Love Calculation Quotes

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The people you love weren’t algebra: to be calculated, subtracted, or held at arm’s length across a decimal point.
Holly Jackson (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #1))
One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.
Edward Abbey
I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Whenever we manage to love without expectations, calculations, negotiations, we are indeed in heaven.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
Don't exist. Live. Get out, explore. Thrive. Challenge authority. Challenge yourself. Evolve. Change forever. Become who you say you always will. Keep moving. Don't stop. Start the revolution. Become a freedom fighter. Become a superhero. Just because everyone doesn't know your name doesn't mean you dont matter. Are you happy? Have you ever been happy? What have you done today to matter? Did you exist or did you live? How did you thrive? Become a chameleon-fit in anywhere. Be a rockstar-stand out everywhere. Do nothing, do everything. Forget everything, remember everyone. Care, don't just pretend to. Listen to everyone. Love everyone and nothing at the same time. Its impossible to be everything,but you can't stop trying to do it all. All I know is that I have no idea where I am right now. I feel like I am in training for something, making progress with every step I take. I fear standing still. It is my greatest weakness. I talk big, but often don't follow through. That's my biggest problem. I don't even know what to think right now. It's about time I start to take a jump. Fuck starting to take. Just jump-over everything. Leap. It's time to be aggressive. You've started to speak your mind, now keep going with it, but not with the intention of sparking controversy or picking a germane fight. Get your gloves on, it's time for rebirth. There IS no room for the nice guys in the history books. THIS IS THE START OF A REVOLUTION. THE REVOLUTION IS YOUR LIFE. THE GOAL IS IMMORTALITY. LET'S LIVE, BABY. LET'S FEEL ALIVE AT ALL TIMES. TAKE NO PRISONERS. HOLD NO SOUL UNACCOUNTABLE, ESPECIALLY NOT YOUR OWN. IF SOMETHING DOESN'T HAPPEN, IT'S YOUR FAULT. Make this moment your reckoning. Your head has been held under water for too long and now it is time to rise up and take your first true breath. Do everything with exact calculation, nothing without meaning. Do not make careful your words, but make no excuses for what you say. Fuck em' all. Set a goal for everyday and never be tired.
Brian Krans (A Constant Suicide)
I think of how life takes unexpected twists and turns, sometimes through sheer happenstance, sometimes through calculated decisions. In the end, it can all be called fate, but to me, it is more a matter of faith.
Emily Giffin (Love the One You're With)
Don’t search for heaven and hell in the future. Both are now present. Whenever we manage to love without expectations, calculations, negotiations, we are indeed in heaven. Whenever we fight, hate, we are in hell.
Shams Tabrizi
When one loves, one does not calculate.
Thérèse of Lisieux
Dorian looked at the carpet, at all the threads woven together. 'What do I do now?' They were gone: the woman he'd loved--and the man he hated. He met her stare. No calculation, no coldness, no pity in those turquoise eyes. Just unflinching honesty, as there had been from the very start with her. 'What do I do?' She had to swallow before she said. 'You light up the darkness.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
Got you. You're mine now. For the rest of the day, week, month, year, life. Have you guessed who I am? Sometimes I think you have. Sometimes when you're standing in a crowd I feel those sultry, dark eyes of yours stop on me. Are you too afraid to come up to me and let me know how you feel? I want to moan and writhe with you and I want to go up to you and kiss your mouth and pull you to me and say "I love you I love you I love you" while stripping. I want you so bad it stings. I want to kill the ugly girls that you're always with. Do you really like those boring, naive, coy, calculating girls or is it just for sex? The seeds of love have taken hold, and if we won't burn together, I'll burn alone.
Bret Easton Ellis (The Rules of Attraction)
Sociopathy is the inability to process emotional experience, including love and caring, except when such experience can be calculated as a coldly intellectual task.
Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door)
Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand and to watch over them in tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what pow'r it has over my mind.
Joseph Smith Jr.
I love you, i love your smile your snarl your grin, your face when your sleeping.I love your hair streaming behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it, I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me.
James Patterson
Other people spoke, and I tried to keep up with the translations. All the stories were about Dimitri's kindness and strength of character. Even when not out battling the undead, Dimitri had always been there to help those who needed it. Almost everyone could recall sometime that Dimitri had stepped up to help others, going out of his way to do what was right, even in situations that could put him at risk. That was no surprise to me. Dimitri always did the right thing. And it was that attitude that had made me love him so much. I had a similar nature. I too rushed in when others needed me, sometimes when I shouldn't have. Others called me crazy for it, but Dimitri had understood. He'd always understood me, and part of what we'd worked on was how to temper that impulsive need to run into danger with reason and calculation. I had a feeling no one else in this world would ever understand me like he did.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
I want to go with the one I love. I do not want to calculate the cost. I do not want to think about whether it's good. I do not want to know whether he loves me. I want to go with whom I love...
Bertolt Brecht (The Good Woman of Setzuan)
[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil] Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet, When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet; He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how We are working to completion, working on from then to now. Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete, Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet, And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true, And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you. But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn, You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn, What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles; What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles. You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late, But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight; You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night. I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known. You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'? Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow, There has been a something wanting in my nature until now; I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind, Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind. I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,-- Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life; But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still To the service of our science: you will further it? you will! There are certain calculations I should like to make with you, To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true; And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage, Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age. I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap; But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name; See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame. I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak; Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak: It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,-- God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
Sarah Williams (Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse)
It wasn’t always that way for the wives of powerful men. Prior to the 1960s, the press generally kept mum about the sex lives of politicians. When Eleanor Roosevelt discovered her husband’s affair by reading a love letter, she kept it to herself — and used it to gain the upper hand in her marriage, which had the additional benefit of setting her free to pursue writing and social activism.
Anne Michaud (Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Eight Political Wives)
You and I have been through too much together. We're too close, too connected. I wasn't that crazy on spirit when I said you're my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don't matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
...I know I’ve broken all the rules of all the games, that all the great players and best love calculators recommend that you play, if you want to make someone like you a lot. But that’s okay, because I give up. I’ve got my coffee sitting in my San Francisco cup, I’ve got Kona island and a working beating heart that’s not cold, hard, or numb—very workable and capable of loving, breaking, mending and repeating. So that’s just what I’ll do. Because I’m too tired. Too tired uping all nighting wasting my precious timing wishing it was your heart pumping, wanting me— like I used to want you.
Coco J. Ginger
The brain is an incredible multitasker. At the same time that it’s piercing itself with superheated needles of anguish, it’s ruthlessly making plans, contingencies, plotting out a future, giving zero fucks whether it’ll ever see it. On the day I die, it’ll be calculating what to have for dinner as it bombards itself with pain signals from my amputated legs or my clocked-out heart.
Leah Raeder (Unteachable)
It is known, to the force of a single pound weight, what the engine will do; but, not all the calculators of the National Debt can tell me the capacity for good or evil, for love or hatred, for patriotism or discontent, for the decomposition of virtue into vice, or the reverse.
Charles Dickens (Hard Times)
To remember love after long sleep; to turn again to poetry after a year in the market place, or to youth after resignation to drowsy and stiffening age; to remember what once you thought life could hold, after telling over with muddied and calculating fingers what it has offered; this is music, made after long silence. The soul flexes its wings, and, clumsy as any fledgling, tries the air again
Mary Stewart (The Hollow Hills (Arthurian Saga, #2))
The people you love weren’t calculated, subtracted, or held at arm’s length across a decimal point. Victor was her dad, who’d raised her since she was four years old, and Josh was her annoying little brother.
Holly Jackson (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder #1))
Whenever we can manage to love without expectations, calculations, negotiations, we are indeed in heaven.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
Eleanor stayed with Franklin after his repeated infidelities, and yet toward the end of her life, she regretted it, and advised her children to choose differently. ‘Never for a minute would I advocate that people who no longer love each other should live together because it does not bring the right atmosphere into a home,’ she wrote. She added that it was sad when a couple was unable to make a success of marriage, ‘but I feel it is equally unwise for people to bring up children in homes where love no longer exists.
Anne Michaud (Why They Stay: Sex Scandals, Deals, and Hidden Agendas of Eight Political Wives)
Humans. Violent but peace-loving. Passionate but cerebral. Humane but cruel. Impulsive but calculating. Generous but selfish. Humans. Altogether a contradictory and deeply flawed species. And yet...And yet, somehow I knew that they represented the best hope of the galaxy. Perhaps the only hope.
