Job Well Done Quotes

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Take it from me, there's nothing like a job well done. Except the quiet enveloping darkness at the bottom of a bottle of Jim Beam after a job done any way at all.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
A job well done is a reward in its own right,
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
Too late, he recalled Miles's dictum that the reward for a job well done was usually a harder job.
Lois McMaster Bujold (A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12))
Take it from me, there's nothing like a job well done. Except the quiet enveloping darkness at the bottom of a bottle of Jim Beam after a job done any way at all.
Stephen Colbert
Stomp stomp. Whirr. Pleased to be of service. Shut up. Thank you. Stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp. Whirr. Thank you for making a simple door very happy. Hope your diodes rot. Thank you. Have a nice day. Stomp stomp stomp stomp. Whirr. It is my pleasure to open for you... Zark off. ...and my satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done. I said zark off. Thank you for listening to this message.
Douglas Adams
Learn to like what doesn't cost much. Learn to like reading, conversation, music. Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking. Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills. Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different...different from you. Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction doing your job as well as it can be done. Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs. Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house, and fixing things. Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day. Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.
Lowell C. Bennion
I do not particularly like the word 'work.' Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.
Masanobu Fukuoka (The One-Straw Revolution)
Perfectionism doesn't believe in practice shots. It doesn't believe in improvement. Perfectionism has never heard that anything worth doing is worth doing badly--and that if we allow ourselves to do something badly we might in time become quite good at it. Perfectionism measures our beginner's work against the finished work of masters. Perfectionism thrives on comparison and competition. It doesn't know how to say, "Good try," or "Job well done." The critic does not believe in creative glee--or any glee at all, for that matter. No, perfectionism is a serious matter.
Julia Cameron (Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance)
I hope I redeemed myself with the whole dancing-sex comparison.” “I suppose there were a couple of notable similarities,” I observed, holding a straight face. “A couple? What about attention to detail, heavy exertion, lots of sweat, and single-minded determinedness to get the job done and done well?” “Mostly I was thinking you just don’t talk during sex.” Mean perhaps, but I couldn’t resist. “Well, my mouth has better things to do.” I swallowed, my own mouth dry. “Are we still talking about dancing?
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
We don’t have to do anything at all to die. We can hide in a cupboard under the stairs our whole life and it’ll still find us. Death will show up wearing an invisible cloak and it will wave a magic wand and whisk us away when we least expect it. It will erase every trace of our existence on this earth and it will do all this work for free. It will ask for nothing in return. It will take a bow at our funeral and accept the accolades for a job well done and then it will disappear. Living is a little more complex. There’s one thing we always have to do. Breathe. In and out, every single day in every hour minute and moment we must inhale whether we like it or not. Even as we plan to asphyxiate our hopes and dreams still we breathe. Even as we wither away and sell our dignity to the man on the corner we breathe. We breathe when we’re wrong, we breathe when we’re right, we breathe even as we slip off the ledge toward an early grave. It cannot be undone. So I breathe. I count all the steps I’ve climbed toward the noose hanging from the ceiling of my existence and I count out the number of times I’ve been stupid and I run out of numbers.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Live. And Live Well. BREATHE. Breathe in and Breathe deeply. Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now. On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun. If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool Autumn day to FREEZE your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be ALIVE. Get knee-deep in a novel and LOSE track of time. If you bike, pedal HARDER and if you crash then crash well. Feel the SATISFACTION of a job well done-a paper well-written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed. If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old's nose, don't be disgusted if the Kleenex didn't catch it all because soon he'll be wiping his own. If you've recently experienced loss, then GRIEVE. And Grieve well. At the table with friends and family, LAUGH. If you're eating and laughing at the same time, then might as well laugh until you puke. And if you eat, then SMELL. The aromas are not impediments to your day. Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven. And TASTE. Taste every ounce of flavor. Taste every ounce of friendship. Taste every ounce of Life. Because-it-is-most-definitely-a-Gift.
Kyle Lake
Ghastly," continued Marvin, "it all is. Absolutely ghastly. Just don't even talk about it. Look at this door," he said, stepping through it. The irony circuits cut in to his voice modulator as he mimicked the style of the sales brochure. " 'All the doors in his spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done.' " As the door closed behind them it became apparent that it did indeed have a satisfied sighlike quality to it. "Hummmmmmmyummmmmmmah!" it said.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
We do not wait for inspiration. We work because we've jolly well got to. But when all is said and done, we toil at this particular job because it's turned out to be our particular job, and in a weird sort of way I suppose we may be said to like it.
Ngaio Marsh (Ngaio Marsh: A Life)
The orderly brandished a hunting knife from a sheath at his waist and sliced open the prisoner’s throat with it.  Warm blood cascaded out of the prisoner’s throat, some of it spraying the captain’s uniform.  The orderly waited for the prisoner to bleed to death before cutting the head clean off.  Within a few minutes, the muscle that the prisoner built on his body was carved out and thrown on the grill.  After the meat cooled, the orderly put the human steaks in front of the captain for dinner.  As the captain ate each buttery piece, he couldn’t help but compliment the orderly for a job well-done.
Harvey Havel (The Odd and the Strange: A Collection of Very Short Fiction)
I stood on the precipice of something that would change my life. For the last week, Iʹd done a very good job of detaching myself from anything romantic with Dimitri. And yet . . . had I? What was love, really? Flowers, chocolate, and poetry? Or was it something else? Was it being able to finish someoneʹs jokes? Was it having absolute faith that someone was there at your back? Was it knowing someone so well that they instantly understood why you did the things you did—and shared those same beliefs?
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale." George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences. To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot . . . PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose! . . . So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation. They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin' day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reasons that they don't give a fuck what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass! There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
he’d experienced the lovely warm feeling of a bad job well done.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Who's this?" he said, coming across a name he didn't recognize. "Lady Georgina of Sandalhurst? Why are we inviting her? I don't know her. Why are we asking people we don't know?" I know her," Pauline replied. There was a certain steeliness in her voice that Halt would have done well to recognize. "She's my aunt, Bit of an old stick, really, but I have to invite her." You've never mentioned her before," Halt challenged. True. I don't like her very much. As I said, she's a bit of an old stick." Then why are we inviting her?" We're inviting her," Lady Pauline explained, "because Aunt Georgina has spent the last twenty years bemoaning the fact that I was unmarried. 'Poor Pauline!' she'd cry to anyone who'd listen. 'She'll be a lonley old maid! Married to her job! She'll never find a husband to look after her!' It's just too good an opportunity to miss." Halt's eyebrows came together in a frown. There might be a few things that would annoy him more than someone criticizing the woman he loved, but for a moment, he couldn't think of one. Agreed," he said. "And let's sit her with the most boring people possible at the wedding feast." Good thinking," Lady Pauline said. She made a note on another sheet of paper. "I'll make her the first person on the Bores' table." The Bores' table?" Halt said. "I'm not sure I've heard that term." Every wedding has to have a Bores' table," his fiance explained patiently. "We take all the boring, annoying, bombastic people and sit them together. That way they all bore each other and they don't bother the normal people we've asked." Wouldn't it be simpler to just ask the people you like?" Halt askede. "Except Aunt Georgina, of course--there's a good reason to ask her. But why ask others?" It's a family thing," Lady Pauline said, adding a second and third name to the Bores' table as she thought of them. "You have to ask family and every family has its share of annoying bores. It's just organizing a wedding.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
If God’s purpose for your job is that you serve the human community, then the way to serve God best is to do the job as well as it can be done.
Timothy J. Keller (Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work)
In a badly designed book, the letters mill and stand like starving horses in a field. In a book designed by rote, they sit like stale bread and mutton on the page. In a well-made book, where designer, compositor and printer have all done their jobs, no matter how many thousands of lines and pages, the letters are alive. They dance in their seats. Sometimes they rise and dance in the margins and aisles.
Robert Bringhurst (The Elements of Typographic Style)
Who doesn't love a compliment? But every compliment comes with a warning: Beware—Do Not Overuse. Go ahead, sniff your compliment. Take a little sip. But don't chew, don't swallow. If you do, you risk abandoning the good work that inspired the compliment in the first place. If that happens, maybe it was the compliment and not the job well done that you were aiming for all along.
Jerry Spinelli (Today I Will: A Year of Quotes, Notes, and Promises to Myself)
You're looking so well, darling. You really are. They've done a marvelous job. I don't know what sort of cream they've put on you down at the morgue, but I want some. Honestly, you look better than you have in years. You look like you're alive!
Wes Anderson
Your job is to find better ideas, mine is to cut holes in the ones you have, and you've already done that pretty well.
Steven Brust (Iorich (Vlad Taltos, #12))
The joyous cries he heard over the wall were all the reward he needed for a job well done and he smiled as he heard them.
John Allyn (47 Ronin (Tuttle Classics))
Go to the tea shop anywhere along the Ganga, sir, and look at the men working in that tea shop - men, I say, but better to call them human spiders that go crawling in between and under the tables with rags in their hands, crushed humans in crushed uniforms, sluggish, unshaven, in their thirties or forties or fifties but still "boys." But that is your fate if you do your job well - with honesty, dedication, and sincerity, the way Gandhi would have done it, no doubt.
Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger)
I had tried years earlier to kill myself, and nearly died in the attempt, but did not consider it either a selfish or a not-selfish thing to have done. It was simply the end of what I could bear, the last afternoon of having to imagine waking up the next morning only to start all over again with a thick mind and black imaginings. It was the final outcome of a bad disease, a disease it seemed to me I would never get the better of. No amount of love from or for other people0and there was a lot-could help. No advantage of a caring family and fabulous job was enough to overcome the pain and hopelessness I felt; no passionate or romantic love, however strong, could make a difference. Nothing alive and warm could make its way in through my carapace. I knew my life to be a shambles, and I believed-incontestably-that my family, friends, and patients would be better off without me. There wasn't much of me left anymore, anyway, and I thought my death would free up the wasted energies and well-meant efforts that were being wasted on my behalf. (290)
Kay Redfield Jamison (Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide)
Damon spoke without moving. “I’m not like you.” “You’re not as different from us as you want to think,” Matt said. “Look,” he added, an odd note of challenge in his voice, “I know you killed Mr. Tanner in self-defense, because you told me. And I know you didn’t come here to Fell’s Church because Bonnie’s spell dragged you here, because I sorted the hair and I didn’t make any mistakes. You’re more like us than you admit, Damon. The only thing I don’t know is why you didn’t go into Vickie’s house to help her.” Damon snapped, almost automatically, “Because I wasn’t invited!” Memory swept over Bonnie. Herself standing outside Vickie’s house, Damon standing beside her. Stefan’s voice: Vickie, invite me in. But no one had invited Damon. “But how did Klaus get in, then—?” she began, following her own thoughts. “That was Tyler’s job, I’m sure,” Damon said tersely. “What Tyler did for Klaus in return for learning how to reclaim his heritage. And he must have invited Klaus in before we ever started guarding the house—probably before Stefan and I came to Fell’s Church. Klaus was well prepared. That night he was in the house and the girl was dead before I knew what was happening.” “Why didn’t you call for Stefan?” Matt said. There was no accusation in his voice. It was a simple question. “Because there was nothing he could have done! I knew what you were dealing with as soon as I saw it. An Old One. Stefan would only have gotten himself killed—and the girl was past caring, anyway.” Bonnie heard the thread of coldness in his voice, and when Damon turned back to Stefan and Elena, his face had hardened. It was as if some decision had been made. “You see, I’m not like you,” he said. “It doesn’t matter.” Stefan had still not withdrawn his hand. Neither had Elena.
L.J. Smith (Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #4))
We are all pretenders in life, finding a patch of humanity that we relate to, and then embrace it. We come straight down the birth canal and our parents start telling us who to be, simply by being themselves. We see their lives, their cars, the way they interact, the rules they set, and the foundations for our own lives are laid. And when our parents aren’t molding us, our situations are. We are all sheep, who get jobs, and have babies, and diet, and try to carve something special out for ourselves using the broken hearts, and bored minds, and scathed souls life delivered to us. And it’s all been done before, every bit of suffering, every joy. And the minute you realize that we are all pretenders is the minute everything stops intimidating you: punishment, and failure, and death. Even people. There is nothing so ingenious about another human who has pretended well. They are, in fact, just another soul, perhaps more clever, better at failing than you are. But not worth a second of intimidation.
Tarryn Fisher (Marrow)
A job well done is a reward in its own right, as his father always used to say.
Fredrik Backman
You'll need to do a better job, Annabelle. No more dates like the first one tonight." "Agreed. And no more making me sit through your Power Matches introductions, either. As you so wisely pointed out, helping Portia Powers isn't in my best interests." "Then why are you still trying to talk me into seeing Melanie again?" "Hunger makes me weird." "You got rid of the last one in fourteen minutes. Well done. I'm rewarding you by letting you sit in on all the introductions from now on." She nearly choked on an ice cube. "What are you talking about?" "Exactly what I said.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
When does a job feel meaningful? Whenever it allows us to generate delight or reduce suffering in others. Though we are often taught to think of ourselves as inherently selfish, the longing to act meaningfully in our work seems just as stubborn a part of our make-up as our appetite for status or money. It is because we are meaning-focused animals rather than simply materialistic ones that we can reasonably contemplate surrendering security for a career helping to bring drinking water to rural Malawi or might quit a job in consumer goods for one in cardiac nursing, aware that when it comes to improving the human condition a well-controlled defibrillator has the edge over even the finest biscuit. But we should be wary of restricting the idea of meaningful work too tightly, of focusing only on the doctors, the nuns of Kolkata or the Old Masters. There can be less exalted ways to contribute to the furtherance of the collective good.... ....An endeavor endowed with meaning may appear meaningful only when it proceeds briskly in the hands of a restricted number of actors and therefore where particular workers can make an imaginative connection between what they have done with their working days and their impact upon others.
Alain de Botton (The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work)
Everything I told him was technically true, more or less, and I got the job done," Jack said stubbornly. "Look, sir, if I were perfect, I wouldn't be working here in the first place. Now, would I?" And then he hung up. On speakerphone. On a freaking archangel. I couldn't help it. I let out a rolling belly laugh. "I just got suckered into doing this by...Stars and stones, you didn't even know that he...Big bad angel boy, and you get the wool pulled over your eyes by..." I stopped trying to talk and just laughed. Uriel eyed the phone, then me, and then tucked the little device away again, clearly nonplussed. "It doesn't matter how well I believe I know your kind, Harry. They always manage to find some way to try my patience.
Jim Butcher (Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13))
Also worthy of mention is a clique among the suicidal for whom the meaning of their act is a darker thing. Frustrated as perpetrators of an all-inclusive extermination, they would kill themselves only because killing it all is closed off to them. They hate having been delivered into a world only to be told, by and by, “This way to the abattoir, Ladies and Gentlemen.” They despise the conspiracy of Lies for Life almost as much as they despise themselves for being a party to it. If they could unmake the world by pushing a button, they would do so without a second thought. There is no satisfaction in a lonesome suicide. The phenomenon of “suicide euphoria” aside, there is only fear, bitterness, or depression beforehand, then the troublesomeness of the method, and nothingness afterward. But to push that button, to depopulate this earth and arrest its rotation as well—what satisfaction, as of a job prettily done. This would be for the good of all, for even those who know nothing about the conspiracy against the human race are among its injured parties.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
This is so much harder than I ever thought it would be...because the thing is, even if you're just working part-time, your boss is going to expect a full week's worth of work, no matter how understanding she is. That's just the nature of the working world-things have to get done, babies or not. And if you're like me-if you're like any woman who ever did well in school and did well at her job-you don't want to disappoint a boss. And you want to do a good job raising your baby...It's not like you think it's going to be
Jennifer Weiner (Little Earthquakes)
WORK, SOMETIMES I was sad all day, and why not. There I was, books piled on both sides of the table, paper stacked up, words falling off my tongue. The robins had been a long time singing, and now it was beginning to rain. What are we sure of? Happiness isn’t a town on a map, or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work ongoing. Which is not likely to be the trifling around with a poem. Then it began raining hard, and the flowers in the yard were full of lively fragrance. You have had days like this, no doubt. And wasn’t it wonderful, finally, to leave the room? Ah, what a moment! As for myself, I swung the door open. And there was the wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life.
Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2)
Many lose through never starting. A job well begun is half done.
Orrin Woodward
We don’t have to do anything at all to die. We can hide in a cupboard under the stairs our whole life and it’ll still find us. Death will show up wearing an invisible cloak and it will wave a magic wand and whisk us away when we least expect it. It will erase every trace of our existence on this earth and it will do all this work for free. It will ask for nothing in return. It will take a bow at our funeral and accept the accolades for a job well done and then it will disappear. Living is a little more complex.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (The Juliette Chronicles, #2))
Quiet villain. This is the end of the line for you Blackheart. Not so clever after all, are you? You thought you were setting a trap for us, but all along it was a trap for you!" "Ah well, you got me. Good job." "We did get you." "You did. You've done very well." "Is this another trap?" "I just want You to feel proud of yourself!
N.D. Stevenson (Nimona)
She learns, after she finishes the job, that she programmed very well the specifications as delivered to her, but that they were deficient. If she had only known the purpose of the program, she could have done it right for the purpose, even though the specifications were deficient.
W. Edwards Deming (Out of the Crises)
But if my research shows anything, it's that if you should happen to have had a surplus of mellow marmosets and they got the job done, you would have darned well used marmosets.
Therese Oneill (Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners)
When Crowley had watched the first thirty-mile-long tailback he’d experienced the lovely warm feeling of a bad job well done.
Neil Gaiman (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
I want the girl." I commanded. "What girl?" Darcel asked in an attempt to piss me off. Job well done.
E.M. Jade (Captivated (Affliction, #1))
Grace does not make sense. It's not supposed to make sense. Grace cannot be calculated or formulated, earned or even rewarded for a job well done. Grace is a gift, not a salary.
Michelle DeRusha (Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith)
Never pass on an opportunity to say thank you or give recognition for a job well done
Mark W. Boyer
Any dollar given to you voluntarily, no matter the physical form, is a certificate of performance and validation of a job well done.
Daniel Lapin (Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance)
Those who work shit jobs tend to be the object of indignities; they not only work hard but also are held in low esteem for that very reason. But at least they know they’re doing something useful. Those who work bullshit jobs are often surrounded by honor and prestige; they are respected as professionals, well paid, and treated as high achievers—as the sort of people who can be justly proud of what they do. Yet secretly they are aware that they have achieved nothing; they feel they have done nothing to earn the consumer toys with which they fill their lives; they feel it’s all based on a lie—as, indeed, it is.
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
Nonetheless, when it finally ended and the hairdressers left and Tess insisted upon pulling her to the mirror, Fire saw, and understood, that everyone had done the job well. The dress, deep shimmering purple and utterly simple in design, was so beautifully-cut and so clingy and well-fitting that Fire felt slightly naked. And her hair. She couldn’t follow what they’d done with her hair, braids thin as threads in some places, looped and wound through the thick sections that fell over her shoulders and down her back, but she saw that the end result was a controlled wildness that was magnificent against her face, her body, and the dress. She turned to measure the effect on her guard - all twenty of them, for all had roles to play in tonight’s proceedings, and all were awaiting her orders. Twenty jaws hung slack with astonishment - even Musa’s, Mila’s, and Neel’s. Fire touched their minds, and was pleased, and then angry, to find them open as the glass roofs in July. ‘Take hold of yourselves,’ she snapped. ‘It’s a disguise, remember? This isn’t going to work if the people meant to help me can’t keep their heads.’ ‘It will work, Lady Granddaughter.’ Tess handed Fire two knives in ankle holsters. ‘You’ll get what you want from whomever you want. Tonight King Nash would give you the Winged River as a present, if you asked for it. Dells, child - Prince Brigan would give you his best warhorse.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt. Our lives are linked together. No man is an island. But there is another truth, the sister of this one, and it is that every man is an island. It is a truth that often the tolling of a silence reveals even more vividly than the tolling of a bell. We sit in silence with one another, each of us more or less reluctant to speak, for fear that if he does, he may sound life a fool. And beneath that there is of course the deeper fear, which is really a fear of the self rather than of the other, that maybe truth of it is that indeed he is a fool. The fear that the self that he reveals by speaking may be a self that the others will reject just as in a way he has himself rejected it. So either we do not speak, or we speak not to reveal who we are but to conceal who we are, because words can be used either way of course. Instead of showing ourselves as we truly are, we show ourselves as we believe others want us to be. We wear masks, and with practice we do it better and better, and they serve us well –except that it gets very lonely inside the mask, because inside the mask that each of us wears there is a person who both longs to be known and fears to be known. In this sense every man is an island separated from every other man by fathoms of distrust and duplicity. Part of what it means to be is to be you and not me, between us the sea that we can never entirely cross even when we would. “My brethren are wholly estranged from me,” Job cries out. “I have become an alien in their eyes.” The paradox is that part of what binds us closest together as human beings and makes it true that no man is an island is the knowledge that in another way every man is an island. Because to know this is to know that not only deep in you is there a self that longs about all to be known and accepted, but that there is also such a self in me, in everyone else the world over. So when we meet as strangers, when even friends look like strangers, it is good to remember that we need each other greatly you and I, more than much of the time we dare to imagine, more than more of the time we dare to admit. Island calls to island across the silence, and once, in trust, the real words come, a bridge is built and love is done –not sentimental, emotional love, but love that is pontifex, bridge-builder. Love that speak the holy and healing word which is: God be with you, stranger who are no stranger. I wish you well. The islands become an archipelago, a continent, become a kingdom whose name is the Kingdom of God.
Frederick Buechner (The Hungering Dark)
The abstract and the concrete side of operations are opposites, but you can't have one without the other, if, that is, you want get the job done well.
David Keirsey (Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence)
Reading is like cooking. It can take hours to prepare, and then the meal is over in minutes. Good, that means you’ve done your job well.
Gabe Berman
But “almost done” is not done!
Israelmore Ayivor (Six Words Inspiration)
Speaking of Newton but also commenting more broadly on education and the Enlightenment: "I have seen a professor of mathematics only because he was great in his vocation, buried like a king who had done well by his subjects.
