirty-nine. In his defense, though, I don't think Jonas understood the glory of the goldfish, that they have magnificent lessons to teach us. If you live like a goldfish, you can survive the harshest, most thwarting of circumstances. You can live through hardships that make your cohorts - the guppy, the neon tetra - go belly-up at the first sign of trouble. There was an infamous incident described in a journal published by the Goldfish Society of America - a sadistic five-year-old girl threw hers to the carpet, stepped on it, not once but twice - luckily she'd done it on a shag carpet and thus her heel didn't quite come down fully on the fish. After thirty harrowing seconds she tossed it back into its tank. It went on to live another forty-seven years. They can live in ice-covered ponds in the dead of winter. Bowls that haven't seen soap in a year. And they don't die from neglect, not immediately. They hold on for three, sometimes four months if they're abandoned. If you live like a goldfish, you adapt, not across hundreds of thousands of years like most species, having to go through the red tape of natural selection, but within mere months, weeks even. You give them a little tank? They give you a little body. Big tank? Big body. Indoor. Outdoor. Fish tanks, bowls. Cloudy water, clear water. Social or alone. The most incredible thing about goldfish, however, is their memory. Everyone pities them for only remembering their last three seconds, but in fact, to be so forcibly tied to the present - it's a gift. They are free. No moping over missteps, slip-ups, faux pas or disturbing childhoods. No inner demons. Their closets are light filled and skeleton free. And what could be more exhilarating than seeing the world for the very first time, in all of its beauty, almost thirty thousand times a day? How glorious to know that your Golden Age wasn't forty years ago when you still had all you hair, but only three seconds ago, and thus, very possibly it's still going on, this very moment." I counted three Mississippis in my head, though I might have rushed it, being nervous. "And this moment, too." Another three seconds. "And this moment, too." Another. "And this moment, too.
Marisha Pessl
I bumped into something and was knocked to the ground. It took me several breaths to gather myself together, at first I thought I’d walked into a tree, but then that tree became a person, who was also recovering on the ground, and then I saw that it was her, and she saw that it was me, ‘Hello,’ I said, brushing myself off, ‘Hello,’ she said. ‘This is so funny.’ ‘Yes.’ How could it be explained? ‘Where are you going?’ I asked. ‘Just for a walk,’ she said, ‘and you?’ ‘Just for a walk.’ We helped each other up, she brushed leaves from my hair, I wanted to touch her hair, ‘That’s not true,’ I said, not knowing what the next words out of my mouth would be, but wanting them to be mine, wanting, more than I’d ever wanted anything, to express the center of me and be understood. ‘I was walking to see you.’ I told her, ‘I’ve come to your house each of the last six days. For some reason I needed to see you again.’ She was silent, I had made a fool of myself, there’s nothing wrong with not understanding yourself and she started laughing, laughing harder than I’d ever felt anyone laugh, the laughter brought on tears, and the tears brought on more tears, and then I started laughing, out of the most deep and complete shame, ‘I was walking to you,’ I said again, as if to push my nose into my own shit, ‘because I wanted to see you again,’ she laughed and laughed, ‘That explains it,’ she said when she was able to speak. ‘It?’ ‘That explains why, each of the last six days, you weren’t at your house.’ We stopped laughing, I took the world into me, rearranged it, and sent it back out as a question: ‘Do you like me?
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Don't you recognize me?' 'No.' 'Eponine.' Marius bent hastily forward and saw that it was indeed that unhappy girl, clad in a man's clothes. 'How do you come to be here? What are you doing?' 'I'm dying,' she said. There are words and happenings which arouse even souls in the depths of despair. Marius cried, as though starting out of sleep: 'You're wounded! I'll carry you into the tavern. They'll dress your wound. Is it very bad? How am I to lift you without hurting you? Help, someone! But what are you doing here?' He tried to get an arm underneath her to raise her up, and in doing so touched her hand. She uttered a weak cry. 'Did I hurt you?' 'A little.' 'But I only touched your hand.' She lifted her hand for him to see, and he saw a hole in the centre of the palm. 'What happened?' he asked. 'A bullet went through it.' 'A bullet? But how?' 'Don't you remember a musket being aimed at you?' 'Yes, and a hand was clapped over it.' 'That was mine.' Marius shuddered. 'What madness! Your poor child! Still, if that's all, it might be worse. I'll get you to a bed and they'll bind you up. One doesn't die of a wounded hand.' She murmured: 'The ball passed through my hand, but it came out through my back. It's no use trying to move me. I'll tell you how you can treat my wound better than any surgeon. Sit down on that stone, close beside me.' Marius did so. She rested her head on his knee and said without looking at him: 'Oh, what happiness! What bliss! Now I don't feel any pain.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
So? If I die, then I die! The loss to the world won’t be great. Yes, and I’m fairly bored with myself already. I am like a man who is yawning at a ball, whose reason for not going home to bed is only that his carriage hasn’t arrived yet. But the carriage is ready . . . farewell! I run through the memory of my past in its entirety and can’t help asking myself: Why have I lived? For what purpose was I born? . . . There probably was one once, and I probably did have a lofty calling, because I feel a boundless strength in my soul . . . But I didn’t divine this calling. I was carried away with the baits of passion, empty and unrewarding. I came out of their crucible as hard and cold as iron, but I had lost forever the ardor for noble aspirations, the best flower of life. Since then, how many times have I played the role of the ax in the hands of fate! Like an instrument of execution, I fell on the head of doomed martyrs, often without malice, always without regret . . . My love never brought anyone happiness, because I never sacrificed anything for those I loved: I loved for myself, for my personal pleasure. I was simply satisfying a strange need of the heart, with greediness, swallowing their feelings, their joys, their suffering—and was never sated. Just as a man, tormented by hunger, goes to sleep in exhaustion and dreams of sumptuous dishes and sparkling wine before him. He devours the airy gifts of his imagination with rapture, and he feels easier. But as soon as he wakes: the dream disappears . . . and all that remains is hunger and despair redoubled! And, maybe, I will die tomorrow! . . . And not one being on this earth will have ever understood me totally. Some thought of me as worse, some as better, than I actually am . . . Some will say “he was a good fellow,” others will say I was a swine. Both one and the other would be wrong. Given this, does it seem worth the effort to live? And yet, you live, out of curiosity, always wanting something new . . . Amusing and vexing!
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you - no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must," then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse...go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to, the question of whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it. Perhaps you will discover that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself, and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what reward might come from outside.
Rainer Maria Rilke
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
People are always thinking they can use the Lord to get their own way-- all they have to do is pray and God's gonna take away all their suffering and give them what they whatever they ask for. But it don't work that way. God's doing His business, and it's up to us to be serving Him, not the other way around." Then why do people pray at all? My papa asked Jesus to help him escape with me when I was just a little girl. But Jesus didn't help us." Praying ain't about asking for your own way. It's all about talking things over with God, just like you and me are talking things over. In the end, you have to be trusting the Lord to do what's best." So the Lord thought it was best that my papa died and my mama was sold?" Delia slowly shook her head. "I don't know, honey, I just don't know. The hardest thing of all to understand is why a loving God keeps letting us suffer... I don't know all the answers myself. I seen my share of suffering, believe me. But there two things I do know for sure. One is that God loves us... And the second thing is that God's always in control of everything that happens. When bad things come our way and it starts looking like He don't love us, all I can say is that maybe we ain't knowing everything He knows." Kitty's tears started falling again. "I still don't understand." Remember what you told me about the fighting up in Charleston? How you was standing on that porch, not able to see what's going on? This here's the same thing. We're standing in the smoke, hearing the noise [of the battle] all around us, and we don't know what God's doing because we can't see things clearly as He sees them. But He's gonna make everything turn our okay when the smoke clears. When it does, God's gonna be the winner and all our suffering here on earth is gonna finall make sense. We're gonna look in Jesus' face and say, 'O Lord, it was worth it all.
