Lead Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Lead. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead Walk beside me… just be my friend
Albert Camus
Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.
Charles Bukowski
Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Nobody likes being alone that much. I don't go out of my way to make friends, that's all. It just leads to disappointment.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Keep Going Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Everyone has talent. What's rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.
Erica Jong
A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.
Madeleine L'Engle
Never say 'no' to adventures. Always say 'yes,' otherwise you'll lead a very dull life.
Ian Fleming
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
C.G. Jung
I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia.
C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #4))
The Road Not Taken Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
Edward Abbey
The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.
William H. Gass (A Temple of Texts)
If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.
Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Fall of Atlantis (The Fall of Atlantis, #1-2))
Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. It leads to each other. We become ourselves.
Patti Smith (Just Kids)
Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Walt Disney Company
Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love.
John Steinbeck
We lead strange lives, chasing our dreams around from place to place.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
Louisa May Alcott
Caring doesn't sometimes lead to misery. It always does.
John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
Rumi
There will always be more questions. Every answer leads to more questions. The only way to survive is to let some of them go.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.
Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil's soul.
Muriel Spark (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie)
It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.
Adlai E. Stevenson II
Don't be afraid to fall in love again. Open your heart and follow where it leads you...and remember, shoot for the moon.
Cecelia Ahern (P.S. I Love You (P.S. I Love You, #1))
You should date a girl who reads. Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve. Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn. She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book. Buy her another cup of coffee. Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice. It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. She has to give it a shot somehow. Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world. Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series. If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype. You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
Rosemarie Urquico
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things..
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience and Other Essays)
It's the little mistakes that lead to big mistakes.
Pittacus Lore (I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1))
Somewhere inside me is a merciful, forgiving person. Somewhere there is a girl who tries to understand what people are going through, who accepts that people do evil things and that desperation leads them to darker places than they ever imagined. I swear she exists, and she hurts for the repentant boy I see in front of me. But if I saw her, I wouldn't recognize her.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think.
Dorothy Parker (You Might as Well Live: The Life and Times of Dorothy Parker)
Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.
Nelson Mandela
As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.
Nelson Mandela
It's not about how to achieve your dreams, it's about how to lead your life, ... If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
It is not seen as insane when a fighter, under an attack that will inevitable lead to his death, chooses to take his own life first. In fact, this act has been encouraged for centuries, and is accepted even now as an honorable reason to do the deed. How is it any different when you are under attack by your own mind?
Emilie Autumn (The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls)
Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.
Jules Verne (A Journey to the Center of the Earth (Great Illustrated Classics))
I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest)
Read at every wait; read at all hours; read within leisure; read in times of labor; read as one goes in; read as one goest out. The task of the educated mind is simply put: read to lead.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.
James Baldwin
Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
Hey Mason, wipe the drool off your face. If you're going to think about me naked, do it on your own time." [...] "This is my time, Hathaway. I'm leading today's session." "Oh yeah?" I retorted. "Huh. Well, I guess this is a good time to think about me naked, then." "It's always a good a time to think about you naked," added someone nearby, breaking the tension further.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.
Oprah Winfrey
We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course.
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question 'who am I' except the voice inside herself.
Betty Friedan
After all, the wrong road always leads somewhere.
George Bernard Shaw
Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
Thomas A. Edison
Great leaders can see the greatness in others when they can’t see it themselves and lead them to their highest potential they don’t even know.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
William Blake (The Marriage of Heaven and Hell)
...one opportunity leads directly to another, just as risk leads to more risk, life to more life, and death to more death.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
I try to avoid having thoughts. They lead to other thoughts, and—if you’re not careful—those lead to actions. Actions make you tired. I have this on rather good authority from someone who once read it in a book.
Brandon Sanderson
Doubt … is an illness that comes from knowledge and leads to madness.
Gustave Flaubert (Memoirs of a Madman)
We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
J.R.R. Tolkien
Tell me that we’ll get through tomorrow. Tell me that we’ll survive the war. Tell me—” She swallowed hard. “Tell me that even if I lead us all to ruin, we’ll burn in hell together.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
To lead the orchestra, you have to turn your back on the crowd.
Max Lucado
Juno: "All roads lead there child. You should know that." Percy: "Detention?
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
George Lucas (The Phantom Menace (Star Wars: Novelizations, #1))
I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.
Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2)
It does good to no woman to be flattered [by a man] who does not intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it; and, if discovered and responded to, must lead, ignis-fatuus-like, into miry wilds whence there is no extrication.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
A story about family, first loves, second chances, and the moments in life that leads you back home
Nicholas Sparks (The Last Song)
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." [Kung Fu Monkey -- Ephemera, blog post, March 19, 2009]
John Rogers
You try to be faithful And sometimes you're cruel. You are mine. Then, you leave. Without you, I can't cope. And when you take the lead, I become your footstep. Your absence leaves a void. Without you, I can't cope. You have disturbed my sleep, You have wrecked my image. You have set me apart. Without you, I can't cope.
Rumi (Love: The Joy That Wounds: The Love Poems of Rumi)
DeWitt: Loneliness leads to nothing good, only detachment. And sometimes the people who most need to reach out are the people least capable of it.
Jane Espenson
...God leads you to it and takes you through it.