Voltaire
Everything is made of words, and the words had done their job. I could even say they had done it well. They had risen in a confusing swarm and spun around in spirals, ever higher, colliding and separating, golden insects, messengers of friendship and knowledge, higher, higher, into that region of the sky where the day turns into night and reality into dreams, regal words on their nuptial flight, always higher, until their marriage is finally consummated at the summit of the world.
César Aira (The Conversations (New Directions Paperbook))
I mention all this to make the point that if you were designing an organism to look after life in our lonely cosmos, to monitor where it is going and keep a record of where it has been, you wouldn't choose human beings for the job. But here's an extremely salient point: we have been chosen, by fate or Providence or whatever you wish to call it. It's an unnerving thought that we may be living the universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously. Because we are so remarkably careless about looking after things, both when alive and when not, we have no idea-- really none at all-- about how many things have died off permanently, or may soon, or may never, and what role we have played in any part of the process. In 1979, in the book The Sinking Ark, the author Norman Myers suggested that human activities were causing about two extinctions a week on the planet. By the early 1990s he had raised the figure to about some six hundred per week. (That's extinctions of all types-- plants, insects, and so on as well as animals.) Others have put the figure ever higher-- to well over a thousand a week. A United Nations report of 1995, on the other hand, put the total number of known extinctions in the last four hundred years at slightly under 500 for animals and slightly over 650 for plants-- while allowing that this was "almost certainly an underestimate," particularly with regard to tropical species. A few interpreters think most extinction figures are grossly inflated. The fact is, we don't know. Don't have any idea. We don't know when we started doing many of the things we've done. We don't know what we are doing right now or how our present actions will affect the future. What we do know is that there is only one planet to do it on, and only one species of being capable of making a considered difference. Edward O. Wilson expressed it with unimprovable brevity in The Diversity of Life: "One planet, one experiment." If this book has a lesson, it is that we are awfully lucky to be here-- and by "we" i mean every living thing. To attain any kind of life in this universe of ours appears to be quite an achievement. As humans we are doubly lucky, of course: We enjoy not only the privilege of existence but also the singular ability to appreciate it and even, in a multitude of ways, to make it better. It is a talent we have only barely begun to grasp. We have arrived at this position of eminence in a stunningly short time. Behaviorally modern human beings-- that is, people who can speak and make art and organize complex activities-- have existed for only about 0.0001 percent of Earth's history. But surviving for even that little while has required a nearly endless string of good fortune. We really are at the beginning of it all. The trick, of course, is to make sure we never find the end. And that, almost certainly, will require a good deal more than lucky breaks.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Among university professors, for example, getting tenure is a major hurdle and milestone, and at most universities tenure depends heavily on having published some high-quality, original work. One researcher, Bob Boice, looked into the writing habits of young professors just starting out and tracked them to see how they fared. Not surprisingly, in a job where there is no real boss and no one sets schedules or tells you what to do, these young professors took a variety of approaches. Some would collect information until they were ready and then write a manuscript in a burst of intense energy, over perhaps a week or two, possibly including some long days and very late nights. Others plodded along at a steadier pace, trying to write a page or two every day. Others were in between. When Boice followed up on the group some years later, he found that their paths had diverged sharply. The page-a-day folks had done well and generally gotten tenure. The so-called “binge writers” fared far less well, and many had had their careers cut short. The clear implication was that the best advice for young writers and aspiring professors is: Write every day. Use your self-control to form a daily habit, and you’ll produce more with less effort in the long run.
Roy F. Baumeister (Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength)
The land, now, well I'll tell you how I feel about that. It's done a good job, as good as it was able to, anyway, and it's got a right to look tired. It'd be pretty upsetting if it looked any other way. Yes, and the hardness is all right, too. It's been through something pretty hard, and some of that hardness was bound to rub off. And sometimes a frown sets a lot better with you than a smile. Something that's taken a beating, you don't want to see it laugh. And just because it's stopped laughing doesn't mean it'll never laugh again.
Jim Thompson (Cropper's Cabin)
Buck used to be a huge manwhore. Like, epically slutty. Sunny has done a great job of taming him. He’s like a big, well-groomed, fun-loving yeti when it comes to her.
Helena Hunting (Forever Pucked (Pucked, #4))
A psychologist’s job (if it’s done well) is to get you to seriously laugh at yourself.
Clifford Cohen
he’d experienced the lovely warm feeling of a bad job well done.
Neil Gaiman (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Good, that's a job well done," Grishmak said cheerfully. "Am I the only one who's hungry?
Stuart Hill (The Cry of the Icemark)
To this day, George H.W. Bush remains the only real-life president to congratulate superheroes in videogames for a job well done.
Chris Baker (WRONG! Retro Games, You Messed Up Our Comic Book Heroes! (Awesomely Nerdy Nitpicks 1))
The fact is that if the Christian home, church, and school have done their job well and the student has learned well, he may be one of the few on the earth who understand the real world.
Jim Berg (Changed Into His Image)
For work success to lead to confidence, the job has to be challenging and it must require effort. It has to be done without too much help. And it cannot go well every single day. A long run of easy successes creates a sort of fragile confidence, the kind that is shattered when the first failure comes along. A more resilient confidence comes from succeeding—and from surviving some failures.
Meg Jay (The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now)
The primary goal of parenting, beyond keeping our children safe and loved, is to convey to them a sense that it is possible to be happy in an uncertain world, to give them hope. We do this, of course, by example more than by anything we say to them. If we can demonstrate in our own lives qualities of commitment, determination, and optimism, then we have done our job and can use our books of child-rearing advice for doorstops or fireplace fuel. What we cannot do is expect that children who are constantly criticized, bullied, and lectured will think well of themselves and their futures.
Gordon Livingston (Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now)
Well... there might be a slight problem with the she-devil in your room," she admitted. What! Demon red shimmered before his eye. "Did you harm her?" "What? Sweet lil me? She shook her head, all innocence. "But I may or may not have done some research and come across a bit of info that said hacking off all the her hair would severely weaken her. Then I may or may not have snuck in your bedroom with a pair of scissors and taken these." She lifted her arms and clutched in both her hands were thick hanks of golden hair. "By the way, I may or may not know for a fact that the rumors are definitely not true." Going. To. Kill. Her. "The Red Queen may or may not have woken up mid style job," Anya continued blithely, "and may or may not have taken the scissors away from me and given me a new style of my own.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld, #11))
Jack put his hands on his hips, surveying the scene with a satisfied nod. "That turned out much better than I'd hoped." "Please,let's leave!" "What's your hurry? Let's take a moment to bask in the satisfaction of a job well done." "I didn't want to do that!" "No?" He cocked his head and raised his eyebrows. "I thought you hated the fey." "I do,but that doesn't mean I want to run around the Faerie Realms lighting everything on fire!" "What's the point in hating something if you aren't proactive?" He put his arm around my shoulders, steering me to look at the inferno with him. "You can't tell me that's not satisfying, not after what you saw.Faeries care about very few things,but they're quite fond of their little trinkets. That boat was a particular favorite of hers,not to mention the entire lake. All the centuries she spent crafting this landscape,then poof! One excellently thrown firebomb, and you've made her feel anger and pain more deeply than she's probably ever known. And far less than she deserves to know.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
Poor things, she thought - do they have to spend all this energy just to surround me? It seemed pitiful that these automatons should be created and wasted, never knowing more than a minor fragment of the pattern in which they were involved, to learn and follow through insensitively a tiny step in the great dance which was seen close up as the destruction of Natalie, and far off, as the end of the world. They had all earned their deaths, Natalie thought, by a job well done - the woman in the seat ahead who had never needed a face, had perhaps been given for her part only the back of a head and a dark cloth coat collar, the man in the seat next to Natalie, a full-dress part, even to the watchchain and the grimy shirt collar - had not this same man, as a matter of fact, been close to Natalie in the station, memorising her face so that although when next they met she would not know him, he would be able to identify her, winking and gesturing with his head to the others, murmuring perhaps to the bus driver, 'That one, there.
Shirley Jackson (Hangsaman)
The best ways to cultivate humility is by practicing trickle up gratitude. What’s that? You ask. It is when someone thanks you for a job well done, and then you thank God for the opportunity to do what you do.
Charles F Glassman
There is a plain under a dim sky. It is covered with gentle rolling curves that might remind you of something else if you saw it from a long way away, and if you did see it from a long way away you'd be very glad that you were, in fact, a long way away. Three gray figures floated just above it. Exactly what they were can't be described in normal language. Some people might call them cherubs, although there was nothing rosy-cheeked about them. They might be rumored among those who see to it that gravity operates and that time stays separate from space. Call them auditors. Auditors of reality. They were in conversation without speaking. They didn't need to speak. They just changed reality so that they had spoken. One said, It has never happened before. Can it be done? One said, It will have to be done. There is a personality. Personalities come to an end. Only forces endure. It said this with satisfaction. One said, Besides... there have been irregularities. Where you get personality, you get irregularities. Well-known fact. One said, He has worked inefficiently? One said, No. We can't get him there. One said, That is the point. The word is him. Becoming a personality is inefficient. We don't want it to spread. Supposing gravity developed a personality? Supposing it decided to like people? One said, Got a crush on them, that sort of thing? One said, in a voice that would have been even chillier if it was not already at absolute zero, No. One said, Sorry. Just my little joke. One said, Besides, sometimes he wonders about his job. Such speculation is dangerous. One said, No argument there. One said, Then we are agreed? One, who seemed to have been thinking about something, said, Just one moment. Did you not just use the singular pronoun "my?" Not developing a personality, are you? One said, guiltily, Who? Us? One said, Where there is personality, there is discord. One said, Yes. Yes. Very true. One said, All right. But watch it in future. One said, Then we are agreed? They looked up at the face of Azrael, outlined against the sky. In fact, it was the sky. Azrael nodded, slowly. One said, Very well. Where is this place? One said, It is the Discworld. It rides through space on the back of a giant turtle. One said, Oh, one of that sort. I hate them. One said, You're doing it again. You said "I." One said, No! No! I didn't! I never said "I!"... oh, bugger... It burst into flame and burned in the same way that a small cloud of vapor burns, quickly and with no residual mess. Almost immediately, another one appeared. It was identical in appearance to its vanished sibling. One said, Let that be a lesson. To become a personality is to end. And now... let us go.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
I like the late Bernard Haldane's definition of an achievement. He says it is: something you yourself feel you have done well, that you also enjoyed doing and felt proud of. In other words you are looking for an accomplishment that gave you two pleasures: enjoyment while doing it, and satisfaction from the outcome. That doesn't mean you may not have sweated as you did it, or hated some parts of the process, but it does mean that basically you enjoyed most of the process. The pleasure was not simply in the outcome, but along the way as well.
Richard Nelson Bolles (What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers)
The best ways to cultivate humility is by practicing trickle up gratitude. What’s that? You ask. It is when someone thanks you for a job well done, and your little voice inside thanks God for the opportunity to do what you do.
Charles F Glassman
If your written words become literal nails to crucify you with, then you have done your job well. You provoked a reaction, whether it is positive or negative is irrelevant. Writing that evokes no reaction is a body without a soul.
Stewart Stafford
Shit jobs tend to be blue collar and pay by the hour, whereas bullshit jobs tend to be white collar and salaried. Those who work shit jobs tend to be the object of indignities; they not only work hard but also are held in low esteem for that very reason. But at least they know they're doing something useful. Those who work bullshit jobs are often surrounded by honor and prestige; they are respected as professionals, well paid, and treated as high achievers - as the sort of people who can be justly proud of what they do. Yet secretly they are aware that they have achieved nothing; they feel they have done nothing to earn the consumer toys with which they fill their lives; they feel it's all based on a lie - as, indeed, it is.
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
In the past, my brain could only compute perfection or failure—nothing in between. So words like competent, acceptable, satisfactory, and good enough fell into the failure category. Even above average meant failure if I received an 88 out of 100 percent on an exam, I felt that I failed. The fact is most things in life are not absolutes and have components of both good and bad. I used to think in absolute terms a lot: all, every, or never. I would all of the food (that is, binge), and then I would restrict every meal and to never eat again. This type of thinking extended outside of the food arena as well: I had to get all of the answers right on a test; I had to be in every extracurricular activity […] The ‘if it’s not perfect, I quit’ approach to life is a treacherous way to live. […] I hadn’t established a baseline of competence: What gets the job done? What is good enough? Finding good enough takes trial and error. For those of us who are perfectionists, the error part of trial and error can stop us dead in our tracks. We would rather keep chasing perfection than risk possibly making a mistake. I was able to change my behavior only when the pain of perfectionism became greater than the pain of making an error. […] Today good enough means that I’m okay just the way I am. I play my position in the world. I catch the ball when it is thrown my way. I don’t always have to make the crowd go wild or get a standing ovation. It’s good enough to just catch the ball or even to do my best to catch it. Good enough means that I finally enjoy playing the game.
Jenni Schaefer (Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life)
INT. DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS CLASS—FOURTEEN YEARS PREVIOUSLY—DAY It is Boggart time. DUMBLEDORE supervises the line of teenagers advancing to try their luck. “Riddikulus”—“Riddikulus”—gusts of hilarity as a shark becomes a flotation device, a zombie’s head turns into a pumpkin, a vampire turns into a buck-toothed rabbit. DUMBLEDORE: All right, Newt. Be brave. 16-YEAR-OLD NEWT moves to the front of the queue. The Boggart turns into a Ministry desk. DUMBLEDORE: Mmm, that’s an unusual one. So Mr. Scamander fears what more than anything else in the world? 16-YEAR-OLD NEWT: Having to work in an office, sir. The class roars with laughter. DUMBLEDORE: Go ahead, Newt. 16-YEAR-OLD NEWT: Riddikulus! NEWT turns the desk into a gamboling wooden dragon and moves aside. DUMBLEDORE: Well done. Good job.
J.K. Rowling (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay (Fantastic Beasts: The Original Screenplay, #2))
As an author my number 1 goal is to help others overcome despair...which is something that has plague me in my lifetime. If my writing could have help at least one person overcome it in their lifetime, then when I look back at my life...I can believe, I did a job well done.
Timothy Pina (Bullying Ben: How Benjamin Franklin Overcame Bullying)
Your generation is suffering from what for lack of a better word I shall call over-debunk. There was a lot of debunking that had to be done, of course. Bigotry, militarism, nationalism, religious intolerance, hypocrisy, phonyness, all sorts of dangerous, ready-made, artificially preserved false values. But your generation and the generation before yours went too far with their debunking job. You went overboard. Over-debunk, that's what you did. It's moral overkill. It's like those insecticides Rachel Carson speaks of in her book, that poison everything, and kill all the nice, useful bugs as well as the bad ones, and in the end poison human beings as well. In the end, it poisons life itself, the very air we breathe. That's what you did, morally and intellectually speaking. Yours is a silent spring. You have overprotected yourselves. You are all no more than twenty, twenty-two years old, but yours is a silent spring, I'm telling you. Nothing sings for you any more.
Romain Gary (خداحافظ گاری کوپر)
We don’t have to do anything at all to die. We can hide in a cupboard under the stairs our whole life and it’ll still find us. Death will show up wearing an invisible cloak and it will wave a magic wand and whisk us away when we least expect it. It will erase every trace of our existence on this earth and it will do all this work for free. It will ask for nothing in return. It will take a bow at our funeral and accept the accolades for a job well done and then it will disappear. Living is a little more complex. There’s one thing we always have to do. Breathe.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
As a parent is our job to teach our children wrong from right, but when they grow up we don't give up. don't say I did my job "I taught them well enough so I trust them completely." Remember children are like apples in the basket, if one bad apple is in the basket it will rotten the whole basket of apples" as you can see our job is not done our job just started, teen age children need as much love and support as toddlers doo.
Zybeta Metani' Marashi
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))
Allan praised Herbert for a job well done and for acting the part well. Herbert blushed, while dismissing the praise, saying that it wasn't hard to play stupid when you are stupid. Allan said that he didn't know how hard it was, because the idiots Allan had met so far in his life had all tried to do the opposite.
Jonas Jonasson
I was a really good waitress. Waitressing takes a certain gusto. You need a good memory and an ability to connect with people fast. You have to learn how to treat the kitchen as well as you treat the customers. You have to figure out which crazy people to listen to and which crazy people to ignore. I loved waiting tables because when you cashed out at the end of the night your job was truly over. You wiped down your section and paid out your busboy and you knew your work was done.
Amy Poehler
A study at Cornell University found that low-level noise both lowered job motivation and increased stress levels. It appears as well that an open-office type of environment can contribute to musculoskeletal problems such as a stiff back or tense neck and even heart disease due to increased levels of epinephrine, a stress hormone.
Jeff Davidson (The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Things Done)
If companies really want their workers to produce, they should try to impart a sense of meaning—not just through vision statements but by allowing employees to feel a sense of completion and ensuring that a job well done is acknowledged. At the end of the day, such factors can exert a huge influence on satisfaction and productivity.
Dan Ariely (The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home)
You will know your job is done well when it goes unnoticed, that you have succeeded when you are unnoticed.
Kate Morton (The House at Riverton)
There ain’t no pay beneath the sun As sweet as rest when a job’s well done. I was born to work up to my grave But I was not born To be a slave. One
Maya Angelou (The Complete Poetry)
I have never done well in cities, even though I lived in one by necessity—because my husband needed to be there, because the best jobs for me were there,
Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1))
Worthwhile work is done well.
Lailah Gifty Akita
Maybe I can do some writing then. The phrase made him sick. It had no meaning anymore. Like a word that is repeated until it becomes gibberish that sentence, for him, had been used to extinction. It sounded silly; like some bit of cliché from a soap opera. Hero saying in dramatic tones – Now, by God, maybe I can do some writing. Senseless. For a moment, though, he wondered if it was true. Now that she was leaving could he forget about her and really get some work done? Quit his job? Go somewhere and hold up in a cheap furnished room and write? You have $123.89 in the bank, his mind informed him. He pretended it was the only thing that kept him from it. But, far back in his mind, he wondered if he could write anything. Often the question threw itself at him when he was least expecting it. You have four hours every morning, the statement would rise like a menacing wraith. You have time to write many thousands of words. Why don't you? And the answer was always lost in a tangle of becauses and wells and endless reasons that he clung to like a drowning man at straws.(“Mad House”)
Richard Matheson (Collected Stories, Vol. 1)
Tell me I’ve done my fuckin’ job as your man, Tessa, and made sure you aren’t doubting that. `Cause if I haven’t and that’s what’s got you stuck in your head thinkin’ the worst the way you’re doing right fuckin’ now, the way I’ve watched you do the past five months, my life might as well end right here, `cause I don’t deserve shit. Not you. Not anything more than this. Nothing.
J. Daniels (So Much More (Alabama Summer, #5.5))
Opening the lid, I looked down at the gleaming belt buckle and rubbed my thumb over the engraved word 'Champion'. Realizing that right then I actually felt like one, I dropped my knee in the dirt, pulled my cowboy hat from my head, put it to my chest, raised a hand to my forehead and thanked the heavens for a job well done, a clean, safe ride and for the woman waiting for me in the stands.
Carly Kade (Cowboy Away (In The Reins #2))
What was recognized as success—the applause, the exclamations, the job well done; she was already off the horse, pumping people’s hands in congratulations—did not fill her. Did not even begin to fill her. What she wanted was the despair, or something else that was found there. Something that lived with despair. But the moment she was inside it, she failed to find what it was she wanted so badly. And so she would ride again.
Amanda Coplin (The Orchardist)
It is easy to mourn the lives we aren’t living. Easy to wish we’d developed other talents, said yes to different offers. Easy to wish we’d worked harder, loved better, handled our finances more astutely, been more popular, stayed in the band, gone to Australia, said yes to the coffee or done more bloody yoga. It takes no effort to miss the friends we didn’t make and the work we didn’t do and the people we didn’t marry and the children we didn’t have. It is not difficult to see yourself through the lens of other people, and to wish you were all the different kaleidoscopic versions of you they wanted you to be. It is easy to regret, and keep regretting, ad infinitum, until our time runs out. But it is not the lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It’s the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people’s worst enemy. We can’t tell if any of those other versions would have been better or worse. Those lives are happening, it is true, but you are happening as well, and that is the happening we have to focus on. Of course, we can’t visit every place or meet every person or do every job, yet most of what we’d feel in any life is still available. We don’t have to play every game to know what winning feels like. We don’t have to hear every piece of music in the world to understand music. We don’t have to have tried every variety of grape from every vineyard to know the pleasure of wine. Love and laughter and fear and pain are universal currencies. We just have to close our eyes and savour the taste of the drink in front of us and listen to the song as it plays. We are as completely and utterly alive as we are in any other life and have access to the same emotional spectrum. We only need to be one person. We only need to feel one existence. We don’t have to do everything in order to be everything, because we are already infinite. While we are alive we always contain a future of multifarious possibility. So let’s be kind to the people in our own existence. Let’s occasionally look up from the spot in which we are because, wherever we happen to be standing, the sky above goes on for ever. Yesterday I knew I had no future, and that it was impossible for me to accept my life as it is now. And yet today, that same messy life seems full of hope. Potential. The impossible, I suppose, happens via living. Will my life be miraculously free from pain, despair, grief, heartbreak, hardship, loneliness, depression? No. But do I want to live? Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
Hey kid. Remember when John asked you to be in charge of watering the plants outside our door?' Eden frowns for a second, digging through his memories, and then a grin lights us his face. 'I did a pretty good job, didn't I?' 'You built that little makeshift catapult in front of our door.' I close my eyes and indulge in the memory, a temporary distraction from all the pain. 'Yeah, I remember that thing. You kept lobbing water balloons at those poor flowers. Did they have any petals when you were done? Oh man, John was so pissed.' He was even madder because Eden was only four at the time, well, how do you punish your wide-eyed baby brother.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
Guy goes to the doc, and he says, ‘Doc, you gotta help me. I got this terrible headache. It feels like somebody is pounding a nail through my forehead. Like I got a big pair of pliers squeezing behind my ears. It’s tension from my job. I can’t stop working right now, but the headache’s killing me. You gotta help.’ So the doc says, ‘You know, I do have a cure. Exactly the same thing happened to me—I was working too much, and I got exactly the same headache. Then one night I was performing oral sex on my wife, and her legs were squeezing my head really tight, really hard, and the pressure must have done something, because the headache was a lot better. So I did this every night for two weeks, and at the end of two weeks, the headache was gone.’ And the guy says, ‘I’m desperate, Doc, I’ll try anything.’ The doc said, ‘Well, then, I’ll see you in two weeks.’ So the guy goes away, and two weeks later he comes back for his appointment and he’s the most cheerful guy in the world. And he says, ‘Doc, you’re a miracle worker. I did just what you told me, and the headache’s gone. Vanished. I feel great. I think it’s got to be the pressure, and—by the way, you’ve got a beautiful home.