Katherine Applegate (The Sacrifice (Animorphs, #52))
I did not love cold harmony and perfect regularity of organization; what I sought was variety, mystery, tradition, the venerable, the awful. I despised sophisters and calculators; I was groping for faith, honor, and prescriptive loyalties. I would have given any number of neo-classical pediments for one poor battered gargoyle.
Russell Kirk
How many times have I wondered if it is really possible to forge links with a mass of people when one has never had strong feelings for anyone, not even one's own parents: if it is possible to have a collectivity when one has not been deeply loved oneself by individual human creatures. Hasn't this had some effect on my life as a militant--has it not tended to make me sterile and reduce my quality as a revolutionary by making everything a matter of pure intellect, of pure mathematical calculation?
Antonio Gramsci
Dear Max - You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever. ... And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy. But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right. Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it. The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray. I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while. ... You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet. ... At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you. But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock. Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again. Please make us only go through this once. ... I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me. ... You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without. ... Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it. Good-bye, my love. Fang P.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them
James Patterson
I see how it is,” I snapped. “You were all in favor of me breaking the tattoo and thinking on my own—but that’s only okay if it’s convenient for you, huh? Just like your ‘loving from afar’ only works if you don’t have an opportunity to get your hands all over me. And your lips. And . . . stuff.” Adrian rarely got mad, and I wouldn’t quite say he was now. But he was definitely exasperated. “Are you seriously in this much self-denial, Sydney? Like do you actually believe yourself when you say you don’t feel anything? Especially after what’s been happening between us?” “Nothing’s happening between us,” I said automatically. “Physical attraction isn’t the same as love. You of all people should know that.” “Ouch,” he said. His expression hadn’t changed, but I saw hurt in his eyes. I’d wounded him. “Is that what bothers you? My past? That maybe I’m an expert in an area you aren’t?” “One I’m sure you’d just love to educate me in. One more girl to add to your list of conquests.” He was speechless for a few moments and then held up one finger. “First, I don’t have a list.” Another finger, “Second, if I did have a list, I could find someone a hell of lot less frustrating to add to it.” For the third finger, he leaned toward me. “And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.” “I already feel that way,” I said quietly. Adrian moved back and leaned into his seat, looking tired. “Well, that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said so far.” I grabbed the basket and jerked open the car door. Without another word, I stormed off, refusing to look back in case he saw the tears that had inexplicably appeared in my eyes. Only, I wasn’t sure exactly which part of our conversation I was most upset about.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
There is such a love, a love that creates value in what is loved. There is a love that turns rag dolls into priceless treasures. There is a love that fastens itself onto ragged little creatures, for reasons that no one could ever quite figure out, and makes them precious and valued beyond calculation. This is love beyond reason. This is the love of God.
John Ortberg (Love Beyond Reason)
It was a pointed sigh, as sighs sometimes are, not one cast into the air to evaporate, but one calculated to descend, precisely and with great effect, on a target.
Alexander McCall Smith (Love Over Scotland (44 Scotland Street, #3))
What keeps earth air breathable? Not oxygen alone. The earth is a freer place to breathe in, every time you love without calculating a return -- every time you make your drudgeries and routines still more inefficient by stopping to experience the shock of beauty wherever it unpredictably flickers.
Peter Viereck (Unadjusted Man in the Age of Overadjustment)
Do I, then, belong to the heavens? Why, if not so, should the heavens Fix me thus with their ceaseless blue stare, Luring me on, and my mind, higher Ever higher, up into the sky, Drawing me ceaselessly up To heights far, far above the human? Why, when balance has been strictly studied And flight calculated with the best of reason Till no aberrant element should, by rights, remain- Why, still, should the lust for ascension Seem, in itself, so close to madness? Nothing is that can satify me; Earthly novelty is too soon dulled; I am drawn higher and higher, more unstable, Closer and closer to the sun's effulgence. Why do these rays of reason destroy me? Villages below and meandering streams Grow tolerable as our distance grows. Why do they plead, approve, lure me With promise that I may love the human If only it is seen, thus, from afar- Although the goal could never have been love, Nor, had it been, could I ever have Belonged to the heavens? I have not envied the bird its freedom Nor have I longed for the ease of Nature, Driven by naught save this strange yearning For the higher, and the closer, to plunge myself Into the deep sky's blue, so contrary To all organic joys, so far From pleasures of superiority But higher, and higher, Dazzled, perhaps, by the dizzy incandescence Of waxen wings. Or do I then Belong, after all, to the earth? Why, if not so, should the earth Show such swiftness to encompass my fall? Granting no space to think or feel, Why did the soft, indolent earth thus Greet me with the shock of steel plate? Did the soft earth thus turn to steel Only to show me my own softness? That Nature might bring home to me That to fall, not to fly, is in the order of things, More natural by far than that improbable passion? Is the blue of the sky then a dream? Was it devised by the earth, to which I belonged, On account of the fleeting, white-hot intoxication Achieved for a moment by waxen wings? And did the heavens abet the plan to punish me? To punish me for not believing in myself Or for believing too much; Too earger to know where lay my allegiance Or vainly assuming that already I knew all; For wanting to fly off To the unknown Or the known: Both of them a single, blue speck of an idea?
Yukio Mishima (Sun & Steel)
Whenever you keep score in love, you lose.
Kamand Kojouri
Through an experience that simultaneously involved my sensibility and intelligence, I realized early on that the imaginative life, however morbid it might seem, is the one that suits temperaments like mine. The fictions of my imagination (as it later developed) may weary me, but they don't hurt or humiliate. Impossible lovers can't cheat on us, or smile at us falsely, or be calculating in their caresses. They never forsake us, and they don't die or disappear. --The book of Disquiet
Fernando Pessoa
I was wrong to tell you that this is a story about the failures of love. No, it is about real love, true love. Imperfect, wretched, weak love. No fairy tales, no poetry. It is about the negotiations we undertake with ourselves in the name of love. Every day we struggle to decide what to give away and what to keep, but every day we make that calculation and we live with the results. This then is the true lesson: there is nothing romantic about love. Only the most naive believe it will save them. Only the hardiest of us will survive it. And yet, And yet! We believe in love because we want to believe in it. Because really what else is there, amid all our glorious follies and urges and weaknesses and stumbles? The magic, the hope, the gorgeous idea of it. Because when the lights go out and we sit waiting in the dark, what do our fingers seek? Who do we teach for?
Tara Conklin (The Last Romantics)
I like idling when I ought not to be idling; not when it is the only thing I have to do. Thatis my pig-headed nature. The time when I like best to stand with my back to the fire, calculating how much I owe, is when my desk is heaped highest with letters that must be answered by the next post. When I like to dawdle longest over my dinner is when I have a heavy evening's work before me. And if, for some urgent reason, I ought to be up particularly early in the morning, it is then, more than at any other time, that I love to lie an extra half-hour in bed. Ah! how delicious it is to turn over and go to sleep again: "just for five minutes." Is there any human being, I wonder, besides the hero of a Sunday-school "tale for boys," who ever gets up willingly?
Jerome K. Jerome (Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow)
If it's the thought that counts, then ignorance must use a calculator
Josh Stern (And That’s Why I’m Single)
Looking back, it was the thing in his life that shamed him the most: the times he was purposefully, calculatingly mean to Alice. It was those moments, and there had been many of them, that indicated to him that he was not a good person. He got mad at her for many things, but it was always really for the same thing: that she possessed his love and he couldn't seem to get it back. She didn't deserve it, which was to say she deserved better
Ann Brashares
If you want to improve your self-worth, stop giving other people the calculator.
Tim Fargo
Love only serves and does not calculate.