Cecelia Ahern (P.S. I Love You (P.S. I Love You, #1))
There are two circumstances that lead to arrogance: one is when you're wrong and you can't face it; the other is when you're right and nobody else can face it.
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
A man can only lead when others accept him as their leader, and he has only as much authority as his subjects give to him. All of the brilliant ideas in the world cannot save your kingdom if no one will listen to them.
Brandon Sanderson (The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2))
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
You can be brave and still be feminine. You can lead and still love flowers. Most importantly, you can be queen and still be a bride.
Kiera Cass (The Heir (The Selection, #4))
Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.
Jodi Picoult (Second Glance)
Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
We're being lead by an idiot with a crayon.
Eoin Colfer (The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl, #2))
One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.
Eleanor Roosevelt
Whenever someone who knows you disappears, you lose one version of yourself. Yourself as you were seen, as you were judged to be. Lover or enemy, mother or friend, those who know us construct us, and their several knowings slant the different facets of our characters like diamond-cutter's tools. Each such loss is a step leading to the grave, where all versions blend and end.
Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet)
The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5))
Lead me, follow me, or get the hell out of my way.
George S. Patton Jr. (Patton Principles)
Since mankind's dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We've seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
I'm not absolutely certain of the facts, but I rather fancy it's Shakespeare who says that it's always just when a fellow is feeling particularly braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with the bit of lead piping.
P.G. Wodehouse (Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest)
A true gentleman is one that apologizes anyways, even though he has not offended a lady intentionally. He is in a class all of his own because he knows the value of a woman's heart.
Shannon L. Alder
Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
Mark Twain
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Dreams are like stars, you may never catch them but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.
Liam Payne
Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes'.
Stephen Colbert
All I ask is one thing, and I’m asking this particularly of young people: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism, for the record, it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.
Conan O'Brien
What would you do if you weren't afraid?
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
There have been five great kisses since 1642 B.C...(before then couples hooked thumbs.) And the precise rating of kisses is a terribly difficult thing, often leading to great controversy.... Well, this one left them all behind.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
If America leads a blessed life, then why did God put all of our oil under people who hate us?
Jon Stewart
In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can't survive.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.
Albert Einstein (Out of My Later Years: The Scientist, Philosopher, and Man Portrayed Through His Own Words)
Unseen in the background, Fate was quietly slipping lead into the boxing-glove.
P.G. Wodehouse (Very Good, Jeeves! (Jeeves, #4))
Done is better than perfect.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
Some of us look for the Way in opium and some in God, some of us in whiskey and some in love. It is all the same Way and it leads nowhither.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Thomas Merton (Thoughts in Solitude)
Sooner or later, everyone's story has an unfortunate event or two...The solution, of course, is to stay as far away from the world as possible and lead a safe, simple life.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
A European says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with me? An American says: I can't understand this, what's wrong with him? I make no suggestion that one side or other is right, but observation over many years leads me to believe it is true.
Terry Pratchett
There are many kinds of joy, but they all lead to one: the joy to be loved.
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
Normalness leads to sadness.
Phil Lester
I realize today that nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself.
Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
You know me better than anyone, and you're my best friend. I don't think there's anything you could say to me that would lead me to believe that you're doing it just to hurt me. If there's one thing I've come to know about you, it's that you're not even capable of something like that. Why do you think I like spending time with you so much? Because you're a good guy. A nice guy.
Nicholas Sparks (The Guardian)
Give me a shot to remember And you can take all the pain away from me A kiss and I will surrender The sharpest lives are the deadliest to lead A light to burn all the empires So bright the sun is ashamed to rise and be And I'm in love with all of those vampires So you can leave like the sane abandoned me
Gerard Way
[F]or just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there's nothing else. It's here, and you'd better decide to enjoy it or you're going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever.
Lev Grossman (The Magicians (The Magicians, #1))
all streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. humility gives it its power. if you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. if you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.
Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching)
Give me the Love that leads the way The Faith that nothing can dismay The Hope no disappointments tire The Passion that'll burn like fire Let me not sink to be a clod Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God
Amy Carmichael
I mused for a few moments on the question of which was worse, to lead a life so boring that you are easily enchanted, or a life so full of stimulus that you are easily bored.
Bill Bryson (The Lost Continent)
Lead me not into temptation. I can find it myself. (T-Shirt)
Darynda Jones (Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3))
Yes, I decided, a man can truly change. The events of the past year have taught me much about myself, and a few universal truths. I learned, for instance, that while wounds can be inflicted easily upon those we love, it's often much more difficult to heal them. Yet the process of healing those wounds provided the richest experience of my life, leading me to believe that while I've often overestimated what I could accomplish in a day, I had underestimated what I could do in a year. But most of all, I learned that it's possible for two people to fall in love all over again, even when there's been a lifetime of disappointment between them.
Nicholas Sparks (The Wedding (The Notebook, #2))
There are some who want to get married and others who don't. I have never had an impulse to go to the altar. I am a difficult person to lead.
Greta Garbo (Greta and Cecil)
Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.
Aristotle (Politics)
I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.
Stephen Hawking
Many of my movies have strong female leads- brave, self-sufficient girls that don't think twice about fighting for what they believe with all their heart. They'll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a savior. Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man.