Lynn Austin (A Light to My Path (Refiner's Fire, #3))
I might be able to help, Daigian," Nynaeve said, leaning forward, laying her hand on the other woman's knee. "If I were to attempt a Healing, perhaps..." "No," the woman said curtly. "But—" "I doubt you could help." "Anything can be Healed," Nynaeve said stubbornly, "even if we don't know how yet. Anything save death." "And what would you do, dear?" Daigian asked. [...] "I could do something," Nynaeve said. "This pain you feel, it has to be an effect of the bond, and therefore something to do with the One Power. If the Power causes your pain, then the Power can take that pain away." "And why would I want that?" Daigian asked, in control once again. "Well... well, because it's pain. It hurts." "It should," Daigian said. "Eben is dead. Would you want to forget your pain if you lost that hulking giant of yours? Have your feelings for him cut away like some spoiled chunk of flesh in an otherwise good roast?" Nynaeve opened her mouth, but stopped. Would she? It wasn't that simple—her feelings for Lan were genuine, and not due to a bond. He was her husband, and she loved him. Daigian had been possessive of her Warder, but it had been the affection of an aunt for her favored nephew. It wasn't the same. But would Nynaeve want that pain taken away? She closed her mouth, suddenly realizing the honor in Daigian's words. "I see. I'm sorry.
Robert Jordan (The Gathering Storm (The Wheel of Time, #12))
1. I told you that I was a roadway of potholes, not safe to cross. You said nothing, showed up in my driveway wearing roller-skates. 2. The first time I asked you on a date, after you hung up, I held the air between our phones against my ear and whispered, “You will fall in love with me. Then, just months later, you will fall out. I will pretend the entire time that I don’t know it’s coming.” 3. Once, I got naked and danced around your bedroom, awkward and safe. You did the same. We held each other without hesitation and flailed lovely. This was vulnerability foreplay. 4. The last eight times I told you I loved you, they sounded like apologies. 5. You recorded me a CD of you repeating, “You are beautiful.” I listened to it until I no longer thought in my own voice. 6. Into the half-empty phone line, I whispered, “We will wake up believing the worst in each other. We will spit shrapnel at each other’s hearts. The bruises will lodge somewhere we don’t know how to look for and I will still pretend I don’t know its coming.” 7. You photographed my eyebrow shapes and turned them into flashcards: mood on one side, correct response on the other. You studied them until you knew when to stay silent. 8. I bought you an entire bakery so that we could eat nothing but breakfast for a week. Breakfast, untainted by the day ahead, was when we still smiled at each other as if we meant it. 9. I whispered, “I will latch on like a deadbolt to a door and tell you it is only because I want to protect you. Really, I’m afraid that without you I mean nothing.” 10. I gave you a bouquet of plane tickets so I could practice the feeling of watching you leave. 11. I picked you up from the airport limping. In your absence, I’d forgotten how to walk. When I collapsed at your feet, you refused to look at me until I learned to stand up without your help. 12. Too scared to move, I stared while you set fire to your apartment – its walls decaying beyond repair, roaches invading the corpse of your bedroom. You tossed all the faulty appliances through the smoke out your window, screaming that you couldn’t handle choking on one more thing that wouldn’t just fix himself. 13. I whispered, “We will each weed through the last year and try to spot the moment we began breaking. We will repel sprint away from each other. Your voice will take months to drain out from my ears. You will throw away your notebook of tally marks from each time you wondered if I was worth the work. The invisible bruises will finally surface and I will still pretend that I didn’t know it was coming.” 14. The entire time, I was only pretending that I knew it was coming.
Miles Walser
Origins Of Cptsd How do traumatically abused and/or abandoned children develop Cptsd? While the origin of Cptsd is most often associated with extended periods of physical and/or sexual abuse in childhood, my observations convince me that ongoing verbal and emotional abuse also causes it. Many dysfunctional parents react contemptuously to a baby or toddler’s plaintive call for connection and attachment. Contempt is extremely traumatizing to a child, and at best, extremely noxious to an adult. Contempt is a toxic cocktail of verbal and emotional abuse, a deadly amalgam of denigration, rage and disgust. Rage creates fear, and disgust creates shame in the child in a way that soon teaches her to refrain from crying out, from ever asking for attention. Before long, the child gives up on seeking any kind of help or connection at all. The child’s bid for bonding and acceptance is thwarted, and she is left to suffer in the frightened despair of abandonment. Particularly abusive parents deepen the abandonment trauma by linking corporal punishment with contempt. Slaveholders and prison guards typically use contempt and scorn to destroy their victims’ self-esteem. Slaves, prisoners, and children, who are made to feel worthless and powerless devolve into learned helplessness and can be controlled with far less energy and attention. Cult leaders also use contempt to shrink their followers into absolute submission after luring them in with brief phases of fake unconditional love.
Pete Walker (Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving)
At this point, a faerie woman came twirling through. She had leaves in her updo and was swathed in ribbons and ivy and not much else. She tripped on a trailing line of ivy and Alec caught her. “Good reflexes!” she said brightly. “Also great arms. Would you be interested in a night of tumultuous forbidden passion, with an option to extend to seven years?” “Um, I am gay,” Alec said. He was not used to saying that casually, to any random person. It was strange to say it, and feel both relief and a shadow of his old fear, twined together. Of course, the declaration might not mean much to faeries. The faerie woman accepted it with a shrug, then looked over at Raphael and lit up. Something about the leather jacket or the scowl seemed to appeal to her strongly. “How about you, Vampire Without a Cause?” “I’m not gay,” said Raphael. “I’m not straight. I’m not interested.” “Your sexuality is ‘not interested’?” Alec asked curiously. Raphael said, “That’s right.” The faerie thought for a moment, then ventured, “I can also assume the appearance of a tree!” “I didn’t say, ‘not interested unless you’re a tree.’ ” “Wait,” said the faerie suddenly. “I recognize you. You’re Raphael Santiago! I’ve heard of you.” Raphael made a gesture of dismissal. “Have you heard I like it when people go away?” “You were one of the heroes in the Downworlder victory over Valentine.” “He was one of the heroes of the Downworlder and Shadowhunter alliance, which led to the victory,” Alec said. Raphael stopped looking annoyed and began to look nastily amused. “Oh, did the Shadowhunters help a little?” he asked. “You were there!” said Alec. “Can I have your autograph, Raphael?” asked the faerie lady. She produced a large, shiny green leaf and a quill. Raphael wrote LEAVE ME ALONE on the leaf. “I’ll cherish it,” said the faerie. She ran away, clutching the leaf to her bosom. “Don’t,” Raphael yelled after her.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Hi there, cutie." Ash turned his head to find an extremely attractive college student by his side. With black curly hair, she was dressed in jeans and a tight green top that displayed her curves to perfection. "Hi." "You want to go inside for a drink? It's on me." Ash paused as he saw her past, present, and future simultaneously in his mind. Her name was Tracy Phillips. A political science major, she was going to end up at Harvard Med School and then be one of the leading researchers to help isolate a mutated genome that the human race didn't even know existed yet. The discovery of that genome would save the life of her youngest daughter and cause her daughter to go on to medical school herself. That daughter, with the help and guidance of her mother, would one day lobby for medical reforms that would change the way the medical world and governments treated health care. The two of them would shape generations of doctors and save thousands of lives by allowing people to have groundbreaking medical treatments that they wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford. And right now, all Tracy could think about was how cute his ass was in leather pants, and how much she'd like to peel them off him. In a few seconds, she'd head into the coffee shop and meet a waitress named Gina Torres. Gina's dream was to go to college herself to be a doctor and save the lives of the working poor who couldn't afford health care, but because of family problems she wasn't able to take classes this year. Still Gina would tell Tracy how she planned to go next year on a scholarship. Late tonight, after most of the college students were headed off, the two of them would be chatting about Gina's plans and dreams. And a month from now, Gina would be dead from a freak car accident that Tracy would see on the news. That one tragic event combined with the happenstance meeting tonight would lead Tracy to her destiny. In one instant, she'd realize how shallow her life had been, and she'd seek to change that and be more aware of the people around her and of their needs. Her youngest daughter would be named Gina Tory in honor of the Gina who was currently busy wiping down tables while she imagined a better life for everyone. So in effect, Gina