John Sandford (Easy Prey (Lucas Davenport, #11))
Most people, like the Israelites, complain far more often than they express gratitude. People frequently register a complaint with a manufacturer or service provider, but they rarely write a note of thanks for a job well done. We would all do well to consider writing a thank you note each time we write a letter of complaint. Similarly, and more importantly, too many people criticize their spouses more often than they compliment them. That is the road to an unhappy marriage.
Dennis Prager (The Rational Bible: Exodus)
How are you feeling?’ I asked. ‘Fine,’ he replied with a tired smile. ‘Well done!’ I replied, as I think patients need to be congratulated for their surviving just as much as the surgeons should be congratulated for doing their job well. ‘It’s
Henry Marsh (Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery)
She needed a break from me. Well, real ones anyway. Fictional men were fine: they knew their place. You could just pick up a book, flick through to the right page, take your fill of your favorite hero and then return them to the shelf. Job done.
Victoria Connelly
Therefore, to you, and to the fifty governors, I have a request. Please, do not send me politicians. We do not have the time to do the things that must be done through that process. I need people who do real things in the real world. I need people who do not want to live in Washington. I need people who will not try to work the system. I need people who will come here at great personal sacrifice to do an important job, and then return home to their normal lives. “I want engineers who know how things are built. I want physicians who know how to make sick people well. I want cops who know what it means when your civil rights are violated by a criminal. I want farmers who grow real food on real farms. I want people who know what it’s like to have dirty hands, and pay a mortgage bill, and raise kids, and worry about the future. I want people who know they’re working for you and not themselves. That’s what I want. That’s what I need. I think that’s what a lot of you want, too.
Tom Clancy (Executive Orders (Jack Ryan, #8; Jack Ryan Universe #9))
I watched the light flicker on the limestone walls until Archer said, "I wish we could go to the movies." I stared at him. "We're in a creepy dungeon. There's a chance I might die in the next few hours. You are going to die in the next few hours. And if you had one wish, it would be to catch a movie?" He shook his head. "That's not what I meant. I wish we weren't like this. You know, demon, demon-hunter. I wish I'd met you in a normal high school, and taken you on normal dates, and like, carried your books or something." Glancing over at me, he squinted and asked, "Is that a thing humans actually do?" "Not outside of 1950s TV shows," I told him, reaching up to touch his hair. He wrapped an arm around me and leaned against the wall, pulling me to his chest. I drew my legs up under me and rested my cheek on his collarbone. "So instead of stomping around forests hunting ghouls, you want to go to the movies and school dances." "Well,maybe we could go on the occasional ghoul hunt," he allowed before pressing a kiss to my temple. "Keep things interesting." I closed my eyes. "What else would we do if we were regular teenagers?" "Hmm...let's see.Well,first of all, I'd need to get some kind of job so I could afford to take you on these completely normal dates. Maybe I could stock groceries somewhere." The image of Archer in a blue apron, putting boxes of Nilla Wafers on a shelf at Walmart was too bizarre to even contemplate, but I went along with it. "We could argue in front of our lockers all dramatically," I said. "That's something I saw a lot at human high schools." He squeezed me in a quick hug. "Yes! Now that sounds like a good time. And then I could come to your house in the middle of the night and play music really loudly under your window until you took me back." I chuckled. "You watch too many movies. Ooh, we could be lab partners!" "Isn't that kind of what we were in Defense?" "Yeah,but in a normal high school, there would be more science, less kicking each other in the face." "Nice." We spent the next few minutes spinning out scenarios like this, including all the sports in which Archer's L'Occhio di Dio skills would come in handy, and starring in school plays.By the time we were done, I was laughing, and I realized that, for just a little while, I'd managed to forget what a huge freaking mess we were in. Which had probably been the point. Once our laughter died away, the dread started seeping back in. Still, I tried to joke when I said, "You know, if I do live through this, I'm gonna be covered in funky tattoos like the Vandy. You sure you want to date the Illustrated Woman, even if it's just for a little while?" He caught my chin and raised my eyes to his. "Trust me," he said softly, "you could have a giant tiger tattooed on your face, and I'd still want to be with you." "Okay,seriously,enough with the swoony talk," I told him, leaning in closer. "I like snarky, mean Archer." He grinned. "In that case, shut up, Mercer.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
His wife would never admit it to him, but Billy’s guess was that interns killed patients all the time, and their supervisors, with an eye for the long-term healer to come, mainly looked the other way. Well, it was the same with him. In order to get the greater job done, to mold your people as you saw fit and prepare them to effectively do the job in the years to come, you tolerated error, you turned a not-quite-blind eye to the actions of others and to your own actions. You created secrets and you kept secrets. Out on the streets, same thing: depending on the individual and the situation, sometimes you threw the Thor hammer at a misdemeanor, other times you let an individual walk who had no right to sleep in his own bed that night. You did all these things and more because as a boss, if you weren’t willing to play fast and loose when required, if you weren’t willing to make a discreet hash of the rule book now and then, on this job you might as well call in sick. That’s just the way it was. *
Harry Brandt (The Whites)
. . . Neither ecological nor social engineering will lead us to a conflict-free, simple path . . . Utilitarians and others who simply advise us to be happy are unhelpful, because we almost always have to make a choice either between different kinds of happiness--different things to be happy _about_--or between these and other things we want, which nothing to do with happiness. . . . Do we find ourselves a species naturally free from conflict? We do not. There has not, apparently, been in our evolution a kind of rationalization which might seem a possible solution to problems of conflict--namely, a takeover by some major motive, such as the desire for future pleasure, which would automatically rule out all competing desires. Instead, what has developed is our intelligence. And this in some ways makes matters worse, since it shows us many desirable things that we would not otherwise have thought of, as well as the quite sufficient number we knew about for a start. In compensation, however, it does help us to arbitrate. Rules and principles, standards and ideals emerge as part of a priority system by which we guide ourselves through the jungle. They never make the job easy--desires that we put low on our priority system do not merely vanish--but they make it possible. And it is in working out these concepts more fully, in trying to extend their usefulness, that moral philosophy begins. Were there no conflict, it [moral philosophy] could never have arisen. The motivation of living creatures does got boil down to any single basic force, not even an 'instinct of self-preservation.' It is a complex pattern of separate elements, balanced roughly in the constitution of the species, but always liable to need adjusting. Creatures really have divergent and conflicting desires. Their distinct motives are not (usually) wishes for survival or for means to survival, but for various particular things to be done and obtained while surviving. And these can always conflict. Motivation is fundamentally plural. . . An obsessive creature dominated constantly by one kind of motive, would not survive. All moral doctrine, all practical suggestions about how we ought to live, depend on some belief about what human nature is like. The traditional business of moral philosophy is attempting to understand, clarify, relate, and harmonize so far as possible the claims arising from different sides of our nature. . . . One motive does not necessarily replace another smoothly and unremarked. There is _ambivalence_, conflict behavior.
Mary Midgley (Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature)
In real life, we don't get to return to our twenties and step onto the airplane we were afraid to fly; or audition for the play that excited and scared us; or ask the beauty to dinner; or take the job in Boston, despite logistical concerns. What's done is done and all we can do is tell ourselves the intuitively well-crafted stories of what might have been. But in fiction, what has been done can be undone and what hasn't been done can be done -- and very often should be. No limitations. No excuses. And no regrets.
Robin Black
...motherhood is a huge shift in freedom and status. No one ever says, 'You're good at this, well done.' No one pays you. If you fuck up and drop the baby, then you'll get some attention, but if you keep your head down and do a 'good enough' job, you're ignored.
Viv Albertine
You have that look on your face,” Alessandro said, smiling as he tucked a damp lock of her blonde hair behind her ear. “What look?” Bree asked, resting a hand on his flushed chest, propping herself up on one elbow. She could feel the racing heart beneath. “The look of a woman who’s been rather well fucked, darling,” he grinned smugly. She punched his chest lightly. “Ego much?” “I see nothing wrong with taking pride in a job well done,” he pointed out. “Oh of course,” Bree said, laughing and dropped her head on his chest.
E. Jamie (The Betrayal (Blood Vows, #2))
Learn from success as well as from failure. Radical truth doesn’t require you to be negative all the time. Point out examples of jobs done well and the causes of their success. This reinforces the actions that led to the results and creates role models for those who are learning.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
more than 90 percent of the female runners come home with a buckle, while 50 percent of the men come up with an excuse. Not even Ken Chlouber can explain the sky-high female finishing rate, but he can damn well exploit it: “All my pacers are women,” Chlouber says. “They get the job done.
Christopher McDougall (Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen)
Tell me this- if you could have a guarantee that your child would be a National Merit Scholar and get into a prestigious college, have good work habits and a successful career, but that your relationship with him would be destroyed in the process, would you do it? Why not? Because you are made to love, that's why. We care about our relationships more than about our accomplishments. That's the way God made us. Then why don't we live that way? Why, come a damp and gloomy day in March, do we yell over a  math lesson or lose our temper over a writing assignment? Why do we see the lessons left to finish and get lost in an anxiety-ridden haze? We forget that we are dealing with a soul, a precious child bearing the Image of God, and all we can see is that there are only a few months left to the school year and we are still only halfway through the math book. When you are performing mommy triage- that is, when you have a crisis moment and have to figure out which fire to put out first- always choose your child. It's just a math lesson. It's only a writing assignment. It's a Latin declension. Nothing more. But your child? He is God's. And the Almighty put him in your charge for relationship. Don't damage that relationship over something so trivial as an algebra problem. And when you do (because you will, and so will I), repent. We like to feed our egos. When our children perform well, we can puff up with satisfaction and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. But as important as it is to give our children a solid education (and it is important, don't misunderstand me), it is far more important that we love them well.  Our children need to know that the most important thing about them is not whether they finished their science curriculum or score well on the SAT. Their worth is not bound up in a booklist or a test score. Take a moment. Take ten. Look deep into your child's eyes. Listen, even when you're bored. Break out a board game or an old picture book you haven't read in ages. Resting in Him means relaxing into the knowledge that He has put these children in our care to nurture. And nurturing looks different than charging through the checklist all angst-like. Your children are not ordinary kids or ordinary people, because there are no ordinary kids or ordinary people. They are little reflections of the
Sarah Mackenzie (Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace)
The one-eyed man stood helplessly by. "I'll help ya if ya want," he said. "Know what that son-of-a-bitch done? He come by an' he got on white pants. An' he says, 'Come on, le's go out to my yacht.' By God, I'll whang him some day!" He breathed heavily. "I ain't been out with a woman sence I los' my eye. An' he says stuff like that." And big tears cut channels in the dirt beside his nose. Tom said impatiently, "Whyn't you roll on? Got no guards to keep ya here." "Yeah, that's easy to say. Ain't so easy to get a job - not for a one-eye' man." Tom turned on him. "Now look-a-here, fella. You got that eye wide open. An' ya dirty, ya stink. Ya jus' askin' for it. Ya like it. Lets ya feel sorry for yaself. 'Course ya can't get no woman with that empty eye flappin' aroun'. Put somepin over it an' wash ya face. You ain't hittin' nobody with no pipe wrench." "I tell ya, a one-eye' fella got a hard row," the man said. "Can't see stuff the way other fellas can. Can't see how far off a thing is. Ever'thing's jus' flat." Tom said, "Ya full of crap. Why, I knowed a one-legged whore one time. Think she was takin' two-bits in a alley? No, by God! She's gettin' half a dollar extra. She says, 'How many one-legged women you slep' with? None!' she says. 'O.K.,' she says. 'You got somepin pretty special here, an it's gonna cos' ya half a buck extry.' An' by God, she was gettin' 'em, too, an' the fellas comin' out thinkin' they're pretty lucky. She says she's good luck. An' I knowed a hump-back in - in a place I was. Make his whole livin' lettin' folk rub his hump for luck. Jesus Christ, an' all you got is one eye gone." The man said stumblingly, "Well, Jesus, ya see somebody edge away from ya, an' it gets into ya." "Cover it up then, goddamn it. Ya stickin' it out like a cow's ass. Ya like to feel sorry for yaself. There ain't nothin' the matter with ya. Buy yaself some white pants. Ya gettin' drunk and cryin' in ya bed, I bet." ... The one-eyed man said softly, "Think - somebody'd like - me?" "Why, sure," said Tom. "Tell 'em ya dong's growed sence you los' your eye.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Bullshit jobs often pay quite well and tend to offer excellent working conditions. They’re just pointless. Shit jobs are usually not at all bullshit; they typically involve work that needs to be done and is clearly of benefit to society; it’s just that the workers who do them are paid and treated badly.
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
Why do you think you were born into a good family and raised so well for? It's the trade-off for all that responsinility! Quit worrying about whatever you can do it or not, and just DO IT! That's your job. And when you're all done and finished, I'll listen to all the crying and complaining that you want.
Shungiku Nakamura, 中村 春菊
What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Philosophers have pondered that question for centuries. I'm afraid the answer is disappointingly simple: Mating. That's it. Christians seem to think that life is a test, and that the goal is to get into Heaven. But that's like saying your job is to get a promotion. No, your job is to work. And then, if you worked hard, then you get promoted. Heaven is supposed to be a reward or promotion, for a job well done. And what's our job? "Be fruitful and multiply." We are here to mate and procreate. That's it. That's all there's to it. That's the meaning of life. Mating.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Why Men And Women Can't Be Friends: Honest Relationship Advice for Women (Educated Rants and Wild Guesses, #1))
We live in a world that values words over thoughts. This is precisely why people talk all the time and don’t think! Which is more valuable? Thoughts or words? People may talk about doing something, every day, and end up never doing it because it is not in their thoughts! On the other hand, a person may think about doing something, every day, without speaking of it, and at the end of the day the job is done. The energy is saved as is executed in the final outcome. So which is more valuable? The thoughts of a man or the words of a man? The thoughts of a man are more valuable than his words, because the thoughts of a man are the contents of his mind! And it is the mind of man that makes a man and dictates a man! And so, why do we value words over mental telepathy? Why do we shy away from the notion of mind communication? Why do we value the communication of words over the communication of minds? Is it because most of you do not understand it? Well, you do not understand it because you are too busy talking and not thinking. Not thinking about anything. Here is the big question: Should a thought reader value the words of the man over his thoughts? Are the words spoken the truth or are the thoughts in the mind, the truth? You think about it. You decide.
C. JoyBell C.
coconut sunblock, a five-year-old showing you the spot where his front tooth used to be, a home-cooked meal, when your love kisses that exact spot on your neck, a grandmother’s handwriting, a job well done, the kindness of strangers, the human spirit, an Appaloosa horse, the ritual of your faith, laughing until you pee your pants a little, holiday dessert tables, first birthday parties, a perfect cup of coffee with a view. What’s good will always be good, and one of the most awful, beautiful things about the hard seasons is that unless we experience hardship, we’ll never truly appreciate and remember the good that was always good.
Rachel Hollis (Didn't See That Coming: Putting Life Back Together When Your World Falls Apart)
The need for approval from Twitter users was something that her younger self probably would have sneered at, but now she saw it as the cost of doing business. It was fine to get likes, but what she really wanted was either a retweet or, even better, a completely original tweet commending her for a job well done, preferably one from someone in the tech world whose work she respected and who, ideally, had hundreds of thousands of followers. If the only people who liked the tweet were “eggs”—people whose Twitter presence was so lame that they hadn’t even bothered uploading avatars, or spambots, or both—she sometimes deleted the tweet.
Doree Shafrir (Startup)
Exemplary work, Agent Fraser.” “Thank you, ma’am,” I managed to say. I gestured vaguely in the direction of wherever she’d been injured. “How are you?” “Passably well. Well enough to do whatever is needed. And yourself?” “Uh, good. I’m good.” She seemed to expect more. “And I’m ready to get this done,” I added with enthusiasm. Jeez, I sounded like such a dork. She gave me a sharp nod. “Commendable.[...]" [...] Ian lowered his voice. “I’m ready to get this done?” I cringed. “I know. You’ve got one more job as my partner.” “What’s that?” “Save me from myself.” “Spawn and doppelgangers I can do, but saving you from yourself is too tall an order for any man.
Lisa Shearin (The Grendel Affair (SPI Files, #1))
I suggested she write down her thoughts" He said, "...and, well, my daughter is a very thorough woman." "I can see that." Waxillium said. "I suggest that you never ask her to pass the milk" Wayne added under his breath, so only Waxillium could hear "She seems likely to throw a cow at you just to be certain the job is done thoroughly.
Brandon Sanderson (The Alloy of Law (Mistborn, #4))
The lack of self-listening is often the cause of communication breakdown. If we could hear our words and comments through the ears of our listeners, we would be appalled at the overgeneralizations, the inaccuracies, and the insensitive, negative comments we make about ourselves and others. Learning to carefully select our words plays a major role in presenting ourselves in a favorable light, getting along well with others, and effectively getting the job done. When we make self-deprecating remarks about our looks, intelligence, or competence, we reveal an unhealthy mindset, chip away at our self-confidence, and create the wrong impressions, setting the stage for us not to be taken seriously.
Rebecca Z. Shafir (The Zen of Listening: Mindful Communication in the Age of Distraction)
Overwork is repulsive to human nature—not work. Overwork for supplying the few with luxury—not work for the well-being of all. Work is a physiological necessity, a necessity of spending accumulated bodily energy, a necessity which is health and life itself. If so many branches of useful work are so reluctantly done now, it is merely because they mean overwork, or they are improperly organised. But we know—old Franklin knew it—that four hours of useful work every day would be more than sufficient for supplying everybody with the comfort of a moderately well-to-do middle-class house, if we all gave ourselves to productive work, and if we did not waste our productive powers as we do waste them now.
Pyotr Kropotkin (Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings)
The passionate state of mind is often indicative of a lack of skill, talent or power. Moreover, passionate intensity can serve as a substitute for the confidence born of proficiency and the possession of power. A workingman sure of his skill goes leisurely about his job, and accomplishes much though he works as if at play. On the other hand, the workingman who is without confidence attacks his work as if he were saving the world, and he must do so if he is to get anything done. The same is true of the soldier. A well-trained and well-equipped soldier will fight well even when not sitrred by strong feeling. But the untrained soldier will give a good account of himself only when animated by enthusiasm and fervor.
Eric Hoffer (The Passionate State of Mind: And Other Aphorisms)
Find what you love to do, what you're good at and passionate about and then dedicate your entire life to working hard at it. I wil say it again. Work hard. I mean that. Even if you're not sure where that work will lead, even if it is underappreciated or undervalued. Do it because the satisfaction, pride, and sense of self that comes from a job well done; from being the very best at what you do; from knowing that you did this, will be your ulltimate weapon and our greatest shield in a life that will often test you. One day destiny may conspire to take everything away from you, but it can never take away the abilities you have cultivated. As I am sure your grandfather will tell you, your winning lottery ticket is your mind.
Amy Mowafi (Fe-mail 2)
Rose of Sharon Chapter 16 Me an’ Connie don’t want to live in the country no more. We got it all planned up what we gonna do. Well, we talked about it, me an’ Connie. Ma, we want to live in a town. Connie gonna get a job in a store or maybe a factory. An’ he’s gonna study at home, maybe radios, so he can get to be a expert an’ maybe later have his own store. An’ we’ll go to pitchers whenever. An’ Connie says I’m gonna have a doctor when the baby’s born; an’ he says we’ll see how times is, an’ maybe I’ll go to a hospiddle. An’ we’ll have a car, a little car. An’ when he gets done studying at night, why – it’ll be nice, an’ he tore a page out of Western Love Stories, an’ he’s gonna send off for a course ‘cause it don’t cost nothin’ to send off. Says right on that clipping. I seen it. An’, why- they even get you a job when you take that course-radios, it is—nice clean work, and a future. An’ we’ll live in town an’ go to pitchers whenever, an’ – well. I’m gonna have an ‘lectric iron! an’, the baby’ll have all new stuff-“white an’- Well, you seen in the catalogue all the stuff they got for a baby. Maybe right at first while Connie’s studying’ at home it wou’t be so easy, but-well, when the baby comes, maybe he’ll be all done studyin’ an’ we’ll have a place, little bit of a place. We don’t want nothin’ fancy, but we want it nice for the baby-“An’ I thougt-well, I thought maybe we could all go in town, an’ when Connie gets his store – maybe Al could work for him.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Sanchez got the phone call, listened carefully, glanced over at Spencer, in Whittaker's office, having his morning coffee. Hung up the phone, got up, went and knocked on the door, asked if he could see Spencer a moment, and lowering his voice said, "Carl downstairs just called me because someone wants to file a vagrancy report. Spencer slapped him on the back. "Detective Sanchez, thank you for bringing the particulars of your job description to my attention. Well done. Go to it. Sanchez hemmed and said, "The young woman says she is Lily Quinn. Specifically asked for me, Carl says. Spencer didn't slap him on the back this time. He stared at Carl and then said, "All right smart-ass, go back to you desk. "That's what I thought," said Sanchez.