Hayao Miyazaki
You can't lead the people if you don't love the people. You can't save the people if you don't serve the people.
Cornel West
There's no way to know what makes one thing happen and not another. What leads to what. What destroys what. What causes what to flourish or die or take another course.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.
Oswald Chambers
Wanting just leads to more wanting. There’s no end to desire.
Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything)
I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
Benjamin Franklin
No one understands and appreciates the American Dream of hard work leading to material rewards better than a non-American.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise. Things keep going on, they overlap and blur, your story is part of your sister's story is part of many other stories, and there is no telling where any of them may lead.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
You better hide that heart of yours, Lady Titanos. It won't lead you anywhere you want to go.
Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
There is nothing in the record of the past two years when both Houses of Congress have been controlled by the Republican Party which can lead any person to believe that those promises will be fulfilled in the future. They follow the Hitler line - no matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as truth.
John F. Kennedy
Isabelle chewed thoughtfully on her straw. 'That new lead singer they have is hot. Is he single? I'd like to ride him around town like a bad, bad pony-
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Percy, let me go" she croaked. "You can't pull me up." His face was white with effort. She could see in his eyes that he knew it was hopeless. "Never," he said. He looked up at Nico, fifteen feet above. "The other side, Nico! We'll see you there. Understand?" Nico's eyes widened. "But-" "Lead them!" Percy shouted. "Promise me!" "I-I will." Below them, the voice laughed in the darkness. Sacrifices. Beautiful sacrifices to wake the goddess. Percy tightened his grip on Annabeth's wrist. His face was gaunt, scraped and bloody, his hair dusted with cobwebs, but when he locked eyes with her, she thought he had never looked more handsome. "We're staying together," he promised. "You're not getting away from me. Never again." Only then did she understand what would happen. A one-way trip. A very hard fall. "As long as we're together," she said. She heard Nico and Hazel still screaming for help. She saw sunlight far, far above- maybe the last sunlight she would ever see. Then Percy let go of his ledge, and together, holding hands, he and Annabeth fell into the endless darkness.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
When you are in troubled and worried and sick at heart And your plans are upset and your world falls apart, Remember God's ready and waiting to share The burden you find much to heavy to bear-- So with faith, "Let Go and Let GOD" lead your way Into a brighter and less troubled day
Helen Steiner Rice
The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations - all of them rearranging themselves so this precise, remarkable intersection could happen. In your heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are just now arriving at the place you were always meant to be.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
Because this is what happens when you try to run from the past. it doesn't just catch up: it overtakes, blotting out the future, the landscape, the very sky, until there is no path left except that which leads through it, the only one that can ever get you home.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
Let others lead small lives, but not you.. Let others argue over small things, but not you.. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you.. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you.
Jim Rohn
More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
Woody Allen
It is better to be alone, she figures, than to be with someone who can't see who you are. It is better to lead than to follow. It is better to speak up than stay silent. It is better to open doors than to shut them on people. She will not be simple and sweet. She will not be what people tell her to be. That Bunny Rabbit is dead.
E. Lockhart (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks)
Doesn't miss many meals, does he?" Zeus muttered. "Tyson, for your bravery in the war, and for leading the Cyclopes, you are appointed a general I. The armies of Olympus. You shall henceforth lead you breathren into war whenever required by the gods. And you shall have a new...um...what kind of weapon would you like? A sword? An axe?" "Stick!" Tyson said, showing his broken club. "Very well," Zeus said. "We will grant you a new, er, stick. The best stick that may be found." "Hooray!
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person's life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Hermann Hesse (Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
Everyone goes through a period of Traviamento - when we take, say, a different turn in life, the other via. Dante himself did. Some recover, some pretend to recover, some never come back, some chicken out before even starting, and some, for fear of taking any turns, find themselves leading the wrong life all life long.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)
To lead people, walk beside them ... As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate ... When the best leader's work is done the people say, We did it ourselves!
Lao Tzu
Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)
Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make -- bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake -- if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble. Making assumptions simply means believing things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct, and you can see at once how this can lead to terrible trouble. For instance, one morning you might wake up and make the assumption that your bed was in the same place that it always was, even though you would have no real evidence that this was so. But when you got out of your bed, you might discover that it had floated out to sea, and now you would be in terrible trouble all because of the incorrect assumption that you'd made. You can see that it is better not to make too many assumptions, particularly in the morning.
Lemony Snicket (The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5))
Like most others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles - a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other - that kept me going.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Rum Diary)
If you live in a past dream, you don't enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self pity, suffering and tears.
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all risks to do this.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley - Volume 1)
All I wanted was a little piece of life, to be married, to have children. [...] I was trying my damnedest to lead a conventional life, for that was how I was brought up, and it was what my husband wanted of me. But one can't build little white picket fences to keep the nightmares out.
Anne Sexton
At some point during almost every romantic comedy, the female lead suddenly trips and falls, stumbling helplessly over something ridiculous like a leaf, and then some Matthew McConaughey type either whips around the corner just in the nick of time to save her or is clumsily pulled down along with her. That event predictably leads to the magical moment of their first kiss. Please. I fall ALL the time. You know who comes and gets me? The bouncer.
Chelsea Handler (My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands)
Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection for changelessness.
Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge. The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness. If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
The remedy for most marital stress is not in divorce. It is in repentance and forgiveness, in sincere expressions of charity and service. It is not in separation. It is in simple integrity that leads a man and a woman to square up their shoulders and meet their obligations. It is found in the Golden Rule, a time-honored principle that should first and foremost find expression in marriage.
Gordon B. Hinckley (Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes)
I held out a lead figurine of Hades—the little Mythomagic statue Nico had abandoned when he fled camp last winter. Nico hesitated. "I don’t play that game anymore. It’s for kids." "It’s got four thousand attack power," I coaxed. "Five thousand," Nico corrected. "But only if your opponent attacks first." I smiled. "Maybe it’s okay to still be a kid once in a while.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
Leah: "That is easily the freakin’ grossest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Yuck. If there was anything in my stomach, it would be coming back." Seth: "They are vampires, I guess. I mean, it makes sense, and if it helps Bella, it’s a good thing, right?" Leah and Jake stare at Seth. Seth: "What?" Leah: "Mom dropped him a lot when he was a baby." Jake: "On his head apparently." Leah: "He used to gnaw on the crib bars, too." Jake: "Lead paint?" Leah: "Looks like it." Seth: "Funny. Why don’t you two shut up and sleep?
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, #4))
What we know matters but who we are matters more.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
I really feel that we're not giving children enough credit for distinguishing what's right and what's wrong. I, for one, devoured fairy tales as a little girl. I certainly didn't believe that kissing frogs would lead me to a prince, or that eating a mysterious apple would poison me, or that with the magical "Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo" I would get a beautiful dress and a pumpkin carriage. I also don't believe that looking in a mirror and saying "Candyman, Candyman, Candyman" will make some awful serial killer come after me. I believe that many children recognize Harry Potter for what it is, fantasy literature. I'm sure there will always be some that take it too far, but that's the case with everything. I believe it's much better to engage in dialog with children to explain the difference between fantasy and reality. Then they are better equipped to deal with people who might have taken it too far.
J.K. Rowling
What I need is perspective. The illusion of depth, created by a frame, the arrangement of shapes on a flat surface. Perspective is necessary. Otherwise there are only two dimensions. Otherwise you live with your face squashed up against a wall, everything a huge foreground, of details, close-ups, hairs, the weave of the bedsheet, the molecules of the face. Your own skin like a map, a diagram of futility, criscrossed with tiny roads that lead nowhere. Otherwise you live in the moment. Which is not where I want to be.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
Scientists do not join hands every Sunday and sing "Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!" If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.
Dan Barker (Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists)
There are random moments - tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children's rooms - when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead.
Elizabeth Berg (The Art of Mending)
The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today
Francis of Assisi
Ash and Puck shared a brief glance, and then Ash pushed himself off the wall to stand beside me. “Lead the way,” he said, nodding into the darkness. “We’ll be right behind you.” “For the record,” Grimalkin stated as we ventured, single file, into the black, “I do not think this is a good idea. But, as no one listens to the cat anymore, I will have to wait until we are completely lost to say ‘I told you so.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing, of nothing first create! O heavy lightness, serious vanity, Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms, Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them. [Kalama Sutta, AN 3.65]
Gautama Buddha (Die Reden Des Buddha Aus Dem Ang�ttaranikaya; Aus Dem Pali Zum Ersten Male �bers. Und Erl�utert Von Myanatiloka)
If you ever think about giving up, remember why you held on for so long.
Hayley Williams
Stories have changed, my dear boy,” the man in the grey suit says, his voice almost imperceptibly sad. “There are no more battles between good and evil, no monsters to slay, no maidens in need of rescue. Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case. There are no longer simple tales with quests and beasts and happy endings. The quests lack clarity of goal or path. The beasts take different forms and are difficult to recognize for what they are. And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise. Things keep overlapping and blur, your story is part of your sister’s story is part of many other stories, and there in no telling where any of them may lead. Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon, or a wolf and a scarlet-clad little girl. And is not the dragon the hero of his own story? Is not the wolf simply acting as a wolf should act? Though perhaps it is a singular wolf who goes to such lengths as to dress as a grandmother to toy with its prey.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
I have crossed the seas, I have left cities behind me, and I have followed the source of rivers towards their source or plunged into forests, always making for other cities. I have had women, I have fought with men ; and I could never turn back any more than a record can spin in reverse. And all that was leading me where ? To this very moment...
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
He had said that our lives are steered by uncertainties, many of which are disruptive or even daunting; but that if we persevere and remain generous of heart, we may be granted a moment of lucidity—a moment in which all that has happened to us suddenly comes into focus as a necessary course of events, even as we find ourselves on the threshold of the life we had been meant to lead all along.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love. This is something else I've discovered for myself very recently. I present it to you as a hypothesis: Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis. And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It's all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don't worry, just be happy. You are already free!
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
Love is one of the most intense feelings felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional aliments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Satanic Bible)
It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it’s the biggest nine- and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice. Success is the result of what sociologists like to call “accumulative advantage.