Bryant McGill (Voice of Reason)
Someone once told her there's a formula for how long it takes to get over someone, that it's half as long as the time you've been together. Hadley has her doubts about how accurate this could possibly be, a calculation so simple for something as complicated as heartbreak.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
The word courage is very interesting. It comes from a Latin root cor, which means “heart.” So to be courageous means to live with the heart. And weaklings, only weaklings, live with the head; afraid, they create a security of logic around themselves. Fearful, they close every window and door—with theology, concepts, words, theories—and inside those closed doors and windows, they hide. The way of the heart is the way of courage. It is to live in insecurity; it is to live in love, and trust; it is to move in the unknown. It is leaving the past and allowing the future to be. Courage is to move on dangerous paths. Life is dangerous, and only cowards can avoid the danger—but then, they are already dead. A person who is alive, really alive, vitally alive, will always move into the unknown. There is danger there, but he will take the risk. The heart is always ready to the the risk, the heart is a gambler. The head is a businessman. The head always calculates—it is cunning. The heart is noncalculating. This
Osho (Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously (Osho Insights for a New Way of Living))
Occupation, curfew, settlements, closed military zone, administrative detention, siege, preventive strike, terrorist infrastructure, transfer. Their WAR destroys language. Speaks genocide with the words of a quiet technician. Occupation means that you cannot trust the OPEN SKY, or any open street near to the gates of snipers tower. It means that you cannot trust the future or have faith that the past will always be there. Occupation means you live out your live under military rule, and the constant threat of death, a quick death from a snipers bullet or a rocket attack from an M16. A crushing, suffocating death, a slow bleeding death in an ambulance stopped for hours at a checkpoint. A dark death, at a torture table in an Israeli prison: just a random arbitrary death. A cold calculated death: from a curable disease. A thousand small deaths while you watch your family dying around you. Occupation means that every day you die, and the world watches in silence. As if your death was nothing, as if you were a stone falling in the earth, water falling over water. And if you face all of this death and indifference and keep your humanity, and your love and your dignity and YOU refuse to surrender to their terror, then you know something of the courage that is Palestine.
Suheir Hammad
The eyes! Cold and calculating, hard grey eyes, with the feel of a malevolent intelligence behind them.
Patrick C. Notchtree (The Clouds Still Hang (The Clouds Still Hang, #1-3))
He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God. God is love. Therefore love. Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love. Lavish it upon the poor, where it is very easy; especially upon the rich, who often need it most; most of all upon out equals, where it is very difficult, and for whom perhaps we do the least of all.
Henry Drummond
I do not wish to say that one should love death; but one should love life so magnanimously, so without calculating and selecting, that love of death (the turned-away side of life) is continually and involuntarily included - which actually happens invariably in the great motions of love, which are impetuous and illimitable.
Rainer Maria Rilke
I can’t hope to convey the full effect of the embraces and avowals, but I can perhaps offer a crumb of counsel. If there is anybody known to you who might benefit from a letter or a visit, do not on any account postpone the writing or the making of it. The difference made will almost certainly be more than you have calculated
Christopher Hitchens
I think… that love encompasses the experience of the possible transition from the pure randomness of chance to a state that has universal value. Starting out from something that is simply an encounter, a trifle, you learn that you can experience the world on the basis of difference and not only in terms of identity. And you can even be tested and suffer in the process. In today’s world, it is generally thought that individuals only pursue their own self-interest. Love is an antidote to that. Provided it isn’t conceived only as an exchange of mutual favours, or isn’t calculated way in advance as a profitable investment, love really is a unique trust placed in chance. It takes us into key areas of the experience of what is difference and, essentially, leads to the idea that you can experience the world from the perspective of difference. In this respect it has universal implications: it is an individual experience of potential universality, and is thus central to philosophy, as Plato was the first to intuit.
Alain Badiou (In Praise of Love)
What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust? No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right Too proud to know his partner's business, Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire God gave me to burn incense all day long Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you! Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps And licking fingers?-or-to change the form- Navigating with madrigals for oars, My sails full of the sighs of dowagers? No thank you! Publish verses at my own Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint Of a small group of literary souls Who dine together every Tuesday? No I thank you! Shall I labor night and day To build a reputation on one song, And never write another? Shall I find True genius only among Geniuses, Palpitate over little paragraphs, And struggle to insinuate my name In the columns of the Mercury? No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid, Love more to make a visit than a poem, Seek introductions, favors, influences?- No thank you! No, I thank you! And again I thank you!-But... To sing, to laugh, to dream To walk in my own way and be alone, Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No, To fight-or write.To travel any road Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne- Never to make a line I have not heard In my own heart; yet, with all modesty To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers, With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them In the one garden you may call your own." So, when I win some triumph, by some chance, Render no share to Caesar-in a word, I am too proud to be a parasite, And if my nature wants the germ that grows Towering to heaven like the mountain pine, Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes- I stand, not high it may be-but alone!
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
And so to read is, in truth, to be in the constant act of creation. The old lady on the bus with her Orwell, the businessman on the Tube with Patricia Cornwell, the teenager roaring through Capote -- they are not engaged in idle pleasure. Their heads are on fire. Their hearts are flooding. With a book, you are the landscape, the sets, the snow, the hero, the kiss -- you are the mathematical calculation that plots the trajectory of the blazing, crashing zeppelin. You -- pale, punchable reader -- are terraforming whole worlds in your head, which will remain with you until the day you die. These books are as much a part of you as your guts and your bone. And when your guts fail and your bones break, Narnia, or Jamaica Inn, or Gormenghast will still be there; as pin-sharp and bright as the day you first imagined them -- hiding under the bedclothes, sitting on the bus. Exhausted, on a rainy day, weeping over the death of someone you never met, and who was nothing more than words until you transfused them with your time, and your love, and the imagination you constantly dismiss as "just being a bit of a bookworm.
Caitlin Moran
The road to the kingdom of childhood, governed by ingenuousness and innocence, is thus regained in the horror of atonement. The purity of love is regained in its intimate truth which, as I said, is that of death. Death and the instant of divine intoxication merge when they both oppose those intentions of Good which are based on rational calculation. And death indicates the instant which, in so far as it is instantaneous, renounces the calculated quest for survival. The instant of the new individual being depended on the death of other beings. Had they not died there would have been no room for new ones. Reproduction and death condition the immortal renewal of life; they condition the instant which is always new. That is why we can only have a tragic view of the enchantment of life, but that is also why tragedy is the symbol of enchantment.
Georges Bataille (Literature and Evil)
And so we use them for a kind of pleasure which can be called "fun." But it is not the creative kind of fun often connected with play; it is, rather, a shallow, distracting, greedy way of "having fun." And it is not by chance that it is that type of fun which can easily be commercialized, for it is dependent on calculable reactions, without passion, without risk, without love. Of all the dangers that threaten our civilization, this is one of the most dangerous ones: the escape from one’s emptiness through a "fun" which makes joy impossible.
Paul Tillich (The New Being)
The 15 Principles of Life 1. Count your blessings. 2. Read good books. 3. Discover your gifts. 4. Chase your dreams. 5. Learn from everyone. 6. Forgive your enemies. 7. Protect your friends. 8. Love your family. 9. Do good deeds. 10. Harm none. 11. Hone your skills. 12. Work hard. 13. Use time wisely. 14. Take calculated risks. 15. Improve yourself.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Victor, the tall Nigerian man, was evidently her stepfather; and Josh, her half brother. But Pip didn’t like those words, those cold technicalities. The people you love weren’t calculated, subtracted, or held at arm’s length across a decimal point.
Holly Jackson (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder #1))
Louise Hawkley, of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, calculates that loneliness raises blood pressure to the point where the risk of heart attack and stroke is doubled.
Sue Johnson (Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love (The Dr. Sue Johnson Collection Book 1))
Once released from life, having lost it in such violence, I couldn’t calculate my steps. I didn’t have time for contemplation. In violence it is the getting out that you concentrate on. When you begin to go over the edge, life receding from you as a boat recedes inevitably from the shore, you hold on to death tightly, like a rope that will transport you, and you swing out on it, hoping to land away from where you are.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
His overriding life necessity was not love, it was his profession…He had come to medicine not by coincidence or calculation but by a deep inner desire. Insofar as it is possible to divide people into categories, the surest criterion is the deep-seated desires that orient them to one or another lifelong activity. Every Frenchman is different. But all the actors the world over are similar.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
I have calculated the total number of hours we spend sleeping beside each other in a week and I wanted to tell you it could be considered a full-time job. We could be eligible for healthcare benefits, could probably even pay for a mortgage by now. I remind myself of this, in daylight, when I miss you and cannot reach across the bed for the comforting filling and refilling of your chest. Such a strange affair we are having on each other; these hours that I have not lost but do not remember. This cannot be the best of love: to drool on someone’s collarbone or inhale an elbow to the jaw or be woken by the most ungraceful sounds of the body. But what is it if not the softening of grips? A letting go of. Your heart finally slowly that stubborn, lonely march.
Sierra DeMulder
There are so many bad people in the world. They'll treat you badly, they'll haggle and undermine your worth. They'll calculate what they can get without thinking about what to give. That's the world. Very seldom, you'll find someone who will not undermine and haggle your worth, who will take risks for you, who will think about what they can give to you and how they can make you happy. So you see, the rule goes like this— when you find such a person, you don't let go of them. You stay with them and they stay with you.