Paullina Simons (The Girl In Times Square)
Speaking of chocolate, what kind of cake are we having for the shower?” “I don’t know.” Sincerely shocked, Peabody jerked around in her seat. “You didn’t get cake?” “I don’t know. Probably.” Because the idea of the shower, what she had to do, hadn’t done, should do, made her stomach jitter, Eve squirmed. “Look, I called the caterer, okay? I did it myself. I didn’t dump it on Roarke, I didn’t ask—God forbid—Summerset to handle it.” “Well, what did you ask for? What’s the theme?” The jitters escalated into a roiling. “What do you mean, theme?” “You don’t have a theme? How can you have a baby shower without a theme?” “Jesus Christ, I need a theme? I don’t even know what that means. I called the caterer. I did my job. I told her it was a baby shower. I told her how many people, more or less. I told her when and where. She started asking me all kinds of questions, which gives me a fucking headache, and I told her not to ask me all kinds of questions or she was fired. Just to do whatever needed doing. Why isn’t that enough?” Peabody’s sigh was long and heartfelt. “Give me the caterer’s info, and I’ll check in with her. Does she do the decorations, too?” “Oh, my God. I need decorations?” “I’m going to help you, Dallas. I’m going to run interference with the caterer. I’m going to come over early on the day and help get it set up.” Eve narrowed her eyes and tried to ignore the joy and relief bubbling in her breast. “And what’s this going to cost me?” “Nothing. I like baby showers.” “You’re a sick, sick woman.
J.D. Robb
Look, guys, I know you mean well and you’re doing your job, but it’d be better for everyone if you all got back in your cars and drove away. Pretend like this never happened. I promise I’m not going to blow anything up and the most un-American thing I’ve ever done is root for South Korea in speed skating during the Olympics. This whole thing falls so far out of your jurisdiction it’s not even funny.” I pictured the officers cuffing Reth and reading him his rights, then trying to detain Cresseda. “Okay, it’s a little funny. But seriously. As far as you’re all concerned, I’m just a teen girl who is really far behind on planning for the dance decorating committee. And also dating an invisible boy.” “Orders are orders,” the mustachioed man said gruffly, elbowing the men around him and startling them out of their paranormal-induced stupor. “We’re taking you in.” He walked down the steps. I sighed. “Don’t make me call the dragon.” He laughed, and so did most of the others, but a few looked back at Lend and the blood drained from their faces. “Look, kid, I’m with you. I think this is all a mistake, maybe even a clerical error. We’ll figure it out at the station.” Arianna swore, stamping her foot. “That’s it! She put her fingers to her lips and let out a shrill, earsplitting whistle. A rush of wind engulfed us as the dragon in all its serpentine glory snaked out of the trees, settling onto the ground and rearing up to stare down at all of us. I thought I’d learn a few new words, but the men were too shocked to even swear this time.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
So for me the creative world isn’t what you do after your day job, though many professional musicians do this to make ends meet, but it’s something that IS a job. Perhaps that’s why I’m not as disheartened by the more cold blooded aspects of the industry. Over the course of watching my mother navigate the creative world I’ve seen just about every trick pulled that could have been and I’ve seen her deposit the checks received for a job well done. When I recently asked her why she chose the creative world she said: “Early on I decided that if I had to work I was going to work at something that I loved.” I’m glad she did. As difficult, chaotic, dysfunctional and crazy as the world in music and the arts can be I always knew that they mattered deeply to her, as they do to me.
Jamie Freveletti
So you open your mouth and listen to yourself say, “I want eight thousand a day. Plus expenses.” This is the polite, industry-standard way of saying “piss off, I’m not interested.” You did the math over your morning coffee: You want to earn 100K a year, what with those bonuses you’ve been pulling on top of your salary. (Besides, a euro doesn’t buy what it used to.) There are 250 working days in a year, and a contractor works for roughly 40 per cent of the time, so you need to charge yourself out at 2.5 times your payroll rate, or 1000 a day in order to meet your target. Not interested in the job? Pitch unrealistically high. You never know… “Done,” says Mr. Pin-Stripe, staring at you expressionlessly. And it is at that point that you realize you are well and truly fucked.
Charles Stross (Halting State (Halting State, #1))
When people are looking for causes of failure, they are predisposed to one of these positions. Suppose you apply for a job, but fail to get hired. Here are some possible answers you give. Global: I don't look good on paper and I get nervous at interviews. Specific: I don't really know enough about the kinds of products they sell. To look good at an interview, I need more of a feel for the business. Chronic: I don't have a dynamic, take-charge kind of personality. It's not who I am. Transient: I had just recovered from the flu and had not been sleeping well. I wasn't at my best. Personal: The job was there for the taking. I just couldn't get it done. Universal: they probably already had an insider picked out; the job search was just for show, and no outsider would have gotten the job.
Barry Schwartz
Larry smiled a trifle ruefully. "Like Rolla [who is?], I've come too late into a world too old. I should have been born in the Middle Ages when faith was a matter of course; then my way would have been clear to me and I'd have sought to enter the order. I couldn't believe. I wanted to believe, but I couldn't believe in a God who wasn't better than the ordinary decent man. The monks told me that God had created the world for his glorification. That didn't seem to me a very worthy object. Did Beethoven create his symphonies for his glorification? I don't believe it. I believe he created them because the music in his soul demanded expression and then all he tried to do was to make them as perfect as he knew how. I used to listen to the monks repeating the Lord's Prayer; I wondered how they could continue to pray without misgiving to their heavenly father to give them their daily bread. Do children beseech their earthly father to give them sustenance? They expect him to do it, they neither feel gratitude to him for doing so nor need to, and we have only blame for a man who brings children into the world that he can't or won't provide for. It seemed to me that if an omnipotent creator was not prepared to provide his creatures with the necessities, material and spiritual, of existence he'd have done better not to create them." "Dear Larry," I said, "I think it's just as well you weren't born in the Middle ages. You'd undoubtedly have perished at the stake." He smiled. "You've had a great deal of success," he went on. "Do you want to be praised to your face?" "It only embarrasses me." "That's what I should have thought. I couldn't believe that God wanted it either. We didn't think much in the air corps of a fellow who wangled a cushy job out of his C.O. By buttering him up. It was hard for me to believe that God thought much of a man who tried to wangle salvation by fulsome flattery. I should have thought the worship most pleasing to him was to do your best according to your lights.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
A true leader always leads by example, by demonstrating to others how the work is done. Sri Krishna, being a great spiritual leader of his time, also chose to perform certain worldly activities. Why? He explains, “If ever I cease to be vigilantly engaged in action, then people would follow my footsteps in every way and no one would perform action.”28 The life of Krishna is marked by ordinariness. He did the earthly job of cow herding, and also indulged in romancing, dancing and playing the flute. He demonstrated a life for others to emulate. He led a balanced life with his strengths as well as frailties. His life was, therefore, not extraordinary. He was not an epitome of perfection. He showed others how to lead a normal, worldly life by himself performing all the actions and yet drifting away from it by reaching for higher ideals.
Nihar Satpathy (The Puzzles of Life)
For a moment I just watch Sean wrap Corr’s leg, watching how his shoulders move when they’re not hidden by his jacket, how he tilts his head when he’s involved in his work. He either hasn’t noticed my arrival or he’s pretending that he hasn’t, and either’s fine by me. There’s something rewarding about watching a job done well, or at least a job done with everything you’ve got. I try to put my finger on how it is that Sean Kendrick seems so different to other people, what it is about him that makes him seem so intense and still at the same time, and I think, finally, that it’s something about hesitation. Most people hesitate between steps or pause or are somehow uneven about the process. Whether that process is wrapping a leg or eating a sandwich or just living life. But with Sean, there’s never a move he’s not sure of, even if it means not moving at all.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
Perfectionists are working not to improve the world but to keep it under control. They do everything perfectly not for the satisfaction of a job well done but as a way of camouflaging addiction’s presence in the family. By keeping everything orderly, they’re trying to make the disease less noticeable. They work tirelessly to create a perfect family life but are rarely cognizant of what motivates their obsession. Through their eyes, perfectionism is their finest quality. It’s the way they provide the ones they love with the very best. They have no idea that perfectionism is an outgrowth of fear and that it’s more about looking happy than being happy. The compulsion to have the cleanest house, cook the best meals, plant the perfect garden, and always look perfectly coiffed is, for the perfectionist, a way to stay safe. After all, when the house is well kept, the children are properly dressed, and everyone has good manners, how can
Debra Jay (No More Letting Go: The Spirituality of Taking Action Against Alcoholism and Drug Addiction)
By now the moon was well down. Over the tree tops they had seen her cruise across the heavens to strike on a reef of jagged clouds, and now she foundered among them in the semblance of a ruined galleon, the sails lost overboard, the belly-shaped hull punctured; and just above her there swung a single red star, like a riding light set on an invisible spar to mark the wreck. But the moon had come up, not as a ship but as a tipsy tile-layer. First, across her contract, she flung a long stepladder of celestial gold; then so wrought that the waves all turned to silver scallops with a separate bright rime for each separate tessellation. But the job was done only to be undone. As the wind went down with her, the water was smoothing out; the checkers were vanishing, the paved surface, between the shores, changing and tarnishing to a duller metal. Catching tone from this, the woodland grew denser and darker. Open spaces which ten minutes before had been glades for the fairies to dance in were mysteries for witchcraft now.
Irvin S. Cobb (On an Island that Cost Twenty-Four Dollars)
. . . I bet I'm beginning to make some parents nervous - here I am, bragging of being a dropout, and unemployable, and about to make a pitch for you to follow your creative dreams, when what parents want is for their children to do well in their field, to make them look good, and maybe also to assemble a tasteful fortune . . . But that is not your problem. Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to live it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who you are . . . I do know you are not what you look like, or how much you weigh, or how you did in school, or whether you start a job next Monday or not. Spirit isn't what you do, it's . . . well, again, I don't actually know. They probably taught this junior year at Goucher; I should've stuck around. But I know that you feel best when you're not doing much - when you're in nature, when you're very quiet or, paradoxically, listening to music . . . We can see Spirit made visible when people are kind to one another, especially when it's a really busy person, like you, taking care of the needy, annoying, neurotic person, like you. In fact, that's often when we see Spirit most brightly . . . In my twenties I devised a school of relaxation that has unfortunately fallen out of favor in the ensuing years - it was called Prone Yoga. You just lay around as much as possible. You could read, listen to music, you could space out or sleep. But you had to be lying down. Maintaining the prone. You've graduated. You have nothing left to prove, and besides, it's a fool's game. If you agree to play, you've already lost. It's Charlie Brown and Lucy, with the football. If you keep getting back on the field, they win. There are so many great things to do right now. Write. Sing. Rest. Eat cherries. Register voters. And - oh my God - I nearly forgot the most important thing: refuse to wear uncomfortable pants, even if they make you look really thin. Promise me you'll never wear pants that bind or tug or hurt, pants that have an opinion about how much you've just eaten. The pants may be lying! There is way too much lying and scolding going on politically right now without having your pants get in on the act, too. So bless you. You've done an amazing thing. And you are loved; you're capable of lives of great joy and meaning. It's what you are made of. And it's what you're here for. Take care of yourselves; take care of one another. And give thanks, like this: Thank you.
Anne Lamott (Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)
What makes the SAT bad is that it has nothing to do with what kids learn in high school. As a result, it creates a sort of shadow curriculum that furthers the goals of neither educators nor students.… The SAT has been sold as snake oil; it measured intelligence, verified high school GPA, and predicted college grades. In fact, it’s never done the first two at all, nor a particularly good job at the third.” Yet students who don’t test well or who aren’t particularly strong at the kind of reasoning the SAT assesses can find themselves making compromises on their collegiate futures—all because we’ve come to accept that intelligence comes with a number. This notion is pervasive, and it extends well beyond academia. Remember the bell‐shaped curve we discussed earlier? It presents itself every time I ask people how intelligent they think they are because we’ve come to define intelligence far too narrowly. We think we know the answer to the question, “How intelligent are you?” The real answer, though, is that the question itself is the wrong one to ask.
Ken Robinson (The Element - How finding your passion changes everything)
We are the consciousness of the universe, and our job is to spread that around, to go look at things, to live everywhere we can. It’s too dangerous to keep the consciousness of the universe on only one planet, it could be wiped out. And so now we’re on two, three if you count the moon. And we can change this one to make it safer to live on. Changing it won’t destroy it. Reading its past might get harder, but the beauty of it won’t go away. If there are lakes, or forests, or glaciers, how does that diminish Mars’s beauty? I don’t think it does. I think it only enhances it. It adds life, the most beautiful system of all. But nothing life can do will bring Tharsis down, or fill Marineris. Mars will always remain Mars, different from Earth, colder and wilder. But it can be Mars and ours at the same time. And it will be. There is this about the human mind: if it can be done, it will be done. We can transform Mars and build it like you would build a cathedral, as a monument to humanity and the universe both. We can do it, so we will do it. So - we might as well start
Kim Stanley Robinson (Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1))
Captain Marquet came to understand that the role of the leader is not to bark commands and be completely accountable for the success or failure of the mission. It is a leader’s job instead to take responsibility for the success of each member of his crew. It is the leader’s job to ensure that they are well trained and feel confident to perform their duties. To give them responsibility and hold them accountable to advance the mission. If the captain provides direction and protection, the crew will do what needs to be done to advance the mission.
Simon Sinek (Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't)
We know from subsequent leaks that the president was indeed presented with information about the seriousness of the virus and its pandemic potential beginning at least in early January 2020. And yet, as documented by the Washington Post, he repeatedly stated that “it would go away.” On February 10, when there were 12 known cases, he said that he thought the virus would “go away” by April, “with the heat.” On February 25, when there were 53 known cases, he said, “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away.” On February 27, when there were 60 cases, he said, famously, “We have done an incredible job. We’re going to continue. It’s going to disappear. One day—it’s like a miracle—it will disappear.” On March 6, when there were 278 cases and 14 deaths, again he said, “It’ll go away.” On March 10, when there were 959 cases and 28 deaths, he said, “We’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” On March 12, with 1,663 cases and 40 deaths recorded, he said, “It’s going to go away.” On March 30, with 161,807 cases and 2,978 deaths, he was still saying, “It will go away. You know it—you know it is going away, and it will go away. And we’re going to have a great victory.” On April 3, with 275,586 cases and 7,087 deaths, he again said, “It is going to go away.” He continued, repeating himself: “It is going away.… I said it’s going away, and it is going away.” In remarks on June 23, when the United States had 126,060 deaths and roughly 2.5 million cases, he said, “We did so well before the plague, and we’re doing so well after the plague. It’s going away.” Such statements continued as both the cases and the deaths kept rising. Neither the virus nor Trump’s statements went away.
Nicholas A. Christakis (Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live)
Check the baby and then teach that idiot a lesson in manners.” “I do so love it when you go all soldier on me.” “Quit flirting with me and get the job done.” “You started it by blowing up the house,” he pointed out righteously. Dutifully he took another look at Sebastian. The bouncing of the Humvee didn’t seem to bother him, although he did open his eyes to stare at his father through narrow, sleep slits. “We’re fine, son,” Kane soothed. “Mommy’s a terrible driver, but she’s having fun, so we’ll overlook it this once.” Sebastian’s little bow of a mouth curved in a smile, and his eyes closed.
Christine Feehan (Ruthless Game (GhostWalkers, #9))
say that you were a woman living on a farm at the turn of the last century. You have a lot of kids and not a lot of money. Winter’s coming, and you’ve got to feed them all the way through it. When do you start planning? The split minute you get through the last winter, that’s when. You pull out the seeds you saved from last year’s crop, you start your seeds, you plant your garden (and no, you can’t rent a rototiller, so you probably have to fuss around with a hoe or a horse and plow or something). And don’t forget that if that garden is going to feed the family it’s going to have to be a rather massive—cute container gardening or interesting Pinterest-worthy novelty gardens would not cut it. You tend it all summer, and you harvest. You can, you dry, you preserve. You fill your root cellar and hopefully by midway through autumn you can stand back and survey the fruit of all that labor, grateful that it all came together and secure in the knowledge that you have supplied your family with what they need. Now compare that feeling with grabbing a can of beans at the store and feeling happy that you remembered to do that so there’s some green on your kids’ plates tonight. It’s much easier, yes . . . but not quite the same in terms of satisfaction in a job well done.
Rebekah Merkle (Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity)
At this point, I must describe an important study carried out by Clare W. Graves of Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. on deterioration of work standards. Professor Graves starts from the Maslow-McGregor assumption that work standards deteriorate when people react against workcontrol systems with boredom, inertia, cynicism... A fourteen-year study led to the conclusion that, for practical purposes, we may divide people up into seven groups, seven personality levels, ranging from totally selfpreoccupied and selfish to what Nietzsche called ‘a selfrolling wheel’-a thoroughly self-determined person, absorbed in an objective task. This important study might be regarded as an expansion of Shotover’s remark that our interest in the world is an overflow of our interest in ourselves—and that therefore nobody can be genuinely ‘objective’ until they have fully satiated the subjective cravings. What is interesting—and surprising—is that it should not only be possible to distinguish seven clear personality-ypes, but that these can be recognised by any competent industrial psychologist. When Professor Graves’s theories were applied in a large manufacturing organisation—and people were slotted into their proper ‘levels’—the result was a 17% increase in production and an 87% drop in grumbles. The seven levels are labelled as follows: (1) Autistic (2) Animistic (3) Awakening and fright (4) Aggressive power seeking (5) Sociocentric (6) Aggressive individualistic (7) Pacifist individualistic. The first level can be easily understood: people belonging to it are almost babylike, perhaps psychologically run-down and discouraged; there is very little to be done with these people. The animistic level would more probably be encountered in backward countries: primitive, superstitious, preoccupied with totems and taboos, and again poor industrial material. Man at the third level is altogether more wide-awake and objective, but finds the complexity of the real world frightening; the best work is to be got out of him by giving him rules to obey and a sense of hierarchical security. Such people are firm believers in staying in the class in which they were born. They prefer an autocracy. The majority of Russian peasants under the Tsars probably belonged to this level. And a good example of level four would probably be the revolutionaries who threw bombs at the Tsars and preached destruction. In industry, they are likely to be trouble makers, aggressive, angry, and not necessarily intelligent. Management needs a high level of tact to get the best out of these. Man at level five has achieved a degree of security—psychological and economic—and he becomes seriously preoccupied with making society run smoothly. He is the sort of person who joins rotary clubs and enjoys group activities. As a worker, he is inferior to levels three and four, but the best is to be got out of him by making him part of a group striving for a common purpose. Level six is a self-confident individualist who likes to do a job his own way, and does it well. Interfered with by authoritarian management, he is hopeless. He needs to be told the goal, and left to work out the best way to achieve it; obstructed, he becomes mulish. Level seven is much like level six, but without the mulishness; he is pacifistic, and does his best when left to himself. Faced with authoritarian management, he either retreats into himself, or goes on his own way while trying to present a passable front to the management. Professor Graves describes the method of applying this theory in a large plant where there was a certain amount of unrest. The basic idea was to make sure that each man was placed under the type of supervisor appropriate to his level. A certain amount of transferring brought about the desired result, mentioned above—increased production, immense decrease in grievances, and far less workers leaving the plant (7% as against 21% before the change).
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
It was hard to ask someone like Zara about that sort of thing directly, so the psychologist asked instead: “Why do you like your job?” “Because I’m an analyst. Most people who do the same job as me are economists,” Zara replied immediately. “What’s the difference?” “Economists only approach problems head-on. That’s why economists never predict stock market crashes.” “And you’re saying that analysts do?” “Analysts expect crashes. Economists only earn money when things go well for the bank’s customers, whereas analysts earn money all the time.” “Does that make you feel guilty?” the psychologist asked, mostly to see if Zara thought that word was a feeling or something to do with gold plating. “Is it the croupier’s fault if you lose your money at the casino?” Zara asked. “I’m not sure that’s a fair comparison.” “Why not?” “Because you use words like ‘stock market crash,’ but it’s never the stock market or the banks that crash. Only people do that.” “There’s a very logical explanation for why you think that.” “Really?” “It’s because you think the world owes you something. It doesn’t.” “You still haven’t answered my question. I asked why you like your job. All you’ve done is tell me why you’re good at it.” “Only weak people like their jobs.” “I don’t think that’s true.” “That’s because you like your job.” “You say that as if there’s something wrong with that.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
Toyota wasn’t really worried that it would give away its “secret sauce.” Toyota’s competitive advantage rested firmly in its proprietary, complex, and often unspoken processes. In hindsight, Ernie Schaefer, a longtime GM manager who toured the Toyota plant, told NPR’s This American Life that he realized that there were no special secrets to see on the manufacturing floors. “You know, they never prohibited us from walking through the plant, understanding, even asking questions of some of their key people,” Schaefer said. “I’ve often puzzled over that, why they did that. And I think they recognized we were asking the wrong questions. We didn’t understand this bigger picture.” It’s no surprise, really. Processes are often hard to see—they’re a combination of both formal, defined, and documented steps and expectations and informal, habitual routines or ways of working that have evolved over time. But they matter profoundly. As MIT’s Edgar Schein has explored and discussed, processes are a critical part of the unspoken culture of an organization. 1 They enforce “this is what matters most to us.” Processes are intangible; they belong to the company. They emerge from hundreds and hundreds of small decisions about how to solve a problem. They’re critical to strategy, but they also can’t easily be copied. Pixar Animation Studios, too, has openly shared its creative process with the world. Pixar’s longtime president Ed Catmull has literally written the book on how the digital film company fosters collective creativity2—there are fixed processes about how a movie idea is generated, critiqued, improved, and perfected. Yet Pixar’s competitors have yet to equal Pixar’s successes. Like Toyota, Southern New Hampshire University has been open with would-be competitors, regularly offering tours and visits to other educational institutions. As President Paul LeBlanc sees it, competition is always possible from well-financed organizations with more powerful brand recognition. But those assets alone aren’t enough to give them a leg up. SNHU has taken years to craft and integrate the right experiences and processes for its students and they would be exceedingly difficult for a would-be competitor to copy. SNHU did not invent all its tactics for recruiting and serving its online students. It borrowed from some of the best practices of the for-profit educational sector. But what it’s done with laser focus is to ensure that all its processes—hundreds and hundreds of individual “this is how we do it” processes—focus specifically on how to best respond to the job students are hiring it for. “We think we have advantages by ‘owning’ these processes internally,” LeBlanc says, “and some of that is tied to our culture and passion for students.