would achieve her dream. By dying she'd save thousands of lives and she'd bring health care to those who couldn't afford it... The human race was an amazing thing. So few people ever realized just how many lives they inadvertently touched. How the right or wrong word spoken casually could empower or destroy another's life. If Ash were to accept Tracy's invitation for coffee, her destiny would be changed and she would end up working as a well-paid bank officer. She'd decide that marriage wasn't for her and go on to live her life with a partner and never have children. Everything would change. All the lives that would have been saved would be lost. And knowing the nuance of every word spoken and every gesture made was the heaviest of all the burdens Ash carried. Smiling gently, he shook his head. "Thanks for asking, but I have to head off. You have a good night." She gave him a hot once-over. "Okay, but if you change your mind, I'll be in here studying for the next few hours." Ash watched as she left him and entered the shop. She set her backpack down at a table and started unpacking her books. Sighing from exhaustion, Gina grabbed a glass of water and made her way over to her... And as he observed them through the painted glass, the two women struck up a conversation and set their destined futures into motion. His heart heavy, he glanced in the direction Cael had vanished and hated the future that awaited his friend. But it was Cael's destiny. His fate... "Imora thea mi savur," Ash whispered under his breath in Atlantean. God save me from love.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Side of the Moon (Dark-Hunter, #9; Were-Hunter, #3))
Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation Delivered on December 8, 1941 Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack. It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
In one hallway, the floor gleaming parquet and the ceiling festooned with golden cherubs, there was a boy in a grumpy cat mask and biker boots, not involved in any sexual activity, legs crossed and leaning against the wall. As a bevy of faeries passed the boy, giggling and groping, the boy scooted away. Alec remembered being younger, and how overwhelming large groups of people had seemed. He came over and leaned against the wall beside the boy. He saw the boy texting, PARTIES WERE INVENTED TO ANNOY ME. THEY FEATURE MY LEAST FAVORITE THING: PEOPLE, ALL INTENT ON MY LEAST FAVORITE ACTIVITY: SOCIAL INTERACTION. “I don’t really like parties either,” Alec said sympathetically. “No hablo italiano,” the boy mumbled without looking up. “Er,” said Alec. “This conversation is happening in English.” “No hablo ingles,” he said without missing a beat. “Oh, come on. Really?” “Worth a shot,” said the boy. Alec considered going away. The boy wrote another text to a contact he had saved as RF. Alec could not help but notice that the conversation was entirely one-sided, the boy sending text after text with no response. The last text read VENICE SMELLS LIKE A TOILET. AS A NEW YORKER, I DO NOT SAY THIS LIGHTLY. The weird coincidence emboldened Alec to try again. “I get shy when there are strangers too,” Alec told the kid. “I’m not shy,” the boy sneered. “I just hate everyone around me and everything that is happening.” “Well.” Alec shrugged. “Those feel like similar things sometimes.” The boy lifted his curly head, pushing the grumpy cat mask off his face, and froze. Alec froze too, at the twin shock of fangs and familiarity. This was a vampire, and Alec knew him. “Raphael?” he asked. “Raphael Santiago?” He wondered what the second-in-command of the New York clan was doing here. Downworlders might be flooding in from all over the world, but Raphael had never struck Alec as a party animal. Of course, he was not exactly coming off as a party animal now. “Oh no, it’s you,” said Raphael. “The twelve-year-old idiot.” Alec was not keen on vampires. They were, after all, people who had died. Alec had seen too much death to want reminders of it. He understood that they were immortal, but there was no need to show off about it. “We just fought a war together. I was with you in the graveyard when Simon came back as a vampire. You’ve seen me multiple times since I was twelve.” “The thought of you at twelve haunts me,” Raphael said darkly. “Okay,” Alec said, humoring him. “So have you seen a guy called Mori Shu anywhere around here?” “I am trying not to make eye contact with anyone here,” said Raphael. “And I’m not a snitch for Shadowhunters. Or a fan of talking to people, of any kind, in any place.” Alec rolled his eyes.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Sean: …………And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Matt Damon
But you sent off that Flounder fellow," Loki said, and I rolled my eyes. "His name is Finn, and I know you know that," I said as I left the room. Loki grabbed the vacuum and followed me. "You called him by his name this morning." "Fine, I know his name," Loki admitted. We went into the next room, and he set down the vacuum as I started peeling the dusty blankets off the bed. "But you were okay with Finn going off to Oslinna, but not Duncan?" "Finn can handle himself," I said tersely. The bedding got stuck on a corner, and Loki came over to help me free it. Once he had, I smiled thinly at him. "Thank you." "But I know you had a soft spot for Finn," Loki continued. "My feelings for him have no bearing on his ability to do his job." I tossed the dirty blankets at Loki. He caught them easily before setting them down by the door, presumably for Duncan to take to the laundry chute again. "I've never understood exactly what your relationship with him was, anyway," Loki said. I'd started putting new sheets on the bed, and he went around to the other side to help me. "Were you two dating?" "No." I shook my head. "We never dated. We were never anything." I continued to pull on the sheets, but Loki stopped, watching me. "I don't know if that's a lie or not, but I do know that he was never good enough for you." "But I suppose you think you are?" I asked with a sarcastic laugh. "No, of course I'm not good enough for you," Loki said, and I lifted my head to look up at him, surprised by his response. "But I at least try to be good enough." "You think Finn doesn't?" I asked, standing up straight. "Every time I've seen him around you, he's telling you what to do, pushing you around." He shook his head and went back to making the bed. "He wants to love you, I think, but he can't. He won't let himself, or he's incapable. And he never will." The truth of his words stung harder than I'd thought they would, and I swallowed hard. "And obviously, you need someone that loves you," Loki continued. "You love fiercely, with all your being. And you need someone that loves you the same. More than duty or the monarchy or the kingdom. More than himself even." He looked up at me then, his eyes meeting mine, darkly serious. My heart pounded in my chest, the fresh heartache replaced with something new, something warmer that made it hard for me to breathe. "But you're wrong." I shook my head. "I don't deserve that much." "On the contrary, Wendy." Loki smiled honestly, and it stirred something inside me. "You deserve all the love a man has to give." I wanted to laugh or blush or look away, but I couldn't. I was frozen in a moment with Loki, finding myself feeling things for him I didn't think I could ever feel for anyone else. "I don't know how much more laundry we can fit down the chute," Duncan said as he came back in the room, interrupting the moment. I looked away from Loki quickly and grabbed the vacuum cleaner. "Just get as much down there as you can," I told Duncan. "I'll try." He scooped up another load of bedding to send downstairs. Once he'd gone, I glanced back at Loki, but, based on the grin on his face, I'd say his earlier seriousness was gone. "You know, Princess, instead of making that bed, we could close the door and have a roll around in it." Loki wagged his eyebrows. "What do you say?" Rolling my eyes, I turned on the vacuum cleaner to drown out the conversation. "I'll take that as a maybe later!" Loki shouted over it.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
Since I had the inclinatation and the training, helping people came naturally. I wasn't thinking in terms of organizing members, but just a duty that I had to do. That goes back to my mother's training. It was not until later that I realized that this was a good organizing tool, although maybe unconsciously, I was already beggining to understand. But I was used by people for a long time until I wised up. It wasn't that they wanted to do it, but that I was not prepared or able to tell them what to do in return. My work was just another war on poverty gimick, which is what happens when people are given everything and don't give anything in return. you can't mold them into any action. Well, one night it just hit me. Once you helped people, most became very loyal. The people who helped us back when we wanted volunteers were the people we had helped. So I began to get a group of those people around me. Once I realized helping people was an organizing technique, I increased that work. I was willing to work all day and night and go to hell and back for people- provided they also did something for the CSO in return. I never felt bad asking for that. It didn't contradict my parents' teachings, because I wasn't asking for something for myself. For a long time we didn't know how to put that work together into an organization. But we learned after a while- we learned how to help people by making them responsible. Today it's the same principle with the Union. And it works. We don't get everybody, but we get enough to get that nucleus. I think solving problems for people is the only way to build solid groups.