C. JoyBell C.
You start to see that you’ve never behaved like this in any other relationship, and it’s not because they were special. It’s because they were actively working against you from the moment they chose you. You look back at all of the things that once made you feel paranoid, now able to see that every instance of abuse & neglect was calculated and intentional. And finally, you come to the horrifying realization that the love of your life—the person you trusted with all your heart—had set you up for failure since the very beginning.
Peace (Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Other Toxic People)
RHETORIC The art of making life less believable; the calculated use of language, not to alarm but to do full harm to our busy minds and properly dispose our listeners to a pain they have never dreamed of. The context of what can be known establishes that love and indifference are forms of language, but the wise addition of punctuation allows us to believe that there are other harms - the dash gives the reader the clear signal they are coming.
Ben Marcus
Memory cannot be understood, either, without a mathematical approach. The fundamental given is the ratio between the amount of time in the lived life and the amount of time from that life that is stored in memory. No one has ever tried to calculate this ratio, and in fact there exists no technique for doing so; yet without much risk of error I could assume that the memory retains no more than a millionth, a hundred-millionth, in short an utterly infinitesimal bit of the lived life. That fact too is part of the essence of man. If someone could retain in his memory everything he had experienced, if he could at any time call up any fragment of his past, he would be nothing like human beings: neither his loves nor his friendships nor his angers nor his capacity to forgive or avenge would resemble ours. We will never cease our critique of those persons who distort the past, rewrite it, falsify it, who exaggerate the importance of one event and fail to mention some other; such a critique is proper (it cannot fail to be), but it doesn't count for much unless a more basic critique precedes it: a critique of human memory as such. For after all, what can memory actually do, the poor thing? It is only capable of retaining a paltry little scrap of the past, and no one knows why just this scrap and not some other one, since in each of us the choice occurs mysteriously, outside our will or our interests. We won't understand a thing about human life if we persist in avoiding the most obvious fact: that a reality no longer is what it was when it was; it cannot be reconstructed.
Milan Kundera
As she was working out the calculations in her head, she forgot to really worry about all the physical things that were getting in the way--the balancing of the bow, the aiming, the fear she wasn't going to get it right--and suddenly it all just clicked. She felt it come into sudden, sharp focus, like a spotlight had suddenly focused on her, and she let go of the arrow. That instant, she knew it would hit the target. She let the bow rock gracefully forward on the balance point, watching the arrow, and it smacked into the exact center of her crudely drawn paper circle. Physics. She loved physics. Shane arrived just as she put the arrow into the center, and slowed down, staring from the target to Claire, standing straight and tall, bow still held loosely in one hand and ready to shoot again. "You look so hot right now," he said.
Rachel Caine (Kiss of Death (The Morganville Vampires, #8))
Ilm Ne Mujh Se Kaha Ishq Hai Diwana-Pan Ishq Ne Mujh Se Kaha Ilm Hai Takhmeen-o-Zan Knowledge said to me, Love is madness; Love said to me, Knowledge is calculation Band-e-Takhmeen-o-Zan! Kirm-e-Kitabi Na Ban Ishq Sarapa Huzoor, Ilm Sarapa Hijab O slave of calculation, do not be a bookworm! Love is Presence entire, Knowledge nothing but a Veil.
Muhammad Iqbal
I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you’re sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn’t have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they’re cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me. You’re the best warrior I know, the best leader. You’re the most comforting mom we’ve ever had. You’re the biggest goof ball, the worst driver, and a tr uly lousy cook. You’ve kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You’re my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen, with wings or without.
James Patterson (Fang (Maximum Ride, #6))
Never mind that. What's going on with you and Heath?" Annabelle pulled a little wide-eyed innocence out of her rusty bag of college acting skills. "What do you mean? Business." "Don't give me that. We've been friends too long." She switched to a furrowed brow. "He's my most important client. You know how much this means to me." Molly wasn't buying it. "I've seen the way you look at him. Like he was a slot machine with triple sevens tattooed on his forehead. If you fall in love with him, I swear I'll never speak to you again." Annabelle nearly choked. She'd known Molly would be suspicious, but she hadn't expected an outright confrontation. "Are you nuts? Setting aside the fact that he treats me like a flunky, I'd never fall for a workaholic after what I've had to go through with my family." Falling in lust, however, was an entirely different matter. "He has a calculator for a heart," Molly said. "I thought you liked him.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away to Mexico and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Above the dirt of an unmarked grave and beneath the shadow of the abandoned refinery, the children would play their own made up games: Wild West Accountants! in which they would calculate the loss of a shipment of gold stolen from an imaginary stagecoach, or Recently Divorced Scientists! in which they would build a super-collider out of garbage to try and win back their recently lost loves.
Joe Meno (The Boy Detective Fails)
In private life do we not see hypocrisy, servility, selfishness, folly, and impudence succeed, while modesty shrinks from the encounter, and merit is trodden under foot? How often is 'the rose plucked from the forehead of a virtuous love to plant a blister there!' What chance is there of the success of real passion? What certainty of its continuance? Seeing all this as I do, and unravelling the web of human life into its various threads of meanness, spite, cowardice, want of feeling, and want of understanding, of indifference towards others, and ignorance of ourselves, – seeing custom prevail over all excellence, itself giving way to infamy – mistaken as I have been in my public and private hopes, calculating others from myself, and calculating wrong; always disappointed where I placed most reliance; the dupe of friendship, and the fool of love; – have I not reason to hate and to despise myself? Indeed I do; and chiefly for not having hated and despised the world enough.
William Hazlitt (On The Pleasure of Hating)
Something else gets under your skin, keeps you working days and nights at the sacrifice of your sleeping and eating and attention to your family and friends, something beyond the love of puzzle solving. And that other force is the anticipation of understanding something about the world that no one has ever understood before you. Einstein wrote that when he first realized that gravity was equivalent to acceleration -- an idea that would underlie his new theory of gravity -- it was the "happiest thought of my life." On projects of far smaller weight, I have experienced that pleasure of discovering something new. It is an exquisite sensation, a feeling of power, a rush of the blood, a sense of living forever. To be the first vessel to hold this new thing. All of the scientists I've known have at least one more quality in common: they do what they do because they love it, and because they cannot imagine doing anything else. In a sense, this is the real reason a scientist does science. Because the scientist must. Such a compulsion is both blessing and burden. A blessing because the creative life, in any endeavor, is a gift filled with beauty and not given to everyone, a burden because the call is unrelenting and can drown out the rest of life. This mixed blessing and burden must be why the astrophysicist Chandrasekhar continued working until his mid-80's, why a visitor to Einstein's apartment in Bern found the young physicist rocking his infant with one hand while doing mathematical calculations with the other. This mixed blessing and burden must have been the "sweet hell" that Walt Whitman referred to when he realized at a young age that he was destined to be a poet. "Never more," he wrote, "shall I escape.
Alan Lightman
I'm angry because you think everything happened by chance but there are billions of people on this planet and I found you so if you're saying I could just as well have found someone else then I can't bear your bloody mathematics!" Her fists had been clenched. He stood there looking at her for several minutes. Then he said that he loved her. It was the first time. They never stopped arguing and they never slept apart; he spent an entire working life calculating probabilities and she was the most improbable person he ever met. She turned him upside-down.
Fredrik Backman (And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer)
Mark, you don't pay back your parents. You can't. The debt you owe them gets collected by your children, who hand it down in turn. It's a sort of entailment. Or if you don't have children of the body, it's left as a debt to your common humanity. Or to your God, if you possess or are possessed by one." "I'm not sure that seems fair." "The family economy evades calculation in the gross planetary product. It's the only deal I know where, when you give more than you get, you aren't bankrupted—but rather, vastly enriched.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Miles in Love (The Vorkosigan Saga combo volumes Book 5))
we cannot calculate our important contests, adventures, and great loves to the end. The only thing we can really count on is getting surprised. No matter how much preparation we do, in the real tests of our lives, we’ll be in unfamiliar terrain. Conditions might not be calm or reasonable. It may feel as though the whole world is stacked against us. This is when we have to perform better than we ever conceived of performing. I believe the key is to have prepared in a manner that allows for inspiration, to have laid the foundation for us to create under the wildest pressures we ever imagined.