Clayton M. Christensen (Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice)
Women are also more reluctant to apply for promotions even when deserved, often believing that good job performance will naturall lead to rewards. Carol Frohlinger and Deborah Kolb, founders of Negotiating Women, Inc., describe this as the "Tiara Syndrome", where women "expect that if they keep doign their job well someone will notice them and place a tiara on their head". In a perfect meritocracy, tiaras would be doled out to the deserving, but I have yet to see on floating around an office. Hard work and results should be recognized by others, but when they aren't, advocating for oneself becomes necessary. As discussed earlier, this must be done with great care. But it must be done.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
There was also in his nature a trait which some people might have called laziness, though it was not quite that. No one was capable of harder work, when it had to be done, and few could better shoulder responsibility; but the facts remained that he was not passionately fond of activity, and did not enjoy responsibility at all. Both were included in his job, and he made the best of them, but he was always ready to give way to any one else who could function as well or better. It was partly this, no doubt, that had made his success in the Service less striking than it might have been. He was not ambitious enough to shove his way past others, or to make an important parade of doing nothing when there was really nothing doing. His dispatches were sometimes laconic to the point of curtness, and his calm in emergencies, though admired, was often suspected of being too sincere. Authority likes to feel that a man is imposing some effort on himself, and that his apparent nonchalance is only a cloak to disguise an outfit of well-bred emotions. With Conway the dark suspicion had sometimes been current that he really was as unruffled as he looked, and that whatever happened, he did not give a damn. But this, too, like the laziness, was an imperfect interpretation. What most observers failed to perceive in him was something quite bafflingly simple—a love of quietness, contemplation, and being alone.
James Hilton (Lost Horizon)
Does everyone else have this figured out? Is my hole too deep? And where is all the water going? We pause to catch our breath, wondering if everyone else feels like an epic failure too. One person can’t possibly keep up with a clean house, a fulfilling job, a well-adjusted family, an active social life, and a running regimen of fifteen miles a week, right? With silence our only answer, we decide, No, it’s just me. I need to get it together. What follows is a flurry of habit trackers, calendar overhauls, and internet rabbit holes to figure out how to be better, until we pass out from emotional exhaustion or actual adrenal fatigue or we give up completely and head back to the beach house for a shame-filled margarita.
Kendra Adachi (The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn't, and Get Stuff Done)
The crucial lesson of Brexit and of Trump's victory, is that leaders who are seen as representing the failed neoliberal status quo are no match for the demagogues and neo-fascists. Only a bold and genuinely redistributive progressive agenda can offer real answers to inequality and the crises in democracy...We need to remember this the next time we're asked to back a party or candidate in an election. In this destabilized era, status-quo politicians often cannot get the job done. On the other hand, the choice that may at first seem radical, maybe even a little risky, may well be the most pragmatic one in this volatile era...radical political and economic change is our only hope of avoiding radical change to our physical world.
Naomi Klein
Early in To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem refuses to come down from the tree house and eat breakfast because his father won't play football for the Methodists. Atticus goes out to invite Jem in to eat, but Jem refuses. Atticus doesn't get into a long discussion. He has made his offer and quietly walks away when Jem stubbornly declares he will not come down. 'Suit yourself,' says Atticus simply. He can rest easy because he's done his job as a loving father, and if Jem decides to go hungry, that's his choice. The wise father knows when to walk away and leave well enough alone. As a teacher , I wish I had realized this early in my career, but at least I know it now. Whether I deal with administrators, parents, teachers, or students, I have my answer.
Rafe Esquith (There Are No Shortcuts)
Stephen Colbert: [sitting to Stewart’s right at the anchor desk] Actually, Jon, we’re not quite done. Jon Stewart: [rolling away from Colbert on his chair and nearly toppling off the riser] Don’t do this. Stephen Colbert: [rolling after Stewart and grabbing him by the arm] No—you can’t stop anyone, because they don’t work for you anymore! Huge mistake! Jon Stewart: Please don’t do this. Stephen Colbert: Here’s the thing: You said to me and to many other people here years ago never to thank you, because we owe you nothing. Jon Stewart: [quietly] That’s right. Stephen Colbert: It’s one of the few times I’ve known you to be dead wrong… We owe you because we learned from you, by example, how to do a show with intention, with clarity. How to treat people with respect. You are infuriatingly good at your job, okay? [Stewart covers his eyes, which appear to be filled with tears] And all of us who were lucky enough to work with you—and you can edit this out later—for sixteen years are better at our jobs because we got to watch you do yours. And we are better people for having known you… Personally, I do not know how this son of a poor, Appalachian turd miner—I do not know what I would do if you hadn’t brought me on this show. I’d be back in those hills, mining turds with Pappy! Jon—and it’s almost over—I know you are not asking for this, but on behalf of so many people whose lives you changed over the past sixteen years, thank you. And now, I believe your line—correct me if I’m wrong—is “We’ll be right back.
Chris Smith (The Daily Show (The Audiobook): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests)
While there is widespread recognition that the War on Drugs is racist and that politicians have refused to invest in jobs or schools in their communities, parents of offenders and ex-offenders still feel intense shame—shame that their children have turned to crime despite the lack of obvious alternatives. One mother of an incarcerated teen, Constance, described her angst this way: “Regardless of what you feel like you’ve done for your kid, it still comes back on you, and you feel like, ‘Well, maybe I did something wrong. Maybe I messed up. You know, maybe if I had a did it this way, then it wouldn’t a happened that way.’” After her son’s arrest, she could not bring herself to tell friends and relatives and kept the family’s suffering private. Constance is not alone.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Sheepwalking I define “sheepwalking” as the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a brain-dead job and enough fear to keep them in line. You’ve probably encountered someone who is sheepwalking. The TSA “screener” who forces a mom to drink from a bottle of breast milk because any other action is not in the manual. A “customer service” rep who will happily reread a company policy six or seven times but never stop to actually consider what the policy means. A marketing executive who buys millions of dollars’ worth of TV time even though she knows it’s not working—she does it because her boss told her to. It’s ironic but not surprising that in our age of increased reliance on new ideas, rapid change, and innovation, sheepwalking is actually on the rise. That’s because we can no longer rely on machines to do the brain-dead stuff. We’ve mechanized what we could mechanize. What’s left is to cost-reduce the manual labor that must be done by a human. So we write manuals and race to the bottom in our search for the cheapest possible labor. And it’s not surprising that when we go to hire that labor, we search for people who have already been trained to be sheepish. Training a student to be sheepish is a lot easier than the alternative. Teaching to the test, ensuring compliant behavior, and using fear as a motivator are the easiest and fastest ways to get a kid through school. So why does it surprise us that we graduate so many sheep? And graduate school? Since the stakes are higher (opportunity cost, tuition, and the job market), students fall back on what they’ve been taught. To be sheep. Well-educated, of course, but compliant nonetheless. And many organizations go out of their way to hire people that color inside the lines, that demonstrate consistency and compliance. And then they give these people jobs where they are managed via fear. Which leads to sheepwalking. (“I might get fired!”) The fault doesn’t lie with the employee, at least not at first. And of course, the pain is often shouldered by both the employee and the customer. Is it less efficient to pursue the alternative? What happens when you build an organization like W. L. Gore and Associates (makers of Gore-Tex) or the Acumen Fund? At first, it seems crazy. There’s too much overhead, there are too many cats to herd, there is too little predictability, and there is way too much noise. Then, over and over, we see something happen. When you hire amazing people and give them freedom, they do amazing stuff. And the sheepwalkers and their bosses just watch and shake their heads, certain that this is just an exception, and that it is way too risky for their industry or their customer base. I was at a Google conference last month, and I spent some time in a room filled with (pretty newly minted) Google sales reps. I talked to a few of them for a while about the state of the industry. And it broke my heart to discover that they were sheepwalking. Just like the receptionist at a company I visited a week later. She acknowledged that the front office is very slow, and that she just sits there, reading romance novels and waiting. And she’s been doing it for two years. Just like the MBA student I met yesterday who is taking a job at a major packaged-goods company…because they offered her a great salary and promised her a well-known brand. She’s going to stay “for just ten years, then have a baby and leave and start my own gig.…” She’ll get really good at running coupons in the Sunday paper, but not particularly good at solving new problems. What a waste. Step one is to give the problem a name. Done. Step two is for anyone who sees themselves in this mirror to realize that you can always stop. You can always claim the career you deserve merely by refusing to walk down the same path as everyone else just because everyone else is already doing it.
Seth Godin (Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations, 2006-2012)
Hence, the eighth principle: whenever possible, we should manage our thinking by creating cognitively congenial situations. We often regard the brain as an organ of awesome and almost unfathomable power. But we’re also apt to treat it with high-handed imperiousness, expecting it to do our bidding as if it were a docile servant. Pay attention to this, we tell it; remember that; buckle down now and get the job done. Alas, we often find that the brain is an unreliable and even impertinent attendant: fickle in its focus, porous in its memory, and inconstant in its efforts. The problem lies in our attempt to command it. We’ll elicit improved performance from the brain when we approach it with the aim not of issuing orders but of creating situations that draw out the desired result.
Annie Murphy Paul (The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain)
Our culture has done everything in its power to rid itself of having to think of death and its consequences. As a result, we don’t talk about it, think about it, or do a very good job preparing ourselves for its certain arrival. As a result, we enter into the grieving process unprepared for what lies ahead. We don’t realize the range of emotions we are going to face, and we often don’t even know how to reach out to those around us for their help and comfort. What’s even worse is that many feel uneasy giving comfort, because it isn’t “the thing to do” in our society. We are all supposed to be able to “handle things on our own.” Well, grief is not handled well alone. God made us social beings, and when we lose a loved one, we desire and need the help and assistance of others. Give
James R. White (Grieving: Your Path Back to Peace)
Just ask me how to get bloodstains out of a fur coat. No, really, go ahead. Ask me. The secret is cornmeal and brushing the fur the wrong way. The tricky part is keeping your mouth shut. To get blood off of piano keys, polish them with talcum powder or powdered milk. This isn’t the most marketable job skill, but to get bloodstains out of wallpaper, put on a paste of cornstarch and cold water. This will work just as well to get blood out of a mattress or a davenport. The trick is to forget how fast these things can happen. Suicides. Accidents. Crimes of passion. Just concentrate on the stain until your memory is completely erased. Practice really does make perfect. If you could call it that. Ignore how it feels when the only real talent you have is for hiding the truth. You have a God-given knack for committing a terrible sin. It’s your calling. You have a natural gift for denial. A blessing. If you could call it that. Even after sixteen years of cleaning people’s houses, I want to think the world is getting better and better, but really I know it’s not. You want there to be some improvement in people, but there won’t be. And you want to think there’s something you can get done. Cleaning this same house every day, all that gets better is my skill at denying what’s wrong. God forbid I should ever meet who I work for in person. Please don’t get the idea I don’t like my employers. The caseworker has gotten me lots worse postings. I don’t hate them. I don’t love them, but I don’t hate them. I’ve worked for lots worse. Just ask me how to get urine stains out of drapes and a tablecloth. Ask me what’s the fastest way to hide bullet holes in a living-room wall. The answer is toothpaste. For larger calibers, mix a paste of equal parts starch and salt. Call me the voice of experience.
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
Sometimes,” she told me, “a girl will give a guy a blow job at the end of the night because she doesn’t want to have sex with him and he expects to be satisfied. So if I want him to leave and I don’t want anything to happen . . .” She trailed off, leaving me to imagine the rest. There was so much to unpack in that short statement: why a young man should expect to be sexually satisfied; why a girl not only isn’t outraged, but considers it her obligation to comply; why she doesn’t think a blow job constitutes “anything happening”; the pressure young women face in any personal relationship to put others’ needs before their own; the potential justification of assault with a chaser of self-blame. “It goes back to girls feeling guilty,” Anna said. “If you go to a guy’s room and are hooking up with him, you feel bad leaving him without pleasing him in some way. But, you know, it’s unfair. I don’t think he feels badly for you.” In their research on high school girls and oral sex, April Burns, a professor of psychology at City University of New York, and her colleagues found that girls thought of fellatio kind of like homework: a chore to get done, a skill to master, one on which they expected to be evaluated, possibly publicly. As with schoolwork, they worried about failing or performing poorly—earning the equivalent of low marks. Although they took satisfaction in a task well done, the pleasure they described was never physical, never located in their own bodies. They were both dispassionate and nonpassionate about oral sex—socialized, the researchers concluded, to see themselves as “learners” in their encounters rather than “yearners.” The concern with pleasing, as opposed to pleasure, was pervasive among the girls I met, especially among high schoolers, who were just starting sexual experimentation.
Peggy Orenstein (Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape)
February 20 MORNING “God, that comforteth those that are cast down.” — 2 Corinthians 7:6 AND who comforteth like Him? Go to some poor, melancholy, distressed child of God; tell him sweet promises, and whisper in his ear choice words of comfort; he is like the deaf adder, he listens not to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. He is drinking gall and wormwood, and comfort him as you may, it will be only a note or two of mournful resignation that you will get from him; you will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to His child, let Him lift up his countenance, and the mourner’s eyes glisten with hope. Do you not hear him sing — “ ’Tis paradise, if thou art here; If thou depart, ’tis hell”? You could not have cheered him: but the Lord has done it; “He is the God of all comfort.” There is no balm in Gilead, but there is balm in God. There is no physician among the creatures, but the Creator is Jehovah-rophi. It is marvellous how one sweet word of God will make whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is the goldbeater, and can hammer that promise out for whole weeks. So, then, poor Christian, thou needest not sit down in despair. Go to the Comforter, and ask Him to give thee consolation. Thou art a poor dry well. You have heard it said, that when a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first of all, and then you will get water, and so, Christian, when thou art dry, go to God, ask Him to shed abroad His joy in thy heart, and then thy joy shall be full. Do not go to earthly acquaintances, for you will find them Job’s comforters after all; but go first and foremost to thy “God, that comforteth those that are cast down,” and you will soon say, “In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
We know that multitasking can even be fatal when lives are at stake. In fact, we fully expect pilots and surgeons to focus on their jobs to the exclusion of everything else. And we expect that anyone in their position who gets caught doing otherwise will always be taken severely to task. We accept no arguments and have no tolerance for anything but total concentration from these professionals. And yet, here the rest of us are—living another standard. Do we not value our own job or take it as seriously? Why would we ever tolerate multitasking when we’re doing our most important work? Just because our day job doesn’t involve bypass surgery shouldn’t make focus any less critical to our success or the success of others. Your work deserves no less respect. It may not seem so in the moment, but the connectivity of everything we do ultimately means that we each not only have a job to do, but a job that deserves to be done well.
Gary Keller (The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
The strongest evidence yet was published in 2010. In a painstaking long-term study, much larger and more thorough than anything done previously, an international team of researchers tracked one thousand children in New Zealand from birth until the age of thirty-two. Each child’s self-control was rated in a variety of ways (through observations by researchers as well as in reports of problems from parents, teachers, and the children themselves). This produced an especially reliable measure of children’s self-control, and the researchers were able to check it against an extraordinarily wide array of outcomes through adolescence and into adulthood. The children with high self-control grew up into adults who had better physical health, including lower rates of obesity, fewer sexually transmitted diseases, and even healthier teeth. (Apparently, good self-control includes brushing and flossing.) Self-control was irrelevant to adult depression, but its lack made people more prone to alcohol and drug problems. The children with poor self-control tended to wind up poorer financially. They worked in relatively low-paying jobs, had little money in the bank, and were less likely to own a home or have money set aside for retirement. They also grew up to have more children being raised in single-parent households, presumably because they had a harder time adapting to the discipline required for a long-term relationship. The children with good self-control were much more likely to wind up in a stable marriage and raise children in a two-parent home. Last, but certainly not least, the children with poor self-control were more likely to end up in prison. Among those with the lowest levels of self-control, more than 40 percent had a criminal conviction by the age of thirty-two, compared with just 12 percent of the people who had been toward the high end of the self-control distribution in their youth.
Roy F. Baumeister (Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength)
You all should feel excited. You have made history, although, unfortunately, not for a good reason, because the government has put policies in place that have so hammered small businesses that they have created a job market that makes life incredibly difficult for young people.   The recession of the early 1980s was comparable but was followed by a rapid recovery.   Well, gosh, what happened in the early 1980s? President Ronald Reagan was elected. He implemented policies the exact opposite of this administration's policies. Instead of jacking up taxes by $1.7 trillion, as this Congress and this President has done, President Reagan slashed taxes and simplified the Tax Code. Instead of exploding government spending and the debt, President Reagan restrained the growth of government spending. And instead of unleashing regulators like locusts that destroy small businesses, President Reagan restrained regulation and the result was incredible growth.   For
Ted Cruz (TED CRUZ: FOR GOD AND COUNTRY: Ted Cruz on ISIS, ISIL, Terrorism, Immigration, Obamacare, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Republicans,)
So who does run a company these days? Not the shareholders or the board. They largely find out after the fact that things have gone well or badly. Nor are firms cooperatives. Anybody who has tried to run a company by consensus will tell you how disastrously bad an idea that is. Interminable meetings follow hard upon each other’s heels as everybody tries to get everybody else to see his or her point of view. Nothing gets done, and tempers fray. The problem with consensus is that people are not allowed to be different. It’s like trying to drive a car in which the brake and the accelerator have to do similar jobs. No, what really works inside a big firm is division of labour: you do what you’re good at, I’ll do what I’m good at, and we’ll coordinate our actions. That is what actually happens in practice inside most companies, and good management means good coordination. The employees specialise and exchange, just like participants in a market, or citizens in a city. The
Matt Ridley (The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge)
The foundation of our thinking is the Theory of Jobs to Be Done, which focuses on deeply understanding your customers’ struggle for progress and then creating the right solution and attendant set of experiences to ensure you solve your customers’ jobs well, every time. “Theory” may conjure up images of ivory tower musings, but I assure you that it is the most practical and useful business tool we can offer you. Good theory helps us understand “how” and “why.” It helps us make sense of how the world works and predict the consequences of our decisions and our actions. Jobs Theory5, we believe, can move companies beyond hoping that correlation is enough to the causal mechanism of successful innovation. Innovation may never be a perfect science, but that’s not the point. We have the ability to make innovation a reliable engine for growth, an engine based on a clear understanding of causality, rather than simply casting seeds in the hopes of one day harvesting some fruit.
Clayton M. Christensen (Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice)
If I’d had a good week—a real “Christian” week”—I felt close to God. When Sunday came around, I would feel like lifting my head and hands in worship, almost as if to say, “God, here I am . . . I know You’re excited about seeing me this week.” If I’d had a stellar week, I loved being in God’s presence and was sure God was pretty stoked about having me there too. But the opposite was also true. If I hadn’t done a good job at being a real Christian, I felt pretty distant from God. If I’d fallen to some temptations, been a jerk to my wife, dodged some easy opportunities to share Christ, was stingy with my money, forgotten to recycle, kicked the dog, etc. . . . well, on those weeks I felt like God wanted nothing to do with me. When I came to church, I had no desire to lift my soul up to God. I was pretty sure He didn’t want to see me either. I could feel His displeasure—His lack of approval. That’s because I didn’t really understand the gospel. Or, at least I had forgotten it.
J.D. Greear (Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary)
Success in our society has to be ratified by publicity. The tycoon who lives in personal obscurity, the empire builder who controls the destinies of nations from behind the scenes, are vanishing types. Even nonelective officials, ostensibly preoccupied with questions of high policy, have to keep themselves constantly on view; all politics becomes a form of spectacle. It is well known that Madison Avenue packages politicians and markets them as if they were cereals or deodorants; but the art of public relations penetrates even more deeply into political life, transforming policy making itself. The modern prince does not much care that “there’s a job to be done”—the slogan of American capitalism at an earlier and more enterprising stage of its development; what interests him is that “relevant audiences,” in the language of the Pentagon Papers, have to be cajoled, won over, seduced. He confuses successful completion of the task at hand with the impression he makes or hopes to make on others.