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
Don't lies eventually lead to the truth? And don't all my stories, true or false, tend toward the same conclusion? Don't they all have the same meaning? So what does it matter whether they are true or false if, in both cases, they are significant of what I have been and what I am? Sometimes it is easier to see clearly into the liar than into the man who tells the truth. Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
One of the most important of life´s lessons is to learn independance, to understand freedom. This means independence from attachments, from results, from opinions, and from expectations. Breaking attachments leads to freedom, but breaking attachments does not mean abandoning a loving and meaningful relationship, a relationship that nourrishes your soul. It means ending dependency on any person or thing. Love is never a dependency.
Brian L. Weiss (Messages from the Masters: Tapping Into the Power of Love)
In politics as in philosophy, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy.
George Washington
There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive. This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad in a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding the old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight.
Jack London (The Call of the Wild)
When the two people who thus discover that they are on the same secret road are of different sexes, the friendship which arises between them will very easily pass – may pass in the first half hour – into erotic love. Indeed, unless they are physically repulsive to each other or unless one or both already loves elsewhere, it is almost certain to do so sooner or later. And conversely, erotic love may lead to Friendship between the lovers. But this, so far from obliterating the distinction between the two loves, puts it in a clearer light. If one who was first, in the deep and full sense, your Friend, is then gradually or suddenly revealed as also your lover you will certainly not want to share the Beloved’s erotic love with any third. But you will have no jealousy at all about sharing the Friendship. Nothing so enriches an erotic love as the discovery that the Beloved can deeply, truly and spontaneously enter into Friendship with the Friends you already had; to feel that not only are we two united by erotic love but we three or four or five are all travelers on the same quest, have all a common vision.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
Sean reaches between us and slides a thin bracelet of red ribbons over my free hand. Lifting my arm, he presses his lips against the inside of my wrist. I'm utterly still; I feel my pulse tap several times against his lips, and then he releases my hand. "For luck," he says. He takes Dove's lead from me. "Sean," I say, and he turns. I take his chin and kiss his lips, hard. I'm reminded, all of a sudden, of that first day on the beach, when I pulled his head from the water. "For luck," I say to his startled face.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things-trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say.
C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #4))
Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you -- beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.
Edward Abbey
It is important for a husband to understand that his words have tremendous power in his wife’s life. He needs to bless her with words. She’s given her life to love and care for him, to partner with him, to create a family together, to nurture his children. If he is always finding fault in something she’s doing, always putting her down, he will reap horrendous problems in his marriage and in his life. Moreover, many women today are depressed and feel emotionally abused because their husbands do not bless them with their words. One of the leading causes of emotional breakdowns among married women is the fact that women do not feel valued. One of the main reasons for that deficiency is because husbands are willfully or unwittingly withholding the words of approval women so desperately desire. If you want to see God do wonders in your marriage, start praising your spouse. Start appreciating and encouraging her. Every single day, a husband should tell his wife, “I love you. I appreciate you. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.” A wife should do the same for her husband. Your relationship would improve immensely if you’d simply start speaking kind, positive words, blessing your spouse instead of cursing him or her.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
He who becomes the slave of habit, who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes, who does not speak and does not experience, dies slowly. He or she who shuns passion, who prefers black on white, dotting ones "it’s" rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer, that turn a yawn into a smile, that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly. He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy, who is unhappy at work, who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to thus follow a dream, those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly. He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly. He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem, who does not allow himself to be helped, who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops, dies slowly. He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know, he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know, die slowly. Let's try and avoid death in small doses, reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing. Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
Martha Medeiros
The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.
Richard Dawkins (River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life)
What makes you think human beings are sentient and aware? There's no evidence for it. Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told-and become upset if they are exposed to any different view. The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their 'beliefs.' The reason is that beliefs guide behavior which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is just a self-congratulatory delusion. Next question.
Michael Crichton (The Lost World (Jurassic Park, #2))
The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.' The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.
Sophie Scholl
When people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the big bang, so there is no time for god to make the universe in. It’s like asking directions to the edge of the earth; The Earth is a sphere; it doesn’t have an edge; so looking for it is a futile exercise. We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is; there is no god. No one created our universe,and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that I am extremely grateful.
Stephen Hawking
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
What is it about the moment you fall in love? How can such a small measure of time contain such enormity? I suddenly realize why people believe in déjà vu, why people believe they've lived past lives, because there is no way the years I've spent on this earth could possibly encapsulate what I'm feeling. The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations—all of them rearranging themselves so that this precise, remarkable intersection could happen. In you heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are now just arriving at the place you were always meant to be.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
These... things, householder, are welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world: Long life is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Beauty is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Happiness is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Status is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. ...Now, I tell you, these... things are not to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes. If they were to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes, who here would lack them? It's not fitting for the disciple of the noble ones who desires long life to pray for it or to delight in doing so. Instead, the disciple of the noble ones who desires long life should follow the path of practice leading to long life. In so doing, he will attain long life... [Ittha Sutta, AN 5.43]
Gautama Buddha
The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies)
Make your own dream. That's the Beatles' story, isn't it? That's Yoko's story, that's what I'm saying now. Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It's quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don't expect Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself. That's what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There's nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can't wake you up. You can wake you up. I can't cure you. You can cure you.