Josh Waitzkin (The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance)
DON'T SAY, DO Do not say things You think I want to hear. Instead, Say what you sincerely mean, And really intend to do. Do not think you are helping me By occasionally Being here or there, If you really have no intention Of holding my hand All the way through. Do not say you care for me, If you do not care Whenever I'm clearly Down and blue. And do not want what's best For you, If you do not wish the best For me too. Do not calculate gifts or deeds Or your giving will never feel Genuinely true. Just say what you mean And mean what you say, And let's lay these down – As our love's Golden rules.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in,—glittering like the morning-star, full of life, and splendor, and joy. Oh! what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream that, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult.—But the age of chivalry is gone.—That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, is gone! It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil by losing all its grossness.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France)
The wife’s gotta know. You can’t hook up like that for what looks like about six or seven years without the wife figuring it out. Unless she’s another idiot. “I’m not an idiot.” Smiling, Roarke continued to stroke. “I’ll keep that in mind when I decide to have a long-term affair.” “Yeah, you do that. They’ll never find your body,” she murmured, then dropped into sleep. His smiled warmed, and feeling well loved, he dropped off with her.
J.D. Robb (Calculated in Death (In Death, #36))
That God is rich in mercy means that your regions of deepest shame and regret are not hotels through which divine mercy passes but homes in which divine mercy abides. It means the things about you that make you cringe most, make him hug hardest. It means his mercy is not calculating and cautious, like ours. It is unrestrained, flood-like, sweeping, magnanimous. It means our haunting shame is not a problem for him, but the very thing he loves most to work with. It means our sins do not cause his love to take a hit. Our sins cause his love to surge forward all the more. It means on that day when we stand before him, quietly, unhurriedly, we will weep with relief, shocked at how impoverished a view of his mercy-rich heart we had. 
Dane C. Ortlund (Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers)
There are all sorts of families," Tom's grandmother had remarked, and over the following few weeks Tom became part of the Casson family, as Micheal and Sarah and Derek-from-the-camp had done before him. He immediately discovered that being a member of the family was very different from being a welcome friend. If you were a Casson family member, for example, and Eve drifted in from the shed asking, "Food? Any ideas? Or shall we not bother?" then you either joined in the search of the kitchen cupboards or counted the money in the housekeeping jam jar and calculated how many pizzas you could afford. Also, if you were a family member you took care of Rose, helped with homework (Saffron and Sarah were very strict about homework), unloaded the washing machine, learned to fold up Sarah's wheelchair, hunted for car keys, and kept up the hopeful theory that in the event of a crisis Bill Casson would disengage himself from his artistic life in London and rush home to help.
Hilary McKay (Indigo's Star (Casson Family, #2))
I was growing stale in London. I was tired of doing much the same thing everyday. My friends pursued their course with uneventfulness; they had no longer any surprises for me, and when I met them I knew pretty well what they would say; even their love-affairs had a tedious banality. We were like tram-cars running on their lines from terminus to terminus, and it was possible to calculate within small limits the number of passengers they would carry. Life was ordered too pleasantly. I was seized with panic. I gave up my small apartment, sold my few belongings, and resolved to start afresh.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Moon and Sixpence)
Believe me, if Archimedes ever had the grand entrance of a girl as pretty as Gloria to look forward to, he would never have spent so much time calculating the value of Pi. He would have been baking her a Pie! If Euclid had ever beheld a vision of loveliness like the one I see walking into my anti-math class, he would have forgotten all the geometry of lines and planes, and concentrated on the sweet simplicity of soft curves. If Pythagoras had ever had a girl look at him the way Gloria's eyes fix in my direction, he would have given up his calculations on the hypotenuse of right triangles and run for the hills to pick a bouquet of wildflowers.
David Klass (You Don't Know Me)
There is a certain tyranny about perfection, a certain exhaustion about it even, something that denies the viewer a role in its creation and that asserts itself with all the dogmatism of an unambiguous statement. True beauty cannot be measured because it is fluctuating, it has only a few angles from which it may be seen, and then not in all lights and at all times. It flirts dangerously with ugliness, it takes risks with itself, it does not side comfortably with mathematical rules of proportion, it draws its appeal from precisely those areas that will also lend themselves to ugliness. Nothing can be beautiful that does not take a calculated risk with ugliness.
Alain de Botton (On Love)
[The wives of powerful noblemen] must be highly knowledgeable about government, and wise – in fact, far wiser than most other such women in power. The knowledge of a baroness must be so comprehensive that she can understand everything. Of her a philosopher might have said: "No one is wise who does not know some part of everything." Moreover, she must have the courage of a man. This means that she should not be brought up overmuch among women nor should she be indulged in extensive and feminine pampering. Why do I say that? If barons wish to be honoured as they deserve, they spend very little time in their manors and on their own lands. Going to war, attending their prince's court, and traveling are the three primary duties of such a lord. So the lady, his companion, must represent him at home during his absences. Although her husband is served by bailiffs, provosts, rent collectors, and land governors, she must govern them all. To do this according to her right she must conduct herself with such wisdom that she will be both feared and loved. As we have said before, the best possible fear comes from love. When wronged, her men must be able to turn to her for refuge. She must be so skilled and flexible that in each case she can respond suitably. Therefore, she must be knowledgeable in the mores of her locality and instructed in its usages, rights, and customs. She must be a good speaker, proud when pride is needed; circumspect with the scornful, surly, or rebellious; and charitably gentle and humble toward her good, obedient subjects. With the counsellors of her lord and with the advice of elder wise men, she ought to work directly with her people. No one should ever be able to say of her that she acts merely to have her own way. Again, she should have a man's heart. She must know the laws of arms and all things pertaining to warfare, ever prepared to command her men if there is need of it. She has to know both assault and defence tactics to insure that her fortresses are well defended, if she has any expectation of attack or believes she must initiate military action. Testing her men, she will discover their qualities of courage and determination before overly trusting them. She must know the number and strength of her men to gauge accurately her resources, so that she never will have to trust vain or feeble promises. Calculating what force she is capable of providing before her lord arrives with reinforcements, she also must know the financial resources she could call upon to sustain military action. She should avoid oppressing her men, since this is the surest way to incur their hatred. She can best cultivate their loyalty by speaking boldly and consistently to them, according to her council, not giving one reason today and another tomorrow. Speaking words of good courage to her men-at-arms as well as to her other retainers, she will urge them to loyalty and their best efforts.
Christine de Pizan (The Treasure of the City of Ladies)
The case is very plain before me. In leaving England, I should leave a loved but empty land — Mr. Rochester is not there; and if he were, what is, what can that ever be to me? My business is to live without him now: nothing so absurd, so weak as to drag on from day to day, as if I were waiting some impossible change in circumstances, which might reunite me to him. Of course (as St. John once said) I must seek another interest in life to replace the one lost: is not the occupation he now offers me truly the most glorious man can adopt or God assign? Is it not, by its noble cares and sublime results, the one best calculated to fill the void left by uptorn affections and demolished hopes? I believe I must say, Yes — and yet I shudder.
Charlotte Brontë
Try not to breathe,” I tell Lira. “It might get stuck halfway out.” Lira flicks up her hood. “You should try not to talk then,” she retorts. “Nobody wants your words being preserved for eternity.” “They’re pearls of wisdom, actually.” I can barely see Lira’s eyes under the mass of dark fur from her coat, but the mirthless curl of her smile is ever-present. It lingers in calculated amusement as she considers what to say next. Readies to ricochet the next blow. Lira pulls a line of ice from her hair, artfully indifferent. “If that is what pearls are worth these days, I’ll make sure to invest in diamonds.” “Or gold,” I tell her smugly. “I hear it’s worth its weight.” Kye shakes the snow from his sword and scoffs. “Anytime you two want to stop making me feel nauseated, go right ahead.” “Are you jealous because I’m not flirting with you?” Madrid asks him, warming her finger on the trigger mechanism of her gun. “I don’t need you to flirt with me,” he says. “I already know you find me irresistible.” Madrid reholsters her gun. “It’s actually quite easy to resist you when you’re dressed like that.” Kye looks down at the sleek red coat fitted snugly to his lithe frame. The fur collar cuddles against his jaw and obscures the bottoms of his ears, making it seem as though he has no neck at all. He throws Madrid a smile. “Is it because you think I look sexier wearing nothing?” Torik lets out a withering sigh and pinches the bridge of his nose. I’m not sure whether it’s from the hours we’ve gone without food or his inability to wear cutoffs in the biting cold, but his patience seems to be wearing thin. “I could swear that I’m on a life-and-death mission with a bunch of lusty kids,” he says. “Next thing I know, the lot of you will be writing love notes in rum bottles.” “Okay,” Madrid says. “Now I feel nauseated.” I laugh.