Christopher Lasch (The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations)
Voldemort caught up with you?” said Lupin sharply. “What happened? How did you escape?” Harry explained briefly how the Death Eaters pursuing them had seemed to recognize him as the true Harry, how they had abandoned the chase, how they must have summoned Voldemort, who had appeared just before he and Hagrid had reached the sanctuary of Tonks’s parents. “They recognized you? But how? What had you done?” “I . . .” Harry tried to remember; the whole journey seemed like a blur of panic and confusion. “I saw Stan Shunpike . . . . You know, the bloke who was the conductor on the Knight Bus? And I tried to Disarm him instead of—well, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, does he? He must be Imperiused!” Lupin looked aghast. “Harry, the time for Disarming is past! These people are trying to capture and kill you! At least Stun if you aren’t prepared to kill!” “We were hundreds of feet up! Stan’s not himself, and if I Stunned him and he’d fallen, he’d have died the same as if I’d used Avada Kedavra! Expelliarmus saved me from Voldemort two years ago,” Harry added defiantly. Lupin was reminding him of the sneering Hufflepuff Zacharius Smith, who had jeered at Harry for wanting to teach Dumbledore’s Army how to Disarm. “Yes, Harry,” said Lupin with painful restraint, “and a great number of Death Eaters witnessed that happening! Forgive me, but it was a very unusual move then, under imminent threat of death. Repeating it tonight in front of Death Eaters who either witnessed or heard about the first occasion was close to suicidal!” “So you think I should have killed Stan Shunpike?” said Harry angrily. “Of course not,” said Lupin, “but the Death Eaters—frankly, most people!—would have expected you to attack back! Expelliarmus is a useful spell, Harry, but the Death Eaters seem to think it is your signature move, and I urge you not to let it become so!” Lupin was making Harry feel idiotic, and yet there was still a grain of defiance inside him. “I won’t blast people out of my way just because they’re there,” said Harry. “That’s Voldemort’s job.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Preventing job losses altogether is an unattractive and probably untenable strategy, because it means giving up the immense positive potential of AI and robotics. Nevertheless, governments might decide to deliberately slow down the pace of automation, in order to lessen the resulting shocks and allow time for readjustments. Technology is never deterministic, and the fact that something can be done does not mean it must be done. Government regulation can successfully block new technologies even if they are commercially viable and economically lucrative. For example, for many decades we have had the technology to create a marketplace for human organs, complete with human ‘body farms’ in underdeveloped countries and an almost insatiable demand from desperate affluent buyers. Such body farms could well be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Yet regulations have prevented free trade in human body parts, and though there is a black market in organs, it is far smaller and more circumscribed than what one could have expected.22
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
He needs to be talked to." "This is funny, but I know how to talk, too." Brian swore under his breath. "He prefers singing." "Excuse me?" "I said,he prefers singing." "Oh." Keeley tucked her tongue in her cheek. "Any particular tune? Wait, let me guess. Finnegan's Wake?" Brian''s steely-eyed stare had her laughing until she had to lean weakly against the gelding.The horse responded by twisting his head and trying to sniff her pockets for apples. "It's a quick tune," Brian said coolly, "and he likes hearing his name." "I know the chorus." Gamely Keeley struggled to swallow another giggle. "But I'm not sure I know all the words.There are several verses as I recall." "Do the best you can," he muttered and strode off.His lips twitched as he heard her launch into the song about the Dubliner who had a tippling way. When he reached Betty's box, he shook his head. "I should've known. If there's not a Grant one place, there's a Grant in another until you're tripping over them." Travis gave Betty a last pat on the shoulder. "Is that Keeley I hear singing?" "She's being sarcastic, but as long as the job's done. She's dug in her heels about grooming Finnegan." "She comes by it naturally.The hard head as well as the skill." "Never had so many owners breathing down my neck.We don't need them, do we, darling?" Brian laid his hands on Beetty's cheek, and she shook her head, then nibbled his hair. "Damn horse has a crush on you." "She may be your lady, sir, but she's my own true love.Aren't you beautiful, my heart?" He stroked, sliding into the Gaelic that had Betty's ears pricked and her body shifting restlessly. "She likes being excited before a race," Brian murmured. "What do you call it-pumped up like your American football players.Which is a sport that eludes me altogether as they're gathered into circles discussing things most of the time instead of getting on with it." "I heard you won the pool on last Monday nights game," Travis commented. "Betting's the only thing about your football I do understand." Brian gathered her reins. "I'll walk her around a bit before we take her down. She likes to parade.You and your missus will want to stay close to the winner's circle." Travis grinned at him. "We'll be watching from the rail." "Let's go show off." Brian led Betty out.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
The beauty of Mars exists in the human mind. without the human presence it is just a concatenation of atoms, no different than any other random speck of matter in the universe. It's we who understand it, and we who give it meaning. All our centuries of looking up at the night sky and watching it wander through the stars. All those nights of watching it through the telescopes, looking at a tiny disk trying to see canals in the albedo changes. All those dumb sci-fi novels with their monsters and maidens and dying civilizations. And all the scientists who studied the data, or got us here. That's what makes Mars Beautiful. Not the basalt and the oxides. Now that we are here, it isn't enough to just hide under ten meters of soil and study the rock. That's science, yes, and needed science too. But science is more than that. Science is part of a larger human enterprise, and that enterprise includes going to the stars, adapting to other planets, adapting them to us. Science is creation. The lack of life here, and the lack of any finding in fifty years of the SETI program, indicates that life is rare, and intelligent life even rarer. And yet the whole meaning of the universe, its beauty, is contained in the consciousness of intelligent life. We are the consciousness of the universe, and our job is to spread that around, to go look at things, to live everywhere we can. It's too dangerous to keep the consciousness of the universe on only one planet, it could be wiped out. And so now we're on two, three if you count the moon. And we can change this one to make it safer to live on. Changing it won't destroy it. Reading its past might get harder, but the beauty of it won't go away. If there are lakes, or forests, or glaciers, how does that diminish Mars beauty? I don't think it does. I think it only enhances it. It adds life, the most beautiful system of all. But nothing life can do will bring Tharsis down, or fill Marineris. Mars will always remain Mars, different from Earth, colder and wilder. But it can be Mars and ours at the same time. And it will be. There is this about the human mind; if it can be done, it will be done. We can transform Mars and build it like you would build a cathedral, as a monument to humanity and the universe both. We can do it, so we will do it. So, we might as well start.
Kim Stanley Robinson
As we’ve seen, one of the most frequently pursued paths for achievement-minded college seniors is to spend several years advancing professionally and getting trained and paid by an investment bank, consulting firm, or law firm. Then, the thought process goes, they can set out to do something else with some exposure and experience under their belts. People are generally not making lifelong commitments to the field in their own minds. They’re “getting some skills” and making some connections before figuring out what they really want to do. I subscribed to a version of this mind-set when I graduated from Brown. In my case, I went to law school thinking I’d practice for a few years (and pay down my law school debt) before lining up another opportunity. It’s clear why this is such an attractive approach. There are some immensely constructive things about spending several years in professional services after graduating from college. Professional service firms are designed to train large groups of recruits annually, and they do so very successfully. After even just a year or two in a high-level bank or consulting firm, you emerge with a set of skills that can be applied in other contexts (financial modeling in Excel if you’re a financial analyst, PowerPoint and data organization and presentation if you’re a consultant, and editing and issue spotting if you’re a lawyer). This is very appealing to most any recent graduate who may not yet feel equipped with practical skills coming right out of college. Even more than the professional skill you gain, if you spend time at a bank, consultancy, or law firm, you will become excellent at producing world-class work. Every model, report, presentation, or contract needs to be sophisticated, well done, and error free, in large part because that’s one of the core value propositions of your organization. The people above you will push you to become more rigorous and disciplined, and your work product will improve across the board as a result. You’ll get used to dressing professionally, preparing for meetings, speaking appropriately, showing up on time, writing official correspondence, and so forth. You will be able to speak the corporate language. You’ll become accustomed to working very long hours doing detail-intensive work. These attributes are transferable to and helpful in many other contexts.
Andrew Yang (Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America)
1 tablespoon flaked sea salt, like Maldon 2 pieces of salmon fillet with skin on, ⅓ pound each Olive oil Freshly ground black pepper and lemon wedges, for serving Scatter the salt evenly over a dry, well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron pan. A stainless steel pan will also work. If you’re using a stainless steel pan instead of cast iron, brush the pan lightly with oil before adding the salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. While the pan heats, dry the fish fillets well with paper towels and lay them flat on a large plate. Brush with olive oil on both sides. Place the fish into the hot pan, skin side down. Turn the heat down slightly if the crackle sounds too loud and sputtery. Cover with a lid. If you don’t have a lid that fits your pan, a metal baking sheet will do the job. Cook without moving the fillets for 3 to 5 minutes, until the skin is brown and crisp, and releases easily from the pan. Flip the fillets and cook them uncovered for another 2 to 4 minutes, depending on their thickness. The fish is done when the flesh deep inside is still faintly translucent and the internal temperature reads 125 degrees. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and lemon wedges. Serves 2.
Jessica Fechtor (Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home)
Raising both of her glowing palms, she beckoned him with wiggling fingers. “Come on, then. I’ll go another round. Though by now even an amoeba would’ve learned not to fuck with me.” Everyone grew still, silent. Then Cade started back down for her, redoubling his speed. “No, Cade, I’ve got this,” she said evenly, never looking away from Bowe. Meanwhile, Bowe had subtly pulled his head back, feeling as if he’d just been presented with a species of creature he had never seen. Then he caught Rydstrom’s look of amusement—the demon was obviously loving this—and he found himself . . . grinning. “Kitten’s quick to bear those claws, is she no’?” Rydstrom ruefully shook his head at Bowe, as if sorry for his unavoidable and imminent demise, then got everyone, including a reluctant Cade, moving again. As Bowe passed Mariketa, he leaned in close. Not bothering to hide his surprise, he murmured to her, “And damn if she does no’ have them sunk into me.” Her gray-eyed gaze was wary. He noted that she kept her palms fired up for some time after they continued on. Even after her blatant show of magick, he felt so proud she’d held her ground that he wanted to stand tall and point her out as his female. That’s my lass. Mine. But his heart was also thundering because he realized that in the heart of the full moon, when he was completely turned, she might not run from him. He still intended to get her away from him before this full moon, but for the future . . . Excitement burned within him, and he found himself closing in on her and saying, “You’re bonny when you’re about to strike.” “You would know.” “Come, then, sheath your claws, kitten. And we’ll be friends once more.” “We weren’t friends to begin with!” “You’re warming to me. I can tell.” “True. I only throw guys I dig. And don’t you dare call me kitten again!” “You look like one with your wee, pointed ears.” “Are you done?” “Canna say.” He was silent for a moment, then added, “Think you’re the bravest lass I’ve ever seen. Though I doona care for your using magick against me so readily. Do you enjoy it?” She seemed to mull this for a moment, then raised her brows. “I do. Besides, I think you need someone to threaten you now and again. To remind the great and powerful Lykae that you’re not so unbeatable.” “Aye, I do.” He clasped her hand in his. “Sign on.” She pulled out of his grasp. “I don’t do temp jobs. And that’s all you’re offering.
Kresley Cole (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (Immortals After Dark, #3))
One of the many real-life examples comes from Charlie Jones, a well-respected broadcaster for NBC-TV, who revealed that hearing the story of Who Moved My Cheese? saved his career. His job as a broadcaster is unique, but the principles he learned can be used by anyone. Here’s what happened: Charlie had worked hard and had done a great job of broadcasting Track and Field events at an earlier Olympic Games, so he was surprised and upset when his boss told him he’d been removed from these showcase events for the next Olympics and assigned to Swimming and Diving. Not knowing these sports as well, he was frustrated. He felt unappreciated and he became angry. He said he felt it wasn’t fair! His anger began to affect everything he did. Then, he heard the story of Who Moved My Cheese? After that he said he laughed at himself and changed his attitude. He realized his boss had just “moved his Cheese.” So he adapted. He learned the two new sports, and in the process, found that doing something new made him feel young. It wasn’t long before his boss recognized his new attitude and energy, and he soon got better assignments. He went on to enjoy more success than ever and was later inducted into Pro Football’s Hall of Fame—Broadcasters’ Alley. That’s
Spencer Johnson (Who Moved My Cheese?)
The Smiths were unable to conceive children and decided to use a surrogate father to start their family. On the day the surrogate father was to arrive, Mr. Smith kissed his wife and said, "I'm off. The man should be here soon" Half an hour later, just by chance a door-to-door baby photographer rang the doorbell, hoping to make a sale. "Good morning, madam. I've come to...." "Oh, no need to explain. I've been expecting you," Mrs. Smith cut in. "Really?" the photographer asked. "Well, good. I've made a specialty of babies" "That's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat" After a moment, she asked, blushing, "Well, where do we start?" "Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch and perhaps a couple on the bed. Sometimes the living room floor is fun too; you can really spread out!" "Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work for Harry and me" "Well, madam, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But, if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven different angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results" "My, that's a lot of....." gasped Mrs. Smith. "Madam, in my line of work, a man must take his time. I'd love to be in and out in five minutes, but you'd be disappointed with that, I'm sure"  "Don't I know it," Mrs. Smith said quietly. The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures. "This was done on the top of a bus in downtown London" "Oh my God!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed, tugging at her handkerchief. "And these twins turned out exceptionally well, when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with" "She was difficult?" asked Mrs. Smith. "Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to Hyde Park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep, pushing to get a good look" "Four and five deep?" asked Mrs. Smith, eyes widened in amazement. "Yes," the photographer said, "And for more than three hours too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling. I could hardly concentrate. Then darkness approached and I began to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just packed it all in." Mrs. Smith leaned forward. "You mean squirrels actually chewed on your, um......equipment?" "That's right. Well, madam, if you're ready, I'll set up my tripod so we  can get to work." "Tripod?????" "Oh yes, I have to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big for me to hold for very long. Madam? Madam? ....... Good Lord, she's fainted!!
Adam Kisiel (101 foolproof jokes to use in case of emergency)
Lava is best. It’d certainly help in this situation. WAIT, I HAVE SOME IN MY BACKPACK!” “NOOOO!” we all cried out. But of course, it was too late. The Head Admin emptied the bucket as we ran, and although it did a fantastic job in cooking the giant zombie, it also did a fantastic job in setting fire to the forest around us. “YOU DOLT!” I screamed, as we accelerated our speed, “DO YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU’VE DONE!?” “ALL HAIL THE LAVA GODS!” I’m starting to think he may have hit his head on the way down here. To prevent any further incidents, I grabbed a roll of duct tape and buried him in the stuff. “HAVE MERCY!” With the Head Admin unable to inflict any more trouble, I threw him over my shoulder and ran with the others to safety. And whilst I can’t say I enjoy fleeing for my life, being chased by boiling flames, I will say it did look quite pretty. Oh, and as a plus, it took out all the evil creatures following us. I guess that’s a bonus. “The lava gods are pleased,” the Head Admin grinned, before I stuck duct tape over his mouth as well. That would keep him quiet, I hoped to myself. “OVER THERE!” Dinnerbone shouted, pointing forward to what looked like a mountain. “IT’S A MOUNTAIN!” Charles cried. “A BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAIN!” Dr. Boom looked like he was going to cry out of happiness, “WE’RE SAVED!” “MMMMPHPHPHPHPH!” I could only assume the Head Admin was glad as well. I later found out he had a fear of mountains, and was begging to be left to the lava instead. Oh well.
Minecrafters (Minecraft: Diary of a Minecraft Explorer - A New Adventure "PART 1" (Unofficial Minecraft Books. 30 BONUSES INCLUDED!))
The first thing to understand is that just because somebody interviewed well and reference-checked great, that does not mean she will perform superbly in your company. There are two kinds of cultures in this world: cultures where what you do matters and cultures where all that matters is who you are. You can be the former or you can suck. You must hold your people to a high standard, but what is that standard? I discussed this in the section “Old People.” In addition, keep the following in mind:   You did not know everything when you hired her. While it feels awkward, it is perfectly reasonable to change and raise your standards as you learn more about what’s needed and what’s competitive in your industry.   You must get leverage. Early on, it’s natural to spend a great deal of time integrating and orienting an executive. However, if you find yourself as busy as you were with that function before you hired or promoted the executive, then she is below standard.   As CEO, you can do very little employee development. One of the most depressing lessons of my career when I became CEO was that I could not develop the people who reported to me. The demands of the job made it such that the people who reported to me had to be 99 percent ready to perform. Unlike when I ran a function or was a general manager, there was no time to develop raw talent. That can and must be done elsewhere in the company, but not at the executive level. If someone needs lots of training, she is below standard.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
The black hole solution of Einstein's equations is also a work of art. The black hole is not as majestic as Godel's proof, but it has the essential features of a work of art: uniqueness, beauty, and unexpectedness. Oppenheimer and Snyder built out of Einstein's equations a structure that Einstein had never imagined. The idea of matter in permanent free fall was hidden in the equations, but nobody saw it until it was revealed in the Oppenheimer-Snyder solution. On a much more humble level, my own activities as a theoretical physicist have a similar quality. When I am working, I feel myself to be practicing a craft rather than following a method. When I did my most important piece of work as a young man, putting together the ideas of Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, Julian Schwinger, and Richard Feynman to obtain a simplified version of quantum electrodynamics, I had consciously in mind a metaphor to describe what I was doing. The metaphor was bridge-building. Tomonaga and Schwinger had built solid foundations on the other side, and my job was to design and build the cantilevers reaching out over the water until they met in the middle. The metaphor was a good one. The bridge that I built is still serviceable and still carrying traffic forty years later. The same metaphor describes well the greater work of unification achieved by Stephen Weinberg and Abdus Salam when they bridged the gap between electrodynamics and the weak interactions. In each case, after the work of unification is done, the whole stands higher than the parts.
Freeman Dyson (The Scientist as Rebel)
Equity financing, on the other hand, is unappealing to cooperators because it may mean relinquishing control to outside investors, which is a distinctly capitalist practice. Investors are not likely to buy non-voting shares; they will probably require representation on the board of directors because otherwise their money could potentially be expropriated. “For example, if the directors of the firm were workers, they might embezzle equity funds, refrain from paying dividends in order to raise wages, or dissipate resources on projects of dubious value.”105 In any case, the very idea of even partial outside ownership is contrary to the cooperative ethos. A general reason for traditional institutions’ reluctance to lend to cooperatives, and indeed for the rarity of cooperatives whether related to the difficulty of securing capital or not, is simply that a society’s history, culture, and ideologies might be hostile to the “co-op” idea. Needless to say, this is the case in most industrialized countries, especially the United States. The very notion of a workers’ cooperative might be viscerally unappealing and mysterious to bank officials, as it is to people of many walks of life. Stereotypes about inefficiency, unprofitability, inexperience, incompetence, and anti-capitalism might dispose officials to reject out of hand appeals for financial assistance from co-ops. Similarly, such cultural preconceptions may be an element in the widespread reluctance on the part of working people to try to start a cooperative. They simply have a “visceral aversion” to, and unfamiliarity with, the idea—which is also surely a function of the rarity of co-ops itself. Their rarity reinforces itself, in that it fosters a general ignorance of co-ops and the perception that they’re risky endeavors. Additionally, insofar as an anti-democratic passivity, a civic fragmentedness, a half-conscious sense of collective disempowerment, and a diffuse interpersonal alienation saturate society, this militates against initiating cooperative projects. It is simply taken for granted among many people that such things cannot be done. And they are assumed to require sophisticated entrepreneurial instincts. In most places, the cooperative idea is not even in the public consciousness; it has barely been heard of. Business propaganda has done its job well.106 But propaganda can be fought with propaganda. In fact, this is one of the most important things that activists can do, this elevation of cooperativism into the public consciousness. The more that people hear about it, know about it, learn of its successes and potentials, the more they’ll be open to it rather than instinctively thinking it’s “foreign,” “socialist,” “idealistic,” or “hippyish.” If successful cooperatives advertise their business form, that in itself performs a useful service for the movement. It cannot be overemphasized that the most important thing is to create a climate in which it is considered normal to try to form a co-op, in which that is seen as a perfectly legitimate and predictable option for a group of intelligent and capable unemployed workers. Lenders themselves will become less skeptical of the business form as it seeps into the culture’s consciousness.
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
As Allied forces moved into Hitler’s Fortress Europe, Roosevelt and his circle were confronted with new evidence of the Holocaust. In early 1942, he had been given information that Adolf Hitler was quietly fulfilling his threat to “annihilate the Jewish race.” Rabbi Stephen Wise asked the President that December 1942 to inform the world about “the most overwhelming disaster of Jewish history” and “try to stop it.” Although he was willing to warn the world about the impending catastrophe and insisted that there be war crimes commissions when the conflict was over, Roosevelt told Wise that punishment for such crimes would probably have to await the end of the fighting, so his own solution was to “win the war.” The problem with this approach was that by the time of an Allied victory, much of world Jewry might have been annihilated. By June 1944, the Germans had removed more than half of Hungary’s 750,000 Jews, and some Jewish leaders were asking the Allies to bomb railways from Hungary to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. In response, Churchill told his Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, that the murder of the Jews was “probably the greatest and most horrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world,” and ordered him to get “everything” he could out of the British Air Force. But the Prime Minister was told that American bombers were better positioned to do the job. At the Pentagon, Stimson consulted John McCloy, who later insisted, for decades, that he had “never talked” with Roosevelt about the option of bombing the railroad lines or death camps. But in 1986, McCloy changed his story during a taped conversation with Henry Morgenthau’s son, Henry III, who was researching a family history. The ninety-one-year-old McCloy insisted that he had indeed raised the idea with the President, and that Roosevelt became “irate” and “made it very clear” that bombing Auschwitz “wouldn’t have done any good.” By McCloy’s new account, Roosevelt “took it out of my hands” and warned that “if it’s successful, it’ll be more provocative” and “we’ll be accused of participating in this horrible business,” as well as “bombing innocent people.” McCloy went on, “I didn’t want to bomb Auschwitz,” adding that “it seemed to be a bunch of fanatic Jews who seemed to think that if you didn’t bomb, it was an indication of lack of venom against Hitler.” If McCloy’s memory was reliable, then, just as with the Japanese internment, Roosevelt had used the discreet younger man to discuss a decision for which he knew he might be criticized by history, and which might conceivably have become an issue in the 1944 campaign. This approach to the possible bombing of the camps would allow the President to explain, if it became necessary, that the issue had been resolved at a lower level by the military. In retrospect, the President should have considered the bombing proposal more seriously. Approving it might have required him to slightly revise his insistence that the Allies’ sole aim should be winning the war, as he did on at least a few other occasions. But such a decision might have saved lives and shown future generations that, like Churchill, he understood the importance of the Holocaust as a crime unparalleled in world history.*
Michael R. Beschloss (Presidents of War: The Epic Story, from 1807 to Modern Times)
It is easy to mourn the lives we aren't living. Easy to wish we'd developed other other talents, said yes to different offers. Easy to wish we'd worked harder, loved better, handled our finances more astutely, been more popular, stayed in the band, gone to Australia, said yes to the coffee or done more bloody yoga. It takes no effort to miss the friends we didn't make and the work we didn't do and the people we didn't marry and the children we didn't have. It is not difficult to see yourself through the lens of other people, and to wish you were all the different kaleidoscopic versions of you they wanted you to be. It is easy to regret, and keep regretting, ad infinitum, until our time runs out. But it is not lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It's the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people's worst enemy. We can't tell if any of those other versions would of been better or worse. Those lives are happening, it is true, but you are happening as well, and that is the happening we have to focus on. Of course, we can't visit every place or meet every person or do every job, yet most of what we feel in any other life is still available. We don't have to play every game to know what winning feels like. We don't have to hear every piece of music in the world to understand music. We don't have to have tried every variety of grape from every vineyard to know the pleasure of wine. Love and laughter and fear and pain are universal currencies. We just have to close our eyes and savor the taste of the drink in front of us and listen to the song as it plays.
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs. Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare ‘automeals,’ heating water and converting it to coffee; toasting bread; frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, grilling bacon, and so on. Breakfasts will be ‘ordered’ the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning. Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books. Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth, including the weather stations in Antarctica. [M]en will continue to withdraw from nature in order to create an environment that will suit them better. By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use. Ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button. Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes. “[H]ighways … in the more advanced sections of the world will have passed their peak in 2014; there will be increasing emphasis on transportation that makes the least possible contact with the surface. There will be aircraft, of course, but even ground travel will increasingly take to the air a foot or two off the ground. [V]ehicles with ‘Robot-brains’ … can be set for particular destinations … that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver. [W]all screens will have replaced the ordinary set; but transparent cubes will be making their appearance in which three-dimensional viewing will be possible. [T]he world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000. All earth will be a single choked Manhattan by A.D. 2450 and society will collapse long before that! There will, therefore, be a worldwide propaganda drive in favor of birth control by rational and humane methods and, by 2014, it will undoubtedly have taken serious effect. Ordinary agriculture will keep up with great difficulty and there will be ‘farms’ turning to the more efficient micro-organisms. Processed yeast and algae products will be available in a variety of flavors. The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction…. All the high-school students will be taught the fundamentals of computer technology will become proficient in binary arithmetic and will be trained to perfection in the use of the computer languages that will have developed out of those like the contemporary “Fortran". [M]ankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. [T]he most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work! in our a society of enforced leisure.
Isaac Asimov
I work as fast as I can. Binah will come soon looking for me. It’s Mother, however, who descends the back steps into the yard. Binah and the other house slaves are clumped behind her, moving with cautious, synchronized steps as if they’re a single creature, a centipede crossing an unprotected space. I sense the shadow that hovers over them in the air, some devouring dread, and I crawl back into the green-black gloom of the tree. The slaves stare at Mother’s back, which is straight and without give. She turns and admonishes them. “You are lagging. Quickly now, let us be done with this.” As she speaks, an older slave, Rosetta, is dragged from the cow house, dragged by a man, a yard slave. She fights, clawing at his face. Mother watches, impassive. He ties Rosetta’s hands to the corner column of the kitchen house porch. She looks over her shoulder and begs. Missus, please. Missus. Missus. Please. She begs even as the man lashes her with his whip. Her dress is cotton, a pale yellow color. I stare transfixed as the back of it sprouts blood, blooms of red that open like petals. I cannot reconcile the savagery of the blows with the mellifluous way she keens or the beauty of the roses coiling along the trellis of her spine. Someone counts the lashes—is it Mother? Six, seven. The scourging continues, but Rosetta stops wailing and sinks against the porch rail. Nine, ten. My eyes look away. They follow a black ant traveling the far reaches beneath the tree—the mountainous roots and forested mosses, the endless perils—and in my head I say the words I fashioned earlier. Boy Run. Girl Jump. Sarah Go. Thirteen. Fourteen . . . I bolt from the shadows, past the man who now coils his whip, job well done, past Rosetta hanging by her hands in a heap. As I bound up the back steps into the house, Mother calls to me, and Binah reaches to scoop me up, but I escape them, thrashing along the main passage, out the front door, where I break blindly for the wharves. I don’t remember the rest with clarity, only that I find myself wandering across the gangplank of a sailing vessel, sobbing, stumbling over a turban of rope. A kind man with a beard and a dark cap asks what I want. I plead with him, Sarah Go. Binah chases me, though I’m unaware of her until she pulls me into her arms and coos, “Poor Miss Sarah, poor Miss Sarah.” Like a decree, a proclamation, a prophecy. When I arrive home, I am a muss of snot, tears, yard dirt, and harbor filth. Mother holds me against her, rears back and gives me an incensed shake, then clasps me again. “You must promise never to run away again. Promise me.” I want to. I try to. The words are on my tongue—the rounded lumps of them, shining like the marbles beneath the tree. “Sarah!” she demands. Nothing comes. Not a sound. I remained mute for a week. My words seemed sucked into the cleft between my collar bones. I rescued them by degrees, by praying, bullying and wooing. I came to speak again, but with an odd and mercurial form of stammer. I’d never been a fluid speaker, even my first spoken words had possessed a certain belligerent quality, but now there were ugly, halting gaps between my sentences, endless seconds when the words cowered against my lips and people averted their eyes. Eventually, these horrid pauses began to come and go according to their own mysterious whims. They might plague me for weeks and then remain away months, only to return again as abruptly as they left.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Invention of Wings)
There are always plenty of rivals to our work. We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come. There are, of course, moments when the pressure of the excitement is so great that only superhuman self-control could resist it. They come both in war and peace. We must do the best we can. The second enemy is frustration—the feeling that we shall not have time to finish. If I say to you that no one has time to finish, that the longest human life leaves a man, in any branch of learning, a beginner, I shall seem to you to be saying something quite academic and theoretical. You would be surprised if you knew how soon one begins to feel the shortness of the tether, of how many things, even in middle life, we have to say "No time for that," "Too late now," and "Not for me." But Nature herself forbids you to share that experience. A more Christian attitude, which can be attained at any age, is that of leaving futurity in God's hands. We may as well, for God will certainly retain it whether we leave it to Him or not. Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment "as to the Lord." It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.
C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)
Each bite is a tidal wave of savory, fatty eel juices... ... made fresh and tangy by the complementary flavors of olive oil and tomato! ...! It's perfect! This dish has beautifully encapsulated the superbness of Capitone Eel!" "Capitone specifically means 'Large Female Eel'! It's exactly this kind of eel that is served during Natale season from Christmas to New Year's. Compared to normal eels, the Capitone is large, thick and juicy! In fact, it's considered a delicacy!" "Yes, I've heard of them! The Capitone is supposed to be significantly meatier than the standard Anguilla." *Anguilla is the Italian word for regular eels.* "Okay. So the Capitone is special. But is it special enough to make a dish so delicious the judges swoon?" "No. The secret to the Capitone's refined deliciousness in this dish lies with the tomatoes. You used San Marzanos, correct?" "Ha Ragione! (Exactly!) I specifically chose San Marzano tomatoes as the core of my dish!" Of the hundreds of varieties of tomato, the San Marzano Plum Tomato is one of the least juicy. Less juice means it makes a less watery and runny sauce when stewed! "Thanks to the San Marzano tomatoes, this dish's sauce remained thick and rich with a marvelously full-bodied taste. The blend of spices he used to season the sauce has done a splendid job of highlighting the eel's natural flavors as well." "You can't forget the wondrous polenta either. Crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle. There's no greater garnish for this dish." *Polenta is boiled cornmeal that is typically served as porridge or baked into cakes.* "Ah. I see. Every ingredient of his dish is intimately connected to the eel. Garlic to increase the fragrance, onion for condensed sweetness... ... and low-juice tomatoes. Those are the key ingredients.
Yuto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 25 [Shokugeki no Souma 25] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #25))
Promises, schedules, and estimates are necessary and important instruments in a well-ordered business. Many fail to realize this, or habitually try to dodge the responsibility for making commitments. You must make promises based upon your own estimates for the part of the job for which you are responsible, together with estimates obtained from contributing departments for their parts. No one should be allowed to avoid the issue by the old formula, “I can’t give a promise because it depends upon so many uncertain factors.” Consider the “uncertain factors” confronting a department head who must make up a budget for an entire department a year in advance! Even the most uncertain case can be narrowed down by first asking, “Will it be done in a matter of a few hours or a few months, a few days or a few weeks?” If it cannot be done in less than three weeks and surely will not require more than five, you’d better say four weeks. This allows one week for contingencies and sets you a reasonable miss under the comfortable figure of five weeks. Both extremes are bad; good businesspeople set schedules that they can meet with energetic effort at a pace commensurate with the significance of the job. As a corollary of the foregoing, you have a right to insist upon having estimates from responsible representatives of other departments. But in accepting promises, or statements of facts, it is frequently important to make sure that you are dealing with a properly qualified representative. Also bear in mind that when you ignore or discount other promises you dismiss their responsibility and incur the extra liability yourself. Of course this is sometimes necessary, but be sure that you do it advisedly. Ideally, other people’s promises should be reliable instruments in compiling estimates.
James Skakoon (The Unwritten Laws of Business)
Whatever doesn’t kill you only serves to make you stronger. And in the grand scheme of life, I had survived and grown stronger, at least mentally, if not physically. I had come within an inch of losing all my movement and, by the grace of God, still lived to tell the tale. I had learned so much, but above all, I had gained an understanding of the cards I had been playing with. The problem now was that I had no job and no income. Earning a living and following your heart can so often pull you in different directions, and I knew I wasn’t the first person to feel that strain. My decision to climb Everest was a bit of a “do or die” mission. If I climbed it and became one of the youngest climbers ever to have reached the summit, then I had at least a sporting chance of getting some sort of job in the expedition world afterward--either doing talks or leading treks. I would be able to use it as a springboard to raise sponsorship to do some other expeditions. But on the other hand, if I failed, I would either be dead on the mountain or back home and broke--with no job and no qualifications. The reality was that it wasn’t a hard decision for me to make. Deep down in my bones, I just knew it was the right thing to do: to go for it. Plus I have never been one to be too scared of that old imposter: failure. I had never climbed for people’s admiration; I had always climbed because I was half-decent at it--and now I had an avenue, through Everest, to explore that talent further. I also figured that if I failed, well at least I would fail while attempting something big and bold. I liked that. What’s more, if I could start a part-time university degree course at the same time (to be done by e-mail from Everest), then whatever the outcome on the mountain, at least I had an opening back at M15. (It’s sometimes good to not entirely burn all your bridges.)
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
For most people moving is a tiring experience. When on the verge of moving out to a new home or into a new office, it's only natural to focus on your new place and forget about the one you’re leaving. Actually, the last thing you would even think about is embarking on a heavy duty move out clean. However, you can be certain that agents, landlords and all the potential renters or buyers of your old home will most definitely notice if it's being cleaned, therefore getting the place cleaned up is something that you need to consider. The process of cleaning will basically depend to things; how dirty your property and the size of the home. If you leave the property in good condition, you'll have a higher the chance of getting back your bond deposit or if you're selling, attracting a potential buyer. Below are the steps you need to consider before moving out. You should start with cleaning. Remove all screws and nails from the walls and the ceilings, fill up all holes and dust all ledges. Large holes should be patched and the entire wall checked the major marks. Remove all the cobwebs from the walls and ceilings, taking care to wash or vacuum the vents. They can get quite dusty. Clean all doors and door knobs, wipe down all the switches, electrical outlets, vacuum/wipe down the drapes, clean the blinds and remove all the light covers from light fixtures and clean them thoroughly as they may contain dead insects. Also, replace all the burnt out light bulbs and empty all cupboards when you clean them. Clean all windows, window sills and tracks. Vacuum all carpets or get them professionally cleaned which quite often is stipulated in the rental agreement. After you've finished the general cleaning, you can now embark on the more specific areas. When cleaning the bathroom, wash off the soap scum and remove mould (if any) from the bathroom tiles. This can be done by pre-spraying the tile grout with bleach and letting it sit for at least half an hour. Clean all the inside drawers and vanity units thoroughly. Clean the toilet/sink, vanity unit and replace anything that you've damaged. Wash all shower curtains and shower doors plus all other enclosures. Polish the mirrors and make sure the exhaust fan is free of dust. You can generally vacuum these quite easily. Finally, clean the bathroom floors by vacuuming and mopping. In the kitchen, clean all the cabinets and liners and wash the cupboards inside out. Clean the counter-tops and shine the facet and sink. If the fridge is staying give it a good clean. You can do this by removing all shelves and wash them individually. Thoroughly degrease the oven inside and out. It's best to use and oven cleaner from your supermarket, just take care to use gloves and a mask as they can be quite toxic. Clean the kitchen floor well by giving it a good vacuum and mop . Sometimes the kitchen floor may need to be degreased. Dust the bedrooms and living room, vacuum throughout then mop. If you have a garage give it a good sweep. Also cut the grass, pull out all weeds and remove all items that may be lying or hanging around. Remember to put your garbage bins out for collection even if collection is a week away as in our experience the bins will be full to the brim from all the rubbish during the moving process. If this all looks too hard then you can always hire a bond cleaner to tackle the job for you or if you're on a tight budget you can download an end of lease cleaning checklist or have one sent to you from your local agent. Just make sure you give yourself at least a day or to take on the job. Its best not to rush through the job, just make sure everything is cleaned thoroughly, so it passes the inspection in order for you to get your bond back in full.
Tanya Smith
God continually chooses the least likely to be chosen, the broken and the humble. It’s clearly His modus operandi. I’ve heard this response from people when I talk about this idea: “But how can we possibly get things done without big-time visionaries? Without massive plans to save the world?” Well, the Bible actually singles out a specific, heroic animal species to illustrate how to get things done. If you want to know how to do it, don’t go to the soaring eagle. Don’t go to the impressive, roaring lion, either. God may have a different idea: Go watch the ants, you lazy person. Watch what they do and be wise. Ants have no commander, no leader or ruler, but they store up food in the summer and gather their supplies at harvest. (Prov. 6:6–8 NCV) Yes. Watch how the ants operate. They get it. Sure enough, modern research shows just how remarkable ants are. They all know what to do and when to do it. They know when to rest, when to battle intruders, when to take care of their eggs, all of it. If there are too many ants foraging, just enough ants decide to quit foraging and take on other jobs. They know how to build massive anthills that are marvels of construction engineering. And they do it all without a hierarchy. They manage it all without management. They get it done without any one ant knowing the “big picture.” No ant is a superstar. No ant is irreplaceable. How they operate is still somewhat mysterious to science, but scientists do know that ants just use the information that’s in front of them, and then they respond. That’s it. That’s all the information an ant has. The Bible singles out a species wherein every individual member does whatever needs doing, just by responding to what’s in front of it. An ant can’t worry about the big blueprint. No ant actually has the big picture. If they each do their thing, the thing right in front of them, the big picture takes care of itself.
Brant Hansen (Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better)
All the days of my appointed time will I wait." Job 14:14 A little stay on earth will make heaven more heavenly. Nothing makes rest so sweet as toil; nothing renders security so pleasant as exposure to alarms. The bitter quassia cups of earth will give a relish to the new wine which sparkles in the golden bowls of glory. Our battered armour and scarred countenances will render more illustrious our victory above, when we are welcomed to the seats of those who have overcome the world. We should not have full fellowship with Christ if we did not for awhile sojourn below, for he was baptized with a baptism of suffering among men, and we must be baptized with the same if we would share his kingdom. Fellowship with Christ is so honourable that the sorest sorrow is a light price by which to procure it. Another reason for our lingering here is for the good of others. We would not wish to enter heaven till our work is done, and it may be that we are yet ordained to minister light to souls benighted in the wilderness of sin. Our prolonged stay here is doubtless for God's glory. A tried saint, like a well-cut diamond, glitters much in the King's crown. Nothing reflects so much honour on a workman as a protracted and severe trial of his work, and its triumphant endurance of the ordeal without giving way in any part. We are God's workmanship, in whom he will be glorified by our afflictions. It is for the honour of Jesus that we endure the trial of our faith with sacred joy. Let each man surrender his own longings to the glory of Jesus, and feel, "If my lying in the dust would elevate my Lord by so much as an inch, let me still lie among the pots of earth. If to live on earth forever would make my Lord more glorious, it should be my heaven to be shut out of heaven." Our time is fixed and settled by eternal decree. Let us not be anxious about it, but wait with patience till the gates of pearl shall open.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Christian Classics: Six books by Charles Spurgeon in a single collection, with active table of contents)
The chorus of criticism culminated in a May 27 White House press conference that had me fielding tough questions on the oil spill for about an hour. I methodically listed everything we'd done since the Deepwater had exploded, and I described the technical intricacies of the various strategies being employed to cap the well. I acknowledged problems with MMS, as well as my own excessive confidence in the ability of companies like BP to safeguard against risk. I announced the formation of a national commission to review the disaster and figure out how such accidents could be prevented in the future, and I reemphasized the need for a long-term response that would make America less reliant on dirty fossil fuels. Reading the transcript now, a decade later, I'm struck by how calm and cogent I sound. Maybe I'm surprised because the transcript doesn't register what I remember feeling at the time or come close to capturing what I really wanted to say before the assembled White House press corps: That MMS wasn't fully equipped to do its job, in large part because for the past thirty years a big chunk of American voters had bought into the Republican idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better, and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That the government didn't have better technology than BP did to quickly plug the hole because it would be expensive to have such technology on hand, and we Americans didn't like paying higher taxes - especially when it was to prepare for problems that hadn't happened yet. That it was hard to take seriously any criticism from a character like Bobby Jindal, who'd done Big Oil's bidding throughout his career and would go on to support an oil industry lawsuit trying to get a federal court to lift our temporary drilling moratorium; and that if he and other Gulf-elected officials were truly concerned about the well-being of their constituents, they'd be urging their party to stop denying the effects of climate change, since it was precisely the people of the Gulf who were the most likely to lose homes or jobs as a result of rising global temperatures. And that the only way to truly guarantee that we didn't have another catastrophic oil spill in the future was to stop drilling entirely; but that wasn't going to happen because at the end of the day we Americans loved our cheap gas and big cars more than we cared about the environment, except when a complete disaster was staring us in the face; and in the absence of such a disaster, the media rarely covered efforts to shift America off fossil fuels or pass climate legislation, since actually educating the public on long-term energy policy would be boring and bad for ratings; and the one thing I could be certain of was that for all the outrage being expressed at the moment about wetlands and sea turtles and pelicans, what the majority of us were really interested in was having the problem go away, for me to clean up yet one more mess decades in the making with some quick and easy fix, so that we could all go back to our carbon-spewing, energy-wasting ways without having to feel guilty about it. I didn't say any of that. Instead I somberly took responsibility and said it was my job to "get this fixed." Afterward, I scolded my press team, suggesting that if they'd done better work telling the story of everything we were doing to clean up the spill, I wouldn't have had to tap-dance for an hour while getting the crap kicked out of me. My press folks looked wounded. Sitting alone in the Treaty Room later that night, I felt bad about what I had said, knowing I'd misdirected my anger and frustration. It was those damned plumes of oil that I really wanted to curse out.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Knuth: They were very weak, actually. It wasn't presented systematically and everything, but I thought they were pretty obvious. It was a different culture entirely. But the guy who said he was going to fire people, he wants programming to be something where everything is done in an inefficient way because it's supposed to fit into his idea of orderliness. He doesn't care if the program is good or not—as far as its speed and performance—he cares about that it satisfies other criteria, like any bloke can be able to maintain it. Well, people have lots of other funny ideas. People have this strange idea that we want to write our programs as worlds unto themselves so that everybody else can just set up a few parameters and our program will do it for them. So there'll be a few programmers in the world who write the libraries, and then there are people who write the user manuals for these libraries, and then there are people who apply these libraries and that's it. The problem is that coding isn't fun if all you can do is call things out of a library, if you can't write the library yourself. If the job of coding is just to be finding the right combination of parameters, that does fairly obvious things, then who'd want to go into that as a career? There's this overemphasis on reusable software where you never get to open up the box and see what's inside the box. It's nice to have these black boxes but, almost always, if you can look inside the box you can improve it and make it work better once you know what's inside the box. Instead people make these closed wrappers around everything and present the closure to the programmers of the world, and the programmers of the world aren't allowed to diddle with that. All they're able to do is assemble the parts. And so you remember that when you call this subroutine you put x0, y0, x1, y1 but when you call this subroutine it's x0, x1, y0, y1. You get that right, and that's your job.
Peter Seibel (Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming)
Reading the transcript now, a decade later, I’m struck by how calm and cogent I sound. Maybe I’m surprised because the transcript doesn’t register what I remember feeling at the time or come close to capturing what I really wanted to say before the assembled White House press corps: That MMS wasn’t fully equipped to do its job, in large part because for the past thirty years a big chunk of American voters had bought into the Republican idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better, and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That the government didn’t have better technology than BP did to quickly plug the hole because it would be expensive to have such technology on hand, and we Americans didn’t like paying higher taxes—especially when it was to prepare for problems that hadn’t happened yet. That it was hard to take seriously any criticism from a character like Bobby Jindal, who’d done Big Oil’s bidding throughout his career and would go on to support an oil industry lawsuit trying to get a federal court to lift our temporary drilling moratorium; and that if he and other Gulf-elected officials were truly concerned about the well-being of their constituents, they’d be urging their party to stop denying the effects of climate change, since it was precisely the people of the Gulf who were the most likely to lose homes or jobs as a result of rising global temperatures. And that the only way to truly guarantee that we didn’t have another catastrophic oil spill in the future was to stop drilling entirely; but that wasn’t going to happen because at the end of the day we Americans loved our cheap gas and big cars more than we cared about the environment, except when a complete disaster was staring us in the face; and in the absence of such a disaster,
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Now, son, I don’t pay much mind to idle talk, never have done. But there’s a regular riptide of gossip saying you’ve got something going with that girl in the marsh.” Tate threw up his hands. “Now hold on, hold on,” Scupper continued. “I don’t believe all the stories about her; she’s probably nice. But take a care, son. You don’t want to go starting a family too early. You get my meaning, don’t you?” Keeping his voice low, Tate hissed, “First you say you don’t believe those stories about her, then you say I shouldn’t start a family, showing you do believe she’s that kind of girl. Well, let me tell you something, she’s not. She’s more pure and innocent than any of those girls you’d have me go to the dance with. Oh man, some of the girls in this town, well, let’s just say they hunt in packs, take no prisoners. And yes, I’ve been going out to see Kya some. You know why? I’m teaching her how to read because people in this town are so mean to her she couldn’t even go to school.” “That’s fine, Tate. That’s good of you. But please understand it’s my job to say things like this. It may not be pleasant and all for us to talk about, but parents have to warn their kids about things. That’s my job, so don’t get huffy about it.” “I know,” Tate mumbled while buttering a biscuit. Feeling very huffy. “Come on now. Let’s get another helping, then some of that pecan pie.” After the pie came, Scupper said, “Well, since we’ve talked about things we never mention, I might as well say something else on my mind.” Tate rolled his eyes at his pie. Scupper continued. “I want you to know, son, how proud I am of you. All on your own, you’ve studied the marsh life, done real well at school, applied for college to get a degree in science. And got accepted. I’m just not the kind to speak on such things much. But I’m mighty proud of you, son. All right?” “Yeah. All right.” Later in his room, Tate recited from his favorite poem: “Oh when shall I see the dusky Lake, And the white canoe of my dear?” •
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
Suddenly he felt like everything was all wrong. He’d made wrong choices every day of his life. In his mind’s eye floated everyone who’d died because of him. Everyone who’d been hurt. From Mindor to Endor, back to Yavin—back to the corpses that had lain, still smoking, in the ruined doorway of the Lars moisture farm. I guess I sort of thought everything was over. I got my happy ending. I thought I did. I mean, didn’t I do everything you asked me to? Master Yoda, you wanted to break the rule of the Sith. And they’re gone. Ben, you asked me to destroy Darth Vader. I did that, too. Father—even you, Father. You told me that together we would throw down the Emperor. And we did. Now it’s over. But it’s not the end. It’s never the end. The cave boomed and shivered as the rock storm arrived like an artillery barrage. Luke just sat, head down, letting dust and grit trickle inside the back of his collar as meteorites pounded the hills. I guess I was still kind of hoping there might be a Happily Ever After in there somewhere. Not even for me. I was ready to die. I still am. It’s everybody else. It’s like everything we went through, it was for nothing. We’re still fighting. We’ll always be fighting. It’s like I didn’t actually save anybody. Gone is the past, he remembered Master Yoda saying once. Imaginary is the future. Always now, even eternity will be. Which Luke had always interpreted as Don’t worry about what’s already done, and don’t worry about what you’ll do later. Do something now. Which would be fine advice, if he had the faintest clue what that something should be. Maybe if he’d had more experience as a general, he’d know if he should search for his missing men, or return to the crash site and wait for pickup, or try to find some way to signal the task force spaceside. I never should have taken this job. I just don’t know what a general would be doing right now. All I know is what a Jedi … Then his head came up. I do know what a Jedi would be doing—and it isn’t sitting around feeling sorry for himself, for starters.