John Lennon
I ask of you your lives,” Elend said, voice echoing, “and your courage. I ask of you your faith, and your honor—your strength, and your compassion. For today, I lead you to die. I will not ask you to welcome this event. I will not insult you by calling it well, or just, or even glorious. But I will say this. “Each moment you fight is a gift to those in this cavern. Each second we fight is a second longer that thousands of people can draw breath. Each stroke of the sword, each koloss felled, each breath earned is a victory! It is a person protected for a moment longer, a life extended, an enemy frustrated!” There was a brief pause. “In the end, they will kill us,” Elend said, voice loud, ringing in the cavern. “But first, they shall fear us!
Brandon Sanderson (The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3))
MEMORY'S SO TREACHEROUS. ONE MOMENT YOU'RE LOST IN A CARNIVAL OF DELIGHTS, WITH POIGNANT CHILDHOOD AROMAS , THE FLASHING NEON OF PUBERTY, ALL THAT SENTIMENTAL CANDY-FLOSS ... THE NEXT , IT LEADS YOU SOMEWHERE YOU DON'T WANT TO GO... ...SOMEWHERE DARK AND COLD, FILLED WITH THE DAMP, AMBIGUOUS SHAPES OF THINKS YOU'D HOPED WERE FORGOTTEN. MEMORIES CAN BE VILE, REPULSIVE LITTLE BRUTES. LIKE CHILDREN, I SUPPOSE. HAHA. BUT CAN WE LIVE WITHOUT THEM? MEMORIES ARE WHAT OUR REASON IS BASED UPON. IF WE CAN'T FACE THEM, WE DENY REASON ITSELF! ALGHOUGH, WHY NOT? WE AREN'T CONTRACTUALLY TIED DOWN TO RATIONALITY! THERE IS NO SANITY CLAUSE! SO WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF LOCKED ONTO AN UNPLEASANT TRAIN OF THOUGHT, HEADING FOR THE PLACES IN YOUR PAST WHERE THE SCREAMING IS UNBEARABLE, REMEMBER THERE'S ALWAYS MADNESS. MADNESS IS THE EMERGENCY EXIT... YOU CAN JUST STEP OUTSIDE, AND CLOSE THE DOOR ON ALL THOSE DREADFUL THINGS THAT HAPPENED. YOU CAN LOCK THEM AWAY... FOREVER.
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Charlie Chaplin
I look at the blanked-out faces of the other passengers--hoisting their briefcases, their backpacks, shuffling to disembark--and I think of what Hobie said: beauty alters the grain of reality. And I keep thinking too of the more conventional wisdom: namely, that the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful. Only what is that thing? Why am I made the way I am? Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet--for me, anyway--all that's worth living for lies in that charm? A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are. Because--isn't it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture--? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it's a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what's right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: "Be yourself." "Follow your heart." Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted--? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or...is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Those who fail to exhibit positive attitudes, no matter the external reality, are seen as maladjusted and in need of assistance. Their attitudes need correction. Once we adopt an upbeat vision of reality, positive things will happen. This belief encourages us to flee from reality when reality does not elicit positive feelings. These specialists in "happiness" have formulated something they call the "Law of Attraction." It argues that we attract those things in life, whether it is money, relationships or employment, which we focus on. Suddenly, abused and battered wives or children, the unemployed, the depressed and mentally ill, the illiterate, the lonely, those grieving for lost loved ones, those crushed by poverty, the terminally ill, those fighting with addictions, those suffering from trauma, those trapped in menial and poorly paid jobs, those whose homes are in foreclosure or who are filing for bankruptcy because they cannot pay their medical bills, are to blame for their negativity. The ideology justifies the cruelty of unfettered capitalism, shifting the blame from the power elite to those they oppress. And many of us have internalized this pernicious message, which in times of difficulty leads to personal despair, passivity and disillusionment.
Chris Hedges
... so this is for us. This is for us who sing, write, dance, act, study, run and love and this is for doing it even if no one will ever know because the beauty is in the act of doing it. Not what it can lead to. This is for the times I lose myself while writing, singing, playing and no one is around and they will never know but I will forever remember and that shines brighter than any praise or fame or glory I will ever have, and this is for you who write or play or read or sing by yourself with the light off and door closed when the world is asleep and the stars are aligned and maybe no one will ever hear it or read your words or know your thoughts but it doesn’t make it less glorious. It makes it ethereal. Mysterious. Infinite. For it belongs to you and whatever God or spirit you believe in and only you can decide how much it meant and means and will forever mean and other people will experience it too through you. Through your spirit. Through the way you talk. Through the way you walk and love and laugh and care and I never meant to write this long but what I want to say is: Don’t try to present your art by making other people read or hear or see or touch it; make them feel it. Wear your art like your heart on your sleeve and keep it alive by making people feel a little better. Feel a little lighter. Create art in order for yourself to become yourself and let your very existence be your song, your poem, your story. Let your very identity be your book. Let the way people say your name sound like the sweetest melody. So go create. Take photographs in the wood, run alone in the rain and sing your heart out high up on a mountain where no one will ever hear and your very existence will be the most hypnotising scar. Make your life be your art and you will never be forgotten.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
For ages you have come and gone courting this delusion. For ages you have run from the pain and forfeited the ecstasy. So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. Although you appear in earthly form Your essence is pure Consciousness. You are the fearless guardian of Divine Light. So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. When you lose all sense of self the bonds of a thousand chains will vanish. Lose yourself completely, Return to the root of the root of your own soul. You descended from Adam, by the pure Word of God, but you turned your sight to the empty show of this world. Alas, how can you be satisfied with so little? So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. Why are you so enchanted by this world when a mine of gold lies within you? Open your eyes and come --- Return to the root of the root of your own soul. You were born from the rays of God's Majesty when the stars were in their perfect place. How long will you suffer from the blows of a nonexistent hand? So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. You are a ruby encased in granite. How long will you decieve Us with this outer show? O friend, We can see the truth in your eyes! So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. After one moment with that glorious Friend you became loving, radiant, and ecstatic. Your eyes were sweet and full of fire. Come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. Shams-e Tabriz, the King of the Tavern has handed you an eternal cup, And God in all His glory is pouring the wine. So come! Drink! Return to the root of the root of your own soul. Soul of all souls, life of all life - you are That. Seen and unseen, moving and unmoving - you are That. The road that leads to the City is endless; Go without head and feet and you'll already be there. What else could you be? - you are That.
Rumi
[Said during a debate when his opponent asserted that atheism and belief in evolution lead to Nazism:] Atheism by itself is, of course, not a moral position or a political one of any kind; it simply is the refusal to believe in a supernatural dimension. For you to say of Nazism that it was the implementation of the work of Charles Darwin is a filthy slander, undeserving of you and an insult to this audience. Darwin’s thought was not taught in Germany; Darwinism was so derided in Germany along with every other form of unbelief that all the great modern atheists, Darwin, Einstein and Freud were alike despised by the National Socialist regime. Now, just to take the most notorious of the 20th century totalitarianisms – the most finished example, the most perfected one, the most ruthless and refined one: that of National Socialism, the one that fortunately allowed the escape of all these great atheists, thinkers and many others, to the United States, a country of separation of church and state, that gave them welcome – if it’s an atheistic regime, then how come that in the first chapter of Mein Kampf, that Hitler says that he’s doing God’s work and executing God’s will in destroying the Jewish people? How come the fuhrer oath that every officer of the Party and the Army had to take, making Hitler into a minor god, begins, “I swear in the name of almighty God, my loyalty to the Fuhrer?” How come that on the belt buckle of every Nazi soldier it says Gott mit uns, God on our side? How come that the first treaty made by the Nationalist Socialist dictatorship, the very first is with the Vatican? It’s exchanging political control of Germany for Catholic control of German education. How come that the church has celebrated the birthday of the Fuhrer every year, on that day until democracy put an end to this filthy, quasi-religious, superstitious, barbarous, reactionary system? Again, this is not a difference of emphasis between us. To suggest that there’s something fascistic about me and about my beliefs is something I won't hear said and you shouldn't believe.
Christopher Hitchens
She loved him. But he didn’t know how to love. He could talk about love. He could see love and feel love. But he couldn’t give love. He could make love. But he couldn’t make promises. She had desperately wanted his promises. She wanted his heart, knew she couldn’t have it so she took what she could get. Temporary bliss. Passionate highs and lows. Withdrawal and manipulation. He only stayed long enough to take what he needed and keep moving. If he stopped moving, he would self-destruct. If he stopped wandering, he would have to face himself. He chose to stay in the dark where he couldn’t see. If he exposed himself and the sun came out, he’d see his shadow. He was deathly afraid of his shadow. She saw his shadow, loved it, understood it. Saw potential in it. She thought her love would change him. He pushed and he pulled, tested boundaries, thinking she would never leave. He knew he was hurting her, but didn’t know how to share anything but pain. He was only comfortable in chaos. Claiming souls before they could claim him. Her love, her body, she had given to him and he’d taken with such feigned sincerity, absorbing every drop of her. His dark heart concealed. She’d let him enter her spirit and stroke her soul where everything is love and sensation and surrender. Wide open, exposed to deception. It had never occurred to her that this desire was not love. It was blinding the way she wanted him. She couldn’t see what was really happening, only what she wanted to happen. She suspected that he would always seek to minimize the risk of being split open, his secrets revealed. He valued his soul’s privacy far more than he valued the intimacy of sincere connection so he kept his distance at any and all costs. Intimacy would lead to his undoing—in his mind, an irrational and indulgent mistake. When she discovered his indiscretions, she threw love in his face and beat him with it. Somewhere deep down, in her labyrinth, her intricacy, the darkest part of her soul, she relished the mayhem. She felt a sense of privilege for having such passion in her life. He stirred her core. The place she dared not enter. The place she could not stir for herself. But something wasn’t right. His eyes were cold and dark. His energy, unaffected. He laughed at her and her antics, told her she was a mess. Frantic, she looked for love hiding in his eyes, in his face, in his stance, and she found nothing but disdain. And her heart stopped.
G.G. Renee Hill (The Beautiful Disruption)
Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved. As we remember that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God,” (Mosiah 2:17) we will not find ourselves in the unenviable position of Jacob Marley’s ghost, who spoke to Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’s immortal "Christmas Carol." Marley spoke sadly of opportunities lost. Said he: 'Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!' Marley added: 'Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!' Fortunately, as we know, Ebenezer Scrooge changed his life for the better. I love his line, 'I am not the man I was.' Why is Dickens’ "Christmas Carol" so popular? Why is it ever new? I personally feel it is inspired of God. It brings out the best within human nature. It gives hope. It motivates change. We can turn from the paths which would lead us down and, with a song in our hearts, follow a star and walk toward the light. We can quicken our step, bolster our courage, and bask in the sunlight of truth. We can hear more clearly the laughter of little children. We can dry the tear of the weeping. We can comfort the dying by sharing the promise of eternal life. If we lift one weary hand which hangs down, if we bring peace to one struggling soul, if we give as did the Master, we can—by showing the way—become a guiding star for some lost mariner.
Thomas S. Monson
Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came,—the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon,—that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure,—he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow. The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room,alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately: I have received yours,—but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget,—it is all that remains for either of us." And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained,—the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare,—exceedingly real. Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
What did she say?” asked Matthias. Nina coughed and took his arm, leading him away. “She said you’re a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven’t had proper blini in forever.” “That word she used: babink,” he said. “You’ve called me that before. What does it mean?” Nina directed her attention to a stack of paper-thin buttered pancakes. “It means sweetie pie.” “Nina—” “Barbarian.” “I was just asking, there’s no need to name-call.” “No, babink means barbarian.” Matthias’ gaze snapped back to the old woman, his glower returning to full force. Nina grabbed his arm. It was like trying to hold on to a boulder. “She wasn’t insulting you! I swear!” “Barbarian isn’t an insult?” he asked, voice rising. “No. Well, yes. But not in this context. She wanted to know if you’d like to play Princess and Barbarian.” “It’s a game?” “Not exactly.” “Then what is it?” Nina couldn’t believe she was actually going to attempt to explain this. As they continued up the street, she said, “In Ravka, there’s a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior—” “Really?” Matthias asked. “He’s the hero?” “In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess—” “That would never happen.” “In the story it does, and”—she cleared her throat—“they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave.” “He lives in a cave?” “It’s a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead.” “Ah,” he said approvingly. “A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?” Nina picked up a pair of embroidered gloves from another stand. “Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look.” “How does the story end? Do they fight battles?” Nina tossed the gloves back on the pile in defeat. “They get to know each other intimately.” Matthias’ jaw dropped. “In the cave?” “You see, he’s very brooding, very manly,” Nina hurried on. “But he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him—” “To civilize him?” “Yes, but that’s not until the third book.” “There are three?” “Matthias, do you need to sit down?” “This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan—” “Calm down, Matthias.” “Perhaps I’ll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans.” “Now that sounds like a party.” Matthias shook his head, but she could see a smile tugging at his lips. She decided to push the advantage. “We could play,” she murmured, quietly enough so that no one around them could hear. “We most certainly could not.” “At one point he bathes her.” Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he—” “She’s tied up, so he has to.” “Be silent.” “Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.” “How about I bite your lip?” “Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
The worst thing is not that the world is unfree, but that people have unlearned their liberty. The more indifferent people are to politics, to the interests of others, the more obsessed they become with their own faces. The individualism of our time. Not being able to fall asleep and not allowing oneself to move: the marital bed. If high culture is coming to an end, it is also the end of you and your paradoxical ideas, because paradox as such belongs to high culture and not to childish prattle. You remind me of the young men who supported the Nazis or communists not out of cowardice or out of opportunism but out of an excess of intelligence. For nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought… You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers. In the world of highways, a beautiful landscape means: an island of beauty connected by a long line with other islands of beauty. How to live in a world with which you disagree? How to live with people when you neither share their suffering nor their joys? When you know that you don’t belong among them?... our century refuses to acknowledge anyone’s right to disagree with the world…All that remains of such a place is the memory, the ideal of a cloister, the dream of a cloister… Humor can only exist when people are still capable of recognizing some border between the important and the unimportant. And nowadays this border has become unrecognizable. The majority of people lead their existence within a small idyllic circle bounded by their family, their home, and their work... They live in a secure realm somewhere between good and evil. They are sincerely horrified by the sight of a killer. And yet all you have to do is remove them from this peaceful circle and they, too, turn into murderers, without quite knowing how it happened. The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order. Or to put it the other way around: the desire for order is a virtuous pretext, an excuse for virulent misanthropy. A long time a go a certain Cynic philosopher proudly paraded around Athens in a moth-eaten coat, hoping that everyone would admire his contempt for convention. When Socrates met him, he said: Through the hole in your coat I see your vanity. Your dirt, too, dear sir, is self-indulgent and your self-indulgence is dirty. You are always living below the level of true existence, you bitter weed, you anthropomorphized vat of vinegar! You’re full of acid, which bubbles inside you like an alchemist’s brew. Your highest wish is to be able to see all around you the same ugliness as you carry inside yourself. That’s the only way you can feel for a few moments some kind of peace between yourself and the world. That’s because the world, which is beautiful, seems horrible to you, torments you and excludes you. If the novel is successful, it must necessarily be wiser than its author. This is why many excellent French intellectuals write mediocre novels. They are always more intelligent than their books. By a certain age, coincidences lose their magic, no longer surprise, become run-of-the-mill. Any new possibility that existence acquires, even the least likely, transforms everything about existence.
Milan Kundera