Alexandra Christo (To Kill a Kingdom (Hundred Kingdoms, #1))
For she was really too lovely--too formidably lovely. I was used by now to mere unadjectived loveliness, the kind that youth and spirits hang like a rosy veil over commonplace features, an average outline and a pointless merriment. But this was something calculated, accomplished, finished--and just a little worn. It frightened me with my first glimpse of the infinity of beauty and the multiplicity of her pit-falls. What! There were women who need not fear crow's-feet, were more beautiful for being pale, could let a silver hair or two show among the dark, and their eyes brood inwardly while they smiled and chatted? but then no young man was safe for a moment! But then the world I had hitherto known had been only a warm pink nursery, while this new one was a place of darkness, perils and enchantments...
Edith Wharton (Old New York)
I am not so much fun Anymore; Couldn’t carry the role of ingenue In a bucket, you say, laughing. And I want to punch you. I was never innocent, but Thanks to you I know things I wish I did not remember. You don’t like it When I talk to the man myself, Specifying quantities and Give him the money Instead of giving it to you And letting you take care of it. You keep asking me, Where’s the dope? Until I finally say, I hid it. The look you give me is Pure bile. Well, fuck you. This isn’t like Buying somebody a drink. You don’t leave your stash out Where I might find it. Finally I think I’ve made you wait Long enough, So I get out the little paper envelope And hand it to you. You are still in charge of This part, so you relax. Performing your junky ritual with Your favorite razor blade, until I ask you how to calculate my dose So I won’t O.D. when I do this And you’re not around. Then you really flip. You tell me it’s a bad idea For me to do this with other people. ** Was it such a good idea For me to do it with you? Do you wait for me to turn up Once every three months So you can get high? Is this our version of that famous Lesbian fight about Nonmonogamy? Let me tell you what I don’t like. I don’t like it when you Take forever to cut up brown powder And cook it down and Suck it up into the needle And measure it, then take Three times as much for yourself AS you give me. I don’t like it when you Fuck me After you’ve taken the needle Out of my arm. You talk too much And spoil my rush. All I really want to do Is listen to the tides of blood Wash around inside my body Telling me everything is Fine, fine, fine._ And I certainly don’t want to Eat you or fuck you Because it will take forever To make you come, If you can come at all, And by then the smack will have worn off And there isn’t any more. I’m trying to remember What the part is that I do like. I think this shit likes me A lot more than I like it. Now you’re hurt and angry because I don’t want to see you again And the truth is, I would love to see you, As long as I knew you were holding. So you tell me Is this what you want? I bet it was what you wanted All along.
Patrick Califia-Rice
I've tried to teach what I learned all those years in my mother and father's house, all those things I didn't realize I was learning and that I never knew I'd be so grateful for. When you have love and it's proffered every day in a kind of tender, yet stern insistence and even reckless laughter, when it is given to you and you accept it in life as a thing as natural as rain or snow, or the littler of leaves in fall, you can't help but take it for granted. For a bewildered while you incorrectly understand that the world has given you this becuase it's there in equal measure, everywhere. You never knowuntil it's too late to do anything about it, how seet the effort is: how lasting the human will to love can be in the breast of people who want to make it for you, who want to give it to you, without calculating what's in it fo them, without thinking at all of what it will mean when you grow to full adulthood, see the world as it is, and forget to mention what you have been given. Ever day of my grown-up life, I have wanted to do what my parents did. I have wanted to widen the province of love and weaken hate and bitterness in the hearts of my children. And I've done these things because of what I got from my family, all those lovely years when I was growing up, being loved and cherished and, unbeknown to me, and in the best way, honored, for myself.
Marian Wright Edelman (Dream Me Home Safely: Writers on Growing Up in America)
In the end, a person is only know by the impact he or she has on others. The Gift of Work: He who loves his work never labors. The Gift of Money: Money is nothing more than a tool. It can be a force for good, a force for evil, or simple be idle. The Gift of Friends: It is a wealthy person, indeed, who calculates riches not in gold but in friends. The Gift of Learning: Education is a lifelong journey whose destination expands as you travel. The desire and hunger for education is the key to real learning. The Gift of Problems: Problems can only be avoided by exercising good judgment. Good judgment can only be gained by experiencing life's problems. The Gift of Family: Some people are born into wonderful families. Others have to find or create them. Being a member of a family is a priceless privilege which costs nothing but love. The Gift of Laughter: Laughter is good medicine for the soul. Our world is desperately in need of more such medicine. The Gift of Dreams: Faith is all that dreamers need to see into the future. The Gift of Giving: The only way you can truly get more out of life for yourself is to give part of yourself away. One of the key principles in giving, is that the gift must be yours to give-either something you earned or created or maybe, simply, part of yourself. The Gift of Gratitude: In those times when we yearn to have more in our lives, we should dwell on the things we already have. In doing so, we will often find that our lives are already full to overflowing. The Golden List: Every morning before getting up visualize a golden tablet on which is written ten things in your life you are especially thankful for. The Gift of a Day: Life at its essence boils down to one day at a time. Today is the Day! If we can learn how to live one day to its fullest, our lives will be rich and meaningful. The Gift of Love: Love is a treasure for which we can never pay. The only way we keep it is to give it away. The Ultimate Gift: In the end, life lived to its fullest is its own ultimate gift.
Jim Stovall (The Ultimate Gift (The Ultimate Series #1))
And so to read is, in truth, to be in the constant act of creation. The old lady on the bus with her Orwell, the businessman on the Tube with Patricia Cornwell, the teenager roaring through Capote -- they are not engaged in idle pleasure. Their heads are on fire. Their hearts are flooding. With a book, you are the landscape, the sets, the snow, the hero, the kiss -- you are the mathematical calculation the plots the trajectory of the blazing, crashing zeppelin. You -- pale, punchable reader -- are terraforming whole worlds in your head, which will remain with you until the day you die. These books are as much a part of you as your guts and your bone. And when your guts fail and your bones break, Narnia, or Jamaica Inn, or Gormenghast will still be there; as pin-sharp and bright as the day you first imagined them -- hiding under the bedclothes, sitting on the bus. Exhausted, on a rainy day, weeping over the death of someone you never met, and who was nothing more than words until you transformed them with your time, and your love, and the imagination you constantly dismiss as "just being a bit of a bookworm.