César Chávez
One day in my pharmacology class, we were discussing the possibility of legalizing marijuana. The class was pretty evenly divided between those that advocated legalizing marijuana and those that did not. The professor said he wanted to hear from a few people on both sides of the argument. A couple students had the opportunity to stand in front of the class and present their arguments. One student got up and spoke about how any kind of marijuana use was morally wrong and how nobody in the class could give him any example of someone who needed marijuana. A small girl in the back of the classroom raised her hand and said that she didn’t want to get up, but just wanted to comment that there are SOME situations in which people might need marijuana. The same boy from before spoke up and said that she needed to back up her statements and that he still stood by the fact that there wasn’t anyone who truly needed marijuana. The same girl in the back of the classroom slowly stood up. As she raised her head to look at the boy, I could physically see her calling on every drop of confidence in her body. She told us that her husband had cancer. She started to tear up, as she related how he couldn’t take any of the painkillers to deal with the radiation and chemotherapy treatments. His body was allergic and would have violent reactions to them. She told us how he had finally given in and tried marijuana. Not only did it help him to feel better, but it allowed him to have enough of an appetite to get the nutrients he so desperately needed. She started to sob as she told us that for the past month she had to meet with drug dealers to buy her husband the only medicine that would take the pain away. She struggled every day because according to society, she was a criminal, but she was willing to do anything she could to help her sick husband. Sobbing uncontrollably now, she ran out of the classroom. The whole classroom sat there in silence for a few minutes. Eventually, my professor asked, “Is there anyone that thinks this girl is doing something wrong?” Not one person raised their hand.
Daniel Willey
He slouches,' DeeDee contributes. 'True--he needs to work on his posture,' Thelma says. 'You guys,' I say. 'I'm serious,' Thelma says. 'What if you get married? Don't you want to go to fancy dinners with him and be proud?' 'You guys. We are not getting married!' 'I love his eyes,' Jolene says. 'If your kids get his blue eyes and your dark hair--wouldn't that be fabulous?' 'The thing is,' Thelma says, 'and yes, I know, this is the tricky part--but I'm thinking Bliss has to actually talk to him. Am I right? Before they have their brood of brown-haired, blue-eyed children?' I swat her. "I'm not having Mitchell's children!' 'I'm sorry--what?' Thelma says. Jolene is shaking her head and pressing back laughter. Her expressing says, Shhh, you crazy girl! But I don't care. If they're going to embarrass me, then I'll embarrass them right back. 'I said'--I raise my voice--'I am not having Mitchell Truman's children!' Jolene turns beet red, and she and DeeDee dissolve into mad giggles. 'Um, Bliss?' Thelma says. Her gaze travels upward to someone behind me. The way she sucks on her lip makes me nervous. 'Okaaay, I think maybe I won't turn around,' I announce. A person of the male persuasion clears his throat. 'Definitely not turning around,' I say. My cheeks are burning. It's freaky and alarming how much heat is radiating from one little me. 'If you change your mind, we might be able to work something out,' the person of the male persuasion says. 'About the children?' DeeDee asks. 'Or the turning around?' 'DeeDee!' Jolene says. 'Both,' says the male-persuasion person. I shrink in my chair, but I raise my hand over my head and wave. 'Um, hi,' I say to the person behind me whom I'm still not looking at. 'I'm Bliss.' Warm fingers clasp my own. 'Pleased to meet you,' says the male-persuasion person. 'I'm Mitchell.' 'Hi, Mitchell.' I try to pull my hand from his grasp, but he won't let go. 'Um, bye now!' I tug harder. No luck. Thelma, DeeDee, and Jolene are close to peeing their pants. Fine. I twist around and give Mitchell the quickest of glances. His expressions is amused, and I grow even hotter. He squeezes my hand, then lets go. 'Just keep me in the loop if you do decide to bear my children. I'm happy to help out.' With that, he stride jauntily to the food line. Once he's gone, we lost it. Peals of laughter resound from our table, and the others in the cafeteria look at us funny. We laugh harder. 'Did you see!' Thelma gasps. 'Did you see how proud he was?' 'You improve his posture!' Jolene says. 'I'm so glad, since that was my deepest desire,' I say. 'Oh my God, I'm going to have to quit school and become a nun.' 'I can't believe you waved at him,' DeeDee says. 'Your hand was like a little periscope,' Jolene says. 'Or, no--like a white surrender flag.' 'It was a surrender flag. I was surrendering myself to abject humiliation.' 'Oh, please,' Thelma says, pulling me into a sideways hug. 'Think of it this way: Now you've officially talked to him.
Lauren Myracle (Bliss (Crestview Academy, #1))
Why did you defect now? Why here? There are other troll tribes and hundreds of cities that aren't at war with your King." "But only the Trylle have Wendy." Loki's smile returned but his eyes ere pained. "And how could I pass on that?" "She is married, you know," Finn said. "So it might be a good idea if you stopped trying to flirt with her. She's not interested." "It's up to her to decide who she's interested in," Loki said, with an edge to his voice. "And it's not exactly like you're following your own advice." "I am her tracker." Finn sat up in bed, but this time I didn't try to stop him. His eyes were burning. "It's my job to protect her." "No, Duncan is her tracker." Loki pointed to where Duncan stood in the doorway, staring wide-eyed at their confrontation. "And Wendy's stronger than the both of you combined. You're not protecting her. You're protecting yourself because you're a lovesick ex-boyfriend." "You think you have everything figured out, but you don't know anything," Finn growled. "If it were up to me I'd have you sent back to the Vittra in a flash." "But it's not up to you!" I snapped. "It's up to me. And this conversation is over. Finn needs to rest, and you are not helping anything, Loki." "Sorry," Loki said and rubbed his hands on his pants. "Why don't you go back to your room?" I asked Loki. "I'll be over to talk to you in a minute." He nodded and got up. "Feel better," Loki said to Finn, and he actually sounded sincere. Finn grunted in response, and Loki and Duncan left. I wanted to reach out and touch Finn, comfort him in some way, because I felt like he needed it. Maybe I needed it too. "Get some sleep," I told Finn, since I could think of nothing better to say to him. I got up, but he reached out and grabbed my wrist. "Wendy, I don't trust him," he said, referring to Loki. "I know. But I do." "Be careful," Finn said simply and let go of me.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
Do you even feel anything, Chad? Will you for once stop walking around, all in control and f'ing calm? Do you have any idea what you all have done. I lost everything, Chad. Everything, when Kyle died. I lost myself. I had finally begun to build a new life with new friends. With people I thought cared about me. I have started to be just a little bit happy again. Was it too much to ask? Did I ask for too much by just wanting to have a little bit of a life again? Now, it’s all screwed up again and you walk around here like you don’t feel anything about what’s happened.” Chad spun around, and for only the second time since she’d known him, she saw the flash of anger so fierce her breath caught in her throat and she took an involuntary step back, away from him. Jennie knew Chad would never hurt her on purpose, but the anger rolling off of him was palpable. It seemed to force her backwards as if it had a life of its own, a power of its own. “Not feel anything, Jennie? Are you f'ing kidding me? I walk around here every day and I ache every f'ing minute I’m with you. I’m so twisted up with loving you and hating you, I can’t breathe. I can’t keep my hands off you, but I can’t let myself kiss you because I might lose myself in you. I can’t make love to you because I’m afraid you’ll pretend I’m him. I know you want his arms around you, not mine. I know you want it to be his baby inside you, not mine. And I know you can’t love me back, no matter what I do, because you’re still so in love with your husband, you can’t even begin to see me.” Chad didn’t stop and Jennie didn’t try to stop him. “And every day, I have to sit here and wonder how I’ll be a part of my baby’s life. I wonder if you’ll let me be in the delivery room, if you’ll let me help you name the baby. I wonder how much money I’d have to offer the people who live across the street from you to get them to sell me their house, just so I can see my child grow up. If you’ll let me...” Chad stopped as if he’d run out of steam. They stood in uneasy silence for a long time before Chad spoke again. He sounded worn out and bitter and angry, mirroring Jennie’s chaos of emotions. “Am I feeling anything? Yeah. I’m feeling some f'ing sh**, Jen.
Lori Ryan (Negotiation Tactics (Sutton Capital #3))
Ruby and Aaron are both crazy patient; they’re good parents.” “I could be a good dad,” Ivan whispered, still feeding Jess. I could have told him he’d be good at anything he wanted to be good at, but nah. “Do you want to have kids?” he asked me out of the blue. I handed Benny another block. “A long time from now, maybe.” “A long time… like how long?” That had me glancing at Ivan over my shoulder. He had his entire attention on Jessie, and I was pretty sure he was smiling down at her. Huh. “My early thirties, maybe? I don’t know. I might be okay with not having any either. I haven’t really thought about it much, except for knowing I don’t want to have them any time soon, you know what I mean?” “Because of figure skating?” “Why else? I barely have enough time now. I couldn’t imagine trying to train and have kids. My baby daddy would have to be a rich, stay-at-home dad for that to work.” Ivan wrinkled his nose at my niece. “There are at least ten skaters I know with kids.” I rolled my eyes and poked Benny in the side when he held out his little hand for another block. That got me a toothy grin. “I’m not saying it’s impossible. I just wouldn’t want to do it any time soon. I don’t want to half-ass or regret it. If they ever exist, I’d want them to be my priority. I wouldn’t want them to think they were second best.” Because I knew what that felt like. And I’d already screwed up enough with making grown adults I loved think they weren’t important. If I was going to do something, I wanted to do my best and give it everything. All he said was, “Hmm.” A thought came into my head and made my stomach churn. “Why? Are you planning on having kids any time soon?” “I wasn’t,” he answered immediately. “I like this baby though, and that one. Maybe I need to think about it.” I frowned, the feeling in my stomach getting more intense. He kept blabbing. “I could start training my kids really young…. I could coach them. Hmm.” It was my turn to wrinkle my nose. “Three hours with two kids and now you want them?” Ivan glanced down at me with a smirk. “With the right person. I’m not going to have them with just anybody and dilute my blood.” I rolled my eyes at this idiot, still ignoring that weird feeling in my belly that I wasn’t going to acknowledge now or ever. “God forbid, you have kids with someone that’s not perfect. Dumbass.” “Right?” He snorted, looking down at the baby before glancing back at me with a smile I wasn’t a fan of. “They might come out short, with mean, squinty, little eyes, a big mouth, heavy bones, and a bad attitude.” I blinked. “I hope you get abducted by aliens.” Ivan laughed, and the sound of it made me smile. “You would miss me.” All I said, while shrugging was, “Meh. I know I’d get to see you again someday—” He smiled. “—in hell.” That wiped the look right off his face. “I’m a good person. People like me.” “Because they don’t know you. If they did, somebody would have kicked your ass already.” “They’d try,” he countered, and I couldn’t help but laugh. There was something wrong with us. And I didn’t hate it. Not even a little bit.
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
What rhymes with insensitive?” I tap my pen on the kitchen table, beyond frustrated with my current task. Who knew rhyming was so fucking difficult? Garrett, who’s dicing onions at the counter, glances over. “Sensitive,” he says helpfully. “Yes, G, I’ll be sure to rhyme insensitive with sensitive. Gold star for you.” On the other side of the kitchen, Tucker finishes loading the dishwasher and turns to frown at me. “What the hell are you doing over there, anyway? You’ve been scribbling on that notepad for the past hour.” “I’m writing a love poem,” I answer without thinking. Then I slam my lips together, realizing what I’ve done. Dead silence crashes over the kitchen. Garrett and Tucker exchange a look. An extremely long look. Then, perfectly synchronized, their heads shift in my direction, and they stare at me as if I’ve just escaped from a mental institution. I may as well have. There’s no other reason for why I’m voluntarily writing poetry right now. And that’s not even the craziest item on Grace’s list. That’s right. I said it. List. The little brat texted me not one, not two, but six tasks to complete before she agrees to a date. Or maybe gestures is a better way to phrase it... “I just have one question,” Garrett starts. “Really?” Tuck says. “Because I have many.” Sighing, I put my pen down. “Go ahead. Get it out of your systems.” Garrett crosses his arms. “This is for a chick, right? Because if you’re doing it for funsies, then that’s just plain weird.” “It’s for Grace,” I reply through clenched teeth. My best friend nods solemnly. Then he keels over. Asshole. I scowl as he clutches his side, his broad back shuddering with each bellowing laugh. And even while racked with laughter, he manages to pull his phone from his pocket and start typing. “What are you doing?” I demand. “Texting Wellsy. She needs to know this.” “I hate you.” I’m so busy glaring at Garrett that I don’t notice what Tucker’s up to until it’s too late. He snatches the notepad from the table, studies it, and hoots loudly. “Holy shit. G, he rhymed jackass with Cutlass.” “Cutlass?” Garrett wheezes. “Like the sword?” “The car,” I mutter. “I was comparing her lips to this cherry-red Cutlass I fixed up when I was a kid. Drawing on my own experience, that kind of thing.” Tucker shakes his head in exasperation. “You should have compared them to cherries, dumbass.” He’s right. I should have. I’m a terrible poet and I do know it. “Hey,” I say as inspiration strikes. “What if I steal the words to “Amazing Grace”? I can change it to…um…Terrific Grace.” “Yup,” Garrett cracks. “Pure gold right there. Terrific Grace.” I ponder the next line. “How sweet…” “Your ass,” Tucker supplies. Garrett snorts. “Brilliant minds at work. Terrific Grace, how sweet your ass.” He types on his phone again. “Jesus Christ, will you quit dictating this conversation to Hannah?” I grumble. “Bros before hos, dude.” “Call my girlfriend a ho one more time and you won’t have a bro.” Tucker chuckles. “Seriously, why are you writing poetry for this chick?” “Because I’m trying to win her back. This is one of her requirements.” That gets Garrett’s attention. He perks up, phone poised in hand as he asks, “What are the other ones?” “None of your fucking business.” “Golly gee, if you do half as good a job on those as you’re doing with this epic poem, then you’ll get her back in no time!” I give him the finger. “Sarcasm not appreciated.” Then I swipe the notepad from Tuck’s hand and head for the doorway. “PS? Next time either of you need to score points with your ladies? Don’t ask me for help. Jackasses.” Their wild laughter follows me all the way upstairs. I duck into my room and kick the door shut, then spend the next hour typing up the sorriest excuse for poetry on my laptop. Jesus. I’m putting more effort into this damn poem than for my actual classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
You’re not gonna believe what just happened to me,” Jase says the minute I flip my cell open, taking advantage of break at the B&T. I turn away from the picture window just in case Mr. Lennox, disregarding the break sign, will come dashing out to slap me with my first-ever demerit. “Try me.” His voice lowers. “You know how I put that lock on the door of my room? Well, Dad noticed it. Apparently. So today, I’m stocking the lawn section and he comes up and asks why it’s there.” “Uh-oh.” I catch the attention of a kid sneaking into the hot tub (there’s a strict no-one-under-sixteen policy) and shake my head sternly. He slinks away. Must be my impressive uniform. “So I say I need privacy sometimes and sometimes you and I are hanging out and we don’t want to be interrupted ten million times.” “Good answer.” “Right. I think this is going to be the end of it. But then he tells me he needs me in the back room to have a ‘talk.’” “Uh-oh again.” Jase starts to laugh. “I follow him back and he sits me down and asks if I’m being responsible. Um. With you.” Moving back into the shade of the bushes, I turn even further away from the possible gaze of Mr. Lennox. “Oh God.” “I say yeah, we’ve got it handled, it’s fine. But, seriously? I can’t believe he’s asking me this. I mean, Samantha. Jesus. My parents? Hard not to know the facts of life and all in this house. So I tell him that we’re moving slowly and—” “You told him that?” God, Jase! How am I ever going to look Mr. Garret in the eye again? Help. “He’s my dad, Samantha. Yeah. Not that I didn’t want to exit the conversation right away, but still . . .” “So what happened then?” “Well, I reminded him they’d covered that really thoroughly in school, not to mention at home, and we weren’t irresponsible people.” I close my eyes, trying to imagine having this conversation with my mother. Inconceivable. No pun intended. “So then . . . he goes on about”—Jase’s voice drops even lower—“um . . . being considerate and um . . . mutual pleasure.” “Oh my god! I would’ve died. What did you say?” I ask, wanting to know even while I’m completely distracted by the thought. Mutual pleasure, huh? What do I know about giving that? What if Shoplifting Lindy had tricks up her sleeve I know nothing about? It’s not like I can ask Mom. “State senator suffers heart attack during conversation with daughter.” “I said ‘Yes sir’ a lot. And he went on and on and on and all I could think was that any minute Tim was gonna come in and hear my dad saying things like, ‘Your mom and I find that . . . blah blah blah.’” I can’t stop laughing. “He didn’t. He did not mention your mother.” “I know!” Jase is laughing too. “I mean . . . you know how close I am to my parents, but . . . Jesus.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
Let me tell you a story,” I say instead. “Once upon a time, there was a girl whose life was saved by the faery king—” “This story sounds distinctly familiar. I think I might have heard it somewhere before.” I shush him and say not to interrupt. “If anyone asked her how she felt about the king, she would have said she loathed him. He ruthlessly trained her to fight his own kind. He taught her to kill. She learned from his lessons how to quiet the rage that burned inside her. But she had already decided that one day, when she had grown strong enough and learned everything she could about battle, she was going to murder him.” Kiaran goes still, his eyes glittering in the darkness. He says nothing. “Her opportunity came one night when he decided she was ready to hunt her first faery. It was a skriker that had been terrorizing a nearby village, slaughtering children in the night. The king handed the girl his sword and ordered her to kill the goblin-like creature. “She barely won. But in the end, as she thrust the sword deep into the monster’s gut, she felt something so profoundly that she thought it would consume her. So she told the king. She whispered the words and meant them with every part of her rage-filled soul: ‘I hate you. I hate all of you.’ When she lifted the sword again, she intended to pierce it right through his heart. “That was the first time the girl had ever seen the faery king smile.” I lift my hand and press my palm to Kiaran’s cheek. “You’ll have to finish the story. She never knew why he smiled. Just that one day, she wanted to see him do it again. So she dropped the sword and spared his life. And she never told the king what really happened that night.” Kiaran looks amused. “The king knew the girl’s plan all along. He smiled because he decided he liked her. She kept things interesting.” I stare at him. “So the faery king is a deranged sort. As the girl always suspected.” “How about his side of this story?” He pulls me close, his lips soft on my shoulder. “He never told the girl that during a hunt, when she ran alongside him with the wind in her hair and the moonlight behind her, that she was the most magnificent thing he had ever seen and he wanted her.” Then Kiaran’s hands are in my hair, lips brushing mine. “And when the king watched her in battle, she’d look over at him with a smile and he desired her. “It was never at once,” he continued. “It was after everything they had gone through and then it was the king and the girl facing an entire army together. And he knew the truth. His heart was hers. It always was. It always will be.” A shadow crosses Kiaran’s irises. A reminder that he’s still fighting. Just to be here. With me. He shuts his eyes, expression strained. Before I can ask if he’s all right, he pulls me against him and holds me close. His next words are spoken under his breath, so low I wonder if I heard them at all. “The girl helps the king keep his darkness at bay.
Elizabeth May (The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer, #3))
The berth belongs to you too. It will always be there when—if you want to come back.” Inej could not speak. Her heart felt too full, a dry creek bed ill-prepared for such rain. “I don’t know what to say.” His bare hand flexed on the crow’s head of his cane. The sight was so strange Inej had trouble tearing her eyes from it. “Say you’ll return.” “I’m not done with Ketterdam.” She hadn’t known she meant it until she said the words. Kaz cast her a swift glance. “I thought you wanted to hunt slavers.” “I do. And I want your help.” Inej licked her lips, tasted the ocean on them. Her life had been a series of impossible moments, so why not ask for something impossible now? “It’s not just the slavers. It’s the procurers, the customers, the Barrel bosses, the politicians. It’s everyone who turns a blind eye to suffering when there’s money to be made.” “I’m a Barrel boss.” “You would never sell someone, Kaz. You know better than anyone that you’re not just one more boss scraping for the best margin.” “The bosses, the customers, the politicians,” he mused. “That could be half the people in Ketterdam—and you want to fight them all.” “Why not?” Inej asked. “One the seas and in the city. One by one.” “Brick by brick,” he said. Then he gave a single shake of his head, as if shrugging off the notion. “I wasn’t made to be a hero, Wraith. You should have learned that by now. You want me to be a better man, a good man. I—“ “This city doesn’t need a good man. It needs you.” “Inej—“ “How many times have you told me you’re a monster? So be a monster. Be the thing they all fear when they close their eyes at night. We don’t go after all the gangs. We don’t shut down the houses that treat fairly with their employees. We go after women like Tante Heleen, men like Pekka Rollins.” She paused. “And think about it this way…you’ll be thinning the competition.” He made a sound that might almost have been a laugh. One of his hands balanced on his cane. The other rested at his side next to her. She’d need only move the smallest amount and they’d be touching. He was that close. He was that far from reach. Cautiously, she let her knuckles brush against his, a slight weight, a bird’s feather. He stiffened, but he didn’t pull away. “I’m not ready to give up on this city, Kaz. I think it’s worth saving.” I think you’re worth saving. Once they’d stood on the deck of a ship and she’d waited just like this. He had not spoken then and he did not speak now. Inej felt him slipping away, dragged under, caught in an undertow that would take him farther and farther from shore. She understood suffering and knew it was a place she could not follow, not unless she wanted to drown too. Back on Black Veil, he’d told her they would fight their way out. Knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. She would fight for him, but she could not heal him. She would not waste her life trying. She felt his knuckles slide again hers. Then his hand was in her hand, his palm pressed against her own. A tremor moved through him. Slowly, he let their fingers entwine.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I wiped my eyes on my sleeve and jumped when I turned and found Ren’s brother standing behind me as a man. Ren got up, alert, and watched him carefully, suspicious of Kishan’s every move. Ren’s tail twitched back and forth, and a deep grumble issued from his chest. Kishan look down at Ren, who had crept even closer to keep an eye on him, and then looked back at me. He reached out his hand, and when I placed mine in it, he lifted it to his lips and kissed it, then bowed deeply with great aplomb. “May I ask your name?” “My name is Kelsey. Kelsey hayes.” “Kelsey. Well, I, for one, appreciate all the efforts you have made on our behalf. I apologize if I frightened you earlier. I am,” he smiled, “out of practice in conversing with young ladies. These gifts you will be offering to Durga. Would you kindly tell me more about them?” Ren growled unhappily. I nodded. “Is Kishan your given name?” “My full name is actually Sohan Kishan Rajaram, but you can call me Kishan if you like.” He smiled a dazzling white smile, which was even more brilliant due to the contrast with his dark skin. He offered an arm. “Would you please sit and talk with me, Kelsey?” There was something very charming about Kishan. I surprised myself by finding I immediately trusted and liked him. He had a quality similar to his brother. Like Ren, he had the ability to set a person completely at ease. Maybe it was their diplomatic training. Maybe it was how their mother raised them. Whatever it was made me respond positively. I smiled at him. “I’d love to.” He tucked my arm under his and walked with me over to the fire. Ren growled again, and Kishan shot a smirk in his direction. I noticed him wince when he sat, so I offered him some aspirin. “Shouldn’t we be getting you two to a doctor? I really think you might need stitches and Ren-“ “Thank you, but no. You don’t need to worry about our minor pains.” “I wouldn’t exactly call your wounds minor, Kishan.” “The curse helps us to heal quickly. You’ll see. We’ll both recover swiftly enough on our own. Still, it was nice to have such a lovely young woman tending to my injuries.” Ren stood in front of us and looked like he was a tiger suffering from apoplexy. I admonished, “Ren, be civil.” Kishan smiled widely and waited for me to get comfortable. Then he scooted closer to me and rested his arm on the log behind my shoulders. Ren stepped right between us, nudged his brother roughly aside with his furry head, creating a wider space, and maneuvered his body into the middle. He dropped heavily to the ground and rested his head in my lap. Kishan frowned, but I started talking, sharing the story of what Ren and I had been through. I told him about meeting Ren at the circus and about how he tricked me to get me to India. I talked about Phet, the Cave of Kanheri, and finding the prophecy, and I told him that we were on our way to Hampi. As I lost myself in our story, I stroked Ren’s head. He shut his eyes and purred, and then he fell asleep. I talked for almost an hour, barely registering Kishan’s raised eyebrow and thoughtful expression as he watched the two of us together. I didn’t even notice when he’d changed back into a tiger.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