Matthew Woodring Stover (Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor (Star Wars))
John Bradshaw, in his best-seller Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child, details several of his imaginative techniques: asking forgiveness of your inner child, divorcing your parent and finding a new one, like Jesus, stroking your inner child, writing your childhood history. These techniques go by the name catharsis, that is, emotional engagement in past trauma-laden events. Catharsis is magnificent to experience and impressive to behold. Weeping, raging at parents long dead, hugging the wounded little boy who was once you, are all stirring. You have to be made of stone not to be moved to tears. For hours afterward, you may feel cleansed and at peace—perhaps for the first time in years. Awakening, beginning again, and new departures all beckon. Catharsis, as a therapeutic technique, has been around for more than a hundred years. It used to be a mainstay of psychoanalytic treatment, but no longer. Its main appeal is its afterglow. Its main drawback is that there is no evidence that it works. When you measure how much people like doing it, you hear high praise. When you measure whether anything changes, catharsis fares badly. Done well, it brings about short-term relief—like the afterglow of vigorous exercise. But once the glow dissipates, as it does in a few days, the real problems are still there: an alcoholic spouse, a hateful job, early-morning blues, panic attacks, a cocaine habit. There is no documentation that the catharsis techniques of the recovery movement help in any lasting way with chronic emotional problems. There is no evidence that they alter adult personality. And, strangely, catharsis about fictitious memories does about as well as catharsis about real memories. The inner-child advocates, having treated tens of thousands of suffering adults for years, have not seen fit to do any follow-ups. Because catharsis techniques are so superficially appealing, because they are so dependent on the charisma of the therapist, and because they have no known lasting value, my advice is “Let the buyer beware.
Martin E.P. Seligman (What You Can Change and What You Can't: The Complete Guide to Successful Self-Improvement)
The appeasers had been powerful; they had controlled The Times and The BBC; they had been largely drawn from the upper classes, and their betrayal of England's greatness would be neither forgotten nor forgiven by those who, gulled by the mystique of England's class system, had believed as Englishmen had believed for generations that public school boys governed best. The appeasers destroyed oligarchic rule which, though levelers may protest, had long governed well. If ever men betrayed their class, these were they. Because their possessions were great, the appeasers had much to lose should the Red flag fly over Westminster. That was why they had felt threatened by the hunger riots of 1932. It was also the driving force behind their exorbitant fear and distrust of the new Russia. They had seen a strong Germany as a buffer against bolshevism, had thought their security would be strengthened if they sidled up to the fierce, virile Third Reich. Nazi coarseness, Anti-Semitism, the Reich's darker underside, were rationalized; time, they assured one another, would blur the jagged edges of Nazi Germany. So, with their eyes open, they sought accommodation with a criminal regime, turned a blind eye to its iniquities, ignored its frequent resort to murder and torture, submitted to extortion, humiliation, and abuse until, having sold out all who had sought to stand shoulder to shoulder with Britain and keep the bridge against the new barbarism, they led England herself into the cold damp shadow of the gallows, friendless save for the demoralized republic across the Channel. Their end came when the House of Commons, in a revolt of conscience, wrenched power from them and summoned to the colors the one man who had foretold all that had passed, who had tried, year after year, alone and mocked, to prevent the war by urging the only policy which would have done the job. And now, in the desperate spring of 1940, he resolved to lead Britain and her fading empire in one last great struggle worthy of all they had been and meant, to arm the nation, not only with weapons but also with the mace of honor, creating in every English breast a soul beneath the ribs of death.
William Manchester (The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-40)
(from chapter 19, "Willi Ossa") "...when I did [become a pastor], I knew that it was a vocation, not a job. I told my friends in the Company [of Pastors] the story of Willi...We were honing our observational skills in discerning the difference between vocation and job. As we were seeing pastors left and right abandoning their vocations and taking jobs, we were determined to keep the distinction clear for ourselves. A job is an assignment to do work that can be quantified and evaluated. It is pretty easy to decide whether a job has been completed or not. It is pretty easy to tell whether a job is done well or badly. But a vocation is not a job in that sense. I can be hired to do a job, paid a fair wage if I do it, dismissed if I don't. But I can't be hired to be a pastor, for my primary responsibility is not to the people I serve tu to the God I serve. As it turns out, the people I serve would often prefer an idol who would do what they want done rather than do what God, revealed in Jesus, wants them to do. In our present culture, the sharp distinction between a job and a vocation is considerably blurred. How do I, as a pastor, prevent myself from thinking of my work as a job that I get paid for, a job that is assigned to me by my denomination, a job that I am expected to do to the satisfaction of my congregation? How do I stay attentive to and listening to the call that got me started in this way of life - not a call to make the church attractive and useful in the American scene, not a call to help people feel good about themselves and have a good life, not a call to use my considerable gifts and fulfill myself, but a call like Abraham's 'to set out for a place...not knowing where he was going', a call to deny myself and take up my cross and follow Jesus, a call like Jonah's to go at once to Nineveh, 'a city he detested', a call like Paul's to 'get up and enter the city and you will be told what to do'? How do I keep the immediacy and authority of God's call in my ears when in entire culture, both secular and ecclesial, is giving me a job description? How do I keep the calling, the vocation, of pastor from being drowned out by job descriptions, gussied up in glossy challenges and visions and strategies, clamoring incessantly for my attention?
Eugene H. Peterson (The Pastor: A Memoir)
The story of The Rape of the Lock, sylphs and all, could have been told, though not so effectively, in prose. The Odyssey and the Comedy have something to say that could have been said well, though not equally well, without verse. Most of the qualities Aristotle demands of a tragedy could occur in a prose play. Poetry and prose, however different in language, overlapped, almost coincided, in content. But modern poetry, if it ‘says’ anything at all, if it aspires to ‘mean’ as well as to ‘be’, says what prose could not say in any fashion. To read the old poetry involved learning a slightly different language; to read the new involves the unmaking of your mind, the abandonment of all the logical and narrative connections which you use in reading prose or in conversation. You must achieve a trance-like condition in which images, associations, and sounds operate without these. Thus the common ground between poetry and any other use of words is reduced almost to zero. In that way poetry is now more quintessentially poetical than ever before; ‘purer’ in the negative sense. It not only does (like all good poetry) what prose can’t do: it deliberately refrains from doing anything that prose can do. Unfortunately, but inevitably, this process is accompanied by a steady diminution in the number of its readers. Some have blamed the poets for this, and some the people. I am not sure that there need be any question of blame. The more any instrument is refined and perfected for some particular function, the fewer those who have the skill, or the occasion, to handle it must of course become. Many use ordinary knives and few use surgeons’ scalpels. The scalpel is better for operations, but it is no good for anything else. Poetry confines itself more and more to what only poetry can do; but this turns out to be something which not many people want done. Nor, of course, could they receive it if they did. Modern poetry is too difficult for them. It is idle to complain; poetry so pure as this must be difficult. But neither must the poets complain if they are unread. When the art of reading poetry requires talents hardly less exalted than the art of writing it, readers cannot be much more numerous than poets. The explication of poetry is already well entrenched as a scholastic and academic exercise. The intention to keep it there, to make proficiency in it the indispensable qualification for white-collared jobs, and thus to secure for poets and their explicators a large and permanent (because a conscript) audience, is avowed. It may possibly succeed. Without coming home any more than it now does to the ‘business and bosoms’ of most men, poetry may, in this fashion, reign for a millennium; providing material for the explication which teachers will praise as an incomparable discipline and pupils will accept as a necessary moyen de parvenir. But this is speculation.
C.S. Lewis (An Experiment in Criticism)
A knock at the enameled door of the carriage altered them to the presence of a porter and a platform inspector just outside. Sebastian looked up and handed the baby back to Evie. He went to speak to the men. After a minute or two, he came back from the threshold with a basket. Looking both perturbed and amused, he brought it to Phoebe. “This was delivered to the station for you.” “Just now?” Phoebe asked with a nonplussed laugh. “Why, I believe it’s Ernestine’s mending basket! Don’t say the Ravenels went to the trouble of sending someone all the way to Alton to return it?” “It’s not empty,” her father said. As he set the basket in her lap, it quivered and rustled, and a blood-curdling yowl emerged. Astonished, Phoebe fumbled with the latch on the lid and opened it. The black cat sprang out and crawled frantically up her front, clinging to her shoulder with such ferocity that nothing could have detached her claws. “Galoshes!” Justin exclaimed, hurrying over to her. “Gosh-gosh!” Stephen cried in excitement. Phoebe stroked the frantic cat and tried to calm her. “Galoshes, how . . . why are you . . . oh, this is Mr. Ravenel’s doing! I’m going to murder him. You poor little thing.” Justin came to stand beside her, running his hands over the dusty, bedraggled feline. “Are we going to keep her now, Mama?” “I don’t think we have a choice,” Phoebe said distractedly. “Ivo, will you go with Justin to the dining compartment, and fetch her some food and water?” The two boys dashed off immediately. “Why has he done this?” Phoebe fretted. “He probably couldn’t make her stay at the barn, either. But she’s not meant to be a pet. She’s sure to run off as soon as we reach home.” Resuming his seat next to Evie, Sebastian said dryly, “Redbird, I doubt that creature will stray more than an arm’s length from you.” Discovering a note in the mending basket, Phoebe plucked it out and unfolded it. She instantly recognized West’s handwriting. Unemployed Feline Seeking Household Position To Whom It May Concern, I hereby offer my services as an experienced mouser and personal companion. References from a reputable family to be provided upon request. Willing to accept room and board in lieu of pay. Indoor lodgings preferred. Your servant, Galoshes the Cat Glancing up from the note, Phoebe found her parents’ questioning gazes on her. “Job application,” she explained sourly. “From the cat.” “How charming,” Seraphina exclaimed, reading over her shoulder. “‘Personal companion,’ my foot,” Phoebe muttered. “This is a semi-feral animal who has lived in outbuildings and fed on vermin.” “I wonder,” Seraphina said thoughtfully. “If she were truly feral, she wouldn’t want any contact with humans. With time and patience, she might become domesticated.” Phoebe rolled her eyes. “It seems we’ll find out.” The boys returned from the dining car with a bowl of water and a tray of refreshments. Galoshes descended to the floor long enough to devour a boiled egg, an anchovy canapé, and a spoonful of black caviar from a silver dish on ice. Licking her lips and purring, the cat jumped back into Phoebe’s lap and curled up with a sigh.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
I’m having my lunch when I hear a familiar hoarse shout, ‘Oy Tony!’ I whip round, damaging my neck further, to see Michael Gambon in the lunch queue. … Gambon tells me the story of Olivier auditioning him at the Old Vic in 1962. His audition speech was from Richard III. ‘See, Tone, I was thick as two short planks then and I didn’t know he’d had a rather notable success in the part. I was just shitting myself about meeting the Great Man. He sussed how green I was and started farting around.’ As reported by Gambon, their conversation went like this: Olivier: ‘What are you going to do for me?’ Gambon: ‘Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘Is that so. Which part?’ Gambon: ‘Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘Yes, but which part?’ Gambon: ‘Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘Yes, I understand that, but which part?’ Gambon: ‘Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘But which character? Catesby? Ratcliffe? Buckingham’s a good part …’ Gambon: ‘Oh I see, beg your pardon, no, Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘What, the King? Richard?’ Gambon: ‘ — the Third, yeah.’ Olivier: “You’ve got a fucking cheek, haven’t you?’ Gambon: ‘Beg your pardon?’ Olivier: ‘Never mind, which part are you going to do?’ Gambon: ‘Richard the Third.’ Olivier: ‘Don’t start that again. Which speech?’ Gambon: ‘Oh I see, beg your pardon, “Was every woman in this humour woo’d.”‘ Olivier: ‘Right. Whenever you’re ready.’ Gambon: ‘ “Was ever woman in this humour woo’d –” ‘ Olivier: ‘Wait. Stop. You’re too close. Go further away. I need to see the whole shape, get the full perspective.’ Gambon: ‘Oh I see, beg your pardon …’ Gambon continues, ‘So I go over to the far end of the room, Tone, thinking that I’ve already made an almighty tit of myself, so how do I save the day? Well I see this pillar and I decide to swing round it and start the speech with a sort of dramatic punch. But as I do this my ring catches on a screw and half my sodding hand gets left behind. I think to myself, “Now I mustn’t let this throw me since he’s already got me down as a bit of an arsehole”, so I plough on … “Was ever woman in this humour woo’d –”‘ Olivier: ‘Wait. Stop. What’s the blood?’ Gambon: ‘Nothing, nothing, just a little gash, I do beg your pardon …’ A nurse had to be called and he suffered the indignity of being given first aid with the greatest actor in the world passing the bandages. At last it was done. Gambon: ‘Shall I start again?’ Olivier: ‘No. I think I’ve got a fair idea how you’re going to do it. You’d better get along now. We’ll let you know.’ Gambon went back to the engineering factory in Islington where he was working. At four that afternoon he was bent over his lathe, working as best as he could with a heavily bandaged hand, when he was called to the phone. It was the Old Vic. ‘It’s not easy talking on the phone, Tone. One, there’s the noise of the machinery. Two, I have to keep my voice down ’cause I’m cockney at work and posh with theatre people. But they offer me a job, spear-carrying, starting immediately. I go back to my work-bench, heart beating in my chest, pack my tool-case, start to go. The foreman comes up, says, “Oy, where you off to?” “I’ve got bad news,” I say, “I’ve got to go.” He says, “Why are you taking your tool box?” I say, “I can’t tell you, it’s very bad news, might need it.” And I never went back there, Tone. Home on the bus, heart still thumping away. A whole new world ahead. We tend to forget what it felt like in the beginning.
Antony Sher (Year of the King: An Actor's Diary and Sketchbook)
A few years back, I had a long session with a psychiatrist who was conducting a study on post-traumatic stress disorder and its effects on reporters working in war zones. At one point, he asked me: “How many bodies have you seen in your lifetime?” Without thinking for too long, I replied: “I’m not sure exactly. I've seen quite a few mass graves in Africa and Bosnia, and I saw a well crammed full of corpses in East Timor, oh and then there was Rwanda and Goma...” After a short pause, he said to me calmly: “Do you think that's a normal response to that question?” He was right. It wasn't a normal response. Over the course of their lifetime, most people see the bodies of their parents, maybe their grandparents at a push. Nobody else would have responded to that question like I did. Apart from my fellow war reporters, of course. When I met Marco Lupis nearly twenty years ago, in September 1999, we were stood watching (fighting the natural urge to divert our gaze) as pale, maggot-ridden corpses, decomposed beyond recognition, were being dragged out of the well in East Timor. Naked bodies shorn of all dignity. When Marco wrote to ask me to write the foreword to this book and relive the experiences we shared together in Dili, I agreed without giving it a second thought because I understood that he too was struggling for normal responses. That he was hoping he would find some by writing this book. While reading it, I could see that Marco shares my obsession with understanding the world, my compulsion to recount the horrors I have seen and witnessed, and my need to overcome them and leave them behind. He wants to bring sense to the apparently senseless. Books like this are important. Books written by people who have done jobs like ours. It's not just about conveying - be it in the papers, on TV or on the radio - the atrocities committed by the very worst of humankind as they are happening; it’s about ensuring these atrocities are never forgotten. Because all too often, unforgivably, the people responsible go unpunished. And the thing they rely on most for their impunity is that, with the passing of time, people simply forget. There is a steady flow of information as we are bombarded every day with news of the latest massacre, terrorist attack or humanitarian crisis. The things that moved or outraged us yesterday are soon forgotten, washed away by today's tidal wave of fresh events. Instead they become a part of history, and as such should not be forgotten so quickly. When I read Marco's book, I discovered that the people who murdered our colleague Sander Thoenes in Dili, while he was simply doing his job like the rest of us, are still at large to this day. I read the thoughts and hopes of Ingrid Betancourt just twenty-four hours before she was abducted and taken to the depths of the Colombian jungle, where she would remain captive for six long years. I read that we know little or nothing about those responsible for the Cambodian genocide, whose millions of victims remain to this day without peace or justice. I learned these things because the written word cannot be destroyed. A written account of abuse, terror, violence or murder can be used to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, even though this can be an extremely drawn-out process during and after times of war. It still torments me, for example, that so many Bosnian women who were raped have never got justice and every day face the prospect of their assailants passing them on the street. But if I follow in Marco's footsteps and write down the things I have witnessed in a book, people will no longer be able to plead ignorance. That is why we need books like this one.
Janine Di Giovanni
It takes some getting used to,' Mr. Forkle said. 'But what you're seeing is a visual representation of each other's moods.' 'So that means if I do this...' Keefe tickled Sophie's neck. 'GAH--everything just went supersonic!' Fitz said. Sophie snatched Keefe's wrist as he reached to tickle her again. 'Don't. You. Dare.' 'Whoa, now everything's red and ripply,' Fitz said. 'Is that because she's angry?' 'Precisely, Mr. Vacker. Every time her emotions shift, the patterns and colors will change. And with practice, you'll learn to interpret what you see.' 'Okay, but...can't they just say, "Hey, I'm feeling this?"' Keefe asked. 'People aren't always honest about their feelings--even with themselves,' Mr. Forkle told him. 'Plus, many telepathic missions involve stealth and secrecy. So for this exercise I'm going to need both of you to forget everything around you. Let the world drop away, leaving only you two.' Keefe sighed. 'Just tell them to stare into each other's eyes and they'll be good.' 'None of that, Mr. Sencen. From this moment on, you have one job and one job only: to judge their translations of the various emotions I'll be triggering.' 'Triggering how?' Sophie asked. 'You'll see soon enough. And you'll go first, Miss Foster. For this to work, Mr. Vacker, it's crucial that you not react externally. No yelling or thrashing or screaming or--' 'Uhhh, what are you going to do to me?' Fitz asked. 'Nothing you won't survive. Consider it an exercise in self-control. And try not to listen to his thoughts, Miss Foster. Study only the changes in his emotional center and make your deduction. We begin now.' Sophie closed her eyes and focus on the colors weaving around Fitz's mind. She was about to ask if she was missing something when the pattern exploded into a swirl of pale blue tendrils. The color felt to bright to be sad, but also too wild to be peaceful. 'Tension?' she guessed. 'Kinda close,' Keefe told her. The laughter in his voice made her wonder what had happened to poor Fitz. She tried to think of other emotions as his mind turned electric blue. 'Shock?' she guessed. 'That counts,' Keefe said. 'Though the best answer would've been "surprise."' 'Is that an emotion?' she asked. 'Indeed it is,' Mr. Forkle said. 'One of the most common emotions you'll experience as you navigate someone's mind--hence why I chose it as our starting point.' 'Can I talk now?' Fitz asked. 'Because that was seriously disgusting!' Sophie opened her eyes and tried not to laugh when she saw red fruit smashed all over Fitz's face. He wiped his cheeks on his sleeves, but that only smeared the pulp. 'I think I'm going to like this assignment,' Keefe said. 'What else can we fling at Fitz?' 'Nothing for the moment,' Mr. Forkle told him. 'It's his turn to interpret. Everyone close your eyes. And remember, no cues of any kind, Miss Foster.' Sophie counted the seconds, bracing for the worst--and when nothing chaned, she opened her eyes and found Mr. Forkle with his finger over his lips in a 'shhh' sign. 'Um...confusion,' Fitz guessed. 'That works,' Keefe said. 'It started as anticipation, but then it shifted.' 'Very good,' Mr. Forkle said. 'And well done, Mr. Sencen. I wasn't sure you'd recognize confusion. It's one of the more challenging emotions for Empaths.' 'Maybe on other people,' Keefe said. 'But on Foster it's easy. Why are her emotions so much stronger?' 'Honestly, I'm not sure,' Mr. Forkle admitted. 'I suspect it stems from the combination of her inflicting ability and her human upbringing. But it was one of the surprises of her development. Much like her teleporting. Okay, Miss Foster, it's your turn to guess again.' She closed her eyes and watched as the lines of color in Fitz's mind blossomed to a snowflake of purple. 'Pride?' she guessed. Keefe laughed. 'Wow, add more fail points to Sophitz.' 'Quiet,' Mr. Forkle told him.
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))