Caitlin Moran (Moranifesto)
You never told me your name," he says, his voice so hauntingly familiar it causes a rush of heat to blanket my skin. I sigh,staring blankly down the hall when I say, "Psycho Girl-Psycho Horseback Singing Girl..." I shrug. "I've heard it both ways." He squints.His hand reaching for my shoulder,then falling away the instant he catches the look of reproach on my face. "Look," I say,knowing I need to stop him before he can go any further.His kindness will only distract me at a time when I need to stay focused. "I've had a really bad day.And if my calculations are right,I have three hundred and eight more,give or take, before I get to graduate and get the heck out of this place. So,why don't you just call me whatever you want. Everyone else does.It's not like it matters..." My cheeks go hot,my eyes start to sting, and I know I'm rambling like a lunatic,but I cant seem to stop,can't seem to care.The world's most socially inept Seeker-that's me in a nutshell. "Don't let them reduce you to that," he says,his gaze instense, his voice surprising me with its sincerity, its urgency. "Don't let them define how you see yourself,or your place here. And if you ever need someone to talk to,I'm not hard to find.I'm either in class, reading in the library,or eating lunch in the North hallway." The second he says it,my gaze flies down the length of him.Slipping past a gray V-neck tee and dark denim jeans,not the least bit surprised when I land on the same heavy,black, thick-soled shoes I spied earlier. Then before he can say anything more, I'm gone. Trying to ignore the comforting stream of kindness and love that swarms all around me.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
The value of Greek prose composition, he said, was not that it gave one any particular facility in the language that could not be gained as easily by other methods but that if done properly, off the top of one's head, it taught one to think in Greek. One's thought patterns become different, he said, when forced into the confines of a rigid and unfamiliar tongue. Certain common ideas become inexpressible; other, previously undreamt-of ones spring to life, finding miraculous new articulation. By necessity, I suppose, it is difficult for me to explain in English exactly what I mean. I can only say that an incendium is in its nature entirely different from the feu with which a Frenchman lights his cigarette, and both are very different from the stark, inhuman pur that the Greeks knew, the pur that roared from the towers of Ilion or leapt and screamed on that desolate, windy beach, from the funeral pyre of Patroklos. Pur: that one word contains for me the secret, the bright, terrible clarity of ancient Greek. How can I make you see it, this strange harsh light which pervades Homer's landscapes and illumines the dialogues of Plato, an alien light, inarticulable in our common tongue? Our shared language is a language of the intricate, the peculiar, the home of pumpkins and ragamuffins and bodkins and beer, the tongue of Ahab and Falstaff and Mrs. Gamp; and while I find it entirely suitable for reflections such as these, it fails me utterly when I attempt to describe in it what I love about Greek, that language innocent of all quirks and cranks; a language obsessed with action, and with the joy of seeing action multiply from action, action marching relentlessly ahead and with yet more actions filing in from either side to fall into neat step at the rear, in a long straight rank of cause and effect toward what will be inevitable, the only possible end. In a certain sense, this was why I felt so close to the other in the Greek class. They, too, knew this beautiful and harrowing landscape, centuries dead; they'd had the same experience of looking up from their books with fifth-century eyes and finding the world disconcertingly sluggish and alien, as if it were not their home. It was why I admired Julian, and Henry in particular. Their reason, their very eyes and ears were fixed irrevocably in the confines of those stern and ancient rhythms – the world, in fact, was not their home, at least the world as I knew it – and far from being occasional visitors to this land which I myself knew only as an admiring tourist, they were pretty much its permanent residents, as permanent as I suppose it was possible for them to be. Ancient Greek is a difficult language, a very difficult language indeed, and it is eminently possible to study it all one's life and never be able to speak a word; but it makes me smile, even today, to think of Henry's calculated, formal English, the English of a well-educated foreigner, as compared with the marvelous fluency and self-assurance of his Greek – quick, eloquent, remarkably witty. It was always a wonder to me when I happened to hear him and Julian conversing in Greek, arguing and joking, as I never once heard either of them do in English; many times, I've seen Henry pick up the telephone with an irritable, cautious 'Hello,' and may I never forget the harsh and irresistible delight of his 'Khairei!' when Julian happened to be at the other end.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
But I don't know, in the end, what deserts, chasms, achievements, virtues, and beauties have to do with love. We can love for so many different, and paradoxical, qualities in the object of our love--for strength or for weakness, for beauty or for ugliness, for gaiety or for sadness, for sweetness or for bitterness, for goodness or for wickedness, for need or for impervious independence. Then, if we wonder from what secret springs in ourselves gushes our love, our poor brain goes giddy from speculation, and we wonder what is all meaning and worth. Is it our own need that makes us lean toward and wish to succor need, or is it our strength? What way would our strength, if we had it, incline our heart? Do we give love in order to receive love, and even in the transport or endearment carry the usurer's tight-lipped and secret calculation, unacknowledged even by ourselves? Or do we give with an arrogance after all, a passion for self-definition? Or do we simply want a hand, any hand, a human object, to clutch in the dark on the blanket, and fear lies behind everything? Do we want happiness, or is it pain, pain as the index of reality, that we, in the chamber of our heart, want? Oh, if I knew the answer, perhaps then I could feel free.
Robert Penn Warren (Band of Angels: A Novel (Voices of the South))
You sometimes hear people say, with a certain pride in their clerical resistance to the myth, that the nineteenth century really ended not in 1900 but in 1914. But there are different ways of measuring an epoch. 1914 has obvious qualifications; but if you wanted to defend the neater, more mythical date, you could do very well. In 1900 Nietzsche died; Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams; 1900 was the date of Husserl Logic, and of Russell's Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. With an exquisite sense of timing Planck published his quantum hypothesis in the very last days of the century, December 1900. Thus, within a few months, were published works which transformed or transvalued spirituality, the relation of language to knowing, and the very locus of human uncertainty, henceforth to be thought of not as an imperfection of the human apparatus but part of the nature of things, a condition of what we may know. 1900, like 1400 and 1600 and 1000, has the look of a year that ends a saeculum. The mood of fin de siècle is confronted by a harsh historical finis saeculi. There is something satisfying about it, some confirmation of the rightness of the patterns we impose. But as Focillon observed, the anxiety reflected by the fin de siècle is perpetual, and people don't wait for centuries to end before they express it. Any date can be justified on some calculation or other. And of course we have it now, the sense of an ending. It has not diminished, and is as endemic to what we call modernism as apocalyptic utopianism is to political revolution. When we live in the mood of end-dominated crisis, certain now-familiar patterns of assumption become evident. Yeats will help me to illustrate them. For Yeats, an age would end in 1927; the year passed without apocalypse, as end-years do; but this is hardly material. 'When I was writing A Vision,' he said, 'I had constantly the word "terror" impressed upon me, and once the old Stoic prophecy of earthquake, fire and flood at the end of an age, but this I did not take literally.' Yeats is certainly an apocalyptic poet, but he does not take it literally, and this, I think, is characteristic of the attitude not only of modern poets but of the modern literary public to the apocalyptic elements. All the same, like us, he believed them in some fashion, and associated apocalypse with war. At the turning point of time he filled his poems with images of decadence, and praised war because he saw in it, ignorantly we may think, the means of renewal. 'The danger is that there will be no war.... Love war because of its horror, that belief may be changed, civilization renewed.' He saw his time as a time of transition, the last moment before a new annunciation, a new gyre. There was horror to come: 'thunder of feet, tumult of images.' But out of a desolate reality would come renewal. In short, we can find in Yeats all the elements of the apocalyptic paradigm that concern us.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
I think of the beauty in the obvious, the way it forces us to admit how it exists, the way it insists on being pointed out like a bloody nose, or how every time it snows there is always someone around to say, “It’s snowing.” But the obvious isn’t showing off, it’s only reminding us that time passes, and that somewhere along the way we grow up. Not perfect, but up and out. It teaches us something about time, that we are all ticking and tocking, walking the fine line between days and weeks, as if each second speaks of years, and each month has years listening to forever but never hearing anything beyond centuries swallowed up by millenniums, as if time was calculating the sums needed to fill the empty belly of eternity. We so seldom understand each other. But if understanding is neither here nor there, and the universe is infinite, then understand that no matter where we go, we will always be smack dab in the middle of nowhere. All we can do is share some piece of ourselves and hope that it’s remembered. Hope that we meant something to someone. My chest is a cannon that I have used to take aim and shoot my heart upon this world. I love the way an uncurled fist becomes a hand again, because when I take notes, I need it to underline the important parts of you: happy, sad, lovely. Battle cry ballistic like a disaster or a lipstick earthquaking and taking out the monuments of all my hollow yesterdays. We’ll always have the obvious. It reminds us who, and where we are, it lives like a heart shape, like a jar that we hand to others and ask, “Can you open this for me?” We always get the same answer: “Not without breaking it.” More often than sometimes, I say go for it.
Shane L. Koyczan (Remembrance Year)
Don't exist. Live. Get out, explore. Thrive. Challenge authority. Challenge yourself. Evolve. Change forever. Become who you say you always will. Keep moving. Don't stop. Start the revolution. Become a freedom fighter. Become a superhero. Just because everyone doesn't know your name doesn't mean you don't matter. Are you happy? Have you ever been happy? What have you done today to matter? Did you exist or did you live? How did you thrive? Become a chameleon—fit in anywhere. Be a rockstar—stand out everywhere. Do nothing, do everything. Forget everything, remember everyone. Care, don't just pretend to. Listen to everyone. Love everyone and nothing at the same time. Its impossible to be everything, but you can't stop trying to do it all. . . . Leap. It's time to be aggressive. You've started to speak your mind, now keep going with it. . . . Get your gloves on, it's time for rebirth. There IS no room for the nice guys in the history books. THIS IS THE START OF A REVOLUTION. THE REVOLUTION IS YOUR LIFE. THE GOAL IS IMMORTALITY. LET'S LIVE, BABY. LET'S FEEL ALIVE AT ALL TIMES. TAKE NO PRISONERS. HOLD NO SOUL UNACCOUNTABLE, ESPECIALLY NOT YOUR OWN. IF SOMETHING DOESN'T HAPPEN, IT'S YOUR FAULT. Make this moment your reckoning. Your head has been held under water for too long and now it is time to rise up and take your first true breath. Do everything with exact calculation, nothing without meaning. Do not make careful your words, but make no excuses for what you say. Fuck em' all. Set a goal for everyday and never be tired.