A few months ago on a school morning, as I attempted to etch a straight midline part on the back of my wiggling daughter's soon-to-be-ponytailed blond head, I reminded her that it was chilly outside and she needed to grab a sweater. "No, mama." "Excuse me?" "No, I don't want to wear that sweater, it makes me look fat." "What?!" My comb clattered to the bathroom floor. "Fat?! What do you know about fat? You're 5 years old! You are definitely not fat. God made you just right. Now get your sweater." She scampered off, and I wearily leaned against the counter and let out a long, sad sigh. It has begun. I thought I had a few more years before my twin daughters picked up the modern day f-word. I have admittedly had my own seasons of unwarranted, psychotic Slim-Fasting and have looked erroneously to the scale to give me a measurement of myself. But these departures from my character were in my 20s, before the balancing hand of motherhood met the grounding grip of running. Once I learned what it meant to push myself, I lost all taste for depriving myself. I want to grow into more of a woman, not find ways to whittle myself down to less. The way I see it, the only way to run counter to our toxic image-centric society is to literally run by example. I can't tell my daughters that beauty is an incidental side effect of living your passion rather than an adherence to socially prescribed standards. I can't tell my son how to recognize and appreciate this kind of beauty in a woman. I have to show them, over and over again, mile after mile, until they feel the power of their own legs beneath them and catch the rhythm of their own strides. Which is why my parents wake my kids early on race-day mornings. It matters to me that my children see me out there, slogging through difficult miles. I want my girls to grow up recognizing the beauty of strength, the exuberance of endurance, and the core confidence residing in a well-tended body and spirit. I want them to be more interested in what they are doing than how they look doing it. I want them to enjoy food that is delicious, feed their bodies with wisdom and intent, and give themselves the freedom to indulge. I want them to compete in healthy ways that honor the cultivation of skill, the expenditure of effort, and the courage of the attempt. Grace and Bella, will you have any idea how lovely you are when you try? Recently we ran the Chuy's Hot to Trot Kids K together as a family in Austin, and I ran the 5-K immediately afterward. Post?race, my kids asked me where my medal was. I explained that not everyone gets a medal, so they must have run really well (all kids got a medal, shhh!). As I picked up Grace, she said, "You are so sweaty Mommy, all wet." Luke smiled and said, "Mommy's sweaty 'cause she's fast. And she looks pretty. All clean." My PRs will never garner attention or generate awards. But when I run, I am 100 percent me--my strengths and weaknesses play out like a cracked-open diary, my emotions often as raw as the chafing from my jog bra. In my ultimate moments of vulnerability, I am twice the woman I was when I thought I was meant to look pretty on the sidelines. Sweaty and smiling, breathless and beautiful: Running helps us all shine. A lesson worth passing along.
Kristin Armstrong
What's Toraf's favorite color?" She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is." I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?" She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails." "I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact. Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color." Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before. When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me. "Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs. Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time. Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue. "Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?" Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted." Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers. "Not as much as I missed you," he tells her. Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish. If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before." Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!" Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck. Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock. Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
HAZEL WASN’T PROUD OF CRYING. After the tunnel collapsed, she wept and screamed like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. She couldn’t move the debris that separated her and Leo from the others. If the earth shifted any more, the entire complex might collapse on their heads. Still, she pounded her fists against the stones and yelled curses that would’ve earned her a mouth-washing with lye soap back at St. Agnes Academy. Leo stared at her, wide-eyed and speechless. She wasn’t being fair to him. The last time the two of them had been together, she’d zapped him into her past and shown him Sammy, his great-grandfather—Hazel’s first boyfriend. She’d burdened him with emotional baggage he didn’t need, and left him so dazed they had almost gotten killed by a giant shrimp monster. Now here they were, alone again, while their friends might be dying at the hands of a monster army, and she was throwing a fit. “Sorry.” She wiped her face. “Hey, you know…” Leo shrugged. “I’ve attacked a few rocks in my day.” She swallowed with difficulty. “Frank is…he’s—” “Listen,” Leo said. “Frank Zhang has moves. He’s probably gonna turn into a kangaroo and do some marsupial jujitsu on their ugly faces.” He helped her to her feet. Despite the panic simmering inside her, she knew Leo was right. Frank and the others weren’t helpless. They would find a way to survive. The best thing she and Leo could do was carry on. She studied Leo. His hair had grown out longer and shaggier, and his face was leaner, so he looked less like an imp and more like one of those willowy elves in the fairy tales. The biggest difference was his eyes. They constantly drifted, as if Leo was trying to spot something over the horizon. “Leo, I’m sorry,” she said. He raised an eyebrow. “Okay. For what?” “For…” She gestured around her helplessly. “Everything. For thinking you were Sammy, for leading you on. I mean, I didn’t mean to, but if I did—” “Hey.” He squeezed her hand, though Hazel sensed nothing romantic in the gesture. “Machines are designed to work.” “Uh, what?” “I figure the universe is basically like a machine. I don’t know who made it, if it was the Fates, or the gods, or capital-G God, or whatever. But it chugs along the way it’s supposed to most of the time. Sure, little pieces break and stuff goes haywire once in a while, but mostly…things happen for a reason. Like you and me meeting.” “Leo Valdez,” Hazel marveled, “you’re a philosopher.” “Nah,” he said. “I’m just a mechanic. But I figure my bisabuelo Sammy knew what was what. He let you go, Hazel. My job is to tell you that it’s okay. You and Frank—you’re good together. We’re all going to get through this. I hope you guys get a chance to be happy. Besides, Zhang couldn’t tie his shoes without your help.” “That’s mean,” Hazel chided, but she felt like something was untangling inside her—a knot of tension she’d been carrying for weeks. Leo really had changed. Hazel was starting to think she’d found a good friend. “What happened to you when you were on your own?” she asked. “Who did you meet?” Leo’s eye twitched. “Long story. I’ll tell you sometime, but I’m still waiting to see how it shakes out.” “The universe is a machine,” Hazel said, “so it’ll be fine.” “Hopefully.” “As long as it’s not one of your machines,” Hazel added. “Because your machines never do what they’re supposed to.” “Yeah, ha-ha.” Leo summoned fire into his hand. “Now, which way, Miss Underground?” Hazel scanned the path in front of them. About thirty feet down, the tunnel split into four smaller arteries, each one identical, but the one on the left radiated cold. “That way,” she decided. “It feels the most dangerous.” “I’m sold,” said Leo. They began their descent.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
The answer to that question is…I won’t. You belong with me. Which leads me to the discussion I wanted to have with you.” “Where I belong is for me to decide, and though I may listen to what you have to say, that doesn’t mean I will agree with you.” “Fair enough.” Ren pushed his empty plate to the side. “We have some unfinished business to take care of.” “If you mean the other tasks we have to do, I’m already aware of that.” “I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about us.” “What about us?” I put my hands under the table and wiped my clammy palms on my napkin. “I think there are a few things we’ve left unsaid, and I think it’s time we said them.” “I’m not withholding anything from you, if that’s what you mean.” “You are.” “No. I’m not.” “Are you refusing to acknowledge what has happened between us?” “I’m not refusing anything. Don’t try to put words in my mouth.” “I’m not. I’m simply trying to convince a stubborn woman to admit that she has feelings for me.” “If I did have feelings for you, you’d be the first one to know.” “Are you saying that you don’t feel anything for me?” “That’s not what I’m saying.” “Then what are you saying?” “I’m saying…nothing!” I spluttered. Ren smiled and narrowed his eyes at me. If he kept up this line of questioning, he was bound to catch me in a lie. I’m not a very good liar. He sat back in his chair. “Fine. I’ll let you off the hook for now, but we will talk about this later. Tigers are relentless once they set their minds to something. You don’t be able to evade me forever.” Casually, I replied, “Don’t get your hopes up, Mr. Wonderful. Every hero has his Kryptonite, and you don’t intimidate me.” I twisted my napkin in my lap while he tracked my every move with his probing eyes. I felt stripped down, as if he could see into the very heart of me. When the waitress came back, Ren smiled at her as she offered a smaller menu, probably featuring desserts. She leaned over him while I tapped my strappy shoe in frustration. He listened attentively to her. Then, the two of them laughed again. He spoke quietly, gesturing to me, and she looked my way, giggled, and then cleared all the plates quickly. He pulled out a wallet and handed her a credit card. She put her hand on his arm to ask him another question, and I couldn’t help myself. I kicked him under the table. He didn’t even blink or look at me. He just reached his arm across the table, took my hand in his, and rubbed the back of it absentmindedly with his thumb as he answered her question. It was like my kick was a love tap to him. It only made him happier. When she left, I narrowed my eyes at him and asked, “How did you get that card, and what were you saying to her about me?” “Mr. Kadam gave me the card, and I told her that we would be having our dessert…later.” I laughed facetiously. “You mean you will be having dessert later by yourself this evening because I am done eating with you.” He leaned across the candlelit table and said, “Who said anything about eating, Kelsey?” He must be joking! But he looked completely serious. Great! There go the nervous butterflies again. “Stop looking at me like that.” “Like what?” “Like you’re hunting me. I’m not an antelope.” He laughed. “Ah, but the chase would be exquisite, and you would be a most succulent catch.” “Stop it.” “Am I making you nervous?” “You could say that.” I stood up abruptly as he was signing the receipt and made my way toward the door. He was next to me in an instant. He leaned over. “I’m not letting you escape, remember? Now, behave like a good date and let me walk you home. It’s the least you could do since you wouldn’t talk with me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Leaders instill courage in the hearts of those who follow. This rarely happens through words alone. It generally requires action. It goes back to what we said earlier: Somebody has to go first. By going first, the leader furnishes confidence to those who follow. As a next generation leader, you will be called upon to go first. That will require courage. But in stepping out you will give the gift of courage to those who are watching. What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business? What has been done is safe. But to attempt a solution to a problem that plagues an entire industry - in my case, the local church - requires courage. Unsolved problems are gateways to the future. To those who have the courage to ask the question and the tenacity to hang on until they discover or create an answer belongs the future. Don’t allow the many good opportunities to divert your attention from the one opportunity that has the greatest potential. Learn to say no. There will always be more opportunities than there is time to pursue them. Leaders worth following are willing to face and embrace current reality regardless of how discouraging or embarrassing it might be. It is impossible to generate sustained growth or progress if your plan for the future is not rooted in reality. Be willing to face the truth regardless of how painful it might be. If fear causes you to retreat from your dreams, you will never give the world anything new. it is impossible to lead without a dream. When leaders are no longer willing to dream, it is only a short time before followers are unwilling to follow. Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity? Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. It never goes away. Where there is no uncertainty, there is no longer the need for leadership. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the need for leadership. Your capacity as a leader will be determined by how well you learn to deal with uncertainty. My enemy is not uncertainty. It is not even my responsibility to remove the uncertainty. It is my responsibility to bring clarity into the midst of the uncertainty. As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear. People will follow you in spite of a few bad decisions. People will not follow you if you are unclear in your instruction. As a leader you must develop the elusive skill of leading confidently and purposefully onto uncertain terrain. Next generation leaders must fear a lack of clarity more than a lack of accuracy. The individual in your organization who communicates the clearest vision will often be perceived as the leader. Clarity is perceived as leadership. Uncertainty exposes a lack of knowledge. Pretending exposes a lack of character. Express your uncertainty with confidence. You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential. You need a leadership coach. Great leaders are great learners. God, in His wisdom, has placed men and women around us with the experience and discernment we often lack. Experience alone doesn’t make you better at anything. Evaluated experience is what enables you to improve your performance. As a leader, what you don’t know can hurt you. What you don’t know about yourself can put a lid on your leadership. You owe it to yourself and to those who have chosen to follow you to open the doors to evaluation. Engage a coach. Success doesn’t make anything of consequence easier. Success just raises the stakes. Success brings with it the unanticipated pressure of maintaining success. The more successful you are as a leader, the more difficult this becomes. There is far more pressure at the top of an organization than you might imagine.
Andy Stanley
In 90% of cases, you can start with one of the two most effective ways to open a speech: ask a question or start with a story. Our brain doesn’t remember what we hear. It remembers only what we “see” or imagine while we listen. You can remember stories. Everything else is quickly forgotten. Smell is the most powerful sense out of 4 to immerse audience members into a scene. Every sentence either helps to drive your point home, or it detracts from clarity. There is no middle point. If you don’t have a foundational phrase in your speech, it means that your message is not clear enough to you, and if it’s not clear to you, there is no way it will be clear to your audience. Share your failures first. Show your audience members that you are not any better, smarter or more talented than they are. You are not an actor, you are a speaker. The main skill of an actor is to play a role; to be someone else. Your main skill as a speaker is to be yourself. People will forgive you for anything except for being boring. Speaking without passion is boring. If you are not excited about what you are talking about, how can you expect your audience to be excited? Never hide behind a lectern or a table. Your audience needs to see 100% of your body. Speak slowly and people will consider you to be a thoughtful and clever person. Leaders don’t talk much, but each word holds a lot of meaning and value. You always speak to only one person. Have a conversation directly with one person, look him or her in the eye. After you have logically completed one idea, which usually is 10-20 seconds, scan the audience and then stop your eyes on another person. Repeat this process again. Cover the entire room with eye contact. When you scan the audience and pick people for eye contact, pick positive people more often. When you pause, your audience thinks about your message and reflects. Pausing builds an audiences’ confidence. If you don’t pause, your audience doesn’t have time to digest what you've told them and hence, they will not remember a word of what you've said. Pause before and after you make an important point and stand still. During this pause, people think about your words and your message sinks in. After you make an important point and stand still. During this pause, people think about your words and your message sinks in. Speakers use filler words when they don’t know what to say, but they feel uncomfortable with silence. Have you ever seen a speaker who went on stage with a piece of paper and notes? Have you ever been one of these speakers? When people see you with paper in your hands, they instantly think, “This speaker is not sincere. He has a script and will talk according to the script.” The best speeches are not written, they are rewritten. Bad speakers create a 10 minutes speech and deliver it in 7 minutes. Great speakers create a 5 minute speech and deliver it in 7 minutes. Explain your ideas in a simple manner, so that the average 12-year-old child can understand the concept. Good speakers and experts can always explain the most complex ideas with very simple words. Stories evoke emotions. Factual information conveys logic. Emotions are far more important in a speech than logic. If you're considering whether to use statistics or a story, use a story. PowerPoint is for pictures not for words. Use as few words on the slide as possible. Never learn your speech word for word. Just rehearse it enough times to internalize the flow. If you watch a video of your speech, you can triple the pace of your development as a speaker. Make videos a habit. Meaningless words and clichés neither convey value nor information. Avoid them. Never apologize on stage. If people need to put in a lot of effort to understand you they simply won’t listen. On the other hand if you use very simple language you will connect with the audience and your speech will be remembered.
Andrii Sedniev (Magic of Public Speaking: A Complete System to Become a World Class Speaker)