Brian Krans (A Constant Suicide)
Everyone's here except for St. Clair." Meredith cranes her neck around the cafeteria. "He's usually running late." "Always," Josh corrects. "Always running late." I clear my throat. "I think I met him last night. In the hallway." "Good hair and an English accent?" Meredith asks. "Um.Yeah.I guess." I try to keep my voice casual. Josh smirks. "Everyone's in luuurve with St. Clair." "Oh,shut up," Meredith says. "I'm not." Rashmi looks at me for the first time, calculating whether or not I might fall in love with her own boyfriend. He lets go of her hand and gives an exaggerated sigh. "Well,I am. I'm asking him to prom. This is our year, I just know it." "This school has a prom?" I ask. "God no," Rashmi says. "Yeah,Josh. You and St. Clair would look really cute in matching tuxes." "Tails." The English accent makes Meredith and me jump in our seats. Hallway boy. Beautiful boy. His hair is damp from the rain. "I insist the tuxes have tails, or I'm giving your corsage to Steve Carver instead." "St. Clair!" Josh springs from his seat, and they give each other the classic two-thumps-on-the-back guy hug. "No kiss? I'm crushed,mate." "Thought it might miff the ol' ball and chain. She doesn't know about us yet." "Whatever," Rashi says,but she's smiling now. It's a good look for her. She should utilize the corners of her mouth more often. Beautiful Hallway Boy (Am I supposed to call him Etienne or St. Clair?) drops his bag and slides into the remaining seat between Rashmi and me. "Anna." He's surprised to see me,and I'm startled,too. He remembers me. "Nice umbrella.Could've used that this morning." He shakes a hand through his hair, and a drop lands on my bare arm. Words fail me. Unfortunately, my stomach speaks for itself. His eyes pop at the rumble,and I'm alarmed by how big and brown they are. As if he needed any further weapons against the female race. Josh must be right. Every girl in school must be in love with him. "Sounds terrible.You ought to feed that thing. Unless..." He pretends to examine me, then comes in close with a whisper. "Unless you're one of those girls who never eats. Can't tolerate that, I'm afraid. Have to give you a lifetime table ban." I'm determined to speak rationally in his presence. "I'm not sure how to order." "Easy," Josh says. "Stand in line. Tell them what you want.Accept delicious goodies. And then give them your meal card and two pints of blood." "I heard they raised it to three pints this year," Rashmi says. "Bone marrow," Beautiful Hallway Boy says. "Or your left earlobe." "I meant the menu,thank you very much." I gesture to the chalkboard above one of the chefs. An exquisite cursive hand has written out the morning's menu in pink and yellow and white.In French. "Not exactly my first language." "You don't speak French?" Meredith asks. "I've taken Spanish for three years. It's not like I ever thought I'd be moving to Paris." "It's okay," Meredith says quickly. "A lot of people here don't speak French." "But most of them do," Josh adds. "But most of them not very well." Rashmi looks pointedly at him. "You'll learn the lanaguage of food first. The language of love." Josh rubs his belly like a shiny Buddha. "Oeuf. Egg. Pomme. Apple. Lapin. Rabbit." "Not funny." Rashmi punches him in the arm. "No wonder Isis bites you. Jerk." I glance at the chalkboard again. It's still in French. "And, um, until then?" "Right." Beautiful Hallway Boy pushes back his chair. "Come along, then. I haven't eaten either." I can't help but notice several girls gaping at him as we wind our way through the crowd.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
To be loved by a pure young girl, to be the first to reveal to her the strange mystery of love, is indeed a great happiness, but it is the simplest thing in the world. To take captive a heart which has had no experience of attack, is to enter an unfortified and ungarrisoned city. Education, family feeling, the sense of duty, the family, are strong sentinels, but there are no sentinels so vigilant as not to be deceived by a girl of sixteen to whom nature, by the voice of the man she loves, gives the first counsels of love, all the more ardent because they seem so pure. The more a girl believes in goodness, the more easily will she give way, if not to her lover, at least to love, for being without mistrust she is without force, and to win her love is a triumph that can be gained by any young man of five-and-twenty. See how young girls are watched and guarded! The walls of convents are not high enough, mothers have no locks strong enough, religion has no duties constant enough, to shut these charming birds in their cages, cages not even strewn with flowers. Then how surely must they desire the world which is hidden from them, how surely must they find it tempting, how surely must they listen to the first voice which comes to tell its secrets through their bars, and bless the hand which is the first to raise a corner of the mysterious veil! But to be really loved by a courtesan: that is a victory of infinitely greater difficulty. With them the body has worn out the soul, the senses have burned up the heart, dissipation has blunted the feelings. They have long known the words that we say to them, the means we use; they have sold the love that they inspire. They love by profession, and not by instinct. They are guarded better by their calculations than a virgin by her mother and her convent; and they have invented the word caprice for that unbartered love which they allow themselves from time to time, for a rest, for an excuse, for a consolation, like usurers, who cheat a thousand, and think they have bought their own redemption by once lending a sovereign to a poor devil who is dying of hunger without asking for interest or a receipt. Then, when God allows love to a courtesan, that love, which at first seems like a pardon, becomes for her almost without penitence. When a creature who has all her past to reproach herself with is taken all at once by a profound, sincere, irresistible love, of which she had never felt herself capable; when she has confessed her love, how absolutely the man whom she loves dominates her! How strong he feels with his cruel right to say: You do no more for love than you have done for money. They know not what proof to give. A child, says the fable, having often amused himself by crying "Help! a wolf!" in order to disturb the labourers in the field, was one day devoured by a Wolf, because those whom he had so often deceived no longer believed in his cries for help. It is the same with these unhappy women when they love seriously. They have lied so often that no one will believe them, and in the midst of their remorse they are devoured by their love.
Alexandre Dumas (La Dame aux Camélias)
(Inevitably, someone raises the question about World War II: What if Christians had refused to fight against Hitler? My answer is a counterquestion: What if the Christians in Germany had emphatically refused to fight for Hitler, refused to carry out the murders in concentration camps?) The long history of Christian “just wars” has wrought suffering past all telling, and there is no end in sight. As Yoder has suggested, Niebuhr’s own insight about the “irony of history” ought to lead us to recognize the inadequacy of our reason to shape a world that tends toward justice through violence. Might it be that reason and sad experience could disabuse us of the hope that we can approximate God’s justice through killing? According to the guideline I have proposed, reason must be healed and taught by Scripture, and our experience must be transformed by the renewing of our minds in conformity with the mind of Christ. Only thus can our warring madness be overcome. This would mean, practically speaking, that Christians would have to relinquish positions of power and influence insofar as the exercise of such positions becomes incompatible with the teaching and example of Jesus. This might well mean, as Hauerwas has perceived, that the church would assume a peripheral status in our culture, which is deeply committed to the necessity and glory of violence. The task of the church then would be to tell an alternative story, to train disciples in the disciplines necessary to resist the seductions of violence, to offer an alternative home for those who will not worship the Beast. If the church is to be a Scripture-shaped community, it will find itself reshaped continually into a closer resemblance to the socially marginal status of Matthew’s nonviolent countercultural community. To articulate such a theological vision for the church at the end of the twentieth century may be indeed to take most seriously what experience is telling us: the secular polis has no tolerance for explicitly Christian witness and norms. It is increasingly the case in Western culture that Christians can participate in public governance only insofar as they suppress their explicitly Christian motivations. Paradoxically, the Christian community might have more impact upon the world if it were less concerned about appearing reasonable in the eyes of the world and more concerned about faithfully embodying the New Testament’s teaching against violence. Let it be said clearly, however, that the reasons for choosing Jesus’ way of peacemaking are not prudential. In calculable terms, this way is sheer folly. Why do we choose the way of nonviolent love of enemies? If our reasons for that choice are shaped by the New Testament, we are motivated not by the sheer horror of war, not by the desire for saving our own skins and the skins of our children (if we are trying to save our skins, pacifism is a very poor strategy), not by some general feeling of reverence for human life, not by the naive hope that all people are really nice and will be friendly if we are friendly first. No, if our reasons for choosing nonviolence are shaped by the New Testament witness, we act in simple obedience to the God who willed that his own Son should give himself up to death on a cross. We make this choice in the hope and anticipation that God’s love will finally prevail through the way of the cross, despite our inability to see how this is possible. That is the life of discipleship to which the New Testament repeatedly calls us. When the church as a community is faithful to that calling, it prefigures the peaceable kingdom of God in a world wracked by violence.
Richard B. Hays (The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New CreationA Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethic)